Priming RV batteries for long term storage

As the camping season winds down, the work of an RV owner ramps up with preparations to place their motor homes into long term storage.

Proper care of RV batteries is a crucial part of pre-storage maintenance. RV batteries are costly, and when the day arrives to rev up your RV, you want to be sure it easily starts, so you can hit the road for the travel adventures that await.

The two most common reasons batteries prematurely fail is undercharging and overcharging. Undercharged batteries have been allowed to drain their charge with too long of an interval between recharging, weakening battery strength. Sulfation can also occur when the battery charge drops below 80 percent. Conversely, batteries that are overcharged will experience water loss and plate corrosion. Overcharging happens when the battery is constantly plugged into a charger, receiving too high of a constant charge, and causing the electrolyte to burn off.

Most RV batteries can get three years of life – and often much longer - by taking the following preventive steps:
  • When you pull the RV into storage, remove the battery if the RV will not be used for several months. At Vines Storage, batteries can be stored along with the RV inside the facility.
  • When removing the batteries from the RV, first turn off the ignition, electrical, and battery disconnect switches.
  • Disconnect the negative terminal cable. Label battery cables so they are easily identified when you reinstall.
  • Inspect the battery for any damage that might indicate electrolyte leakage.
  • Clean the batteries using a half and half solution of baking soda and water, brushing around the terminals and posts to scrub away any sulfur crystals that might have formed. Check the electrolyte level inside the cell; if they are below the plates, add distilled water to cover before charging.
  • Whether stored in the RV or removed, keep the batteries charged during the offseason months and check the charge monthly. Stored batteries naturally lose 10 percent of their charge each month. Cold temps slow the charge erosion, while warmer weather accelerates charge loss.
Vines Storage has ample on-site battery chargers for your RV and is the only indoor self-park RV storage facility in Southern California. Contact us for seasonal storage rates at (909)389-6209.
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