RV Battery Terminal Maintenance

Last week an RVbasics Yahoo group member reported he was having trouble with his coach battery… it wouldn’t start his generator. He said the monitor panel showed the battery was charged so he couldn’t figure out why the generator wouldn’t start. Many members replied with helpful advice and he said he would let us know what he found.

So, what was the problem? Corrosion on the battery posts. He admitted that he had not checked for that originally because they looked clean.

Some RVers think if the battery terminal connections look clean then everything is okay. However it is the corrosion that develops between the posts and the cable clamps that needs to be checked and cleaned.

After checking that the battery is charged cleaning the battery posts and clamps is the second thing to do whenever you are having a battery problem. Ironically, no one in the group offered that piece of advice.

To clean the battery posts and terminal clamps apply some baking soda to the posts and clamps and scrub with a wet toothbrush or similar type brush until the corrosion is gone. Clean up with dry rag. For best results use a battery terminal brush to further condition the posts and clamps. Be sure you wear old clothes… one very small drop of battery acid can make a good-sized hole or at the least bleach them.

Battery post and clamp brushes are available at your auto parts store. They are wire brushes that fit over the post and into the clamps. Even the best brushes are inexpensive so there is no excuse not to get a good quality one.

Get step-by-step instructions on how to clean RV battery terminals at RVbasics.com


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2 Responses to "RV Battery Terminal Maintenance"

  1. ive got a 2015 gateway fifth wheel and ive got breaker that wont reset inside. thus its making everything run off battery power even though im plugged in to land power. can anyone give me an idea of what i might look for?

  2. This is just a guess, I really do not have enough information to know with any certainty, but it seems from your description the problem is with the power covert. It may be damaged or the may be a short circuit.

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