Charging deep cell battery when trailer is in storage

I need to place my camper in storage and concerned how do I keep the deep cell battery charged during this storage. Last year my son had my trailer for 3 months and he did not charge it regularly and consequently the battery was stuffed. I want to make sure this does not happen again. What do other people do when their rig is in storage? The only thing I can fathom is go and get the trailer every three weeks or so and bring it home for charging. The battery is too heavy for me to lift in and out for charging at home. Hoping you experts will give me some answers.
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Reply By: Member - Rosss - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:02

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:02
If you are going to leave the battery in the trailer you will either have to plug it into power or throw a small solar panel on the roof, I have a 50 watt panel just screwed onto the front of my shed and it keeps the battery charged between uses.
AnswerID: 543070

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:46

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:46
A 5W panel (of appropriate voltage) connected directly will do the job.
If you go much bigger than that you will also need a controller to ensure that you don't overcharge.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: new boy - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:55

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:55
X2
Summer time I get 5/6hrs full charge 3hrs at less charge ,winter a lot less but still about 4 hrs good charge, works OK .Cost was $25 from a mob breaking into the solar business and giving start up discounts.
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Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:06

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:06
Wendy,

There are a number of options but they will involve access to a mains power supply, or enough sunlight to generate a trickle charge from a solar cell.

If there is a chance of running a lead to your camper at the storage location, you could run an appropriate 3 stage charger and have that permanently connected to your battery to maintain it in peak condition (this would be my preferred option).

Option two involves setting up a solar cell of sufficient output to keep the battery maintained at a suitable voltage. By 'storage' I presume this means in a shed or similar so this may be problematic unless you could set the solar cell up outside and run a lead in.

Both options are relatively inexpensive these days. Perhaps a little more detail around your preferred storage option may help with the answers.

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Wendy - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:35

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 08:35
Thanks for your responses. I should have said the storage will be remote from my residence and probably not have access to mains power. The idea of attaching solar panel may be my best option. From your replies I assume that most other people remove the batteries in these situations. It just fascinates me that so many caravans etc are in storage facilities and what do they do with their batteries
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 09:34

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 09:34
G'day Wendy,
I remove my deep cycle battery from the van & take it home (yes it's heavy).
Once a month I put it on my 3 stage charger that I turn down to 2 amps. Never had an issue with it doing this but if you can't remove it then I guess as suggested a solar panel is the go.

My friends don't do this & like you have discovered the batteries don't last them very long by letting them run down.

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 13:02

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 13:02
Quote "From your replies I assume that most other people remove the batteries in these situations."

I would not say most. I reckon that most of these batteries are in vans with solar on top. Many of us use a solar panel in the 2 - 5 W range without a regulator. I mounted mint on a frame, it lived on the van whilst at home and on the carport whilst away to maintain the battery in the second set of wheels.
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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 15:56

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 15:56
Well yes I removed my 100ah battery from my camper and it is sitting on top of my beer fridge under my patio in a box where I can easily check it and charge it if need be. But yeah, it is a heavy bastard...

I also have a 5W solar panel with a simple regulator that I bought from Supercheap a while ago, I use this for an infrequently used vehicle but for your situation it would probably be the best bet, Supercheap still sell them I was only in there last weekend and they had them there
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 09:28

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 09:28
Get a Ctek
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Follow Up By: Wendy - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:49

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:49
Pardon my ignorance - what is a Ctek?
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:13

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:13
It's a brand of very good multi-stage battery chargers. May not be useful to you if mains power is not available at your CT storage site.

It's worth browsing their website.

They are available from 4WD shops, eBay, etc.

Cheers
FrankP

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Follow Up By: Wendy - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:32

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:32
Thanks everybody. Its great to have some intelligent conversation with people who have the knowledge and comprehension of the situation
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:43

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:43
Quote "Pardon my ignorance - what is a Ctek?"

It's something you already stated that you don't have mains power to run.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 14:51

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 14:51
OK - I was probably a bit brief.... CTEK are multi-phase battery chargers and conditioners ... there are other brands, however they're fairly prominent.

They use 'intelligent' monitoring to asses the condition of the battery to perform both charge & discharge cycles to keep the battery conditioned correctly.

Irrespective of whether you have mains or not, your best option if the CT is in storage for long periods is to remove the battery and keep on permanent charge condition cycle with the CTEK or an equivalent.

Trust me on this, my 40 series spends long periods between trips under cover. Batteries always discharge and waste - virtually had to replace them b4 every trip. Keep it now permanently connected to the CTEK - batteries now last. Sorry, from experience, those solar charge things don't work.
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 19:20

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 19:20
Scott

Beg to differ your statement "these solar things don't work"

Sorry mate but they work a treat...if yours didn't then something very wrong your end

A) I have used solar for storage on the 'van 3 x 105 ah deep cycles.....into 4th year ..... a 60 w panel because there is some discharge in the 'van around 2 ah a day
B) the boat 2 x marine batteries......into 5th year......a 5 w panel
C) A camper trailer with 2 X 105 ah deep cycles...now 7 years and all OK....a 10 w panel

And yes I have 240v available and choose to use solar...cheapest simplest option

WENDY There is also a Ctek and a RedcArc charger that is a DC to DC with a Solar option included...........might be worth considering because in the future you may grow into it and have a use for the DC DC charger to boost the charge voltage on the camper or a future towed item

Cheers
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Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 14:12

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 14:12
I've had expert and quite contradictory advice. One: set up a constant connection with a float charge. Two: given them a charge at least every 90 days.

One plus in getting them run occasionally off a smart charger is that you can select desulphation and equalisation cycles to prolong their life.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 16:12

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 16:12
If the battery is an AGM (or Li) and you disconnect it from ALL loads when fully charged, it will be happy for at least 6 months without attention. Longer in cold conditions. This low self discharge feature was one of the prime objectives that drove the development of AGMs for military use.

The other option (if you have lots of money) is to install an Efoy fuel cell. They will operate fully automatically and fully recharge the battery if it ever drops below 12.3V.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 19:23

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 at 19:23
Hi Wendy

Please see my reply to Scott (6 of 6 I think it was)

Solar charging is a very good option....I know from years of doing it

There is also a Ctek and a RedcArc charger that is a DC to DC with a Solar option included...........might be worth considering because in the future you may grow into it and have a use for the DC DC charger to boost the charge voltage on the camper or a future towed item

Cheers
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