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Old 01-13-2022, 01:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 16
Angry dead batteries after storage

I have a fleetwood outback, and have installed two deep cycle 6 volt batteries. This is my fourth trailer, but the first time i have encountered dead batteries after storage and the first time i have used 6-volt batteries. I have never left my trailers plugged into any power source while in storage.

So i plugged the trailer into my truck, but had to use a bottle jack to get the hitch hooked up....not enough juice to use the jack on the trailer hitch.

My rig is now home and i plugged it into shore power. That should charge the batteries, right???

Should I supplement by hooking my charger to the batteries? With or without shore power still hooked up?

Should i stop what I am doing, unplug shore power, and usiing my charger, desulfate my batteries? If so, hooked together or independent of each other?

Sure could use some help. DC/RV electricity befuddles me
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 198
Charge from shore power through your inverter..relax. allow at least 24hr
Deep cycle takes a long time... relax.
IF the batteries froze they might not take a charge OR
they may not hold a charge.. you won't know for before
you give them time to fully patient.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:12 PM   #3
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This winter is the first time I'm not using the trailer, so I turned off the battery disconnect switch. If you don't many CO and LP detector will run your battery dead.
Because my trailer is in Vermont, I removed the batteries stored them in my heated garage in Connecticut.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:17 PM   #4
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given the situation, I'd remove the batteries and put them on a dedicated charger.

I leave my batteries in my trailer BUT I leave my trailer plugged in. Since my trailer is equipped with a PD4060 power center which has an integral multi-stage charger, it's safe to do that. My older unit would eventually boil the batteries dry if left on over the winter so I had to remove them. The best course of action will depend on what year your trailer is and what converter it has.

I would never leave the batteries in the trailer for long periods of time (i.e. winter storage) unless it was plugged in and it has a multi stage charger.

Your issue has absolutely nothing to do with the batteries being 6 volt. Hope you didn't freeze them (charged batteries won't freeze but dead ones will). Good luck

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Old 01-14-2022, 07:10 AM   #5
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Location: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Lots of good advice above.

"My rig is now home and i plugged it into shore power. That should charge the batteries, right???"

Most likely true. What is the make and model of the charger in your 2020 Outback?

Some high end chargers will not charge a dead battery. Check the charger owner's manual.

You towed the trailer home. The charge from the tow vehicle engine may or may not have been enough to raise the voltage high enough for the TT charger to begin charging.

Measure the battery terminal voltage while the charger is working. Voltage should slowly rise from where ever it started to 13.6 volts, 14.4 volts or more.

"Should I supplement by hooking my charger to the batteries? With or without shore power still hooked up?

Should i stop what I am doing, unplug shore power, and usiing my charger, desulfate my batteries? If so, hooked together or independent of each other?"

How long were the batteries below 50% state of charge? Three months is enough time for a heavy layer of sulfate. One week is probably not such a problem.

There are different types of de-sulfation cycles. See the instructions for the portable charger on how to charge sulfated batteries.

Most likely you should disconnect from the TT. The best results are likely if each of the 6 volt batteries are de-sulfated separately.

Make sure water is covering the plates when you start. Do not over fill. Acid will spit or spray if too full. Fill to "full" mark after charging. Charging consumes water.

Once voltage has reached 11.0 volts, continue charging for 24 hours. Normally charging takes 14 to 18 hours for a full clean charge. Sulfated batteries may benefit from longer charging.

Battery University

How does the Lead Acid Battery Work?

How do battery chargers work

How to Charge and When to Charge?

Storing lead acid batteries
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Storing Lead Acid Batteries.pdf (101.5 KB, 14 views)
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:22 AM   #6
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Location: Foxboro Ma.
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long term storage of a trailer with lead acid battery is not a good idea with out some prep.

For 1~3 months at reasonable temps you need to disconnect the battery 100%, most OEM battery disconnect switches are wired so the propane detector and CO detector still have power. The detector over the course of 2~4 weeks will kill your battery.

For longer than 3 months and clear skys (no shade) you may want to consider a small solar charger, something around 50 to 100 watts will keep you battery fully charged assuming you're not running your refrigerator and dry camping during this time. The problem with this is if you get a bunch of leave that fall off the trees you may have blocked the sun light fromgetting to the panels and chargeing your batterys. Snow is the next issue , in Vermont any time after November 1st you really cant perdict if the roof will be clear and how long it will take to melt clear. It would be possible to set up a panel or two on a pole mounted at a steep angle so it would clear off once the sun hits it . Then you could just plug the panel into your trailer where the solar charge controler would be out of the weather. Ground mount is out the snow some times could be 4' deep , it would never clear itself off after 2~3 snow storms.

Last tip , I would suggest you install a 10 amp battery minder for time you have power availible . The OEM chargers typicly are for keeping the batter at full charge but often dont address the storage issues like battery sulfating and tempature compensation while chargeing in cold weather.

I have a battery in my skid steer that is 11 years old that has had one of these on it since new. It is the only reason that battery is still holding a charge!

Option 2 for chargers for me would be a Victron energy IP22 type charger, this is forward compatable with ANY battery in the voltage range it was designed for meaning you cany use it on 48 volt systems if its a 12 volt charger. Programable via cell phone bluetooth with live feed back on what the charger is doing real time. With this charger assuming you get a 20 amp or larger I would disconnect the trailers OEM charger and let the victron handle all chargeing needed. flooded lead acid , AGM , Lithium or custom charge profile are all possible.
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batteries, storage

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