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Winter storage - Residental frig/drain water tank

Denny Wagaman

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I never have turned off my Residental refrigerator or drained my water tank. I have a heated garage to 60*. Plugged into 30 amp.

Ice & snow permitting I try to get on the highway, running each of the 3 a/c’s, Genset of course, keep Aqua Hot on for about 30 minutes at 55/60mph. 

Should I turn off my fridge for the winter? 

Should I use a battery maintainer?

I have been told never turn off the fridge and it is better to keep water in the tank during the storage months, draining it in spring, and sanitizing it.

what are your thoughts ?

2011 CAmelot dft43



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Personally, I think keeping your rig hooked up to shore power is the best way to maintain your batteries. The multi-stage charger in your motor home will do an excellent job of maintaining the batteries without over charging them. In 20 plus years of RVing and 4 different RVs I'm always plugged into shore power unless I'm driving or dry camping. My current set of lead acid batteries are going on 5 years old.

Regarding the water tank, I don't know what best practice is but I drain my water tank after every trip just because I prefer the quality of the water from home to some that I add elsewhere.

I don't know what's best for the frig but I do know that the cost of running it all the time can add up.

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Up until last year I had winterized my rig by draining the water, blowing the lines.  I had kept it plugged into a 20 amp outlet but had the benefit of solar that did a bulk of the charging.  My last set of batteries lasted ~9 years. 

Then I built a garage to park my rig in.  Last year I decided not to winterize, kept the system heat on and had a small cube heater in the living area, I monitored temps via the Microair thermostat.  All was good.  No problems other then I've figured it cost me $50/month to keep it plugged in without my solar keeping the batteries charged even if I don't run any heat. 

I am now wondering what the best option is to maintain the batteries.  For now I've shut everything off and am monitoring my battery voltage with the Victron BMV712, easy to check voltage via bluetooth when I go in the garage. 

So I'll be watching this thread wondering what the best option is. 

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Each of us has our own situation and also our own “preferences”.  I winterize with RV antifreeze and have power in storage,  I do not run the heat or anything.  The only issue, in NC, that I have ever had was a flush valve on the Thetford toilet. I DID totally flush and also empty the wand several times and had PURE Pink discharge.  Thetford said that the tolerances and such inside the valve were tight and that when you have a few days in the upper teens or low 20 and hit zero a few nights, the valves have been known to freeze.  OK, $20 and about an hour.

We probably see zero once every few years and I will protect it next time with a trouble light and a plug in freeze prevention thermostat.

I rarely add an ounce to my batteries and I don’t have any sophisticated BMK, just the conventional Magnum.  I do use the Battery Miser Caps.  I exercise the batteries in the spring and winter.  I got 8 years from a set of Trojan T105.

As to the refrigerator, it DEPENDS.  The OEM Whirlpools and other major brands, say pre 2012 or so had a larger ambient temperature range.  My Samsung will NOT operate unless the interior temperature is in the upper 30’s.  Look at the specs on your refrigerator and find out how “low” the environment can go and it still operate.  So, that is the limiting actor.  BUT, even if I had an older OEM model. I would shut it off and open the doors and let it air out.  I have done that for the original Dometic gas as well as the Samsung (5 years).  

I don’t winterize the icemaker in the Samsung.  It just drains and I dry cycled it to keep the icemaker mechanism clear,

Myblogic.  My circumstances. My choices.

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I pull all AC except the Microwave.  I turn off all the TV and hime entertainment devices.  I use a power strip, so they are NOT in standby,  I leave the Magnum on and charging and have 30 Amps. I have the Miser caps so there is very little electrolyte loss and refill and then then drain the batteries to around 11.9 VDC (at the BATTERY….not the Magnum remote). I do that 3 times and the SG equalizes and goes up, as does the “after recharging and stabilizing with NO a load” voltage.

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