Maintaining the condition of your RV batteries helps to prevent problems brought on by damaged or dead batteries. It may even help to prolong their lifespan. The average lifespan of an RV battery is a few years, however proper maintenance can extend that. Just like the battery in a laptop or mobile device, RV batteries will still continue to discharge even while the RV is not in active use. There is another potential hazard for RV batteries that are left to sit for a long time, called sulfation. Sulfation happens when crystallization forms inside the battery, leading to poor performance or no charge. Using chargers and maintainers such as those from BatteryMINDer
can help avoid this issue.
Having an over or undercharged battery can reduce their overall lifespan. Problems from undercharging can arise when the battery is in use without being fully charged. Overcharging occurs when the rate of charge is too much for a battery that is already full. Batteries can last longer if they are charged as soon as possible after use. When you are charging the battery, in most cases the battery needs to have some charge, rather than being completely dead. Ideally, try not to let the battery’s voltage go below 80%. The more objects using the battery’s power, such as clocks, appliances, and LP gas detectors, the faster the discharge rate will be. Things like the age of the battery and the outside temperature can have an effect on how fast it takes to charge. Using a voltmeter can help determine whether the battery is fully charged.
Multi-mode chargers & maintainers make battery maintenance easier. Most have at least 3 stages. The bulk stage does most of the charging, and brings the battery close to full. The absorption stage takes the battery even nearer to full and decreases the rate of charge. The maintenance stage provides the smallest amount of charge to get the battery completely full, and maintain it without overcharging. Some BatteryMINDer products such as the
, and 128CEC1
feature a multi-stage charging process, including the bulk, absorption, and maintenance stages. Other stages can determine whether the battery can be charged, and if desulfation is necessary. The 1510 & 128CEC1 also feature temperature sensing to avoid over or under charging in cooler or warmer temperatures. Many BatteryMINDer chargers can be used on any type of lead-acid battery, including AGM, deep cycle, gelled, & maintenance free, although the 1510 & 2012 are not recommended for AGM/Gel batteries. The 1510 is a wall outlet plug in, while the 2012 and 128CEC1 can be wall or vehicle mounted. For your convenience, there is a battery charger comparison guide
featuring chargers from BatteryMINDer, and other manufacturers.
There are some other things to keep in mind for proper maintenance. Batteries for your motorhome should be routinely checked to make sure there are no signs of corrosion, and to make sure flooded batteries do not need watering. If the water level drops too low, the plates will be exposed the air, leading to sulfation. Do not use regular tap water for flooded batteries, and unless the plates are exposed, water them after they have been charged.
By Julie T
BatteryMINDer Chargers for RV Batteries