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Old 09-08-2014, 07:29 PM   #1
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Winter storage for deep cycle batteries?

Howdy,
My new 2014 Mini-Lite is now winterized and parked out back for its first winter. Mid-winter temperatures here in eastern Oregon at 3K feet + will dip below 0 degrees F from time to time. Should I disconnect and remove the two batteries and bring them into a heated space, and/or set up a trickle charger from time to time?
Any advice would be welcome. Thanks. Max
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:38 PM   #2
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Mine survived sitting out last winter, but not without a lot a fretting. (See here: http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ter-55216.html)

Generally though, the answer is yes, they should come in, and yes, they should be charged periodically to keep the voltage from dropping too low.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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I would vote do what you can. Get a trickle/battery maintainer for the winter. I have a 2011.

I've come to the conclusion if you don't maintain your battery (as in keep it in shape all year long) expect 3 years out of it. And they tend to go fast without much warning. I went dry camping last weekend, previously my battery meter goes from 10 bars, to 9 bars, etc. as the battery gets used. I setup this time and see 10 bars then as soon as I turn on a light 4 bars!!! I was on critical power saving mode that camping trip (the fridge even though it runs on propane needs electricity to run its circuitry). I get home, plug it in and recharge, and the battery now can't hold for an hour. Now I'm in the process of pricing new batteries, researching what I should've done, looking at battery keepers, etc. and so far come to the conclusion it's cheaper to maintain the batteries than replace them every 3 years. The sooner you start the more you'll save.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
Mine survived sitting out last winter, but not without a lot a fretting. (See here: http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ter-55216.html)

Generally though, the answer is yes, they should come in, and yes, they should be charged periodically to keep the voltage from dropping too low.
Do you leave your unit plugged in all winter? There are ways to get around to not having to remove them. I did some research on mine, because I didn't want to remove them(bad on the back).
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:13 AM   #5
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I would disconnect them to remove parasitic loses. Then hook up a Battery Tender or Battery Minder to maintain them.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:43 AM   #6
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I used to take the dual deep-cycles out of my old TT, put them in the unheated garage on an automatic charger/maintainer. They were also in a box made of 1" foamboard so their own heat may have kept them slightly warmed. Still had the same capacity at 9 as they did when they were brand new.

With the 5er, I'm just going to leave the shore-power plugged in and let the converter float the battery.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
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I used to take the dual deep-cycles out of my old TT, put them in the unheated garage on an automatic charger/maintainer. They were also in a box made of 1" foamboard so their own heat may have kept them slightly warmed. Still had the same capacity at 9 as they did when they were brand new.

With the 5er, I'm just going to leave the shore-power plugged in and let the converter float the battery.
If you have a WACO converter it will stay in 13.6 volts unless by the manual it has to read no loads for 48 hrs then it will drop to 13.2, it can't happen because it read parasites as people said. IF your going to use your 3 stage converter/charger, there is cheap add on it's called power plus. What is does is hook's to the pos and neg. and will keep your plates clean. That is what will kill a battery, or go to a progressive converter that has 4 stages. The 4 stage will come on every 21 hrs and bring your voltage up to 14.3 to burn it off. The power plus is about 35.00 the progressive is about 145.00 but it will drop to float at 13.2 not like the WACO. I forgot it might be a WFCO/ not WACO. either way it is the standard one FR puts in, except in the Sunseeker. I was told they were going to switch and were testing them out.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:35 PM   #8
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IF your going to use your 3 stage converter/charger, there is cheap add on it's called power plus. What is does is hook's to the pos and neg. and will keep your plates clean.
So who makes this device called a "Power Plus"? And where can you buy one?

I did a quick google search and didn't find anything specific.

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:33 PM   #9
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So who makes this device called a "Power Plus"? And where can you buy one?

I did a quick google search and didn't find anything specific.

I'll try and find it again and get back to you, you will still need to keep a close eye on your water level. At 13.6 you will gas quite a bit... Type in Power plus battery maintenance system it will come up on google.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:27 PM   #10
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I'll try and find it again and get back to you, you will still need to keep a close eye on your water level. At 13.6 you will gas quite a bit... Type in Power plus battery maintenance system it will come up on google.
OK it found the following for a company called "PowerPulse" providing a device that "removes sulfation buildup on battery plates".

http://www.pulsetech.net//Assets/Pro...s//735X012.PDF

Is this it?
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:51 PM   #11
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Let me also add that the trailer is using a WFCO 3 stage Converter/Charger. So float mode, aka trickle charge is 13.2V. So suspect it wouldn't gas that much?
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:51 PM   #12
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If it kicks down to 13.2v. I have read that the parasitic loads will keep it from "seeing" it's charged and keep going at 13.6v, boiling it dry. I think that's what happened to my batteries.

