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RV Battery Tips

After Purchasing a Deep-Cycle Battery (RV or Marine RV)

  • New batteries should be given a full charge before use 
  • New deep-cycle batteries need to be cycled several times before reaching full capacity (50-125 cycles, depending on type). Capacity will be limited during this period. 
  • For best battery life, batteries should not be discharged below 80 percent of their rated capacity. Proper battery sizing will help avoid excessive discharge 

Routine Maintenance Tips

  • Battery cables should be intact, and the connectors kept tight at all times. Always use insulated tools to avoid shorting battery terminals. Regular inspection is recommended. 
  • Vent caps should be correctly installed and tight during operation and battery charging. 
  • Batteries should be kept tight during operation and battery charging. 
  • Batteries should be kept clean and free of dirt and corrosion at all times. 
  • Water used to replenish batteries should be distilled or treated not to exceed 200 T.D.S. (total dissolved solids parts per million). Particular care should be taken to avoid metallic contamination (iron). 

Deep-Cycle Charging Tips

  • Battery chargers should be matched to fully charge batteries in an eight hour period. 
  • Avoid charging at temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit or ambient, whichever is higher. 
  • If needed, batteries should always be watered after charging unless plates are exposed before charging. If exposed, plates should be covered by approximately 1/8 inch of acid. 
  • Check acid level after charge. The acid level should be kept 1/4 inch below the bottom of the fill well in the cell cover. 
  • As batteries age, the maintenance requirements change. This means longer charging time and/or high finish rate (high amperage at the end of the charge). Usually older batteries need to be watered more often and the capacity decreases. 
  • Lead-acid batteries should be brought up to full charge at the earliest opportunity. Avoid continuously operating batteries in a partially charged condition. This will shorten the life and reduce the capacity. 
  • Deep-cycle batteries may need to be equalized periodically. Equalizing ins an extended, low current charge performed after the normal charge cycle. This extra charge helps keep all cells in balance 

Seasonal Use

Inactivity can be extremely harmful to all lead-acid batteries. If seasonal use is anticipated. Interstate Batteries recommends the following:

  1. Completely charge the battery before storing and also before starting after being in storage. 
  3. Remove all electrical connections from battery,  including series/parallel connectors 
  5. Store the battery in as cool a place as possible. However, do not store in a location constantly below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Batteries will discharge when stored; the lower the temperature the lower the self discharge. 
  7. When not in use, boost every two months. 

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