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Old 02-20-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
Russell
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Battery... Am I SOL

I think I really screwed up. I have a conventional flooded 12-volt battery for my trailer. I disconnected it during winterization and stored it in my basement out of sight... therefore out of mind. And that, of course, is where I screwed up. I forgot about it!!
Now with spring in sight (28 days but who's counting) I'm starting to plan for our first trip and I remembered the battery
Am I SOL or is there a chance it's ok? It's just a year old. I haven't tested it yet, if that's even necessary after this long. I don't have a voltmeter or hydrometer. Should I waste my money? Anything you can suggest or recommend with examples would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for all your help.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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I don't think you're SOL, and it's way too soon to panic. Many of the newer chargers have a "recovery" mode. You might not want to spend the money to own one, but check with your local automotive repair shops and I'll bet most of them can save your battery with the right charge.

For a more detailed description of a recovery charge, check out http://www.geniuschargers.com/products

Click on the G7200, Click on Tech Specs Tab, scroll down to Step 12 I think that's what you're dealing with.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Most modern batteries would not seriously be damaged just by storing over the winter in your basement, as long as it didn't freeze, or was directly on concrete. As an automotive technician, I don't know why storing a battery on concrete discharges it, but it definitely does. I store mine on top of a piece of wood, and it's fine. Both my 8N Ford tractor and my lawn tractor batteries sit all winter in the shed, without charging or running the unit all winter, and are always just fine in the spring when starting up. My last tractor battery lasted for 10 years used and stored in this manner before it had to be replaced. If your battery is discharged, I would recommend recharging on "low" mode until fully charged, as opposed to a "fast" charge.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #4
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Tinlizzie, is right on the money. Batteries do go bad primarily with age (which you do not state). Generally speaking as long as it has been properly maintained you will be fine. Check the fluid levels (I do it a couple times a year), and refill with distilled water (only). I use a quality battery maintainer trickle charger. I do keep my TT batteries on the basement floor on a piece of wood (piece of mind). In the fall I use the trickle charger to get a good full charge. Then once again in mid winter (just did it a month ago), then one last time, right before they go back on the TT.

Batteries do not go bad like they use to from sitting on concrete floors. The issue was twofold; the concrete is moist and give a route for the power to leak off and drain the battery beyond recovery. In the old days (pre WW2), battery boxes were not made of plastic, (but of a paper like or phallic like material, and the moisture played a major role in battery life due to the battery case design. Now days the batteries are so good it is almost a mute issue.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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Storing a lead acid battery on a concrete floor will NOT discharge it. That is and old myth that at one time did have some merit. Today, however, it is not the case.

http://www.thebatteryterminal.com/Te...n_Concrete.htm

If the battery had a full charge at the time you stored it it has a good chance of being OK.

No voltmeter? That is a basic necessity for all RVer's. Get one. One of the $10 - $20 one will do just fine.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Batteries do go bad primarily with age (which you do not state).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell View Post
It's just a year old.
I would expect that your battery is fine.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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Charge up the battery... and see how it is... dont start to worry till you have something to worry about... RVing is about relaxing and enjoying not fret and worry.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnchuck100 View Post
Storing a lead acid battery on a concrete floor will NOT discharge it. That is and old myth that at one time did have some merit. Today, however, it is not the case.

http://www.thebatteryterminal.com/Te...n_Concrete.htm

If the battery had a full charge at the time you stored it it has a good chance of being OK.

No voltmeter? That is a basic necessity for all RVer's. Get one. One of the $10 - $20 one will do just fine.
I'm sorry, Chuck, but I must disagree with you on the concrete issue. To put the issue to rest, a while back I tried using the same battery (brand new, BTW) with full charge. Stored it on concrete first, for two weeks. Battery was discharged after that period. Then recharged the same battery to full, and stored it on wood. Kept checking it, and stopped the test after 3 months. This time, it still had 80% charge, enough to turn over and start a V-8 engine. That and other experiences over the years have taught me that concrete does indeed cause discharging. Maybe not as quickly with the newer modern plastic cases, but it does happen.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinlizzie23 View Post
Most modern batteries would not seriously be damaged just by storing over the winter in your basement, as long as it didn't freeze, or was directly on concrete. As an automotive technician, I don't know why storing a battery on concrete discharges it, but it definitely does. I store mine on top of a piece of wood, and it's fine. Both my 8N Ford tractor and my lawn tractor batteries sit all winter in the shed, without charging or running the unit all winter, and are always just fine in the spring when starting up. My last tractor battery lasted for 10 years used and stored in this manner before it had to be replaced. If your battery is discharged, I would recommend recharging on "low" mode until fully charged, as opposed to a "fast" charge.

Are you serious about the concrete??

Guess where I store my battery??? In the garage, on the (you guessed it), CONCRETE FLOOR!!!!

I don't believe I've heard that before, but "live and learn"!!
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:52 PM   #10
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Yes, I'm serious about storing a lead-acid battery on a concrete floor. There are some who say this is a myth, but in my experience, there is definitely a correlation between discharge and storing directly on a concrete floor. I do not know the mechanism at work here, but I know storing on a piece of wood or similar material will prevent or retard discharge on a good battery. I work in an antique auto restoration facility, and none of the techs there would even consider placing a good battery directly on the concrete floor for any length of time. We have all seen the effects, and just don't do it.
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