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Old 09-04-2014, 11:21 AM   #1
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storing in a heated garage for the winter, tips?

Hi,

my 19FC will be stored in a temp controlled (55F) garage from the end of October to late April / early May. It's a rented spot.

I have a few questions:

- Do I need to remove/unplug the batteries. If so, do I need to charge them once a month? Any charger recommendation?
- Should I remove the propane tanks?
- Can/should I keep the roof vent open (there is a maxair over it) for ventilation
- Do I need to fill the tanks with antifreeze?
- Do I need to lift the tires off of the ground? What if I can't?
- Any tips?

thanks!
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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I assume there is 120v power available? If so, just get a BatteryMinder and hook it to the battery, turn off the cutoff switch and leave the battery in place (after checking electrolyte level)

If you're confident in the 55* all winter, no antifreeze necessary.

I would put on jack stands if possible. If not...it is what it is.

I leave my roof vents open all winter in outside storage, with vent covers installed, of course.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Just close the propane tank valves and leave in place.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
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I pump what water out of tank that I can as my AS does not have drain valves on tank empty both holding tanks put couple qts. water in black tank to keep anything in side from drying out black tank, no anti freeze in lines keep vents closed as dust will get inside as I do not any covers on vents turn propane valves off, back in lock doors in machine shed forget about it till next spring. Keep heat set around 60 deg. [gas heat] if power goes out fire up gen. to run furnace & lites. Do nothing with batteries as I plug into 110 converter takes care them & I usually get over 5 yrs from them, marine deep cycle batts. nothing special.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:54 AM   #5
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does power/heat ever go out in that area? you might not have the option to run propane in indoor storage.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by featherbedder View Post
I pump what water out of tank that I can as my AS does not have drain valves on tank empty both holding tanks put couple qts. water in black tank to keep anything in side from drying out black tank, no anti freeze in lines keep vents closed as dust will get inside as I do not any covers on vents turn propane valves off, back in lock doors in machine shed forget about it till next spring. Keep heat set around 60 deg. [gas heat] if power goes out fire up gen. to run furnace & lites. Do nothing with batteries as I plug into 110 converter takes care them & I usually get over 5 yrs from them, marine deep cycle batts. nothing special.
Interesting that you plug it in and allow the convertor/charger to put a charge into the batteries all winter and everything is fine.

I'm the same as you as I leave my unit in a heated shop all winter but I don't leave it plugged in. I was always afraid of cooking the batteries with the charger... Maybe my thinking on this has been wrong?

As for the power going out - I'm fortunate, as I have a Generator system that will kick-in as soon as it detects the power from the grid has stopped suppling the yard and then cut itself off as soon as the grid power comes back on. It's totally automatic and works great.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:15 AM   #8
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Smile batterys on charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticfox View Post
Interesting that you plug it in and allow the convertor/charger to put a charge into the batteries all winter and everything is fine.

I'm the same as you as I leave my unit in a heated shop all winter but I don't leave it plugged in. I was always afraid of cooking the batteries with the charger... Maybe my thinking on this has been wrong?

As for the power going out - I'm fortunate, as I have a Generator system that will kick-in as soon as it detects the power from the grid has stopped suppling the yard and then cut itself off as soon as the grid power comes back on. It's totally automatic and works great.
I leave AS plug into house all the time except when on road or boon docking with no hook ups, & I stated batts. last 5yrs. or more I use deep cycle marine batts. with highest cca I can find that will fit in box. Original converter went south many yrs. ago replaced with intelli chge. it gave up today now have 3 stage 55 amp power max on the way,
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by featherbedder View Post
I leave AS plug into house all the time except when on road or boon docking with no hook ups, & I stated batts. last 5yrs. or more I use deep cycle marine batts. with highest cca I can find that will fit in box. Original converter went south many yrs. ago replaced with intelli chge. it gave up today now have 3 stage 55 amp power max on the way,
Ok this is making more sense now. As the battery over charge issues really only come into play with the original convertor/charger as it is a singe stage. As soon as one goes to a multi stage units it's a different world.
Or at least thats how I understand it

Thanks for the extra info

Cheers
Doug
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Ok this is making more sense now. As the battery over charge issues really only come into play with the original convertor/charger as it is a singe stage. As soon as one goes to a multi stage units it's a different world.
Or at least thats how I understand it
Yes, that's correct. If you have a 3 or 4 stage converter/charger, you should store your trailer with shore power plugged in as it will maintain your battery at a float voltage of ~13.2 which is ideal. If you have a single stage charger/converter (which is what comes standard on most AS's), you should leave the batteries on a battery minder or other trickle charger that maintains them at 13.2 volts.

Also, if you don't have a 3 or 4 stage charger, you should get one.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:58 AM   #11
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Thanks for this Fred:
I guess I should assume that I don't have a multi stage convertor/charger, if that is not the norm for Airstream to install.
That said, I do have a selection of different battery chargers including this little fellow that I picked up a year or so ago. I have been using it to charge my boat batteries and it seems to work well:

CTEK Multi US 3300 | CTEK Battery ChargersCTEK Battery Chargers

I guess I could use it on the AS but would have to unhook the batteries as I would not want to put a charger on my batteries and still have the AS convertor/charger hooked in and charging from the house power.
Any good ideas as to how to best deal with these issues?
Thanks

Doug


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Yes, that's correct. If you have a 3 or 4 stage converter/charger, you should store your trailer with shore power plugged in as it will maintain your battery at a float voltage of ~13.2 which is ideal. If you have a single stage charger/converter (which is what comes standard on most AS's), you should leave the batteries on a battery minder or other trickle charger that maintains them at 13.2 volts.

Also, if you don't have a 3 or 4 stage charger, you should get one.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:54 AM   #12
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Doug,

Probably best to unhook your batteries, but not critical. The reason I say this is because if your shore power isn't hooked up and your 12v. DC is on "Store" only small parasitic loads and your propane detector are going to be powered off your batteries. A trickle or float charger will accommodate this small drainage while keeping your batteries suspended at 13.2 volts.

A personal example is I spend the winter months in Florida. Where I live in Maine it got down to -20F last winter and probably 0F in my enclosed garage. I have an inexpensive 12v 2amp battery "maintainer" that I connected to my Toyota RAV4 battery. I left the battery connected. When I returned in May, the battery was fully charged and the car started with no problem.

By the way, don't leave your converter/charger connected at the same time as another charger. Disconnect one or the other. I'd go with the trickle charger rather than a single stage charger because the single stage is going to maintain the batteries at 13.6-13.8v which is too high and will "cook" your batteries.

YMMV.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:18 PM   #13
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I use marine battery tender in my bass boat not out of storage in over 5 yrs. both batts. still good this spring. keeping water level up multi stage converter as stated above by acstokes is correct.
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