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Old 05-02-2018, 11:52 AM   #1
woob
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So we have a bunch of people on here that are RVers and we have a bunch of threads on the topic as well. I'd appreciate if there was more of a central thread for it, as trying to find that ken0042's (at least I think it was Ken) posts on electrical/solar systems is annoying.

Here are some of the previous threads on RVing/Camping:

2017 Camping Thread

2016 Camping Thread- RVing Edition

2014 Camping Thread

2013 Camping Thread

And some general Trailer purchasing/advice threads:

Buying a used RV

Buying a travel trailer

Advice when buying a used trailer

Buying a new trailer, any recommendations?

There may be more RV related threads but you can't search for RV.

Last edited by woob; 05-02-2018 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:08 PM   #2
foshizzle11
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I have a battery question. For winter storage, we don't have a heat garage and obviously our trailer will freeze. Is it best to store the batteries in our house or can they be in the garage in freezing temperatures?

I have read in a many places that the batteries should be kept in non-freezing and no extreme heat (common sense, I would think for the heat part).

Anyway, what do you guys do? Do you leave them fully charged at the end of the season for storage and charge mid winter or let them go dead for storage?

PS, great idea woob!
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:12 PM   #3
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Buy a trickle charger, as long as they are plugged in they should be fine. If not, put it in the basement.

I have a charger that I use inbetween trips to charge the battery, I just take it off after we park the trailer in the storage place and bring it home.

Something like this https://www.amazon.ca/CTEK-56-158-Au.../dp/B000FQBWCY
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Looks like you'll need one long before I will. May I suggest deflection king?
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:12 PM   #4
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I detach mine and store them in my basement.

Freezing will permanently damage your battery.
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:57 PM   #5
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I detach mine and store them in my basement.

Freezing will permanently damage your battery.
Ditto for me. After the season they come home to the basement for the winter.
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:08 PM   #6
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I normally leave my battery in the basement or the partially heated garage; up off the concrete. (I've heard mixed reports about how concrete may or may not damage the battery.) However this past year I was planning on another autumn camping trip that didn't happen, so my batter spent the winter inside my trailer. It was still showing a nearly full charge last week when I went down.

I may have been luck in that a fairly new fully charged battery that was partially protected from the elements might be OK, or I may have shortened the lifespan of my battery. Time will tell I suppose.
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Old 05-02-2018, 03:47 PM   #7
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I'd like ot see this thread have a sticky so it stays on the homepage of off topic like the travel thread. there's lots of good tips in the link to the past threads
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:47 PM   #8
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We have a permanent spot and we winter camp so the batteries stay on the trailer year round. We are also able to stay plugged in over winter. We've had zero issues.
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:59 PM   #9
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So, I'm trying to determine if buying 2x40w is worth it for solar charging for weekend trips, or if I should wait until I can budget something like a 120w kit. Thoughts?

My usage would be 12v Fridge fan, conservative LED light usage in the trailer, conservative water pump usage. We are mostly outdoor campers and only use the water system in the trailer for nighttime toilet usage/washing hands.

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Old 05-03-2018, 12:04 AM   #10
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Been a fun couple weeks. Taking my 04 Rockwood 2108 21 footer up a notch with some modernization. And basically a full refurb. I bought it 3 years ago and my work promotion in 2016 basically robbed me of any time to use it or work on it. Finally pulled it out of storage as I’ll finally have time to use it this year.

Removed the worn out faded decals, and found a new set on EBay for some random brand named Traveler that went out of business. They were 50 bucks for 2 sets full sets for a 23 footer. Better than the $900 Rockwood wanted. So I guess it’s a ‘Traveler’ now. Going to cut polish the whole thing and install the decals Friday.

Going to reseal the entire roof Sunday. And install new awning fabric and spring. Going to try and squeeze in repacking the bearings too.

On the interior I already installed a nice backsplash with stick on tile. Put in a new carpet. Bought all new bedding. Installed a mantle shelf to accommodate a 32” flatscreen. And wired it in to the crappy stereo system in it.

Spent all winter picking away at my 04 F150 5.4L supercab getting all the stupid little issues fixed, and now I’m confident it’s good to tow now. New IWE hubs, vac lines, belt tensioner, plugs (that was HELL), brake controller, tranny cooler, and just made it look new again. Nicest 185,000 km F150 in town now. Thing looks like it has 20k on it. Old guy that owned it maintained the hell out of it and gave me a stack of records 6 inches thick.

Did a bunch of other random stuff on the trailer like replacing bulbs, the anode rod, a couple cracked vents, battery box etc. All the appliances, pumps, furnace etc are in perfect working order so I’m hoping to get 5 more years out of it then get a 5th wheel with a diesel truck.

I feel pretty good about all of it. Paid 6500 for the truck and 6500 for the trailer. Another 2500 on parts to fix everything up, and just investing a bit of time and I have a sweet camping rig for less than half of what most people spend on a new trailer.

Can’t wait to get it out soon.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:29 AM   #11
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Anyone that tells you need to store them up off the concrete is old school thinking. Construction has changed over the years and the newer style no longer need to be up off the concrete.
All the major battery mfg have that on their websites if you know who the real mfg is of your battery. In actual fact there are really only a couple of mfg. and they just brand the batteries with the different names.
Fill them with deionized or distilled water, charge them up in the fall and don't be afraid to throw the charger on a time or 2 over the winter if you can. I have been doing this for years and batteries do very well for many years.



