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Old 11-05-2015, 08:34 AM   #1
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Question Winter Batteries (Trickle to both?)

My first winter with a Class C, and I'm thinking about the batteries, both the house and the truck batteries. After our Thanksgiving trip to OBX, I'll be putting the rig away till March/April. I'm wondering if I need to take both batteries out of the MH and put them both on a battery tender over the winter??? I think the answer is 'yes'...that I should do both. Thoughts?

If I should trickle charge both...Can I have them hooked up at the same time, to the same battery tender? I have this battery tender.

Battery Tender® Plus

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Old 11-05-2015, 08:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikester View Post
If I should trickle charge both...Can I have them hooked up at the same time, to the same battery tender? I have this battery tender.

Battery Tender® Plus

Thank you
If both your batteries are IDENTICAL in AH RATING, SIZE and Mfr date, then yes you can use the same battery tender... Provided the Battery Tender has sufficient output for more than one battery. You will need less than 1 amp to keep FULLY charged batteries at a full charge over the winter. In cold weather the batteries do not discharge as fast as they do in hot weather. If you can leave them in the RV and disconnect any loads to them, you will be just fine.

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Old 11-05-2015, 09:11 AM   #3
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Kinda off topic...

Bikester,
Is that a good tender? I'm in the market and really not sold on any in particular.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:15 AM   #4
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"The Battery Tender® Plus is a 1.25 amp battery charger designed to fully charge a battery and maintain it at proper storage voltage without the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers."

Don't understand what they mean by damaging effects of trickle charging, unless we are talking about applying that charge to the wrong state of charge. This tender doesn't represent it has smart charging capabilities, so I assume you are expected to make your own state of charge assessments.

The battery tender description says it will charge a battery (singular).

It doesn't say what kinds of batteries it will charge or how it charges them.
1) As to how, there are four stages of charging:

Smart chargers should offer 3 stages of charging:
a) Bulk charge: The primary purpose of a battery charger is to recharge a battery. This first stage is typically where the highest voltage and amperage the charger is rated for will actually be used. The level of charge that can be applied without overheating the battery is known as the battery's natural absorption rate. For a typical 12 volt AGM battery, the charging voltage going into a battery will reach 14.6-14.8 volts, while flooded batteries can be even higher. For the gel battery, the voltage should be no more than 14.2-14.3 volts. If the charger is a 10 amp charger, and if the battery resistance allows for it, the charger will put out a full 10 amps.This stage will recharge batteries that are severely drained. There is no risk of overcharging in this stage because the battery hasn't even reached full yet. http://www.batterystuff.com/blog/3-s...vwfHA.dpuf]FAQ |

b: Absorption charge: Smart chargers will detect voltage and resistance from the battery prior to charging. After reading the battery the charger determines which stage to properly charge at. Once the battery has reached 80%* state of charge, the charger will enter the absorption stage. At this point most chargers will maintain a steady voltage, while the amperage declines. The lower current going into the battery safely brings up the charge on the battery without overheating it.
This stage takes more time. For instance, the last remaining 20% of the battery takes much longer when compared to the first 20% during the bulk stage. The current continuously declines until the battery almost reaches full capacity.
c)Trickle charge: Some chargers enter float mode as early as 85% state of charge but others begin closer to 95%. Either way, the float stage brings the battery all the way through and maintains the 100% state of charge. The voltage will taper down and maintain at a steady 13.2-13.4 volts, which is the maximum voltage a 12 volt battery can hold. The current will also decrease to a point where it's considered a trickle. That's where the term "trickle charger" comes from. It's essentially the float stage where there is charge going into the battery at all times, but only at a safe rate to ensure a full state of charge and nothing more. Most smart chargers do not turn off at this point, yet it is completely safe to leave a battery in float mode for months to even years at a time.
2) A fourth stage is an equalization charge, if appropriate for your type of battery: An equalizing charge for a 12 volt battery requires that it be charged with a voltage of at least 14.4 volts for a period of at least one hour once a month, or every 10 discharge cycles. An equalizing charge prevents battery stratification and reduces sulfation, the leading cause of battery failure.

Recommend reading the 12 volt side of life, parts 1 and 2
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:24 AM   #5
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You'll get lots of opinions either way. For mine - I just disconnect the negative terminals at the battery, and leave it until spring. Since between the fifth and the boat I have five to deal with....
Batteries do self discharge over time. Hence the recommendation from some to keep them on a trickle charge. But, that self discharge gets lower and lower the colder it gets. At room temp, you do need to use a trickle charger, or monitor and periodically recharge. Outdoors, the colder it gets, the better. Fully charged batteries will not freeze unless temps get down to -92F (!). So here in Minn. we have the perfect climate for long term battery storage. In NJ, you'd have to look at your average winter temps, do a little googling, and then decide.
For me, after 6 months outside, my batteries are always still at 85-95% full.
Just make sure they are at 100%, and they are completely disconnected if you elect to skip the indoor storage.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:58 AM   #6
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Do you plug your RV in while at home? I know the power center on my Seneca has 4 different modes for charging/maintaining the house batteries while plugged in.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:26 AM   #7
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My understanding the house and coach batteries are isolated from each other, so one trickle charge in the MH will not maintain both batteries at the same time. Also they are two different type of batteries so you should not try to trickle charge them all winter together.

First make sure each cell of the house battery has enough DISTILLED water (only use distilled water).

With a Class C coach I am assuming you have a gas engine. Do you have a generator? If so, you really need to start it up every month and let it run for an hour. The ethanol in modern fuel kill carburetors if it is allowed to sit, and will cause you to rebuild it in the spring if it is not properly maintained. Also use a good fuel stabilizer.

If the MH is at home, you have a few options; Plugged it in all winter, this will maintain the house battery, but will not touch the Coach battery. Add a battery maintainer under the hood and plug it into a MH outlet to keep the coach battery in good shape. The Coach has a lot of parasite drains, if you can disconnect the battery from the coach that would help battery life.

If you have the space in the garage or basement, you can pull the batteries put them inside, periodically, put the maintainer on each battery. This is what I do with all my batteries, but I do not have a MH. I connect each one up for about a week. Then switch and do a different battery. I do this just a few times over the course of the winter.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:10 PM   #8
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Probably not a good idea to parallel the two batteries with a tender. If your MH is plugged in the converter will keep the battery charged. If not, it probably needs to be hooked up to a battery tender as there may be some parasitic draw even though the battery disconnect switch is set on disconnect. Either that or unhook the negative side of the house battery. As for the chassis battery, there is parasitic draw on it that cannot be avoided (would you believe the transmission is one of them) so it needs to be disconnected or a battery tender hooked up to it. The Deltran Battery Tender has worked fine for me for 10 years for maintaining my chassis battery.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWP723 View Post
Kinda off topic...

Bikester,
Is that a good tender? I'm in the market and really not sold on any in particular.

Yes it is, I used it on my travel trailer and it worked great! Very easy with lots of attachments.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:51 AM   #10
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I like and use the Battery Minder brand of low amp charger/maintainers. They advertise how many batteries each unit will maintain via the "Y" connectors and they desulfate as well. I've got several of them for the boat/cars/RV, etc. I connected one of these to a old and weak motorcycle battery several years ago, and it brought it back to life over the winter time.
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