how to charge rv battery while driving

How To Charge RV Battery While Driving?

Peter Wade

Everyone owning an RV might want to know how to charge RV battery while driving. Battery juice is one of the main concerns, especially when you are new to the RV lifestyle. Won’t it be great if you don’t have to stop somewhere just to recharge the battery?

There are a few useful methods of charging the RV battery at the time of driving. Using the correct method will make the task easier and make your road trip and camping much more enjoyable.

Things to Know about an RV Battery

To drain the most power from the battery and to use it to its maximum potential, you should know this unit well. Learning some of its important features will help you understand its mechanisms and functions.

An RV battery is a 12V power unit that is capable of supplying all the energy a mobile home needs. The deep-cycle unit can store a huge amount of energy to keep all electrical appliances and HVAC systems in your mobile rig operational.

how to charge RV battery while driving
A battery keeps RV’s electronics running.

This 12V battery keeps your rig functional. You can use an alternative power source like a solar panel but a battery has to be on the sideline for occasional energy-boosting or quickly start that alternative power source.

So you may understand how important the battery is for maintaining the comfort and convenience in your motorhome. A deep-cycle battery lasts for more than 10 years if properly maintained. It means a continuous supply of power for year after year.

How to Charge RV Battery While Driving?

You should know how to charge RV battery while driving to make the road trips and camping more enjoyable.

You will need a voltage controlled relay (VCR), Anderson plugs, and high amperage cables to perform the task.

Methods for Battery Recharging

Start the process with the VCR by organizing the connections where the relay disconnects and quickly parallels the start and auxiliary batteries. The two batteries stay side by side when the relay is closed.

The relay opens when the truck’s engine kicks off. Turning the engine off disconnects the batteries of the truck and the trailer, setting the voltage back to the preset level.

RV battery charging

Connect the RV battery to the truck’s battery through plugs and cables. The hardware should be high-quality so that they can carry a huge amount of energy, create stable connections, and lower the voltage drop. Using quality cables and plugs also helps with making the most of the RV battery’s charging process.

Building a secure connection prevents disconnection when you drive the RV on uneven terrain. The RV battery will be drained up pretty quickly if the connection between the batteries is unstable.

Another way the batteries lose charge is short circuits. Use rubber boots slip on the breakers to prevent these things from happening. Attaching a 50amp auto reset circuit breaker to the battery’s positive side will prevent the possibility of fire hazards.

When you are charging the battery at the time of driving, remember not to overcharge it. If the level of electrolytes is more than adequate, add distilled water to neutralize the condition.

The Correct Way to Store RV Battery

You now know how to charge RV battery while driving. But it is also necessary to learn the right way to store it for maximizing that charge. Many people don’t drive their RVs in the winter. A battery deteriorates quickly when it is left unused. Storing it the correct way will keep it functioning and at the highest of its capacity.

RV Battery Storage
Properly store the battery before a long break.

Follow these steps before storing the battery for a long time:

  • Recharge the battery to 100 percent. Then, disconnect it from the vehicle’s connectors. Parasitic drainage will happen if you keep it connected. A number of car components including the alarm, watch, stereo, and more keep draining charge from the battery even when the engine is off.
  • If the battery has any sign of corrosion or grime, remove it. If you store the unit as it is, the corrosion will set in and expand, damaging vital parts. Clean the terminals thoroughly and use a wire brush if necessary.
  • Check the level of electrolytes and add distilled water whenever needed. The water dilates when the battery is charged, so keep the level at slightly less than 90% to prevent overflow.
  • Remove the battery unit from the vehicle and store it in a dry, cool place. The temperature of that storage place should be between 32 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Check the battery occasionally when you store it for a long time. Recharge it at least once a week to keep it functioning.
  • If the battery becomes frozen somehow, don’t try to recharge it immediately. You should take it to a mechanic because trying to charge will make it explode.

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