A fully functional RV battery system is essential for powering various appliances and amenities while on the road and also to start the engine. Special care should be taken to prepare batteries adequately, especially before periods of non-use or when prepping your RV for storage. In this article we will explore RV battery storage best practices for optimal performance, safety, and your battery’s longevity.
RV Battery Types & Maintenance
There are two common types of batteries found in RVs: deep cycle and starting batteries.
- Deep-Cycle Batteries: Deep cycle batteries are the most common kind of RV batteries. These battery cells are designed to provide a steady flow of power over an extended period while the RV is in use. They allow occupants to run many types of household appliances customized for RVs such as refrigerators, lights, fans, hair dryers, and water pumps.
- Starting Batteries: These batteries are specifically designed to deliver short, powerful bursts of energy to start the engine or a recreational vehicle. Starting batteries are not suitable for long-term power supply and should not be used for appliances.
Proper battery maintenance is important, so we put some battery and storage preparation tips together below for you.
RV Batter Maintenance Tips
- Regularly check the battery’s water level (for flooded lead-acid batteries) and top up with distilled water if required.
- Clean the battery terminals and connections to prevent corrosion.
- Test the battery’s voltage and charge it to full capacity periodically.
- Keep the battery in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
Preparing Batteries for Storage
Before storing your RV for the season it’s essential to make necessary preparations for the start and deep-cycle batteries. Proper preparation helps prevent damage and ensure they perform optimally when you hit the road again. We put a step-by-step guide together below for prepping your RV batteries for storage.
1.Fully Charge the Batteries
Charge the batteries to their full capacity before storage. This prevents sulfation, a chemical process that occurs when batteries are left in a discharged state for too long, leading to reduced performance.
2. Disconnect the Batteries
To prevent any parasitic drain on the batteries, disconnect them from your RV’s electrical system. This will ensure that no appliances or devices draw power from the batteries during storage.
3.Clean the Batteries
Thoroughly clean the battery terminals and connections with a mixture of baking soda and water to remove any corrosion. Rinse with clean water and let them dry before storage.
4.Choose the Right Storage Location
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Ideally, store the disconnected batteries in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures can cause the batteries to lose charge rapidly or even freeze, causing irreversible damage.
Maintenance During Storage and Reinstallation
Specific maintenance tasks are necessary to keep the batteries in good condition including inspections, scheduling charging, and prepping.
- Regular Inspection: Periodically check the batteries for any signs of leakage, damage, or unusual smells. If any issues are detected, take necessary actions immediately.
- Charging Schedule: Use a smart battery charger or a trickle charger to monitor each battery’s level of charge during storage. Always follow the charger manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for safety and performance.
- Reinstallation Preparations: Before reinstalling RV batteries that have not been used in a while clean the terminals and connections. Ensure that the terminals are dry and free from corrosion, then heck the battery voltage and charge with a voltmeter to ensure they are still outputting the correct wattage.
Your RV Battery Storage Questions Answered
Proper battery storage is crucial to maintaining the performance and lifespan of your RV’s power system. We hope you can keep your batteries in excellent condition by following the guidelines we outlined during periods of non-use. We hope you found our tips helpful so your next RV adventure can be less stressful and more enjoyable. Remember, a little care and attention goes a long way. Happy travels from your friends at Sunterra Storage in Katy, Texas!