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Old 09-09-2019, 05:28 PM   #1
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Removing batteries from E21 for the winter - Help please!

Hi there everyone. We live in northern BC and need to remove the two 6v batteries from our E21 for the winter. This is our first year with the trailer so we're on a learning curve for some issues.


My husband is having problems navigating them out of their spot under the U-bench seating. We store the trailer at a storage area and can't recharge the batteries through-out the winter. Any hints or help that you wonderful people can provide?
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:32 PM   #2
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I can't help with the 21,having never owned one. Can you not just leave them installed and charge them up and maybe add another charge over the winter, I never pull mine in any of my trailers.

Solar works great too.

Besides, there is at least a month or two camping left in Canada.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:39 PM   #3
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We store at a storage yard that is difficult to access in the winter (often -25C or colder) - so going up and navigating the snow to recharge is not easy. We were hoping to leave at home and deal with them here. Because of other fall plans, our camping is done for this year.


One of the issues is being able to take the batteries out without removing the flip up door of the storage area. Too many times removing the screws will make that area weak.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:50 PM   #4
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If you have solar then you can leave the batteries in place. If not, you will have to remove each 6 volt separately through the rear hatch under the rear cushion or if stock under the curb side dinette.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sehoyles View Post
We live in northern BC
What do you mean Northern BC, I thought that Prince George was the geographic center of BC.

I don't pick up my new 21 until tomorrow so I don't have any experience removing the batteries. But that doesn't really matter because I wouldn't anyway.

As others have indicated, a small amount of solar will keep them charged up over the winter. I've done this for many years with boats where shore power wasn't an option. If you don't have large solar panels a small panel will do. For many years, in the early days of solar, I used a tiny panel and it kept my two large house batteries fully charged for many months at a time.

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Old 09-09-2019, 07:02 PM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks for your input, everyone. After some pondering, this is what the battery lifter (my husband) came up with:

A. Issue:

We have off-site storage for our 2 x 6 V-equipped Escape 21 and cannot recharge the batteries for several months. So – the batteries gotta come out. Solar doesn't work – snow (2-3ft) covers the panel(s) and effective charging hours at lat. 54 N are short. It is normal for us to have several weeks in the -30's overnight and day time highs in the – teens and -20's for daytime highs. And every now and again, we can get a week or two in the -40's overnight
with daytime highs in the -30's.

B. Problem:

The batteries are contained in a snug, neat and tidy – did I mention snug ? – box under the door-side rear bench hatch. In order to clear the
battery box, the batteries must be lifted straight up through the hatch opening. Problem is that the open hatch cover projects just enough
into the hatch opening that it prevents the battery from clearing the hatch. Taking the hatch cover off solves the immediate problem but brings its own nuisance factor into play.

C. Solution:

Not very complicated. Cut a ˝" x 8" notch in the hatch cover, ponder why it wasn't cut with battery clearance in mind in the first place.





Batteries are now down in the basement....!! Our next trip won't be until May 2020.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:03 PM   #7
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If you do need to remove them, a battery lifting strap is a handy little tool, hooks onto the loops on top of the battery case so you can easily grab it and lift it out. You'll have to remove the first battery and then slide the other one over into the opening to lift it out.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Battery strap.jpg (8.4 KB, 10 views)
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:38 PM   #8
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If your batteries are fully charged, I think they can go at least 30 days without solar before any impact, maybe even longer as long as they are charged and full of water and the main switch is off.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:10 PM   #9
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Great idea davidmurphy - my husband will be ordering one of these for the next time. He used some old climbing webbing he had with his climbing gear. Worked quite well, but the lifting straps look like a good addition to our tool box. Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
If your batteries are fully charged, I think they can go at least 30 days without solar before any impact, maybe even longer as long as they are charged and full of water and the main switch is off.
Sure, but winter in Prince George is a lot more than 30 days long (like, seven times that long), and Susan explained that visiting the trailer once a month for charging is impractical.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:20 PM   #11
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Yes, but a small solar panel, at that latitude, inclined on a short pole, would shed snow and be at the proper inclination for that latitude, would likely get enough exposure to effectively maintain the batteries.

