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Old 12-26-2013, 11:58 PM   #1
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Pulling coach batteries in winter?

Hi there. As we think about the batteries in our coach and the cold miserable winter weather, we're wondering...should we pull the coach batteries and bring them home instead of leaving them in storage with the trailer?

Assuming that's a good idea, can someone point me to detailed instructions for safely pulling the batteries out of our AS and transporting them home for storage until the next time we go camping?
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:47 AM   #2
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Being in the battery biz for years, I'll toss my hat in the ring for you..

Your deep cycle batteries will provide longer service in years by being stored in a fully charged condition - if that means removing and hauling them back home for the winter, all the better for them...

It's best to remove the NEG connections first - use caution with tools to insure they don't touch both terminals causing a big nasty SPARK, but you already knew that...

Mark your battery cables with some masking tape noting POS & NEG to help when reinstalling...Also covering the POS ends with tape should help insulate them from the chassis in the event the shore power is hooked up before the batteries are reinstalled (with the converted powered on)...

It's best to place your batteries in a box of some kind to protect your car during transport - plastic would be best in case there is any residual acid on the bottom of the batteries - I've even seen the use of an old ice chest to transport them...

You can hook the batteries up to a 'Maintainer' at home to insure they are kept at a fully charged state - or - hook them to a low amperage charger overnight, once a month...

I always get a 'charge' out of these questions... Happy trails...
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the confirmation and the tips. Say, is there some kind of "battery strap" we can get at an automotive shop that makes it easier to safely lift out a battery once we've disconnected it from the trailer? I know those things are really heavy, and don't want to drop them, hurt myself, or splash battery acid all over the place if I can help it.

I love that here on the forum we n00bs can find all kinds of experts in all kinds of things. We're a diverse bunch, drawn together by our love of rivets and aluminum. Thanks again!
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
Thanks for the confirmation and the tips. Say, is there some kind of "battery strap" we can get at an automotive shop that makes it easier to safely lift out a battery once we've disconnected it from the trailer? I know those things are really heavy, and don't want to drop them, hurt myself, or splash battery acid all over the place if I can help it.
Not sure where you'd find them these days, but the device you're looking for is called "battery tongs." Or "battery carrier clamp." You don't see them so often anymore because so many batteries have built-in handles, so I'm not sure where you'd find one for sale, but here's a picture I located through Google:
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:45 AM   #5
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Ah, thank you! I'll check in at my local auto shop to see what they have, as I'd like to pull them this weekend and get them in the warmer garage, snuggled up to a trickle charger until full.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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I will repeat my contrary position, based on years of RV use in northern climates. I never remove my batteries and do not charge them over the winter either. The key is to have them fully charged when you put the rig away, have the tops clean, and to totally disconnect them from the trailer wires so absolutely no power can be drawn from them from things like clocks, radio station maintainers, propane detectors etc.

A fully charged battery will not freeze, and chemical reactions are reduced at low temperatures so in fact storing them outside in the battery box when you live in a cool to cold climate is better for them than inside storage where it is "warm and cozy". Batteries are not human.

And it is a lot easier not to remove and replace them.

I get 5 + years out of my RV batteries. I generally use two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series and the last set I replaced had about 10 years on them, never removed and never charged when the rig was put away all winter.

I do know that many disagree with me on this, but my experience tells me to keep doing what I have been doing, I get great battery life, and no hassles playing with them removing and replacing twice a year. But, once again, they must be fully charged when put away, and totally disconnected.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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Question

Well I guess the new Ford battery is bad....


Ford Battery Maint.
New 6v battery, The Battery Post, 10/05/13 $104.73 w/corrosion protectant.

10/20/13 Charged to green light on battery tender.
Disconnected with meter off
10/25 6.43v
10/28 6.37v
10/30 6.37v
11/02 6.36v
11/04 6.36v
11/12 6.36v 10am, Charging Battery Tender
11/13 6.76v 5pm, green light.
11/16 Start & run, charging 7.1v, B/Tender & meter off.
11/17 6.45v
11/19 6.38v
11/25 6.36v
12/05 6.35v
12/11 6.34v
12/16 6.35v 9am, Charging Battery Tender 7.1v
12/19 7.76v 3pm, green light, Off charge & meter
12/27 6.37v 1:30 pm



FWIW I don't let the 6v get below 6.3v

Bob
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Killing the vampires

Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The key is to have them fully charged when you put the rig away, have the tops clean, and to totally disconnect them from the trailer wires so absolutely no power can be drawn from them from things like clocks, radio station maintainers, propane detectors etc.
Thanks for this comment in particular. We noticed that the charge on our batteries was going down even though we had turned off the battery rocker switch - probably at least in part due to draws like propane detector, which I saw still had a green light on it. Given the propane is turned off at the tanks, we could certainly live without those little vampires sucking the life blood out of our battery. So, that's worth considering as well - I would just need to plug in the trailer and give it a good strong charge before doing that.
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