If you’ve ever wondered why your RV battery keeps dying, you’re not alone.
This article is truly for any RVer with a battery! For a variety of reasons, including preserving the integrity of your RV’s battery so that it continues to serve you effectively for as long as possible, proper care and maintenance are crucial.
Furthermore, batteries are costly, and nobody wants to have to replace them because of carelessness or simply neglect.
Therefore, with this article, we want to assist everyone who might use some helpful advice on how to maintain their RV batteries in top condition and working effectively for as long as possible, not only RVers whose batteries keep dying.
Table of Contents
- The Most Common Causes of RV Battery Death
- How Can I Care for the Lead-Acid Battery in My RV?
- When Should I Change My RV’s Constantly Dying Battery?
- Suggestion Videos from Youtube
The Most Common Causes of RV Battery Death
RV batteries store electrical energy in a perfect world.
RV batteries may succumb to sudden death in the real world for no apparent cause.
When we can use slide-outs, RV jacks, electrical appliances, and other features that make RV camping fun, it makes the experience much more pleasurable.
A complex RV issue arises when the battery in the RV keeps dying.
On an RV trip, finding solutions to challenging RV issues is usually the last thing you want to do.
Whoever who ever wondered “why does my RV battery constantly die?
#1. You Neglected To Care For Your Battery
Your RV likely features deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries if you’re like the majority of RV owners (6- or 12-volt).
To charge and store power, the lead plates in these batteries must be coated with the electrolyte solution.
Distilled water must be periodically added to flooded lead-acid batteries to keep the lead plates submerged in liquid.
Check the fluid level by removing the battery’s top covers if your battery continues dying.
You must fill the plates with distilled water if you can see the tops of them.
Use an online application like RV LIFE Maintenance to keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs.
You can maintain all of your documentation in one location, and you’ll also get timely alerts when maintenance is needed to protect you from having to pay for expensive repairs or maybe having a major accident.
#2. Overcharging Occurred In The RV Battery
Although overcharging an RV battery is very uncommon, it is nevertheless possible.
Batteries that have been overcharged will boil out their electrolyte solution, rendering the lead plates incapable of storing or charging power.
If this has occurred, you should try to salvage the situation by adding distilled water to your battery.
#3. The Battery Was Depleted
Lead-acid batteries with flooded cells don’t like to be discharged beyond 50%.
There is a significant risk that your battery is now damaged and won’t retain a charge the way it once did if you have depleted it over 80%.
Before recharging, don’t discharge your deep-cycle battery more than 50% of the way to its full capacity.
#4. Not Enough Time Was Spent Charging The Battery
When completely charged, deep-cycle RV batteries perform best at around 14 volts.
To completely charge them, it takes around two days.
It won’t be possible to reach the required amount of stored power in your RV batteries with the trickle charge it receives from your car while you go to your campground.
An improperly charged battery’s battery levels might show that it has 12.8 volts stored.
The volt measurement will only represent a surface charge if the battery hasn’t had enough time to fully charge.
As soon as there is a pull on the battery, a surface charge will cause power levels to rapidly drop.
Charge your battery for two days before heading to the camping to prevent this issue.
While you are camping, remember to maintain charging it using a generator or solar power.
#5. The RV Battery May Now Be Changed
There is a fair possibility the battery in your RV is beyond its prime and needs to be replaced if it is older than 6 years old, has been maintained, and has never been depleted below 80%.
When maintained correctly, deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries typically have a lifespan of six years.
Your battery will be harmed and have a much shorter life if you discharge it beyond 80%.
How Can I Care for the Lead-Acid Battery in My RV?
Thankfully, there are some things we can do to properly manage a lead-acid RV battery, decreasing the likelihood of a dead battery.
#1. Don’t use deep discharges
Avoid deep discharges since they drastically reduce battery life.
Take quick (1 to 2 hour) pauses to give your battery a quick recharge if you’re using it heavily.
The battery’s lifespan will be aided by this.
If you’re storing your RV, you should take good care of the battery or batteries and pay attention to the temps they’ll experience throughout that time.
Additionally, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your batteries, which is where a decent RV battery monitor comes in.
(If you’re looking for a good RV battery monitor, don’t forget to read our piece on the top RV battery monitors.)
#2. Before Storing, Fully Charge Your Battery
Make careful to completely charge your RV’s batteries before storing the vehicle.
A lead-acid battery should always be kept in storage after being completely charged.
Make careful to completely charge a lead-acid battery before storing it or your RV.
