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Old 11-26-2006, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Batteries for the winter!

I will be putting my Vista Cruiser (sprinter van) 2005 up for the winter in upstate NY. I will be covering it and parking it in our driveway. Is there any advantage to taking the batteries out and keeping them charged or is it ok to keep van plugged to shore power instead and run the engine every few weeks. Bruce
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:16 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Class B Camper Van Forum Bruce.

If the charging system in your van is a 3 stage charger then it is good to leave it plugged in all the time and you can leave your batteries in your van.

If it isn't a 3 stage charger then it will probably constantly charge your battery and could 'boil it' dry. If the documentation mentions float mode or float charge then it is fine. If it is just a basic charger you will be better off taking the battery inside and maybe topping up the charge once per month.

I use one BatteryMINDer from VDC Electronics on my chassis battery and another one on my house batteries. It is 'smart' and is guaranteed to never overcharge your battery.

I won't run my van until Spring.

I have read that if you run the motor periodically it is best to make sure it gets up to operating temperature and that is best done by driving it. Idling for long periods of time isn't good.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:31 PM   #3
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Harbor Freight has this inexpensive float charger - http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=42292
that I connect to the center lug of my battery isolater in the engine compartment. This keeps both house and chassis batteries safely charged.
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv-n-agin
............. float charger.......... that I connect to the center lug of my battery isolater in the engine compartment. This keeps both house and chassis batteries safely charged.
What a great idea! I never thought to use the center lug of my battery isolator for that.

As long as it is a float voltage like you noted I can't think of any problems.
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:47 PM   #5
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One thing you sure want to do before parking is to change the motor oil & filter also.
I've got a float charger, (not the Harbor Freight one), that I use on my lawn mower and tractor batteries by just hooking them together with the charger, and it keeps them topped up for the 4 months per year when they are not used. No water boil off problem at all.
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