Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
one of those
 
Gringo's Avatar
 
2011 27 FB International
'03 F250 PSD , Airstream summers, Catalac winters
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,091
Are my batteries gonna be toast?

Just getting ready to head up to the Rockies and dust off the Airstream. We left it in outside storage for the past 11 months. I turned off the dc to the coach, as I remember, but I did not have a way to trickle the batteries. Should I assume that they are toast after sitting for 11 months through a northern Colorado winter?
__________________
A Blog from the Devil's Triangle
https://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Gringo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
RUMSHIP's Avatar
 
1988 32' Excella
Bonita , California
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 325
Images: 16
I would think if they are 3 years or older they my done. Only way to know for sure is charge them up and see if they hold a charge. If money is not an issue, then replace and be on the safe side.
__________________
Happiness only real when shared.
Christopher Johnson McCandless
2/12/68 - 8/18/92
RUMSHIP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
AldeanFan's Avatar
 
1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 766
Images: 3
I would put them on a charger and see what happens, if they are toast, batteries are readily available almost anywhere and quick to change if necessary. If they do recover you've saved the cost of replacement at least temporarily. Check you water levels first.

I seem to have good luck reviving batteries, one of my classic cars just sat for the last 11 months in a friend's garage (unheated in the Great White North). I had hooked up a battery maintainer but the power was shut off at some point during the winter. A battery charger can actually drain a battery if not pluged in. We push started the car, and I drove home (10 miles) then put the charger on it for 3 days. The battery seems to have totally recovered and I drove the car all weekend with no problems. This is a mid grade battery from the local parts store, about 5 years old now.
__________________
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
AldeanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
They might be better than you think, if, in fact, they were disconnected from all loads. But, the slightest load over that time period has killed them, and they probably will not come back. By slight load, I mean even a few miliamps.
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
AldeanFan's Avatar
 
1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 766
Images: 3
Also, I use a solar charger for the Airstream, pluged in to the 12v outlet in the bathroom with the panel hanging in the window facing south. It won't charge but will maintain my battery when not in use. This winter I plan on setting something similar up in the window of the garage I rent for the old car.
__________________
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
AldeanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,220
I bought a car that had been sitting for 3-4 years, I charged the battery for 2 days and then used it in the car for a year and a half before it died.
Wazbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2005 19' Safari
GLENDALE , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,453
Depends on the type of battery and whether they were fully charged when you stored your RV. We had two Optima Blue Tops in our boat that would hold a full charge from early fall to late spring when completely disconnected from the boat and each other, using a marine battery isolator switch. While this was only 7-9 months, the Blue Tops were supposed to last 12 months or more in dead storage.
Phoenix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
purman's Avatar
 
1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,542
I left mine in all winter(forgot to take them out ). 8 months hooked up and they are still fine. One battery is the original so 5 years at least. The other is 3 years old. I have no drain on them if they are left hooked up. Give them a try.
__________________
Jason

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
AIR # 31243
WBCCI # 6987
FOUR CORNERS UNIT
purman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 06:27 AM   #9
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,868
Actually, the issue will not be so much whether they discharged, but whether they froze. If they froze, they're toast. You should be able to tell just by looking; the caseing probably would have bulged, if not cracked.

If they didn't freeze, they proably just need to be recharged and they'll be fine.
__________________
I thought getting old would take longer!
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 12:17 PM   #10
one of those
 
Gringo's Avatar
 
2011 27 FB International
'03 F250 PSD , Airstream summers, Catalac winters
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,091
Well, it's good news that they're not necessarily a foregone conclusion. I am going to have to come up with some solution long term, as this trailer is going to be sitting in storage in the Rockies every winter for some years to come. Do you guys use the little solar panels to trickle charge? or remove the batteries and try to find someplace warm to keep them?
__________________
A Blog from the Devil's Triangle
https://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Gringo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
2005 19' Safari
GLENDALE , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,453
If they are in unattended storage in subfreezing weather, I would recommend storing them inside (where it's above freezing) on a trickle charger.
Phoenix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
purman's Avatar
 
1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
Well, it's good news that they're not necessarily a foregone conclusion. I am going to have to come up with some solution long term, as this trailer is going to be sitting in storage in the Rockies every winter for some years to come. Do you guys use the little solar panels to trickle charge? or remove the batteries and try to find someplace warm to keep them?
we also live at 7000 ft on the westside of the Rockies. Until this year(when I forgot) I pulled them out, and placed them on my WOOD "not concrete" bench in my garage, I put a trickle charger on them every month to keep them topped off.
__________________
Jason

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
AIR # 31243
WBCCI # 6987
FOUR CORNERS UNIT
purman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #13
one of those
 
Gringo's Avatar
 
2011 27 FB International
'03 F250 PSD , Airstream summers, Catalac winters
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,091
I know that storing them inside is the ideal solution. however, I sincerely doubt that the airlines would let me bring them home with me as baggage. It has never gotten below 65 degrees at my house...
__________________
A Blog from the Devil's Triangle
https://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Gringo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Cold is a preservative. A charged battery will not freeze. Is the worst winter test is to park your Airstream in Death Valley? We all used to laugh at this non-gotcha endurance test...



