Overwintering batteries

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by SmithsInFrance, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. SmithsInFrance

    SmithsInFrance Funster

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    We've just put our MH away for a couple of months (bit like a tortoise and its first hibernation). So what should we do about the batteries?
    • I suggested we should disconnect both the engine and habitation batteries
    • Mr S says that although MH is in a large barn, there is some daylight and we should not disconnect as the solar panel will provide a trickle top up
    What do you recommend? Thanks (we couldn't love our MH more if it was a tortoise, so want to do right by it ;))
     
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  2. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Disconnecting the vehicle battery will disable the alarm/tracker or whatever and so might invalidate your insurance. I would imagine the amount of solar charge you would get indoors in the winter would be close to zilch.
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Solar needs sunlight, not daylight, to be of any use but in a barn I wouldn't bother too much.
    Disconnect batteries ! ....is the van alarmed ?

    If no hook up available I would remove batteries and bench charge at home once a month or so if there's no alarm connected
     
  4. SmithsInFrance

    SmithsInFrance Funster

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    Thanks but we are in France and don't have an alarm or tracker and the insurance don't require it over here.
    Did wonder just how much solar charge we would get at this time of year, even with rooflights in the barn
     
  5. SmithsInFrance

    SmithsInFrance Funster

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    As the barn is only up the road we might be as well to just go up and take it out for a little run and ehu for a day then? Mr S reluctant to disconnect batteries for some reason... (bad back doesn't help)
     
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  6. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    its best to leave your engine battery connected and just take it for a wee run from time to time
    bill
     
  7. SmithsInFrance

    SmithsInFrance Funster

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    Thanks Bill - Mr S will be relieved
     
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  8. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    another alternative just keep using it
    bill
     
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  9. SmithsInFrance

    SmithsInFrance Funster

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    We did last winter (our first one) and have been away for Christmas to Alsace, which was fab, but grandparent duties mean we have to put it away for a while. Shame, winter in Spain is very tempting.............
     
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  10. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Couple of options, First I would not advise disconnecting the batteries, they discharge even so, therefore very little point, Yes I think you will get a Small charge via solar so long as it can see daylight, but likely not enough to be of use. Can you get hold of a small generator?. take that up plug it into the EHU, and run it for an hour or 2.? The best way though will still be to take it out for "walkies" periodically, as the brakes engine and auxiliaries all get some exercise, Sleepy motor homes eventually give trouble. But make sure it is thoroughly warmed through before you put it back to bed. We periodically take ours to the seaside at Bridlington, have a walk and an Ice cream (or stronger) make a cuppa, and then come home again, just enough exercise to give the M-H a chance of not being troublesome when used in earnest!.
     
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  11. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    grate advice (y)
     
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  12. The general

    The general Funster

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    I thought solar panel would perform best in bright sunlight , but would also give a small charge as long as it is daylight i.e. Cloudy conditions very very small charge ?
     
  13. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Our MH had an 85 Watt solar panel, was parked outdoors with the panel on the back of the luton (so with a slight angle towards the sun) and struggled to maintain charge on both batteries during Dec-Feb because of low sunlight levels. I doubt if solar will work in a barn.

    A regular run out, maybe every 2-3 weeks will probably help. I usually leave the handbrake off in storage too, and chock the wheels. No point straining the cable any more than it needs.
     
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  14. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Forgot to mention that. My First R-V , on the P30 chassis, would seize the brakes after as little as a Month. The cable(s) had a 24ft+ run, but the biggest issue was with the linings tending to almost bond themselves to the Drums. On start-up, you could feel the "thump" as the shoes released, and the thing would jump forward, needing a quick application of the brakes!
     
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