A properly maintained deep cycle RV battery will last you a long time – at least four years. However, some people find themselves changing their RV batteries more often due to poor maintenance. Here are some tips for extending the life of your RV battery:
1. Don’t let your 12-volt deep-cycle battery charge below 12 volts. You can measure the voltage using a digital voltmeter.
2. Overcharging the battery will cause it to die sooner. This is especially true when it is hot outside. During hot temperatures, check the water level more frequently.
3. When you add water, avoid using regular tap water. Tap water can cause calcium sulfation. Distilled water or mineral-free water is the best choice.
4. Leave the vent caps on the batteries when charging. This prevents water loss from bubbling.
5. Lowering the depth of discharge for the battery will help it last longer. It’s better to let a battery discharge to 40–50% than to 25%.
6. A leading cause of RV dead batteries is sulfation. This process occurs when little crystals form on the plates of the battery. This begins to happen when the battery is in a low state of charge. Don’t leave your battery on low power for long. Make sure to charge the battery quickly to help extend its life.
7. Similar to a car, there are things within the RV that slowly drain energy from the battery. Circuit boards, stereos, TVs, and other electronics can kill an RV battery. If your RV has a switch to turn off power sources, make sure that you turn it off when the RV is not in use.
8. Charge the RV battery in stages. The majority of the battery’s work is done in a bulk stage, followed by an absorption stage for the rest, and a float stage to keep the battery charged.
9. When possible, avoid full-cycle charging of the battery. A 0% to 100% charge reduces battery life.
Properly charging and maintaining your battery is the key to extending its life. AGM batteries are extremely reliable. The Absorbent Glass Mat technology helps prevent leaks. Contact Lifeline to learn more about AGM batteries for your RV.