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Old 10-29-2020, 07:02 AM   #1
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Need Battery Tender If Have Battery Disconnect?

I have a Forest River EPro that has a battery disconnect switch. During winter, will the disconnect eliminate the need to keep the battery on a tender/charger?
Thanks very much for advice...
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:11 AM   #2
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I'd keep the batts on a trickle charger.
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:27 AM   #3
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If your battery disconnect actually disconnects 100%, then just ensure your battery is fully charged and then disconnect it. It will be fine for several months.
Before retirement my routine was to disconnect battery, then once every six weeks or so, I would plug in the trailer and reconnect the battery and charger for a day or two via converter. Then disconnect.
Or you can use a battery tender. Either way works fine.
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Old 10-29-2020, 08:12 AM   #4
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I always pull my battery and put it on an automatic trickle charger through the winter, even though I have a dusconnect.
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Old 10-29-2020, 08:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
If your battery disconnect actually disconnects 100%, then just ensure your battery is fully charged and then disconnect it. It will be fine for several months.
Before retirement my routine was to disconnect battery, then once every six weeks or so, I would plug in the trailer and reconnect the battery and charger for a day or two via converter. Then disconnect.
Or you can use a battery tender. Either way works fine.
X2

Removing and keeping a battery on a trickle charger is totally unnecessary as long as the battery is fully charged and totally disconnected. You need to know whether YOUR disconnect totally disconnects the batteries. Some DO NOT!

Mine are typically disconnected for 4-5 months during our winter period and I've been doing this with batteries for 50 years with no ill effects.

With that said, some folks are adamant about connecting them to a trickle charger, bringing them inside (and setting on a board LOL!) and tucking them in at night. Do whatever YOU are comfortable with.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:02 AM   #6
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Thank you, everyone. I really am not sure if the battery disconnect is 100% cutting off. I guess there is no way of knowing. If it is manageable, I'll take the battery inside the garage with a tender.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:06 AM   #7
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One option is to install your own battery disconnect near or on the battery, then you have no doubts. Using the negative cable between battery and frame ground is usually the easiest, but either pos or neg side works.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by msveggie View Post
Thank you, everyone. I really am not sure if the battery disconnect is 100% cutting off. I guess there is no way of knowing. If it is manageable, I'll take the battery inside the garage with a tender.
There certainly is a way of knowing if the battery disconnect is shutting off all loads. Turn off the battery disconnect, lift one of the battery cables (preferably the negative side for safety reasons), then insert an ammeter between the cable and the battery terminal, and test for any current flow. Then you would know if there are any parasitic loads still present when the disconnect switch is off. Meters that read voltage, resistance and current are available for under $10. If you are unfamiliar with electrical circuit testing, maybe a knowledgeable acquaintance could assist.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:49 AM   #9
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Testing your disconnect is a good idea so you know for sure how YOURS works.

If you are not comfortable with testing or don't know someone who can do it for you, simply unhook the battery cable(s) from either the negative or positive side of the battery. You only need to disconnect one side. If even that makes you a bit uncomfortable, take a photo of the wire(s) you disconnect so you know exactly where to reconnect them.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:59 AM   #10
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Just remember that even with a Lead Acid battery TOTALLY disconnected it will still "self discharge" at a rate up to 5% of it's capacity. It's just the nature of the beast. Slower in Cold, faster in Hot, but still there regardless.

Since a battery will sulfate the longer it sits in a partially discharged state for ultimate life from your battery a Battery Tender will help get maximum life out of the battery.

If not using a tender, regular recharging through the storage period is second best.
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:07 AM   #11
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Just remember that even with a Lead Acid battery TOTALLY disconnected it will still "self discharge" at a rate up to 5% of it's capacity. It's just the nature of the beast. Slower in Cold, faster in Hot, but still there regardless.

Since a battery will sulfate the longer it sits in a partially discharged state for ultimate life from your battery a Battery Tender will help get maximum life out of the battery.

If not using a tender, regular recharging through the storage period is second best.
I have always used a battery tender during off season for my boat, bike, utv and camper. I have noticed (or it seems to me) that by doing this, batteries have lasted longer....imo
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:15 PM   #12
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X2

Removing and keeping a battery on a trickle charger is totally unnecessary as long as the battery is fully charged and totally disconnected. You need to know whether YOUR disconnect totally disconnects the batteries. Some DO NOT!

Mine are typically disconnected for 4-5 months during our winter period and I've been doing this with batteries for 50 years with no ill effects.

