Author Topic: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?  (Read 6879 times)

Offline scanzel

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Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« 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
Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL

Offline goutoe

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #1 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.
John & Linda 1977 AM General 6V92 turbo Detroit 3 Speed allison, 40 ft.

Offline belfert

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #2 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.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline gus

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #3 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.
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PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR

Offline Melbo

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #4 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
If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
Albuquerque, NM   MC8 L10 Cummins ZF

Offline Gerry H

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #5 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
Forest Lake, Minnesota
Land of 10,000 mosquitoes and a few cool buses

Offline PCC

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #6 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.

For some, patience is a virtue.
Dealing with me, it is required.
Thank God - He is always patient.

Online luvrbus

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #7 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
Life is short drink the good wine first

Offline bobofthenorth

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #8 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. 
R.J.(Bob) Evans
Used to be 1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
Currently busless (and not looking)
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What's behind you doesn't matter - Enzo Ferrari

Offline Oonrahnjay

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #9 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!
Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)

Offline gus

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #10 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!
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Ash Flat, AR

Offline bobofthenorth

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #11 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.
R.J.(Bob) Evans
Used to be 1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
Currently busless (and not looking)
My website
Our weblog
What's behind you doesn't matter - Enzo Ferrari

Offline Oregonconversion

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #12 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.
1977 MC8
8V92 HT740

Offline Oregonconversion

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #13 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.
1977 MC8
8V92 HT740

Offline belfert

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Re: Winter Battery Charging ? What are you using ?
« Reply #14 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.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN