Routine maintenance and recharging a discharged battery as soon as possible will extend the life of the battery.
2. Sulfation will occur when a battery’s state of charge drops below 80%, or 12.4 volts. Recharging a battery at an 80% state of charge will prevent battery sulfation.
3. Never let a 12 volt battery discharge below 10.5 volts. You can measure the voltage with a digital voltmeter. Measuring the voltage gives you a quick picture of the battery’s depth of discharge so you know when it needs to be recharged. Set the voltmeter on DC voltage and put the red lead on the positive terminal and the black lead on the negative terminal.
4. Reducing the battery’s depth of discharge will increase the life of the battery. A battery discharged to 50% every day will last twice as long as it would if it’s cycled to 80%.
5. RV’s have parasitic loads that will discharge the battery over time. Some but not all of these loads are LP gas leak detectors, the TV antenna power booster, clocks, stereos and appliance circuit boards. If your RV is equipped with abattery disconnect switch, make sure it is in the OFF positionwhen you are not using the RV or when it is in storage. If your RV is not equipped with a battery disconnect switch, you can purchase a battery disconnect that installs directly to the battery.
6. When you add water to a battery, use mineral free water. Distilled water is best. Regular tap water can cause calcium sulfation.
7. Hot temperatures and overcharging kill batteries. During hot weather or during high usage, check the batteries frequently. Checking the electrolyte levels and adding distilled water as required can save your lead acid batteries.
8. Properly charging your batteries needs to be done in stages. A bulk charge should be performed to return the battery to 90% of a full charge in the first few hours. An absorption charge is used for the remaining 10% to prevent any battery gassing and loss of water, and then a float charge to keep the battery fully charged.
9. Batteries should only be watered after charging unless the plates are exposed prior to charging.
10 To prevent water loss from bubbling and gassing, leave the vent caps on batteries while charging.