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Old 10-14-2003, 10:56 AM   #1
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Indoor storage...

Greetings.

In my seemingly endless ongoing feasability study of all things AS, one facet that I have been looking into is storage.

I live in Chicago, and I finally found a place pretty close by the house that has indoor storage. The sapce is heated with those giant overhead gas heater things. There are security cameras, power is available near by as is water so that I can wash/wax the unit. It seems perfect. here are my qustions: With indoor heated parking, what to do with propane tanks. Am I correct to assume one should not store those in an enclosed location like this. Where do you store propane tanks?

My less than air tight garage? Or I have space that is under a back porch with lots of air flow, but what happens to propane when it gets really cold?

I am thinking with the batteries, I might be able to leave those in place on the trailer in storage, and every month or so go in and give them a zap for about an hour. Is this right, or do the batteries need to be outside somewhere too.

Thanks.

Jonathan
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:08 AM   #2
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I would store the propane tanks under the deck with a plastic bag over them to keep the dirt off of them and not worry about it. The cold temp will not bother them in the least while being stored. You can acctually use propane as a refrigerent.

Propane will not freeze in any atmosphere where a Human can exist.

The batteries will be fine in the coach if the stroage place doesn't have a rule against them. The goal is not to let them get below freezing and with the heated storage area you will not have an issue with them.

Charging batteries causes them to out gas Hydrogen so I would not leave them on the charger unless you have a hitech charger that monitors the battery. I would just go down every couple of weeks and put a charge on them for a few hours.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:21 AM   #3
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Batteries

I unhook the batteries from the trailer, i leave them in place but unhook so there is no draw to drain them down between conjical visits to the storage yard, it only take 30 seconds to hook them up for lights.
i am with 59 toaster on the propane, they will not freeze in a sense they are already frozen just to have liquid in them.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:48 AM   #4
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Propane Freeze Point

Propane will maintain liquidity down to -280 degrees fahrenheit at most any pressure, so freezing of a dehydrated cylinder should not be a problem.

Storing in a sealed plastic bag may be a problem, unless precautions are taken to keep the sealed bag dry. Moisture in the bag, not drying off, rust forming, etc.

It's always a tough call as to the best way to protect the finish of the tank. I agree with the toaster that a bag will keep the water off of the tanks, but by the same token, should condensation occur within the sealed bag, the moisture would be trapped on the tanks, and thus aggravate the rusting problem.

Watchagonnado?
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:44 PM   #5
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Batteries

Quote:
I unhook the batteries from the trailer, i leave them in place but unhook so there is no draw to drain them down
I was under the impression you had to keep them charged/hooked??!!
We just bought 100' cable for that...

What if we leave the battery where it always is, disconnect it as you say and then the temperature goes below freezing?

Will we lose the battery?

We don't have a garage where to store it and don't know how often we'll be able to give it a charge until next season. Will this be a problem?

Any advise?

Thanks
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:58 PM   #6
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Re: Batteries

Quote:
Originally posted by KIMILI


I was under the impression you had to keep them charged/hooked??!!
We just bought 100' cable for that...

What if we leave the battery where it always is, disconnect it as you say and then the temperature goes below freezing?

Will we lose the battery?

We don't have a garage where to store it and don't know how often we'll be able to give it a charge until next season. Will this be a problem?

Any advise?

Thanks

Let me clear that up.

Going below freezing is not a major problem for a battery as long as it's regularly topped off. If you can't charge the battery for an extended time then it's best to avoid storing in a location where it will be below freezing.

My second concern is with charging while not able to check on it regularly. Univolts are known for overcharging batteries. If you have a good charger like a Intili with the battery minder then yes leave them plugged in and check the electrolite weekly if your storing it at home.

The secondary concern with storing indoors, like Jonathan is planning, is if the battery does get into problems it will start outgassing Hydrogen. Hydrogen is possibly more dangerious then propane leak in a closed area. The storage place may even require that he remove the batteries for the same concern as well as the propane tanks.
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Old 10-14-2003, 01:40 PM   #7
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Thanks

...so if we unplug the battery and leave it in its place until spring (charging it maybe once a month for a couple of hours) even if it freezes it should be ok...right?

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Old 10-14-2003, 02:25 PM   #8
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59toaster.

Does the problem of leaking hydrogen gas happen just during the charging state, or can it just happen sitting there disconected. I would hate to blow up the storage facility, especially with my AS in there.

Stupid battery questions: Don't they have sealed batteries that don't need to be topped off, or is that what is equiped on AS. I thought the batteries that took distilled water went out with disco. Also do these batteries have a "memory" like NiCads?

It looks like I would need some sort of battery charging rig for this occasion, along with an air compressor. OYE VEY.

Jonathan
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Old 10-14-2003, 02:57 PM   #9
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I store my Bambi in an indoor warehouse with quite a few other RV's, Boats, Trailers, etc. I do take the battery home and put it on a Battery Minder to keep it fully charged and unsulfated, but I do not take the propane tanks off the trailer. This storage facility has been operating for over 20 years with no mishaps.
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by KIMILI
Thanks

...so if we unplug the battery and leave it in its place until spring (charging it maybe once a month for a couple of hours) even if it freezes it should be ok...right?

If it's stored in freezing temps I would charge it weekly or possibly upgrade to a Inteli Charger that can do managed battery charging without over charging. Even a 5 watt solar pannel would be a help and probably let you push to every two weeks.

The problem with freezing is it causes the battery to discharge even with no load. Lead acid batteries should always be stored with a full charge to help prevent Sulfating. That's why people will store them where it doesn't freeze so they don't have to do as much upkeep.
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:01 PM   #11
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I keep two propane cylinders in the garage. I know, I know..............About 10 years ago, in a nearby condo, someone kept their grill in the garage, and somehow the cylinder leaked. You already know the outcome to this story.

On summer day, I took a walk across the street to see my father in law. He was standing in front of his garage smoking a cigarette. I asked him what that hissing noise was. "What hissing noise?", he replied. I spied a 20# cylinder in the corner, and sure enough, that is where it was coming from. A half a turn and the hissing was gone. What happened? Who knows. All I know is, I may have prevented a disaster from occuring.

Propane bottles are best stored outside.
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by crazylev
59toaster.

Does the problem of leaking hydrogen gas happen just during the charging state, or can it just happen sitting there disconected. I would hate to blow up the storage facility, especially with my AS in there.

Stupid battery questions: Don't they have sealed batteries that don't need to be topped off, or is that what is equiped on AS. I thought the batteries that took distilled water went out with disco. Also do these batteries have a "memory" like NiCads?

It looks like I would need some sort of battery charging rig for this occasion, along with an air compressor. OYE VEY.

Jonathan
The faster it's discharging or charging the more hoydrogen it will out gas. Most conventional Lead acid batteries even if they are maintance free will still outgas.

"Memory" is not something a Lead acid battery experiances. Sulfated plates is what they experiance. A sulfating is a layer of materiial that will form on the plates inside the battery. It prevents the chemical reaction between the lead and the electrolite from happening. When it happens the battery will not be able to accept a charge.

Lead acid batteries like to be charged and kept at a full charge. If they are left in a discharged state that's when they will sulfate the worst.

NiCad, NiMh on the other had will self discharge at a fairly high rate. This will leave them in a discharged state after a few weeks. Doesn't really hurt them. Most of the time Memory can be reveresed by 2-3 full and rapid discharges and good deep charges.

I included NiMh because contrary to popular belief you can form a Memory on them as well. It just takes a lot longer for it to happen then NiCad.

On any rechargable battery such as NiCad, NiMh, LiIon, LiPolimer the battery is actually rated in charge cycles. A funny side effect is the more resistant a battery of the above types are to "Memory" the less available charge cycles they have. A Properly treated NiCad will out last a LiIon by 2-3 times.


I have customers that treat NiCad's properly get 3-4 years out of them. I have NiCads for my Makita cordless tools that are 10 years old and still servicable. I see people fry batteries in less then 12 months daily. That's why the LiIon and Polmers appear to be better then NiCad or NiMh. They will take poor charging habits longer (and make it out of the 12 month warranty period before going belly up). The other benifit is they are lighter and on small hand held devices that is a gain as well.


On any of the above batteries the best way to treat them is a full discharge followed by a full charge. The first THREE charges are the most important. They "Form" the battery. They need to be done on the home charger and fully discharged before the next charge and it trains the battery.

The problem is most people don't treat batteries properly. They don't properly form the battery or they only charge with a Cig charger. On something like a Cell Phone (I repair them for a living so this why I know so much about batteries ) people want them ready to go so many people get into the bad habit of getting home from work and throwing it on the charger every night or even worse throwing them on the cig charger every time then get in the car. Properly treated in a good service area most cell phones will go at least 2 days on a charge unless your a marathon talker. The average User will go 4-5 days.

I mention "In Good service area" because cell phones make their battery time when not in a call by locking on to a strong site and going to "Sleep". In a poor service area they never sleep because they keep trying to find a strong signal and keep keying the transmitter to ping the systems to try to find a usuable carrier. Most phones in the middle of know where and showing "No Service" will run down a battery in a day. Best to turn the phone off when that happens and concerve the battery till you get into a area with a better signal.

Ok now that I side tracked the post to other types of batteries I will shut up.

Cig cords are brutal on batteries and leaving them plugged in all the time really does a number on the battery. I recomend to my customers using them only as an emergency charger and using the supplied home charger for most charging.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:08 AM   #13
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59Toaster.

You are a battery genius!!! And thank you all very much who responded.

Jonathan
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Old 10-15-2003, 02:51 PM   #14
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59toaster:
Many Karmas to you! I have done a lot of reading and have asked a lot of questions about batteries. Your post has clarified a lot in just a few sentences for me. Especially, why the charge on my cell phone goes down so fast since I rarely use it. Apparently, because my workplace is in a bad zone - I loose my signal and get it back on the way home which makes my poor cell work as many long hours as I do.
Thanks for being thorough. Understanding the complexities of different type batteries isn't off topic at all. One of the things that make this forum so terrific is the huge knowledge base it's users share. I think it's ONe of the peculiar things about 'Airstream people'.

Cheers, Linda
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