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Winterizing Battery

battery winterizing amperage voltage

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#1 jakeo25

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 09:36 AM

Hello folks

 

I am storing a 2010 Casita & truck at a friend's house for 6 months.  The friend runs the truck every 4-5 weeks for about 5 minutes.

 

While traveling he told me the truck battery was dead.  The 7pin cable is plugged into truck, and I do not have a battery isolator.   The Truck battery is 2.5 years old, and the Casita's deep cycle battery is only 6 months.  Assume nothing is on in camper (e.g. all lights are turned off).

 

1)  Is there a steady drain on the 12V line (from the truck) from the charge controller or other circuitry in Casita?  I know the LP detector runs continuous, but is this a significant load?

 

2)  without shore power, should a camper be plugged / not be plugged into towing vehicle?

 

3)  Recommendations:  disconnect Casita battery terminal?  Pull fuse(s)?

 

I am at a disadvantage of not being there to run some detailed tests (battery test, amp/volt meter) -- I can relay some quick suggestions.

 

Thank you for your help!

 

 


Best Regards and Aloha,

 

Jake


#2 Meadowlark

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:07 AM

Hello, Jake,

 

1.Yes, there is a drain on the tow vehicle battery, whether it's being used or not. Many owners (to include me)  advise to disconnect the camper from the TV (tow vehicle) if you're going to be parked for more than a few hours.

 

2. With or without shore power, you should always disconnect the camper from the TV, unless you want your truck battery to be drained, as you have sadly discovered.

 

3. You can leave the battery connected. But what we do is pull the battery completely and store it in the garage on a trickle charger.

 

So the answer is do NOT leave it connected to the tow vehicle for any length of time.

 

Now, for some probably unasked for advice..This is just from experience but , your friend is not doing his truck a favor by running it every few weeks for only five minutes. if it's going to be sitting any length of time, once you start it, let it run for a good half hour preferably by driving it. By running it for only five minute it only gets the various fluids circulating but running the truck for a while burns off water condensation in the various lines. Water will rust out the lines fairly quickly.

good luck!


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

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"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#3 Joe Romas

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:11 PM

Jake.

Besides the sensors the refrigerator in the later trailers has a circuit board that draws current constantly wither the refrigerator is on or off.

Some vehicles do not shut off the 12 volts to the 7 pin plug. 

So yes when not traveling the 7 pin plug should be disconnected.

And as meadowlark says it's better to leave the engine shut off, 5 minutes does not warm it up and to dry up condensation and only builds up more.

Also your truck may have parasitic loads from devices like power door locks that will run down your truck's battery.

 

Best advice at this point is to disconnect and charge both batteries and hope they recover.

 

Joe


Joe and Mary Romas
Columbus, OH
1999 Casita 17' SD
2017 GMC Seirra


#4 EdKH

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:49 PM

To piggy back on Meadowlark, running the truck for five minutes causes water to condense in the oil, the fuel lines, the engine cylinders.  The result of the condensation on the engine cylinders is rust and rust destroys the piston rings and very soon the engine will be burning a lot of engine oil.

 

I have a solar panel connected to my Casita that keeps the battery happy all winter long.

 

Disconnect the TOW vehicle and disconnect the battery in the Casita.  Buy one of those good trickle chargers that keep the battery warm.



#5 clairemr1

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 03:09 PM

in addition to the above advice, it is also recommended that you rotate the tires at least monthly, on both truck and casita. it is hard on tires to sit for extended periods with their weight on one area of the tire. any chance you can do some winter camping every 30 days or so? it can be lots of fun with the conveniences in the casita. if not, it would be good to take the resting weight off the tires............


Edited by clairemr1, 27 December 2017 - 03:12 PM.

claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

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