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Old 10-27-2021, 09:10 AM   #1
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Campervan Storage Advice

This forum has been great for help as I built my campervan and even though I don't post much, I have learned a lot from all of you.

My wife and I are starting a new adventure that will take us out of the country for the next 18 months. As we started making plans, I always assumed that I would sell our van rather than let it sit for 1-1/2 years. Why not, the prices are probably at an all-time high so why not cash in.

However, as we finished up our last road trip, we could not bring ourselves to sell the van. Over the last 2-1/2 years we have spend over 275 night in the van and the time spent traveling has meant so much to us, that we decided to not sell, but store the van. Mainly because I think it would take too much time and money to recreate what we already have, after we return.

So, I need advice from the group. I already have some ideas on the best way to store the van, but I know there is a lot of knowledge out there. I would like to hear your advice.

Here are some details:

2012 E350 V10
Agile 4x4 Conversion
Colorado Campervan High Top
4 X Solar panels
200 amp/hours of BattleBorn LI batteries

It will be stored in an un-heated, but secure garage. I live in central Utah, so the humidity is fairly low and the temperature range of the garage is likely 40-80 deg F, with possible short excursions below freezing (maybe a night or two).

I know the basics like drain the water tank, but would like input on how to best prep the engine/drivetrain, batteries, etc, or any other input you have.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-27-2021, 09:37 AM   #2
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I guess I would call battleborn and see what they suggest. Certainly for a period of up to six months or so I would just disconnect the batteries. And then bring them back to full charge when bringing back to service.


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Old 10-27-2021, 10:45 AM   #3
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I believe battleborn recommends storing their batteries with about a 70% charge.
Be sure to remove any food of any kind (mice)
If you have the luxury I would put it on jack stands to take the load off the tires. Then put a mouse deterrent around the jack stands. Remove small batteries like smoke alarm etc
Once in storage take pics, just in case.
If your have a friend in the area ask them to start it every 6 months for you.
With the dry climate and indoor storage the rest should be fine.
2002 e350 window eb
Conversion in process. Lol
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:53 AM   #4
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If your van is capable of running/charging off of shore power, get a programmable time to provide power to the batteries once or twice a week for 30-45 minutes. Just make sure to get a time that is compatible with the amount of current involved. This is what I have on the AGM battery in my teardrop camper.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 10-28-2021, 08:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the idea of using a timer, rather than a battery tender.

Any idea of how to determine the max current. I have a Xantrax Freedom XC2000. The specs claim up to 80 amp output at 12 volts. I think that translates to about 8 amps at 120 volts. So I think a 15 amp timer should be adequate.
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:32 AM   #6
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Max amp rating for the XC2000 charger is 11-amps , you can set the charge rate from 5-80 amps ( if was going to do this for long term storage, I would probably set this pretty low)

From Battleborn FAQ

"The best way to store our batteries for an extended period is to fully charge them and then disconnect them from everything. Removing the negative lead from the battery bank is also recommended.

The batteries do not need a trickle charge or maintenance while stored. They will only lose around 2 – 3% of their charge per month. If possible, we recommend storing them in a temperature above freezing.

Storing batteries in subzero weather (-15°F or lower) has the potential to crack the ABS plastic and could lead to a greater loss in charge. In some cases they can lose much more than the expected 3% monthly loss."

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Old 10-28-2021, 11:01 AM   #7
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Hey Greg,

Thanks for the advice. And thanks for the info from Battleborn. I was planning to email them for input, but you beat me to it.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2021, 12:48 PM   #8
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You still might want to contact them, they might have a different answer for 18 months.

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Old 11-01-2021, 05:42 AM   #9
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I'm very late here and can't add much concerning the camper/RV portion of your storage plans however the vehicle itself would be of high concern to me. For the most part a vehicle left idle in an unheated space for your anticipated 18 months could cause mechanical issues with the engine, transmission, fuel system et al when you return to the USA.

To me it would be ideal having a trusted friend take it out monthly possibly driving 100+ miles, observing if any engine/chassis have developed during its storage down time. We've seen and read too many bad tales of vehicles left sitting idle for extended periods and the hassles involved sorting those issues out again.

Your anticipated weather conditions aren't horrible but IMHO they would be somewhat mitigated by a monthly exercise period.
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Old 11-01-2021, 10:22 AM   #10
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I would suggest you fill the gas tank with non-ethanol gas plus a fuel stabilizer. Fill the tank with as much fuel as you can--you want to decrease the air space to retard condensation in the tank. Add some extra air (~5 psi) to your tires if you can't put the van on jack stands. Close all the drapes and window covers, but see you can allow for some air venting. I would change the oil before storage, and make sure all your fluids are topped off. Disconnect the engine battery and perhaps store it somewhere else with a good battery maintainer.

Got to ask, if you don't mind answering--where is your upcoming adventure taking you?

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