Battery Care

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Battery Care

Post  chuck on Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:01 am

What do you do to maintain the battery in your RV? Do you ever take it out/off for storage? I have heard that a fully charged battery is really not in any danger of freezing.. what do you think? What about keeping the RV connected to AC at home.. would the battery over charge if you left it all winter (several months)?

I am toying with the idea of just leaving the battery where it is.. and leaving the RV hooked up all winter to the house AC. I will not run the fridge or anything else. What do you do?
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Re: Battery Care

Post  chuck on Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:08 am

another thought...

If indeed it might overcharge.. what about leaving the battery as is.. and plugging in the RV once a month for a couple of days.. just to keep the battery topped off. I have heard the the carbon monoxide alarm will drain a battery if the RV is left "unplugged" for awhile.. so should I actually dis-connect the battery if I do this?

It's all very confusing.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:30 am

Well my battery seems to be going bad. It doesn't want to hold a charge very long. I am thinking of taking it out and taking it to Auto Zone and let them check it out. If it's good then I will let them charge it back up, and buy me a trickle charger to keep it charged. If it's bad I will wait until I start to unwinterize and buy a new one.

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Re: Battery Care

Post  craigw on Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:18 am

Im not sure about other campers but would imagine that most of our would be "wired" in a similar manner. So with that being said.

Keep in mind that your CO Detectors doubles as a low battery indicator. Also, you would thing that with everything off you would not pull any power for anything. You actually do. Believe it or not that over a winter season it is possible to drain a battery. What I do is disconnect that Negative (black) lead when i'm not using my camper. I do have one of those Roof top solar chargers. Unless it came with your camper I would not waste your money. On charging what I do is take the battery out and bring it home and connect to a Boat/RV charger. As with that I make sure that the water levels in the battery are fine. I feel that this charger can charge the battery better than simply plugging my camper in to shore power. Of you store your camper at your house and don't want to take your battery out to charge it make sure that you disconnect both leads so not to have any back feed to anything on your camper.

A well maintained battery can last 5 or more years. And with batteries running at over $100 to me its worth it.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  abivens on Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:30 pm

Are you saying that just plugging into shore power is not as good as disconnecting the battery and putting it on a trickle charger? I wdefinately want to get as much life as I can from the battery.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  craigw on Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:26 pm

abivens wrote:Are you saying that just plugging into shore power is not as good as disconnecting the battery and putting it on a trickle charger? I wdefinately want to get as much life as I can from the battery.

I would say as long as you are not draining without replacing any stored powered then you would be fine.

For me since I dont park at my house an dont have shore power available is why i disconnect the battery. Using my method i am still on the OE batter and coming up on 3 years now.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  chuck on Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:30 am

thanks for the suggestions..

After reading here and another source for opinions... I will just leave the battery on the camper.. Leave it plugged in and check the water from time to time. I probably would be ok not checking water.. but I would rather be safe.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:29 pm

I just hook a trickle charger (40 year old 3-amp sears model) up to my battery for a day and night about once a month. I haven't done this since River Plantation, and it is still charged enough to operate the winch.

I don't check the water. I used to check it, and remove the caps with a cloth over them when charging, like my dad always did. Then, once, I got a tiny bit of battery acid in my eye and the trip to the emergency room cost me more than a bunch of batteries. Use those safety goggles! Every time. It's a lesson I should have known, but ignored.

Imagine that, me having to learn things the hard way.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:52 pm

Richard, was that trickle charger bought about the same time as your chairs? No

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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:39 pm

No Tim, it's even older than my ancient chairs (The "just-like-Chuck's chair being the exception to the ancient comment). My Dad used it way back in the day to charge batteries in his auto mechanic work. It's got no safety stuff. It would cook a battery if left on it too long. It's made of metal and heavier than it looks. Still, I charge with it overnight and things work great.

One thing when buying a battery for the camper, I went with a true deep cycle, rather than a deep cycle/starting combination. It gets more cycles and each cycle lasts longer. I over-researched it a bit.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:28 pm

My Battery is fully charged. I may go raise and lower the roof a few times, just to practice and enjoy the fact that I can do it now!
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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:34 pm

Richard wrote:My Battery is fully charged. I may go raise and lower the roof a few times, just to practice and enjoy the fact that I can do it now!
So, what your saying is, that your repairs are done for now.

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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:18 pm

OK, so I'm just a little excited. I even chatted in the chatbox with myself about it for quite a while.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:18 pm

Richard wrote:OK, so I'm just a little excited. I even chatted in the chatbox with myself about it for quite a while.
Stimulating conversation I might add. I was in complete agreement with myself.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:23 pm

Richard wrote:
Richard wrote:OK, so I'm just a little excited. I even chatted in the chatbox with myself about it for quite a while.
Stimulating conversation I might add. I was in complete agreement with myself.
Going to have to keep an eye out for Richard, he's started chatting with himself No

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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:12 am

coolbreeze1 wrote:
Richard wrote:
Richard wrote:OK, so I'm just a little excited. I even chatted in the chatbox with myself about it for quite a while.
Stimulating conversation I might add. I was in complete agreement with myself.
Going to have to keep an eye out for Richard, he's started chatting with himself No

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That, and so many other strange reasons, haha. Sleep
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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:12 pm

Richard wrote:I just hook a trickle charger (40 year old 3-amp sears model) up to my battery for a day and night about once a month. I haven't done this since River Plantation, and it is still charged enough to operate the winch.

I don't check the water. I used to check it, and remove the caps with a cloth over them when charging, like my dad always did. Then, once, I got a tiny bit of battery acid in my eye and the trip to the emergency room cost me more than a bunch of batteries. Use those safety goggles! Every time. It's a lesson I should have known, but ignored.

Imagine that, me having to learn things the hard way.
I need to borrow your trickle charger, just bring it with you when you go to Pigeon Forge
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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:13 pm

Just kidding, I need a battery charger since my battery is dead.

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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:18 pm

Tim, I don't understand the chemistry of the deal, but a dead battery will freeze and become useless. A charged battery won't. Bring that rascal inside an area that won't freeze.

I'm surprised your camper doesn't have a built in charger that works when it's plugged into shore power.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:21 pm

Well the extension cord that I have to hook it up, has a short in it. I've let it go for to long now. I guess that a new battery is in my future.

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Re: Battery Care

Post  KralCamper on Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:10 pm

And a new extension cord too!

Maybe even a trickle charger while your at it, I got mine for around $20 at walmart in the battery section.

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Re: Battery Care

Post  coolbreeze1 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:32 pm

Yes a new extension cord will come in handy. I have a feeling that the battery was going bad anyway. It was hooked up to shore power for a week at Smokey Bear, it had lost it's charge by the time I got home. I think I will take it out and have it tested.

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Battery charging..

Post  fisherpal2k on Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:17 am

Most of the charging systems on campers whether pop ups or TT are rated to charge the batteries to only 80%. To truly charge the battery to full you have to either use a trickle charger or some other type of charger. I installled a battery disconnect on mine so when it is parked at home the stuff in the camper don't drain the battery so bad. The CO detector and smoke detector both drain the battery if left alone. The power distribution panel will also trickle the batteries down if they are left hooked up.

I usually plug mine up once a month and let the charger do its thing and then unplug it again. Before we go on a long trip I will hook up the regular charger and leave it over night just to make sure the batteries are topped off.
To answer your question on the batteries Chuck, I would reccomend disconnecting them when not in use and chargeing them once a month. After a dry trip last year I added another battery to mine in parralel so I have a little extra when dry camping.
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Re: Battery Care

Post  Richard on Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:20 pm

fisherpal2k wrote:Most of the charging systems on campers whether pop ups or TT are rated to charge the batteries to only 80%. To truly charge the battery to full you have to either use a trickle charger or some other type of charger. I installled a battery disconnect on mine so when it is parked at home the stuff in the camper don't drain the battery so bad. The CO detector and smoke detector both drain the battery if left alone. The power distribution panel will also trickle the batteries down if they are left hooked up.

I usually plug mine up once a month and let the charger do its thing and then unplug it again. Before we go on a long trip I will hook up the regular charger and leave it over night just to make sure the batteries are topped off.
To answer your question on the batteries Chuck, I would reccomend disconnecting them when not in use and chargeing them once a month. After a dry trip last year I added another battery to mine in parralel so I have a little extra when dry camping.

Fisherpal, did you use isolation between the batteries so the stronger isn't pulled down by the weaker?
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batteries..

Post  fisherpal2k on Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:50 pm

No Richard, I just put them in parralell and hooked them together. What that does is provide a larger battery. It will last about 3 times longer than just one battery at a time and they both charge together and everything. When I installed the disconnect I put it directly on the post and put the wire on the disconnect. the top just screws up off the contacts and is safer than a manual knife switch style. I really like it so far.
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Re: Battery Care

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