10 Tips for RV Battery Maintenance

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Deep-cycle batteries with proper care should last six years or more. Sadly, some RV owners change the batteries on their vehicles every year or two. It is simple to increase battery life; all it needs is some simple upkeep.

Note: When dealing with lead-acid batteries, keep safety in mind at all times. You should take off any jewelry, put on safety goggles, and use gloves while working with batteries. Avoid using any open fires or smoking near batteries.

Related Also: Where is The Battery Disconnect Switch RV?

10 Battery Tips To Increase RV Batteries’ Life

  1. Battery life may be increased by performing routine maintenance and charging a drained battery as soon as feasible. Sulfation is the main reason why lead-acid batteries fail. Small crystals (sulfation) begin to develop on the plates of a battery when it is in a low state of charge, and if this situation persists for a long time without recharging, the battery will eventually fail. When a battery’s level of charge falls below 80%, or 12.4 volts, sulfation begins. A timely recharge of a battery aids in sulfation prevention.
  2. Never allow a 12-volt battery to drop below that voltage. That may seem absurd, but a fully charged battery has a voltage of 12.7 volts. A battery is at or below a 50% level of charge when it registers less than 12 volts. A digital voltmeter may be used to measure the voltage. By measuring the voltage, you can quickly determine the depth of exhaustion of the battery and determine when it needs to be replenished. To read battery voltage, set the voltmeter to DC voltage and connect the red lead to the positive terminal and the black lead to the negative terminal.
  3. The depth of discharge of batteries may be decreased to prolong their lifespan. A battery will live twice as long as one that is cycled down to 20% every day if it is depleted to 50% every day.
  4. RVs contain parasitic loads that over time may drain a battery. Some of these loads, although not all of them, include LP gas leak detectors, the TV antenna power booster, clocks, stereos, and circuit boards for household appliances. Make sure the battery disconnect switch is in the “off” position while the RV is not in use or when it is being stored if your RV has one.
  5. Overcharging and high temperatures will destroy batteries. Check the water levels in battery cells more regularly during hot weather and times when battery consumption is high. Lead acid batteries may be preserved by checking the electrolyte levels and adding distilled water as necessary.
  6. Use mineral-free water before adding it. The finest water is distilled. Calcium sulfation may be caused by ordinary tap water.
  7. Your batteries need to be properly charged in stages. During the first several hours, the battery should get a bulk charge to bring it back to 90% of a full charge. For the last 10%, an absorption charge is applied to stop any battery gassing and water loss, followed by a float charge to keep the battery fully charged. There are several three-stage converter chargers for RVs, but not all of them will adequately charge the battery.
  8. Unless the plates are exposed before charging, batteries should only be watered after charging. Add enough water to cover the exposed plates if necessary, then charge the battery. Fill each cell all the way to the bottom of the vent well once the battery is completely charged.
  9. Leave the vent lids on batteries while they are charging to avoid water loss due to bubbling and gassing.
  10. Batteries’ lead and plastic components may be recycled. All battery lead is recycled in excess of 95%. Recycle any old batteries you may have.

Related Also: Do I Need A Battery for My Travel Trailer?

Related Video from Youtube about RV Battery Maintenance

RV Battery Maintenance – General RV Center
10 RV Battery Tips for Longer RV Battery Life – RV Education 101
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Ryan is a RV product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing RV products.

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