Things About RV House Battery Replacement
May 10, 2023
If you ever need a replacement battery for your RV and want to do the work yourself, it is important to know the differences. In terms of specific battery types — like what size battery you need for a travel trailer — it depends on the specific components of your RV. If you can drive your RV and use home appliances, it will come with more than one kind of battery to perform both functions.
RV Battery Basics
Simply put, RV Battery is an electrical power storage device — it stores power in the form of chemicals so that it can be used later. Everything in your RV runs on at least one 12V battery to function. RV batteries are a special type of battery that stores electricity instead of producing it.
Tips for Replacing Your RV's House Batteries
Study Your Battery Bank Before You Start! Before you begin removing your old house batteries, be sure that you take pictures of the compartment so that you can see how everything is connected. Some RV battery bays are pretty tight and it can be difficult to see everything in the back, so be sure to snap some photos in the back of the bay as well. We would also suggest drawing a simple diagram to remind you of how the batteries are positioned, where the positive and negative terminals are located and which cables connect to what so that you can be sure all of your cables will reach what they need to.
Decide What Type of Battery is Right For You: The three most common types of house batteries available today are flooded lead-acid (FLA), Absorbed glass-mat (AGM), Lithium (Li-Ion). Each is suitable for use in RVs but has unique benefits and disadvantages.
Flooded lead-acid (FLA). FLA batteries are tried, tested and readily available, making them a good option for budget-conscious customers. However, they require regular maintenance, including monitoring water levels. They can also spill or leak acid and are somewhat less efficient than AGM or lithium batteries.
Absorbed glass mat (AGM). While similar in some ways to FLA batteries (they are both lead-acid batteries), AGMs are sealed, maintenance-free and more resistant to vibration, heat and overcharging. They also have a slightly higher energy density, which means they can store more energy in a smaller space. While they are more expensive than FLAs, AGMs tend to have a longer lifespan.
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion). The newest battery on the block, Li-Ions, is a good option for customers who want a high-performance, lightweight and long-lasting battery. Li-Ions can handle deep discharge cycles and high charging and discharging rates. On the downside, they are more expensive than their lead-acid counterparts and require special charging equipment.
Lithium battery vs lead-acid batteries
Traditionally, AGM batteries (lead-acid batteries) have been the battery of choice to power your motorhome. However, the new generation of Lithium-Iron Phosphate (LiFePO₄) batteries are starting to make their mark, offering real value from an output, weight, and capacity perspective.
LiFePO₄ batteries have a lower energy density than Li-ion batteries. This means they have better stability – making them a great choice for use in your motorhome, campervan, or caravan.
Although lithium batteries are more costly than their AGM counterparts, they offer a considerably longer lifespan. This goes a long way to offset their higher initial cost, provided they are properly managed.
Not All Batteries Are Created Equal Do your research ahead of time to determine what will be right for your needs. RV House Batteries are available in 6-volt and 12-volt and in a wide variety of amperages. Know what you currently have and how that works out for you. And spend some time doing some research online to narrow down what you are looking for so you aren't wasting gas running all over town. And remember, 6-volt batteries will be connected differently than 12-volt batteries. So, again, pay close attention to how your batteries are connected.
Suggestions on How to Keep Your RV Batteries in Good Condition
Keep An Eye On the Water Levels If you have lead acid batteries, you have to maintain the distilled water levels of your batteries. Start checking those water levels as soon as you buy your RV. Even brand new RVs can have batteries without sufficient water. Be consistent about checking the fluid levels and maintain them easily with a Flow-Rite battery quick fill system.
Use a Trickle Charge If you have access to a standard 110 power plug, we recommend using a 30amp to 15amp or 50amp to 15amp adapters to trickle charge your RV's house batteries while it is in storage. In the event of a power outage in your storage area, your RV batteries may discharge rather than recharge. It is essential to return within 24 hours of plugging in for trickle charging to inspect your batteries.
Avoid making assumptions. Batteries are the heart of your RV. Be proactive in maintaining your batteries and you will never be surprised. This is especially true for part-time or seasonal RVers. Be sure you check on your batteries regularly.
Disconnect the Batteries When Not Using or Charging If you are storing your RV, even for a few days, and you will not be trickle charging the batteries, be sure to disconnect them.
Use Your RV As Often As Possible! RV batteries like to be used, so try to get out and go camping as often as possible. It's also easier to remember to check and maintain your batteries when you are using it than when it is in storage away from you.