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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: scanzel on February 18, 2013, 11:37:07 AM



Title: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: scanzel on February 18, 2013, 11:37:07 AM
During the winter months when some of us cannot head south we need to keep start and house batteries from loosing charge. I would like to know what everyone does or uses to keep the batteries up. ;D ;D


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: goutoe on February 18, 2013, 12:16:24 PM
Steve I bought a 7 day timer I have it to come on about 3 hours once a week, that way Im not cooking my house batteries by overcharging, seems to work fine, I try to start the bus once a month to charge the start batteries.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: belfert on February 18, 2013, 12:45:31 PM
I have a Battery Tender Plus for my chassis batteries and a Prosine inverter for my house batteries.  I do nothing for my generator battery and it never fails to start the generator.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: gus on February 18, 2013, 12:52:31 PM
The Battery Tender or Battery Minder can't be beat if you have no multi-phase converter or inverter charger.

The only difference I can see is that one plugs directly into an outlet and the other has a cord to the outlet. I prefer the direct one because it isn't so easily tangled; however, sometimes it can't be plugged into a wall outlet because it is too big. It is easy to plug into an extension cord though.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: Melbo on February 18, 2013, 02:45:03 PM
Although not in the coldest of climates I just disconnect EVERYTHING and check the state of charge monthly on all my batteries.

I have four start group 31's  -- a gen start batt --- four 8d agm house batts and a 12 volt agm house batt.

If any battery or group start to show discharge issues I run the gen for 5 or 6 hours to get everything back to normal.

I have been able to leave the bus parked for as much as five months with no issues.

Melbo


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: Gerry H on February 20, 2013, 08:20:57 AM
   Steve: Here in Minnesota we have the same winter problems. I have a pair of Battery minder model 12248 on the start batteries and an Iota DLS27-25m w/IQ-4 on the house batteries. I leave them on year round. It's been 3 years of winters since I installed them and have no problems so far. Starter batteries are 4 Group 31 std auto batteries, house - 2 group 4D AGM's Don't have much house load.
Battery minders model 12248 are great, found a deal on line for them.
Your DDEC and equalizers draw current all the time, so 2 amps or more capability recommended. Mine are 8 amps each. Some 2 amp trickle or less may not keep up batteries.
Good luck Gerry H


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: PCC on February 21, 2013, 12:03:28 PM
The best unit we have found is the multi-stage chargers from Power Stream in Utah.

Mike (801-764-9060) was great to offer information on the different models, and they are the designers and engineers for their units, so it is an American product.



Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: luvrbus on February 21, 2013, 01:06:26 PM
Best battery charger is the Dewalt 2 to 8 amps with float feature cost 29 bucks at Lowes beats all the so called battery tenders


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: bobofthenorth on February 21, 2013, 02:52:48 PM
All I've ever done is pull the disconnects and walk away from it.  If you truly disconnect all loads and don't leave it sit for more than 6 months then you shouldn't have to worry about it.  Generally after 6 months sitting I will put a charger on it before trying to crank but not always. 


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: Oonrahnjay on February 21, 2013, 03:10:53 PM
  Best battery charger is the Dewalt 2 to 8 amps with float feature cost 29 bucks at Lowes beats all the so called battery tenders 

^^^^  Whut ee sed!


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: gus on February 21, 2013, 04:12:38 PM
From what I've read batt plates start to oxidize in only a couple of weeks. This lead oxide slowly accumulates when one sits for months and finally kills it.

I have no idea if this is all true but it makes sense, I know there are all kinds of snake oil products advertised to break up this oxide!


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: bobofthenorth on February 21, 2013, 04:59:16 PM
I dunno much about batteries Gus but my start batts weren't new when we bought the bus and we used them for 7 years with the kind of treatment I described above.  Its a rare year that they haven't sat for at least 3 or 4 months sometime during the year, often longer.  In my business there were far more batteries killed by being deep discharged than died from just sitting.  I'd hate to think how many batteries I've bought over the years.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: Oregonconversion on February 21, 2013, 10:20:57 PM
I got a 24V charger off Ebay for $9 that was for an electric scooter. I have this on a house timer charging my chassis 8D batteries 15 minutes every day. It has worked for 3 years now with no problems.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: Oregonconversion on February 21, 2013, 10:22:37 PM
For my house batteries my inverter takes care of them. I just keep the bus plugged into shore power.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: belfert on February 22, 2013, 08:23:35 AM
Does Dewalt really make a car battery charger?  I can't find one sold anywhere online.  I see on Lowe's website a Stanley 3 stage car battery charger for $30.  I haven't been to an actual Lowe's store yet was the nearest store is about a 30 mile round trip.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: luvrbus on February 22, 2013, 11:48:00 AM
Yes Dewalt makes a charger I have 3 they are about 6x3 inches it comes with a stand or you can hang it on a wall has LED display neat little charger well worth the 30 bucks I paid 19.95 for mine on sale I also hard wired mine in the RV fwiw hands down better than a battery tender or minder


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: belfert on February 22, 2013, 12:08:41 PM
Clifford, why do you think it is so much better than the other two?  Is it just the price?  I need something to keep the battery charged on my stand-by generator for home.


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: gus on February 22, 2013, 04:32:38 PM
luv,

Give us a model #, all I can find is chargers for tool batts on their website?


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: luvrbus on February 23, 2013, 05:49:02 AM
Sometime you need the 8 amp chagrining Belfert and the 2 amp trickle on a minder or tender doesn't cut on a larger battery bank a Minder or tender will keep up on a single battery ? why pay 50 + bucks for a 2 amp mine have really worked good.

Gus I forgot the model number but they are in the tool dept at Lowes,Black and Decker also makes one but it is fairly larger than the DeWalt


Title: Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
Post by: Oonrahnjay on February 23, 2013, 01:21:22 PM
  Sometime you need the 8 amp chagrining Belfert and the 2 amp trickle on a minder or tender doesn't cut on a larger battery bank a Minder or tender will keep up on a single battery ? why pay 50 + bucks for a 2 amp mine have really worked good.
Gus I forgot the model number but they are in the tool dept at Lowes,Black and Decker also makes one but it is fairly larger than the DeWalt 

I have three what appear to be almost identical chargers -- except for the name on them.  When you plug them into the wall, they all charge at 6 amps but there's a button to switch to 8 amps; they all drop to a 2 amp trickle when a set voltage is reached.  One is a "Stanley" BC6809, the other two have "Dewalt" on them. (And, oddly, the photos of the LCD readout screen on the Stanley don't match the actual graphics on Stanley charger but they do match the graphics on one of the Dewalt chargers but not the other although the Dewalt chargers appear identical in all other ways.)  All this may mean nothing, or it may mean something; I don't know. 
But they're *really useful* chargers, esp. for about $30!
BH  NC USA