Choosing the right batteries for your RV
Just like a car, your RV needs a battery. However, since you're not connected to the electrical grid, you will also need house batteries. Here's what you need:
Engine Battery - RVs use the same batteries as cars to start the engine, except they are larger with a higher Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rating.
House Batteries - Sometimes, several batteries are wired together for the house. House batteries use a deep-cycling process, whereby they are fully discharged before being recharged again. Deep-cycle batteries typically last up to four times as long as normal starting batteries.
Types of RV Batteries
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Marine Batteries - An inexpensive hybrid of deep-cycle and starting batteries, they don't perform as well as either of the other types. They may last up to two years.
Gel Batteries - Gel-type batteries are a good choice for deep-cycle batteries. They are not as inexpensive as most batteries, but will last 4-10 years.
Golf Cart Batteries - 6-volt batteries are rugged and you can wire together two batteries to create a 12-volt power source for your RV. Opt for deep-cycle, flooded-cell golf cart batteries, and they may last up to 7 years.
Lead-acid Batteries - Virtually 100% recyclable, used lead-acid batteries can be returned to your RV Warehouse dealership.
Caring for Your RV Batteries
As with all batteries, RV batteries produce explosive gases and should be stored away from flames, sparks and other heat sources. Don't lean over a battery while jumping it or performing other types of maintenance on it, and always wear safety glasses when working with batteries.
Servicing your batteries
Step 1: Perform a visual inspection of the case and cover for any cracks, and ensure that the cables and seminal posts are not damaged or loose. Damaged anchor cables should be replaced immediately.
Step 2: Ensure that all connections are tightened, but do not over-tighten.
Step 3: Clean the battery compartment to ensure it is dust and corrosion-free.
Since RV batteries are not in use during winter, require proper care to ensure reliability and an extended life.
- Disconnect any unused batteries to avoid self-discharge when they are fully charged and recharge every 90 days to ensure they remain 75% full.
- RV batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place with temperatures above 0C to 27C.
Caring for Deep Cycle RV Batteries
Deep cycle batteries should ideally be fully charged every day that it is used in order to extend its life. To do so, replace the ampere hours that were used, and an additional 20% charge. Also, ensure that the fluid level never drops below the top of the plates.
RV Battery Charging Tips
- Filler caps should always be left securely in place in order to reduce the risk of explosion. Always follow the charger's manufacturer's manual.
- Never charge a frozen RV battery. First allow it to warm to 16C.
- Charge your battery if the hydrometer reading is 1.225 specific gravity, or if the open circuit voltage is 12.4 volts or lower, or if the load test reads below 9.6 volts.
- To avoid damage caused by over-charging, never leave a battery on charge for more than 48 hours. If the hydrometer or voltage readings recorded two hours apart indicate no change, stop the charge.
- If the battery case feels hot, or if electrolyte is spewing or gassing, reduce or temporarily halt the charging.
Need help choosing the right RV batteries or caring for your RV batteries? Get in touch with the RV Warehouse today. We specialise in all things RV-related and are dedicated to offering you the best RV solutions.
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