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Old 07-11-2019, 03:57 PM   #1
Rivet Master
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Atlanta , Georgia
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How do you keep your battery fresh when the trailer's in storage?

We opted to store our trailer in storage to get some protection from weather. Typically, we tow it from storage to home the week before we depart, and charge the battery at home. But sometimes we get to storage--either because we're going to leave from there or because we're going to pick the trailer up to bring it home and get ready--the battery's dead and the power jack doesn't work. The storage place doesn't have power outlets available, so a trickle charger can't be used.

How do I avoid the dead battery? Surely other people must have this issue. Do you leave the battery at home where you can charge it and then install it in the trailer before you head out? Is there some other arrangement I should think about?

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Old 07-11-2019, 04:05 PM   #2
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2019 30' International
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I'd remove the battery, take it home, and put it on a battery tender in the garage. That way it'll be ready to go, and when you go to leave on your next trip you'll just have to take it with you and install it before you go.

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Old 07-11-2019, 04:15 PM   #3
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My solar does a good job on ambient light even when under cover. I was surprised because I didnít think it would.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:01 PM   #4
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Physically disconnect your battery terminals and your batteries should last months without over discharging. Alternatively you can install a battery disconnect switch.

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Old 07-11-2019, 06:05 PM   #5
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NCR , Ontario
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we remove the LION battery, take it home, and put it on a battery tender in the basement for winter

i then put the old lead acid inside. it runs off the mains , thus i can work on and keep status of the US during the cold snowy months

we use mostly victron parts. they all talk to each other thus i can monitor them from the iNet
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:21 PM   #6
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Pulse Tech makes a solar charger that will maintain your battery (ies) and its pulsing charge will prevent sulfating of the battery(ies). Don’t know if it will work on lithium ion batteries.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:35 PM   #7
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Our coach has a battery disconnect switch that completely removes loads from the battery bank. Batteries went into storage at 12.7 and came out at 12.5 seven months later. You can do similar if you disconnect the battery cables which has same effect as a disconnect switch. The use/store switch does not remove parasitic loads.

If your batteries are in poor condition, they will not hold a charge. You can limp them along by removing them and charging at home. At some point, replacement is required.

Hope that helps. Pat
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:21 PM   #8
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When I had a trailer in the storage lot I'd load the generator in the truck and put a quick charge on before moving the trailer.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:13 AM   #9
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The master disconnect switch when turned to the off position on my model year removes all parasitic power draws except for the propane detector. I find that I can hold power in the batteries for up to 3 months when turning the switch in the off position. With the switch in the on position I can only hold power for about 30 days.

When I complete my last campout of the year, I remove the batteries and place them on a trickle charge.

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Old 07-12-2019, 09:19 AM   #10
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Add a physical disconnect switch. The Store button still allows too much parasitic loss.

I recently changed to this one:
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:29 AM   #11
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Get a $10 kill switch.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:30 AM   #12
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Ok, assuming your trailer is still set up with the stock gear, it's got lead acid batteries in it. It may have one or two batteries. Keeping track of what AS decided to do each year is a bit

If what you have has been run dead on a regular basis, they likely are shot and should be replaced. Lead acid does not like to be run to zero and left there. What you replace them with its up to you. Cost wise, deep cycle batteries from Costco seem to get a lot of attention here on the forum.

Once you get the batteries back to reasonable shape, check that the converter / charger is still ok. They don't much like running into dead batteries. You may or may not have a working one at this point.

There are a number of "parasitic loads" on your trailer that will drain even a good battery dead in under a month. You either need to supply power to the trailer or fully disconnect the battery(s). If you are in covered storage with no power, disconnect is the only answer. If you store outside, solar will do the trick.

For most of us, pulling batteries is a bit of a pain. Putting in a switch or solenoid of some sort usually is the route of choice. Switches can range from things with a big knob on them to a gizmo that mounts on a battery post. Solenoids are a bit more money, but they let you do the trick with a remote pushbutton.

