Originally Posted by Relie
Has any body else done this to a 90's series Sunny? My battery went dead last winter and now I'm sure it was because the stereo is powered all the time.
I remember someone telling me that if you leave a battery hooked up to a charger over a period of time, it will kill the battery. Question.....would this happen when the battery is left hooked up all winter (would it be better to install a kill switch?)
There has been other forum members who have added a disconnect switch. I'll see if I can hunt down one of their posts as they had pics too I think. If you do add one, there is a need to make sure the emergency break away switch is wired up stream of the disconnect so it will always have power to that switch if it needs to work. This is a safety need in case you forget to turn the switch on when towing down the road. We really want/need this as it is a legal requirement in most if not all states to have the emerg breakaway switch operable all the time when towing. This is not a big deal to do, just to realize to do it.
There is truth in the statement certain battery chargers can boil out a battery and the lack of enough electrolyte over the cells will hurt a battery severally.
This needs to be put into the proper context as not all battery chargers are created equal. The problem comes when the type of charger does not have a float mode on it as some/many stand alone portable chargers do not have a float mode.
Once the battery reaches 100% state of charge, it's full and if the higher charging voltage and current keep going into the battery, over time it boils out the electrolyte enough to the point the battery has long term damage.
The key is to know if your stand along charger or power converter has a float mode or not.
Lead acid batteries like most of us use on our camper have maintenance needs to get the most life and performance they can. This applies to a car battery too, just the use of the camper battery makes it even more important if you want it to live a long life.
We need to make sure electrolyte is over the cells at all times and that the battery remains high enough in charge over long periods of none use. A next step is desulfation to dissolve the sulfation crystals that form over time of just using the battery.
Simple steps are, check the fluid level often until you know what yours converter charger system is doing to the battery.
After the camping trip is over, unhook any small drains of power use from the battery. This is where the battery unhooking comes in or disconnect.
Keep the battery sufficiently charged. Before putting the battery into storage charge it up full. Then monthly recharge what drains down over time just by the natural state of a battery life cycle. In the winter, bring the battery inside to an above freezing place and do the monthly recharge when not using it. Check fluid level every time before recharging. A low state of charge battery can freeze and then that will kill it.
Those are the 3 simple steps. From here to gain better longer life you can add a battery conditioner/maintainer to leave on the battery all the time when not camping with it. A trickle charger or better a battery minder keeps the battery up to 100% charged all the time and backs off the voltage and current to not boil the electrolyte out of it. They are float chargers. Now your battery is ready to go camping at a moments notice and the freezing issue in the winter is eliminated.
Next is to add the desulfation step. There are few ways to do this. Some higher end power converters have a desulfate mode. And some brands float chargers have a desulfate mode. Or if you really are into this, you can build your own desulfation system. Or take the easier route and you can buy for about $40 a battery minder with built in float and pulse type desulfate. Just dissconnet the battery from power use and plug it in on the battery after each camping trip and it takes care of the rest.
Here is the brand I use. VDC Electronics Battery Chargers, Maintainers & Desulfators by BatteryMINDers
They have all kinds for all kinds of needs. This is their newest one and even has temperature compensation on it. BatteryMINDer Model 1500
You can search the web where they sell them cheaper, Northern Tool, Amazon and even Camping World
Hope this helps