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Author Topic: battery storage/ maint  (Read 1984 times)
TomHanlon
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2011, 07:05:22 am »

Why do you remove the house battery? You leave the engine battery in and remove the house battery? I have been to West Yellowstone, Mt where it went below minus 30 degrees and never had any problems with a battery. Do you think the everyone that lives in that kind of cold brings there batteries in at night? Yes you can read on the internet to remove the batteries but this is a case of you have to think for yourself. Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Ron is one of the guys telling you to bring them in, yet he keeps his motorhome in a heated garage. I bet in the winter when he goes to work and parks outside he leaves the battery in his car.

Read the stuff here and make up your own mind as to what applys to you.
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2011, 09:06:25 am »

Tom,

I advise to bring the batteries inside if storing the motor home outside off-site in extreme cold temps where people are easily tempted to leave their rig unattended through the winter season.  Batteries left in the RV hooked up and ready to go, there is a small continuous power drain, both on the chassis battery as well as the house batteries.  Once completely drained, they are suseptible to freezing.  If they freeze, they are permanently damaged.

If the owners are certian all batteries are fully charged at the time they park their rig off-site for many winter months, they could simply unhook the ground connections.  That eliminates the small continuous power drain, giving them a much better chance of surviving the winter.  But no guarrentee.  So I blanketly state, it's best to bring the batteries inside.

If the owners live in a less severe climate where winters will see freezing temps, but never get below the 20 degree zone, they could get by with unhooking the grounds and leave the fully charged batteries in with the rig.  The climate where they live is the main variation, but a blanket question yields a blanket answer.  Many people get lost when I get into such detail, so I try to keep it simple.

I live in the Chicago area and volunteer in a ministry HERE where cars are donated.  We have a lot in back, sometimes having hundreds of cars parked.  Many batteries were checked to be fine, later to be dead if still hooked up and unattended over the winter.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 09:19:52 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2011, 12:48:12 pm »

I would have to echo what TomH has to say....your PC is a "recreational vehicle" and with that said I like the ability to just head out regardless of the weather and not have to reinstall batteries, etc.  My coach sits out here in NH all winter.  I just put a timer on the outlet and leave the coach plugged in.  Every day the power/charger comes on for a couple of hours and the batteries stay fully charged.  I have never had a battery freeze or not get full life out of the.  Ron D. is right in that with no electricity to the coach it would be a totally different story and you would have to protect the batteries.
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2011, 01:50:53 pm »

Thanks for all the additional info.  Since my plan is to visit the rig once a month (regardless of the temperature) and let things run a while, I will go with putting the house battery back in.  This way I can exercise the generator as well.  Unfortunately, I don't have power where I am storing it, so charging it while it sits isn't an option.  But I figure if I run the generator with about a 2K watt load for an hour or so, that should bring up the battry.  It sounds like it will also help to disconnect it when I leave and re-connect when I come for the monthly visit.

Thanks again for your help.  As always I appreciate it   Smile
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TomHanlon
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2011, 02:12:59 pm »

Ron, I think it can be your blanket statements sometimes can cause a problem. A lot of people on here see your name and think that everything you say applys to them. You and I both know it does sometimes and not other times. Things like "bring your batteries in" only apply if you are in long term storage without running your engine or generator. I have had a seven different motorhomes here in Maryland since 1984, where it can go down to zero at night, and have never taken a battery out of a motorhome yet. I disagree with you about not running the engine. I spent four years working at an RV dealership and we ran all the motorhomes at least every two weeks for about 15 minutes or until they warmed up. During this time you are charging up the batteries. You would be surprised at the amount of water that comes out of the tail pipe after sitting for a few days. Water means rust in the exhaust and the engine. Every generator manufacture recommends running the generator at least once a month for up to one hour. Going to the motorhome once a month or every other week and running or driving it for 20 - 30 miles is not asking to much to keep it in good shape. I bet if you go to your motorhome and start it, you will get water out of the tail pipe. What works for you may not be right for everyone just the same as what I say is not right for everyone. I would not and am not recommend driving it in the winter on salty roads without washing the salt off of it.

I understand that we all have our opinions and we need to make sure that whoever reads this forum understands that and that they need to think about what should apply to them. I hope you take this in a friendly manner and not that I mean any harm to you. Your input has and will continue to be usefull to a lot of people and to me also.
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Tom Hanlon
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TomHanlon
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2011, 02:18:16 pm »

George,

IMHO you can leave your batteries in the motorhome and just use the switch by the door to disconnect the batteries and turning off the inverter behind the drivers seat. No cables to mess with and you don't have to stand out in the cold hooking and unhooking batteries. The most definitive answer to this issue would come from someone calling Kermit at the factory.
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bobander
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2011, 03:16:47 pm »

"I followed Ron's advice re: winterizing the rig, and  I decided to remove the house battery."

Does the generator start off the rig or house. I don't really know?

It starts off the house batteries; if you look underneath, you can see the heavy gauge wires going directly from the house batteries to the generator.

Bob
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2011, 03:23:03 pm »

Thank you Bob.  That was the answer I was originally looking for Grin  although the remainder of the discussion was quite informative.

George
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2011, 12:53:25 pm »

Tom,

You make a good point.  I always assume worst case scenerio......people parking their rig in an open field in North Dakota in October, and return in April.

I don't understand why, but with my main house power shut off using the kill switch at the door, the house batteries still experience a small power drain.  I have to place them on a charger every couple months for 3 days on a 4 amp setting, or they go dead in 4 months time.  I think this is common to many motor home owners of various brands.

My chassis battery seems more tollerant.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 02:11:38 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2011, 02:45:57 pm »


I agree with last post, I believe part of the problem is equalization between batteries. 

But there is also still an insidious/parasitic drain happening that I have not been able to track down and I am too lazy to start pulling fuses one at a time an attempt a voltage loss plot over time.

As to the chassis battery it never runs down and always has parasitic drain from the computer and the radio memory.

Back about '97 or so Wallyworld had some 1 amp tenders/minders that shut completely off at 13.4 volts on their sale table and I bought 8 or 9 for gifts.
Only gave a couple away and they do a fine job on the chassis battery and yard equipment batteries.  I used to buy new tractor batteries every year and with the tender have not had to replace one for 3.5 years and still going strong, like the bunny.  Funny thing, they will not work on parallel  coach batteries and that kinda re-enforces the equalization thought.

Now having said all of that I will be spending untold big bucks for batteries next year, more than likely.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 02:58:15 pm by lghjr » Logged
rlamb
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« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2011, 08:07:07 pm »

A thank you is in order to bobander and everybody for your help and comments.
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