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Old 12-22-2017, 08:00 AM   #1
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Storing batteries

When taking the 2 6 volt batteries out for five months of winter storage in freezing conditions do I need to keep them together to charge as 12 volt or separate and charge as 2 6 volts?
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:17 AM   #2
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I just leave them in the trailer and ensure they have a full charge, something easy to do with solar. Even before having solar, I would just plug in once or twice a winter, and never had a problem. I think this is what most folks do.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:41 AM   #3
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I leave my batteries in the trailer too -- much easier on this old back than lifting them in and out. We have to keep the trailer at a storage lot so we don't have a plug in where we could do a trickle charger, but the solar seems to keep them fully charged.

I do make sure that the batteries are topped up with distilled water in the fall before I put the trailer away (and at other times too).
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:30 AM   #4
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To answer the OP question, charging them as a single 12V is usually simpler.
Take them out, set side by side, you will need to either re-use the short jumper cable ETI supplies or provide your own short cable to connect one positive to the other negative. Thereby making a series connection to create a single 12v power pack.
Then I recommend using a Battery Tender trickle charge product. These devices have excellent reviews and history, been around a long time and have the sophisticated circuits for the various charge phases.

And yes, there are valid reasons for not keeping them in the trailer. Freezing is one, if you store at a remote location is another and not having solar charging (or your storage location is covered) being a third, concern for theft a fourth.

The reason I say this is simpler is that 12v charging devices are far more common than trying to find as nice and inexpensive 6v charger.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:41 AM   #5
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I rely on the Trojan battery site for information.

QUOTE: The only way that a battery can freeze is if it is left in a state of partial or complete discharge. As the state of charge in a battery decreases, the electrolyte becomes more like water and the freezing temperature increases. The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is -92º F (-69º C). At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature reaches approximately 16º F (-9º C).
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smanitou View Post
... do I need to keep them together to charge as 12 volt or separate and charge as 2 6 volts?
The choice of series charge at 12 volts or parallel charge at 6 volts is entirely up to you. If you already own a battery charger then use it at the specified voltage. Since you are only providing a little trickle of juice ("trickle charger...") almost any charger will do as long as it is reasonably well regulated. (In other words, the charger will have instructions indicating it is suitable for a long term maintenance charge.)

But I also agree with other posters that if your batteries are in good condition and charged to begin with, then you only need a few hours of direct sun on your solar panel - per week - to keep them charged. However, be absolutely certain that all loads are disconnected during the winter. A good multi-meter is your best friend for this determination.

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