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Old 01-26-2016, 08:42 AM   #1
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Disconnect batteries for storage

On our coaches, when storing the coach for 2-3 months without power, will the battery disconnect switches (both chassis and house) be sufficient? I think there can still be a phantom draw... Or should I disconnect the negative terminal(s)? Do I need to install a manual disconnect terminal on top of the battery terminal (like you get at an auto parts store)? I want as much convenience as possible, but want to fully disconnect the chassis and house batteries.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:59 AM   #2
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I would add the switch at the last negative terminal of the banks.

Even with the disconnects tripped there could be small loads that will drain a battery bank over time. Radios, CO and propane detectors, power train computers and such. Leave a small reading light or the free to air TV antenna amplifier on by mistake can be painful. One thing to keep in mind, before disconnecting power make sure the steps are retracted.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:58 AM   #3
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I would add the switch at the last negative terminal of the banks.

Even with the disconnects tripped there could be small loads that will drain a battery bank over time. Radios, CO and propane detectors, power train computers and such. Leave a small reading light or the free to air TV antenna amplifier on by mistake can be painful. One thing to keep in mind, before disconnecting power make sure the steps are retracted.
There's a long standing debate as to which terminal the disconnect should be on. The debate ended for me when I had 1 of these installed on both chassis and house batteries.

I suppose the theory is with the positive connected, everything is in search of a ground.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:33 AM   #4
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All or the positives or all of the negatives. Just be Carefull with the wrench on the positive side.

If you disconnect the positives and let them lay on any metal, and you plug in the charger, the charger will be shorted.

That can't happen if the negitave is off.

I have on ocasion removed the jumper cables between the 6 volt pairs.
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:09 AM   #5
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For 3 month of storage, I am thinking fully disconnect chassis batteries, and use the coach disconnect switch on house batteries so I don't lose all my Silver Leaf programming and settings. What do you guys think about that?
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:34 AM   #6
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For 3 month of storage, I am thinking fully disconnect chassis batteries, and use the coach disconnect switch on house batteries so I don't lose all my Silver Leaf programming and settings. What do you guys think about that?
greg4444
I think if you make sure the are no UNNECESSARY draws from either the chassis or the house batteries in your coach you can park it for a lot longer l than 3 months without dis-connecting the batteries...(it works for me).

However if you do disconnect the chassis batteries you may loose your "Silver Leaf programming and settings" on the first day.

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Old 01-26-2016, 11:54 AM   #7
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^^^^^^^
OK, so maybe I just make sure everything is turned off inside, and throw the circuit breaker for the fridge and walk away... I know it won't be stored longer than 3 months. In any event, it doesn't look like I have to pay extra for storage that has power.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:20 PM   #8
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If the coach has AGMs, you can turn off the house and chassis switches and be done with it. The AGM as a very low rate of self dicharge and will be fine after 3 months.

If you aren't comfortable with that, then pull all negative cables from the batteries and let it sit.

My Silverleaf retains all settings with a total power shutdown so you don't have to worry about re setting your parameters
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:27 PM   #9
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If possible - I would go out to coach at 1 month - exercise the generator under load and see where things are. I never trust a RV salesmen or his switches.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:59 PM   #10
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Alot of coaches have phantom draws that shouldn't be there. I flip the switches off and throw an external battery charger on once per month.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:30 PM   #11
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Agree with Don on the AGM being such a slow discharge. And, also agree with other comments about you just never know what is still powered up when everything is 'shut off'.

If your storage is outside, maybe look into adding a solar charger to trickle charge. Battery Tender has such units. (For sure these are for maintenance only. And, only work if you are not in a few feet of snow!)

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Old 01-26-2016, 06:45 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the great advice, but now I am getting a little confused about how the SilverLeaf is powered. I really don't want to lose memory with it. So since it is monitoring both engine/chassis stuff, and House systems, which batteries power SilverLeaf? Chassis or House? And if disconnected, how can SilverLeaf maintain its memory? Does it have its own little battery inside of it?

I think I remember where I disconnected the chassis battery with the disconnect switch, and the SliverLeaf House system clock was lost, yet the engine monitor clock in the dash was fine. I don't really mind losing the house system clock, but all the engine parameters/settings I want to maintain.

On another issue, IF, I do find a storage unit with power (rare), do you guys trust the Echo battery chargers to cut off properly if the rig is plugged in for months? I know the brand Battery Tender works great, but don't know about the Echo that came with the coach.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:21 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great advice, but now I am getting a little confused about how the SilverLeaf is powered. I really don't want to lose memory with it. So since it is monitoring both engine/chassis stuff, and House systems, which batteries power SilverLeaf? Chassis or House? And if disconnected, how can SilverLeaf maintain its memory? Does it have its own little battery inside of it?

I think I remember where I disconnected the chassis battery with the disconnect switch, and the SliverLeaf House system clock was lost, yet the engine monitor clock in the dash was fine. I don't really mind losing the house system clock, but all the engine parameters/settings I want to maintain.

On another issue, IF, I do find a storage unit with power (rare), do you guys trust the Echo battery chargers to cut off properly if the rig is plugged in for months? I know the brand Battery Tender works great, but don't know about the Echo that came with the coach.
When I got my coach the echo charger went south and I installed the Magnum combiner works great, plugged in for months no problems. I have this plugged in the power port to see the voltage all the time.
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On the Silverleaf give them a call and see what they have to say, they installed mine and I have never lost anything but I know mine is different than yours.
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:48 AM   #14
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"On another issue, IF, I do find a storage unit with power (rare), do you guys trust the Echo battery chargers to cut off properly if the rig is plugged in for months? I know the brand Battery Tender works great, but don't know about the Echo that came with the coach."

I am still using the original Echo charger that was installed on the coach. Any piece of electronic piece of hardware can fail at any time, even a brand new piece. I would continue with the Echo.

Read the manual to see how the Echo works, all it charges is the chassis battery. It uses the house batteries to do so and your house is charged by the inverter.
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