Electrical winterization - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Maintenance, Winterizing and Routine Care
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-19-2015, 11:52 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Patrol35's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: N. River, New York
Trailer: April 2015, 21, towed by 2011 Tacoma
Posts: 26
Electrical winterization

This posting is asking about how to electrically winterize my 2015 Escape 21. The set up done by ETI has two 6-volt batteries and the standard WFCO WF-8900 distribution center. The trailer is covered and has continuous electrical power hooked up. Temperatures here in North River NY can get to 10 to 20 below or so F. for a week or so at times with 10 to zero for longer periods. If possible I would like to leave the batteries in place rather than bring them inside.

So my thoughts go down several scenarios. One is to just allow the 8900 to trickle charge the batteries all winter. Second idea is to purchase a battery tender which appears to have a lower amperage output, 0.75amp, and put that on a 24 hour timer switch and have it on the minimum time per 24 hours, which is about 30 minutes. My thinking is that would reduce the over charging. In both cases I would put a light bulb or two next to battery box to reduce the worst chill.

Even tho I read ETI suggestions in the owners manual, what would you suggest? By itself would the 8900 work or prematurely cause some performance degradation or would a lower amp. charger on a timer be better? Is the small added heat really necessary? Or should I just bite the bullet and bring the heavy batteries inside? Thanks in advance for you responses.
__________________

__________________
“I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I ended up where I needed to be.”
Douglas Adams
Patrol35 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 12:03 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 3,955
Hi Patrol,

Reace has said often that the WFCO is fine for leaving plugged in at all times. It will just deliver essentially a maintenance charge and should never overcharge your batteries. My understanding (and I am surely not claiming to be any expert on any of this) is that the main problems people have with the WFCO is that under load, it lets the batteries drain too low before going into deeper charging routines, and that it doesn't deliver a large enough voltage in an equalization charge cycle to prevent sulfation. Neither of those should be a problem in long term storage for new batteries like yours in my opinion. (I am sure you will hear more here about the problems associated with the WFCOs.)

I bought an expensive external BatteryMinder maintainer that I use during storage, because my batteries are over 5 years old and I wanted to see if using it in storage could help cure/prevent sulfation, as they claim it will on their website. I was attracted to their lower voltage desulfation method, but it could be snake oil.
__________________

__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

SAE Towing Standard "Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 12:14 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,062
I set my portable solar power panels out and connected, to keep my batteries charged all through the winter months. No worries so far. Of course, brutal snow storms are not the norm here.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SnoSolar.jpg (134.2 KB, 27 views)
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 12:24 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
techfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Longview, WA, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15B - 2014 Nissan Frontier SL
Posts: 858
On our third winter with trailer plugged in to keep dual 6's charged and to supply power for the small heater plugged into a thermal plug to kick it on at 30 and off at 50. Batteries still going fine.
__________________
Tim and Julie
2013 Escape 15B
2014 Nissan Frontier, Previous 2012 Santa Fe
techfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 01:32 PM   #5
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 13,660
Mine is plugged in while in storage, I occasionally remove snow but allow the converter and solar keep the batteries happy. I also leave a 600 watt oil filled heater on. Keep the unit at freezing 32 when it gets down to 10-15. Remember wind chill has not effect on inanimate objects.
__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 01:36 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 10,721
I don't get it. How does the solar affect charge if the trailer is plugged in for the oil-filled heater? Isn't AC keeping the batteries up?
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 01:38 PM   #7
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 13,660
Yes...but I can not turn off the solar.
__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 09:22 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
Posts: 726
2 winters in Ottawa, with the mains plugged in to maintain the battery. No overcharging issues at all -- just last week I looked at the battery water levels (for the first time in 3 seasons of use) and they were fine.
__________________
Doug

2013 Escape 19 ("The Dog House") , 2012 Nissan Frontier
dbailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 10:17 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 9,041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrol35 View Post
Second idea is to purchase a battery tender which appears to have a lower amperage output, 0.75amp, and put that on a 24 hour timer switch and have it on the minimum time per 24 hours, which is about 30 minutes. My thinking is that would reduce the over charging.
An old-style "trickle charger" just runs all the time and can charge excessively, but a modern battery tender cycles appropriately, and turning its power supply on and off may just confuse it. I would not want a timer switch which can fail and is not needed.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 11:07 PM   #10
T&R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Medford, Oregon
Trailer: "Olaf" 2015 21'..... 2015 Tundra CrewMax
Posts: 110
I've noticed my Samlex solar controller will float the batteries at 13.4v (ETI configured) but with no sun the WFCO controller seems to float them at 13.1v. I haven't researched it yet but I think floating at 13.4v is better for lead acid batteries.

I'd suggest using a true battery tender (float) "charger" in lieu of using the WFCO controller to tend your batteries (not on a timer as Brian suggests).
__________________

T&R is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
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






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.