Things You Need to Know About RV Batteries

The battery of your recreational vehicle is the most used thing when you go camping. The appliances on your recreational vehicle, the lights, everything. They operate using the battery of your recreational vehicle.

RV Parked at night

This is the reason why your recreational vehicle’s battery must be well-maintained. You also need to make sure that it is properly charged. Once your recreational vehicle’s battery is used up, everything in your RV will no longer function.

Understanding your RV Battery

A battery is something which stores power in the form of chemicals. Remember, it does not “make” power, but it simply “stores” power. Your recreational vehicle uses a 12-volt battery. This can make your RV appliances, lightings, and water pump function.

Most people do not pay that much attention to their batteries. Once it is connected to their recreational vehicle, they stop there. They only remember their recreational vehicle’s battery either when it discharges or it becomes damaged.

The most important thing to remember to ensure that your battery lasts long is to make sure it does not discharge below 50%. So it is important to monitor your battery. Always check how much it is charged so you can recharge it right away if it reaches at least 50%.

If your battery reached below 50% charged, it is best that you discharge it right away. This will cause damage to your battery. If this happens, do not expect it to function at its fullest capacity. And maybe, you can get a new one.

Battery storage is also important. You need to store your recreational vehicle’s battery under the right conditions. Even though your RV battery is in storage, you need to charge it every three months at the very least to ensure that it will be ready for use when you need it. Storing your battery when discharged will damage its plates and this will not be good.

How to Clean Your Recreational Vehicle's Battery

What can cause damage to your recreational vehicle’s battery? Corrosive products can cause damage to your recreational vehicle’s battery. To prevent this from happening, you need to clean your battery properly.

Proper cleaning is the key to make your battery life last longer. So how do you clean your recreational vehicle’s battery?

How To Remove Corrosive Substances

To remove corrosive substances from your recreational vehicle’s battery, you need to follow some steps.

  • First, you need to protect your self. Wear protective gloves so you will not hurt your hands. You should also wear a mask and goggles so your face and eyes will be protected. Remember that the battery contains acid. That is why you need to be careful when handling it.
  • Detach the cables from the battery by using a wrench. Make sure you remove the black cable first (negative), then the red cable positive). If you touch the positive cable first, there is a risk of you experiencing a shock.
  • Clean the battery with a damp cloth once the cables are detached. If you see any damage like leaks or cracks, have a professional replace it for you.
  • Make a paste by using 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda and water. The water should be enough to make a paste out of the baking soda. Put the paste on the battery connections and scrub off the corrosive substances with a wire brush.
  • Wipe off the paste with a clean rag and water. Make sure you wipe off the baking soda paste totally.
  • Once the battery is clean, apply petroleum jelly on the connections to prevent corrosion in the future.

Charging Your Recreational Vehicle's Battery

Once the battery has been cleaned properly, you can now charge it. Open your battery’s cap and check the distilled water. If it is low, then fill it up with distilled water until it reaches the marker. Then return the cap.

Charging Your Battery

Connect the recreational battery charger to the battery. You need to connect the positive side to the red connection then the negative side to the black connection. You can also ground the black connection by clamping it to a piece of metal.

Now you can plug in the charger to charge your recreational vehicle’s battery. Remember that it takes faster to discharge a battery that to recharge it. That is why patience is needed when charging your recreational vehicle’s battery.

You will know that the battery is fully charged through the indicator light. Once the indicator light comes on, you can now unplug your battery charger and remove the connections. You can now reconnect your recreational vehicle’s battery.

Reconnecting your Recreational Vehicle’s Battery

Once the battery of your recreational vehicle has been fully charged, you can now reconnect it to your vehicle.

When doing this, you need to connect the positive side or the red connection first. Then the black connection or the negative side or the black connection. Make sure that you tighten the connections properly using a wrench.

If you have more than one battery in your recreational vehicle, charge the other batteries the same way as you charged the first one. Now you are all ready to enjoy the facilities of your recreational vehicle as your batteries are all charged up.

Important Things To Remember When Charging Batteries

There are a few important things which you need to remember when it comes to the battery of your recreational vehicle:

  • You need to charge your battery regularly, even when it is not in use. If you leave your battery to discharge, it will cause damage to it, putting its serviceability to an end.
  • You need to know how much power your recreational vehicle uses so you can calculate how long your battery will last before you will have the need to charge it again.
  • Never let your recreational vehicle’s battery discharge to below 50%. Doing so will damage your battery.
  • Check the water level of your battery at least once a week. Or more if you have the time. If you notice that the water level of your recreational vehicle’s battery is low, you need to add water to it. But remember, you must use distilled water only when refilling your recreational vehicle’s battery. Do not use tap water, mineral water, or any other kind of water, for that matter, other than distilled water. Not using distilled water will damage the battery of your recreational vehicle.
  • Remember to disconnect your battery when you store it or if you do not intend to use it for quite some time. And if you do store it, make sure it is fully charged and to check it once in a while to recharge it. Once the battery of your recreational vehicle is drained for a long time. It will crystalize the cells and damage it. You will have no choice but to buy a new battery if this happens.

Monitoring Your Recreational Vehicle's Battery

It is very helpful if you monitor your recreational vehicle’s battery. This will make sure that your battery will function properly and that it will not be totally discharged. To do this, you will need an RV battery monitor.

An RV battery monitor can help you check the voltage of your recreational vehicle’s battery. The lower the voltage, the less charge your batteries have. This is an indication that you need to recharge the battery of your recreational vehicle.

Another way of monitoring your recreational vehicle’s battery is by using a battery meter. A battery monitor may only indicate the voltage being discharged by your battery. The battery monitor shows how much charge your battery has and the voltage as well.

Checking Your RV Charging System

You may encounter a situation where you have a new recreational vehicle battery. Then you got stranded somewhere and the battery of your recreational vehicle needs to be recharged. So you through the process of recharging your RV battery.

But when you plugged the charging system, it does not work. So no battery charging for you then. Suffer the consequences of not checking the charging system of your recreational vehicle.

Well, there is a solution to this problem. Before setting out for your trip, along with checking all the other essential things needed for your trip, check your RV’s charging system.

An easy way to do this is by using a multimeter. A multimeter is a device every RVer must have. The multimeter can tell how your electrical system is. It can tell you why an electrical outlet or light does not work. It is a big help for checking circuits.

Recreational Vehicle Power Alternative

With the help of technology, you can also get power for your recreational vehicle by using solar power. This method can help your recreational vehicle’s battery to last longer.

Alternate use of battery and solar power will give you unlimited power to make your appliances and other things in your recreational vehicle function without any hitches.

So before you set out for an adventure which is planned for fun and relaxation, make sure that you check everything that needs to be checked, especially your RV battery and its charging system.

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