There are steps you can take to maximize the life of your RV battery. First, we provide some background on how batteries operate. Then, we explain what you can do to get the most out of yours!
Fully charged batteries have negative plates consisting of sponge lead and positive plates consisting of Lead Dioxide. These plates are submerged in an electrolyte solution of Sulfuric Acid. When you are discharging a battery, the sulfur leaves the solution and moves over to the lead plates. When it gets there, it gives up an electron. Electricity is simply moving electrons. When you are recharging a battery, you are driving that sulfur back into the solution.
Tips for Prolonging The Life Of Your RV's Battery:
1. Don't Overcharge Your Battery:
Overcharging your battery on a regular basis causes water to be 'boiled' out of the electrolyte solution. Eventually, the plates will get warped from over heating and the positive plates will be erroded away. This will severely limit the life of your battery.
2. Don't Undercharge Your Battery: Undercharging your battery, or, failing to completely recharge the battery results in some of the sulfur being left behind on the plates. This creates "plate sulfation," this causes the storage capacity of the battery to diminish.
3. Add Only PURE Distilled Water To The Battery: When you need to add liquid to your battery's electrolyte solution, only add pure, distilled water. Adding anything other than pure distilled water to the electrolyte will introduce impurities that will cause adverse chemical reactions and interfere with the normal functioning of the battery.
4. Don't Cycle Your Batteries On A Regular Basis: Cycling your batteries deeply (80 to 100%) on a daily basis shortens their life. Using only 25 to 50% of the storage capacity of your batteries will put less strain on them and increase their useful life.
What is a Battery Deep Cycle?
Deep cycling your battery is when you start out with a fully charged battery, use 80% of its rated capacity, and then fully recharge it. Depending on the type, all batteries have a certain amount of deep cycles they can withstand before they will need to be replaced.
RV Battery Storage - Smart Tips To Keep Your Battery Healthy
During the winter or times when your RV will sit, unused, for an extended period, it is prudent to take steps to store your RV battery properly to keep it functioning properly. One method is to make sure the battery cell plates are covered with distilled water. You can also use a Brand like BatteryMinder to maintain the battery and desulfinate the plates. Another method of rv battery storage is to make sure the battery is fully charged before storage and that the charge is hydrometer checked and charged a few times during storage to prevent sulphation. Many travelers suggest that storing your battery indoors is best, however, if you do, be sure that you set it on a block of wood or bench off the floor. Often, setting a battery on a floor, especially cement, can "soak" the power out of your battery.
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