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Why Did My RV Battery Die?

The battery management system in a RV is much like the battery that starts a car, in that it gives power to the vehicle to function. In an RV or other multiple battery systems, things become a little more complicated as one is not only powering the vehicle chassis but also the features and appliances held within the coach. This is why maintaining a healthy battery is important to getting the most out of your RV. Your adventure is over before it begins when your battery doesn’t start.

To understand what a battery needs to remain healthy and functioning, we must first learn why batteries fail. According to RVTripWizard.com, the average life of a RV battery with limited battery care and maintenance is only two to three years, with 85% of 12-Volt batteries manufactured failing before their full lifespan. There are a few reasons why the battery has become damaged and stopped working. Reasons for battery failures are:

  • under charging
  • over charging
  • not recharging a discharged battery in a timely manner
  • lack of maintenance
  • lack of understanding what is required to properly maintain a battery

These issues lead to the greatest cause of battery failure: sulfation. Sulfation is the process in which small crystals of sulfuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte start to form on the charge plates. Over time, the material cannot be converted into active plant material. When the battery holds an improper charge, is under or over charged, or the battery remains discharged for too long, sulfation can occur. By having a battery management system in place to help handle the batteries is very important.

Another issue that can cause a battery to fail is over charging. When a RV is connected to shore power, the battery begins to charge. Once the battery if fully charged, one would assume the shore power would keep the battery full. In fact, this is when the battery now begins to be damaged. Because the RV converter charger provides a constant charge of 13.5 Volts, the closer to full the battery is, the more harm can befall the battery. What happens is the electrolyte is boiled off, thus resulting in a damaged and dying battery.

Intellitec Products has created a simple solution for protecting your RV batteries. Introducing Intellitec’s Battery Guard 1000 (00-01118-000). By monitoring the voltage levels across your battery banks, the BG1K automatically disconnects a load from the battery when the voltage gets too low, preventing your battery from draining. The BG1K will also automatically reconnect the batteries when it senses the battery is running low when the BG1K senses a charging potential, allowing the low battery to gain charge. In addition to automatic disconnect and reconnect, the BG1K features manual reconnect and disconnect, an alarm output status and fault indication. You can find out more about the Battery Guard 1000 and other battery management solutions at Intellitec.com.