Battery Overwinter Discharge - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-03-2018, 11:06 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Woodland, California
Trailer: 2016 - 21'
Posts: 48
Battery Overwinter Discharge

Escape Community
I recently pulled my 2016 Escape 21 out of storage in preparation for attending Quartzsite 2018. 2 days on shore power only brought the batteries up to a 90% charge. The Escape has an ETI installed 160 W solar system. The electrical system master switch on the rear bench seat was turned off during the 3-month shutdown.
I pulled the batteries for a diagnostic at our local Mastercraft Auto Repair and Interstate Battery dealer. Obviously Iím concerned about being able to enjoy boondocking at Quartzsite.
The Mastercraft technician indicated that the batteries were shot and unable to hold a charge and required replacement. Replacements have been ordered.
Questions
1. Should the batteries be pulled in the winter and trickle charged in my garage or
2. Can the master switch be left on and the solar array will effectively trickle charge the batteries.
3. Any other thoughts on winterization procedures to avoid battery failure

As a sidebar the solar unit typically does and excellent job of recharging the batteries daily even during hazy sunshine conditions. I havenít had to carry my Honda 2000 generator in 2 years.
Also we live near Sacramento so our winters are pretty mild compared to what many Escape owners typically endure.

Thanks all for any guidance or suggestions offered.
Jim Tischer
Woodland CA



concerned AB
__________________

__________________
Jim & Judy Tischer
Woodland, CA
TV - 2013 Toyota Tacoma - "Rocky"
RV - Escape 21' - "Billie" (Previous RV - 2014 Casita SD 17')
jtischer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 09:10 AM   #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: 19,682
The master switch has no effect on the solar, it merely eliminates parasitic drain from on board items like propane detector. Your solar is supposed to be charging your batteries and connected all the time, regardless of the master switch position.
__________________

__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 11:02 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Woodland, California
Trailer: 2016 - 21'
Posts: 48
Hi CPA Harley - it’s good to see your electrons and Happy New Year!
Thanks for the prompt response.
Re: Master Switch
Understood and that is what I thought that it would turn off all the subsystems to avoid battery drain.
I did expect that the 160W so.ar system would keep the batteries charged.
I did however fail to mention that the Escape was covered with a good CalMark cover as a
winterization practice. Apparently good for the Fiberglass protection but not for keeping the batteries charged.
If that is correct then A. The batteries need to be pulled and trickle charged of the cover is used or
B. Don’t use the cover or
C. Install a clear panel in the CalMark cover of adequate size to insure the batteries stay charged.
Am I missing anything?
Your thoughts please.
Thanks Again
Jim Tischer
__________________
Jim & Judy Tischer
Woodland, CA
TV - 2013 Toyota Tacoma - "Rocky"
RV - Escape 21' - "Billie" (Previous RV - 2014 Casita SD 17')
jtischer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 11:26 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Naples, Florida
Trailer: New 21 Escape (not classic)10/16 Sold Lil Snoozy 7/16
Posts: 394
winter battery charge?

We to have the 21 Escape that is covered for Winter . We have the dual battery and solar but it is covered up. Should we be plugging it in to keep batteries maintained or charge it up in Spring ? When we put it away it was reading 13.4 volts on the Go-pro gauge . I might just plug it in every month to charge it up your thoughts Thanks Jim
jennykatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 11:32 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
sumac.rhus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Troy, Idaho
Trailer: August 2017 17b
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The master switch has no effect on the solar, it merely eliminates parasitic drain from on board items like propane detector. Your solar is supposed to be charging your batteries and connected all the time, regardless of the master switch position.

Maybe it's not supposed to work this way, but when I'd had the master switch turned off, I was quite disappointed when the solar did not charge my batteries... Guess I should ask ETI if this should be?
sumac.rhus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 11:52 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: East Dover, Vermont
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0 TA!
Posts: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtischer View Post
Hi CPA Harley - itís good to see your electrons and Happy New Year!
Thanks for the prompt response.
Re: Master Switch
Understood and that is what I thought that it would turn off all the subsystems to avoid battery drain.
I did expect that the 160W so.ar system would keep the batteries charged.
I did however fail to mention that the Escape was covered with a good CalMark cover as a
winterization practice. Apparently good for the Fiberglass protection but not for keeping the batteries charged.
If that is correct then A. The batteries need to be pulled and trickle charged of the cover is used or
B. Donít use the cover or
C. Install a clear panel in the CalMark cover of adequate size to insure the batteries stay charged.
Am I missing anything?
Your thoughts please.
Thanks Again
Jim Tischer

