Planning to hit the road this season to check out some fall foliage? Better be sure your RV batteries are in good working order so that the expedition does not include waiting for a tow truck while trying to enjoy some autumn beauty. To power an energy-hungry “home away from home”, RV batteries must reliably perform a number of jobs on both starting and deep-cycle fronts. They not only have to start the engine, but they also must run lights, water pumps, heat, appliances, and more. Given this tall order, what’s imperative for a problem-free excursion is that you have installed the right batteries and that they are properly maintained.
The battery used to start and run the engine is referred to as a starting battery. Starting batteries are designed to deliver high bursts of power over short periods of time. These batteries are rated in Cold Cranking Amps (CCA). CCA is the number of amps the battery can deliver at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds and not drop below 7.2 volts. The power level you need depends on the cranking requirements of your engine. Starting batteries also are rated by Reserve Capacity. Reserve Capacity (RC) is the duration, in minutes, that a battery will deliver 25 amps at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. RC represents the time that the battery will continue to operate essential accessories in the event of an alternator or generator failure.
The batteries used to supply power to the RV itself are commonly referred to as house batteries. Your house batteries should be deep-cycle batteries. These batteries provide a steady amount of current over longer periods of time. Deep- cycle batteries are designed to be deeply discharged and recharged repeatedly and are rated in Ampere Hours (AH) and Reserve Capacity (RC).
The AH rating is the number of amperes (amps) that a battery can deliver for a 20-hour period. This test also is referred to as the 20-hour rate. The larger the AH rating, the more power the battery can deliver over time.
The life expectancy of an RV battery will vary, based on the habits of its owner. An RV battery can last anywhere from one year to many, depending on how the batteries are used, how they’re maintained, discharged, recharged, and how they are stored. If the RV spends most of its time plugged into an electrical source, the main concern will be maintaining your deep-cycle battery and not so much on getting the highest AH. On the other hand, if you really like to get away from it all and consider hookups optional at best, you will want to find a deep-cycle battery with the highest AH capacity you can fit in your RV.
Sizing It Up
Deep-cycle batteries come in a variety of sizes and have varying AH ratings. Some are designated by group size (24, 27, and 31). Depending on your needs and the space available in your RV, there are a number of several battery selection options, including:
- One 12-volt group 24 deep-cycle battery that provides 70 – 85 AH.
- Two 12-volt group 24 wired in parallel that provide 140 – 170 AH.
- Two 6-volt golf cart batteries; when these are wired in a parallel series, they provide 180 – 220 AH. (Many RVers have switched from standard 12-volt batteries to exercise this option).
Note: Parallel connections (+) to (+) and (-) to (-) increase the AH rating by the number of batteries used in the circuit, but not the voltage.
Serial connections (+) to (-) and (-) to (+) increase the voltage but the AH rating is the same as a single battery
When making either a parallel or serial circuit all batteries must be the same rating, age, and design type. It is extremely important not to mix battery types (Flooded, Gel, AGM).
The next time you visit a Camping World location, look for a full selection of Exide batteries for all your RVing needs. Exide Technologies (exide.com
), the official battery of NASCAR®
and one of the world’s largest producers, distributors and recyclers of lead-acid batteries, is now the Official Battery Supplier of Camping World. Here are just a few of the batteries in the Exide lineup that will help keep you on the road:
Exide® Stowaway® Deep Cycle
- Up to 400 minutes of Reserve Capacity
- An amp hour rating of up to 200 AH for continuous operating time
- A design that incorporates thicker grids, denser active materials on the plates, and alloys specifically designed to provide many cycles
- 12-month free replacement and 24-month limited warranty
Exide® XTRA Golf Cart
- Up to 525 minutes of Reserve Capacity
- Amp hour ratings of up to 245 AH (20 hour rate) for increased service life per charge cycle
- Heavy-duty sheet separators with antimony suppression extend life and reduce water loss throughout the battery’s life
- 12-month free replacement warranty
Exide® NASCAR® Extreme™
- Available in a wide variety of group sizes and power levels to fit 70 percent of the cars, trucks and SUVs on the road today
- Heavy-duty grids versus ordinary car batteries provide enhanced durability under today's harsh operating conditions
- 40-month free 24-hour emergency jump start assistance
- 40-month free replacement and 108-month limited warranty
Exide® RoadForce® AGM 200
- 2X better cycling and 40 percent greater charge acceptance when compared to conventional flooded batteries
- 14X more vibration resistance than conventional flooded batteries
- Designed for maintenance-free performance under normal operating conditions
- Over-the-top handle allows for easy installation and folds out of the way after installation
- 24-month free replacement warranty
Exide® Super Crank®
- Separators improve acid flow and resist vibration damage
- A design that provides maintenance-free performance under normal operating conditions
- 6-month free replacement warranty
Exide offers a comprehensive range of batteries designed to deliver reliable starting and deep-cycle power for a host of energy-hungry specialty applications.
To learn more about the complete line of Exide products, please visit the Camping World location closest to you. Happy trails!
Most RV batteries require some maintenance – even “maintenance-free” ones. A few simple steps go a long way to help batteries clean and free of corrosion:
- Clean terminals regularly and coat with a battery terminal spray.
- Check the electrolyte level monthly. All Exide deep-cycle batteries, except AGM sealed types, have removable caps so that electrolyte levels can be monitored regularly.
- When storing a battery for the winter, check and fill with distilled water as needed, recharge the battery fully, and store in a cool place.
- When preparing the battery for use after winter storage, recharge the battery to its full charge state.