Take care of the battery in a motorhome

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Without an efficient battery it will be impossible to rest in the caravan, while in case of the motorhome, impossible will be even the trip itself. Therefore, you should take a proper care of the batteries in your camping vehicle.

In motorhome we have to deal with two types of batteries - the first is starting battery, which is supposed to quickly deliver large amounts of electricity to the engine, so it can start. Thus, such battery will have a different construction and different parameters than a deep cycle battery. The latter is mounted in living areas of motorhomes and caravans, and its role is to power on-board equipment.

However, you should remember that in the case of camping vehicles, some devices (eg, those located in the driver’s cab) will draw power from the starting battery also during stopover. It’s very important. A few-days stop at the campsite without running the engine at all, can cause that when we want to move somewhere else, it won’t be that easy.

Deep discharge is the greatest threat for each battery. With typical battery, immobilization of the vehicle may take place even then, if the discharge reaches 25%, and the re-charge of a deeply discharged battery may not be possible. In this respect better are gel batteries - even if the battery is discharged in 90 %, you can still save it.

It’s good to know that the battery life is determined by the number of cycles - discharging and recharging the battery is one cycle. We can increase its life, if we won’t allow for heavy discharges. We can as well decrease it, by exploiting the battery to the limit.

Battery life and the condition of its chargement is also influenced by atmospheric conditions. For batteries, high humidity and temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius are the worst. However, temperatures below zero are also very dangerous. Therefore, if we don’t use our camping vehicle in autumn and winter, it’s best to disconnect the battery and put it in a warm and dry (but not hot) place.

Modern motorhomes and caravans often are equipped with on-board computer that monitors the current status of the battery. Some systems even allow you to protect the batteries from discharging too deep. But rather than waiting until the system prophylactically cuts off the electricity, it’s best to control the charging indicator regularly.

If despite that the battery discharges, it is best to try to restore its efficiency by means of a slow pace battery charger. This will reduce the risk of its damage. Some chargers have also a function of battery regeneration, which can help in situations where ordinary charger can’t handle it.

If you want your battery to work long and was fully efficient, it’s worth to devote some attention to it every day. Batteries are very sensitive to pollution, thus both batteries and clamps should be cleaned frequently, and should be free from any tarnishes. For cleaning, use a special brush. For best results, poles and clamps can be protected against oxidation with petroleum jelly.

Properly maintained battery can serve us for many years.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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