By Dustin Simpson, California RV Specialists
Properly maintained deep-cycle batteries should last for six years or more. Unfortunately, some RV owners replace RV batteries every year or two. Extending battery life is not difficult—it just requires some basic care and maintenance.
This RV battery caught on fire. To prevent this from happening to you, follow these steps.
Cleaning your batteries and connectors
- Inspecting batteries for cleanliness at regular intervals will keep terminals and connectors free of corrosion.
- Prior to cleaning, check that all vent caps are secured properly on the battery.
- Clean the top of the battery, terminals and connections with a cloth or brush and a sodium bicarbonate solution (1 cup of baking soda to 1 gallon of water (150g/1L)).
- Do not allow the cleaning solution to get inside the battery.
- Rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.
- Keep the area around batteries clean and dry.
- After connections are clean and dry, reconnect the cables and/or hardware.
- Apply a spray protector or equivalent to the terminals for added protection from the elements.
- Batteries should be kept clean and free of dirt and corrosion at all times.
- Batteries should always be watered after charging unless plates are exposed before charging.
- If exposed, plates should be covered by approximately 1/8″ of electrolyte (add distilled water only). Check electrolyte level after charge.
- Make sure to cycle your batteries. I’ve even had owners rotate the batteries every 4-6 months for charging reasons.
Hope this info helps to serve as a reminder. We want to draw attention to checking them more often. Be safe out there and make sure to check your owner’s manual and your battery’s manufacturer for additional information and help.