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Old 08-14-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
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Chassis and house batteries during storage help needed

I have a Phoenix Cruiser with Ford E450 engine. First the Ford manual states that during storage you should fast idle the engine every two weeks up to operating temperature and when idling with foot on brake go thru all the gears. Going with the Ford recommendation if the unit is stored for 8 months of the year and there is no electricity available at storage what do you do with the batteries. I assume the house batteries not an issue as they can be removed and put on a trickle charger where electricity is available. I would assume that if you left them in and used the battery disconnect switch the batteries will likely still discharge over the 8 months.
The bigger issue to me is the chasis battery. In order to start and idle the engine twice a month the battery needs to be charged. Am I correct that simply idling the engine up to operating temperature will not keep the battery charged? In my situation I am not around so have someone who can start it but thats it. Any solutions or do I need electricity to the RV so a trickle charger can be put on the chasis battery?
thanks much!
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:49 PM   #2
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I think for 8 months storage remove house batteries take home and keep charged. For the chassis it would take a lot of idleing especially in the winter time to get at a good running temp. I would drive it every month or so which would be better for motor and tranny.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:14 PM   #3
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You could remove all the batteries and put them on a trickle charger. When you visit the RV, carry jumper cables and use them to start and exercise the engine. Or you could use a portable jumper battery like this:

3-in-1 Jump Starter and Power Supply

for monthly start ups.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #4
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Problem is no one available to drive it during the 8 months storage only someone able to run the engine. Seems like the only good answer is to get electricity to the rv garage so that a trickle charger can be put on the chasis battery so that the rv can be started per the Ford instructions.

Its in an indoor garage so i think it can be started and taken to normal operating temperature without too much trouble....located in WA outside of Seattle so not oppressive winter temps. Big question as i am not an engine guy is whether the idling would actually be charging the chasis battery...i am guessing not?
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:02 PM   #5
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It will be charging when the engine is running. It's according to battery state of charge, how high the RPMs, and how long you run it to determine if battery is charged back to full. I'd think about fogging the engine and just let it sit for the time, storing the batteries as I suggested. If it's inside and dry it would be more harm to drive it if it's wet or raining.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:18 PM   #6
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I am tempted to just let it sit, first change the oil and add some stabilizer to the gas and just take out the batteries. Only concern is Ford's recommendation to start the vehicle twice a month. What is fogging the engine?
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:34 PM   #7
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All my coach's when winterized change oil, filters, winterized the coach and just let the engine sleep until spring mostly Fords and now Workhorse.
Starting and not driving will just create condensation in exhaust system and rust them out sooner.
I have a advantage the coach is at house and coach is plugged in all winter with AGM batteries and the Bird System will keep all batteries charged ,I can test Gen and AC's during the winter months.
If you have on storage lot you would removed all the batteries and keep them up charged at home.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:34 PM   #8
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Fogging oil is sprayed into the intake and cylinders of an engine. It clings to the surfaces and provides protection from moisture and lubrication after the engine has been stored. We did it every fall to marine inboard engines in boats pulled out of the water and stored on land, making it difficult to start and 'exercise' because of the need for water for cooling and lubrication of propeller shafts and bearings. I've seen many an engine fogged in September and not started until late May or June when put back in the water.

STA-BIL/Fogging oil (22001) | Fogging Oil and Fuel Stabilizer | AutoZone.com
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:45 PM   #9
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I bought an Optima battery for my chassis, I disconnect it after every trip and have not had to charge it for going on two years, I take about 5 trips a year. I turn off my coach batteries after every trip (normal deep cycle batteries) and check the voltage with the indicator in the coach every one in a while, when they get to 11 Vdc I take them out and recharge them. Next time I replace my coach batteries I will get the Optima batteries, they go for a long period of time without needing to recharge and retain power better. They're expensive but they last a lot longer.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:27 PM   #10
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I'm with 007. Take all the batteries out and store them in an environment that they will not freeze. Charge the batteries as needed. Let the engine sleep for the duration of storage. When I lived up north, this is how I did my coaches.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:25 AM   #11
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all that is not necessary .Just make sure they are fully charged before storage and just only disconnect your battery cables from battery.
I live in Canada where the winters get to -40 f and never had problem again make sure to disconnect cables
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:34 PM   #12
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Won't the house batteries be dead after 8 months?
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:29 AM   #13
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If you're leaving them for 8 months, you could remove them, store them in a place that allows you to hook them up to a charger occasionally. Disconnected, they will last a long time, but if there's an alternate place, why not use it?
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:18 AM   #14
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Now I am getting worried! I am leaving my motorhome in covered storage w/o electricity for 5 mths while I travel to Australia. I was just going to charge both my house and chassis batteries up and disconnect the cables until I returned. Will that be wise? Do I have to find someone one somewhere I can take my batteries to for them to babysit them with a trickle charger? I bought them new this year (Interstate)
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