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Old 12-04-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect? yes or no

First year w/a tt, cherokee 274RK and we LOVE it. So I winterized a few weeks ago. It's parked, not plugged in, battery removed and stored in my basement for the winter, propane turned off. I went to show my visiting kid and plugged it into my TV but went inside and still had no lights until I plugged in the battery disconnect near the fuse panel. So my questions: 1. Did I really need to be plugged into my truck to get any lights or would they work from the factory solar panel without plugging into my truck? 2. Can I leave the battery disconnect plugged in for the winter? Does it hurt anything? Or should I unplug it?

Thanks for any help you guys can give!
Dale
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:52 PM   #2
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The solar panels are there to charge the battery.

The RV lights and whatnot run off of the battery (or alternative power source such as being plugged into the truck or being plugged into 120v power where the converter makes 12v).

1, You need that power source for the lights to work (batter/truck/120v).

2, Shouldn't matter since there isn't a battery.
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:40 AM   #3
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I agree with ependydad, but have to ask if you have a solar panel to keep the batteries charged why are you removing them for the winter?
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:19 PM   #4
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I agree with ependydad, but have to ask if you have a solar panel to keep the batteries charged why are you removing them for the winter?
Thanks for the replies...obviously had a brain fart. I KNEW the solar panel charged the battery; not sure what I was thinking. It seemed like more lights came on when I re-plugged the disconnect while my truck was plugged into it but I was looking down and maybe was wrong, other than the panel showing 13.6V.

SeaDog: because I live in NE PA where it can get below 0 degrees, often below 10. I always keep batteries (boat, rv, etc) in my basement in winter, throw them on a trickle charge every 6 weeks or so.
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dwilli1 View Post
First year w/a tt, cherokee 274RK and we LOVE it. So I winterized a few weeks ago. It's parked, not plugged in, battery removed and stored in my basement for the winter, propane turned off. I went to show my visiting kid and plugged it into my TV but went inside and still had no lights until I plugged in the battery disconnect near the fuse panel. So my questions: 1. Did I really need to be plugged into my truck to get any lights or would they work from the factory solar panel without plugging into my truck? 2. Can I leave the battery disconnect plugged in for the winter? Does it hurt anything? Or should I unplug it?

Thanks for any help you guys can give!
Dale
"plugged in the battery disconnect near the fuse panel."

Curious as to what type of disconnect you have and where it is located?

Thanks
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:31 PM   #6
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My MPPT solar controller needs to be hooked to the battery to wake up. If the batteries are dead it needs to see 12v to start charging. ( Like from the 7 pin truck plug. )

You should also unhook the solar panels first, before removing the batteries.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:11 PM   #7
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My MPPT solar controller needs to be hooked to the battery to wake up. If the batteries are dead it needs to see 12v to start charging. ( Like from the 7 pin truck plug. )

You should also unhook the solar panels first, before removing the batteries.
Our first Winter with our new TT was last year and we did remove our batteries and keep them on battery tenders until we started our season. We did not explicitly disconnect our solar panel and I can't conceive of a reason to do so, however, the connect from the panels (most likely the charge controller) is made at the battery terminals, so we effectively disconnected the panels when we removed the batteries for the winter. It was just a consequence of the removal, however, so I'm curious as to the reason for your admonition.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dwilli1 View Post
Thanks for the replies...obviously had a brain fart. I KNEW the solar panel charged the battery; not sure what I was thinking. It seemed like more lights came on when I re-plugged the disconnect while my truck was plugged into it but I was looking down and maybe was wrong, other than the panel showing 13.6V.

SeaDog: because I live in NE PA where it can get below 0 degrees, often below 10. I always keep batteries (boat, rv, etc) in my basement in winter, throw them on a trickle charge every 6 weeks or so.
A fully charged deep discharge battery should be able to get down to about -90 F without freezing.

https://www.godownsize.com/rv-battery-freeze/
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:51 PM   #9
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A fully charged deep discharge battery should be able to get down to about -90 F without freezing.

https://www.godownsize.com/rv-battery-freeze/
X2
No need to remove them to keep them warm or connected to a tender.

Fully charge, totally disconnect and you are good.
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Old 12-06-2020, 06:02 PM   #10
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T
SeaDog: because I live in NE PA where it can get below 0 degrees, often below 10. I always keep batteries (boat, rv, etc) in my basement in winter, throw them on a trickle charge every 6 weeks or so.

Putting your batteries in your warm basement is why you need to recharge them. A fully charged lead/acid battery won't freeze until temp is somewhere below -60F. According to the US Army COE:

"Batteries should be stored in a cold place, say, about -15C, although when fully charged to a specific gravity of 1.280 or greater they can be stored at -1C indefinitely without deteriorating. .... In addition, all batteries experience some degree of self-discharge during storage. This can be greatly reduced by storing them at lower temperatures."
For your reading pleasure: https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_p...web/r740_1.pdf
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Old 12-06-2020, 06:45 PM   #11
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I leave the solar connected to the battery and the disconnect switch "off" when in winter storage. So far, as long as I keep the water level up in the battery it has functioned just fine. Turn the switch "on" and have lights as needed with the installed gauge reading between 13.6 and 12.5, until the switch is thrown again within a couple hours. Then it charges up again over time.
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