Winter battery setup - 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 11-19-2018, 04:15 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 69
Winter battery setup

We have a 21 that was purchased this past summer and I am preparing for winter. We have solar that won't work under the cover and dual 6vs. It is under a cover next to our house with empty water tanks and lines. I am deciding on the best electrical option for the batteries and to power a dehumidifier. I believe the battery switch disconnects from mains power but am not 100% sure.
1: Plugged in, battery switch on, converter charging batteries.
2. Plugged in for dehumidifier, battery switch off, charge 1x/month
3. Plugged in for dehumidifier, battery switch off, batteries disconnected from trailer and on a battery tender.

Option 1 is the easiest but not sure if that is bad for the batteries.
__________________

sailor231 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2018, 04:43 PM   #2
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,697
The battery switch is made to isolate the batteries from any parasitic drain inside and once activated, solar still works. That said , if plug into 120v, just leave the battery switch in it's "not in use" position, whether you call that on or off, but you do not want to isolate the batteries and the converter will keep them safe over the winter, just make sure they have proper distilled water.
__________________

__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2018, 11:24 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,953
Option 1 is easiest and works fine - the converter/charger will maintain charge without hurting the batteries. The switch needs to be in the "use" (connected) not store (isolated) position.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2018, 12:34 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
blue_bullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Fortine, Montana
Trailer: 2016 21 Escape "Wishbone", 2017 Chevy 2500HD Duramax
Posts: 160
I use Option 1, switch up, and do check the water level in batteries every 3 months (Google Calendar). I found this setup makes filling batteries with distilled water much easier.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
__________________
Rob
(“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.” ― Ogden Nash)
blue_bullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2018, 03:34 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 69
Thanks for the advice. I will go with the easy option and check the batteries every couple months.
sailor231 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 09:16 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 17B, 2011 Ranger FX4
Posts: 179
I don't "get" the battery switch?!

Have winterized my 17B. It's plugged into AC power, to run the frig (to keep the mold at bay) and a Caframo RV heater (ditto). After about two weeks like this, my batteries (dual 6V) are down to 60%. The battery switch is in the "up" position (whatever that means — on? Off?). When I put the battery switch "down", the trailer lights go out. Which way should the switch be? What have I set up wrong? I thought on AC power, nothing draws on the batteries?
__________________
Lotar & Wendy
"Sit loosely in the saddle of life" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
maurerl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 09:23 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,786
I don't run the fridge. I just wipe it down and prop the door open. No mould.
I don't run a heater continuously, just every once in a while.

I rely on Dri-Z-Air containers and desiccant.
None of that helps figure out the battery issue. Are the terminals clean?
__________________
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 online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 09:52 PM   #8
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,479
Quote:
Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
Have winterized my 17B. It's plugged into AC power, to run the frig (to keep the mold at bay) and a Caframo RV heater (ditto). After about two weeks like this, my batteries (dual 6V) are down to 60%. The battery switch is in the "up" position (whatever that means — on? Off?). When I put the battery switch "down", the trailer lights go out. Which way should the switch be? What have I set up wrong? I thought on AC power, nothing draws on the batteries?
The batteries should charge, not deplete. Check first for a loose battery cable. Double check this. Then check for a loose ground. It's possible there is a short or a blown fuse as well, preventing the converter/charger from charging the batteries.
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 01:07 AM   #9
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,868
If I have the batteries in the OFF position and disconnect from city power, the 12 volt ceiling lights will not work.

Now that your battery is down, you need the switch in the ON position and connected to city power, at least to charge, may take a while to charge. If you find you had it in the ON position and the batteries went down, then you have a problem. Check per rbryan's post.
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 12:42 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
h2owmn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Placerville, California
Trailer: 2018 Escape 17A double dinette
Posts: 819
Not related to electric, but like gbaglo, i leave refrig open, and all cabinets and drawers open, and cushions propped on edge. But I use mine year round.
__________________
--Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced older woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force. --Dorothy Sayers
h2owmn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 02:11 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
alanmalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Trailer: '21 - 'Velocity'. Tow: Toyota Tacoma V6, 4X4, manual.
Posts: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
Have winterized my 17B. It's plugged into AC power, to run the frig (to keep the mold at bay) and a Caframo RV heater (ditto). After about two weeks like this, my batteries (dual 6V) are down to 60%. The battery switch is in the "up" position (whatever that means — on? Off?). When I put the battery switch "down", the trailer lights go out. Which way should the switch be? What have I set up wrong? I thought on AC power, nothing draws on the batteries?
With the trailer powered with AC, and the converter running, and finally, with the switch in the "On" position, your batteries should be at 100% all the time.

The easy way to tell if something is seriously wrong is to use a multimeter directly on the battery terminals (with everything above running and On). If the meter reads less than a nominal 13.8 volts, + or - .5 volts, then something is wrong indeed. For example, if the meter reads 12.6 volts then the batteries are only partially charged and no juice is coming from the converter ("battery charger"). And while you are looking at the batteries check the water level and look for corrosion.

