Should RV Batteries Be Removed In Winter?

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Ready to hang up your keys and store your RV for the offseason? You may be wondering if you should remove your battery for the winter.

Yes, you should remove your RV battery in the winter. Leaving your battery in your RV could mean it can freeze when temps drop low. That’s why removing that RV battery should be one of the first steps in winterizing your RV.

Why You Should Remove Your Battery For The Winter

If you leave your battery in your RV it could freeze as temperatures drop during the winter months.

The loss of sulfuric acid as your battery discharges leaves water behind. That means the more your battery discharges, the more apt it is to freeze.

Do not leave your RV plugged in either, as you could also overcharge your battery and risk damage or even a catastrophic fire.

What You Need To Store Your Battery

To ensure your battery is in proper working order after winter, you need to invest in both a charger and maintainer. Ask your RV dealership what brand or type is best for your specific RV or battery.

It is difficult to truly determine the charge status of a battery without a proper monitor. It can measure the charge of your battery by gauging the energy that flows in and out of the battery.

Monitors can be installed into your RV after you buy them. Most will come with an LCD display and prices vary based on any upgrades such as temperature sensor and Bluetooth connectivity.

How To Store Your Battery For The Winter

Once you’ve removed your battery for the winter, you should follow several steps to ensure it’s ready for the next road season.

Most importantly, make sure you follow proper safety precautions and utilize the best safety gear when handling your battery such as eye protection and gloves.

Storing and prepping it is easy. Simply utilize the following steps:

  1. Remove the battery
  2. Check water levels and fill up if necessary
  3. Charge the battery (you may need to invest in a charger)
  4. Store in a warm, indoor location
  5. Use maintainer to keep charged
  6. Check monthly for charge and overall maintenance

Battery Care And Maintenance

Keeping your RV batteries in tip-top shape will depend on the type of battery you have. Lithium batteries require less maintenance than others.

For specific RV battery maintenance instructions, check the manufacturer’s specific guidance.

Overall, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your battery maintains its life overall. They include:

  • Remove corrosion using a baking soda and water mixture. This eliminates potential discharge paths.
  • Clear terminals with a wire brush to remove any remaining corrosion
  • Fully charge battery before storing it after cleaning
  • Keep battery at or above 75% state-of-charge
  • Storage facility should have a temperature of no lower than 32°F and no higher than 80°F
  • Do not leave a battery on trickle charge for more than 48 hours
  • Maintain electrolyte levels in flooded cell batteries

How Long Will Your RV Batteries Last

The life span of RV batteries can vary drastically and can depend on how well they are maintained as well as how often they are used. Lithium-ion batteries can last up to as many 5,00 charge cycles, but deep-cycle batteries may last for only 400 or 500.

Do Not Overcharge Or Let Your Battery Die

Overcharging can be caused by not utilizing a three-stage converter or a ‘smart’ charger. Although there are several reasons RV batteries can overcharge, converter problems are usually the culprit.

Letting your battery charge drop below 50% shortens its life as well and can lose its ability to hold a charge.

The Future Of RV Batteries

Technology is continually evolving in the world of RVs. Lithium-ion batteries are becoming more common in RVs. They are light, can hold more power, and are nearly impossible to overcharge. The main and hurdle against mass implementation is their higher price.

RV Winter Storage Tips

Now that you’re properly removed and stored your battery for the winter, it’s time to consider other winter storage procedures.

For the inside of your RV, consider the following:

  • Defrost your freezer or refrigerator
  • Ensure all appliances are turned off
  • Close all windows and blinds to prevent any potential UV/sun damage
  • Utilize a dehumidifier to keep mold and mildew away
  • Remove all food items from cupboards
  • Clean the entire interior to lessen the attraction for critters

For the outside of your RV, consider the following:

  • Wash all exterior surfaces
  • Turn off LP gas
  • Check for cracks on the roof, doors, windows, patch or repair as needed
  • Cover exterior vents to prevent creating homes for critters
  • Cover tires with appropriate tire covers
  • Check seals around your A/C units and other extremities
  • Utilize stabilizer jacks to keep weight off your tires
  • Fill fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer
  • Change the oil
  • Either drain windshield washer fluid or add antifreeze

Taking care of your RV batteries by removing them from your RV for the winter will prolong their life and ensure many continued years of use. It’s also important to remember the importance of charging and not overcharging your batteries during the time they are removed.

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