By Mike Sokol
Welcome to my J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session, a weekly column where I answer your basic electrical questions. If you’re a newbie who’s never plugged in a shore power cord (or ask – what’s a shore power cord?), or wonder why your daughter’s hair dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this column is for you. Send your questions to Mike Sokol at mike (at) noshockzone.org with the subject line – JAM.
I have two questions for you. I have two 12V batteries on my rig hooked up in parallel. Can I use a standard battery minder to keep them over the winter or do I need a special one for two batteries? And, what is the best way to connect them, bring them inside? Thanks for your help! —Kelly
This is an easy one. Since they’re connected in parallel already, they’ll have identical charges (assuming they were installed at the same time). So you can simply connect one Battery Tender (or Minder) across either of the batteries (from Negative to Positive) and both batteries will be equally charged.
As far as bringing them inside, I think that’s a big waste of time. While Lithium batteries may not like being charged at very low temperatures, all modern ones should include some sort of heating system, either via a blanket wrap on the outside of the batteries or heaters inside of the case.
So my recommendation is to leave the batteries in your RV, connect them to a Battery Tender (or perhaps your RV’s 3-stage charger) and periodically inspect any flooded cell battery for electrolyte level once a month, adding distilled water as needed.
Messing with battery cables can be very dangerous if you’re not careful, and I really don’t see the benefit of bringing them into a cold garage, let alone a warm basement.
OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Join Mike’s popular and informative Facebook group.
And you don’t want to miss Mike’s webcasts on his YouTube channel.
For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign