Don't Leave Home Without It...a Healthy RV Battery

RV Deep Cycle Battery
Taking your RV a few miles to staycation at Hidden Valley RV Park or embarking on a 6 month roadtrip...either way, batteries are an integral part of the RV lifestyle and their upkeep is a major part of RV maintenance.  Whether to power the 12 volt lights, or many other appliances when you are in transit ( refrigerator, water pump, etc.) a well cared for battery will serve well for it's full rated term as listed on the battery and often longer.  The hints below from RV expert Mark Polk are good to read over and make sure we put into practice.  His six Quick Tips are:

Heat Kills

Hot temperatures and overcharging kill batteries.  During hot weather or during high usage check the batteries frequently.  Checking the electrolyte levels and adding distilled water as required can save your lead acid batteries.


Properly charging your batteries needs to be done in stages.  A bulk charge should be performed to return the battery to 90% of a full charge in the first few hours.  An absortion charge is used for the remaining 10 percent to prevent any battery gassing and loss of water, and then a float charge to keep the battery fully charged.  To prevent water loss from bubbling and gassing, leave the vent caps ON the batteries while charging. 

Parasitic Loads

RV's have parasitic loads that will discharge the battery over time.  Some but not all of these loads are LP gas leak detectors, the TV antenna power booster, clocks, stereos and appliance circuit boards.  If your RV is equipped with a battery disconnect switch make sure it is in the OFF position when you are not using the RV or when it is in storage.  If your RV is not equipped with a battery disconnect switch you can purchase a battery disconnect that installs directly to the battery.


Never let a battery discharge below 10.5 volts.  You can measure the voltage with a digital voltmeter.  Measuring the voltage gives you a quick picture of the batteries depth of dicharge so you know when they need to be recharged.  Set the voltmeter on DC voltage and put the red lead on the positive terminal and the black lead on the negative terminal.


Batteries should only be watered after charging.  Unless the plates are exposed prior to charging.  Add water just to cover the plates, charge, then fill to correct level.  When you add water to a battery, use mineral free water.  Distilled water is best.  Regular tap water can cause calcium sulfation.


The lead and plastic used to construct batteries can be recycled.  More than 97% of all battery lead is recycled.  Be sure and recycle your old batteries.

Courtesy of Mark Polk and the RV 101 Magazine, thank you Mark for keeping us rollin' down the road.

Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned HiddenValley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family.  Connect with , Facebook and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV

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