1. Question: Can I use a standard automotive battery in my RV?
Answer: Never! Automotive batteries are designed to provide very brief and substantial amounts of power (starting your engine). Never try to cut corners and use an automotive battery in your RV. Always use a true deep cycle battery that is designed specifically for use in an RV Deep Cycle application.
2. Question: Can you use the same battery charger for AGM/Gel or flooded batteries?
Answer: You can you use the same charger for AGM and Flooded batteries, however you need an Automatic charger that has the option for “GEL” on battery types, OR if you can adjust the voltage it should be set between 13.8 or 14.1 at Maximum for Gel
3. Question: When “topping up” the electrolyte in my batteries – Should I fill it right up?
Answer: No, you should always leave about ¼ of an inch from the top of cell to allow for gassing. Remember – Always use distilled water – Never Tap.
4. Question: If I am not using my battery will it self-discharge?
Answer: Yes! All lead acid batteries discharge over time. RV Care Deep cycle batteries are specially designed to reduce the amount of self-discharge, but you should still account for a 3% loss of state of charge each month your battery is not used.
5. Question: How do I know if my battery is going to make it another season?
Answer: Have your battery tested every year as part of your regular RV Spring maintenance. Your RV Care dealer will be able to do a load and capacity test on your batteries to determine their state of life.
6. Question: When I take my batteries out of my RV for the season, Can I store them in the house?
Answer: You can store your batteries anywhere in your house so long as the area is ventilated. Never store close to heat sources such as furnaces or stoves or your battery could explode. Never store your batteries in an air tight container as batteries do off gas hydrogen and you could cause an explosion. The best place for them is in a moderate to cool location such as a basement or garage.
7. Question: How can I increase the life of my Battery?
Answer: Proper maintenance and care is the best way to extend the life of your battery. In the off-season, always follow the proper storage procedures (Charge before storing and every 3 months after) and do not leave your batteries in your vehicle or outside over the winter or during extended periods of non-use. Never overcharge your battery, this is the quickest way to cause premature failure.
8. Question: What are the most common causes of premature battery failures?
Answer: The top six causes of premature battery failures are:
- Loss of electrolyte due to heat or overcharging
- Lead plate sulfation in storage (storing discharged/uncharged batteries during off season or extended periods of time)
- Consistent undercharging or overcharging
- Excessive Vibration
- Freezing the electrolyte or Extremely hot temperatures
- Using Tap water to fill your cells (Always use distilled)
9. Question: How long will my deep cycle battery last on a single Charge?
Answer: This always depends on many factors such as the initial state of charge, how deep you discharge the battery, the age of the battery and the current temperature of the battery. For a fully charged battery at 70oF, the Ampere-Hour (Ahr) rating divided by the load in amps will provide a good estimate of cycle life. Example: a new, 72 Ahr battery with a 10-amp load should last approximately 7.2 hours. Remember, as the battery ages, the capacity is reduced.
This article was originally posted at rvcare.ca.