Reese suggested to me when the camper is in storage that I shut off the battery switch. My solar is covered as well. Reese said I should go out and turn on the battery switch once a month for a day or so to give the batteries a good charge. So far so good. Also for your dry climate I would check the water level in the batteries before turning the switch on. That can kill a battery too.
Ian and Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:16 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Trailer: 2016 19
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
Reese said I should go out and turn on the battery switch once a month for a day or so to give the batteries a good charge.
Wait, I donít understand this statement. The switch has no bearing on charging the batteries. As stated above, the switch is used to eliminate drain.

As to the OPís situation, if your solar panel is covered up then youíll need to trickle charge by some other method. Bring inside with a trickle charger or occasionally connect to shore power.
canyonrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:22 PM   #8
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: 19,682
Some covers allow some solar, the plastic panel would help. I do not cover and my solar keeps me @ 100%. I also do not turn the switch to off. It is useful in storage, without solar, so turning it on/off and plugging in would recharge. Check the water (use distilled only) and let the solar do it's job.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: East Dover, Vermont
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0 TA!
Posts: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonrider View Post
Wait, I don’t understand this statement. The switch has no bearing on charging the batteries. As stated above, the switch is used to eliminate drain.

As to the OP’s situation, if your solar panel is covered up then you’ll need to trickle charge by some other method. Bring inside with a trickle charger or occasionally connect to shore power.
My understanding from Reese is that the battery switch disconnects the battery from the trailer wiring circuit. The solar panel is connected through its charge controller directly to the battery and still charges, the shore power comes through the trailer wiring and is disconnected from the battery when the switch is off(so you will not charge the battery from shore power if the switch is off), if on battery power nothing in the trailer will function when the switch is off. So if the trailer is plugged in all the time in storage like mine(the cord is buried under the snow), Reese suggested that I shut off the switch unless I am giving the battery a charge...the lights etc in the trailer work because they are powered by shore power but not the battery. The idea of the switch is to take the battery out of the trailer wiring circuit, the only safe way to remove the charging ability of the solar panel on the battery is to cover the solar panel or work at night.
Ian and Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:01 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Trailer: 2016 19
Posts: 74
^^^Ah, got it. Thanks. I never really plug in during storage, so wasnít thinking along those lines.
canyonrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:02 PM   #11
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: 19,682
If you are plugged in, why not leave the switch on and allow the on board converter keep your batteries charged? That would make sense to me.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:04 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Notasulga, Alabama
Trailer: 2010 EggCamper (#083); 2017 Escape 21 (#053); 2016 F-150 5.0L FX4
Posts: 1,741
Jim, How about leaving the protective cover on your camper and trickle-charging through your 7-pin pigtail? The 12V DC power line from the tow vehicle goes directly from the receptacle/plug (see image below) to the battery without going through the cut-off switch (at least that's the way my 21' is wired). BatteryMINDer makes a 15W solar panel that should do the job if you don't want to plug a trickle charger into 120V AC. In the past, I've found them on sale for not too much over $100. I have one on our fishing boat trolling motor battery (still mounted in the boat) and one on our EggCamper on-board 12V battery. They work great as long as you keep the controller vertical so rain water doesn't get into the controller and short things out (don't ask me how I know that).
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Batte...384EEA9856E78D
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 7 pin trailer side.JPG (36.7 KB, 9 views)
War Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:11 PM   #13
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: 19,682
That should work, but make sure that the master switch still allows power via the 7 pin to the battery. On edit, this item mentioned connects directly to the battery so the switch position is not relevant and the smaller solar should charge the battery.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:13 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: East Dover, Vermont
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0 TA!
Posts: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
If you are plugged in, why not leave the switch on and allow the on board converter keep your batteries charged? That would make sense to me.
