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Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging

Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging

It is a terrible experience when your vehicle stops working because your RV (recreation vehicle) battery won’t charge. This could be more frustrating when there is no help around. When your battery stops charging, it stops your plans. 

Many factors could be responsible for this occurrence. In this guide, we will discuss the common causes. Furthermore, we will talk about the best practices to prevent this problem in the future.

What You Can Do When Your RV Battery Stops Charging

There is no need to panic when your vehicle’s battery stops charging. Instead, you can investigate the cause and find a solution. Another alternative is to seek professional help. You should consider the latter option if you’re unfamiliar with basic battery maintenance or troubleshooting. 

In this article, we will discuss some of the points to keep in mind if you decide to fix this issue yourself or seek professional help. When your vehicle's battery stops charging, you should first find out the battery type.  

Understanding RV Battery Systems

We should first understand RV batteries. This is an important step. Understanding RV batteries would allow us to know how they work and their types.

Types of RV Batteries

RV batteries are of three major types, which are:

Lead-Acid Batteries: This is the most common type of RV battery. This is because they are affordable to buy. They are easy to maintain with water. Water-topping is the maintenance procedure for lead-acid batteries. 

Lead-acid batteries are of two types: Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA) and Absorbent Glass-Mat (AGM).

Flooded lead acid is the known type with liquid electrolyte. This type of lead-acid battery requires regular water checks.

Gel Batteries: Gel Batteries share some similarities with Absorbent Glass-Mat. It has an electrolyte that is gel-like in texture. The chemistry of Gel batteries makes them suitable for vibration-prone applications.

LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) Batteries: They are the popular type we see today. Why are popular? Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries perform at a high level and are long-lasting. They are also lightweight and need no maintenance. It has advantages that outweigh other types of RV batteries.

Components of an RV Battery System

For us to know why RV batteries stop charging, we should understand how the battery system works. RV batteries have different components. Failure of one of the components of the battery could likely be the reason it stopped charging. The components are as follows:

  • Battery Bank: As the name implies, this component holds energy. Many batteries are what makes a battery bank. These batteries are connected either in series or parallel to provide power.
  • Converter/Charger: It is the component that recharges energy lost in battery bank. It converts Alternate Current (AC) to Direct Current (DC). A converter converts 120V (AC) from electrical source to 12V (DC) to charge the battery.
  • Inverter: Inverter is converts Direct Current to Alternate Current. It draws energy from the battery bank to AC appliances. This component converts 12V DC from the battery to 120V AC for powering appliances.
  • Alternator: As you drive a car, a component replaces the lost energy that powered the car. This is an alternator. Alternator is present in the vehicle's charging system.
  • Solar Panel & Charge Controller: This system involves using solar energy to charge the batteries. A solar panel draws energy from direct sunlight. Battery bank saves the energy from the solar panel. This is after regulation of the energy has taken place. Battery Disconnect Switch: The battery disconnect switch keeps the batteries away from the system. This is to prevent draining of the RV battery when not in use.

How the Charging System Works

There are different methods to charge RV batteries. One method is using an Alternate Current source. This is by using a charger or converter to draw an Alternate Current and convert it to Direct Current. The power is then stored in the battery bank.

Another method is using a running engine. An alternator from the engine charges the battery while the energy is running. Motorhomes use this charging system.

Solar panels provide Direct Current (DC) power. Using a charge controller, the panel collects, regulates, and stores the power in a battery bank. This is another charging system for RV batteries.

Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging

Signs of a Not Charging RV Battery

You have to prevent surprises from your batteries. This is with regular checks to see if the battery is charging in the way it should. Luckily, there are signs you will notice when a RV battery is not charging. 

Diminished Power Output

Check for diminished power output. Using a car as an example, is the car struggling to start? This could be a result of the battery not charging.

Warning Lights or Indicators

Luckily for us, almost all RV batteries come with a charging indicator. In a case where there is low voltage showing on the battery panel, it is a warning the battery is not charged.

Having to charge your RV battery many times is another sign. A good charging cycle should last for a long time. If not, check the charging status of the battery.

