RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-13-2020, 11:28 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 2
Winter Storage for Batteries

Hello,
I have been a lurker in the forums since buying my 2020 GeoPro and it may have been addressed already and if so sorry for the new thread. Last winter I took the batteries out and kept them in the garage on battery tender and all was well.
But I was just wondering since I have solar and it is charging the batteries could I maybe insulate the battery box for the winter and let the solar handle it or is is still better to pull them out?
Thank You!
CO_Camper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2020, 11:38 AM   #2
PhD, Common Sense
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Fairborn, OH
Posts: 1,384
I donít do either.

I had a battery disconnect installed that works as thoroughly as removing the cable from the negative terminal cable. I turn the switch off after having fully charged and inspected battery.

In the spring, I inspect the battery, turn the switch on, and charge the battery by plugging the trailer in. After four seasons, no problems.
eye95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2020, 12:30 PM   #3
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 12,976
I can't answer your question about the solar because I have no clue how much your panel puts out. (consider cloudy days too)

I will agree fully charging and then disconnecting the battery will not hurt anything and I've been doing this with batteries for over 50 years. A full charged and then disconnect battery will not freeze above -50ļ-60ļ F and will stay charged for 4-6 months without any charger whatsoever.

BTW... Welcome to the forum! I see it is your 1st post.

This issue has been discussed in the past. A search of the site will give you additional reading on the subject.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '17=30 '18=51 '19=58 '20=98
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2020, 02:41 PM   #4
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 23,290
Quote:
Originally Posted by CO_Camper View Post
But I was just wondering since I have solar and it is charging the batteries could I maybe insulate the battery box for the winter and let the solar handle it or is is still better to pull them out?
Thank You!
Unless you live in the Arctic, a charged battery will not freeze. I forget the actual -F number but it's way down there. So you don't have to insulate the box.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 01:05 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
Unless you live in the Arctic, a charged battery will not freeze. I forget the actual -F number but it's way down there. So you don't have to insulate the box.
Your post reminds of me of my first winter living in Anchorage. I plugged in the head-bolt heater to keep the engine block from becoming too cold to start, and the next morning I found that my battery was frozen solid! It's been 40 years, and I still remember cross-country skiing to work as a consequence!
Paul Dershem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 01:08 PM   #6
Old Soldier
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 23
Put me down as rather anal-retentive, but given the conditions of a Canadian winter and no solar - each winter I pull both the house batteries and truck battery and put them on a tender for the 5-6 months of sub-freezing weather. An hour or so to pull them and same to re-install in the spring...

Welcome to the forum - so many friendly, knowledgeable folks!
ColonelRick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 01:13 PM   #7
Old Soldier
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 23
LOL. Back in my army days I planned thoroughly for a winter warfare exercise. Or so I thought. Instead of the usual 4 or 5 vehicles for a light infantry company I doubled everything. Also kept the big diesels running 24/7. At least tried to - the darned in-line fuel filters froze solid at minus 40. The result? A pleasant 10 klick stroll on snowshoes to the rendez-vous with our buses and sent out a team to haul everything in to base when things warmed up the following day.
ColonelRick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 01:35 PM   #8
wjo
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 13
Pulled mine out in heated garage (on wood not concrete) hooked up to maintainer never had a problem did the same to car when left in garage all winter(no heat).
wjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 01:57 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,478
A 100% charged battery freezes at -87 degrees.
A 60% charged battery freezes at -20 degrees. That is 12.3V measured.
Batteries in cold temps will self discharge at rates of less than 5% per month...less if it is below freezing.
Disconnect the negative wire and check your voltage every couple of months. Fully charge when/if you fall below 12.3V and you will be fine.
__________________
________
Cam
2015 Georgetown 280DS
2019 Vespa Primavera 150's (pair)
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 03:13 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta
Posts: 1,347
My GC2 batteries stay out in the cold (disconnected) for 7 months through the winter and they discharge less than 10% of their full charge.
Have been doing this for 8 years and they are still going strong.
__________________