Reese seemed to think this was a better route...he da man! My camper sits from Mid Dec till May maybe a full bore charge once a month and a slight discharge in between is better than just keeping them topped up? Less sulphate production Just guessing. I have always been wary of cheap trickle chargers doing damage for long term storage as they just always put a charge to a battery whether they need it or not...not sure the stock charge control unit on the shore power side in our campers is much smarter either.
Ian and Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:32 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Notasulga, Alabama
Trailer: 2010 EggCamper (#083); 2017 Escape 21 (#053); 2016 F-150 5.0L FX4
Posts: 1,741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
Reese seemed to think this was a better route...he da man! My camper sits from Mid Dec till May maybe a full bore charge once a month and a slight discharge in between is better than just keeping them topped up? Less sulphate production Just guessing. I have always been wary of cheap trickle chargers doing damage for long term storage as they just always put a charge to a battery whether they need it or not...not sure the stock charge control unit on the shore power side in our campers is much smarter either.
Ian, I'd encourage you to go back and look more closely at the features and specs on the BatteryMINDer solar panel battery minder I mentioned in Post #12. I believe it's engineered smart enough to cover your concerns, and I trust mine to continually do the job they were designed to do more than I trust myself to remember to go out and do it occasionally. Time slips away, and its easy for "every so often" to turn into "oops, I forgot!".
War Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:37 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: East Dover, Vermont
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0 TA!
Posts: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
Ian, I'd encourage you to go back and look more closely at the features and specs on the BatteryMINDer solar panel battery minder I mentioned in Post #12. I believe it's engineered smart enough to cover your concerns, and I trust mine to continually do the job they were designed to do more than I trust myself to remember to go out and do it occasionally. Time slips away, and its easy for "every so often" to turn into "oops, I forgot!".
Agreed I would like to upgrade to a better charge controller and set it and forget it...cause I will! Living in New England I don't seem to have to worry too much about the battery levels either, not too much evaporation happening.
Ian and Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 12:09 PM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Woodland, California
Trailer: 2016 - 21'
Posts: 48
Hi Jenny Katz
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.
RE: Your Question
Lets see what other Escape Forum members have to say and the answer for both of us will no doubt evolve.
Best Regards
Jim Tischer
__________________
Jim & Judy Tischer
Woodland, CA
TV - 2013 Toyota Tacoma - "Rocky"
RV - Escape 21' - "Billie" (Previous RV - 2014 Casita SD 17')
jtischer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 12:16 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Woodland, California
Trailer: 2016 - 21'
Posts: 48
Hi Ian and Sue
Thanks for your reply.
Our 21' Escape is stored in a commercial, secured storage area on concrete without power access so we are unable to give a quick charge monthly to top off the batteries. Power will have to come from there solar until or the batteries will need to be pulled, brought home and trickle charged.
RE: Battery Water Levels
Both batteries were checked and filled prior to placing in winterization and storage mode.
Thanks Again
Jim Tischer
__________________
Jim & Judy Tischer
Woodland, CA
TV - 2013 Toyota Tacoma - "Rocky"
RV - Escape 21' - "Billie" (Previous RV - 2014 Casita SD 17')
jtischer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 12:22 PM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Woodland, California
Trailer: 2016 - 21'
Posts: 48
CPA Harley
Some good ideas.
The next time I cover the unit temporarily, I'll do a check on recharge capability through the CalMark cover and see if that will be adequate. If not a clear panel modification may be helpful. Also the trailer is stored at a commercial lot so I don't have ready access to shore power. The batteries would have to be pulled and brought home to trickle charge.
Thanks for the reminder on distilled water. Point taken.
Jim Tischer
__________________
Jim & Judy Tischer
Woodland, CA
TV - 2013 Toyota Tacoma - "Rocky"
RV - Escape 21' - "Billie" (Previous RV - 2014 Casita SD 17')
jtischer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 12:36 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Woodland, California
Trailer: 2016 - 21'
Posts: 48
War Eagle
Thank for the "eyes on"
Our Escape is on a commercial RV storage lot without ready access to shore power.
A Question?
Looking at the Battery Minder link you posted, it would appear that our solar unit coupled with a
Battery Minder, minus the 15W panel may be a solution. The Battery Minder with desulfator capability and other technical features may be an attractive alternative to having to pull the batteries and bring home for trickle charging. Obviously the on-board 160W solar array has to be receiving some solar insolation to be effective.
Do you have any thoughts? Would this work?

CPA HARLEY & OTHERS ON THREAD- DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON THIS AS A SOLUTION?

Thanks folks

Jim Tischer
__________________

__________________
Jim & Judy Tischer
Woodland, CA
TV - 2013 Toyota Tacoma - "Rocky"
RV - Escape 21' - "Billie" (Previous RV - 2014 Casita SD 17')
jtischer 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 11:51 AM.


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