Winter battery storage - Fiberglass RV
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:19 PM   #1
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Name: David
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 16'
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Winter battery storage

I removed the battery from my 2013 Scamp for the winter in Wisconsin. I intend to keep it on a 2” piece of foam board on the concrete floor of my garage. It does not freeze there, but may get close to it. I have a Craftsman charger that shows voltage and percent charged. My question: Should I charge it up continuously on trickle charge, or every month or so charge it to 100%.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:31 PM   #2
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You will find answers to all your battery questions at Trojan Battery.


The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is -92º F (-69º C).



MYTH: Storing a battery on concrete will discharge it quicker- Long ago, when battery cases were made out of natural rubber, this was true. Now, however, battery cases are made of polypropylene or other modern materials that allow a battery to be stored anywhere. A battery’s rate of discharge is affected by its construction, its age, and the ambient temperature. The main issue with storing on concrete is that if the battery leaks, the concrete will be damaged.


Go here:

https://www.trojanbattery.com/tech-support/battery-maintenance/
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:01 AM   #3
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Name: Mary Jo
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winter battery storage

Great reply, the cautions out there are so vague. So if the electrolyte freezes at -92 F, does that mean that I can leave it on my Scamp without ruining it? I tried to lift it and with my shoulder replacement, cheaper to buy a new battery, than try to get a new shoulder. Any information is very much appreciated. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Also, You still haven’t got an answer to your query “what happens to the hole when the cheese is gone.” Maybe some day, some one will answer.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:17 AM   #4
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If you're concerned, put the trickle charger on the battery in the Scamp. It'll stay charged and you'll only have to handle the charger.
I live on Ontario and leave my battery out... keeping an eye on the charge level through the winter.
Do you take your car battery in over night?
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:17 AM   #5
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The best bet is to put the battery on a GOOD maintainer and leave it where it lives.
A charged battery will not freeze at least in the US.
After you have charged it check the water level and top it off (only after it is charged!)
By the back in the day did anyone wonder how putting a battery on concrete would discharge a battery and a steel battery mounting in a car would not?
Often you came back to a dead battery on the garage floor in spring because it was going bad already and it was stored discharged and it sulfated sitting right there.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:22 AM   #6
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Get yourself a float charger that will only send a charge as needed then turn off. You can get an inexpensive one at Harbor Freight for around $6.00 on sale
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:33 AM   #7
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As mentioned above, no need to remove from Scamp.
A fully charged battery will not freeze,
Just be sure the top of it is clean and dry. And, after it is charged, disconnect the negative post, so there is no slow drain on it.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:33 AM   #8
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Related question: It's really hard to get the gel battery the previous owner installed out of my 16' Casita FD. There is a switch to turn off all 12V electric in the battery compartment. If I turn off that switch, do I also need to unhook the battery and remove it? My common sense says no, but would like someone with more experience to weigh in. Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:45 AM   #9
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No need to remove the battery. That switch simply ensures there is not hidden drain on the battery.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:46 AM   #10
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Related question: It's really hard to get the gel battery the previous owner installed out of my 16' Casita FD. There is a switch to turn off all 12V electric in the battery compartment. If I turn off that switch, do I also need to unhook the battery and remove it? My common sense says no, but would like someone with more experience to weigh in. Thanks!
Yes, a disconnect switch should be as good as taking off the ground wire.
I put one in our Parkliner (after having a frozen battery) but that switch went bad. It relied on a spring to break the connection, but was sticking in the ON position. I finally figured out it was the CO/GAS detector that was trickle DIScharging the battery. Now, I have a switch on that device. I can check battery voltage now and then with the on board monitor. ALL because the battery is too hard to get at.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:23 AM   #11
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All the ‘official’ guidance says take the battery off the trailer when winterizing and put on a trickle charger. From the inputs here the trickle charger is the important part. Mine is in the garage on a block of wood hooked up to a Battery Tender. I’ll put it back on the trailer in my driveway in the spring with all my happy thoughts of COVID free camping in 2021.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
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All the ‘official’ guidance says take the battery off the trailer when winterizing and put on a trickle charger.

Don't know what you consider 'official', but Trojan Battery is my source for accurate information.
No need to remove the battery if it is fully charged and there is no load on it. Just check the state of charge and the water from time to time.
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Don't know what you consider 'official', but Trojan Battery is my source for accurate information.
No need to remove the battery if it is fully charged and there is no load on it. Just check the state of charge and the water from time to time.
The Scamp winterizing video is my primary reference. A battery manufacturer is a very good source of info, I’m sure. Are you saying using a trickle charger won’t help the battery’s life over a 4-5 month hiatus in use?
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
The Scamp winterizing video is my primary reference.
Scamp got quite a few things wrong in their videos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
.. Are you saying using a trickle charger won’t help the battery’s life over a 4-5 month hiatus in use?
Assuming the battery is disconnected and / or there is no load on it (such as gas alarms) then topping off the charge every 4-5 months is about right to counteract the effect of self-discharge. The amount of time between topping off the charge depends on temperature but in almost all cases 4-5 months should be OK. Using a full time battery maintainer is another option. But some of the cheap ones I have seen just keep a low level charge going all the time regardless of the battery's state of charge. Then there is the topic of a de-sulfation charge.. I'll leave that topic for another time or to Battery University.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:13 AM   #15
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A fully charged battery is good to about -90 degrees F ( way below zero.) But that is when the battery is kept at 12.6 volts. Now, a discharged battery, at only 12 volts, (and yes, if it reads only 12 volts, it is a dead battery!) And at only 12 volts your electrolyte can freeze at just 32 degrees F, which is just barely freezing, not a real deep freeze.

There's only a half of a volt difference between a fully charged battery and a dead battery. Charging it, and keeping it charged, is crucial during freezing weather.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:37 AM   #16
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Gordon, please expound on what Scamp got wrong in their winterizing video.

I also wonder what Casita recommends regarding battery storage in freezing weather.
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:12 AM   #17
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I have had at least three trailers with batteries for the last 25 years, two for work and one for fun. Never have I removed a battery in winter and I get lots of cold here in Calgary, nor have I used a trickle chare or had a battery fail.

Before solar with my travel trailer, I just topped up the charge maybe twice a winter when stored.

My work trailers get regular use so are not too bad with the exception of the dump trailer where the hydraulic pump gets used a lot. I do put it on a charger more regularly.

Now with solar on my 5.0TA there is just no problem at all other than I do keep the snow brushed off and the DC disconnect switch off.
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:57 PM   #18
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Rochester, NY. 2006 Scamp with battery outside, plugged in. Onboard converter/charger maintains 13.1 Volts at the battery. Never had a problem.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:45 PM   #19
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There is a difference between a "trickle" charger that can boil the water out of a battery and a battery maintainer.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:59 PM   #20
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Hello,


It seems the furnace thermostat in our Casita was left in the "on" position, and I woke up to find our battery barely functional - for example, the exterior light next to the side door is very dim but the light above the propane tanks does not come on.


All works fine when I connect the power to our home using and extension cord (and a 30A/120v adapter plug), but the battery does not seem to recover. The side door light continues to be dim.


Based on a receipt from previous trailer owner, the battery is a Walmart battery approx. 4.5 years old and has "29DC" on the receipt.


Wondering if a replacement will be needed, or if it may be possible to revive this one and how if it is?


Thank you in advance.
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