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routlaw

Battery Storage in the Winter

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Many have been concerned, myself included, with how well a battery pack stores in the winter especially if left outside. So with this being our first winter with the Oliver and its 4 pack of Trojan wet cells the following is what we have found. The long and short of it is there is nothing to worry about.

 

We've had a fairly cold winter up here above the 45th parallel and keep our Oliver stored at an RV storage facility with overhead roof but not enclosed. I'll admit we were a bit concerned about leaving the batteries out in the cold for this long of a period although I know a fully charged battery is supposed to be good for something like 90 below zero. So over the winter I went out to check on them 3 times, after a month and half they had dropped from 12.92 to 12.87, and just yesterday I checked again for the 3rd time this winter and the pack was still at 12.84. Thats still a fully charged battery after 4-5 months in a MT winter.

 

I hope this helps to alleviate any concerns for those in the northern hinterlands regarding battery problems. Granted for those of you living along the gulf coast and in the south its not a concern. The thought of unhooking all those batteries, taking them out storing at the house then re-installing later didn't seem like a good plan either.

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Routlaw:

 

I assume you did not leave the trailer plugged into 120 VAC for the winter storage. But did you turn the battery cut off switch to the OFF position, so there is no load on the batteries?

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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There is no electricity at the storage facility so you are right it was not plugged in, but by all means all switches were off so there was no parasitic drain to the batteries.

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If you only turned the equipment (TV, Radio, Fridge, etc) off by their own power switches you would still have some power being used. To completely disconnect any 12 VDC from being used is to pull all 12 VDC fuses or turn the 12VDC disconnect switch to the OFF position.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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Thats not what I said, totally aware of what you're talking about. The power to the Oliver was completely shut down via the two switches/breakers underneath the driver side bed. Had I left those breakers on the parasitic draw would have depleted the batteries within a month or two max.

 

I hope this helps.

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Routlaw:

 

I assumed that both 120VAC and 12VDC were turned off due to your voltage readings in the first post. The data you provided shows an excellent battery life in storage mode. Since this is the first winter that we have had the Oliver I wanted to see how the battery voltage would decay without 120VAC supplied to the trailer. It appears with just normal equipment draw the battery voltage drops approximately 0.4VDC in about 10 days without a charge. I plug the trailer into 120VAC about every 10 days for a couple of days. So far everything is looking good.

 

Thanks for the feedback.


Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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That sounds about right to me roughly .4 to half a volt drop every week to week and a half by leaving 12 volts sources active with their parasitic draw.

 

Don't know if you did the solar package or not, but our experience from this first year is we never run out of DC volts even camping in dappled light or partially shaded conditions. This past autumn we spent two weeks completely off the grid down in the SW and never came close to depleting our batteries. They charged to 100% every day. Earlier in the summer we spent about two weeks in the Glacier NP area and while we didn't get a 100% charge on most days due to the shade and or dappled light, we never came close to depleting the reserves having roughly low to mid 90's% charge each day. We used electricity liberally as needed just to see how far things could be pushed.

 

The long and short of it is we have been delighted not only with our winter storage of the batteries but also the charging capabilities.

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Yes that is correct, and by definition wet cells would imply the standard type of battery such as the T-105's that has been in use for eons. The AGM are maintenance free and do have some advantages though I'm not sure how well they perform in cold weather compared to a wet cell. Correct too on the 450 AH rating with the four combined.

 

At this point I'm convinced we could stay off the grid virtually indefinitely for at least 3 out of 4 seasons, running out of water and propane quicker than we would run out of electricity. Excessive use of the furnace and low sun angle with short days would preclude ideal charging rates and probably prevent obtaining staying off the grid during the winter months for long lengths of time.

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Guys,

 

I really hate to be a bit dense about this, but I'm still trying to figure out the wiring of Twist.

 

By turning the large red switch under the driver's side bed to the off position, I assume that this disconnects the batteries from everything to include the solar panels. Assuming that statement is correct then it appears to me that the only way to leave the solar panels connected to the batteries AND get rid of parasitic drain would be to pull fuses and/or circuit breakers.

 

I'm I correct?

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill there are two breaker switches just to the right of the large red round switch for the solar panels, those two also need to be disconnected. They should have gone over this on delivery day. I just brought ours out of storage yesterday, will try and get a couple of quick and dirty photos to illustrate the other two switches. If they are not tripped off, you will still have a parasitic drain indicated by the fact your control panels are still lit up.

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Hello from Kansas,

Here's a picture of the switches in the solar area with the functions. I believe you need to turn off the

switch in the top right corner to turn of the phantom sources.

Carol Moyer

 

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Stan and Carol


Blacksburg, VA


2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi


2014 Legacy Elite II Standard  Hull 63

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Below are two photos that illustrate the breaker switches that need to be off. Push the red button on top, and that should take care of it. To turn them back on, there will be a small trigger protruding once the red button is pushed, swing that back in place. This trigger runs perpendicular to the red buttons.

 

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So, even though there probably is not enough parasitic drain to cause a problem, in order to keep the solar panels charging the batteries without the parasitic drain, I should leave the red switch in the "on" position and push the red button on the breaker that turns the read-out panel lights off.

 

My panel is exactly like the one shown by Carol and, therefore, should be very easy to "paint by number".

 

Thanks Routlaw and those in Kansas for the help!

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Just for the record, I turn them all off including the charging switch, assuming I have a full charge.

 

On another thread here on this forum I reported about the winter storage of our batteries. Left them in place during a MT winter, late Oct through yesterday without depleting anything fore than a few tenths and this with no solar charge given that our Oliver was under a covered storage facility. It certainly doesn't hurt anything to turn all 3 off. However during camping season and if our camper is at the house I don't both turning any of them off. The solar panels will pour way more juice into the batteries than the parasitic draw would ever deplete them.

 

We have found during normal spring through autumn seasons the parasitic draw on the 4 T-105 batteries to be only about 2% maximum per night and even on cloudy or rainy days they will be back to full charge long before mid day, usually by 10 AM.

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So, even though there probably is not enough parasitic drain to cause a problem, in order to keep the solar panels charging the batteries without the parasitic drain, I should leave the red switch in the "on" position and push the red button on the breaker that turns the read-out panel lights off.

 

My panel is exactly like the one shown by Carol and, therefore, should be very easy to "paint by number".

 

Thanks Routlaw and those in Kansas for the help!

 

Bill

 

I'm having some issue with my batteries going dead. The "sea dog" switch keeps flipping off on its own when i'm plugged into shore power. and all of my batteries drained, but i have everything off..and to boot batteries won't get a charge at all, because the sea dog keeps flipping "off."

 

I'm having a new sea dog sent to me tomorrow from Oliver.

 

so, i may have to take it to a St. Louis camper place...man.

 

i'm going to get the Solar put on it down in Hohenwald later this spring/summer. but, was wanting to get 'er done before the camping season.


2016 Oliver Legacy Elite II, "Campie"


2016 Nissan Titan XD, Diesel, George II


Hobie Cat Kayak, 1998 (or so..)

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