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-   -   Battery charging/maintaining safety question (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f2/battery-charging-maintaining-safety-question-135060.html)

boevermann 05-28-2017 01:27 PM

Battery charging/maintaining safety question
 
Hello all,
We are about to take delivery of a new Surveyor 201RBS. It will have 2 batteries. We live in a townhome so the trailer will be stored at an outside storage facility with no access to power.

My question is about charging/maintaining the batteries when we are not using the trailer. After searching these forums on the topic, I'm planning on buying a Battery Tender Plus model 021-0128 and removing the batteries to take back home and charge in the garage. Seems straightforward but here's my safety question.

The garage in our townhome happens to be where our hot water heater is located--and it is a gas heater, not electric (i.e. pilot light). If I put the batteries on the Battery Tender in the garage to charge/maintain, will that pose any problems due to the presence of the gas water heater? I don't want to blow up our (and our neighbors') homes :).

If it is a "problem when charging but not maintaining" answer I can figure out an alternative location for getting the batteries fully charged.

Thanks in advance! All of you on this forum have already been a wealth of info as we dive into our first TT.

A32Deuce 05-28-2017 02:18 PM

That won't be a problem. Can you park a hat it the garage? That would not hurt nor will the tender.

A32Deuce 05-28-2017 02:18 PM

Park a car.

kenandterry 05-28-2017 02:43 PM

No problems with the Battery Tender.....and your batteries will thank you.

boevermann 05-29-2017 10:14 AM

Thanks A32Deuce and kenandterry. I had just enough doubt after reading that charging batteries gives off hydrogen gas. Just didn't want a Hindenburg moment to "upset" the neighbors and be the lead story on the local evening news.

dporter 05-29-2017 01:04 PM

Battery Maintenance without Shore Power
 
We recently bought a Surveyor 243RBS and we had the same concern since we sold our house and needed to use storage for the trailer. We were advised the easiest way to keep the maintenance on the batteries would be to put a Solar Power input on the roof. You can take them outside for use but leaves them there for thieves. It is 165AMP Solar Power unit. It keeps the double 6V batteries @13.6 volts and these batteries can be running lights, etc. that are 12V.
I hated to keep the batteries in a garage or storage and this has worked out great and allows us to run by and get the trailer ready for a trip or just checked up on the trailer. Best way to go.:)

Bluepill 05-29-2017 04:55 PM

Natural Gas water heaters in garages pose an explosion hazard if propane or gasoline fumes build up near the floor since those fumes are heavier than air and can "pond" in quantities that can create serious explosions. Since hydrogen is lighter than air, it would tend to rise and disperse naturally. Making sure that you have some ventilation in the garage area is a good idea. I keep my attic stairway partially open to vent the area.

Note that a maintainer is just that: Designed to maintain already fully charged batteries. A standard car battery charger is a good tool to do a complete charge before storage. Some combine a true charger with a maintainer, like the NOCO line. These are vary well-reviewed:

https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-G3500-Ul...ds=noco+genius

fluidone 05-29-2017 06:01 PM

X@ What Bluepill said

Tom48 05-30-2017 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenandterry (Post 1518122)
No problems with the Battery Tender.....and your batteries will thank you.

I would not use nor charge lead acid wet batteries in my bedroom or inside my rv. Garage should be fine to maintain or to charge. But solar is heavenly. No removing batteries. A 200 watt system can be had for under $350 from windynation.com. That and $50 worth of fuses, Dicor and misc screws and plastic flex covering for the wires and bingo. Watch about 20 youtube how to videos, get a helper and you can install it on the roof in a half a Saturday. Now I just have to remember to clean and water the batteries a couple times a year. SPOILED.

Comanchecreek 05-30-2017 08:17 AM

Tom is right. Solar charger at the storage place is the way to go. No removing the batteries repeatedly. No storage worries. You can buy solar battery maintainers anywhere. Be sure to use the battery disconnect so there is no parasitic draw, and be sure the batteries are fully charged when you park the rig. Lots of people do it this way.
I use battery terminal spray to keep the terminals from getting gunked up. Usually a sign of a gassing battery. Be sure to keep them filled also. Biggest death of a battery is to let the water get below the plates. Use distilled water.

A32Deuce 05-30-2017 10:39 AM

I have two panels on my roof and never turn off the bats. That drain helps the bats and charging rather then a bat tender.

Comanchecreek 05-30-2017 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A32Deuce (Post 1519609)
I have two panels on my roof and never turn off the bats. That drain helps the bats and charging rather then a bat tender.

I never turn my switch off either. Most maintainers can keep up. Gas alarm can be a draw though, and solar can be intermittent in some areas. My maintainers are plug in.

A32Deuce 05-30-2017 04:11 PM

Even on cloudy days, I have seen 1.3 amps going in!

Kenny kustom 05-30-2017 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A32Deuce (Post 1519952)
Even on cloudy days, I have seen 1.3 amps going in!



Yup! I had 1.1 A in the pouring rain this weekend.

A32Deuce 05-30-2017 04:48 PM

I have had a reading with snow on the panels on a sunny day!

Tom48 06-01-2017 03:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A32Deuce (Post 1519609)
I have two panels on my roof and never turn off the bats. That drain helps the bats and charging rather then a bat tender.

Exactly.. we have 200 watts but now i want more, but then I would want more batteries, and then more solar and a bigger inverter. Vicious cycle. Maybe it's just the latest way to dump more money in our rv's.

Comanchecreek 06-01-2017 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom48 (Post 1521482)
Exactly.. we have 200 watts but now i want more, but then I would want more batteries, and then more solar and a bigger inverter. Vicious cycle. Maybe it's just the latest way to dump more money in our rv's.

If you really want to spend your dough, find the guys that want to install Lithium Ion batteries in the trailer. Great idea, but hang on to your wallet.

A32Deuce 06-01-2017 08:42 AM

Already checked the price. After I sat down and got my breath back, I think I will pass. I thought the Optima bats were expensive enough! Two group 31 and 305 amp panels! Does all I need.

Comanchecreek 06-01-2017 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A32Deuce (Post 1521628)
Already checked the price. After I sat down and got my breath back, I think I will pass. I thought the Optima bats were expensive enough! Two group 31 and 305 amp panels! Does all I need.

Best setup I can find is 6 volt Interstates at Costco, or Duracell? from Sam's. I run 4 because I dry camp a lot. They run about 90 bucks apiece and have a good life span. Last set survived for over 8 years. Search this forum for Golf cart batteries. You will find lot's of information.

boevermann 06-01-2017 09:48 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the interesting conversation and info. Solar is definitely in our future but not in the short term. I agree that will be the best overall solution.


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