Mandatory RV Battery Maintenance
Just as your regular car won’t do you much good without a healthy battery, neither will your RV. If you are going to get along and healthy useful life from your RV purchase, you need to complete regular battery maintenance. Fortunately, battery maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult or even time-consuming once you understand the basics of what needs to be done, and when to do it.
When talking about maintenance of any kind on your RV, prevention is the first step to success. Rather than trying to fix a problem after it gets to the point of no return, try to stay on top of your RV maintenance to save both time and money over the long run. By spending just a little bit of time working on your RV before and after each trip, you can keep it in good condition and will be able to catch any issues before they become major problems.
Battery Terminal Corrosion
This is a problem that can be found in many cars, and it has the same potentially destructive power in RV’s. Over time, your battery terminals may start to corrode, damaging the quality of the electrical connection. If the corrosion becomes bad enough, you might not even be able to start the engine. Minor corrosion doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the battery – it can be simply a natural byproduct of using the battery time and again.
To prevent the corrosion from becoming a major issue, stay ahead of it and brush the terminals regularly. If you check the battery before each trip you take, simply brush away any corrosion that has started to show. Use a wire brush or a specialty battery brush that you can find at an auto parts store for the job. If you have enough corrosion to need more than just a brush, try using baking soda to eat away at the corrosion before brushing it off.
Once cleaned, you can use a variety of anti-corrosion sprays that are available on the market to find against this from becoming an ongoing problem. If you have taken apart the cables from the terminals to do the cleaning, make sure everything is reattached tightly and correctly before firing up the engine and heading off for your next trip.
Refilling the Water Levels
If your RV uses flooded cell batteries, you will need to check the water level within the batteries and refill as necessary. The water is going to evaporate over time, so it is to be expected that you will have to refill the batteries periodically. Check them before and after each trip, and add distilled water to the battery so that the water level is slightly higher than the plates found inside. After you have owned your RV for a while you should have a good idea of how much water is going to evaporate over a given period of time, so you can consistently replenish the water on a regular schedule.
Some RV’s run on maintenance-free batteries, meaning they are sealed and don’t need to be replenished with water. Obviously, you can cross off refilling your batteries if your RV uses this type. However, maintenance-free batteries still can develop corrosion over time, so it is a smart idea to keep an eye on the battery terminals when conducting basic maintenance.
A Tip for Seasonal Users
Many RV owners only use their rigs in the warm summer months and simply park them in the garage or on the side of the house during the winter. If this sounds like you, you will want to make sure your battery is prepared to live through the winter and is ready to get back to work for you when spring and summer roll around. First, make sure you give your battery a full charge before you park the RV for the winter. Also, disconnect the electrical connections while it sits and waits out the cold months. When the time comes, you can reconnect everything as it was, and give the battery a full charge before starting up the RV for the first time in the new season.
Overall, battery maintenance isn’t a major time-drain for an RV owner. It is, however, very important and something that you need to be sure and keep up with if you are going to get the best possible life and performance from your battery. Make sure to follow the directions that come with your RV and the battery itself, and don’t get lazy on your maintenance schedule. With regular attention, you can keep the battery healthy and keep your RV where it belongs – out on the road.
This Blog was provided by Coastal Breeze RV Resort in Rockport, Texas