#3. Maintain Proper Battery Storage
As we said in our piece on RV winterizing advice, in the summer keep your batteries in a cool spot, and in the winter be sure to store your fully charged batteries where they won’t freeze.
Finally, you should check your batteries every month to determine whether they require water replenishment, even when they are stored.
The plates shouldn’t be visible, so keep that in mind (more about that coming up).
#4. Employ a Battery Tender
Utilizing a battery tender is a fantastic option since it contains safety measures that stop overcharging.
When you remove the battery from storage, you may also utilize a battery tender.
A battery tender will stop leaking while preventing the battery from dying, even though it will have lost some current from inactivity.
#5. Keep The Right Levels Of Electrolytes
Never let the electrolyte (liquid) level in your battery go below the top of the plates by constantly checking the electrolyte levels.
If the plates are seen, your battery is depleted (and damage is being done), since when the plates are exposed, they suffer permanent harm and finally stop functioning altogether.
Add just enough distilled water to cover the plates if the fluid level is low BEFORE charging the battery completely.
Finish filling with water to the appropriate level when charging is finished; this level is often indicated by a visible fill line (or until the liquid level just touches the bottom of the neck of the opening).
Keep in mind to only fill your batteries with pure or deionized water.
Any other water will have minerals that might harm the battery permanently.
It’s crucial to often check the electrolyte levels in your flooded lead-acid batteries.
Just use distilled or deionized water to top up the container as necessary.
#6. Never Let Your Battery’s Charge Go Below 50%
If you use lithium batteries, this doesn’t apply to you.
But if you don’t, be sure to recharge your batteries before they go to less than 50%.
It’s beneficial to sometimes reach 50%.
You must carry out it.
You may actually shorten the battery’s lifetime if you repeatedly recharge your batteries before they have reached a 50% level of charge.
The internal resistance will rise, and your batteries won’t keep a charge because of the loss of electrolytes if you allow your lead-acid batteries to drop BELOW 50% state of charge.
The longevity of your battery will be considerably reduced if you do this.
#7. Don’t Let Corrosion Accumulate
Over time, battery terminals deteriorate, but by checking and cleaning them often, you may extend the life of your battery.
Lead-acid batteries contain sulfuric acid, a very corrosive substance, in their electrolyte.
It’s typical for some of that acid to be released throughout the charging cycle via the vent apertures in the caps, which subsequently corrodes the metal of the battery connections.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that corrosion on those terminals will increase the resistance that electricity experiences as it passes through, increasing the power consumption from your battery.
So, to maintain the health of your battery, make sure to keep a check on the terminals.
It’s a good idea to clean them using this solution (which has a color-changing indicator to let you know when you’ve neutralized all the acid) if you see that they are starting to corrode:
Alternatively, you might combine baking soda and water (which is easily found in food shops) and apply them to the corrosion.
The acid will react with the baking soda and get neutralized (you’ll know because it will bubble).
Apply the solution again and again until the bubbling stops, gently rinsing it off with plenty of fresh water.
Related Also: Why RV Battery Smells Like Rotten Eggs?
When Should I Change My RV’s Constantly Dying Battery?
Generally speaking, how you handle and maintain your RV batteries will affect how long they last.
A key factor in extending the life of your batteries is controlling the appropriate charging and discharging.
Batteries, for instance, will last 50% longer if you take care to ensure they never discharge below 30% of their maximum charge (i.e., only drain them from 100% charge down to 70% state of charge).
If you do this, they will have a shorter lifetime than if you let them deplete fully.
It’s probably time to replace your battery if you’ve been consistently letting your battery drain fully and your battery continues dying.
The temperature at which your batteries run has an impact on their longevity as well.
The ideal temperature range for lead-acid batteries is typically between 50°F and 75°F (10°C to 25°C).
This isn’t always feasible, of course, but you should be aware that the longer a battery is used outside of this broad range, the more its longevity will be harmed.
Extreme temperatures have the biggest effect and may significantly shorten the battery’s life.
It’s probably time to get a new battery if your battery continues failing or doesn’t maintain a charge as it should after being exposed to excessive heat or cold.
Your battery should be replaced if it is older than four to six years and consistently dies.
Finally, you should replace your battery right away if it is broken, can no longer hold a charge, or if you see corrosion building up often.
Have you ever encountered the issue of a failing RV battery?
What was the problem in your situation?
We’d be interested in hearing about your experiences with RV batteries.
Recommended reading: 3 Myths You May Have Heard About Lithium RV Battery