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storing boat batteries in the winter

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    #16
    I Googled around and read a number of sources about winter battery storage. The consensus seems to be something like this: Fully charge your battery after the last use in the fall. The fully charged battery can be left in a freezing cold garage or shed. Don't leave the battery full-time on a regular charger or even a trickle charger; something can go wrong and fry the battery. Check the standing voltage every month or so, and fully charge (up to about 13.6V or so). Be sure the battery is disconnected from everything; isolate the terminals. Hope this helps!

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    • Harold
      Harold commented
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    #17
    Originally posted by NateWC View Post

    I don't think it has to be indoors. I store my boat in my unheated, but somewhat insulated, garage, where it's usually about 50 degrees when the outdoors is near freezing.

    I don't think that storage in the cold shortens a battery's life, although the chemistry it takes for a battery to both charge and discharge becomes less efficient as temperatures drop.

    So, to summarize where I'm at, batteries don't need to be stored inside, but I store them inside because I leave them hooked up to my boat and I store my boat inside.

    Charging them back to full once a month when they're cold will just take longer than if they're at room temperature, but I don't think it will affect longevity of the battery itself.
    Nate, most battery experts say to disconnect your battery from everything; just pull the negative wire and be sure it's not touching a ground.

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      #18
      Originally posted by pelican View Post
      I Googled around and read a number of sources about winter battery storage. The consensus seems to be something like this: Fully charge your battery after the last use in the fall. The fully charged battery can be left in a freezing cold garage or shed. Don't leave the battery full-time on a regular charger or even a trickle charger; something can go wrong and fry the battery. Check the standing voltage every month or so, and fully charge (up to about 13.6V or so). Be sure the battery is disconnected from everything; isolate the terminals. Hope this helps!
      INGREDIENTS:
      -grab a scrap piece of PVC pipe
      -nuts (4) and bolts (2) to match thread(s) on battery terminals. (Some threaded battery posts are different size.)

      Drill a hole in each end of the PVC, insert long enough bolts to pass thru the pipe plus an inch or two. use nut to lock bolts to PVC.

      Remove WINGNUT and all connections to one side of the battery. Place those connections to one bolt at an end of the PVC, add the second nut and then add wing nut threaded enough it won't fall off.

      Repeat to the other side.

      When charging with a "ring" connector, simply place wires on battery and "lock" with the wing nuts stored on the PVC.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	PVC BAT.jpg Views:	0 Size:	75.5 KB ID:	1240837

      When charging, I place the PVC in the "gutter" which holds the lid open a bit to provide air circulation.

      H

      Edit to add- this pic shows with original "shorter" bolt.
      Last edited by Harold; 10-22-2019, 06:11 PM.
      Report Fish/Game Violations:
      1-800-742-SNAP (7627)

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        #19
        Originally posted by pelican View Post

        Nate, most battery experts say to disconnect your battery from everything; just pull the negative wire and be sure it's not touching a ground.
        I'm just describing what I do in my situation (indoor, unheated storage with 110V AC available). I honestly don't know if I'm going to try any changes this off-season, since my 10 year old trolling motor battery seems to still somehow be just fine. Maybe its longevity is a fluke - I haven't owned the boat the entire 10 years - but I tend to go with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

        As far as frying the battery goes, my onboard charger up and quits (and shows an error light) if something is amiss like a shorted cell or excessive sulfate formation. I don't think I'd just leave the batteries hooked up to a "dumb" charger all winter without checking on it/them.

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          #20
          I just got a email from Minn Kota part of the message was do not store batteries in extreme hot or cold. bring them inside for the winter.

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            #21
            Originally posted by Dad O. View Post
            I just got a email from Minn Kota part of the message was do not store batteries in extreme hot or cold. bring them inside for the winter.
            What is "extreme"? My unheated garage gets up to probably 90-95* in the summer and down to 15-20* in the winter. Never had a problem. The battery websites say a properly charged battery won't freeze. Minn Kota makes great stuff, but they do not manufacture batteries. Just sayin'...

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              #22
              Originally posted by pelican View Post

              What is "extreme"? My unheated garage gets up to probably 90-95* in the summer and down to 15-20* in the winter. Never had a problem. The battery websites say a properly charged battery won't freeze. Minn Kota makes great stuff, but they do not manufacture batteries. Just sayin'...
              I would not call those temps as extreme. 110+ and below 0 would be classed as extreme.

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                #23
                Originally posted by pelican View Post

                What is "extreme"? My unheated garage gets up to probably 90-95* in the summer and down to 15-20* in the winter. Never had a problem. The battery websites say a properly charged battery won't freeze. Minn Kota makes great stuff, but they do not manufacture batteries. Just sayin'...
                BINGO!

                I saw the ad DAD-O mentioned, considered posting it (from the website link provided) but after READING THE WHOLE "AD" it was clearly an ad for their products "foremost" targeting products that fit their scenario(s).

                Common sense would suggest not leaving batteries in the sun, in the freezer etc if there is the opportunity to "bring it inside" from the weather.More of a problem with dirt, grime, fading or loosening the label...

                Although most of today's rural electric fences are likely 110v, I don't recall putting warmers OR AC on those battery powered!!

                Harold F.

                Thank you, DAD-O for posting the STILL useful information provided by Minnkota without the "sales pitch'.
                Report Fish/Game Violations:
                1-800-742-SNAP (7627)

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