With that said, some folks are adamant about connecting them to a trickle charger, bringing them inside (and setting on a board LOL!) and tucking them in at night. Do whatever YOU are comfortable with.
X3!! Picture that new battery coming off the assembly line, shipped, stored and finally sold to you. I'll take a guess at 4-5 months without a charger attached.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:35 PM   #13
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Just remember that even with a Lead Acid battery TOTALLY disconnected it will still "self discharge" at a rate up to 5% of it's capacity. It's just the nature of the beast. Slower in Cold, faster in Hot, but still there regardless.

Since a battery will sulfate the longer it sits in a partially discharged state for ultimate life from your battery a Battery Tender will help get maximum life out of the battery.

If not using a tender, regular recharging through the storage period is second best.
Good points Mike.

But I suppose like anything else, there are varying degrees of what you want to contend with and what one deems detrimental. I don't want the hassle of removing the battery(ies) to store them inside nor do I want to put a tender on them during the off season. For me, that's just something else to have to pi$$ with when I don't need to. Disconnect and done!

I've been storing batteries this way in all kinds of equipment/vehicles for many years and have had no shortness of life. One of my current R/V batteries is 8 years old the other 5. They both hold a good charge and that's been the norm for me... 8-9 years on a FLA battery. I have a 10 year old FLA battery in a snow plow truck that hasn't had the key turned since April and yesterday in preparation for the coming snow, I connected the battery and it kicked over and fired right up. Would I get more years if I used a tender? Don't know, don't care.

You're usually quick to post after me stating what you said above (and I'm totally fine with that) so I'm just showing folks that there isn't always a bottomless sink hole on the other side of the fence. As I always say... do what is right for your situation.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:35 PM   #14
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I use BatteryMINDer on all my batteries all year long. Mowers. Tractors. Trucks. Etc. I have them "hard wired" to the batteries so it's as simple as connecting the pig tail to the BatteryMINDer and plugging it into the outlet. These units are maintenance charger/desulfators which keeps them going for years and years. Not unusual for me to get 8+ years out of batteries. Well worth the investment.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:24 PM   #15
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X3!! Picture that new battery coming off the assembly line, shipped, stored and finally sold to you. I'll take a guess at 4-5 months without a charger attached.
I know of one auto parts chain that inventories their batteries with a date code and the store is notified by company "e-mail" when each date code is due to go on the Battery Mainer that process up to 6 batteries at a time. The Store then has to respond that this has been done.

With close inventory management and turnover pretty much any battery remaining on the shelf over 30 days gets a maintenance charge. A central warehouse stocks all but the most popular P/N's and makes daily deliveries to the stores to replenish. Factories are replenishing the warehouses every week.
The retailer I'm referencing also receives regular computer generated stock lift orders for slow moving batteries on their rack and they're returned to the central warehouse where they are used to fill orders that come in every day.
Customers are many times not aware of what goes on behind the scenes.

Perhaps back in the day before integrated inventory management 4-5 month "shelf time' might have been the norm, maybe even longer.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:51 PM   #16
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Your disconnect is not 100%.You must have the propane leak detection device on at all times. (Federal law) And, even if it was 100%, there would still be some drain. If you have solar prep installed, I recommend buying and installing the cell panels on the roof. That will keep battery charged and be available for dry camping as well. Otherwise, you can buy a cheap portable solar system to maintain the battery. As mentioned you can take the battery out. Put it on a bench with a trickle charger.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:55 PM   #17
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One option is to install your own battery disconnect near or on the battery, then you have no doubts. Using the negative cable between battery and frame ground is usually the easiest, but either pos or neg side works.
That is what we did on our Georgetown 335DS. I installed a disconnect right at the batteries so when we park it for the winter I open the disconnect to completely isolate both batteries..
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:29 PM   #18
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The colder it gets the lower the self-discharge rate. November - April storage and my boat and camper batteries come out well over 50% charged. These are completely disconnected at the battery (using a marine switch). RVIA code requires the LP leak detector to be wired directly to the battery and some battery "disconnects" don't.

Ruined too much clothing pulling batteries out of my boats and campers for the winter. Unnecessary.

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Old 10-29-2020, 02:35 PM   #19
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Added one of these to mine, https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00445KFZ2/, shortly after I bought it because the factory disconnect still drained my batteries.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:40 PM   #20
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I have a similar Blue Switch bolted to the outside of the battery box on my Roo. Connected between the Negative battery pole and the ground/frame. Completely disconnects the battery. No discharge from any device when turned Off. No charging from any device either.

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