If you can do that much and report back we can help you with the next step.
--
Alan


PS, just noticed your trailer is 2012. Are the batteries original equipment? 6 years is a ripe old age for trailer batteries.
alanmalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 02:58 PM   #12
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,697
Seems to me operating a refer, empty for months will cause premature wear and tear on the 7 year old unit. I believe the manufacturer recommends power off and keeping the doors and freezer area open, in fact they even install door open catches on some models.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 03:31 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 17B, 2011 Ranger FX4
Posts: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I rely on Dri-Z-Air containers and desiccant.
I wouldn't think your climate is much different than mine (central Vancouver Island) -- but before the heater, I relied on Dri-Z-Air and had to empty out the black container of water about every 3-4 days, and in one winter went through two large (1-gallon-size?) containers of the chemical. Hence the Caframo.
__________________
Lotar & Wendy
"Sit loosely in the saddle of life" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
maurerl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 03:36 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 17B, 2011 Ranger FX4
Posts: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Are the terminals clean?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
The batteries should charge, not deplete. Check first for a loose battery cable. Double check this.
Thanks. Done & double-checked. Nothing loose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Then check for a loose ground. It's possible there is a short or a blown fuse as well, preventing the converter/charger from charging the batteries.
How do I check for loose ground? No blown fuses.

Thanks everybody for your help.

I just returned from a few days away, and my batteries are down to 15%/11.2V!?!? Obviously something is draining them?
__________________
Lotar & Wendy
"Sit loosely in the saddle of life" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
maurerl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 03:44 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 17B, 2011 Ranger FX4
Posts: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
With the trailer powered with AC, and the converter running, and finally, with the switch in the "On" position, your batteries should be at 100% all the time.
Thanks -- but which way is "on" -- up or down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
If you can do that much and report back we can help you with the next step.
PS, just noticed your trailer is 2012. Are the batteries original equipment? 6 years is a ripe old age for trailer batteries.
Thanks -- going out to check with multimeter right now, will report back.

Batteries were replaced approx 1.5 years ago.
__________________
Lotar & Wendy
"Sit loosely in the saddle of life" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
maurerl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 03:44 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
I wouldn't think your climate is much different than mine (central Vancouver Island) -- but before the heater, I relied on Dri-Z-Air and had to empty out the black container of water about every 3-4 days, and in one winter went through two large (1-gallon-size?) containers of the chemical. Hence the Caframo.

How often do you empty the Caframo? Never. That tells me it's not doing anything, but that the Dri-Z-Air is removing moisture.
__________________
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 online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 04:16 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 17B, 2011 Ranger FX4
Posts: 179
Battery/charging problems

Per another recent thread re: reliability (lack thereof?) of "panels"

Stock Escape panel -- battery level = 0 of four lights

GoPower Solar panel dashboard (per Escape-added solar panel two years ago) -- 20% & 11.4V (up fractionally from an hour ago when it showed 15%/11.2V)

Multimeter test -- 5.71V on one, 5.72V on other, battery. Terminals clean, plenty of water.

No blown fuses.

Thank you all for your willingness to help & advise the "electrically-challenged"!
__________________
Lotar & Wendy
"Sit loosely in the saddle of life" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
maurerl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 04:19 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 17B, 2011 Ranger FX4
Posts: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
How often do you empty the Caframo? Never. That tells me it's not doing anything, but that the Dri-Z-Air is removing moisture.
Makes intuitive sense -- but before Caframo, and in the Dri-Z-Air days (Escape & 10 years on Boler before that, we ALWAYS had mold in the spring, and the de-winterization ALWAYS involved some mold washing-up!
__________________
Lotar & Wendy
"Sit loosely in the saddle of life" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
maurerl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 04:21 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 17B, 2011 Ranger FX4
Posts: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Seems to me operating a refer, empty for months will cause premature wear and tear on the 7 year old unit. I believe the manufacturer recommends power off and keeping the doors and freezer area open, in fact they even install door open catches on some models.
OK, done. Thanks.
__________________
Lotar & Wendy
"Sit loosely in the saddle of life" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
maurerl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 04:34 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
alanmalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Trailer: '21 - 'Velocity'. Tow: Toyota Tacoma V6, 4X4, manual.
Posts: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
Thanks -- but which way is "on" -- up or down?
The answer - up or down - depends on which way the switch was installed. Traditionally, UP is on, and DOWN is off. But this only convention, not a hard and fast rule.

More reliable is - which way does the voltage from the converter reach the batteries. With the trailer plugged in to AC, and the converter running, use the multimeter to confirm that in at least ONE of the two positions the batteries are receiving 13.8 volts. That is "on".

Another on-off test. With the converter not running, and the solar not charging (aka - nighttime), which way is the switch so the led lamps light up. This should agree with the previous test.

Now, if neither position results in the voltage rising at the battery terminals to near 13.8 then your converter may be dead, a fuse is blown, a wire is broken or loose. These can be investigated one at a time. (And FYI, 13.8 is just a target voltage while charging. Not to panic - yet anyway - if you only see 13.0.)

FYI, it is unlikely the batteries have a "loose ground". If battery ground was loose then nothing in the trailer could drain them. (But the solar system, in theory, could still drain them if connected improperly.) More importantly, if the converter has a loose ground then the magic charging voltage of 13.8 will not make it to the batteries. That is why it is important to verify what voltage is getting to the batteries when plugged into AC and the converter running.
--
Alan
__________________

alanmalk 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






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×