Best for batteries in winter? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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Trailer: Escape 19 ft
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I'm hoping the more learned minds can weigh in on this question - What's best for batteries during winter storage? We have the dual 6V package in our Escape 19. One option I have is leave the trailer plugged in all winter with an electric heater inside set on low. Or I can do the "detach the leads, reattach and recharge the batteries for a day or so each month" routine. A third possibility is to leave the leads attached, and plug the trailer in every few weeks to charge the batteries. I don't have a place inside to store the batteries. We will see below-freezing temps at times on winter nights, with the occasional possibility of temps getting to the mid to low 20s F.

Bruce
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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I personally leave mine in. I make sure water is at right level and then leave power on all winter. I check batteries about once a month after that. My climate is much colder than yours and i Personally never had a problem.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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This what I use , only $20.00
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/sto...970_12128_12128


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Old 10-29-2009, 11:59 AM   #4
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I have a bigger boat and just leave my battery's in all winter and check the charge every so often.

I do disconnect the wires from one post.

Bill K
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:24 PM   #5
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I take the battery out and place it, in it's plastic box with the top off, on a wooden shelf in the garage and make sure that it is topped up and fully charged. It'll probably get checked at least once during the winter. Just make sure that you leave it up off the ground.
Jim
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
I take the battery out and place it, in it's plastic box with the top off, on a wooden shelf in the garage and make sure that it is topped up and fully charged. It'll probably get checked at least once during the winter. Just make sure that you leave it up off the ground.
Jim

hey james....i was told a few years ago that leaving batteries on the ground is okay..as long as the battery is not directly sitting on concrete or right on the ground itself....perhaps sitting it on a piece of plywood or such would suffice..any thoughts on whether this is correct or not??
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:03 AM   #7
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Garage, a while back had a gravel floor. [kids and university came first] I used to put the battery on a piece of 2X10, over in the corner, to keep it off the ground but had to charge it up at least once a month. Now I place it on a handy shelf [Radial arm saw table] and have no problems.
Hey! It works for me, EH?
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:41 AM   #8
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Hi: All... Be kind to your battery ... take it south for the winter!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:30 AM   #9
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We get many -30 degree days here and have taken our original stock battery into the basement during the winter, just giving it a little charge once during the winter. (our garage is also -30).

If we did not live in such a cold location I would leave the battery on the Scamp and test it during the winter to see if it needed a charge. Checking out the battery when it is 30+ degrees is a lot easier than checking it at -30.

Would love to do as Alf suggested and take the battery south during December, January and February.

Nancy
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:28 AM   #10
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Name: Larry H
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Hello Bruce,
On the Trillium 1300 with a 130 AH Tojan 12V battery I use a Battery Tender Plus 12 Volt 1.25 Amp maintainer. It comes
with a little pigtail that stays connected to the battery. Here the temp gets down in the teens and the trailer is stored in an
unheated uninsulated metal building. Before I hook it up I use a 10A automatic battery charger to make sure the battery
is fully charged. Then I check to make sure the electrolyte is at the proper level and add distilled water if necessary,
leave the 10A charger overnight before finally hooking up the maintainer. I have been using this same routine for years
on storage batteries that are not used often with consistently good results. The Battery Tender keeps the voltage at
13.3V DC which is ideal.




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Old 10-31-2009, 10:11 AM   #11
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My KMart deep cycle (3yrs old) sits in its battery box on the tongue of the Trill- with a one watt solar trickle charger. Keeps it at 12.8 volts all the time- even in COLD December -outside in the Stor-n-Lok....then I take Alf's advice and take it south for the rest of the winter
( Two months till Florida )
Alistair
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:46 PM   #12
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Adding impurities to a liquid raises its boiling point and lowers its melting point (freezing point). That's why you throw rock salt on your sidewalk to stop it from icing over: the rock salt dissolves into the snow and ice and changes the water's freezing point so that it melts and stays liquid even at "freezing" temperatures. What does that have to do with your battery? Your battery's electrolyte is basically water mixed with sulfuric acid, and at full charge the electrolyte is roughly 2/3 water and 1/3 sulfuric acid which gives it a freezing point somewhere around -25F (-10C). The point being that, unless you live in the far north where it really does get that cold, your battery won't freeze as long as it's fully charged.

So far, so good, now the three sentences of more hard-core science (chemistry) content. Just three sentences. And you can ignore the really geeky stuff in parenthesis.

Lead acid batteries store electricity using a reversible chemical reaction. To make electricity the sulfuric acid (H2S04) in the electrolyte reacts with the lead plates (PbO2) in the battery, which makes one lead sulfate molecule (PbSO4), five water molecules (H2O), and electricity (2 electrons). When you pump electricity back into the battery the process goes backwards, turning water and lead sulfate back into sulfuric acid.

That wasn't so bad, now was it? But what does all this have to do with when your battery freezes?

Remember I said a battery's electrolyte freezes at -25F when the battery is fully charged? And as the battery discharges it makes five times as much water as it does lead sulfate? That means the battery electrolyte becomes more water-like and approaches standard freezing temperatures very quickly as its level of charge drops.

Which means it's really important to maintain your battery's level of charge through the winter. As long as you don't have any energy-using devices inside your trailer keeping the battery topped off doesn't take a lot of energy. A simple battery maintainer, like the one Kevin K suggested, will do the trick. So will a small solar panel pointed toward the mid-day sun. Or hooking your battery up to a charger once a month. Any of these will keep your battery safe from freezing and from developing another battery-killing condition called sulfation.
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:55 PM   #13
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Hi Peter,

Thanks for telling me why we take our battery to the basement up here in the ice box of the nation. Fred said that stretching the power cord 150 feet to the Scamp would get in the way of the guy who comes to plow the snow.

Took our battery down today. Reminded Fred about the riding mower battery, he thinks he can still use the thing for leaf pick up. I guess he figures the snow will melt.

Nancy
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:07 PM   #14
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I am hoping the Progressive PD9245C (45 Amp) Converter with charge wizard I put in will be the answer for me.
I plan to leave the camper plugged in all winter in case I just want to go out there and sit.
I had the power connected all summer and the water level in the battery never went down and the charge is full. No boil out!!!! YAY!
It also has some sort of de-sulfurizing mode it goes into once in a while.
We'll see

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