Are you planning to visit a campground that has no connection to the grid? For how long are you planning to stay in such an environment? You could be a worried camper if you ever find yourself in such a state. Reason being, you don’t know when the RV batteries in your possession will get drained.
The worst part is when the batteries go out at night. To avoid this kind of unfortunate scenario, you need to know how long the battery is likely to last then from there you can think of having a backup.
But just how long do RV batteries last? Most of us normally know nothing about this. Battery failure at a campground or on the way is a bad experience that nobody would really like to encounter.
However, there is good news coming your way. You can actually prevent such occurrences. So how can you go about it? You are in the right place! This article touches on everything that you would want to know about the life of RV batteries. Read along.
How important are the RV batteries?
Actually, the batteries are the nerve center of your recreational vehicle. If anything happens to the batteries, you won’t have the privilege to enjoy most of the RV essentials. Without some of these essentials, you will have lots of regrets as to why you hit the road to a campground in an RV.
Unlike other car batteries, the RV battery isn’t just used to run some small lights and start the engine alone. Despite being this important, many RV owners still don’t seem to take battery maintenance as a serious matter. After reading this article, you will be in a better position to understand why it is important to know how long an RV battery can last.
Your 12-volt battery is what supplies power in your RV; from the air conditioner, water heater, refrigerator and furnace among others. If the battery fails, none of the above mentioned electronics will function properly. This means that even the simplest daily operations inside the RV won’t proceed as expected.
Owing to the high demand of power, you need to get yourself the deep cycle batteries as they are meant to store large amounts of power. They then discharge this power deeply and at the same time can be recharged time and again.
Factors affecting how long RV batteries can last
How long your RV battery is likely to last solely depends on you as the RV operator. If you want your battery to perform exceptionally well then you need to consider some of the factors that we are about to look into in details below. They are:
The kind of maintenance you give the batteries
How they are stored
The kind of recharging they receive
Your power demands
A well-maintained RV battery can last for over 5 years. During this time, the battery will produce maximum voltage that you will require to operate the various RV components. You will even go camping to various destinations without having to worry about battery failure.
One of the most common maintenance practices that you can perform on your batteries is filling them with distilled water. Every battery cell needs to be filled with sufficient water to ensure high performance for an extended period of time. When carrying out this battery maintenance task, make sure that you don’t overfill the cells with water.
Overfilling the cells will leave behind a whole lot of mess. Taking heed of such pieces of information is a sure way to have your RV batteries stay with power for a long time. The maintenance process should also touch on the battery terminals. Make sure that the terminals are properly cleaned.
2. Type of camping
What kind of camping are you planning to undertake? Is it dry camping or there is a possibility that you will also have electrical hooks at your disposal? If the electrical hook ups is available then all you will be left with to do is some little maintenance on the batteries.
In the case of dry camping, you will need some kind of backup such as a generator or solar power to ensure that you enjoy every bit of your RV camping.
Your battery shouldn’t be placed directly on the ground or floor; whether in the RV or removed for purposes of being recharged. You should instead have the battery placed on something like a piece of wood. This ensures that the battery isn’t drained unnecessarily.
If the battery is stored in an environment where it loses its power like when placed directly on the ground, it won’t last long. The worst part of it is that you will never know how this happens. Instead you will just end up with a failed battery that can be a big mess when you are planning to go for RV camping.
Therefore, to have your RV batteries last long enough make sure that they are properly stored. Remember that draining the battery happens faster than charging. Whenever you aren’t going to use the RV battery for 2 or more months, it is recommended that you disconnect its ground wire so that it doesn’t discharge.
Do you usually check whether your batteries have been fully charged every time you get them back from charging? Most of us usually assume that everything has been done right and the battery is ready for the task ahead only to realize that it was actually not the case. Have you ever been a victim of such unfortunate circumstances?
Before you take the battery for charging, make sure that the terminals are in good conditions. You should also ensure that charging timeframes are adhered to. You need to avoid charging the batteries in a hurry as such do lead to undercharging which consequently damages the battery.
A proper charging should take up to 72 hours. Doing it for a single day, as some RV owners do, only means that the battery will only store only some fraction of power. The little stored power won’t serve you for long which means you will have to charge it again. Avoid undercharging and overcharging the batteries at all costs.
5. Power demands
What are some of the electronics in your RV that depend on the battery power? Averagely, how much power do you think you consume in a day? If your power demands are high, there is a great possibility that your battery won’t last long.
The battery will be straining to meet your power demands in any case they are so high. What this means is that the battery will get drained so quickly. Such batteries don’t last.
Using the right battery for the right job will also ensure that there is sufficient power distribution within your motorhome. When it comes to starting and running the engine, make sure you use “chassis” batteries as they require large currents but over short durations of time.
On the other hand, the “coach” batteries are recommended for use within the recreational vehicle’s living room. These types of batteries do provide steady currents for long durations. At no particular time should you change the roles of these batteries as such will inconvenience you.
How to connect RV batteries (Credit: Youtube)
How long do RV batteries last then?
There is no fixed duration that has been set for RV batteries to last. And being that the amount of energy stored in the batteries and how the same power is being preserved normally varies from an individual to the other, it becomes quite difficult to know for how long the battery is likely to be in operation.
When you are good at battery conservation, a 12-volt battery can even provide you with power for over 48 hours. But you also need to be sure of the amp-hour rating of your battery before you buy it. Just as mentioned in the previous section, how long the battery is likely to last solely depends on you. These range from storage, charging, usage, maintenance and discharging among others.
Having gone through this article, you will agree with me that the question on how long do RV batteries last doesn’t have a concrete answer. Actually, the answer to this question lies with you as the recreational vehicle’s owner and handler. The way you handle your battery will determine how long it will serve you.
This calls for proper maintenance, charging and operating the batteries amongst other important stuff mentioned above. Additionally, you need to conserve the little energy stored in the battery cells if you want the batteries to last long. How? You could be asking yourself this question.
Well, it doesn’t require much actually. Switching off appliances that aren’t so necessary will help preserve the battery power. Consequently, the batteries will not get drained easily, therefore, forcing you to subject them to frequent charging. These are some of the factors that reduce your batteries’ lifetimes.
To be on the safer side as you head out for camping in an area that isn’t connected to the grid, you need to have some backup power to your batteries. Have you enjoyed reading this piece? Share it with your friends then.