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Old 11-11-2016, 01:04 PM   #1
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Winterization Mode - Batteries Removed

Winterized our 21 (2016 classic) this morning and moved the dual 6 volt batteries into the basement and hooked them up in series with a 12 volt trickle charger. I hope that is the correct thing to do.

Also, can I hook up shore power and turn on 12V and 120V electrical stuff in the camper sans batteries without damaging the internal battery charger?

Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:08 PM   #2
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That will work for storing the batteries, but I just leave them in the trailer myself.

You can use the converter to power up things in the trailer without batteries, just make certain the battery leads are not contacting each other, or the positive contacting ground anyhow.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:09 PM   #3
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You can hook up and your 120v outlets will be active as well as your 12v as long as your main battery switch is on. Do you have solar also? That scenario maybe different.
On edit, after Jim B's answer, I agree, why not leave them in your trailer and plugged in, the onboard converter will certainly keep them charged.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response.

I don't have solar option although I did get a pass through installed from the exterior to the passenger side bench if I decide to purchase some portable panels someday.

I don't leave shore power connected continuously because the trailer is in my driveway and I would have to run the 30Amp cord across the driveway and into the garage. However, I do like the ability to plug it in the day before a trip to precool the fridge.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:34 PM   #5
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I just use a 15 amp extension cord, I never turn on the a/c, just a 400 watt heater and the on board converter. You do not need a 30 amp hookup.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:53 PM   #6
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I just took our 21 to the storage cave yesterday after checking over all systems and giving everything a thorough cleaning. As for the batteries, I just make sure they are full of water and turn the disconnect switch to off. The trailer was there for close to six months without being looked at last winter and yet it came out with the batteries at almost full charge. I might add that the temperature there is a constant 66 degrees F.

Hopefully it will get towed to Texas this winter. Loren
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
That will work for storing the batteries, but I just leave them in the trailer myself.
I am a RV noob but I was under the assumption that you were supposed to remove your batteries to a warmer location during winter (at least in places like Nebraska) and not leave them in the camper.

Quote:
I just use a 15 amp extension cord, I never turn on the a/c, just a 400 watt heater and the on board converter. You do not need a 30 amp hookup.
Gotcha. I didn't mean to imply that I needed 30Amps. Its just that I don't want any kind of cord strung across my driveway all winter.

Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:15 PM   #8
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Here is some good info about batteries.

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_...orage_0512.pdf
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
... why not leave them in your trailer and plugged in, the onboard converter will certainly keep them charged.
I agree; the converter/charger has a maintenance mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by huskersteffy View Post
I don't leave shore power connected continuously because the trailer is in my driveway and I would have to run the 30Amp cord across the driveway and into the garage.
I understand not wanting to leave the cord in place, but to ensure that the batteries are maintained the charger doesn't need to be plugged in continuously. An occasional day is fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I just use a 15 amp extension cord, I never turn on the a/c, just a 400 watt heater and the on board converter. You do not need a 30 amp hookup.
I agree - a light cord will do. In maintenance mode the charger will only need a fraction of one amp. Even the refrigerator only uses about an amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by huskersteffy View Post
I am a RV noob but I was under the assumption that you were supposed to remove your batteries to a warmer location during winter (at least in places like Nebraska) and not leave them in the camper.
Batteries actually discharge more quickly when they are warmer. The only reason to bring batteries inside is to prevent freezing, but they won't freeze if they're kept adequately charged (which is why the one in your car doesn't freeze).

Bringing them inside does work, but if you leave them inside for a very long time, they should still be charged occasionally. How long they can sit and how frequently they should be charged depends on the battery and temperature.

The ideal battery storage environment would be in a refrigerator with a charger.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input everyone as well as the great PDF file from Kountrykamper.

Since I've already lugged those two heavy SOB's into the basement, I will leave them there this winter with a trickle charger. Will haul them out right before a trip we have planned to Matagorda and then Padre Island National Seashore in March (maybe we'll run into Loren & Cathy).

Next year I'll just leave them in the camper as suggested.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huskersteffy View Post
Thanks for the input everyone as well as the great PDF file from Kountrykamper.

Since I've already lugged those two heavy SOB's into the basement, I will leave them there this winter with a trickle charger. Will haul them out right before a trip we have planned to Matagorda and then Padre Island National Seashore in March (maybe we'll run into Loren & Cathy).

Next year I'll just leave them in the camper as suggested.
Sounds like a good fall/spring workout to me.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:57 PM   #12
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battery storage

I have a couple batteries I keep inside in the basement in the winter. I have them up off of the concrete floor on a couple of 2X6 boards and trickle charge them with a battery tender. They are out of my garden tractor and my boat. The Escape batteries stay in the front box on the camper with camper plugged into my 30 amp service in my pole building. Checked for water at winterization time, I've not needed to add any before spring. My New Holland tractor stays in my other metal sided garage. I never charge it, just plug in the block heater when a snow storm is coming so the diesel will start and run.
In any situation, I never leave a run down or dead battery out in the elements when it's gonna get real cold because they will freeze.
Wooley bear caterpillar band is wide and squirrels are burying lots of walnuts, winter will be here soon enough.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:12 PM   #13
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I re-read my owners manual to see what I should be doing as maintenance for the batteries, seems like they are supposed to be maintenance free.... should I be checking the water level? How often? Also, what tire pressure should I be running? 50psi cold as the sidewall suggests? Just setting up a tire minder system, what tire pressure range or target should program that for?
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FishBioGirl View Post
I re-read my owners manual to see what I should be doing as maintenance for the batteries, seems like they are supposed to be maintenance free.... should I be checking the water level?
In batteries, "maintenance free" usually means that the caps are not removable, so there is no way to check (or correct) the electrolyte level.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by FishBioGirl View Post
I re-read my owners manual to see what I should be doing as maintenance for the batteries, seems like they are supposed to be maintenance free.... should I be checking the water level? How often? Also, what tire pressure should I be running? 50psi cold as the sidewall suggests? Just setting up a tire minder system, what tire pressure range or target should program that for?
They are maintenance free except for check the liquid twice a year, old style batteries needed refilling more often. Tire pressure 50 psi and I cover mine, BTW you may want to upgrade your avatar info....
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:52 PM   #16
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Tire pressure is 50 psi if you are running the same tire that came on the trailer. Mine are 65 psi according to the information on the sidewall.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:54 PM   #17
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Tire pressure is 50 psi if you are running the same tire that came on the trailer. Mine are 65 psi according to the information on the sidewall.
That's the maximum - no need (or reason) to run them at the higher pressure.

Since most tire discussions disintegrate into pointless arguments, and there are lots of them already in this forum (and probably every other RV forum), and this thread was about winter storage of batteries... it might be a good idea to split off the tire "discussion".
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:58 PM   #18
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Yup, max. for my load range D tires. I run at 60psi.
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:13 PM   #19
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I tire of the pressure these off topic discussions create.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:29 PM   #20
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Hi FishBioGirl
I check tire pressure on both trailer and tug at the beginning of each trip. For trips longer than a few days, I'd check tire pressure in the morning prior to leaving a few times during the trip. I carry a air compressor/battery combination for any top ups that are needed. From the Forum I also learned that I needed a tire lug changer for the trailer (didn't occur to me that we might have a flat for the first year or so) and also got a axle jack. That's on top of my BCAA membership with RV coverage. . Lots of details to think about. Specially if u travel off the beaten path

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