Using Your RV Battery: Some Problems And Solutions You Need To Know About
When it came to using my RV, I made sure to learn everything about it. After all, with such a huge recreational vehicle, it would take a lot of routine maintenance and care to allow it to run correctly! One of the things that confused (and intimidated) me the most was its batteries, which were far different from the usual car batteries.
As I continued to care for my RV and its batteries, I did come across some issues. I was a newbie and mistakes were inevitable! Fortunately, I learned a lot after doing some research and following the different solutions offered.
I know a lot of you are also struggling when it comes to caring for your RV battery as well. This is why I show you some problems and solutions you would come across with when handling your RV battery.
Having some problems or want to prepare for anything that may arise with your RV battery? Here are the different issues and solutions to acquaint yourself with to avoid any major trouble!
1. My Battery Isn't Charging Well!
There may be a few reasons as to why this happens:
Battery Isn't Good
You might only be running on a partially-charged battery, only giving it a surface charge that only lasts for a few minutes. That is why it's important to charge your battery properly and monitor it to ensure it charges efficiently.
Charging System Broken
If you're plugged into power and your appliances are making your battery deplete, it's your charging system with the problem. It's best to head on to an RV shop that can help repair your charging system.
Battery Isn't Enough For Power Needs
Another possibility is that your battery isn't able to provide enough power needed for as long as you need it. You'll need to check out your battery's load capacity to see how it compares to the power requirements.
Determine how many hours you'll need to use your appliances for and calculate the total AMP hours required for that. If your battery isn't enough, you may need to redesign your 12V system or to manage your power needs to match your battery's power capacity.
2. My Battery Drains So Quickly
There are several reasons as to why your RV battery doesn't work or has died. It can be from parasitic appliances or a self-discharging battery. When your appliances, such as a fridge, stereos, lights, or televisions, are left on, it could drain the battery.
You will need to find the culprit by using a multimeter, following its instructions and finding any draw or drain in your battery. You can find what drains the battery by locating the 12V fuse panel and removing one fuse at a time. Once there is no drain on the meter, you have already found what the problem is and to switch it off immediately.
Sometimes, it may need more troubleshooting to find what causes the drain, but when you follow this, you can isolate and correct the issue through this method.
3. How To Troubleshoot a Dead RV Battery
If ever you have some issues with your deep-cycle battery, follow these steps to troubleshoot it:
Inspect the battery to see if it is clean and dry, also watching out for any loose or broken terminals (which can cause short circuits!). Clean and fix any of these issues before testing the battery.
Now, test the charge level with a voltmeter, wattmeter, or a multimeter. Analyze the test data to find the state of charge. A fully charged battery would have a voltage of around 13V.
If ever it has a suitable voltage when fully charged but drops to 11V or less quickly when you're using power, then your battery cell needs replacement (which can be caused by excessive vibration). Unfortunately, you will need to replace the whole battery to avoid your other batteries from following suit.
4. My Batteries Overcharged
Unfortunately, if your battery has overcharged and feels hot to the touch, then chances are that you will need to replace the battery and to make sure you take the preventive measures to avoid the situation from happening again.
But you can try at least trying to save it by trying to add distilled water to each cell to reduce the effects of the damage.
If your problem is a deeply discharged battery, you can try to jump-start it yourself with a battery charger, jumper cables, another good battery, and a voltage meter. Hook up both discharged and working battery for an hour, then check if the battery is reaching a full charge.
5. My Batteries Are Sulfated
There are three methods you can try if your batteries have sulfated:
- Check your battery's electrolyte levels, applying a constant current at 2% of your battery's RC for two to six days at 14.5 VDC or more, depending on your battery's capacity and electrolyte temperature. Then, cycle the battery a few times to test the capacity.
- Replace the old electrolyte with distilled water, allowing it to stand for an hour then applying a constant current of four amps at 13.8 VDC. Remove the electrolyte and wash any sediments out, replacing it with fresh electrolyte. Recharge it. Repeat the process if ever the gravity goes over 1.300.
- You can try using a desolators or a pulse charger, which can be bought from various manufacturers.
Wrapping It Up
It's vital to be prepared for anything when handling your RV, especially when it comes to your battery. But don't worry about some issues or mistakes that happen. As long as you are knowledgeable and know how to act quickly, you won't be spending hundreds of dollars on repair and replacement.
I hope that this article on some problems and solutions regarding your RV battery helped you find out what you need to do in case of some issues that arise.
If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences with any of these problems, then comment below. I would love to hear what you have to think.