There are many intricacies to trouble free rv'ing but it is our deep cycle batteries that lie at the heart of "rv maintenance" confusion … and only for one reason.
We think we understand our deep cycle batteries when the fact of the matter is..we do not !!!
The confusion is easily understood though if you just stop and think about it. The bulk of our experience with lead acid batteries is with our cars SLI (starting, lights, ignition) battery. Our deep cycle battery is a lead acid battery also and looks just like our automobiles starting battery, but the similarities end there. The batteries 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 cars 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 embarrassing … only though if they are recognized and understood. This is where understanding of deep cycle batteries will pay dividends both in battery efficiency and reliability.
The following statements and answers should help clarify some common fallacies about the use and maintenance of deep cycle batteries.
# 1. The lead acid battery is one of the greatest inventions of the 29th 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. Deep Cycle batteries 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 l4 volts will ruin it.
False! A deep cycle battery must reach l4 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 deep cycle battery failure, inefficiencies, and poor capacity. Deep cycle battery owners who do not understand this will experience premature loss of capacity and and battery failure.
# 10. There is not much difference between battery chargers.
Source by Ray Oberreuter