2007 Surveyor SV230
- 200 Watts Solar/MPPT Controller - 230 AH Battery Bank - 600 watt PSW Inverter - (2) 2000 watt Inverter Generators - LED Lighting
2009 F150 - 5.4 Litre - Tow Package
Boon Docking 99% of the time.
boondocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 03:51 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Bend,Oregon and Yuma,, AZ
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by CO_Camper View Post
Hello,
I have been a lurker in the forums since buying my 2020 GeoPro and it may have been addressed already and if so sorry for the new thread. Last winter I took the batteries out and kept them in the garage on battery tender and all was well.
But I was just wondering since I have solar and it is charging the batteries could I maybe insulate the battery box for the winter and let the solar handle it or is is still better to pull them out?
Thank You!
My RV stays in winter storage where our nights are typically in the 20s or below. My solar keeps the batteries fully charged. Keep in mind though, 70% of Bend's days are sunny or partly sunny, including winter.
__________________
2015 Forest River Solera 24R
2009 Honda CRV Toad
lacamastraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 04:31 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Right Half of OR
Posts: 343
My factory installed solar kept the battery up all last winter with the disconnect switch in the off position so there was no draw into the TT. My hay shed has open spaces under the roof that let sunlight in each early morning and late afternoon so there are no full daylight days. I did have to watch the water level in the battery, adding a little water each month. On my previous trailers I just hooked up a battery tender and again watched the water level. There is no heat in the barns and the north end is open; the mountain valley winter cold was not a problem.
__________________
Greg 'n Deb
2020 R-POD 195 HRE
'17 Tacoma 3.5L,'07 Tundra 5.7L w/ tow pkgs.
Dirt Sifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 07:09 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 94
If your batteries are fully charged before storage you can just disconnect the ground cable from the batteries so there are no draws on the batteries and let them sit in your vehicle for the winter, no need for insulation. I live in Minnesota where it gets down to 35 below zero and have never had a problem with my batteries during the 5 winters I have done this. I find the voltage drop to be minimal even with 6 or 7 months of storage, my batteries are at about 12.8 volts when put in storage in October and about 12.65 to 12.7 volts when I check them in April.
lucky55616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 07:34 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
KEN9XL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Southeastern Massachusetts
Posts: 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
A 100% charged battery freezes at -87 degrees.
A 60% charged battery freezes at -20 degrees.
That is 12.3V measured.
Batteries in cold temps will self discharge at rates of less than 5% per month...less if it is below freezing.
Disconnect the negative wire and check your voltage every couple of months. Fully charge when/if you fall below 12.3V and you will be fine.

Wow! Just want to say thank you camaraderie for that information.
I never knew a fully charged battery could withstand that low of a temperature.

This forum never fails to educate me.
I have always removed my batteries each winter and stored indoors.
__________________
Ken & Marie
2017 Heritage Glen 272RL - 34' 4" hitch to bumper (UVW 7294 lbs / hitch 845 lbs)
2016 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE (4wd w/tow pkg) 5.3 litre V8 engine, payload 1726lbs w/rear axle ratio 3.42, & 9200 lb tow capacity

I wish I started camping earlier in life
KEN9XL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 07:50 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
SailorSam20500's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,348
For me, the only reason I would pull my trailer battery is if I stored it in a storage lot and was worried about someone walking off with it.


FWIW, I disconnect the negative battery cable and connect up a Coleman (made by Sunforce) 2 watt solar panel. This spring, my battery was reading somewhere near 12.8 volts. The nose of my trailer points west when parked and has full sun. The panel is sitting on my propane tank cover.



The panel is available from Lowes. Interestingly, Lowes claims these panels are to be mounted inside a vehicle because they are NOT weather proof. Sunforce, the manufacturer states "Fully weatherproof design". Mine was outside all of last winter and while parked this summer and is functioning perfectly.


My battery box is not insulated. Lowest temp I've seen in my area was about -35F (unusual).
__________________
Al
Save the Earth. Itís the only known planet with Beer.
There are times where my greatest accomplishment is keeping my mouth shut...

S.E. Mich. Flagstaff 26FKWS / 2019 F-150 3.5 EcoBoost SCrew Propride
SailorSam20500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 01:06 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3
Greetings - new to the forum and the RV/TT world - lots to learn and this forum has already been immensely informative.

One follow-on question (may have missed the answer). Is the roof-mounted solar still connected, even with the battery disconnect in the "off" position (battery disconnected)? Sounds like yes, given the input so far, just want to confirm if I plan to disconnect the battery and rely on the solar to keep batteries charged through the winter. Thanks!

TT: 2021 Flagstaff E-Pro E19BH
TV: 2019 Subaru Ascent, Touring
zog_out is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2020, 08:41 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 346
Hereís my dumb question. If I leave my TT plugged in all the time is that a problem for the batteries through the winter?
__________________
2019 Heritage Glen 282RK
2014 F-150 Screw 4x4 3.5EB
lewisra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2020, 08:49 AM   #18
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 12,976
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewisra View Post
Hereís my dumb question. If I leave my TT plugged in all the time is that a problem for the batteries through the winter?
Not anymore so than those who leave them plugged in all summer or 24/7.

Modern converters are multistage and should maintain a proper charge. You should check the electrolyte periodically though.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '17=30 '18=51 '19=58 '20=98
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2020, 07:26 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 114
Not sure where you live but if it gets below freezing and stays there as it does up here in the North East I would recommend pulling them and taking it indoors and then put it on the charger. The freezing of a battery is as detrimental as letting it discharge too far.

Just for the record no matter where you are science 101 applies, the sun is not as intense in the winter months so it won't work that well.

On all my toys I remove the batteries, set them up on a table in my basement and then connect to trickle chargers that keep the batteries nicely topped of and not allowing them to go below 50% charge level.
skipatroller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2020, 07:38 PM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 2
A lot of helpful information, thanks everyone!
CO_Camper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries, storage, winter

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:54 AM.