Maintaining personal car's battery while you're driving OTR

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by BunBaoPho88, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. BunBaoPho88

    BunBaoPho88 Light Load Member

    Dec 8, 2018
    My company recently added an expanded long term storage lot for our driver's personal vehicles. I parked my car there and had some battery troubles when I got home a couple days ago. (I should have known better and seen this coming..) Car wouldn't start and was due for a new battery anyways, so I put one in.. but I'm worried that being OTR for 3+ weeks at a time, I'm just going to come home to a dead battery needing a jump time and time again.

    What do you all do in this situation? I was thinking I could disconnect the battery, to prevent drain. Reconnect when I get home, but I still may need a jump occasionally if I'm away long enough.

    So, Bc I don't want to have to bug someone for a quick jump, I was wondering if there is a small power box that could give me a quick/jump charge when needed? I'm sure there is.. I was looking at buying something like this...

    Any recommendations/advice would be appreciated! In the past I always parked my car at a relatives house and just had someone run the car once a week. But I'd much rather have my vehicle gtg at the terminal- so I can use it when routed through my hometown.

    Thanks yall
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  3. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    The thing is, when the car is turned off there is no drain on the battery unless you leave something turned on - like a light.
    A shut off switch would do nothing.
    That switch in the truck is so that other things, like the Qualcom or something else left plugged in, won't be draining the batteries.
    It can also be used to drain the power from the Qualcom if it needs rebooting.

    But in a car?
    Nope. Unless you have a computer in it that stays on.

    Your best bet is to get the most powerful battery that fits, and possibly have someone start the car every week or so to restore the charge.

    Another option is a solar powered battery charger.
    I didn't mention that first because I just had a bad experience with one.
    When I got back to my car, the battery had 0.4V left.
  4. Redtwin

    Redtwin Road Train Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    PBC, FL
    I leave my car parked for up to 8 weeks at a time and have had no issues starting. I bought the car used so have no clue how old the battery is ( car is a 2017). It claims to have intelligent voltage monitoring so it will shut down ECUs etc when battery voltage gets low etc.

    I bought one of those little lithium battery booster packs and keep it in the trunk Incase I ever need a jump.
  5. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    All the modules in the car will draw a little bit of juice all the time, usually just a small fraction of an amp. Anything over 2 weeks I'd probably disconnect the battery.
  6. 062

    062 Road Train Member

    Oct 20, 2013
    You should make sure that the battery is fully charged. I have a battery charger that reads the percentage of charge and I have found that after a hour of driving that the battery was only 80% charged.
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  7. '88K100

    '88K100 Heavy Load Member

    Aug 23, 2020
    Solar trickle charger is best option, it sits on dash, I paid around $20 for the one I use on my boat.,,, battery disconnect second best IMO. Personal vehicle has block heater and trickle charger wired inline for best cold starts.
  8. Radman

    Radman Road Train Member

    Apr 18, 2011
    Get a lithium jump box on Amazon. Cheap small and very strong. Comes with cables and can charge your phone also. Left it in my vehicle for 6 months charge on the box was at 80%. Jumped my v6 that sat for a year on 1 key turn.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
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