Did you know a lot of people love to travel in RVs? If you want to learn about RV battery maintenance tips, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over extending RV battery life.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Before You Inspect the Battery
You should learn how to complete safe maintenance on your RV. Make sure you disconnect your RV from the power source. The battery disconnect switch should also get turned off.
12-volt RV batteries aren’t able to electrocute you. Yet, your 120-volt outlets could electrocute you.
When you work on your RV battery, make sure you wear gloves. The battery will contain some acid and can burn your skin. Wear closed-toe shoes as well to protect your feet in the event of splashing.
You should also wear goggles if you need to work on lead-acid batteries. Let’s take a look at how to keep your batteries in excellent shape.
1. Complete Regular Maintenance
Complete routine maintenance or recharge a discharged battery as soon as possible. This will end up extending the lifespan of your battery. The cause of death behind lead-acid batteries is sulfation.
If a battery’s in a lower state of charge, tiny crystals can form on the plates, which is sulfation.
If this remains like this for a long time, your battery will get ruined. Sulfation can occur when a battery’s state of charge goes below 12.4 volts. Recharging the battery fast can help prevent this.
2. Don’t Overcharge Your Battery
You should try not to overcharge your RV battery. A hot temperature can end up killing your battery. If it’s hot outside, you should check the water levels in your battery cells.
Add distilled water and check the electrolyte levels when possible. You can save your lead-acid batteries. Regular tap water could cause calcium sulfate.
3. Charge Your Batteries in Stages
You will need to charge your batteries in different stages. A bulk charge will return the battery to a 90 percent full charge within the first few hours.
The absorption charge gets used for the remaining 10 percent. Most RV converter chargers are three-stage chargers.
Batteries should get watered after charging. Unless the plates got exposed before you charged the battery. If the plates get exposed, add water to cover the plates and then charge the battery.
Once the battery’s charged, you should fill every cell to the bottom of the vent well. To avoid water loss, leave the vent caps on batteries while charging them.
4. Maintain the Electrolyte Levels
Flood-cell batteries will lose water with the different charge cycles as time passes. This water will need to get replenished.
Use distilled water to lower the chance of sulfation. You should check your batteries once a month. Make sure the batteries get charged before you perform maintenance.
Try to clean the battery terminals to get rid of corrosion. Use a mix of water and baking soda to clean the area.
5. What About RV Battery Storage?
Recreational vehicles should get stored in the winter. Your battery could go flat if you aren’t taking care of it. This will affect your battery’s lifespan. Freezing will also kill flooded cell batteries.
Remove your RV batteries from the vehicle and take them home with you. Try to check the voltage each month. Charge it if it goes below 80 percent. An overnight charge should be sufficient.
If it’s not possible to remove the batteries from your RV, take a few precautions. This will keep your batteries alive.
Try to disconnect your house batteries. Fridges, smoke detectors, radios, and propane detectors use small milliamps over time. This can end up draining your battery.
Look at charging your batteries as they naturally discharge. If you get access to your rig while it’s in storage, make sure you charge the battery fully each month.
6. Test Your Batteries
You should look at periodically testing your batteries. This will help prevent any damage. Look at completing a hydrometer reading of each cell. This will reveal its true charge level.
Also, you’ll want to check the balance. Imbalance could mean you need to equalize the battery. It’s also a sign that you have a bad cell.
Look at completing period voltage checks. This will help you locate a weak or bad battery. Load testing picks out bad batteries when other methods fail.
A weak battery can end up causing premature failure of other companion batteries.
7. What About Extreme Temperatures?
Extreme temperatures can end up impacting your battery’s ability to charge and perform well. For example, cold will reduce your battery capacity.
Heat can increase water usage and end up causing it to overcharge. High temperatures will cause thermal runaway, leading to a fire or explosion.
If the extreme temperature isn’t avoidable, call in a battery specialist.
8. Trade in Your Old Battery
Your battery will die at some point. The plastic and lead in the batteries should get recycled. Sometimes, these old batteries will get used to building new batteries.
A lot of shops will give you a discount if you trade in your old battery. This will make it a lot more affordable. If you’re looking at buying a new battery, consider checking out LiFePO4 batteries.
RV Battery Maintenance
We hope this guide on RV battery maintenance was helpful. Make sure you charge your RV battery and prevent it from rusting. Look at charging it thoroughly once a month.
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