An RV battery is at the heart of every successful adventure. It powers everything electric inside your camper, from your overhead fan, HVAC unit, entertainment system, water pump, slide-outs, and appliances to lighting. So when the RV battery drains quickly, you need to investigate the problem before you set off.
But what causes an RV battery to keep dying so fast? Below, we’ve outlined the top reasons why camper batteries go dead.
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And as you keep track of all your battery maintenance tasks, don’t forget to check that your RV’s Pet Monitor is charged. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 4 to 6 days, so make sure you recharge it. Still, if your monitor’s battery drains, you will be instantly alerted. This smart, small and sensible device will monitor the RV’s ambient temperatures and give you alerts to keep your furry friend safe when you step out of your RV.
Now let’s learn why your camper battery keeps dying.
You Have a Parasitic Battery Drain
Did you know some items in your RV secretly draw power from your battery? When you have a parasitic battery drain, your electrical system continues to pull energy from the battery even when everything is turned off. A digital multimeter can help you figure out which appliances or systems are secretly draining the battery.
The RV Battery Doesn’t Charge for Long Enough
Another reason your battery could be dying fast is that you’re not letting it charge to full capacity. Most batteries only work best when they are allowed to charge up to the maximum, which is around 14 volts. An undercharged battery will cause electricity levels to deplete very quickly when you start running your systems. So, charge your battery for two days before the trip, and keep topping it off at the campsite using a generator or solar system.
The number one cause of RV batteries failing is sulfation. This is the build-up of sulfate crystals on the battery surface when the battery is repeatedly undercharged, overcharged, or stored in high temps above 75 degrees. It shortens the life of your battery and even completely destroys it. To stop sulfation from occurring, make sure the battery charge doesn’t drop below 12.4 volts when in storage.
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The Battery was Over-drained
If your flooded cell lead-acid battery was depleted below 50% of maximum charge, you could have damaged its ability to hold a full charge. Draining it beyond 80% is even worse, and it may never hold a charge like it used to anymore. So, always recharge your battery before it goes below 70% of its power.
The RV Battery was Overcharged
If you haven’t invested in a modern or quality battery, then it may lack the technology to prevent overcharging. Older and cheap batteries are more susceptible to overcharging since they don’t have the ability to maintain a float charge to keep the battery in a fully charged condition without damaging it. Batteries that are overcharged will boil off their electrolyte fluid, resulting in an early death for the battery.
You Didn’t Take Good Care of it
If you haven’t been performing routine battery maintenance, don’t be surprised if your battery starts to lose charge prematurely. Check and adjust the water level in the lead-acid batteries, store it where it won’t freeze, use a battery tender to avoid overcharging, and don’t allow corrosion to build up.
Be a Proactive RV Owner to Get the Most Out of Your Battery
Observe the best battery care and maintenance practices to prevent your battery from dying prematurely or losing charge too fast. Frequently look for parasitic loads, refill its water, store it correctly, and keep it properly charged at all times.
As you plan your next camping trip, don’t forget to install a pet monitor if Fido is tagging along. It will help you protect your pet from temperature-related threats when you’re away from the RV. Our device even has its own battery and will send you a particular alert when the battery is low.