How To: Prolong Your RV Battery Life
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to prolong your RV battery life. The fact is, most RV batteries only last two to three years, but if you perform routine maintenance, you can double the life of your RV batteries.
For starters, become familiar with your RV battery. Is it an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) or deep cycle battery? Do you need to water it, or will it take care of itself? It’s important to know what you’re working with, so you can make sure you use the right type of charger. DoItYourselfRV.com has some helpful tips for determining which battery works best for you.[Tweet “To get the best performance out of your batteries, charge them in stages.”]
Out of storage
To get the best performance out of your batteries, charge them in stages:
First, a bulk charge to return your batteries to 90%;
Second, an absorption charge to build up the remaining 10% and to prevent water loss;
Lastly, a float charge to keep your batteries in full power.
So, what spells death for most RV batteries? Sulfation is the number one cause of battery failure. If a battery discharges completely (less than 10%) and it’s left to sit for a long period of time, the sulfate material in the battery will harden and it cannot be converted back for active use. An active battery is a healthy battery!
Remove your RV batteries when storing your RV and charge any batteries that are at or below 80%. Batteries in storage will loose their charge, so make sure to test the state of charge every month and charge batteries that are at or below 80%. Completely charge the batteries before re-installing them.
If you don’t want to test your batteries this frequently, find a trickle charger that matches your battery’s chemistry, current and voltage. This will keep your battery from discharging as quickly as it would, if it didn’t receive a charge. However, you should still monitor your battery while in storage, so that everything is in working order when you decide to take your next trip.
On a side note, if you’re in the energy-efficiency mindset, you can asses how much power each of your RV appliances draw and turn your generator on during peak times. For example, run a generator when you plan on using your high-power appliances at the same time. Then turn it off when you’re back on the road. This way, the battery in your RV is not slowly draining away due to sporadic energy usage.