Quote:
Originally Posted by foshizzle11 View Post
I have a battery question. For winter storage, we don't have a heat garage and obviously our trailer will freeze. Is it best to store the batteries in our house or can they be in the garage in freezing temperatures?

I have read in a many places that the batteries should be kept in non-freezing and no extreme heat (common sense, I would think for the heat part).

Anyway, what do you guys do? Do you leave them fully charged at the end of the season for storage and charge mid winter or let them go dead for storage?

PS, great idea woob!

Last edited by calgarygringo; 05-03-2018 at 06:32 AM. Reason: add
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:00 AM   #12
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So I parked my travel trailer last weekend in a seasonal site. We were setting up the trailer when I was informed that the site is having "some" mouse/mice issues. I looked up some tips on the web, bounce, irish spring etc, but have heard mixed reviews. Any tips that you guys want to share? I made sure that the under carriage of the trailer has been inspected and sealed by the dealer. I am looking for some info if I can seal the vent for the fridge and the furnace to prevent them from coming in to the trailer while we are away? Any tips will be appreciated!Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:28 AM   #13
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Steel wool stuffed in obvious entry spots/openings is supposed to work or so I have heard.

Also, get a cat for your site.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woob View Post
So, I'm trying to determine if buying 2x40w is worth it for solar charging for weekend trips, or if I should wait until I can budget something like a 120w kit. Thoughts?

My usage would be 12v Fridge fan, conservative LED light usage in the trailer, conservative water pump usage. We are mostly outdoor campers and only use the water system in the trailer for nighttime toilet usage/washing hands.
My previous usage figures:
https://forum.calgarypuck.com/showpo...3&postcount=64

Personally I would do one of the following; in order of my preference. Also assuming that by "12v Fridge fan" you mean the fridge is running on propane as the main power source, and the 12v is only for the fan:
1- Go to Costco and get the single Coleman 70-80 watt kit for ~$180 [Edit- new one is 100 watts for $200 ]
2a- Get a single 40 watt kit and see how it goes.
2b- just get the 120 watt kit and be done with it.

As mentioned, I used the 40 watt system for a 5 day camping trip and probably had a few more days before getting low on power; with absolutely no power rationing. Since upgrading to the 70 watt kit I just set it and forget it. I don't even think about it. That includes worrying about charging the battery between trips.

The only reason I would think about the 120 watt system is for even more setting and forgetting. You could even mount it flat on your trailer and capture enough power. However I'm not seeing deals on those like I used to.

Regarding mice- Dylan; did you end up at the same place as me? The previous winter I found Irish Spring was successful. However this winter I didn't have a chance to set them out and had a very polite mouse stay in my trailer. (Didn't wreck anything, just had a bed in one of my chairs.)
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lubicon View Post
Steel wool stuffed in obvious entry spots/openings is supposed to work or so I have heard.

Also, get a cat for your site.
It took me a couple of seasons to find all the holes, but we're on three years now with no mice. Steel wool does seem to do the trick, but RVs have a lot of little gaps to find. Tried bounce sheets, Irish Spring, etc and I think the mice just appreciated having air fresheners.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:11 AM   #16
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Mice-

They're the reason we had to get a new RV this year. We had Rangeland RV spray the underside with a mouse shield spray and I have confirmed with 4 other independent RV inspectors that the stuff really works. it's sticky spray with a peppermint base so the peppermint deters them and if they do try to climb the stuff they sprayed on wont let them get a good grip

I have 6 mason jars with cotton balls soaked in peppermint all through the trailer and storage compartments in the new one
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken0042 View Post
My previous usage figures:
https://forum.calgarypuck.com/showpo...3&postcount=64

Personally I would do one of the following; in order of my preference. Also assuming that by "12v Fridge fan" you mean the fridge is running on propane as the main power source, and the 12v is only for the fan:
1- Go to Costco and get the single Coleman 70-80 watt kit for ~$180 [Edit- new one is 100 watts for $200 ]
2a- Get a single 40 watt kit and see how it goes.
2b- just get the 120 watt kit and be done with it.

As mentioned, I used the 40 watt system for a 5 day camping trip and probably had a few more days before getting low on power; with absolutely no power rationing. Since upgrading to the 70 watt kit I just set it and forget it. I don't even think about it. That includes worrying about charging the battery between trips.

The only reason I would think about the 120 watt system is for even more setting and forgetting. You could even mount it flat on your trailer and capture enough power. However I'm not seeing deals on those like I used to.

Regarding mice- Dylan; did you end up at the same place as me? The previous winter I found Irish Spring was successful. However this winter I didn't have a chance to set them out and had a very polite mouse stay in my trailer. (Didn't wreck anything, just had a bed in one of my chairs.)
I think the 100 watt may be 180 in store but I could be mistaken
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:01 PM   #18
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100 watt one is 189.99 in store
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:57 PM   #19
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We took our trailer out to gooseberry on Tuesday for the long weekend, we got a power site but there were none left when we came home at 9pm and only a few left of non power sites.

My wife went out tonight and the neighbors told us some loser came to our trailer and was trying our doors to get in, luckily we were totally locked. Just an FYI if anyone else took their trailers out there.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:37 PM   #20
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Regarding the battery question. Storing batteries inside where it is warm is always best. Fully charged batteries can spend the winter outside but is likely to take some toll on older batteries. A dead or run down battery will freeze and a frozen battery is a ruined battery.
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