Batteries - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-01-2006, 10:32 AM   #1
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Does everyone with winter climate store there batteries inside.

Just curious....
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:19 PM   #2
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I just clean the outside of the battery and make sure the cells are at the proper level, filling with distilled water if needed. To keep the battery from freeze damage, I keep the trailer plugged in to shore power to keep the battery fully charged.

There are certain to be some replies that tell you that you run the risk of overcharging your battery if you take my approach. If your converter is relatively new (less than 10 years old, possibly older), you should have nothing to worry about.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:19 PM   #3
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I bought a battery maintainer to keep the battery in good condition for the winter. The maintainer is just a charger which either uses a safe "float" voltage (like mine) or cycles on and off as required to avoid overcharging; it doesn't need to deliver a lot of current. As long as the charge level is maintained, the battery will not freeze and won't be damaged by being left out in the trailer.

Any time a battery is left in use (including float charging), the electrolyte level should be maintained. I'll admit to being sloppy about this (that is, not checked for months), and have not yet had a problem over winter.

I have also removed batteries (from the Boler, and from cars) and left them in the garage or a warmer room. The danger here is that they discharge by themselves when left disconnected, and they are left to go to far can be damaged. My guess is that the battery is safer left in the trailer (disconnected) and ignored, than it would be if brought inside and ignored.
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Old 11-01-2006, 05:09 PM   #4
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Mine sits with a couple solar trickle chargers on it.

Never have taken it out of the trailer, or given any special care other than routine checking and maintenance. I do that summer OR winter anyway. There are no loads on it, so it just sitting idle with the solar chargers and charge controller does a good job of keeping it up.
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:00 PM   #5
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A good, fully charged battery in the fall can be left outside in the cold winter and shouldn`t freeze and the amount that it will discharge will be very little.....now, for my same old story...I used to leave my lawn tractor battery in the tractor over the winter in a shed and go out in the spring and turn the key, start and drive.....I would disconnect a battery cable in case there is something that can draw current in the trailer.....oh,the temperatures here can run -40 some years for a week or two at a time.....Benny
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:25 AM   #6
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Thanks for all this advice, I am sure it will all come in handy. I too am of the belief that leaving it outside is not a bad thing if disconnected. Also the Trillium we have is new so the converter should be able to keep it in good condition if we leave it plugged in, so again Thanks

Dennis / Theresa
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:05 AM   #7
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Your internal battery charger may harm the battery if left on all the time by lowering the water inside the battery, that is unless it has a battery maintainer float charge capebility. Read what Brian B-P said in a previous post.

You can purchase a float charger for very little at www.northerntool.com
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Your internal battery charger may harm the battery if left on all the time by lowering the water inside the battery, that is unless it has a battery maintainer float charge capebility. Read what Brian B-P said in a previous post.

You can purchase a float charger for very little at www.northerntool.com

This is true for older converters. The newer converters have "over charge" protection and thereby will not boil out the electrolyte.

With that knowledge, I would still want to use some sort of battery maintainer that goes into "float" mode if I was storing for long periods of time.

Is it worth it? That's often a matter of opinion. Since I use my trailer all year, I don't think I'll bother and just use the converter and the TV to keep the battery charged.
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:58 PM   #9
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Another solution: Purchase one of those Wally world batteries with the 100% money back guarantee should it go bad in the first 30 months then leave it plugged into the old converter all year long. If you’re lucky, it will crap out around the 2-year mark and you get a new one for free.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:04 AM   #10
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Hi, I keep my batteries charging all the time with a small trickle carger made my Northern tools. I have 3 batteries, 2 large deep cycle marine batteries and one smaller motorcycle battery. I also keep my trailer plugged in at the house. About every week or so I go out and switch the charger from battery to battery. It has worked for me for years. I've never over charged or cooked a battery. Hope it helps.. Butch
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:19 PM   #11
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Here's a plus for the AGM batteries as they are supposed to be relatively freeze-proof.

Flooded lead-acid batteries are quite resistant to freezing IF they are fully charged, but will freeze above 0F if depleted -- They also lose there charge in storage much more slowly in storage if they are cold rather than warm.

To me, the ideal is to put them in the cellar with a small, smart maintenance charger (harder to steal 'em if they are indoors, also).
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:05 PM   #12
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I read these forums and tried to do the smart thing. Last year, my first winter with Scamp, I removed the battery and stored it indoors, away from Denver's chilly nights. Come spring I replaced the battery, hitched up and began wondering why my Prodigy wouldn't light up? And where that bad smell in the car came from? The answer was obviously one and the same. On my trailer, the red 12v cable didn't necessarily mean "positive." I'd hooked it up in reverse, and that mistake fried the brake controller instantly. The tow shop gave me a new Prodigy for half price, so I burned out $60 worth of brake controller while trying to extend the life of a $60 battery.

This year I'm doing less, with less risk. The battery's staying in, but I've attached a small solar panel that so far has kept it well charged.
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:14 AM   #13
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here is a tid-bit i learned a long time ago.

"make sure" that the top of the battery is clean, not to where ya could eat off of but clean of dirt and dust.

if left dirty it acts as a wire from post to post and will short out a battery over time.
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
...On my trailer, the red 12v cable didn't necessarily mean "positive." I'd hooked it up in reverse...
Since red=positive/black=negative is the standard for cars, and black=positive/white=negative is the common practice in trailers, this is a common problem; the previous owner of my Boler said he did it once.

Here's a way to [b]reduce the chance of a reversed hookup: the screw posts on RV batteries should be different sizes. If ring terminals are used on each wire, and they are just big enough, then the wires won't go on the wrong way around.

Another method is to end the wires on the trailer in a high-capacity connector, with a mating connector on short "pigtails" of wire from the battery. If the pigtails are left on the battery when it is out of the trailer, then when it is put back, it is just plugged in, and will be the right way around. This assumes that a polarized connector is used, but most are (such as Anderson PowerPoles or some other connectors as used in welding).
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