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Old 06-18-2013, 09:30 AM   #1
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Battery Maintence

A while back I took a course on batterys with a leading manufacture and I have followed the advice I was given for more than 30 years.I can honestly say have have been very happy with the results I have had. Living on a large acreage I have everything from soup to nuts when it comes to batterys.
I see a lot of people set up trickle chargers with battery monitors on their rigs when not in service.
I want to pass on what I have learned from that course.

1 Disconnect batterys and clean.
2 Charge batterys at a slow rate to fully charge.
3 Store batterys in a cool place. (In warm climates put in the bottom of the deep freeze). This keeps the chemicals in a neutral state. If fully charged the battery will NOT FREEZE.
If in a cold climate Ie Northern parts, Canada northern United States just leave them in the unit. But clean and disconnected.

Above all and stressed very much. Do not store batterys in a warm area.Do not use trickle chargers as this keeps the batterys reacting internally,which shortens the life.
This info is for wet cell batterys. The dry cell batterys were not discussed so I would not recommend the same storage practice as I have no experience with them.
The biggest destroyers of batterys is heat.

This I am sure is going to create a lot of interest, but normal life for my batterys seems to average about 10years. I don't buy the most exspensive ones.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:49 AM   #2
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Thanks for the tips!
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narampa View Post
A while back I took a course on batterys with a leading manufacture and I have followed the advice I was given for more than 30 years.I can honestly say have have been very happy with the results I have had. Living on a large acreage I have everything from soup to nuts when it comes to batterys.
I see a lot of people set up trickle chargers with battery monitors on their rigs when not in service.
I want to pass on what I have learned from that course.

1 Disconnect batterys and clean.
2 Charge batterys at a slow rate to fully charge.
3 Store batterys in a cool place. (In warm climates put in the bottom of the deep freeze). This keeps the chemicals in a neutral state. If fully charged the battery will NOT FREEZE.
If in a cold climate Ie Northern parts, Canada northern United States just leave them in the unit. But clean and disconnected.

Above all and stressed very much. Do not store batterys in a warm area.Do not use trickle chargers as this keeps the batterys reacting internally,which shortens the life.
This info is for wet cell batterys. The dry cell batterys were not discussed so I would not recommend the same storage practice as I have no experience with them.
The biggest destroyers of batterys is heat.

This I am sure is going to create a lot of interest, but normal life for my batterys seems to average about 10years. I don't buy the most exspensive ones.
Hey thanks for the thought provoking comments..

1) Are you saying that if I have my MH in storage for several months (cool location) I do not need to regularly run my generator and bring them back to a full charge?

2) If allowed to sit for months at a time will they not slowly discharged and eventually spoil. I left my car stored for two years (battery disconnected) and while the battery still had enough juice to start the motor after about 5 days, it would no longer hold a charge and had to be replaced.

3) I recognized that the car battery would likely spoil, but for $80 why bother with a charger....but for $800 worth of RV batteries I'm not sure I want to risk loosing them?
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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Hello Jack
If by cool you mean at -32f or below. I would say yes.
There are a lot of fridges on Craigs list for little money or free, they make a great enviroment for storing.
If you live in a warmer climate it is difficult.
When you store a battry under in the way I have said you must insure that it is fully charged. That is the key.
If you battery sits for months in the conditions that I have stated,they should last a very long time. The key is low temp to keep chemical reactions from taking place.
I would suggest that if you stor a battery in freezing temp. take a volt meter and check it. If the voltage is dropping there is a possibility the battery is just waiting to fail anyway. So why store it?
Car batterys have never been much of a concern to me and I agree with you.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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Who do I talk to about getting the weather in Texas a lot cooler through the summer so I can get my batteries to last longer?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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Who do I talk to about getting the weather in Texas a lot cooler through the summer so I can get my batteries to last longer?
I wish I had that Texas problem
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
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Probably good advice, but I'm not about to pull the six batteries (at 65# each) out of my coach between use. I guess if you don't use your coach for months at a time, but... Plus, run a fridge/freezer to store them?

I just add mineral oil to each, and keep on the auto charger...
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:44 PM   #8
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Your charger is doing more damage than just leaving them alone till you use it next time. Thread is about long term storage.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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Minus 35 degrees??? I think I'll keep abusing my batteries by keeping the electrolyte at proper levels and on a maintenance charge. Ready to go at the drop of a hat.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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Minus 35 degrees??? I think I'll keep abusing my batteries by keeping the electrolyte at proper levels and on a maintenance charge. Ready to go at the drop of a hat.
SORRY I MEAN 32F not Minus.My mistake
A maintence charge is no good is not doing your batterys any good at all. But it's your money spend it as you will.
The fellow with 8 batterys at 65lbs each has too much money and a very big rig so i would think he wouldn't be worried about cost either.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:09 AM   #11
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Mythbusters of Yesteryear...

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.
The fellow with 8 batterys at 65lbs each has too much money and a very big rig so i would think he wouldn't be worried about cost either.

Huh?

Who has "too much money", according to your standards?

Do you think that maybe, just possibly, battery & charger technology might have changed a bit in the 30 years since you took the class?
Who's actually going to remove the batteries and put them in the freezer for a while?
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:20 AM   #12
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Your charger is doing more damage than just leaving them alone till you use it next time. Thread is about long term storage.
I stored mine in the MH with the charger on 24/7/365. Put 4 oz of mineral oil in each cell (6 volt deep cycle Interstate U-2200's). They only lasted one month short of 10 years with that "mistreatment"
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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I have a number of collector cars, several tractors and a motor home and can say that my experience has been to first disconnect that battery if not being used for several months. Insure it is clean. My experience has been that trickle charged batteries do not last nearly as long as the batteries that are left alone and slow charged periodically. I keep them clean and dry, but do not remove them. I don't get ten years, but have an 8 year old battery in a Corvette that is still going. I have not tried the mineral oil trick. Not sure how well that would work in a heavy duty application where the battery is severely shaken once and a while. Trickle chargers connected long term are not a friend to your investment.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:16 AM   #14
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So you buy a small used freezer that is not energy efficient for lets say $50. Then you store your 6 batteries in this freezer for 10 years at $75 per year operating expense for $750. And then you have 10 year old batteries that you have spent $800 to now replace. But if you had a couple small batts from mowers that you that you want to keep fresh or one from a car it sounds great. Thanks
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