If you’re into RVs, you can’t ignore the fact that RV batteries are the most critical items you need because all the appliances you’ll find there will rely on them in order to release the constant 12 volts. Unlike car batteries, RV Home batteries usually produce enough amounts of currents that last for longer.
When you have RV batteries, you have to familiarize yourself with the basic maintenance required, which is usually key for proper functionality, especially charging cycles. One of the concerns raised by most RV users is that of the RV house batteries not charging, so if you’re in the same situation, this article will help you save the day.
Reasons Why your RV House Battery Could Not Be Charging
Before we proceed to highlight the best ways to charge your RV Home battery correctly, here are some of the possible reasons behind the charging error, apart from common malfunctions like broken wires:
When RV house battery is in use, sulfuric acid begins to be deposited on the battery plates, in the form of small crystals. The same get automatically converted into active plates the moment you charge the battery regularly. Now when you leave it with low charge for a longer duration, reformation of the sulfuric acid crystals won’t occur, and therefore the battery will be ruined. So to avoid Sulfation, it’s recommended that you should recharge your battery more often, irrespective of how old or new it is.
It’s common for RV home batteries to self-discharge even when stored, and this is something every owner should have in mind. Sometimes the charge might drop at an averagely 10% per month, and the longer it takes in that state, the higher chances of battery dying. There is also the aspect of parasitic loads which can discharge your battery even when you recharge it regularly. In that line, avoid leaving the battery connected to electronic devices like gas leak detectors, circuit boards or TV antenna boosters when the items are not in use.
RV inverters usually come with an in-built charger designed with float charge which is supposed to prevent the house battery from overcharging. However, this can only remain so if the float charge is maintained. If the charge rate gets too high, the electrolyte in the battery will boil off as the charging continues after which it will no longer charge. The good news is that regular maintenance can also save you from this menace, so it’s also good to check the water levels in the battery in order to adjust accordingly.
How to Charge RV House Batteries
Chances are that if you don’t follow the right steps, the battery will not charge. Here is the guide on how to charge these batteries the right way:
Turn off the RV
To help avoid accidents or injuries, ensure that your RV is off and that you have set the emergency brake.
Locate the Battery
Some RVs use more than one house battery, so it’s good to find all of them. At the same time, with the different RV models and sizes available, the battery locations are equally different. Therefore, always get familiarized with the model you have in order to save time the next time you’ll be charging
Remove the cables
Using a wrench, disconnect the battery cables and here, it’s recommended to start with the negative side first before proceeding to the positive side. As a precaution, always wear heavy-duty gloves in order to protect your hands.
Clean the battery connections
If you have been cleaning the battery regularly, you can skip this step. However, if you notice any form of corrosion on the connections, clean it off using a paste made using water and baking soda. We will see more on the detailed cleaning steps later in the article.
Check water levels
Before you start charging, it’s important to ascertain that the water levels are up to the fill line. In the event that there’s need for refilling, stick to distilled water, and you can use a funnel to make the process easier with less spills.
Connect the battery to the charger
Irrespective of the compatible device you’re using to charge your battery, always start with connecting the positives before attaching the negative sides. After that, plug in the charger and give the RV house battery time to charge completely. With others, you’ll have an indicator to notify you when charging is complete. One common habit that every RV owner should avoid is using the battery when the charging process is ongoing because this also affects both the battery life and the charging duration.
To avoid overcharging, unplug all charging connections the moment the battery is fully charged. In the event that you have more than one house battery, repeat this process for every single one of them. From here, you can choose to store the battery or proceed to reconnect it to your RV appliances for the next move. When reconnecting, start-off with the positive cable and after tightening it, proceed to the negative cable.
Key maintenance habits for RV house Batteries
With any type of battery we have today, maintenance practices you put in place will dictate how durable your battery will be. So once you’ve picked from the best brands, here are the two best ways in which you can improve your battery life.
One of the common habits which have proven to be a hazard to the life of RV batteries is storing the battery in a discharged condition. What happens is that when left in that state for long, the pallets will become hardened and crystallized. With this, the battery will eventually become ineffective, in that it won’t generate power when it’s now time to use it. At the same time, it’s good to remember that it’s natural for batteries to discharge even when not in use, so ensure that you charge yours regularly after every three months of storage.
Ease of cleaning for me loosely translates to regular cleaning, therefore it’s never a good idea to let dirt buildup for you to clean. This is because any layer of corrosive items deposited on the RV battery subjects it to damage, and as the layers multiply, the battery can also end up ineffective.
You can opt for a simpler cleaning method like scrubbing using a toothbrush and a baking soda and warm water paste. After cleaning, don’t forget to lubricate the cleaned cables and terminals to prevent corrosion in the future. At the same time, also remember to keep your eyes and skin protected from the battery acid which can be of a great damage.
At this point, you now understand some of the solutions for the ‘RV House Battery Not Charging’ fear, and also how important proper charging is. Apart from the impact this has on the battery life, it also translates to that of the appliances controlled by the batteries.
Using the battery in a discharged or weak state affects how effective these appliances are and with this, their durability also gets minimized. Therefore, even as you keep your eyes fixed on quality brands, follow it through with proper maintenance habits. This will save you from unnecessary expenses when making repairs or replacements before the stated battery life.