Battery storage

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hoss10

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Mar 13, 2016
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I have winterised my TT, and now for the batteries.  I installed a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries and they would be a pain to remove for the winter.
My question:  How do I store the batteries?

1. Plug the trailer in an AC outlet for the winter.

2 Connect a electronic battery charger (set on maintain) to the batteries for the winter.

3.Don't be lazy and take off the batteries and store inside.


A final winterising question>  I have drained the hot water tank, leave the drain plug off or re-install.


Thanks for the help.
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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I've never removed batteries from any camper. Leave them connected to a good multi-stage charger and check the water level monthly.

I leave the drain plug out, others put it back in. I'm not worried about insects crawling in there over the winter.
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
My last 5vr the converter was in the front compartment and was plugged into a standard wall receptacle. I'd unplug it and installed a timer there. The timer was set to turn on the converter every day for 1 hour. It may be easier to just install a battery tender.
I use to put the drain plug back in just one thread so it would be loose enough for air to get in and let water out but still keep any tiny bugs out.
 

BillB3857

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Jun 8, 2012
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Location
St. Louis Area
The subject caught my eye and I, in the past, followed the "keep it plugged in to shore power" solution.  Since St. Charles County, Mo has decided that any RV over 24' in length cannot be stored at home, I now have my unit at a storage facility.  NO POWER AVAILABLE.  I do have the battery fully charged and disconnected (negative lead).  Although it is difficult, it isn't impossible to pull the battery, bring it home and place it on a battery maintainer type charger for the winter.  Ordinances that change to be more and more restrictive, especially in un-incorporated county areas are the pits!  I'm interested to see what others that can't power their units conveniently do with their battery during winter months.
 

ricsuz88

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Oct 22, 2018
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I was told that keeping the batteries installed in the rig and keeping the rig plugged into your house electricity all winter could cause the batteries to be overcharged and damage them. Does that sound right?  At any rate I moved mine into our heated garage (in MN).
 

HappyWanderer

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ricsuz88 said:
I was told that keeping the batteries installed in the rig and keeping the rig plugged into your house electricity all winter could cause the batteries to be overcharged and damage them. Does that sound right?  At any rate I moved mine into our heated garage (in MN).

A modern mult-stage charger won't over charge or damage batteries. Our motorhome is always plugged in, and batteries are left in place during the New England winter. The chassis and coach batteries were replaced after eight and nine years, respectively.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
ricsuz88 said:
I was told that keeping the batteries installed in the rig and keeping the rig plugged into your house electricity all winter could cause the batteries to be overcharged and damage them. Does that sound right?  At any rate I moved mine into our heated garage (in MN).

Well. yes and no.
LONG LONG time ago. Back when Converters were a thing called new.. There was a company (Since bought out) that made one that did just as you describe.. Magnetek.
Well Parallex bought 'em out and made a few improvements (Fixed that problem).

Today. if the battery is good.. you have converters that come in basically 4.2 types
The .2 is Programmable.. or not
The 4 are
Single stage. 2 stage, 3 stage and 3 stage PLUS (normally the 4th stage is manually invoked)
Now this 4th stage CAN boil 'em dry but you have to manually invoke it and it times out back to stage 3 usually within 8 hours.

THe old Magnetek had very poor voltage regulation. The output was NOT filtered and the voltage peaks were about 16 volts (RMS was 12-13 but peak is 1.414 or RMS * (Sqrt(2)) ) 

The Parallex that replaces the old Magnetek outputs 13.6

2 stage may output 14.6 for a period of time or till the current suggests time to change

The 4 stages
BULK (usually about 14-15 volts from converter current up to max for converter. Example my 9180 can push 80 amps in this mode. tapers down to.
Absorption. Same 14.5 volts but current is in the below 20 amp range
BULK 13.6 volts. and the batteries can sit there for months and months on end without boiling over.. Do check 'em from time to time (My DEKA's spent 4 years before they got thirsty. The Interstate OEM"s annually when new.. Monthly 9 years later) Nearly always plugged in).

And Equalization (the manual stage) this is a controlled overcharge it does many things. I tmay burn some of the crud off the plates. It stirs up the liquid in the cells. and if one cell is a bit.... Undercharged... With respect to the rest it "Equalizes" the charge (100%) so it all works

But if you have a modern charger.. LIke I do (Progressive Dynamics Wizard Controlled. none better. Thank you Damon.. that was the OEM. also the replacement when the OEM failed 12.5 years later) (I went factory direct for the replacement since it was.. almost out of my way).

