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What do u do with your battery when you store your van?
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:56 am    Post subject: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

I know people who bring their vans to Europe from America, tour around for the Summer, then fly home and leave their van in storage in Europe over the Winter, then return again the Europe the next year....
....I am very curious to know what these people do with their starter batteries.

Obviously disconnect the neg.terminal before storage - but does not 11 months of sitting in perhaps a cool place drain down the battery - likely to death?

Of course I guess after 11 months you could just put a charger on the battery and try to charge it up.... but after 11 months, would not the battery be weakened so much that it might not hold a charge anymore?

Or do such people simply purchase a new battery every Summer upon arrival?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

Ideally one would put a battery on a trickle charger for long-term storage but I doubt a disconnected battery sitting in a cool environment will self-discharge more than a few tenths of a volt. Occasionally I've had to buy a battery that, according to its date code, had been sitting on the shelf for several months. I don't recall the specific numbers, but I don't think it was very much below the 12.6 volts that I should be sitting idle.

Ed
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

I don’t transport mine globally, but I don’t use it much in the winter. I use a battery maintenance charger with great results. I recommend choosing one with a thermometer so it can compensate charging.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

I would probably leave a “smart” trickle charger on the battery during storage. It works for those of us with boats.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

So with a battery in good shape, fully charged before storage, then left to sit for 11 months disconnect... then charged up again before next usage - should be fine?

Doesn't it damage a battery to be left unused and uncharged for 11 months?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

No, you don’t want to leave a battery uncharged. Their lifespan will be severely limited. Maintenance chargers are affordable and dead simple to use.

Keep the distilled water at the proper level, maintenance charge and you will get many years of service.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
So with a battery in good shape, fully charged before storage, then left to sit for 11 months disconnect... then charged up again before next usage - should be fine?


That has been my experience. I would worry more about what will happen to fuel left in the engine, tank and lines during that interval.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
epowell wrote:
So with a battery in good shape, fully charged before storage, then left to sit for 11 months disconnect... then charged up again before next usage - should be fine?


That has been my experience. I would worry more about what will happen to fuel left in the engine, tank and lines during that interval.


^^^^^

In a temperate climate a lead acid battery in good condition will not lose that much charge over nine months and a quick charge will typically bring it up the remaining little bit. If the battery is going to see arctic cold or desert heat then moving the battery to a temperature controlled location would be necessary. In general leaving the battery in the car is not a good idea, in case your 11 months becomes a year + eleven months or even more.

I regularly leave my cars and trucks sitting for 6 months at a time and they will almost always start with out extra help even with fairly aged batteries. Fuel however can be much more of a problem. Use ethanol free fuel for your last two fill ups before parking your rig.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

Consider solar, it also depends if the vehicle is stored inside or outside.

this happened 2 me twice when storing my van in Europe, first time i bought a new battery, the second time a fancy rejuvenation charger waked the stone dead battery that was one year old.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

puchfinnland wrote:
Consider solar, it also depends if the vehicle is stored inside or outside.

this happened 2 me twice when storing my van in Europe, first time i bought a new battery, the second time a fancy rejuvenation charger waked the stone dead battery that was one year old.


So if storing the van outdoors it is possible to rig up a small solar panel to some sort of trickle charger to permanently keep the battery alive?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/noma-5w-solar-battery-trickle-charger-0112510p.html
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

RoryGirl wrote:
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/noma-5w-solar-battery-trickle-charger-0112510p.html


seriously! ...all you have to do is put this inside the van next to a window that gets sun, then run 2 wires to you battery, and the sun will keep you battery indefinitely charged up???
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fxr
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
puchfinnland wrote:
Consider solar, it also depends if the vehicle is stored inside or outside.

this happened 2 me twice when storing my van in Europe, first time i bought a new battery, the second time a fancy rejuvenation charger waked the stone dead battery that was one year old.


So if storing the van outdoors it is possible to rig up a small solar panel to some sort of trickle charger to permanently keep the battery alive?

Yes, a very standard method. A small 15W or 20W panel inside the windscreen will do the job. However, you need to ensure that the battery isn't over-charged, so some sort of charger controller is needed to keep the battery at it's optimum float voltage, typically 13.6V. A simple voltage regulator will do the job - just one of these for each van? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D7CM4NF

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

fxr wrote:
epowell wrote:
puchfinnland wrote:
Consider solar, it also depends if the vehicle is stored inside or outside.

this happened 2 me twice when storing my van in Europe, first time i bought a new battery, the second time a fancy rejuvenation charger waked the stone dead battery that was one year old.


So if storing the van outdoors it is possible to rig up a small solar panel to some sort of trickle charger to permanently keep the battery alive?

Yes, a very standard method. A small 15W or 20W panel inside the windscreen will do the job. However, you need to ensure that the battery isn't over-charged, so some sort of charger controller is needed to keep the battery at it's optimum float voltage, typically 13.6V. A simple voltage regulator will do the job - just one of these for each van? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D7CM4NF

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is a great idea... can also use on camping trips when we hangout for a long time in one spot.
Great to know this... seems like a great way to go.

But won't work with indoor storage I guess?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

Self discharge rate if a flooded cell battery is of the order of 1% per day. Leaving it for 11 months will damage it

Battery tender needed for more than a month
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:

This is a great idea... can also use on camping trips when we hangout for a long time in one spot.
Great to know this... seems like a great way to go.

But won't work with indoor storage I guess?

What I've suggested is only good for keeping the starter battery trickle-charged. Useless for camping, if you are thinking of keeping lights lit and radios working. That requires a whole different approach.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

fxr wrote:
epowell wrote:

This is a great idea... can also use on camping trips when we hangout for a long time in one spot.
Great to know this... seems like a great way to go.

But won't work with indoor storage I guess?

What I've suggested is only good for keeping the starter battery trickle-charged. Useless for camping, if you are thinking of keeping lights lit and radios working. That requires a whole different approach.


I get it --- it will only add a tiny amount daily, enough to compensate for normal loss without any use.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
Self discharge rate if a flooded cell battery is of the order of 1% per day. Leaving it for 11 months will damage it

Battery tender needed for more than a month


If this were true my batteries would all be ruined within a few months, whereas in actuality most live for seven years or more. Les Schwab gives their better batteries a 7 year warranty and most every battery I have ever bought from them has a life that has exceeded the warranty period.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:31 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

https://www.progressivedyn.com/service/battery-bas...er%20week.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:31 pm    Post subject: Re: What do u do with your battery when you store your van? Reply with quote

Better to disconnect the battery just in case you have a small accessory that will slowly drain a battery like a radio that always has power to it to keep the preset channels.
A trickle charger like any one of the "Battery Tender" models will work, but I like to make sure the battery has a full charge either by driving it or giving them a full charge from a battery charger. before putting them on a trickle charger.

Now if it is a trickle charger that has to be set for the battery using push button switches makes sure it keeps the settings if the neighorhood looses power in a storm. You probably will not be there to reset it when power comes baack on.
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