Use An RV Battery The Correct Way – Everything You Need To Know (2018)
Owning an RV is one of the best ways to get out to campgrounds and experience the outdoor life while staying in comfort. It's great for families with small children and seniors who would still like to have adventures in the great outdoors.
However, with a big vehicle like an RV, you're going to need to ensure that you're maintaining it correctly. One of the most important things to look after would be your RV battery, which powers up your whole RV.
RV batteries are an absolute essential for RVing. Unfortunately, not a lot of people really take care of it as recommended, which leads to expensive problems. That's why it's crucial to learn about how to use an RV battery the correct way.
Wondering how? Read on as I show you the basics of the RV battery.
RV Battery Basics
If you haven't replaced your RV battery yet, chances are that it uses a 12V battery source, which supplies electricity to your RV and additional appliances inside it. Sometimes, other batteries would have two 6V batteries or two 12V ones, depending on the size and model of your RV.
There are various types of RV batteries available, with deep-cycle batteries being an excellent choice if you want both power and a longer lifespan. Another good investment is 6V golf-cart type batteries, which have the most storage and substantial power.
Besides the types of batteries, battery ratings are essential to take note of as well. This can measure how long a battery can last throughout the trip.
Ampere-hour ratings are estimated by multiplying output current in amps with the time that its load is applied, up until the battery voltage drops to about 1.75V per cell (which is considered as discharged).
Take note that the higher the ampere-hour rating, the more powerful the RV battery is.
Reserve Capacity is mainly the power reserved and how long a fully-charged battery can handle 25 amps until it dips down to 1.75V per cell.
How to Install the RV Battery
If you want to give your RV more power or are in need of a replacement battery, then it's relatively easy to replace it. However, if done wrong, it may break the battery which can cost a lot more! To make sure you're replacing your batteries and installing it correctly, here are the necessary steps to follow:
1. Disconnecting Old Batteries
After you have switched off your RV and its power draw, locate and disconnect the old batteries by unscrewing both negative and positive battery clamps.
The positive leads are black and negative ones are color white. Remove the negative clamp first. When replacing the battery, the negative ones should be clamped last. This is done to avoid any short circuits.
2. Attaching New Batteries
Following the manufacturer's instructions, place your new batteries in the correct location. They should be connected in parallel with each other. Positive faces positive, negative faces negative.
Connect the trailer's positive lead with the battery's positive terminal. Connect the two positive posts of the batteries with its charger wire. Secure its clamps. Repeat the same process with the negative posts. The new charger wire must either be the similar size or larger than the previous charger wires.
3. Make Sure Everything Is Correctly Placed
Last but not the least before testing the battery, check if everything is in the right place. There needs to be enough air around your batteries to avoid hydrogen buildup.
This is dangerous and may cause explosions, putting the riders in danger. If ever you are unsure about the ventilation in the battery, consult professionals.
When to Charge the RV Battery
It's crucial to keep your RV batteries well charged, not going below 20% to lengthen its lifespan. As much as possible, it's best to maintain the battery life to about 50% at its lowest and charge when it reaches that level. When you discharge batteries below 50%, it shortens the lifespan.
That's why it's crucial to begin charging the battery once it indicated less than 50%. This is also important for batteries that aren't used or still in storage, which is why regular maintenance is essential.
Your battery chargers should fully charge within eight hours. Unmatched or defective chargers can damage the batteries or reduce its performance. You can use either a stand-alone and portable charger for batteries in storage or use a converter to plug it in your home or the campgrounds.
How to Monitor and Use Your RV Battery Properly
Now that you know the basics of the RV battery, as well as how to charge and install it, what are tips on monitoring and using it correctly? Follow these tips:
- Ensure that the battery cables are intact and that the connectors are tight at all times. When inspecting on the battery, use insulated tools to avoid shorting terminals.
- Maintain the cleanliness of your battery by cleaning it from dirt and corrosion. Making a paste of baking soda and water will help reduce corrosion. Apply petroleum jelly to prevent corroding again.
- When adding water to your batteries, always use distilled water to avoid calcium sulfation. Always check the batteries during hot temperatures and add water if required.
- If you have just replaced your batteries, you can recycle the old ones. You can sell your old batteries to junk shops so as to properly dispose of it.
Wrapping It Up
Your RV won't be able to run without its battery. And because these are expensive to repair or replace if damaged, it's important to know how to keep it running well to last for years to come.
Hopefully, this article on how to use an RV battery the right way showed you what you need to know about caring and charging it. So don't wait any longer and begin following the steps to keeping your RV battery in top shape today.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips on using an RV battery, then comment below. I would love to hear what you have to think.