keeping battery charged over the winter

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by MHall, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. MHall

    MHall New Member

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    On a 2005 Niagara if I plug into shore power overnight once a month will that be sufficient to keep the battery charged enough? Or should I get a battery tender ? Or a battery charger (engine starter capable) that can be used as a battery tender. I've read that after use the battery should be brought back up to full charge. Will a battery tender such as the Battery Tender Jr. or Battery Tender Plus bring the battery up to it's peak charge or would I need the stronger charger to bring it back up to peak charge? Do any of these come with a voltmeter? I've read that on newer model pop ups plugging into shore power is the way to go that the converter will "juice up" the batttery - I've also read that it's not recommeded as some feel that would be overuse of the converter. - IDK if mine is new enough to just plug into shore power to "juice up" - recharge the battery. I don't want to bring the battery into the house for the winter so looking for the best way to keep the battery charged enough over the winter.
     
  2. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    You need to start with a battery that is charged to 12.6volts. You should then remove the negative lead or use a disconnect switch. You can then put it on a Battery Tender Jr or check it on a monthly basis and charge it if the voltage has dropped below 12.3 volts. You can use the converter to charge it(I don't recommend this) or get a 10 amp or greater battery charger and charge it back to 12.6 volts....
     
  3. MHall

    MHall New Member

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    Thanks. Do you recommend any specific brand? I've seen a nice Die Hard that is a charger capable of jump starting a car that also has settings to maintain the deep cell battery. I think it was just under $60.00. I've seen as I did a little research on this subject that a lot use or recommend Schumacher brand.
     
  4. Bigpopper2008

    Bigpopper2008 Member

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    Manual states "Allowing deep cycle battery to freeze will reduce its ability to accept a charge". Heck NY ain't that cold is it?
     
  5. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    I just bought this one Schumacher SE-5212A 2/10/50 Amp Automatic Handheld Battery Charger for $57.75 to replace my 23 year old charger that quit working
     
  6. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Active Member

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    Schumacher brand has been around a very, very long time.
    4 generations of use in my family. Size it properly for the job and you should be fine.
     
  7. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Start by discovering what converter you have. Both of my RVs have three stage 'smart' converters and stay connected 24/7 while in storage.
     
  8. drosengrant

    drosengrant One Day at a Time

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    I leave mine plugged into the house on the driveway and have never had a problem.
     
  9. Donald

    Donald New Member

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    i bought the tender jr.. i was under the impression that this thing would very slowly charge my battery and trickle to keep it alive and well

    do i have to buy a battery charger,, since i won't be using it till May ?
     
  10. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I have done it both ways. Battery tender and charge when the battery drops below a certain level.

    I think it is better for the battery drop down to around 12.2 to 12.3 once in awhile.
     
  11. Scotia 55

    Scotia 55 Member

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    Great advice but keep in mind that there are three differnt types of batteries ( starting, deep cycle, and marine). They all have different requirements to maximize their lifespan.

    As an example you would not want to "deep cycle" (aka: draw down) a starting battery too often, or you will shorten the life span. While on the other hand regularly drawing down or deep cycling a deep cycle battery is good. "Although a deep cycle battery can be cycled down to 20% charge, the best lifespan vs cost method is to keep the average cycle at about 50% discharge". Therfore not a requirement to constantly keep a deep cycle battery at 100% all the time with a battery minder.
     
  12. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    It is good to charge a flooded battery to a true 100% charge.
    If you can do that and then 'tend' it, your good to go.

    The chemical reaction that is not reversed promptly hardens and may require overcharging to get it reversed or you may have just lost capacity.
     
  13. Bullfrog Bheer

    Bullfrog Bheer Well-Known Member

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    I take the battery completely out of my camper while in storage and keep it in my basement, off the floor, away from any pilot light or ignition source. Then about once a month, I put it on my 1.5 amp trickle charger in the garage.
     
  14. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Active Member

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    This is what I have always followed but nothing to prove other than " SWAG"
     
  15. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    This is what I trojan has on their web site about battery storage. http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_DeepCycleBatteryStorage_0512.pdf

    "According to Battery Council International, batteries in storage should be given a boost or freshening charge when the specific gravity value drops .040 points. When hydrometer readings are not accessible, open circuit voltage readings may be used. While in storage, a freshening charge should be given when the battery voltage drops below 12.4 volts for a 12 volt battery, or 6.2 volts for a 6 volt battery"

    For best life, you should go through these cycles when in storage. My view is most of us can not be bothered with this, so you are best to use a battery minder.
     
  16. ill.plainsman

    ill.plainsman happy, happy

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    I have heard that you never want to let one freeze so I always bring it in to a place above freezing. then I put a battery trickle charger at about 1.4 volt on it. if you are not bringing it in you might want to wrap the box it is in in reflex to save it from your real cold 0 degree days. then keep it charged. the secret to long battery life is keeping it charged. if its warm it will last a long time. not indefinitely but a good life. just saying. good luck.
     
  17. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    Howdy! So how can I figure out what type of converter my little TT has? The manual is for like 4 different models and I don't know which one I have. I could ask my mechanic I guess. He's such the wizard with all campers!! I keep mine plugged in all the time as well, and on brutally cold nights, I've been known to turn the furnace on 50 'just in case' it having a warmer floor might help. Not to mention I'm camping in Dec and Feb both, although I'll be winterized by then!

    Thanks!

    [:D]
     
  18. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Open the cover of the converter and jot down the name and model number. Then report here what you have.
     
  19. Donald

    Donald New Member

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    After reading your comments i purchased the Battery Tender Jr it took two day for the red led to turn to green. and now it will trickel till may .....
     

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