RV DEEP CYCLE BATTERIES
There are many intricacies to trouble free rv'ing
but it is our rv deep cycle batteries that lie at the
at the heart of "rv maintenance" confusion.... and only for one reason.
We think we understand these batteries when the fact of
the matter is....we don't!!!
The confusion is easily understood however if you just stop and think about it. The bulk of our
experience with lead acid batteries is with our automobiles SLI (starting, lights, ignition) battery.
Our rv deep cycle batteries are a lead acid battery also and looks just like our automobiles starting
battery, but the similarities end there. They are not only very different internally but
most of the rv'ers problems with deep cycle batteries revolve around how often they are used
and how they are maintained. Generally our automobiles are used on a more routine basis
and are charged with a very adequate charging system. Such is not always the case with rv's.
Sporadic use coupled with inadequate charging systems leads to problems, problems which
can be overcome...only however if they are recognized and understood. This is where an
understanding of them will pay dividends both in battery efficiency and reliability.
The following statements and replies should help clarify some common fallacies about the use and maintenance of rv deep cycle batteries.
#1. The lead acid battery is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.
False! Believe it or not the lead acid battery goes back 147 years to 1859.
#2. A RV/Marine battery is a true deep cycle battery.
False! A RV/Marine is a cross between a true deep cycle battery and an automobile battery and is not a true deep cycle battery.
#3. They are fine as long as they read 12 volts.
False! Deep Cycle battery reading 12 volts is 75% discharged and is experiencing sulfation which accounts for 80% of battery failures.
#4. Is it ok to take a voltage reading immediately after charging?
False! Surface charge should always be removed prior to taking a voltage reading.
#5. The best time to take a voltage reading is during charging.
False! Voltage readings taken while charging are not accurate.
#6. The correct time to take a voltage reading on deep cycle battery is 12 hours after charging.
True! Waiting 12 hours after charging to take a voltage reading is the "correct" way to check a battery.
#7. Its ok to let deep cycle batteries sit between uses.
False! Deep cycle batteries are chemically "alive". They should be either charging or discharging. If not.... they are dying!!!
#8 Charging a deep cycle battery at 14 volts will ruin it.
False! They must reach 14 volts in the bulk charging stage or it will not reach 100% charge.
#9. Its ok to have deep cycle batteries on a “maintenance charge” between uses.
True ! See answer #7. Inactivity is the reason for failure, inefficiencies, and poor capacity. Owners who do not understand this will experience premature loss of capacity and and battery failure.
#10. There isn’t much difference between battery chargers.
False A regulated charger should always be used to charge a deep cycle battery.
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