Did you know that there are RV resorts? Yep, you can park your RV and enjoy a nice meal or a luxurious spa day. But don't forget to charge your RV batteries while you take a personal day.
When you think of an RV, you probably think of a rustic piece of metal that you just pick up and drive. You might think it's a cheap and convenient way to travel around the country.
Don't get us wrong, you can totally drive an RV, and it can be more convenient than renting a hotel every night. But you can't just pick up an RV and drive.
Just like your home, you have to take care of your RV, including the RV batteries.
The Basics of RV Batteries
An RV is a home for the road, so you need to treat it like one. Many RVs have sleeping areas, small kitchens, and even bathrooms. You'll be living, eating, and sleeping in your RV, so why would you think of it as anything else?
You'll want to keep your RV clean and safe, and you'll want to make sure you keep it in good condition. Just as you need to power your home, you need to power your RV.
That's where RV batteries come in.
What Are They?
There are different types of RV batteries, and you have to use the correct battery for different purposes. One type of battery works for starting the RV's engine, and they're called starting or chassis batteries.
To power the "home" part of an RV, you need house batteries. House batteries are able to provide power slowly over a more extended period.
If you want to use solar power for your RV, you can connect your RV house batteries to a solar recharging system. However, we will be focusing on conventional charging and recharging methods.
Regardless of the type of RV battery, it should provide consistent power to your RV.
What Do They Do?
A starting battery is the car battery of an RV since it powers your RV's engine. The house battery powers your RV so that you can live in it.
Batteries store and release power so that you can have the electricity you need to do what you need to do. When you're in an RV, you don't have the same access to electricity that you would have at home.
How Long Do They Last?
When you take good care of them, RV batteries can last up to five years. If you don't do much to care for your batteries, they can still last at least two and a half years.
How To Buy RV Batteries?
Once you know what batteries you need, it's time to buy them. You'll definitely need a starting battery and house batteries. You can buy RV batteries from outdoor stores like Camping World, and you can also find a few options online.
RV batteries vary in price, so be sure you have a budget. You don't want to get sucked into buying the most expensive battery when you don't need it.
Other Things To Know
When it comes to house batteries, you'll want to get deep cycle batteries because they can store a lot of power for a long time.
Also, you need to remember that it can take more time for a battery to charge than for you to drain that battery.
If you want to maintain the life of your battery, keep it charged at least 50 percent. It means you'll be able to use the same battery more, and you won't have to wait as long for it to reach a full charge.
Need more power? Then you might want to consider a battery bank. A battery bank combines multiple batteries to increase voltage or amps.
You should also have a plan for storing RV batteries. It's normal for batteries to lose some charge over time. However, storing batteries in a climate controlled environment can limit that loss. Disconnecting house batteries is also important because they can still use power even if your devices are turned off.
Let There Be Light
As you set off on your next adventure, you can't just think about all of the fun you're going to have. Of course, you want a packed schedule. But you also need to pay attention to the more tedious parts of RV life.
One of those things is powering your RV. Sure, you'll need gas and battery to run the engine. However, your RV is also your home.
You're probably going to eat, sleep, and relax in your RV. So that means you need batteries to power lighting and electricity within your RV. That way, you don't have to do everything during the day or with a flashlight.
The specific type of RV batteries you need depends on how you plan to use your RV. If you plan to stay plugged in as much as possible, you can use a lower powered battery.
However, if you want to go off the grid, you'll want a battery with a lot of juice.
Your Home On The Road
As you plan your road trip, consider whether you'll be able to plug in your RV or if you even want to. If external power isn't an option, you'll have to bulk up on batteries.
But if you don't want to use high powered batteries, you'll need to find camping sites and other places to park your RV.
Regardless of how you choose to live on the road, you need RV batteries that can keep your RV going. Think of your RV as your home. You wouldn't choose an appliance just because it's the cheapest. The same should be true for your RV.
How to Use and Care for Your RV Batteries
Once you get your RV batteries, it's time to start using and maintaining them wisely. Any type of battery will lose power over time, but there are some things you can do when using and caring for your batteries to avoid too much decay.
First, you need to know what type of battery you have.
Lead-acid batteries are the most common for RVs, though lithium-ion batteries are slowly growing in popularity. Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than lead-acid batteries, which is why they aren't as common.
You can find lead-acid batteries with up to 12 volts of power.
One of the easiest ways to maintain your RV batteries is to keep them charged. Discharging your batteries too much can damage them and cause them to stop working.
When it comes to starting batteries, you want to keep them at 95 percent of their full capacity. At the very least, keep your starting battery charged to 80 percent or more.
Deep cycle batteries, or house batteries, have a bit more wiggle room. To get the most life out of these batteries, keep them charged at or above 50 percent.
A battery cycle is when you discharge and then recharge a battery. The less discharge you make, the easier the charge will be and the longer your battery will last.
The Colder, The Better
If you don't know where to take your RV, consider heading up north. You'll get more life out of your RV batteries in a colder climate than in a warmer climate.
In colder areas, your RV batteries can last up to five years if you take good care of them. If you don't take good care of them, they won't last that long.
However, warm climates can cause batteries to degrade in just two and a half years. Or even faster if you don't maintain them.
So unless you're set on visiting the desert, consider taking your RV up into the mountains or near the Great Lakes.
Taking an RV on a road trip can be exciting. You can go anywhere you want without worrying about booking a hotel or a plane ticket.
However, you have to take good care of your RV and everything in it. Be it your personal belongings or your RV batteries, it's up to you to know how to use and maintain your RV.
As you gear up for your trip, you have to make sure you choose RV batteries that will last and that you can easily charge. A charged battery will last longer than a drained one.
And even though you can go anywhere, you should still have some sort of plan. You need to know where you can charge your batteries or even plug in your RV to external power.
It may be overwhelming, but don't let that stop you from going on a road trip. Road trips are supposed to be fun, but you do need to treat your RV like a home. You wouldn't just ignore your utility bill, so you shouldn't overlook your RV batteries.
What batteries do you use for your RV? Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping them in tip-top condition? Share your thoughts in the comments!