Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-28-2020, 09:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 9
Batteries dead in storage

We have a Sandpiper 378FB 5th wheel which we used extensively for 6 months without a problem. We parked it at a storage facility last month and disconnected the batteries by removing the negative poles. When we went back to hook up, the batteries were dead so we couldn't raise our landing jacks. Had to have a friend bring jumper cables to power up the batteries. Batteries are only a year old. Considering they were disconnected, where did the power go? I would have thought there might be some loss of power but shouldn't they hold for a month?

CarolynT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2020, 09:40 PM   #2
Kanadian Kamper
kenandterry's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,867
Are they deep cycle, dual purpose or regular batteries?
When was the last time you checked the electrolytes?


Ken and Terry
2018 Sunseeker 2430S
and only sometimes pushed by our 2017 GMC Terrain toad (4 wheels down)
kenandterry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2020, 12:42 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 6,728
Your batteries are likely toast if they were fully charged before storage.
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2020, 08:22 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: payson, az
Posts: 2,604
a few thoughts:

are you sure you reconnected the trailer jack cable? many times the jack has it's own cable to the battery that is different than the main battery cables?

did you by chance trip the resettable circuit breaker?

when you say 'removed the negative poles' does that mean that each and every cable attached to the negative battery terminals was removed? were the batteries fully charged when you took the cables off and put them into storage? if they were fully charged and you took all cables off they should not discharge in a month.

what do you mean when you say you used the jumper cable to power up the batteries? do they now work? a jumper cable will not recharge the batteries.

at this point take the batteries out and take them to a local auto store to get them tested. leave the overnight and have them try to recharge them.
2015 cardinal model 3825fl
2015 dodge ram 3500 dually
CHICKDOE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2020, 01:35 PM   #5
Senior Member
camaraderie's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,388
You don't say that you fully charged the batteries before leaving them for a month... but my guess is that they were damaged before you put them away and if you boondock and don't have a battery monitor...they were probably over used and under charged which sulfated the batteries leaving them without the capacity to sit for a month.
That's a guess... but you can still remove the batteries to from the unit and charge them up OVERNIGHT with an old fashioned heave iron charger... then have them load tested at the local autoshop or get a $20 load tester at Harbor Freight. OR<<<... just leave them unhooked after charging for 24 hours and put a voltmeter on them. Anything 12.4 or less means significant loss of capacity...anything 12.2V or less means trade the cores in on a new set of TRUE deep cycle batts and get a battery monitor so they will LAST and not be murdered.
2015 Georgetown 280DS
2019 Vespa Primavera 150's (pair)
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2020, 02:30 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 473
I don't know what disconnecting the negative pole and leaving the positive connected might implicate, but there may be other negative connections somewhere. Newer trailers have little power draws even with the battery disconnect switch in the off or disconnected position. Such little things as the CO2 detector, digital clocks and other little gizmos that use 12v current. In most situation it won't kill the battery, but a weaker battery or extremely cold weather can cause it to draw down over the winter. Happened to me with a brand new trailer in storage. Removing the battery when the trailer is in storage or keeping it on shore power, if available, or a solar charger, would likely prevent this from happening. I agree with the suggestions about getting the battery checked and/or charged by an auto parts place. BTW, all the dealerships I've visited in cold weather fully remove the batteries and keep them in doors when the units are winterized.
Flemington, NJ
Former: 2007 Cardinal 30W LE
Now:2018 Arctic Fox 27-5L
2008 Ford F-250 Long Bed Diesel
Total of 30 Months on the Road Since 2008
DrLewie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2020, 04:07 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 18
I would take the batteries home and check the electrolyte level, check the specific gravity of the electrolyte, then add distilled water if needed, check the voltage across the terminals once again and put them on a 6 amp (or more) charger for a while or over night or more time depending on the charger rating and see if they become charged by checking the specific gravity again and the voltage across the terminals. Hope this helps.
An auto parts store can check them as well, usually for free. Our RV batteries were badly sulfated and replaced under warranty after sitting on the dealers lot for months before purchase.
Glampen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2020, 06:02 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 553
I disconnect the positive terminal wires after fully charging the batteries. They then maintain charge over the winter for more than 5 years. When they do not maintain a charge I replace them.

Harkerr is offline   Reply With Quote

batteries, storage

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


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 02:56 AM.