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Author Topic: Best way to maintain battery during winter  (Read 10906 times)
kburlar
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« on: September 22, 2008, 11:27:49 AM »

Hi all:

This was our first year with the pop-up and, sadly, we are getting ready to put it away for the colder months.  In addition to all the regular winterizing stuff, I am going to take the battery out and leave it in the relatively warm basement.  What is the best way to keep the battery charged and in good health?  A trickle charge and left on continuously?  A stronger charger and only charge it once a month?  We are completely newbies as far as battery maintenance; any input would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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grjr51394
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 11:35:17 AM »

I am curious as well! I do not have an external charger, only the ability to charge while on the camper and plugged in. I was thinking the same storage situation- in the basement (tho I would hardly call it "warm" as I am ultra-miserly about the furnace, heehee!). Could I jump it every other week with my truck? Would it need to be hooked up to the camper to jump? Or is it a ton more logical to buy a charger, tho it would only be used during the winter?kburlar- Thanks for asking. I haven't had the time until now! :)
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Tom-TC
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 11:55:42 AM »

Here is what I have been told / read:. Keep your batteries fully charged at all times when not using them.2. In the winter (or when your pup is otherwise being stored for longer than a month) charge them with an automatic charger with a float / trickle function. This type of charger will charge the battery, and when it is fully charged it will go in a float mode to keep the battery charged without overcharging.3.  If you use a standard (non-float mode) charger, charge the battery fully and then charge it fully again about every month.4. Regardless of your maintenance charging method, assuming you have a wet-cell battery, you should check the fluid levels regularly. Use only distilled water and do not overfill.5. Your batteries should never sit discharged (this applies even during camping season, not just during storage). Discharged batteries sulphate and this shortens battery life.
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Tom

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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 12:16:14 PM »

Oh, one more thing... you don't need to keep it "warm", but you do need to keep it from freezing.
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Tom

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walt77
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 12:22:40 PM »

How long do they sit on the shelf at the store without a charger on them?Wink I have left them sit all winter then just charged them before i needed it. You can get an automatic trickel charger if you like. You just leave it hooked up and it will charge as needed. I don't think they are to exspensive. And as Tom said don't let it freeze. Extreem heat and cold are the worst things for a battery.      Walt
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 12:28:42 PM »

Do not leave on a trickle charger - it will overcharge and shorten battery life. You want a float charger or charger with a float mode. I have motorcycle batteries that are beyond 5 years old using the float mode chargers. Here is a good buy for reference:http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=151&productId=16135&langId=-1&catalogId=153&ci_src=1411944&ci_sku=16135&cm_mmc=1hd.com2froogle-_-product_feed-_-D25X-_-16135Or this:http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_697_12128_12128
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Tom-TC
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 12:34:40 PM »

I dearly wish everyone would learn how to post links that are not five miles long.Here is the technique, just use the square brackets instead of the curly brackets:{url="http etc., etc. of your link"}Name you want to show to click on{/url} (The "-marks in this ARE to be typed in)Re-doing your 293948-character link, above, looks like this:Black & Decker Smart Battery MaintainerOr, you can use tinyurl.Also, I said automatic float / trickle charger.  As you point out, that is NOT the same thing as a manual trickle charger.
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Tom

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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 12:50:04 PM »

quote:
Originally posted by Tom-TC
I dearly wish everyone would learn how to post links that are not five miles long.
Tom, it's a LINK, you click on it and it takes you somewhere. It's not like you need to copy and paste it. Take it easy on the uninformed regular folk, OK?BTW, I agree with your battery advice.
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rabird
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 01:20:25 PM »

TROJAN BATTERY USER’S GUIDE Chapter 4 Storage.The 12volt Side of LifeCAR AND DEEP CYCLE BATTERY FAQ 7.1
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Tom-TC
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 02:16:52 PM »

quote:
Originally posted by gornoman
quote:
Originally posted by Tom-TC
I dearly wish everyone would learn how to post links that are not five miles long.
Tom, it's a LINK, you click on it and it takes you somewhere. It's not like you need to copy and paste it. Take it easy on the uninformed regular folk, OK?
I know what a link does. ... The problem is that url links have no spaces, and with some browsers (like the one on my computer at work... ooops, did I just admit something... ... it doesn't wrap it to fit the window, and instead creates a super-wide scroll bar so that even regular messages have to be scrolled to be read. It is a big PITA...
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Tom

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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 03:22:09 AM »

Two or three times through the Winter, I'll plug the camper in for a couple of hours and let the the on-board charger work.  When I open the camper up in the Spring, I check the battery again and make sure it gets a full charge while I'm checking the rest of the camper out.  Been doing this for several years and works well for me.
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2008, 05:19:05 AM »

In addition to our trailer, I also have a car that I put into storage for the winter. I picked up a couple of battery maintainer chargers from Northern Tool that are specifically designed to maintain batteries for a long time without overcharging. I just put the two batteries on a little rolling cart in the corner of my garage, hook up the maintainers, and forget about them until spring. No problems for five years now.
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radimus
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 05:35:09 AM »

I have a Black & Decker VEC086BBD charger/maintainer on the way for the battery on my Starcraft.  I have no electric in the garage, so at this point I plan to store the battery in the basement and use the charger to top the battery off before it is left to sit.  When it gets close to camping time again I plan on putting it on the charger to top it back up from its winter slumber.
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cgillispn
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2008, 05:51:53 AM »

Remember to keep your battery off the concrete in the basement! I usually stick a piece of wood between a battery and concrete.
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thebrakeman
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2008, 05:55:46 AM »

quote:
Originally posted by Tom-TCI know what a link does... The problem is that url links have no spaces, and with some browsers (like the one on my computer at work... ooops, did I just admit something... ... it doesn't wrap it to fit the window, and instead creates a super-wide scroll bar so that even regular messages have to be scrolled to be read. It is a big PITA...
Perhaps you should consider getting a different browser (or whatever), rather than specifying what the majority need to do to work with whatever system you are using.  Just a thought.
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