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Old 11-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
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Battery care over winter

I took the battery home for the winter and planned on keeping it in the garage on a trickle charger.
I purchased this from Harbor Freight http://www.harborfreight.com/automat...ger-42292.html
After reading the instructions I'm told to prevent battery damage don't use if my battery is a gel lead acid battery or AGM. I'm also told not to connect it if the voltage is less than 12 volts. Turns out I don't know exactly what I'm doing
1) I can't really tell if I have one of those batteries (it's not written anywhere on the battery so I'm thinking no)
2) I don't know if the voltage is less than 12 volts (I took it home off a full charge about 1 month ago) Do I use a multimeter or a voltmeter to find this out? Is it easy? Could you recommend one if it's necessary?
3) Is the trickle/float charger I purchased acceptable? Do you have other recommendations?

That's about it I'm sure that should do for one of the experts out there. A basic guide to caring for my battery through the winter would be great.

I thought this would have been much easier... could be me though, I tend to make things more difficult

Thanks again for everyone's help on here. You've really helped make my first year a success.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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If your battery is the one that the dealer provided with the TT, I would doubt that it is a AGM or gel lead acid. An easy way to tell, are there caps that can be removed on the top to add distilled water? Typically there are 2 rectangual caps when removed show 6 holes. If you have that then it most likely is a traditional wet (flooded) cell battery.

Secondly, you can use a multi-meter to check the battery charge. But even beter is a battery hydrometer.

Not sure if the harbor freight float charger you has is acceptable...I use the Battery Tender Plus.

If by chance you do have a gel cell, Battery Tender also as a Battery Tender Plus GEL product that would work for you.

Also, FWIW I keep my batteries on the Tender when ever not in use...it isn't just a winter time thing for me. And, if you do find you have a wet cell battery, you need to keep the fluid levels up. Typically I check every couple months and add ONLY distilled water when required....not Tap Water.

I am sure others will be by with more information. Good Luck.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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I doubt that your battery is an AGM or a gel. A multimeter or a voltmeter would work to find out. Yes it is easy. I have a "battery tender" that I use over the winter. I use the camper batteries as a back up for my pellet stove. I would think the one you bought would work. If you have anything that you could connect to your battery to drain it. Then you would know that it was below 12 volts. If nothing has been draining it, it may be at or above 12 volts now.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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Personally, I would return the Harbor Freight battery charger. I do not know the one you have, however what I have heard and read, they are known not to be good for extended use, as the will boil the battery. I bought mine (do not recall the brand) from Fleet Farm, after talking with a few people. A neighbor has a few of the exact same ones, which he has on each motorcycle all winter, with no issues.

I charge mine up, then disconnect the battery maintainer. Every few months I recharge, which takes about 24hrs.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:36 PM   #5
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This is what works for me, and I leave connected all winter: http://batteryminders.com/details.php?prod=12117

Bob
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the responses.
Rustic Eagle,
I like that. I don't understand how it hooks to the battery though. Would I need the battery condition indicator for that?
or this http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...gy_auto_text_y
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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Russell,

The BatteryMINDer comes with (1) 2’ Battery Clip Cord Set with Quick Connector and (1) 2’ Fused Ring Terminal Cord Set with Quick Connector, no need to purchase anything else. Look down the web page under "Included Accessories". You can see what they look like by checking out page 10 of the instruction manual (pdf file): http://batteryminders.com/forms/manuals/plus_models.pdf

Also, the Battery Condition Indicator and Digital Multi-Meter are free gifts.., you get to choose one of them depending which BatteryMINDer is purchased. Run your 'cursor' over the Battery Condition Indicator on the web page it explains.

Bob
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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I use the Battery Tender on all my batteries. Never had an issue with it. One thing I've read is that whichever charger you use, don't place it higher than the battery. Apparently that makes it easier to overcharge or something. I just sit mine on the workbench in my garage and plug it in. It's basically level with the battery.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHaul View Post
snip......One thing I've read is that whichever charger you use, don't place it higher than the battery. Apparently that makes it easier to overcharge or something.....snip
Interesting, I never heard that before.

I do know that it is not recommended to place a charger "directly above" the battery to avoid gases from the battery corroding the charger.

Bob
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:08 PM   #10
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I`ve also heard to never store a battery on concrete, that it will drain it. Any truth to that one?
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