Well.... Mine has been plugged in almost continuously for 15 years and change.
 

ricsuz88

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Oct 22, 2018
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Wow!  That?s more info than I can absorb. Not sure I know what the bottom line is.
 

Conquest2011

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Cumberland, Maryland
I would like to piggy back question off this tread concerning winterizing batteries. I have 2 12 volt batteries in our 5er I would like to connect a battery maintainer on them for the winter. Question will one maintainer take care of 2 batteries or will I need to a maintainer for each battery?

Thanks
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
I was told that keeping the batteries installed in the rig and keeping the rig plugged into your house electricity all winter could cause the batteries to be overcharged and damage them. Does that sound right?  At any rate I moved mine into our heated garage (in MN).

A shorter and slightly simpler answer: It depends on the charger, so we can't answer without knowing what you have.

Nearly all recent model chargers & converter/chargers have enough digital smarts not to overcharge.  And small "trickle" or maintenance chargers don't put out enough amps to cause damage anyway.
Older ones, let's say prior to about 2004, are likely to have that problem. Even then, the better brands didn't cause the problem.
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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Conquest2011 said:
I would like to piggy back question off this tread concerning winterizing batteries. I have 2 12 volt batteries in our 5er I would like to connect a battery maintainer on them for the winter. Question will one maintainer take care of 2 batteries or will I need to a maintainer for each battery?
According to Deltran's website, two batteries can be connected to the same charger as long as both batteries are the same.
 

Conquest2011

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Cumberland, Maryland
I have 2 different battery maintainers. I have 2 Shumacher XM1-5 which is 1.5 amps the is a EverStart Smart Charger and Maintainer at 3 AMPS.

Both batteries are the same and brand new out of the box sort of speak. I am guessing the EverStart not sure though.

Thanks
 

Shotgundan

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Sep 24, 2018
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1
I also use the two 6vdc battery configuration for my 12vdc needs. I have found that leaving the RV plugged in the batteries tend to boil off the water frequently which requires constant checking. Now I do not plug in the RV and use the Battery Tender brand battery maintainer. Keeps the batteries charged and does not boil off the water. Hope this helps.
 

CincyGus

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Jun 9, 2018
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Cincy, Ohio
I keep my camper plugged in and pop the water caps once a month to see if they need water.  They have never required water on back to back months during the 6 years I have used this method. Usually once in Nov, once in Jan and once in March was I monitor temps to get ready to dewinterize. It's worked for me and I have never seen any battery performance issues using this method.
 

Frank B

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Apr 23, 2005
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Calgary, Alberta
Shotgundan said:
I also use the two 6vdc battery configuration for my 12vdc needs. I have found that leaving the RV plugged in the batteries tend to boil off the water frequently which requires constant checking. Now I do not plug in the RV and use the Battery Tender brand battery maintainer. Keeps the batteries charged and does not boil off the water. Hope this helps.


If your batteries are using a large amount of water when in storage and the converter connected, you may want to consider a newer and better quality converter. They shouldn't go through that much water.
 

mel s

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Apr 28, 2014
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881
ricsuz88 said:
I was told that keeping the batteries installed in the rig and keeping the rig plugged into your house electricity all winter could cause the batteries to be overcharged and damage them. Does that sound right?  At any rate I moved mine into our heated garage (in MN).
ricsuz88
How do you maintain the charge in those batteries while they sit all winter in your heated garage?
 

Chakara

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Aug 13, 2018
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Rio Rancho, NM
Shotgundan said:
I also use the two 6vdc battery configuration for my 12vdc needs. I have found that leaving the RV plugged in the batteries tend to boil off the water frequently which requires constant checking. Now I do not plug in the RV and use the Battery Tender brand battery maintainer. Keeps the batteries charged and does not boil off the water. Hope this helps.

Some water loss is actually OK....with a good charger like my Progressive Dynamics, every 23 or so hours it bumps the voltage to the batteries.  This is to intentionally cause them to bubble a bit and stir up the liquids - mixing them as they tend to separate over time.

About every 3-4 months I add a bit of water to my 6V golf cart batteries...

-Chak
 
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