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Old 01-10-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
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Battery Conundrum

Howdy folks, hope you are all having a great New Year.
Its cold as heck here in Colorado, and the Bambi ('07 16'CCD) is winterized and sitting out in the storage lot. I have one deep cycle 24 battery and was driving out there to charge it up every month, but it fell off the to do list and now it seems the Battery is dead as a doornail.
Here's the conundrum: I live in a one-room cottage, so I could remove the battery, but have no garage or other vented interior space to store it on a trickle charger. Should I take it out, use a 4-stage charger to recharge it, then reinstall and try to use a solar charger to keep it alive out in the lot? any suggestions on what model might keep a 24 alive? we do get a lot of sunshine up here year round, but it gets freaky cold...
Or should i hook it up to the Battery Tender Jr i have for my motorcycle and leave it on the back patio? I'm afraid that the only long term solution is to move to the Keys, but any suggestions in the meantime?
Thanks!
Uncle Max
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:53 AM   #2
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I have never had much luck with a battery that has been fully discharged for any period of time. They seem to lose all their capacity after sitting dead.Removing the battery and placing it on a trickle charger is the best choice for long-term storage. On your patio connected to a charger would work ok, I think.



I spent the bucks and bought AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries. They are completely sealed, and never need water or maintenance. They last longer, and withstand the abuse of the constant cycling better than wet cell batteries.

You could bring am AGM battery home in keep inside your cottage on a charger during periods of time your rig is in storage.

Best Regards
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:57 AM   #3
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I'd recommend this.

5 Watt Pulse Tech Charger/Desulphator | BatteryStuff.com
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:43 AM   #4
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IF it's not totally dead and will take a charge, why not charge it up on the patio and then store it inside until spring and then re-install it? The Bambi's not needing it right now.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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if that battery froze, and it probably would if discharged, the battery is likely toast. never attempt to charge a frozen battery until you are sure it has thawed completely. once thawed you could try charging it outside if it's above freezing.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:54 AM   #6
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I would bring the batt home

I was thinking about building or buying a doghouse for my wet cell. ( I have some batts that I use to run my pellet stove when we lose power)
Putting an upside down garbage can would work to keep the charger and batt dry.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:00 PM   #7
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Hey everyone, thanks for all the great advice. I will take it out and store it in a friend's garage to see if it will take a charge. For next season i think i'll try the solar charger that Bob recommended. My long term goal is to build a bigger battery box and get a couple AGM 6-volts, another thing for the wish list!
thanks again,
UncleMax
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:54 PM   #8
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unclemax
I have on 05 16' CCD - and I've got a couple of thoughts to share for when you get ready to replace your battery.

A single group 27 battery will fit on the shelf - I bought the black plastic battery box for that size, and by trimming the corners on the front (where it gets narrower) you can even keep it covered. The nice thing about this was I didn't have to modify the original battery cables - depending how much slack they left you at the factory, the original cables may or may not reach to a double battery configuration. You can always replace the original cables of course, but it looks like a hassle with the way the factory sealed where they go into the trailer.

I also bought a second group 27 battery at the same time. I don't permanently mount this one to the trailer, but take it along in the back of the tow vehicle if I'm dry camping where there aren't any plug ins. Once I've set up the camper, I can either set it on the ground under the front of the trailer and cable it up to the one mounted on the trailer, or just swap the two once the first one gets discharged. My 05 doesn't have a lot of extra weight capacity so this approach keeps the extra weight off. And If I'm going to a campground with hook ups I don't even need to take the second one.

Another 'must' for these small trailers where we just can't have large battery banks is a small generator and a really good external battery charger that can relatively quickly charge the batteries. With this in your set up you can dry camp for a very long time!

Bob
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemax View Post
Hey everyone, thanks for all the great advice. I will take it out and store it in a friend's garage to see if it will take a charge. For next season i think i'll try the solar charger that Bob recommended. My long term goal is to build a bigger battery box and get a couple AGM 6-volts, another thing for the wish list!
thanks again,
UncleMax
Here's what I did for my "Frankenstein" 12vdc battery. 212 Ah of "Boondocking" power! This is on a 22' CCD but the 16' has the same tongue configuration.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rseagle View Post
Here's what I did for my "Frankenstein" 12vdc battery. 212 Ah of "Boondocking" power! This is on a 22' CCD but the 16' has the same tongue configuration.
Just curious -did you happen to check the tongue weight with the original battery, and your new configuration?
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:50 PM   #11
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Lead-Acid batteries need to be stored in a fully charged condition to avoid gradual sulfating of the plates, which will shorten battery life.

I would suggest charging your 'dead' battery up fully, then connect a 'float' type charger to it during storage...it will then be ready for service with the spring 'thaw'....

I've used one of those 5 watt solar panels hooked to a fully charged battery to keep it 'topped' off during storage...Harbor Freight puts them on sale every couple of months for about $40.

Good luck...
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RDM16CCD View Post
Just curious -did you happen to check the tongue weight with the original battery, and your new configuration?
It's about 100 - 120 lbs extra for the larger battery difference, bracket and cover.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice on the twin 27s and especially for the amazing photos, that is one great setup! my buddies Sue and Jeff (who have a 20' Safari) drove out to the lot in the snow with me today and took the Batt with my Battery Tender Jr to their garage to trickle charge it and see if we can get it back to life. When I reinstall for the Spring I will try to hook up the solar charger. What would we do without our fellow Airstreamers!
best,
UncleMax
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