You probably had a fairly good charge present through the coldest months last winter. But plan on disconnecting the cables when you are away for months and months. A disconnected battery will drop charge slowly. That is accelerated by parasitic draw when it is hooked up -- odd little things like the LP detector are still functioning.

I bring my batteries inside in the winter so I can put them on a trickle charger for a couple days once a month. I don't store my 'Stream at home, so doing that while they're still in the Safari is not easy. Storing batteries on a concrete floor does not cause them to discharge or get damaged.

Check the electrolyte levels, plug it in and see what ya got.
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
I am a contrarian on this issue. Batteries, charged, to not freeze down to about -40 or below. If they did those in Alaska and the Yukon would never be able to have a car which sat outside at all. There is less self discharge (chemical action) at lower temps. They do not need to be kept warm.

There is no real reason to remove your trailer batteries from your trailer in the winter. They will be just as happy there as in your basement, or garage. There is no need to store them specially, and yes, Virginia, they can be left on a concrete floor.

If they are fully charged they will survive a winter just fine, but only if there is no drain on them at all. By no drain, I mean that they have clean tops (current flows through the grime and acid film on the battery tops) and have either a total electrical disconnect switch or one terminal of the battery wire is completely removed.

If you can, a very small solar charger is a good addition, especially for 6 months or more of storage to make up for the internal self discharge, but not absolutely necessary.

And yes, I expect I will hear from those who disagree with me. (but they are wrong.... big grin).
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 03:15 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
purman's Avatar
 
1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I am a contrarian on this issue. Batteries, charged, to not freeze down to about -40 or below. If they did those in Alaska and the Yukon would never be able to have a car which sat outside at all. There is less self discharge (chemical action) at lower temps. They do not need to be kept warm.

There is no real reason to remove your trailer batteries from your trailer in the winter. They will be just as happy there as in your basement, or garage. There is no need to store them specially, and yes, Virginia, they can be left on a concrete floor.
.
Really?? I was always told not to put batteries on concrete. Guess I never questioned why. But now I think about it, why would concrete discharge a battery?? It's no like it is drawing anything form the battery..
__________________
Jason

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
AIR # 31243
WBCCI # 6987
FOUR CORNERS UNIT
purman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 03:21 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
idroba -- I'm astounded you would say that! I agree with you fully.

Jason, yep -- an old hubby's tale I guess. lewster will back us up on this point.

I bring my batteries inside only for convenience.
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 06:25 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
Skater's Avatar
 
1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,344
Fortunately, the guys at Car Talk have the answer on the battery vs. concrete floor issue.
__________________
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
Skater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 10:36 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
Goal15's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Holly Lake Ranch , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,779
Images: 1
So, Gringo, how were the batteries? Enjoy Fall in Colorado.
__________________
Dana and Olga
2006 Safari 23
2011 Tundra Double Cab
Goal15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #20
one of those
 
Gringo's Avatar
 
2011 27 FB International
'03 F250 PSD , Airstream summers, Catalac winters
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,091
well, they did not freeze and split, at least. We were surprised at how well the trailer did stored outside in the Rockies over the winter. The batteries were dead and one tire was flat. I checked the level in all the cells and they were all slightly low. I just topped them off with distilled water yesterday after moving the trailer from the storage place to a KOA. We finally got plugged in yesterday and they've been on charge overnight. I really don't yet have a way to test them, guess I need a hydrometer. I'll pick one up at next opportunity.

Thinking ahead to next season, any recommendations on a small solar trickle charger? Something I could put in one of the sun roofs and keep inside the trailer would be good. I don't want to leave any external solar stuff on it, as we literally won't see this trailer again from october until probably next August. Another rocky mountain winter coming up.
__________________
A Blog from the Devil's Triangle
https://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Gringo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motorhomes, and Charging Batteries.... Keyair General Motorhome Topics 18 10-15-2011 08:21 AM
Bad Batteries? Nightwatch Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 8 05-23-2011 01:58 PM
Controller wiring to bus bar or batteries? txstreamer Generators & Solar Power 4 04-26-2011 06:10 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.