Keep RV Batteries Charged When Your RV is Stored

Keep RV Batteries Charged When Your RV is Stored
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Last updated on May 12th, 2019 at 04:28 pm

Schumacher Automatic Onboard Battery Charger - keep RV batteries charged
Schumacher Automatic Onboard Battery Charger/Maintainer
(click on image for more information)

How to Keep RV Batteries Charged When Your RV is Stored

Batteries in good condition and fully charged can be ’stored’ for up to six months. But that doesn’t count if the batteries are installed in a stored RV. All RVs have what is often referred to as phantom loads. These are draws on the battery such as the refrigerator circuit board, LPG and carbon monoxide detectors, and other such 12-volt power draws that can discharge your battery over time.

Because of phantom loads, RV batteries in a stored RV should be checked periodically and given a boost charge when they go below 70% charge or less.

While we recommend checking your stored RV from time to time here are some ways you can lengthen the time between checks.

Battery Disconnect Switch

A reliable way to keep RV batteries charged when your RV is not in use is to disconnect them. You do this by removing the positive connection from the battery post.

Battery Disconnect Switch - keep RV batteries charged
Battery Disconnect Switch
(click on image for more information)
Solar Battery Charger Maintainer - keep RV batteries charged
Solar Battery Charger Maintainer. Not designed to actually ‘charge’ you battery but rather keep it charged.

A more convenient method would be to install a disconnect switch rather than removing and replacing the connector each time.

Battery Maintainer

A battery maintainer is meant to compensate for phantom loads and a battery’s normal self-discharge over time in order to maintain a full charge. It may or may not keep the battery charged if you accidentally leave a light on or fan running,

If you have a way to get power to the RV you can use a battery maintainer/trickle charger, like the Schumacher unit shown, to ensure they are kept at full charge.

Solar Powered Battery Maintainer

With no power to the RV, you may be able to use a Solar Battery Charger Maintainer such as this one shown.

A less convenient but still viable way to store your batteries is to remove them from the RV and store them in a place where you can connect them to a battery maintainer or, at the least, check their condition from time to time.

You may also be interested in these articles: 

RV Battery Power Management
Lead/Acid Battery Maintenance
12-volt RV Battery Basics

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