An RV battery is one of the most important parts of your rig. None of the appliances or features of your motor home will work without one. So while they may not be much fun to play around with, it’s essential to understand your batteries for RV if you want to have a pleasant trip.
Battery RV Basics
Everything in your RV runs on a 12v RV battery system to function. Your battery is simply an electrical power storage device – it stores power in the form of chemicals so that it can be used later. RV house batteries are deep cycle batteries designed to store large amounts of this power, so they can work over long periods of time. Your deep cycle batteries can last you up to five years if you keep them properly maintained.
Keeping Your Battery For RV Charged
Batteries should always be above a 50% charge. If they drop below that, recharge them! If they go below a 20% charge, that can affect their RV battery life – they may be permanently damaged and won’t function at 100% again. Also, 12v RV batteries give off slightly more voltage when they’re fully charged. You can see the state of your charge by using an RV battery monitor or digital voltmeter. You can keep your battery charged longer by disconnecting the ground wire so it doesn’t drain while in storage. Also, keep in mind that it always takes less time to drain your batteries than it does to recharge them again.
Every time your RV is connected to an electric outlet, your batteries charge. An RV converter/charger that converts the power from the grid into a 12v DC and channels that to the adapter is already fitted on your RV. If you don’t have one, get a three-stage charger for your motor home. The three-stage charger is much more effective than the inbuilt charger during storage.
The three stages of the charger are: the bulk charge, which your inbuilt charger gives – that should get your RV battery up to 80 or 90% charge; the acceptance charge which slowly tapers off as the battery gets close to full charge, and the final trick of power to the batteries until they’re fully charged – and keeps the trickle coming to keep the battery topped off until you remove it from the charger.
Making Sure You Have Enough Battery Power
Since everything in your rig runs on 12v, you need 12v of power. You can get this, of course, with a 12v battery…but you can also create an RV battery bank. By combining two 6v RV batteries in series with jumper cables, you can get the 12v of power you need while keeping the amperage the same. You can also have RV batteries in parallel, which increases the current while keeping the voltage the same. To do this, you connect two positive terminals with two negative terminals, creating a negative negative and a positive positive. The batteries then drain equally. Finally, you can have RV batteries in series, which would increase the voltage and amps. You need at least four batteries, and can connect two sets of batteries in parallel together to form a series power bank.
RV Battery Storage
If you store your RV for the winter, there are a few things to do to make sure your RV coach batteries stay in good condition. Leaving the batteries as they are all winter will cause them to discharge little by little, leaving you with a flat battery in the spring. This is back for the life of the battery. Also, freezing can kill your flooded battery, whereas a charged battery won’t freeze. To avoid these problems, consider removing your batteries from your rig and storing them at home. Check the voltage once a month and charge them if they’re below 80%.
If you can’t take your batteries out, disconnect the house batteries to avoid “vampire devices.” Appliances like smoke detectors, fridges, and propane detectors can all slowly drain the battery, even when they’re off. Charge the batteries as they naturally discharge, and charge your battery fully once a month. Check on your batteries monthly while your vehicle is in storage to be sure they’re functioning properly.
RV Batteries For Sale
You can purchase RV batteries many places including auto parts stores, RV stores, camping stores, and even on Amazon. You can also read reviews online to decide the best RV battery for your rig.
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