RV Batteries 101
Your battery is one of the most important parts of your RV. It’s what powers everything from your engine to your heater, to your refrigerator – and yes, even charges your phone.
If you’re out on the road and you have a battery problem, it is important to know how to maintain and identify battery issues, otherwise, you might get stuck in some remote area, which can be a real headache.
There are lots of different choices for your RV battery. The two most popular options are lead-acid batteries or lithium batteries.
Lead-acid batteries are probably the most popular and are the same type of batteries that power your boat, your golf cart, or your car.
As an alternative, lithium batteries are lighter, smaller, and don’t need as much maintenance. They also have a much longer lifespan, normally lasting at least 5,000 cycles. Many campers who connect their RVs for solar power upgrade to lithium batteries, which are more expensive upfront, but offer little maintenance and usually save the owner money in the long run.
MAINTAINING RV BATTERIES
How you maintain your RV batteries will, of course, depend on what type of batteries you have. If you have a lead-acid battery, the most common type, you should look at the maintenance instructions and check with the manufacture for recommendations.
You should check the battery at least once a month to ensure that it is charging and working properly. This is especially important during the winter months when you might not use your RV as often.
With lead-acid batteries, you should clean the battery terminals and remove any corrosion that has built up at least once every six months. Use a mixture of baking soda and water or a commercial cleaning product. The baking soda will neutralize the acid that has built up on the battery terminal. Use a cloth or a brush to scrub the battery clean.
As mentioned, lithium batteries don’t need much maintenance and can be generally left alone for the duration of their lifespan.
RV BATTERY STORAGE
When you put your RV away for the winter, the battery naturally discharges over time so when you want to use your RV again, the battery might be empty, especially if you haven’t maintained it properly. While Vancouver Island has a mild winter, if your battery is left for a long time in freezing temperatures, it can flood the battery cells, damaging the battery or making it inoperable. If possible, store your RV someplace warm and dry to prevent exposure from the elements.
BATTERY FAILURE IN RVS
Even if you maintain your battery, there is always a chance your RV battery might fail. The most common issues are undercharging and overcharging. Undercharging is the result of a battery not being left to charge for long enough between cycles. The second leading cause is overcharging, which causes plate corrosion and is the result of being left connected to a power source for too long.
PART OF THE SOLUTION
Contact Island batteries today if you need an RV battery replacement or you’re running into battery issues. We have over 25 years of battery experience and are the go-to experts for all types of batteries.