Testing Methods for Determining Battery Charge Status

Some tools can tell the status of a battery charge. These tools are useful for checking your battery’s status. They are: 

Voltmeter: This meter reads the number of volts a battery carries. For a Lead-Acid battery that has a good charge, the reading on the voltmeter is around 12.4-12.8 volts. This tool helps to show when the battery is not charged.

Battery Analyzer: A battery analyzer is more robust than a voltmeter. It can analyze the battery’s health. This tool can tell when a battery needs a replacement. It also shows resistance and sulfation levels. This is handy to know what is preventing the battery from charging.

Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging

Common Causes of RV Batteries Not Charging

Due to many issues, your vehicle’s batteries can stop charging. Let’s dive right into the issues: 

Faulty Battery Connections

If the converter or charger does not connect to the battery, it will not charge. Same for an alternator and battery terminals. Corrosion and loose terminals are the possible causes. Broken cables also cause faulty battery connections.

Battery Age and Condition

Batteries, like many appliances, have a validity period. When batteries become too old, they tend to lose their qualities. Some of the components get damaged in this period. This can cause RV batteries to stop charging.

Issues with Charging Equipment (Converter, Inverter, Alternator, etc.)

When there is alternator failure. A bad converter/charger and inverter problems. All these can hinder RV batteries from charging.

Electrical System Problems

Damaged fuses and tripped breakers stop the conversion of power from AC to DC. Other electrical causes are grounding issues and loose wiring.

Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging

Troubleshooting and Solutions

In the absence of professional help, there few tips that can help. With these tips, you will diagnose the reason your RV battery stops charging. Having the knowledge and how to apply these tips will save you time and money.

  1. Check the battery for corrosion. Where corrosion is available, make use of a terminal battery cleaner to brush it off. If the battery terminals are loose, tighten them to ensure the connection is good. You can use a baking soda paste to clean the terminals.
  2. With a voltmeter, check the output voltage of the converter or charger. The volts should be enough to charge the batteries. Ideally, between 13.5-14.5 volts DC is the required voltage to charge the batteries. An alternator should provide above 13.5 volts DC for a good charge. A damaged alternator might provide less and this call for a replacement. For a solar panel charging system, check for proper energy output from the solar panel.
  3. Damaged fuses needs alternatives in an electrical charging system. Also, check if the breakers are not tripped. Replace tripped breakers with a new one. Make sure the wiring system is in good condition. Loose, damaged, and corroded wires will hinder a RV battery charging system.
Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging

Preventive Maintenance Tips

“Prevention is better than cure.” Practicing some maintenance culture will save you many hassles. When RV batteries are well maintained, they last longer. The following maintenance tips will save your RV batteries from charging issues.

Check your battery water levels. (flooded lead-acid batteries) When there is a shortage of water, do water-topping. The battery terminals should be free from corrosion at all times. Use a recommended brush or a baking soda paste to clean the corrosion. Inspect the terminals at regular intervals to see if the connection is good. Measure the voltage with a voltmeter to ensure a good charge. 

RV batteries need proper storage practices. After charging, store in a cool dry place. Exposure to harsh weather conditions will affect the charging system. 

Consider making a switch to LiFePO4 batteries. These are up-to-date and modern RV batteries. This type requires less maintenance and they are very efficient. LiFePO4 batteries are long-lasting and durable.

Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging

Seeking Professional Help

Sometimes, troubleshooting might not solve your RV battery charging problems. A complex charging issue demands professional assistance. Most times, electrical charging issues need professional help. 

Finding a certified technician can be tough. Search online or seek recommendations from other RVers. Make sure you are not overpaying when repairing your RV batteries. Collect quotes from different technicians and compare the prices. 

Why Your RV Battery Stopped Charging


If the battery on your vehicle stops charging, it can disrupt your future plans. It is important to understand the common causes of this issue. With the right knowledge, you can troubleshoot this error. By cultivating good maintenance practices, your RV battery will be dependable and long-lasting. 

Visit GoldenMate Energy for your RV battery solutions. You can order high-quality LiFePO4 batteries that are dependable for your purposes. Our expert services are available to keep your RV battery running.

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