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Old 03-14-2023, 10:30 PM   #1
missyoh
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Talking Battery-new to camping:)

If not camping say for 8-9 months out of the year, what should I do with battery? We parked our camper for perhaps 6 months and our new 2021 battery won't work. Also, what are the terms for the battery I am replacing...camper is stored far away Thank you, NEWBIE
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Old 03-15-2023, 11:16 AM   #2
Chuck v
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Lead acid (flooded cell) storage batteries of the type used in most RVs will 'self-discharge' over time, and you need to top off the charge when the rig is not in use.

Also, this type of battery can be permanently damaged if its charge is let to go completely flat at any point. The battery that was new in 2021 may no longer be of service...depending on how deeply it was discharged.


Look on your existing battery -- it should have a group number and a service rating. Batteries generally fall into "starting" for cranking an engine, "deep cycle" for long, slow discharge as in RV house batteries, and 'marine" which is a hybrid of the first two use classes.


Starting batteries are rated in terms of CCA (cold cranking amps) which is a measure of the high discharge rate an engine starting service places on such a battery.


Deep cycle batteries are often rated in AH (ampere-hours) which states how long a constant load can be supplied. There are 5 hour and 20 hour ratings and perhaps a few more, but suffice it to say the slower you take out the energy the more total energy you will get. Batteries are chemical storage systems, and the discharge at higher rates will limit the total yield. The AH rating will also determine the optimum recharge rate -- most batteries suggest a C/5 or C/10 rate, meaning that the charging is done at a rate of the capacity divided by 5 or 10. Recharging a battery takes more energy than was drained (the cycle is not nearly 100% efficient...) so it takes longer to recharge than to discharge at the same current flow.


Since you are talking about a single battery, you may have a small tow-able rig. Some larger RVs have banks of multiple batteries, and those with engines and generators may have multiple banks. My own diesel pusher coach had a two battery bank for engine starting, another two battery bank for 'house' use (lights, fans...) and a third 4 battery bank for the inverter and to start the generator.


You can get more specific answers to your questions on this forum if you state the model and year of your RV -- most of us include such information in our signature blocks.


Chuck
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Old 03-15-2023, 12:48 PM   #3
Chuck v
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Forgot to mention that even in the smallest and most basic camper RVs there are some battery loads that you cannot turn off, like the CO2 detectors used in some models. If your detector does not have its own separate disposable battery, it runs off the system 12 volt battery.


Even without separate non-switchable loads, the self discharge of a battery means it should be disconnected and stored with occasional charge cycles in the off season. Some outdoor storage scenarios allow for solar chargers to be used for this 'topping' function -- but under a few feet of snow this is not a good alternative.


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Old 03-15-2023, 10:01 PM   #4
NavyLCDR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missyoh View Post
If not camping say for 8-9 months out of the year, what should I do with battery? We parked our camper for perhaps 6 months and our new 2021 battery won't work. Also, what are the terms for the battery I am replacing...camper is stored far away Thank you, NEWBIE
For long term storage you have a few options:
1. Connect a battery tender that is meant to keep a battery charged during long periods of storage
2. If you have a decent multi-state charging converter in the RV, you can leave shore power plugged in with the regular power cord
3. Disconnect all of the leads attached to the negative post of the battery
4. Disconnect the battery completely, remove it, and take it home and store it in a more temperature controlled environment

If you have a simple trailer with a single, dealer installed battery it likely came with something like this:

capture4.jpg
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Old 03-19-2023, 11:21 AM   #5
Mike1931
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missyoh View Post
If not camping say for 8-9 months out of the year, what should I do with battery? We parked our camper for perhaps 6 months and our new 2021 battery won't work. Also, what are the terms for the battery I am replacing...camper is stored far away Thank you, NEWBIE
If it were me, I would pull the battery out. If itís gone through a freeze and itís dead! Itís junkÖ
I would take it to your nearest Costco and exchange it for a new one.
Costco has the best warranty of all.

Make sure you go to your local auto parts store, and buy a battery filler container, then pick up a gallon of distilled water at your local grocery store.
(yes I said distilled)
Regular tap water is bad for lead acid batteries.

Now either, keep your unit plugged into shore power, so it will be charged all the time, or totally disconnected when in a storage facility.

NOTE; if a battery is plugged into power or has a good charge when disconcerted, the battery will not freeze.

My coach has six, 6 volt deep cycle batteries and the last about 4 maybe 5 years with a good maintenance program.

Just attempting to teach you and other that stop by to read this.

Mike R
Tulalip Washington
35 Miles Northwest of
Seattle
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