Batteries in the winter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-23-2014, 07:39 AM   #1
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Batteries in the winter

I am just wondering if it is better to leave the batteries attached to the trailer in the winter and charge every week or two or to unattach the batteries and store in my garage which stays above freezing all winter. I know most of you have been through this already, so all advice is appreciated.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:59 AM   #2
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I believe moving batteries is risky for several reasons. Repeatedly loosening and tightening high amp connections can lead to conduction (resistance, heat, fire) problems. Lifting heavy batteries can lead to back injury or cracked batteries. Also moving containers of high power acid is dangerous. Not to mention the risk of high amp discharge when your metal wrench accidentally meets the opposite conductor/pole. All of the above are real and do happen.

The best method to maintain and preserve a battery to leave it in one place and invest in a $20.00 battery minder and check the water level every couple of months.

Just saying, john
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Linck View Post
I believe moving batteries is risky for several reasons. Repeatedly loosening and tightening high amp connections can lead to conduction (resistance, heat, fire) problems. Lifting heavy batteries can lead to back injury or cracked batteries. Also moving containers of high power acid is dangerous. Not to mention the risk of high amp discharge when your metal wrench accidentally meets the opposite conductor/pole. All of the above are real and do happen.

The best method to maintain and preserve a battery to leave it in one place and invest in a $20.00 battery minder and check the water level every couple of months.

Just saying, john

One viewpoint, and I respect it. But I would contend that coupling a trailer and driving down the road is inherently more dangerous than moving a battery. Or removing and replacing a propane tank. Or many other things we do in relation to our RVs.


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Old 11-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
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Answer as to what works best for you may come down to how long you plan on leaving the trailer parked and whether or not you are ok with paying for the power to leave it plugged in or with a battery tender on it. Also how cold it may or may not get where you live.

In recent years I have taken winter trips so the battery stays on the trailer so that it is ready to roll at any time. In years past when I know I was not going to use the trailer for several months then I removed the battery.
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:40 PM   #5
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My batteries remain with the trailer, and are kept charged by my solar panel. Even though I have a cover on the trailer, as long as I scrape the snow off the top every once in a while, the panel gets enough light to be the equivalent of a battery minder. I have a TriMetric 2025 battery monitor to keep track of the battery status. I do check the water levels every month...
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:49 PM   #6
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I remove my batteries and put them on my shop bench hooked together and to a trickle charger that keeps them topped off. I also have made my battery cover much easier to get on and off than what the factory provided, and I have remote posts to someday hook solar to. For now though, given winter temps here, I like having them in my nice toasty house. I do the same thing with my boat battery, ATV battery and lawn tractor battery. Been doing it for years, but YMMV.

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Old 11-23-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
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Jon. That is interesting. The panels get enough sunlight through the cover to still produce enough volts to keep the batteries topped off. I will be installing two hundred watts on the new Oliver and was wondering if I could still use a cover. Is your cover made of Tyvek? I have 450 AH in the Trojan T105 batteries.


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Old 11-23-2014, 04:39 PM   #8
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Agree with Jon in that I also have seen my 50 watt panel keep my Trojan bank charged even when covered according to my monitoring system. Use a cover off eBay.
Also when you hook the 6 volt Trojans in series you don't get double the amps, unless you have four in your bank you are in the 200 + range


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Old 11-23-2014, 05:07 PM   #9
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Well it looks like there are lots of ways to take good care of my batteries. Carol, I live in Michigan so it gets plenty cold here. I haven't planned on going away this winter but I haven't completely ruled it out either. Can you just leave them plugged in all winter?
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:56 PM   #10
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yep. i do have t105s


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Old 11-23-2014, 05:57 PM   #11
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meant to say four t105s


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Old 11-23-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
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That's quite a load, need careful placement so you don't unbalance one side or front to back.


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Old 11-23-2014, 06:02 PM   #13
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I normally have my trailer plugged in all winter with a heater on.

The battery will stay charged as well.

If you can leave your trailer plugged in that's all you need the battery will maintain its charge.
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Old 11-23-2014, 06:21 PM   #14
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If you have a three stage "Smart Charger" you can leave it plugged in 24/7. If not you might want to leave it off and get a trickle charger to keep them warm.



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Old 11-23-2014, 07:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by trumpetguy View Post
Jon. That is interesting. The panels get enough sunlight through the cover to still produce enough volts to keep the batteries topped off. I will be installing two hundred watts on the new Oliver and was wondering if I could still use a cover. Is your cover made of Tyvek? I have 450 AH in the Trojan T105 batteries.


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The top of the cover is white Tyvek; a double layer. With a 95 watt panel, in bright sunlight I get .2 - .3 amps charging current. It even equalizes the batteries every 30 days. I have a trailer disconnect switch, so everything, including the propane detector is shut off. The only connections are the solar controller to the batteries. It has worked for 2 out of the last 3 winters; last year I did the smart thing & spent the winter along the Colorado River in Arizona: 40 nights & 75 days and 0 snow!
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:55 PM   #16
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What ever you decide to do would be fine. Note that your car sits in cold temps, and the battery doesn't freeze, because whenever you drive it, the battery is being topped off by the charging system. If you keep your battery charged up when in storage, the battery should do just fine.
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:55 AM   #17
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Solar is a plus to keep juice going into it...but I come from the marine world, and in NJ most of my friends boats they leave the batteries in place all winter and they are similar deep cycle batteries with no problems come spring...perhaps up north where it is even colder some kind of occasional trickle charge or a smaller solar panel might be a good idea as well. I pray for a mild weekend to be able to get away...so I am always ready to go!
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:51 AM   #18
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The four T105s are a factory option. I have to believe they will keep the load balanced. The battery drawer on the new Oliver is on the Port side over the axles. I had Oliver pre wire for solar with a 6/2 wire into the battery compartment.


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Old 11-24-2014, 10:43 AM   #19
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I pulled mine and stored in the basement. BUT up here we can hit -40C during the winter and I really don't want to freeze them. I just happen to have a new Progressive Dynamics converter and pendant that has not been installed yet so it is being used to top up the batteries once a month while in the basement.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:04 AM   #20
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I have a dozen or so batteries that I got for free. They are all stored outside. I charged them all when I got them. That is how I decided whether to keep them or not. I have not charged them since. Some have been there two years now. No problems. I suspect that the batteries on your RV will do just as well, assuming they are charged. Dead batteries have more water then acid in them.
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