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Battery maintenance for 4.5 month storage


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Hi Everyone,

       Find it necessary to store our Oliver Elite 2 for 5-6 months.  What is the best procedure to keep the 4 batteries up to specs for that period of time.  Would it be advisable to keep our unit plugged into AC, or should I use a battery maintainer on them?

Appreciate any suggestions and advice.

Charlie

Charlie

Hull 734 - 2021 Oliver Elite II

pulled by F-150

Out of Florida

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Charlie - 

Are these four batteries regular lead acid, AGM or Lithium?

Will you be storing the Ollie covered - inside a building or having a camper cover (CalMark or the like)?

Do you have household current available to you that is reliable?

Will you be reasonably near the Ollie so that you can check on it every 6 to 8 weeks or so?

Since you have 4 batteries I assume that you have an Elite II - do you have solar on the roof or portable or both?

Bill

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

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Others may disagree but we have stored our Elite II with 4 lead acid batteries over long Montana winter months with no issues for 7 years now. All I have done is to make sure they are fully charged, then turn off solar, and all parasitic battery drains. Once I bring the camper out of storage they still maintain a charge of 12.8 volts ± a fraction. If you leaved them plugged in and continually charging you will most like boil the water out of them doing more damage in the long run than disconnecting. Note this includes solar charging as well. After over 7 years our 4 batteries are just now starting to diminish a slight amount as of this past winter. Hope this helps.

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Legacy Elite II #70

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We are new Oliver owners, recently purchasing hull #671; we will be storing it temporarily for a few months indoors, and we want to unhook the batteries, but how do we turn off the solar? Thanks!
 

2020 LEII #671; 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 4x4

 

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3 hours ago, Degmom said:

how do we turn off the solar?

Do you have a red battery disconnect switch in the upper cabinet above street side bunk?   That’s the solar cutoff.  See pic of the one in my 2021.   Not sure if 2020 had that or not.    If you don’t have that switch,  see pic of 2019 solar electrical diagram.   You should disconnect at the batteries.   Caution, the circuit will be energized if the solar panels are exposed to light.  This could lead to accidental short circuit and fire.   You can turn the solar panel current “off” by removing the two blade fuses on the roof, or putting tarps over the panels.

See topgun2 post from April 6 above .   Depending on the answers to his  questions,  disconnecting the batteries for just a few months might not be necessary. 

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“Ramble” - 2021 Legacy Elite II #797;  2020 Ford F-250

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I leave my Ollie for 4 to 8 weeks at a time, and always turn off my lithium batteries with the little on/off buttons on top of each battery. The solar panel is always receiving sunshine, but not converting it because the batteries are off. Then when I turn the batteries back on, the panels start putting power into the batteries. 

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2021 Elite II #841, 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, 3.0 diesel

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3 minutes ago, Cameron said:

The solar panel is always receiving sunshine, but not converting it because the batteries are off.

Cameron….Does your Elite II have that red BlueSeas solar cutoff switch?

“Ramble” - 2021 Legacy Elite II #797;  2020 Ford F-250

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2 hours ago, Cameron said:

Excellent question. Don't know. If it's there, I've never used it.

I assume OTT installing them on all solar packages now.   Might be useful if you ever have to disconnect batteries.  The solar circuit can be turned off so the circuit is  not energized when sun is shining. 

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“Ramble” - 2021 Legacy Elite II #797;  2020 Ford F-250

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Well, looks like we do not have the red solar cut off and we don’t have a breaker or fuse for solar in the battery compartment, so we disconnected the positive lead on the battery and then the solar charge controller starts humming and all the lights on the charge controller light up. Will this hurt anything?

Its parked in a garage with windows, so it’s not completely dark in there. We do have 4 wet cell batteries.

2020 LEII #671; 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 4x4

 

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3 hours ago, Degmom said:

we want to unhook the batteries, but how do we turn off the solar?

Please forgive what may be a stupid question.  But what is to be gained by disconnecting the solar panels when the Ollie is parked in a garage with only windows?  There should be very little power generated by solar panels receiving no direct sunlight.  What am I missing?

