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Old 10-11-2016, 06:08 PM   #1
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Do you guys disconnect your batteries for the winter?

we have a October to May non use season here. thats 7 months. i just put all new batterys in the motorhome 2 for motorhome and 3 for the RV part.my neighbor has a big solar panel on side of his and leaves it on batterys all winter. i have one of those too .
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:24 PM   #2
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We drive our MH to AZ, and last year, our first year with it, I switched off the battery switches, thinking every thing was cool. It wasn't, the solar charges the batteries even if battery disconnects are off. My coach had relatively new chassis battery's in, but not knowing the solar was charging, cost me those 4 batteries. It boiled the water out of 3 of them, which ruined them.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:40 PM   #3
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Yes. I make sure they are fully charged and confirm water levels. Then the whole coach is shut down for 5 months. A month prior to putting it back into service, it's plugged in and the batteries are turned back on. All systems are then gone through, the coach gets a good bath (including the roof), and we're ready to go for the next season.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:04 PM   #4
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For several winters I remove the batteries and kept them in my garage which I keep at just above freeze. I normally placed them on a trickle charger once or twice during the winter. Last winter I made sure all batteries were fully charge and then disconnected the negative cables and left them in the coach parked outside in fridged Manitoba. This spring (after 7 months) I check with my VOM and all batteries were in the range of 12.2 - 12.5 volts, all was good. I will do the same this winter.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaTOne65 View Post
We drive our MH to AZ, and last year, our first year with it, I switched off the battery switches, thinking every thing was cool. It wasn't, the solar charges the batteries even if battery disconnects are off. My coach had relatively new chassis battery's in, but not knowing the solar was charging, cost me those 4 batteries. It boiled the water out of 3 of them, which ruined them.
A good solar system should not boil your batteries dry. I leave mine on and connected all the time with no problems.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:11 PM   #6
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Sounds like there isn't a controller, just the panels hooked directly to the batteries. Otherwise they shouldn't have damaged the batteries.

Whether the battery disconnect switch also disconnects the solar panels depends on how the solar is wired. In my opinion, it should be on the disconnected side of the disconnect switch, but not everyone does it that way.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarwiebe View Post
For several winters I remove the batteries and kept them in my garage which I keep at just above freeze. I normally placed them on a trickle charger once or twice during the winter. Last winter I made sure all batteries were fully charge and then disconnected the negative cables and left them in the coach parked outside in fridged Manitoba. This spring (after 7 months) I check with my VOM and all batteries were in the range of 12.2 - 12.5 volts, all was good. I will do the same this winter.
12.2 is really not good(40% discharged). A battery will sulfate at that level, it may not freeze but it will fail sooner.
From http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

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Old 10-13-2016, 04:46 AM   #8
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I just winterized my coach today. I leave my batteries in the coach year round. The coach is plugged in to my house and the on board charger keeps the "house" batteries charged up. The coach has an onboard trickle charger which maintains the "engine" batteries. If I were to remove the batteries and bring them in the garage, I would have to hook some kind of trickle charger up to them throughout the winter, even though they are in a warm garage as they would be dead or very close to dead at the end of 6 months. So I figure why not let the coach do the work for me? I have owned it now for 4 years and haven't had a problem yet.

I would not remove them from your coach as long as you can plug your coach in throughout the winter. If not, then yes remove them.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:18 AM   #9
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I leave mine in the bus.....plug in to power once a month for a couple of days to bring them up to full charge and just move the water around. Seems to work for me.

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Old 10-13-2016, 06:06 AM   #10
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Been in the boating industry all my life.

Where I'm at the storage season is anywhere from 6 months to 8 months. I watch the storage of hundreds of boats each season, those boats are in heated or cold or outdoor storage. None of them get plugged in and almost everyone of them has the batteries left in. Some remove the cables some just turn off the switch.

In the spring almost every one gets launched without issue. On occasion there will be a dead battery.

I stored my own boat with the battery switch off and it always started in the spring.

Many many years ago a lot of the storage facilities would offer a service that would remove your batteries and charge them through the winter. I remember shelves of batteries hooked to large chargers that maintained the batteries through the winter. I haven't seen that in years. I wonder if it's because batteries are better at holding their charge.

One other thing, do rv storage facilities allow you to keep it plugged in? All the boat storage facilities I'm familiar with allow you to plug it in if you're there working on it but they have strict rules about leaving them plugged in unattended.

My rv will be stored with the batteries left in and the switch turned off.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:46 AM   #11
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Switch to AGM Lifeline batteries, I never been happier. No maintenance, no white stuff, no corrosion. They stay in the RV, master switch off, just prior to travel I switch them on, let them charge a bit & it's good to go.
Prior wet batteries would only go maybe 2 years, AGM going on a good 5 years now!
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnflyboy View Post
I leave mine in the bus.....plug in to power once a month for a couple of days to bring them up to full charge and just move the water around. Seems to work for me.

Jaye(Mn)

Me too.

I also check the water level occasionally, and connect a charger to the starting battery when I connect the RV. I sometimes go a couple of months before charging, when I forget. :-))

Steve
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnflyboy View Post
I leave mine in the bus.....plug in to power once a month for a couple of days to bring them up to full charge and just move the water around. Seems to work for me.

Jaye(Mn)
Same here with me. In addition, in the spring I take the house batteries out, clean them and clean the tray they are in. If the tray has places where the paint is worn off and/or rust is appearing, I paint it. I've never taken the chassis batteries out, however, I have never has corrosion problems with the chassis batteries like I sometimes have with the house batteries.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaTOne65 View Post
We drive our MH to AZ, and last year, our first year with it, I switched off the battery switches, thinking every thing was cool. It wasn't, the solar charges the batteries even if battery disconnects are off. My coach had relatively new chassis battery's in, but not knowing the solar was charging, cost me those 4 batteries. It boiled the water out of 3 of them, which ruined them.
I don't run my solar panels through the coach power station at all. I hook solar panels up totally independent. Panels outside wired to a charge controller. Then charge controller to battery.
Charge controller is nice because if battery needs charged it charges it. If the battery gets to 13.8 v it will not charge it unless the voltage drops. Then there's a diode that keeps the solar equipment from drawing power off the battery.

I have 2 coach marine batteries and 1 cab/vehicle start battery. The 2 coach batteries are charged if I'm plugged in to shore power but the vehicle start battery is charged by the alternator only.
The cables are absolutely disconnected when I charge them with solar. As the 2 coach batteries are wired together already I leave them that way. (Unless they need cleaned) hook leads from charge controller to one of them and they both get charged. I also place the charge controller in the battery compartment as it is not waterproof and there room for it in there. The compartment door weatherstrip forms itself right over the single small wire from the panels to the charge controller.
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