Best for batteries in winter? - 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 10-27-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Bruce Wray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pollock Pines, California
Trailer: 2009 Escape 19
Posts: 452
Best for batteries in winter?

I'm hoping the more learned minds can weigh in on this question - What's best for batteries during winter storage? We have the dual 6V package in our 19. One option I have is leave the trailer plugged in all winter with an electric heater inside set on low. Or I can do the "detach the leads, reattach monthly and recharge the batteries for a day or so each month" routine. We will see below-freezing temps often on winter nights, with the occasional possibility of temps getting to the mid to low 20s F.

Bruce
__________________

Bruce Wray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 03:50 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Eddys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Saxtons River, Vermont
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 'Houdini 2'
Posts: 149
Re: Best for batteries in winter?

Bruce-
I am about to bring in my 6Vs from Houdini as we have already had several nights of below freezing temps. Where the trailer spends the winter is really not close enough to plug in and we don't want the extra expense of running an electric heater for several months. They will go into the basement near the furnace on a piece of wood, not on the concrete floor. I will check the water levels and put a charger on them to bring them up a couple of times over the winter. Not exactly a learned mind, but it has been effective for me over the years with 12V.
We are hoping to get out early next Spring for a trip South... Can't wait!
__________________

__________________
Jenny and Ian
Eddys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 09:57 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Hokie Escape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 902
Re: Best for batteries in winter?

I'm with Bruce, any problem leaving the camper plugged in (with some aux heat to stay above freezing)? I know you need to check the water level occasionally, but will it harm the batteries to leave them plugged in? We hope to do some winter camping (if we can find any places open), and don't want to have to reinstall the batteries!
__________________
"In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice. In the morning, I will offer my prayer to you, and wait in expectation" Ps 5:3
'11 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab (5' bed) 09 Escape 5.0
Blacksburg, Virginia (Home of the Virginia Tech Hokies)
Hokie Escape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 10:37 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 10,729
Re: Best for batteries in winter?


I left my battery hooked up and had the trailer plugged into AC with a small oil-filled heater, for the really cold days, all last winter. I have no place in the house to keep a battery. I should have checked the fluid level from time to time. But still, I took the battery down to my mechanic to check on his equipment and it was fine. This year I may disconnect it, but it will stay in the battery box. I'll connect it up from time to time, but that's it. More likely, I'll just leave it on trickle charge from the trailer and make sure I check fluid levels.

baglo
__________________
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 10-28-2009, 01:51 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
escape artist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 5,287
Re: Best for batteries in winter?

Hi: All... I don't know if it's best for batteries or not, but last year ours stayed in the batt. box in the trailer with the disconect switch turned off, and it was fine this year. Our trailer is an '07 and the batt. is original. I did remove the box lid and check fluid levels. Top up with distilled water only. Don't forget the smoke det. batt. When it gets cold/weak it will beep constantly!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
__________________
Quote Bugs Bunny..."Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it ALIVE"!!!
'10 Frontier CC. S.E. 4X4 Lng. Bed V6 '14 Escape 5.0TA
St.Thomas Ont.( Not the Virgin Islands)
escape artist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 10:28 AM   #6
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: 3,961
Re: Best for batteries in winter?

The care and feeding of deep cycle batteries is one of those areas that can generate almost limitless discussion (leading to too much worry for me) it seems. I have read so much about it that I have only succeed in confusing myself with all the sometimes conflicting advice out there. So, I am very far from an expert about this, so take my method as a grain of salt.....

Some people buy special deep cycle battery chargers that monitor charge and do special discharges on them and usually cost well more than $100. Others leave them plugged in all winter, others bring them inside to keep them warm, and still others buy small solar chargers to keep them topped up. The gel type batteries are claimed to be the answer to many charging problems by some advocates - but they seem to be about twice as expensive as conventional ones.

I have a small solar charger that I used last winter, but now I am wondering if it may have done more to hasten the premature death of my last battery - (due to the very small charge over long time periods it applied. I am STILL reading into all that and will undoubtedly confuse myself even more! LOL)

I have never read any evidence that has convinced me that cold by itself hurts a charged battery in any way. So this year I plan to go with a lazy low worry method. I am going to leave our new NAPA deep cycle on the trailer in our shed and monitor my battery voltage about once a week. When it drops to somewhere around 75% charge remaining I will plug it in and bring it back to 100%. With nothing turned on the trailer, it is dropping in voltage at a VERY VERY slow rate so far.

One thing that seems to be pretty consistent in my over-extensive reading is that deep cycle batteries have a limited number of deep discharge cycles available over their lifespan. A deep discharge is apparently one that takes the battery below a 50% charge level so I try to avoid that, especially in cold weather. But then, not draining the battery deeply enough on occasion is said to be unhealthy for them to........ and so it goes.

Good luck!

Eric
__________________
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 11-08-2009, 07:36 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Hokie Escape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 902
Re: Best for batteries in winter?

Practical question. When checking the water level in your batteries, do you just keep the plates covered (with distilled water, of course), or do you fill to some specific point short of the plastic flange in the batteries holes?
I'm keeping Hokie plugged in all winter, so the battery is ready for instant action (ie. a fun winter camping trip).
__________________
"In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice. In the morning, I will offer my prayer to you, and wait in expectation" Ps 5:3
'11 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab (5' bed) 09 Escape 5.0
Blacksburg, Virginia (Home of the Virginia Tech Hokies)
Hokie Escape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 07:54 PM   #8
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: 3,961
Re: Best for batteries in winter?

This is what I found on a battery maintenance site about filling and fill levels:

"The water level should be no higher than 1/8 in. below the bottom of the vent well. To avoid battery damage, make sure the electrolyte level never drops below the top of the plates. Also, avoid overfilling, which may result in electrolyte overflow. Always use distilled water to fill the battery. Chemicals found in ordinary tap water may contaminate the battery."

Eric
__________________
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 11-08-2009, 08:03 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Hokie Escape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 902
Re: Best for batteries in winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer
This is what I found on a battery maintenance site about filling and fill levels:

"The water level should be no higher than 1/8 in. below the bottom of the vent well. To avoid battery damage, make sure the electrolyte level never drops below the top of the plates. Also, avoid overfilling, which may result in electrolyte overflow. Always use distilled water to fill the battery. Chemicals found in ordinary tap water may contaminate the battery."

Eric
I'm assuming the "vent well" is the plastic flange that extends into the battery in the batteries holes?
__________________
"In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice. In the morning, I will offer my prayer to you, and wait in expectation" Ps 5:3
'11 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab (5' bed) 09 Escape 5.0
Blacksburg, Virginia (Home of the Virginia Tech Hokies)
Hokie Escape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 08:14 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 10,729
Re: Best for batteries in winter?


Always use distilled water, unless you live in Vancouver, BC. In that case you can use tap water.

baglo
__________________

__________________
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
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 07:25 AM.


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