I have a new motorhome and this will be its first winter. What is the best way to handle RV batteries during the winter? Should I leave the batteries in and keep the coach plugged in or should I take them out and store them for the winter? How about the engine battery? Some people take them out, some people leave them in. Which is best? If I take them out should they be charged once in a while? —Gary
It is always recommended to completely remove all the batteries during a really harsh winter. Fully charge them before storing them in a clean, dry location in a warmer shed or garage. A fully charged battery will freeze only if the temperature dips to 55 or 60 degrees below zero, while a discharged battery may freeze at or near 20 degrees above zero. But it’s still best to remove them from the RV and avoid freezing temperatures when possible.
There is probably no need to apply a charge during the actual storage period, but fully charge them just prior to reinstalling them in the spring.
It is only advisable to leave the RV plugged in during the storage period if the coach is equipped with a computer-controlled, three-phase battery charger – one that monitors and adjusts the charging voltage and current accordingly. Otherwise, there is a great risk of overcharging the batteries and/or boiling out the electrolyte.