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Old 10-13-2016, 08:34 AM   #1
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Leaving batteries in trailer during winter

I've always removed the batteries from my two Airstreams during the winter and kept them in the house. But I have sold one of my trailers and replaced it with a 2008 CCD. I have installed two 100-watt solar panels which keep the two Interstate batteries charged when I am boondocking. I am wondering if I could leave the batteries in the trailer during the winter since they should be kept well-charged.

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Old 10-13-2016, 08:41 AM   #2
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Yes, a fully charged battery will not freeze. Think about all the batteries in all the cars in the coldest parts of the country. I don't remember ever having heard of one freezing. Keep it charged and you will be fine.

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Old 10-13-2016, 08:50 AM   #3
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Curious if storing with full charge / topping off with solar for a few months over winter will degrade battery life at a higher or lesser rate vs storing indoors.

I too am considering just leaving my Lifelines in the trailer for winter here in colorado...
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:54 AM   #4
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The posts in this recent thread may be useful:
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:51 AM   #5
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Bought my trailer last week of 2012. The 1989 two panel solar system has kept the two batteries alive even though I ignored them completely during a year in storage.

Got it out, plugged it in, added water and seems okay for the time being. The batteries are six years old. I could turn on lights, etc, before plugging in.

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Old 10-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #6
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If you're storing under a roof, you could always replace the stock one-stage converter/charger with a smart 3-stage converter/charger and leave the trailer plugged in all winter with the switch in the "use" position. That's what we do.

Plenty of threads here on how to make that upgrade if you decide to go for it. I recently heard our dealer quote someone roughly $600+ to do it, but with a little patience you can DIY for the cost of the new unit, and your own time, sweat and new swear words you'll invent along the way. Here's where we describe our experience:
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:12 PM   #7
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One point I must make ... two years ago my solar panel was covered for most of the winter with a couple feet of snow. Ergo, no solar charge occurred for the six months and I had one dead battery in the spring and one that was usable for last year (I replaced the second one this spring).

Last winter was not so snowy and they survived. I am taking them in this year as the forecast is for a much harsher winter. Depending on where you are please consider this.

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Old 10-13-2016, 12:30 PM   #8
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Solar panels work great unless they are going to be covered with snow for several months.

Oops, looks like John already covered this point above. I had the exact same thing happen two dead batteries come spring last year.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:17 PM   #9
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This is such a timely and helpful thread. I was getting ready to ask for help on the very question. We have a 2017 Classic that will be stored in an enclosed garage this winter just outside of Boulder, CO. There is a120v outlet available and I was thinking of using a battery tender to keep the batteries charged and freeze free this winter.

My question, and I'm a bit embarrassed that we don't know this, is how do I connect the battery tender so that both batteries are charged? Do I use a single tender and connect to the positive on one and negative on the other battery since they are set up in parallel?

Thank you for all the help and advice. This forum has saved us numerous times since taking delivery of our AS and we're super grateful.

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Old 10-13-2016, 02:21 PM   #10
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Leaving batteries in trailer during winter

Hey, a battery tender is also a very good idea, much cheaper and easier than switching out the converter / charger. Connect the red battery tender clip to the red terminal on one battery and the black clip to the black terminal on the other battery. Red is positive, black is negative. Battery tender will tell you via a colored LED whether it is connected properly. You cross batteries with the tender because that way you can be sure it is running current fully through both of them.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:53 PM   #11
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I use a tender on my pickup truck batteries.. but not able to cross them like he can and they are not on same side of truck, so i just hook tender up to one battery which is connected to other one and they both get the voltage.

When i measured it on the kill o watt meter it was like $2.50 per month for the tender. local elec rate of .09 KWh.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:46 PM   #12
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I use a Pro Mariner battery charger/tender. My model charges two batteries. They make other versions up to four batteries at once. Does an equalization once a month as well.

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Old 10-13-2016, 05:51 PM   #13
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My question is: If I connect my "Genius" charger to the batteries, should I disconnect a battery lead from the trailer? Or just leave it connected with the switch in 'store'?
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:16 PM   #14
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I disconnect the jumpers between the batteries.


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