Boat and RV batteries deserve special concern. Here’s what you should know and do before you depend on them for fun.
#1 Thing to know: Used batteries are not as reliable or as performant as new batteries.
#2 Thing to know: If your battery is more than 3 months old, you have a used battery. That’s right. Your battery is sort of like a tire. It can go bad from wear (used up), age (deteriorates over time) or abuse (poor or faulty charging systems, left to discharge too long).
So, understanding that, and given that most outings might involve you being in a situation by yourself or far from help, what can you do? Simple. Test.
If you think your RV batteries are good to go for your planned trip. Use test them ahead time. This doesn’t mean depending on someone’s battery meter. Why? Because believe it or not, other things can fail that may seem like that battery is the issue. But replacing your battery won’t fix that.
So, a week or two ahead of time. Pull your RV out and actually pretend to use it as you plan too (at least as far as your batteries are concerned). If you have a fridge, a microwave, entertainment, lights, etc, use them for the same period and way as you would intend to. If you don’t get the usage out of them in your parked location, you can’t expect things to magically get better when you use them in the wild. This should confirm that your batteries are holding to your needs and that your charging systems are working.
If it’s a boat, well you can’t run the motor like like you would in the water easily. But you can use the boat like you would when your motor is off (lights, entertainment or other electronics). If you can put water headphones on your test to at least run the motor for a short period, you can confirm that the charging system is working by measuring the voltage at the battery while the motor is running. If all is good, it should be between 13.8 and 14.8 volts.
If you have a boat or RV that does not have a way to charge your batteries without a motor running, then the best thing you can do when it’s going to sit for more than a month unused, is to remove the battery, bring it into your garage or a covered area when you have a battery charger/maintainer and keep it there until it’s ready to use.
The more real you make your tests, the more real your answers will be. Play safe, have fun and remember Revolt Battery Exchange for your affordable recycled and new power needs.