There is nothing more frustrating than finding out your RV battery has died on you. It throws a wrench in the plan, or even worse, having your battery burn up on you because it wasn’t maintained.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your battery and take good care of it, so it doesn’t become a safety hazard.
Making RV battery maintenance part of your regular routine will prevent irritating disruptions in your vacation plans and keep your family safe.
There are several different types of batteries, so we will focus on the most common battery type, a lead-acid battery. Please refer to the maintenance department of East Coast Campers and more to get customized recommendations for your specific RV type.
RV Battery Voltage and Why it Matters
With a lead acid battery, you want to make sure you keep the charge high.
Monitor the charge in your battery and never let it get below the voltage label of the battery. For instance, you don’t want a 12-volt battery to go below a 12-volt charge.
What Happens When Your Battery Charge Gets Low?
When your RV battery starts to lose its charge, it starts forming crystals called sulfation. Sulfation starts to form when your battery falls below 80% charge and will kill your battery.
The good news is, you can take a few simple steps to prevent battery sulfation and keep your RV battery humming along for as long as possible.
Keep your Battery Charged
The lower you let the charge drop, the quicker your battery will die. A battery that drops to 40% charge every day will die much quicker than one that drops to 60% every day.
The average 12-volt lead acid battery will last approximately six years.
Make a routine out of checking the charge of your battery with a handheld digital voltage meter. This will go a long way in keeping your battery alive for as long as possible.
If you have a battery disconnect switch, flip it to disconnect while you aren’t using your RV or when it’s stored during the off season. This will prevent the slow drain caused by things like clocks and radios.
The Heat of Summer and Your RV Battery
Monitor your battery in times of high usage or extreme heat.
Top up water levels using distilled, mineral free water. If you use tap water, you run the risk of getting calcium sulfation on your battery.
Be Safe When Checking Your RV Battery
Make sure you always wear gloves when you are handling your battery. You will want to get a pair of safety goggles to keep around and never smoke or have an open flame near your battery.
An RV battery stores a lot of energy, and in some circumstances can cause fires. Battery maintenance should not be taken lightly.
Check out this video by RV Education 101.
Regular Maintenance Is Key
Whether you learn how to do this yourself, or you come in to see our maintenance department at East Coast Campers and more, it is essential to your safety that you come up with a regular battery maintenance routine for your RV.
Call us today to see how we can help.
This article was written by Kristi Durham at Quality Biz Assist.