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Old 10-01-2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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Leaving batteries connected over the winter

Hello, first I apologize as I'm sure this question has been asked and answered a dozen times but I'm wondering what implications are for leaving the batteries hooked up over the winter. My trailer is plugged into AC over the entire winter and I'm wondering if the electrical system will maintain the conditions of the batteries or make them deteriorate? It has the original univolt system.

I searched the forums using many different search strings and couldn't find any direct answers to this question. So here I am...DUH....
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:14 PM   #2
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Geez, I went to Shoreline High, grew up in Richmond Beach. We have the univolt & plug
into shore power for extended periods; it gets shut-down at night & we use the batteries.
The univolt is a "trickle charger" & has worked well as long as the batteries are exercised.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:37 PM   #3
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I leave em hooked up and plug the trailer in once in a while. My current wet cell Interstate Marine battery is about 7 years old and still going strong. If you leave it plugged into AC all the time you may boil your battery with a Univolt. This winter I am going to use a on demand trickle charger.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
I leave em hooked up and plug the trailer in once in a while. My current wet cell Interstate Marine battery is about 7 years old and still going strong. If you leave it plugged into AC all the time you may boil your battery with a Univolt. This winter I am going to use a on demand trickle charger.
What? You don't camp during the winter?
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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It depends upon what you have between the grid power and your batteries. Many converters do not provide very good battery maintenance and some even have a float voltage that will cause excessive electrolyte loss in the batteries. The proper float voltage can be rather tricky because it is so temperature dependent.

A good battery maintainer will keep a full charge on the batteries and will also provide electrolyte mixing or desulfation techniques. Examples include the Power Dynamics plus Charge Wizard and WFCO converters and the Battery Minder device. This sulfation prevention activity really helps get a good life from your batteries.

You should also make sure that the battery is disconnected from everything except the maintenance device. The control boards and alarms in your trailer don't need to be kept alive when in storage and they can drain a battery if the electricity goes off.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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If you do decide to remove the battery and plan to visit the trailer with power on, use plastic bags and cap and stow the battery cable ends.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:28 PM   #7
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Mine are never out. The previous batteries were dry almost every time I checked them. I didn't know whether to blame the Univolt or the solar set-up, but it was a pain. The batteries finally failed completely three years ago and I replaced them with a pair from Sam's Club. No problems since then. I am more regular with my checks (put it on my PDA). Today was the day to check them and they hadn't lost any water at all.

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Old 10-02-2008, 03:44 PM   #8
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I put in new deep cycle batteries this spring. Its plugged in all the time to keep the fridge goin and the batteries charged. I check batteries at the first of every month without fail. I keep distilled water handy at all times Always use distilled water because its devoid of minerals which can mess up a battery.So far so good
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