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Old 11-08-2018, 04:13 PM   #1
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Avoiding battery freezing during winter storage?

Looking for suggestions/advice on adding a heat source to the battery compartment (4-6V coach and 2-12 chassis batteries) on my '03 Fleetwood Revolution. Stored in unheated shed with 110V power available. Thinking of a heat lamp or small space heater in the compartment actuated through a thermostatically controlled outlet. Maybe on at 32 degrees, off at 40 degrees? Anyone done this and have any advice and recommendations? Battery removal into heated storage is not desired. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:21 PM   #2
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Since you have power to your storage area, a better solution would be to disconnect the batteries from your coach and put them on a trickle charger, keeping them in place in the coach.

A charged battery will not freeze.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datsun78 View Post
Looking for suggestions/advice on adding a heat source to the battery compartment (4-6V coach and 2-12 chassis batteries) on my '03 Fleetwood Revolution. Stored in unheated shed with 110V power available. Thinking of a heat lamp or small space heater in the compartment actuated through a thermostatically controlled outlet. Maybe on at 32 degrees, off at 40 degrees? Anyone done this and have any advice and recommendations? Battery removal into heated storage is not desired. Thanks!
Batteries won't freeze if they are kept charged. Get a smart battery maintainer for them for over the winter. It's all you will need to do.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:28 PM   #4
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Batteries won't freeze if they are kept charged. Get a smart battery maintainer for them for over the winter. It's all you will need to do.

Charged battys won't freeze and battys like to be stored fully charged... maintainers will not only prevent freezing but will add life to your battys vs just disconnecting.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:43 PM   #5
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Could someone send me a link to the type of battery maintainer you're talking about. I have a 2003 American Eagle and I just put it in storage. I can plug it into 110. Would that keep the coach AND chassis batteries charged and unfrozen? What should be done. I am brand new to RVing and don't want to take the batteries out of the coach. I thought just plugging in the shore power to 110 would be all I needed to do. ???
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:29 PM   #6
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Could someone send me a link to the type of battery maintainer you're talking about. I have a 2003 American Eagle and I just put it in storage. I can plug it into 110. Would that keep the coach AND chassis batteries charged and unfrozen? What should be done. I am brand new to RVing and don't want to take the batteries out of the coach. I thought just plugging in the shore power to 110 would be all I needed to do. ???
Hi Flatlander,

I'm from the Rocky Mountains so I guess I an UnFlatlander!

Welcome to the RV world.

If the converter in your coach is a smart converter then it will maintain your batteries for you. My 2003 Georgetown came equipped with Inteli-Power 9100. This is a smart charger for your batteries as well as the converter that supplies 12V to the coach while plugged into shore power. In addition, my coach has smart circuitry that connects the chassis battery to the convert as well thereby keeping the chassis battery charged too.

You might start by finding your converter and see what it is. It may have the all the capabilities you need. Mine is Inteli-Power 9100 series. Read about it here:

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/po...wer-converter/

For the 9100 series to be a smart charger it needs the Charge Wizard seen here:

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/charge-wizard/

Mine was about $25 and just plugs in and does its job.

There are several brands of intelligent converters available. You might have one of them. Once you know what converter you have you can look it up on the internet to determine its capabilities. If it is an intelligent converter then all you have to do is plug into shore power.

I like it that I can plug into shore power and know that my chassis batteries and coach batteries are being well taken care of. Of course, if your batteries have removable caps you need to assure that they are full of water before leaving them for the winter. I have found that water usage on my 6V golf car batteries is very small. I think that is a good sign that the converter is doing its job well and I know the batteries are all fully charged.

If your converter is rather dumb you may need use a battery maintainer such as this one. I use it to keep my Corvette battery charged.

https://www.batteriesplus.com/produc...SABEgKCJvD_BwE

On the Corvette I don't disconnect the battery from the car. I just hook it up and plug it in.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:46 PM   #7
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A FULLY CHARGED BATTERY WILL NOT FREEZE until -92F.

Either:
-Fully charge batteries and disconnect totally so parisitic loads can't draw the charge down.
-Leave plugged in and allow converter to keep batteries charged.
-Use a good quality trickle charger to maintain battery state of charge. I prefer the Battery Tender products.

From Progressive Dynamics FAQ's

If your battery is partially discharged, the electrolyte in a lead acid battery may freeze. At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature drops to approximately -16 degrees F. When a battery is fully charged the electrolyte will not freeze until the temperature drops to approximately -92 degrees F.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:09 PM   #8
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If your really concerned about your batteries you could always add a battery heating pad or blanket. The blankets wrap around the battery and you plug them into a 120 vac. There thermostatly controlled so they keep your battery warm. These are used in a lot of heavy construction industries on equipment that is stored in Sub-Zero temps.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:16 PM   #9
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I have used Battery Minders for many yrs and have been pleased. The smaller ones fine for single to dual battys
No need for the higher capacity ones IMO unless you have a large bank.

http://www.batteryminders.com/products/
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:20 PM   #10
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If your really concerned about your batteries you could always add a battery heating pad or blanket. The blankets wrap around the battery and you plug them into a 120 vac. There thermostatly controlled so they keep your battery warm. These are used in a lot of heavy construction industries on equipment that is stored in Sub-Zero temps.
Battys prefer cold to heat.
Heating is fine if you want to crank an engine and need more output...
Cold storage better than hot... FL or AZ summer temps are tougher on battys than cold NE.
Just keep them charged.
See https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...tore_batteries
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:54 PM   #11
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I beg to disagree more batteries go bad in cold weather then warm weather. Take a fully charged 5 year old battery stick it in a freezer for two months then try and start your car. I only offered an alternative to the battery maintainer not to get into a heated debate. But thanks for your reply.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:20 PM   #12
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I have used Battery Minders for many yrs and have been pleased. The smaller ones fine for single to dual battys
No need for the higher capacity ones IMO unless you have a large bank.

Browse BatteryMINDer Desulfating Battery Chargers Maintainers by Model
I just got one of them, haven't installed it yet. since mine doesn't charge the chassis batteries when plugged in on shore power. I have a 110 outlet for the engine block heater in one of the compartments. So I can just leave it plugged in there and not have to worry about anything.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:42 PM   #13
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I beg to disagree more batteries go bad in cold weather then warm weather. Take a fully charged 5 year old battery stick it in a freezer for two months then try and start your car. I only offered an alternative to the battery maintainer not to get into a heated debate. But thanks for your reply.

It's a fact that heat causes much more battery deterioration than cold on any lead acid battery variation, and most other battery chemistries as well. Cold weather simply makes it more obvious that your battery has deteriorated in it's ability to deliver.



The assorted chemical reactions that result in capacity loss, ability to deliver high currents etc. occur as a result of time, state of charge, discharge cycles, and very significantly heat. Heat, especially during the charge cycle significantly decreases battery life. On the other hand, Heat significantly increases lead acid batteries ability to deliver power so a battery at a temperature of 100 degrees will have several times the ability to deliver power compared to a battery at 32 degrees. It's strictly temperature related though and if you heat the cold battery up prior to use you'll get the higher temperature power output.


Bottom line, the cold doesn't damage the battery, just makes it apparent that it isn't delivering at full capacity any more.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:50 PM   #14
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Very true
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