I have been checking every 12 hours or so, and after 2 days it did drop down to 13.2. I don't trust it yet though.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:48 AM   #13
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OK it found the following for a company called "PowerPulse" providing a device that "removes sulfation buildup on battery plates".

http://www.pulsetech.net//Assets/Pro...s//735X012.PDF

Is this it?
Yes that is it and it works as stated.....
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:56 AM   #14
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I checked the voltage at the battery (on shore power) and its 13.2 volts so the parasitic loads are not enough to keep the converter from going to float mode. Since being in the battery box in the trunk is about the same as being in an unheated garage, I'll stick with the plan the just leave it plugged in.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:09 AM   #15
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I checked the voltage at the battery (on shore power) and its 13.2 volts so the parasitic loads are not enough to keep the converter from going to float mode. Since being in the battery box in the trunk is about the same as being in an unheated garage, I'll stick with the plan the just leave it plugged in.
What brand converter do you have in the unit? If it's not a 4 stage for the money I would add the POWERPLUS that keeps your plate clean and burned off. For the cost it would extend your battery life, takes no power works off the battery juice itself. If you have a 4 stage then you don't need it, but 3 stage I highly recommend it for I think 35.00 bucks or so. Google Powerplus battery maintenance. See what you think... there's a link above at #13 post.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:29 AM   #16
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Now mind you gets a little colder here in NY where I am, Jan to end of Feb. can hit over night lows of -50 with wind chill. I bring mine in and keep it on a battery tender plus never set a battery on concrete and leave it I was always told it would damage battery. Your battery does a lot in your trailer activates trailer brakes if trailer brakes away from tow vehicle and for this reason alone you need a battery that is in good shape.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:38 AM   #17
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Hook 'em to a battery tender and forget them till spring!
The new model battery tenders are transformerless and even more
efficient.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:24 PM   #18
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What brand converter do you have in the unit? If it's not a 4 stage for the money I would add the POWERPLUS that keeps your plate clean and burned off. For the cost it would extend your battery life, takes no power works off the battery juice itself. If you have a 4 stage then you don't need it, but 3 stage I highly recommend it for I think 35.00 bucks or so. Google Powerplus battery maintenance. See what you think... there's a link above at #13 post.
WFCO.

Its "PowerPulse" (PP-12-L). Difficult to find or have shipped to Canada. Amazon.ca has the Wizbangplus, which claims to be the original. Might try either that or Walmart.com's 'ship-to-store' when we're vacationing in Florida in February.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:50 AM   #19
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I vote for a battery tender and....
It is ok to leave the modern battery on concrete, brick, wood, carpet, etc.

The concrete thing was true many years ago (and I mean many) when the cells were glass enclosed in tared wood. Damp concrete could swell the wood destroying the glass cells.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:13 PM   #20
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OK it found the following for a company called "PowerPulse" providing a device that "removes sulfation buildup on battery plates".

http://www.pulsetech.net//Assets/Pro...s//735X012.PDF

Is this it?
FWIW...anything that claims de-sulfation/maintenance by pulse technology has been thoroughly discredited by actual independent testing. Don't buy the snake oil.
Dead Batteries After 8 Months? Surely Not! - Page 3 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

**********
I note that this comment does NOT include small maintenence chargers like the battery tender.

Finally...there is NO need in almost any climate for special care or removal of batteries for the winter PROVIDED that:
1. The batteries are FULLY...i.e. 100% REALLY charged...(not just a reading on a voltmeter when you turn the charger off!! )

2.Disconnect the negative wire and wait 24 hours and take a reading...if you get 12.6 or better you are good for 90 days of NO MAINTENANCE regardless of weather as the batteries will still be at 70% charge OR BETTER and STILL Good to better than 50 below.
Proof Needed?? http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_...orage_0512.pdf

3. Make sure you get back to put a nice 100% charge on again if you have a long winter! And of course...check the water levels as you did before you left the RV in storage right??!! Bulk charging at around 14.5 volts is a LOT better for battery life extension than maintainers as far as desulphation goes.
If you have an Equalization cycle...use it as that is even better.

Per my link...a fully charged wet cell battery is good to 92 BELOW ZERO. And self discharge in below freezing weather is around 15% of the loss in 80 degree temps!
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