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Old 02-10-2019, 03:05 PM   #1
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Keeping batteries charged during storage

So, it seems for the first time since owning the RV we will be storing it outside rather than inside. We usually take it out monthly or sometimes up to 2 months. And, we also have had the ability to plug into electricity for about 3 days prior to going on our trip.

While storing it outside we will be able to use propane to get the refrigerator cold before we leave but how do you all keep your batteries from discharging too much between trips?

We do dry camp, but much of the time we are hooked up to electricity while camped. We have 30 amp service, 2 6V Lifeline AGM batteries, and a Inteli-Power 9280 Progressive Dynamics converter/charger. We do not have solar at this time.

Apologies if this topic has been covered before but until now I just haven't paid much attention.

Any thoughts or recommendations from those of you who do store outside would be appreciated. Happy travels.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:24 PM   #2
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If you have minimal residual loads,,,then adding two 100watt panels and a programmable charge controller will do the trick. Many of the simple controllers will have the wrong charge parameters for Lifeline AGMs.

Lifelines aren’t cheap...you definitely don’t want to drain them.

I have power in storage...but i have seen a propane equipped coach with two GC-2 Interstate 6v keep well with 200w of solar,,,all the way up to an all-electric rig with WiFi lan, residential refrigerator and other parasitic loads stored with 1440w of solar...fridge running.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:33 PM   #3
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Simple thing to do is remove the negetive cables from the batteries.

They will stay charged for a few months that way. If you leave them connected, small loads can run them down.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:40 PM   #4
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make sure your batteries are fully charged , then remove the cables from the negative terminals. With the batteries disconnected in this manner , they will be good for over 6 months in storage .If you have to do this often consider adding a battery disconnect switch. The switch would be connected to the positive terminal.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:20 PM   #5
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make sure your batteries are fully charged , then remove the cables from the negative terminals. With the batteries disconnected in this manner , they will be good for over 6 months in storage .If you have to do this often consider adding a battery disconnect switch. The switch would be connected to the positive terminal.
Yep.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:56 PM   #6
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Here is a reasonably priced solar kit that will keep you charged up and add some benefit while boondocking.

https://www.windynation.com/Polycrys...322?p=YzE9NDY=
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:06 AM   #7
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Here is a reasonably priced solar kit that will keep you charged up and add some benefit while boondocking.

https://www.windynation.com/Polycrys...322?p=YzE9NDY=
Yeah...the GEL setting on that controller would do...and has adjustable float voltage.

What Don recommends is... in all honesty...a much better idea. Yes...you can disconnect and let them self discharge. Over time...come back and charge them back up. Oh...but they have sulphated...and lost a bit of capacity.

The solar recharges the battery each day...and goes into float. This keeps sulphates from building up over time.

Most of the inexpensive controllers have a USB port....so if you want you can charge a cellphone.

I installed a system much like this in my Dads Southwind DP. He stores it outside and has no utility to pkug into. It has kept his two Interstate GC-2's charged. He just has to check water....they're flooded v. AGM.

Thanks Don...great idea.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:19 AM   #8
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We added ability to isolate the circuit. Switchable breaker to Battery...and a simple ON/OFF to the panels. This helps to isolate the system...for repair or troubleshooting...without having to disconnect terminal.

I didn't get a overall shot after completing the wiring...but at least this shows basically how to add a switch and breaker to the wiring. Of course the orientation of the photos come out wrong when posted.

Inside the battery compartment I added a 1-2- Both switch. He can choose to charge the house or chassis.

So...there is also a shot of the DC clampmeter reading on a sunny day. In bulk...a 10.3 amp charge is going into the bank. And after it holds absorb for 2 hrs...it kick down to float voltage. No cords to manage...nothing to do but load up and go.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:36 AM   #9
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Just for maintaining the batteries while in storage, not charging, a 100 watt panel with a simple solar charge controller is all you need. Maybe $150. But the batteries have to be fully charged when you put in storage.
Obviously you also need good sun for this to work.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:30 PM   #10
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Battery storage

My storage shed has electricity. I keep my Battery-Tender-Plus plugged into battery. Also have one for my boat battery. Works great.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:12 PM   #11
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You have AGM batterys. A good thing. One of the attributes of AGMs is a low discharge rate. About half that of wet cells. I also have been using AGMs. Rather than 2 6Vs I have a single 4D 12V.

Mine sits in storage every winter Nov to April. The battery is disconnected at the terminals & gets no attention during that period. The first one had a lifespan of 9 years. At spring reconnect the battery takes less than a half hour to regain full charge.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:01 PM   #12
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just plug it in and your good, no need to spend any money.. heck full-timers are plugged in all time.. I and every one I know just leave plugged in all winter
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
We added ability to isolate the circuit. Switchable breaker to Battery...and a simple ON/OFF to the panels. This helps to isolate the system...for repair or troubleshooting...without having to disconnect terminal.

I didn't get a overall shot after completing the wiring...but at least this shows basically how to add a switch and breaker to the wiring. Of course the orientation of the photos come out wrong when posted.

Inside the battery compartment I added a 1-2- Both switch. He can choose to charge the house or chassis.

So...there is also a shot of the DC clampmeter reading on a sunny day. In bulk...a 10.3 amp charge is going into the bank. And after it holds absorb for 2 hrs...it kick down to float voltage. No cords to manage...nothing to do but load up and go.
Wow, you need some attention on that battery terminal in the picture. Looking pretty fuzzy.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:20 AM   #14
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Wow, you need some attention on that battery terminal in the picture. Looking pretty fuzzy.
Probably because all the acid leaked out because battery installed on it's side. :-)
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