Guess we'll never know.

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Old 09-09-2019, 08:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Yes, but a small solar panel, at that latitude, inclined on a short pole, would shed snow and be at the proper inclination for that latitude, would likely get enough exposure to effectively maintain the batteries.
I suppose the right inclination for winter (much closer to vertical than the summer angle, and in Prince George closer to vertical than horizontal) might shed snow well enough.

I've seen panels around here (near Edmonton, AB) which are mounted in the vertical plane, presumably to keep them as clear as possible at the expense of output (especially in the summer), running things like electronic road signs.

With the battery removal procedure worked out, I might be inclined to do that annually, rather than building a solar panel system to be used only in storage, although the system could be used as an auxiliary panel during travel if it is built appropriately.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:54 PM   #13
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do batteries lose their charge if the cables are disconnected?
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:09 PM   #14
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Battery straps have been around for a long time. You’ll appreciate having a good one
And it will not wear out for a long long time. I pulled out 19 battery the first winter we owned the trailer. After that we had the building on our property and we just keep
It plugged in now. The battery tender I bought the first year works well for maintaining the charge. Don’t forget to check the water level. I use distilled water.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:21 PM   #15
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that battery strap is fairly specific to 6V golf cart batteries. and yes, very handy to have, and quite cheap, too.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:41 PM   #16
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I use one of these to lift batteries. The strap type pinch my fingers, the heavier the battery the more it pinches. Cost me about $20 at Walmart, works on all battery sizes.
Battery-Lifter-01.JPGBattery-Lifter-02.JPG


But, it wouldn't matter what kind of lifter I have, I don't have the strength to get the dual 6-volts up and out of the battery box and I can't fit the engine hoist through the door.


At this point, when it's time to replace the batteries the entire trailer is going to the battery store....
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
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do batteries lose their charge if the cables are disconnected?
All batteries have some internal leakage - so, yes.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:59 PM   #18
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Fully charged batteries have a freezing point of approximately -80*F, or -62*C for the rest of human civilization outside of the US.

A discharged battery will freeze at around 20*F, or -7*C.

Modest solar input will prevent freezing through the winter, even in the Great White North, if you start out with full batteries and use the battery disconnect switch to reduce draw.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:02 PM   #19
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Since solar panels are wired directly to battery, how much trickle charge does the solar controller use when trailer is stored inside with no sunlight? My understanding is the solar controller is not effected by battery disconnect switch. thanks
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sehoyles View Post
Thanks for your input, everyone. After some pondering, this is what the battery lifter (my husband) came up with:

A. Issue:

We have off-site storage for our 2 x 6 V-equipped Escape 21 and cannot recharge the batteries for several months. So – the batteries gotta come out. Solar doesn't work – snow (2-3ft) covers the panel(s) and effective charging hours at lat. 54 N are short. It is normal for us to have several weeks in the -30's overnight and day time highs in the – teens and -20's for daytime highs. And every now and again, we can get a week or two in the -40's overnight
with daytime highs in the -30's.

B. Problem:

The batteries are contained in a snug, neat and tidy – did I mention snug ? – box under the door-side rear bench hatch. In order to clear the
battery box, the batteries must be lifted straight up through the hatch opening. Problem is that the open hatch cover projects just enough
into the hatch opening that it prevents the battery from clearing the hatch. Taking the hatch cover off solves the immediate problem but brings its own nuisance factor into play.

C. Solution:

Not very complicated. Cut a ˝" x 8" notch in the hatch cover, ponder why it wasn't cut with battery clearance in mind in the first place.





Batteries are now down in the basement....!! Our next trip won't be until May 2020.
I too just recently had to alter the wooden bench/hatch cover to get batteries out. i too pondered on the dimensions that don't allow for easy battery removal
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