Charging/Storing Batteries in Winter - Fiberglass RV



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Old 03-08-2019, 07:12 PM   #1
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Name: Nick
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Charging/Storing Batteries in Winter

Hello!

For those of you who winter camp, what do you do with your batteries during the week, and where do you charge them? We're debating actually taking our batteries inside during the week to keep them from freezing, and doing the charging indoors where they are warm.

Do you just plug your RV in in the driveway, or do you do something to keep your batteries warm? Does it hurt them to let them get cold during the week if they aren't being used or being charged?

What it really comes down to is that lugging them up and down our stairs after every weekend would be a PITA, but if it keeps the batteries healthier, it is probably worth it. But we could also keep them in our garage. It is unheated, but not nearly as cold as the outdoor temperature, and probably still warmer than the RV. Looking to see what others have done?
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:55 PM   #2
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A discharged battery in the cold will freeze. A frozen battery will be damaged and may be dangerous to recharge.
As long as it is kept charged, a battery will not freeze.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:15 PM   #3
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According to the Trojan Battery website: ... The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is -92.0oF. At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature reaches approximately 16.0oF."


There would be millions of car owners in trouble if batteries routinely froze in the winter.
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:25 AM   #4
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Always use to winter camp here in Maine with temps sometimes below zero and never took batteries out. Just charged them in place with my solar hook up arraignment while camping.
I then plugged in camper, when I got home, for a 3 - 4 hours to top it off and then again plugged it in like 4 hours before we left for the next winter outing.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:13 AM   #5
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As long as you keep it charged (does your battery actually get charged by your tow vehicle while you drive?) and there are no draws while parked during the week (cut-off switch or disconnect cables), it will have no issues.

I take my battery off the trailer tongue at the end of the season, sit it in my yard with the solar panel hooked up to make sure it's topped off, then put it in the shed for the winter. That way it's slightly warmer than outside temps, and harder to steal.

A place I used to work is 30 miles down a dirt road in a valley at 6,700'. No access except by snowmobile in the winter, and very, very cold. They pull all the work trucks into a barn, disconnect the battery cables and call it good for the winter.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:29 AM   #6
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I added a battery disconnect switch to ours, as it has a fluid level monitor and CO2 detector which draws own the battery if left off the charger.
But, as others have said. A fully charged lead-acid battery will not freeze.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:57 PM   #7
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Charging storing batteries in winter when no power available.

Here is what we have done in our Class A, we learned this lesson the hardway, one winter we parked under cover and the batteries Froze causing them to die half way through out trip to AK. So now we park outside with solar panel keeping the house batteries charged and to keep the Start battery charged we made a mini jumper cable and ran it from house to start and we have not had one problem the last year. All three stay charged and warm, not one of them lose their charge.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickD View Post
Hello!

For those of you who winter camp, what do you do with your batteries during the week, and where do you charge them? We're debating actually taking our batteries inside during the week to keep them from freezing, and doing the charging indoors where they are warm.

Do you just plug your RV in in the driveway, or do you do something to keep your batteries warm? Does it hurt them to let them get cold during the week if they aren't being used or being charged?

What it really comes down to is that lugging them up and down our stairs after every weekend would be a PITA, but if it keeps the batteries healthier, it is probably worth it. But we could also keep them in our garage. It is unheated, but not nearly as cold as the outdoor temperature, and probably still warmer than the RV. Looking to see what others have done?
We keep our battery connected all the time and plug in the trailer every month or so. We check to see if it is getting low periodically and if so then we plug in the trailer. When it gets extremely cold around 10 degrees we plug in the trailer just to make sure it doesn't get drained. We have never in 35 years removed a battery in our motorhomes or trailers. We just had several days of 15-20 degree days with 0 temps at night. Didn't hurt the batteries at all but finally did plug it in. Our motorhome batteries are 5 years old and are doing fine.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:09 PM   #9
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We just came out of a stretch of -20's F lows and highs hovering around 0F. I assume my battery is fine.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:24 PM   #10
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People who live where it's well below zero often use block heaters for their engines, as well as these for their batteries:

https://www.amazon.com/Zerostart-280...dp/B002UNASS4/

Harold
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:36 PM   #11
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Block Heaters need powere

if you do not have power then like us we have 200W solar system on roof giving us about 11 1/2 Amps which keep the batteries charged and warm, keeps them from freezing, that is only way we can do it as no power where we park it.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:43 PM   #12
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Yes, the single most effective tool for battery survival in cold places, is the trickle charger. But, if you start with a full charge, and disconnect the negative post. the battery will not freeze.
We just came through a couple weeks of deep freeze, I just checked, the battery is at 11.8 volts.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Doctor Harold View Post
People who live where it's well below zero often use block heaters for their engines, as well as these for their batteries:

https://www.amazon.com/Zerostart-280...dp/B002UNASS4/

Harold
Well of course that battery warmer requires AC (shore) power, and if you have that power available, then for a RV battery, just use a trickle charger or any smart charger that wont overcharge the battery.. that will protect the battery from freezing.

The benefit of using a battery warmer has to deal with starting a vehicle's engine, esp. with a marginal battery in very cold temperatures. A battery produces less power when cold, so a marginal battery might not have enough "juice" to start a vehicle engine and warming it might increase the output enough to start the engine. This does not apply to a RV house battery since any power increase you might get from warming the battery will be less than the energy used to warm it.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:17 PM   #14
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Put it near "power". Delran Battery Tender- end of conversation.
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