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Old 02-21-2013, 08:08 PM   #11
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Placing a piece of wood on the concrete floor is cheap insurance. I have always done this with any lead acid battery if it was to remain on the floor.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:36 AM   #12
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Russell, Charge your battery by whatever means you usually use and see if it does what you want it to do. If it does, and you're satisfied with that, you are ready for the season. My original post assumed you would do a "normal" charge and then check your battery. When batteries sit unused they can "sulfate". That doesn't mean they can't be used, but when they become sulfated they can lose capacity.

I too have a "conventional flooded 12-volt battery". It's 2 years old and reads 13.2 after losing its surface charge. You would hope for that number in a new one. When it's not on the TT (even for a couple of days), it sits on a plastic shelf in my garage connected to a battery tender. And I never let the fluid level go past the top of the plates. (Not hard to accomplish - just requires a little extra lifting.)

Most batteries die from improper care, not cycling. That said, I enjoy doing those kinds of things, and understand not everyone does.

Bottom Line: I agree with Seann - this is supposed to be fun. If you maintain and use your equipment within your comfort zone, you will achieve that.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boss Wagon View Post
Placing a piece of wood on the concrete floor is cheap insurance.....snip
I agree..., even though the battery casing materials of today don't present the problems under these conditions that the older casings did years ago.

Bob
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:12 AM   #14
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Speaking of batteries, has anyone noticed just how expensive they have become in just the last year or two? I needed one for the minivan, went to Autozone. The cheapest battery they had for that van was 105.00 with a ONE year warranty. The next one up was 160.00. Walmart did have one for 105.00 with a 3 yr warranty. But they have sure spiked in price.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:11 PM   #15
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Part of the reason for the recent (last couple of years) spikes in battery prices is the cost of lead. That and the surcharges the Federal gov't has placed on use of lead to discourage its use. Similar to the large surcharges placed on R-12 Air Conditioning Freon several years ago to discourage use before they stopped production. Those charges made a 30# Freon reservoir jump from about $50 to over $400 within a year.

And around my area, the price of lead has boosted the $$ you can get selling your old battery to a dealer from around 50 cents a few years ago to $7.50 each today.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #16
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I would suggest getting a voltmeter and a hydrometer. When it comes to battery maintenance, neither is a waste of money (you can get a basic voltmeter for around $15 and up; a hydrometer for around $10). Use the battery in question as an opportunity to learn and employ battery maintenance techniques. The only way you're going know the health of your battery is to test it. After testing, charge the battery if necessary (use a multi-stage charger). After charging, test again. If afterwards you have a healthy battery, maintain its health with the same multi-stage charging device (not the traditional trickle charger). Finally, I'm probably going to regret jumping into the fray regarding battery storage on a concrete surface, but storing your battery on concrete will not discharge it any faster than if it sits on a different surface (water included) under the same or similar environmental conditions (an unused battery will lose charge over a period of time no matter where it sits). But, if after reading some posts that suggest wood (or any other surface) helps prevent faster than normal discharge and the like, go for it. It won't hurt, but it isn't necessary. Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:12 AM   #17
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My battery stays in the storage box of my stored TT all the time. I was down in late October of 2012, and returned last week. I unhook the positive terminal. Granted, I use shore power, but the battery charged right back up. It is an Interstate.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #18
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Well, I was going to post a battery question and noticed this discussion which seems right on the money so here goes. I have been storing my battery since Oct-2012 in the basement on a wood shelf under my workbench. Once a month I check it with an analog voltmeter (no decimals) and it has been reading a steady 13volts for the past 5-months. I have a trickle charger but haven't used it as I didn't think I'd need to with a steady 13volts. My question is "am I OK to not charge it as long as it reads 13volts on the meter?" My battery is also an Interstate and is about 1-year old now as we purchsed our 2012 32TSBH about a year ago. During the season it stays with the camper in storage (disconnected) or while on site (connected & charged by shore power).
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifercars View Post
Well, I was going to post a battery question and noticed this discussion which seems right on the money so here goes. I have been storing my battery since Oct-2012 in the basement on a wood shelf under my workbench. Once a month I check it with an analog voltmeter (no decimals) and it has been reading a steady 13volts for the past 5-months. I have a trickle charger but haven't used it as I didn't think I'd need to with a steady 13volts. My question is "am I OK to not charge it as long as it reads 13volts on the meter?" My battery is also an Interstate and is about 1-year old now as we purchsed our 2012 32TSBH about a year ago. During the season it stays with the camper in storage (disconnected) or while on site (connected & charged by shore power).
You'll be fine. Charge it at least a day before you use it. 2 amps over night should do it. Charge with the caps off. Check the water level and use only distilled water to bring it up to the water line, typically at the bottom of each individual cell opening.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #20
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Sounds like good advice, thanks Boss Wagon. Should the caps always come off during charging? The reason I ask is that I had charged it once last year without removing the caps and that was from almost a complete discharge (measured 3volts). That was when I learned that the camper's radio panel never turns off and it along with the tiny LED on the CO detector continue to sap power from the battery. Those two items drained the battery over a period of a few weeks. I have since installed a battery shutoff switch for use when we are not camping. Actually, from all the literature I've ready about batteries I thought mine was a goner but it still holds a charge.
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