Heat KillsHot 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.
ChargingProperly 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 LoadsRV'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.
WateringBatteries 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.
RecyclingThe 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.