How to Store an RV Battery for Winter?

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A fantastic approach to extend the longevity of the battery in your RV is to store it during the winter.

Numerous systems in your RV operate continuously, which drains your battery.

What’s more, if your battery is left connected throughout the winter, it may freeze.

Before topping up the water and cleaning the exterior, unhook the batteries from your RV and store it for the winter.

How to Store an RV Battery for the Winter?

Once completely charged, put the battery somewhere warm and dry with a trickle charger to maintain the charge.

After that, just check the battery’s charge once a month.

Nobody likes to replace their RV batteries earlier than necessary, but if you’ve never disconnected and stored one before, the job may seem difficult.

The good news is that you don’t need need to be a mechanic to follow along as I walk you through the process of storing your RV batteries for the winter.

How to Store Your RV Battery for the Winter?

Should batteries in RVs be taken out during the winter? At first, I was dubious myself.

Where I reside, the winters are mild, therefore there is basically little chance that my battery will really freeze.

Having said that, I have kept my fifth wheel for a while in the past, and I’ve discovered that there are other reasons to keep your batteries than frigid weather.

A few systems in your RV are constantly in operation, such as the propane leak detector.

When you’re moving, the engine of your car or RV recharges the battery so that you don’t notice the draw from these systems.

However, when your RV is idle for a long time, these systems steadily drain the battery.

Sulfation, or the accumulation of tiny crystals on the battery plates, may result from this.

When your battery’s charge falls below 80%, sulfation begins, and it only gets worse from there.

If a battery is not rapidly recharged, sulfation may cause it to fail, therefore keeping your batteries correctly before you store your RV will save you from later having to pay for a pricey replacement.

You have even more incentive to store your batteries if, unlike me, you live someplace with continuously icy winters.

Along with the lead plates, RV batteries also include a liquid combination of water and sulfuric acid, which freezes in colder temperatures.

When anything freezes, it expands, and this might result in the battery case cracking, damaging or destroying your battery.

Whether you’re prepared for a harsh winter or just taking a few months off from living in an RV, perhaps you now realize how crucial it is to store your batteries.

Now that you know what to do, you undoubtedly wonder how to do it.

I’ll guide you through each of the six easy actions you need to do to store and preserve your battery during the winter.

#1. Remove and Disconnect Your RV Battery

Turn off everything and everything that is using your battery as soon as you can, then use the owner’s handbook to see where your battery is located.

It may be located in a variety of locations depending on your arrangement, but after you’ve located it, you’ll need to know where the positive and negative terminals are.

Your RV battery terminals and leads should ideally be labeled, but if they aren’t, you’ll want to do that before you disconnect the leads to make sure you can reconnect them correctly afterward.

Your battery terminals will be connected by two wires (leads), and they might be any combination of black, white, or red.

If your terminals and leads aren’t labeled, you may immediately indicate them depending on where each wire is connected and what color it is since white leads are always negative and red leads are always positive.

You may now begin removing the battery.

You will first require a socket wrench or adjustable wrench to remove the nuts from the leads’ nut and bolt attachments.

Always begin by removing the nut from the positive lead before sliding the lead off of the bolt.

The battery should be easy to pick up or slide out of the container after both the positive and negative lines have been disconnected.

The top of many batteries will be conveniently equipped with a handle that you can hold.

If you want to protect the exposed lead ends during the disconnecting procedure, you may put covers on them once the battery has been removed.

#2. Keep Your RV Battery Clean

Clean Your RV Battery

You should probably thoroughly clean your batteries before putting it away.

You should clean off the battery case of any dust or debris as well as any corrosion that has developed.

When you go to check your water levels, dust and debris may seep inside.

Corrosion can appear as a white, greenish, or blue coating around the battery terminals.

This corrosion can put additional strain (resistance) on your battery circuit.

The battery shell may be cleaned by spraying it with a solution of 1:6 baking soda and water, then wiping it clean with a towel.

You may also use that solution to spray it and then scrape off the corrosion with a wire brush if there is any.

#3. Check The Water Levels In Your RV Batteries

After cleaning and removing your battery, you should check the water level.

RV batteries should have around 36% sulfuric acid and 64% water, with the water level decreasing over time from constant usage.

Put on some safety goggles and gloves before checking it.

Even a little drop of sulfuric acid may do harm to your skin and eyes since it is so intensely corrosive.

Pry open the designated covers on top of the battery compartment with a flathead screwdriver.

You will be able to see the liquid level within and the several apertures (cells) leading into the main compartment as a result.

If the water level in the cells seems to be low, you may fill them up with distilled water.

The liquid should be at least a half inch over the tops of the plates in the cells.

Just above that 12-inch line is the maximum fill level for the cells; any more might result in the liquid spilling out while the battery is in use.

Additionally, you should only use distilled water since it has fewer minerals that can cause your battery to build after being exposed to them.

Reinstall the caps after the cells are filled and wipe up any liquid that may have leaked during the procedure.

The battery may now begin to be charged.

#4. Energize the RV’s battery

Your battery is tidy, fully charged, and almost prepared for storage.

Fully charging it is the last step.

Your battery could already be completely charged if you’ve recently been traveling; but, if not, you’ll want to recharge it to 100%.

The battery will gradually lose some charge when it isn’t being used, so you want to keep it with a full charge to ensure that it remains above that 80% point.

The simplest method for you will depend on your setup and the size of your battery.

There are several methods to charge a battery, including utilizing the shore power at your house, a 12-volt battery charger, or a generator.