One of an almost infinite number of "big knob" switches:

A very good (and not exactly cheap) solenoid:

The battery post gizmo:

There are lots of choices in each category so this is by no means a list of everything or anything you could use.

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Old 07-12-2019, 09:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
How do I avoid the dead battery?
1. Remove the batteries and take them home.
2. Install a battery disconnect. (not the "use/store" switch.)

A real disconnect removes all the things that drain your battery except it's own internal resistance.
Here's my blog on how I did my switch. It may be overkill, but it's worked great.

Yesterday I made sure the batteries had water. I use only distilled water and each cell needed about 1/2 cup. The plates were covered but I brought them up to the marks.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:50 AM   #14
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Better to disconnect or leave on solar charge while parked at home? Two 6 volt golf cart.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:59 AM   #15
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Quartz Hill , California
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I used a small solar panel to trickle the batteries. My trailer is also in covered storage. I changed bays when I purchased my 30 foot. Now it is in the shade most of the day. Solar is no longer an option.
Disconnect the negative terminal to stop the drain of things like the propane detector. This will give you more time between uses.
I take my batteries home now and put them on a Battery Tender. I got a dual terminal model from Amazon. Hook it to your batteries and forget about them until your next trip.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:05 AM   #16
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No right answer, IMHO. Batteries will last longer if they stay fully charged, which solar is very good at doing. Self-discharge exists for lead-acid cells, but the amount depends on how long you leave them. You have to "weigh" the value of taking them home and keeping them charged vs. how heavy the damned things are to lift out of the battery box, take them home, and then put them back. If you are talking all winter, take them home and keep them charged. Between camping trips, I would just disconnect them but as a matter of practice, I would connect the trailer umbilical to the truck with the engine running before playing around with the tongue jack.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:23 AM   #17
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:37 AM   #18
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Portland , Oregon
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Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
we remove the LION battery, take it home, and put it on a battery tender in the basement for winter

i then put the old lead acid inside. it runs off the mains , thus i can work on and keep status of the US during the cold snowy months

we use mostly victron parts. they all talk to each other thus i can monitor them from the iNet
With Lithium there’s no need to trickle charge them. They only discharge a few percent a month. Depending on the charger keeping them on constant charge may even shorten their life. This FAQ on the Progressive Dynamics site has some details.

How Should I Store My RV Lithium Battery During the Winter?

Another advantage of Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries is that they do not require a trickle charge during long periods of storage. In fact, disconnecting the charger during winter storage or long term inactivity and allowing the battery to rest is actually beneficial and will improve long term battery life. Before putting your RV into winter storage, simply connect it to 120 VAC power for up to 10 hours for large battery packs and fully charge the battery, then remove AC power and hit the battery disconnect switch. In the spring it will be ready to accept a full charge before your first camping trip. Lithium Batteries have a very low self discharge rate and only loose 2 to 4% of their charge per month.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:46 AM   #19
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I have electricity available at my storage so I turn the switch to store and put a battery tender on my batteries.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:56 AM   #20
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How much light is in the storage area? You may have enough light for some small panels to charge indoors. Research because some panels are known to charge in less light than others. I installed wiring to each terminal of Yamaha 3000 generator and attached a 2.5 watt solar panel pointed toward the garage door window. It keeps the battery fully charged and I still run the generator under load for an hour every 30-60 days. I am a big fan of 5 watt PulseTech solar chargers and use one on my tow vehicle if I know it will be sitting for a few weeks without being moved. Also, how far are you from a wall and is it a thin aluminum wall with space under it where you could run a wire to a panel you could mount outside. Of course, you take a chance of someone stealing it. I only see one other choice and that would be to take the battery out each time you leave the storage area. If that is the case, I would install an Anderson connector between the wires leading from the battery posts and wires leading out of the battery box. This will save time because you don't have to use a wrench to take the cables off. Matter of fact, if you know the battery is fully charged, you could disconnect at the Anderson connector and it would cut power to the trailer.


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