 

Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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I believe you have a potentially unsafe situation,  the solar circuit is energized, even in the garage.   I don’t know if the live circuit is harmful to the controller, but I would not take a chance. .   There should be two blade fuses on the roof under the solar panels, one for each panel.  If you pull those, you won’t have any current flow.   You could also place a tarp over the panels.   See screenshot below from the Zamp Controller manual.   If your trailer is parked in a  garage that can get to periodically, why not just leave the batteries connected?    You will still have some small parasitic draw.    Flip the AC charger breaker on occasionally  and charge the batteries, then turn off.

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“Ramble” - 2021 Legacy Elite II #797;  2020 Ford F-250

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3 hours ago, Mike D. said:

The solar circuit can be turned off so wires are not hot when sun is shining. 

By using the word "hot" in this context it means that the wires have current flowing through them.

1 hour ago, Rivernerd said:

There should be very little power generated by solar panels receiving no direct sunlight. 

Yes, you are correct - but - there STILL could be current flowing through them.  In the event that the leads to the batteries are possibly handled incorrectly then they could cause a shock or could cause a short that possibly could start a fire.

 

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

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That "red" switch that Mike D pictures above just may not be in that same location.  For a long time this switch was placed under the street side bed.  Look around - if you see that switch it is your ticket to happiness.🙂

Bill

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

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14 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

By using the word "hot" in this context it means that the wires have current flowing through them.

Good catch, thank you.  Poor choice of words, I edited my post. 

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“Ramble” - 2021 Legacy Elite II #797;  2020 Ford F-250

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Thanks for all the input! At the moment, the garage has no electricity, as it has recently been built and we haven’t hooked up electric to it yet. We’ll go look around and see if we might find that cut off switch and/or fuses and let you know. THANKS!

2020 LEII #671; 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 4x4

 

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Unfortunately, at the mercy of electrical contractor’s schedule. At this point we’re hoping by the end of summer 🙂

2020 LEII #671; 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 4x4

 

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13 minutes ago, Degmom said:

At this point we’re hoping by the end of summer 

And, hopefully that is way before deer season starts!🙄

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

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Blue Seas Single Circuit 6006.   Click on higher resolution pic if you’d like to confirm.   Note this switch disconnects the positive circuit between the panels and the controller.   Zamp Tech Service told me they do not recommend a switch between their Zamp controller and batteries. 

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“Ramble” - 2021 Legacy Elite II #797;  2020 Ford F-250

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We just picked up Elite II and have it inside storage with electric available.  We are waiting on a f150 delivery that is delayed because of lack of a chip so don't know when we will be able to take it out again.  It has wet cell batteries.  When we had a casita with 1 wet cell it was put on a battery minder when not it use.  My question is what is best way to deal with 4 wet cells.  Routlaw mentioned turning off all parasitic battery drains-I'm not sure what ALL of them are.  We live close to our storage and can check on Oliver frequently.  Any advice appreciated.

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If inside electric is available then I would simply put the batteries on a smart charger (battery minder).  Remember to go over to the Ollie every few weeks to make sure that you are still good on fluid levels in the batteries - of course this assumes that your batteries are flooded wet cell batteries.  If they are AGM's then they take care of themselves regarding fluid.

If you are doing the above then turning things like your propane/co2 detector off is not necessary - they don't really draw all that much current.  However, if you decide to NOT use the smart charger then I'd take the fuse out of the propane/co2 detector Its located right behind the detector under the dinette seat), and disconnect (via the two main fuses) the rest of the 12 volt current in the Ollie.

Bill

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

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On a YouTube video by Nate Yarbarough in his series The Explorist Life, he mentions an electrical code that says when installing a switch between solar panels and a charge controller, the switch used must simultaneously disconnect both the positive and negative wires.

I'm looking into installing solar and lithium on my trailer and am working through the details.   

Anyone have any input, knowledge or discussion of any potential problems with installing a Blue Sea switch on only the positive wire between the solar panels and the charge controller?

 

 

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