Whichever route you use, just be careful to use the proper tools and avoid overcharging your battery.

#5. Implement a trickle charger

Your battery is now prepared for long-term storage.

If you simply intend to leave your RV alone for a month or two, a trickle charger is generally not necessary; but, if you leave it unattended for longer than that, your battery may lose too much energy.

When your battery starts to deplete, a trickle charger detects it and begins to gently replenish it.

They keep your battery above the 80% level and save you from having to recharge it yourself.

They also make sure to stop before the battery is overcharged, making them excellent for long-term storage.

A trickle charger is strongly advised if you plan to keep your RV in storage for more than two months.

#6. Examine Your Charge

You may check your battery’s charge with a multimeter or a hydrometer, or you can use a trickle charger.

The positive and negative leads of a multimeter are placed on the battery, and the voltage reading is taken.

Your battery is not fully charged if the voltage is less than 12.4 volts.

Using the hydrometer is as simple as sucking the liquid out of each cell and measuring the specific gravity there.

If the number is less than 1.235, your battery isn’t completely charged.

If you choose not to use a trickle charger, you should at least check your battery charge once a month.

Even if you want to utilize the trickle charger, it is wise to check in on it once a month to make sure there are no malfunctions or other problems.

Related Also: Why RV Battery Smells Like Rotten Eggs?

The Best Places to Store Your RV Battery During the Winter

You are aware that while in storage, RV batteries must be disconnected, but you may be unsure of the proper location.

I would highly advise moving the batteries to a warmer location if your RV will be kept outdoors throughout the winter to prevent it from freezing.

This might be a warm, generally dry area such as a garage, shed, basement, or another building.

Instead of placing the battery directly on the ground, place a layer of cardboard or another material below it to prevent the battery from losing charge too quickly.

You may also purchase a battery box to store the battery in, which will keep it covered and insulated; just make sure you can use the box with the battery connected to a trickle charger.

Is It Necessary To Remove My RV Battery Before Winter Storage?

For lifespan and performance, keeping your battery in top shape is crucial.

It’s crucial to remove the battery before storing your RV for the winter.

This is particularly true if your RV is stored somewhere that isn’t climate-controlled since it could become really cold there.

When you take the RV battery out, store it somewhere warm inside that is clean, dry, and dry.

By doing this, problems with cold weather that can harm the battery are avoided.

Should I Take Out My RV Battery for Winter Storage?

Does My RV Battery Need to Be Winterized?

It’s crucial to winterize your RV, including the batteries, at the conclusion of every season.

It won’t take too long at all to do this pretty easy assignment.

Connect the RV battery to a charger after disconnecting and removing it.

Before placing the battery in storage, you may clean the battery terminals and make sure they’re in good shape.

To protect your battery from being exposed to excessive temperatures, choose a clean, dry location to keep it.

This will extend its lifespan and ensure that it is prepared for the next camping season.

Is It Safe to Bring My RV Battery Inside?

Bringing your RV battery inside is a safe choice, even if you may not want it to sit in the corner of your dining room for many months at a time.

It will be well to locate a location in a garage or closet to keep it out of the way.

Should I Bring My RV Battery in the House?

What Temperature Is Too Low for an RV Battery?

When it’s chilly outside, your RV battery has to be completely charged.

A fully charged RV battery, however, is more sensitive to the cold.

The danger of harm when exposed to cold conditions increases as a battery empties more.

Cold temperatures are ideal for lithium battery performance.

A drained lithium battery may freeze at temperatures as low as -60 to -70 degrees Fahrenheit, while a fully charged lithium battery won’t until it reaches the -140 degree range.

Those are really chilly conditions.

But every 15 or 20 degrees below 80 degrees Fahrenheit usually causes lead-acid batteries to lose 10% of their capacity.

Therefore, if you have a battery of this kind, be sure to completely charge it before storing it somewhere warm.

No matter what kind of battery you have, it is obvious that you want to keep it completely charged.

To make sure you don’t overcharge it and harm it while it’s in storage, you may want to get a trickle charger that will turn off once it’s full.

In the meantime, while you wait for the new camping season to begin, this helps to guarantee that your battery remains warm and dry.

Additionally, even while inside your home, ensure sure your RV battery is completely charged before storing it.

Does My Battery Need to Be Disconnected for Winter Storage?

It’s a good idea to disconnect your batteries before putting your RV in storage for the winter.

You probably won’t need to if you store your RV in a climate-controlled location with access to electricity.

The likelihood is that you won’t have this choice, however.

We firmly advise you to disconnect your RV batteries, store it in a warm, secure location until the next season, and safeguard it.

Even though winterizing your RV might be depressing, if you don’t properly prepare your RV batteries for winter storage, you’ll probably cry a little.

Final Thoughts

The advantages of keeping your RV batteries over the winter are many, but they all contribute to longer battery life.

Simply unplug the battery, clean and refill it, charge it, and then store it out of the elements.

If you’re going to be gone for a while, you can use a trickle charger; just make sure it’s fully charged before you go to connect it again.

Recommended reading: 3 Myths You May Have Heard About Lithium RV Battery

Suggestion Videos from Youtube about RV Battery Storage

Winterizing Tip: RV Battery Storage | Pete’s RV Quick Tips – petesrv
Winter RV Battery Storage | Alberta Camping Tips – Alberta Camping
Proper RV Battery Storage: Tips and Troubleshooting – RV Lifestyle and Repair
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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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