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Old 10-24-2010, 03:22 PM   #1
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batteries

may seem like a silly question is it better to pull the batteries for the winter from the fifthwheel or leave it plugged in??
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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It is not a silly question, nor a simple one. It depends upon your convertor and it's charging circuitry. Some chargers will boil the water out of the batteries if left plugged into shore power for extended periods. I'm no expert on charging systems, well-anything, so I'll not comment further.
If the batteries are charged they will NOT freeze. If however, they become discharged from parasitic drains in the RV they WILL freeze. Some folks disconnect one battery cable to prevent discharging, which I have done many times. My batteries were still charged next spring when I de-winterized the 5er. If such batteries do discharge completely, they were about to fail anyway.
Some folks do remove the batteries and sit them inside for the winter. It's really your choice.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
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Several questions come to mind. Where are you? How cold maximum in the winter? Do you keep the rig at home?

The safest thing to do is remove the batteries, place them up on a wood board off the concrete in the garage and put a trickle charger on them for a day about every other week. Check the water each time before charging.

Bob
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:05 AM   #4
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Your choice, I put mine in the basement and forget about them. If you leave them outside hooked up make sure they don't loose their charge. This is a good investment. http://batterytender.com/rv.html
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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thank you

Thanks for the quick replies. I will pass them on to my husband. to answer we are located outside of Buffalo NY and it gets pretty cold for what seems like forever. It is kept at home. Thanks again.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
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fiverbob, I used to adher to storing a battery on wood religiously. It was drummed into me from my very first auto class in 1956. Today it appears that is no longer the case (pun intended) Battery Storage: Can I Store My Battery on a Concrete Floor?
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for this thread. Reminded me to go out and hook up the "smart" charger to the battery bank and turn the switch to "off" until we can take off for the winter.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Sunnyshine37, not to far from you down here in the Genesee Valley area so I know about COLD too. I leave my batteries in the rig and the rig plugged in, but you need a multi-stage converter to do that. My first TT wasn't multi-stage and would boil the water right out of the battery.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:22 AM   #9
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Battery maintainer

Most converters have high current drains due to their design. This is fine in the summer when you may be spending time in the unit or want it in a ready state.

But if it is for storage only then the best bet is small battery maintainers that are intended for garden tractors and other summer items.

Harbor Freight sells a good one for less than $20.00, it is designed as a permenent install, we installed one in our battery bay, we turn off the converter as it draws 500 watts doing nothing and overcharges the batteries.

The maintainer only puts out 1.5 or so amps, so it is less than the 1% battery capacity float requirement so the batteries are fat and happy.

You can hard mount one in your unit, plug it into an outlet and turn off your converter, do check every once in awhile to insure everything is fine, you may need to add water or clean something.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
fiverbob, I used to adher to storing a battery on wood religiously. It was drummed into me from my very first auto class in 1956. Today it appears that is no longer the case (pun intended) Battery Storage: Can I Store My Battery on a Concrete Floor?
Yeh, read it. I will stick with the old school routine, especially since my battery man reinforced the routine about two months ago - - he said better safe than sorry. He is the manager of the store and been at a long time.

Bob
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #11
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I'm a northern NY guy too and my batteries stay in the trailer. My other 2 also stay in the boat all year. I will, however, periodically go out with the multimeter and check them. If they get low, I'll plug in and bring them back up or use the charger in the boat. Since we started heading south in Feb, I have not found a need to charge the batteries as they stay up just fine.

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Old 11-02-2010, 07:58 PM   #12
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Leave them were they are ;; put a trickel charger on then They will be good as new when you need them..
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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I've pulled mine out - but that's a personal choice as I can use a Battery Tender Jr. that way and they will not overcharge. I put them in the basement work shop with that little charger on one of them, changing to the other every week or so. Home of Deltran Battery TenderŪ Battery Chargers - Batterytender.com

My AVATAR car has one hooked to the Optima battery whenever the car is in the garage

If you do use a battery trickle charger, just make sure you have one that will not boil the water out
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:39 PM   #14
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First timer here.

I just bought the Battery Tender - well two actually. One for the 5'er and one for the Polaris Ranger. Seems like a good investment to save the cost/hassle of replacement batteries.

Don
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