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Old 09-27-2015, 06:46 PM   #1
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What to do with Battery over Winter

I installed a single Gp 24 Trojan battery this year, and equipped it with a 100 W Renogy solar panel. We boondock 100%, and this system has virtually eliminated the need for a generator.

In years past, for my boat, lawn tractor, etc I ahve always removed the battery for the Winter, put it in the basement and kept them fully charged. I wonder about this one. Its kinda heavy and taxes my arthritis, hence the wondering.

I WILL need the battery for hunting season, up till about December. From Jan-Feb the campground is inaccessible due to snow pack. I could remove it in December, provided the weather cooperates.

The solar panel will be coverd with snow part of the time. But then again when it thaws it'll be out in the open again. Can never predict what the weather will be.

The trailer has a battery switch, so there will be no parasitic draw. Once the snow melts the solar should bring it back up. Any downsides to leaving the battery in?
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:54 PM   #2
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Our trailer is stored from the middle of December to around February 15 and I leave my batteries in the trailer. Winters here are cold, but not awful; lowest lows would be round 15, but usually high 20's or above.

Like you, I use a battery disconnect switch. I always make sure that the batteries are fully charged before I store the trailer for the winter. So far I have had no problems. And I don't even have solar to help out. So I think you're safe to leave them in the trailer over the winter.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:32 AM   #3
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Store in the garage connected to a battery tender. Check the water level every now and then.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:55 AM   #4
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I pull mine and put them into the garage until May, Will head out after my trip to Washington and cover the trailer and pull the batteries.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:16 AM   #5
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I haven't gone a winter with this particular TT. But with my p-up, I'd take the battery home and keep it in the basement on a tender.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:16 AM   #6
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I agree with RVhiker. If you have the batteries fully charged when you close up the TT, for the 2 or 3 months, should not be an issue. I would leave your SOLAR panel connected, as you will get some light through the snow and that will put some energy back into the batteries.

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Old 09-30-2015, 08:28 AM   #7
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ideally, bringing it home and putting it on a battery tender would be ideal. However, I understand the issue about it being heavy. I am not sure where Wheatfield is at, but, if you did choose to leave it on the TT, I would make sure a few weeks before your last trip out, to top off the cells with DISTILLED water, and ensure they are in good shape. ensure the TT's power load has been removed, and that you can trick charge it with your solar panels as they get light. You should be ok. I would be most concerned if you tried that in one of the areas that truly gets dumped on and does not see any light until March/April, and where the temps are well below 0 degrees for extended periods. If that was the case you could risk freezing the battery if it is week.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:51 AM   #8
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Here is a report from the Trojan battery company about storage (clicky) of lead acid batteries. To me the most important information is about the freezing temperatures of fully charged batteries and the low self-discharge rates of lead acid batteries at cool temperatures.
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:58 AM   #9
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Wheatfield is Western NY. The TT is in Southern NY, along the PA border. Dead of Winter temps are usually in the sub freezing range, with a few days above freezing and a few below xero. Total annual snow is in the 90 inch range, of course that is spread out between Thanksgiving and late March.

As a matter of fact, I just checked fluid level and it only took a couple of ounces total, after 5 months of continuous solar panel use. So there is no boiling to be concerned with. It is virtually at 100% charge by Noon each day when in use, and when we are not there I would guess it always stays at 100%.

I'm not worrying about freezing, since even at the worst conditions I don't think it would self discharge low enough.

There are really only about 2 months that I would not have access. The other months, even if there is snow, as long as I can get in I can wipe the snow off the panel.

I have 2 boats and a lawn tractor and I would not think of leaving those batteries installed. They go in the basement and are charged the first of each month with a smart charger. But then again, none of these vehicles have a solar panel that can keep them going.
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