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Old 11-30-2014, 06:49 AM   #1
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Battery Disconnect for Short Term Storage

I'm 10 days and 2000 miles out on my first trip in my 2014 25" Flying Cloud. It has been an interesting experience, with a handful of newbie mistakes, but so far, so good. Camped in 10 degree weather in the NM mountains, try doing that with a tent!!!!

Changing circumstances dictate that I fly back from CO to NC for 12 days and then back to CO to continue the trip. I am planning on winterizing and storing the trailer and putting it in short term outdoor storage. The low temps here will be single digit for one night and then in the 30's for the next week or so. After that, who knows?

Would you experienced air streamers advice disconnecting the batteries given the above conditions? I COULD remove them, but would need to impose upon relatives to store the batteries in their garage(s).

I have the anti-freeze winterizing procedures down pretty pat (having winterized and de-winterized twice on the trip), but any other advice for this 12 day period would be appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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you can easily install a blade adapter for cut off. You simply lift the blade and the batteries will be disconnected. If you could hook up to power and use a trickle charger that would be better. The battery minder type is the best.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:41 AM   #3
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12 days shouldn't be a problem as-is. Simply select "store" on the use/store switch by the main door.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
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If you could hook up to power and use a trickle charger that would be better. The battery minder type is the best.
I agree. The battery minder is cheap insurance to keep the batteries from freezing and they will be fully charged and ready to go. You will be able to use this quite often unless you switch to a 3 or 4 stage converter whenever you store the AS.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:56 AM   #5
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The storage facility does not have electricity. I could try to find another one with electricity, but this one is nice and convenient to a great RV park.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:10 AM   #6
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Wondering how Interstate advises, I called them.

They say, cold weather maintenance entails charging the batteries once a month during cold weather (when not in use).

They also said the batteries were designed to temperatures down to minus 21 degrees.

I've just installed two LifeLines, and their techs say disconnect both negative connections, and charge every other month.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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Your batteries will be fine for 12 days even without a trickle charger on them. Just make sure to disconnect them from the coach's electrical system so they don't discharge due to a phantom load and that they are fully charged when you leave them.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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I was trying to figure out how to prevent my batteries from over charging or loosing water when we are long term living in our AS in Florida for the winter. I read that the inverter does nor have to have batteries connected for it to supply 12V to the camper. So I thought I would see what happens when I put the storage switch in the storage mode as it disconnects the batteries using a solenoid. I unplugged the camper from shore power and placed the store switch in the store mode the red light went out signaling no 12V. I then plugged in the shore power and checked that the red 12V light came back on. I checked the battery voltage and they were at 12.75 volts. I then put the switch in the non storage mode and checked the batteries they were at 13.75V.



So if you want to disconnect your batteries so they don't overcharge just put the storage switch in the store mode. Remember your red light will always be lit while you are plugged in as the inverter is supplying 12V. To verify the batteries are in fact disconnected I turned on the 12V lights and then unplugged the shore power and the lights went out the red 12v light was out also. You do need to return the storage switch to the non storage position when you are traveling so you have 12V from the batteries for the fridge to work on propane provided you have one with auto ignition.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:20 PM   #9
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For the few minutes it would take to pull the ground off of the batteries, I would do it. There's enough phantom load to drag the batteries down further than I would want in my trailer.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:48 PM   #10
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Disconnect the negative cables, wrap tape on it so it won't short out , good enough..
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:54 PM   #11
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Even with the battery disconnect solenoid in the open contact position (store) you will still have parasitic loads that will draw down your batteries, as Airstream wires some devices around the disconnect directly to the bus bars. On top of those, any liquid lead acid 'wet' battery has a very high rate of internal resistance (12%), which in and of itself will eat away at your battery's charge by a process called self-discharge unlike AGM's or lithiums).

Best scenario is to be certain that they are fully charged just before you put the trailer into storage, and then remove the negative battery terminal that leads into the trailer (there is also another parallel connection between the battery negative terminals).

Wrapping with tape is optional, but I would do it just in case the cable moves to a positive terminal and shorts, or springs back to the negative terminal that you just removed it from.

The batteries will not remain at full charge, even after 12 days due to self-discharge, but they will certainly be usable for your return.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:04 PM   #12
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I attended a seminar that was put on by Interstate Batteries. It was stated that if the battery was in a state of discharge that it could freeze and if so it could explode.
12 days fully charged and disconnected should not pose a problem but better to be informed.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:22 AM   #13
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Troutjock: One idea that I haven't heard is adding a solar charger that may keep your batteries in a charged condition. I personally remove and use a meter-minder with batteries in my own garage when in storage. Just drove through and camped at TAPS in Asheville. Rained steady all night. Good Luck
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:53 AM   #14
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I attended a seminar that was put on by Interstate Batteries. It was stated that if the battery was in a state of discharge that it could freeze and if so it could explode.
12 days fully charged and disconnected should not pose a problem but better to be informed.
You should NEVER store a battery in a discharged state under any circumstances, as it will lead to plate sulfation and extreme loss of electrical storage capacity......or possible destruction of the battery as stated above. Always have your batteries at full charge before you remove them from a charging source, disconnect or store them.
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