Traveling on an RV is a great method for you to go on extended trips thanks to the excellent facilities on board. Yet when you first come into possession of the vehicle, you must have plenty of questions regarding its operation and maintenance. Among them is the issue of charging RV batteries deep cycle batteries which you might completely unfamiliar with. In that case, this article shall come in quite handy. Down below is extra information about a deep cycle battery along with its charging principle and necessary tool for the job.
Having well-charged batteries is essential if you wish to get the most out of the RV facilities. However, many RV owners tend to let the vehicle batteries completely depleted before attempting a recharge. This is quite harmful to the batteries and considerably shortens their effective lifetime. Simply using the batteries without proper care until they start failing isn’t an efficient way to utilize them. Therefore, it’s vital that you have a good grasp on the deep cycle battery characteristics in order to recharge them correctly.
See more related post: Top 6 Best RV Deep Cycle Battery Review
Table of Content
What is a deep cycle battery?
A deep cycle battery is a type of lead-acid battery with the ability to discharge most of its capacity. This process happens over a long period of time till the battery energy is almost depleted. In the opposite, starter battery discharges a substantial amount of energy in a short period of time. As a result, deep cycle battery is greatly appreciated when there is a need for a stable and consistent energy supply. In the RV case, the deep cycle battery is excellent at powering the vehicle assortments of appliances.
If use delicately, a deep cycle battery is expected to last for around five years with suitable maintenance. However, should you pay the battery little attention, you might have to order replacement every spring. That is why it’s important to keep an eye on the battery at all times, especially when it requires a recharge.
The deep cycle battery charging principle
There are many deep cycle batteries capable of discharging up to 75% of their capacity without incurring damages. However, to be on the safe side, it’s recommended to never let the battery charge sunk below 50%. When it happens, promptly recharge the battery right away and get its capacity above the advised level. If you let it drop to 20% and lower, there is a chance the battery charge is unable to reach 100% again. This means the original function of the deep cycle battery can never be restored.
Keep in mind that the charging time is actually longer than the time it takes to deplete the battery. The key is to stay calm and don’t be impatient while the battery is being recharged. While the RV is in storage, disconnect the ground wire to prevent potential drain. Switched off appliances is able to draw in power nerveless so be careful.
Once in a while, check out the battery and recharge it if needed, once a month should be sufficient. If possible, detach the battery entirely when the RV is not in use and keep it in your house for safe keeping. It will be much easier to protect and inspect the battery in this manner as well.
How to monitor the state of recharge?
It’s hard to tell whether a battery is fully charged or not without the help of a monitoring system. In certain cases, common sense and battery knowledge are adequate to determine the charging state though it’s best to use meter devices. These tools allow you to read the voltage level of the battery through a digital display along with other helpful features. A monitoring system is sometimes included with the built-in RV converter though it’s possible to install such device separately.
The process of recharging the deep cycle battery
Almost all RV come installed with a converter that serves as a one stage charger for the vehicle batteries. This is not exactly an efficient design therefore immediately get a three stage charger to replace it. The three-stage charger shall enhance deep cycle batteries performance and their overall lifespan. It even considerably shortens the charging time as well. Modern RV models sometimes have a three-stage charger already included in the original configuration. In other cases, the charger is available for purchase if you wish to replace the existing converter.
There are a total of three energy sources commonly employed to recharge RV batteries: Solar, generator and electric outlet. They operate in different fashions but you can utilize any of them to charge the deep cycle batteries back to full. Technically, solar power is cost effective in the long run but its efficiency largely depends on the weather and RV position. A generator is able to pump out plenty of juice yet require a steady amount of fuel to function. Finally, an electric outlet is convenient to use but you can’t always find a place that got it on the road.
When you hook the three stage charger into a power supply, it will begin to charge the vehicle batteries. The process consists of three primary phases which are the bulk, the acceptance and the trickle. In the first phase, the batteries should be recharge till the charge level reach between 80% and 90%. Next is the second phase called the acceptance, the power that goes through the charge shall drop as the batteries approach the maximum charge level. The third phase is when the charger only allows a small amount of energy to pass till the batteries are fully charged.
And that is pretty much most of the basic on charging RV batteries deep cycle. It’s not too difficult to understand, right? You may feel it’s a bit tricky at first but when you got the hang of it, the process is rather simple. Simply try it out a few times on your own and you will slowly but surely become experienced at this task.