What is Trickle Charge RV Battery?

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Did you know that while your RV is sitting idle, the battery loses charge?

Additionally, did you know that a battery might be harmed by a charge that is too low? Avoid having a battery that has to be changed in the spring!

Let’s examine how to appropriately trickle charge your RV’s battery to increase its lifespan using these handling, trickling charging, and storage suggestions.

What is a Trickle Charge?

Think of having a pool in your backyard.

If you were to keep a hose on and drip water into the pool gently, this would gradually refill the water that has evaporated as the pool’s water slowly evaporates over time.

You may think of it as “trickle charging” the pool.

The same is true for an RV battery’s trickle charge.

Lead acid batteries that will stay idle for a time benefit greatly from this form of charging.

They gradually lose their energy when they are seated.

The battery will be progressively recharged using a trickle charge.

Lead Acid Battery

An RV typically has one of two different kinds of batteries.

The deep cycle battery, sometimes referred to as the “house battery,” is what will power your RV’s interior appliances.

A “starting battery,” sometimes known as a SLI (Starting, Lighting, and Ignition) battery, is located inside a motorhome.

The SLI battery is designed for short bursts of energy and to get things moving, while a deep cycle battery is intended for continuous usage.

Lead acid batteries are used in both kinds.

A line of several plates is found within a lead acid battery.

Lead and lead oxide plates alternate on these plates.

An electrolyte solution of sulfuric acid and water surrounds the plates within the battery.

This method enables the current to go between plates.

The batteries are divided into cells by tiny walls inside of them.

Each cell provides a certain number of volts.

The voltage of the battery increases with the number of cells.

Lead Acid Batteries come in a variety of brands, and the service staff at Lakeshore will assist you if you need to buy a new one.

Overall, the Optima Battery is the finest option.

It offers strong starting power and consistently operates in erratic circumstances.

In comparison to certain rivals, the Optima is 15 times more vibration-resistant.

The EverStart Maxx RV Battery offers the greatest value overall.

It’s a fantastic, cost-effective model that will get you moving without costing a fortune.

Last but not least, the Banshee Deep Cycle Lithium Ion RV Battery deserves recognition.

Compared to the majority of RV batteries now on the market, this is lighter, more durable, and more energy-efficient.

Despite having a higher price tag, it weighs 60% less than ordinary lead acid batteries, has a lifetime that is three times longer, and has a lot of CCAs for cold weather dependability.

Recommended reading: How to Wire RV Batteries?

How a Lead Acid Battery Gets Charged

This battery charges in three phases as a result of the way it is put together.

Bulk charge is the first fee.

Between 75% and 90% of the battery’s capacity is charged throughout this process.

To complete the first step, a steady current is needed.

The battery is charged to around 98% of its maximum capacity during the second step, which is referred to as the “absorption stage.” For this step to be finished, continuous voltage is required.

Low voltage charging is done in the third step.

This recharges the battery and prevents it from running out.

A trickle charge is used in this situation (see above).

The trickle charge keeps lead acid batteries charged since they lose charge while left idle.

What is a Trickle Charge?

Why Should an RV Battery Be Trickle Charged?

The maintenance of your lead acid battery’s health, strength, and life cycle requires trickle charging.

You need to be concerned about acid stratification if the battery routinely dips below 80%.

Sulfuric acid is present in the battery’s water.

The battery’s sulfuric acid is what facilitates the flow of electricity through it.

If the battery is discharged below 80% too often, the acid tends to settle at the bottom and the top of the battery is mostly made up of water.

As a result, the battery’s bottom begins to sulfate more and the current can no longer flow evenly.

While maintaining a charge over 80% is crucial, maintaining a charge above 50% is essential.

When the charge is below 50%, lead sulfate begins to accumulate between the plates and current flow is impeded.

Battery sulfation is the term for this.

Your battery will be permanently damaged at this low of a charge, necessitating a replacement.

It’s crucial to trickle charge your RV’s batteries appropriately while it’s in storage for the battery’s overall health.

Trickle Charging While Stored

Make sure your RV battery is fully charged before storing it at the end of the camping season.

Find a charger, like the BatteryMINDer, that will trickle when it is low but stop when it is full to keep the charge on the device while it is in storage.

By doing this, overcharging will be avoided, and you won’t need to keep an eye on it all winter.

The battery will be tested by the BatteryMINDer to ascertain its charge, after which it will indicate the kind of charge required.

Even the level of sulfation in the battery will be determined, and a particular charge will be applied to break it down.

One thing to remember is that it operates best between 33 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you live somewhere cold like we do here in Michigan, make sure you store your batteries somewhere where the temperature won’t go below that range.

Other Methods for Charging RV Batteries

#1. Using Your Alternator to Charge Your Batteries

The alternator in your RV or the car you use to pull your trailer will utilize all of its power to charge the batteries in your RV.

However, using the alternator of your tow vehicle to recharge drained trailer batteries is often a sluggish procedure.

Your alternator just isn’t very quick at it since it isn’t designed to charge RV batteries.

Running the vehicle’s electrical circuit is an alternator’s main job; its secondary duty is to replenish the primary battery after a start-up.

Alternators struggle and don’t charge very well while charging a nearly full car battery and a depleted battery at the same time.

A DC-DC smart charger may significantly speed up how quickly your alternator charges the house batteries in your RV.

DC-DC smart chargers analyze the kind and size of your battery and convert the alternator’s output to a greater amperage rate.

A DC-DC charger should undoubtedly be included to your RV electrical system if you intend to depend heavily on your alternator to recharge your batteries.

Using Your Alternator to Charge Your Batteries

#2. Go Green By Using Solar Power

As long as the sun is shining on the solar panels, going green with solar panels allows you to charge your RV batteries without spending any money.

No sun means no charge for the batteries.

But solar power may not always be the quickest way to recharge a depleted RV battery.

In full sunshine, one 100W solar panel can recharge a 100Ah battery that has been depleted to 50% in around 8 hours.

Solar charging may be surprisingly quick in a sunny region if you have the correct size and number of solar panels installed.

Go Green By Using Solar Power

#3. Your RV Can Be Connected To Shore Power Or A Generator

Every time you hook into shore power or a generator, your RV is ready to keep its batteries charged.

The quickest method to charge an RV is to just plug it in.

If you keep your vehicle at home or even when you go camping, this is an excellent alternative.

The RV converter transforms the 120 Volt AC electricity to 12 Volt DC current when your RV is plugged in.

Undoubtedly, the quickest and simplest way to charge your RV batteries is by plugging in.

Related Also: Why Does My RV No Power from Battery?


There are several methods to charge an RV battery, but you should never allow a lead-acid battery go over 50%.

The quickest charging times are obtained by plugging into shore power or a generator.

Recommended Videos from Youtube about Trickle Charge RV Battery

RV Battery maintenance Battery removal – trickle charge RV winterizing – Camping Companions
Adding a Trickle Charger to Your Motorhome or RV to Charge the House Battery when You are Plugged in – My Two Good Hands
Harbor Freight Solar Trickle Charger (RV Living Full Time) – Small Space Living
How to Effectively Charge RV Batteries While Driving – Freedom in a Can
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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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