Wednesday, May 31, 2023


#1 tip on how to maximize the life of RV batteries

By Cheri Sicard
In the video below, one of our readers’ picks for favorite RV YouTubers, Josh the RV Nerd (now at Bish’s RV), imparts some important wisdom about RV batteries.

No matter if you are a new or experienced RVer, you probably have encountered times when it just seemed like your RV battery did not last that long. Josh regularly sees RVers who are changing their batteries every year or two!

If you have had that experience, Josh wants to share why that’s happening and what you can do to avoid it and thereby get a better return on investment from your RV batteries.

Why might your RV batteries not be lasting?

Josh begins by looking into reasons your RV batteries might be draining faster than they should.

Today’s RVs have more electronic gizmos and gadgets and technology than ever before and it is not always properly managed as to power. Watch the video for details, but the bottom line is, most RVers have things that are trickle drawing the power, even when the RV is not being used.

If you have lead acid batteries, you know they shouldn’t go below 50%, and doing so repeatedly will shorten their life.

Even if you have a battery disconnect switch on your RV, Josh says chances are high that there are still things slowly pulling at that battery, systems hard-wired into the RV.

So what can you do about it?

The solution is quick, easy, and costs nothing. If you are going to be storing the RV for any extended period of time, physically disconnect the wires that connect the batteries to the RV.

Taking the time to do this will stop any and all “parasitic load” from trickle-drawing off your RV batteries.

What constitutes an “extended period”? Josh says for anything over two weeks you can benefit from disconnecting your RV’s batteries at the source.

Josh will sometimes disconnect his batteries for just a week or even a couple of days’ storage. He says that the fact is, the sooner you disconnect your batteries, the more you are saving them. But two weeks is a good rule of thumb.

What if you will be storing the RV batteries for a long time?

If you will be storing the RV for six months or so, Josh says to remove the battery, store it in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place (not in your RV’s living area), and keep a low-cost trickle charger on it. Watch the video for more details and more tips to help stay safe and guide you in putting it all back together.


Before you disconnect the battery, take a quick photo of what the battery setup looks like so you can quickly put it all back together.



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8 days ago

Josh, I don’t understand why I should remove my flooded house batteries from my motor-home. When not in use I connect a 3 stage battery tender…isn’t that good enough?

dale rose
8 days ago

Instead of using a low cost trickle charger, it would be best to use a battery maintainer. It’s only a couple of dollars more, but it will help the battery have a much longer life.

Jim Johnson
8 days ago

We have two RV trailers – one is essentially stationary, used for seasonal residence; the other much smaller RV is used for touring and the seasonal migration. So both RVs see longish storage times.

My 3-prong approach: First and foremost, I use AGM rather than flooded cells because I am often not near to the RV for some of the longer storage stretches to maintain water levels. Second, I have a switch that can totally disconnect the battery from the RV. And third, I have installed a charging port on the battery box. If I have access to AC power, I have a battery minder (better than a trickle charger), and if not, a 10w solar panel with the same capability that plug into the same port.

For what it is worth, that port is bidirectional. I use it to power a 12v air compressor and I have a 12v macerator waste tank pump that has been handy on several occasions.

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