The thrill of the road and the wind in your hair – it’s no wonder RVing is such a popular and growing lifestyle. But without the proper maintenance and care, your RVing experience may be over sooner than you anticipated. We’ve compiled 4 tips for keeping your RV battery well maintained, so your RVing stories are filled with fun and adventure – not tow trucks and frustration. Whether you’re new to RVing or just need a quick reminder, check out these 4 RV battery care tips:
Charge your RV battery properly. The #1 causes of RV battery failure are undercharging and overcharging. If you don’t fully recharge your drained RV battery between uses, it affects the battery’s composition, specifically the sulfur, and can ruin the battery permanently. Same thing goes if the battery sits uncharged for too long. On the other hand, if you leave your RV plugged in while in storage, you’re setting it up for plate corrosion and an early death.
The key to keeping your battery going for longer? If possible, charge it once it hits 80%. Don’t let the power deplete below 10.5 volts. And try charging your RV battery in stages – bulk charge to 90%, absorption charge for the remaining 10%, and to keep the battery at full charge switch to a float charge.
Perform regular RV battery check-ups. Most RV batteries today are considered “maintenance-free” but we recommend having the battery tested and inspected every few months. It never hurts to do a routine check-up to make sure nothing strange is going on. Doing so can help you stay on top of maintenance so you aren’t left stranded if a problem does occur.
Keep your RV battery hydrated. Not all batteries require water, but if yours does, make sure to keep water levels at least half an inch above the plates. This is especially important during hot temps – warm weather and high usage! If the plates come into contact with air, it results in a loss of battery performance. Once you’ve lost this performance, you can’t get it back which means your battery will offer decreased max power for the rest of its life. When you refill the water in your RV battery, use distilled water for longer life.
Make sure your RV battery is secure. Double check to make sure everything is tight, clean and working properly in the battery terminal. A loose battery can cause unnecessary movement and internal damage. Unclean connections can cause charging problems. If you do find discharge on your terminals or battery, make a mixture of ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of warm water. Make sure your battery is disconnected before pouring the mixture over both the terminal and the battery (even if you only find discharge on one or the other). Gently brush both with a toothbrush to remove all build up and rinse with warm water. To avoid oxidation, apply a bit of die-electric grease to the connections when you reconnect everything.
Follow these tips for a longer RV battery life. If you’re looking for a fun and interactive RVing experience, check out Hart Ranch Camping Resort located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. And if you do experience RV troubles, our experienced repair shop will get you back up and going before you hit the pavement to your next destination! Contact Hart Ranch today!