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If you live in an area where temperatures dip below freezing in the winter, you may wonder if you need to remove your RV battery before storing your vehicle for the season. After all, you don’t want your battery to become damaged, rendering it useless come spring.
RV batteries should be removed in winter and stored inside. Keeping them in a warm, dry place will ensure they function optimally. You can also charge your batteries every other month instead of removing them if you plan to use your RV during the winter and want to avoid the hassle.
Lithium batteries last better in the cold weather compared to lead-acid batteries; you could choose to just connect to shore power to charge your leisure batteries and start up the engine for an hour to charge your starter battery or hook up a battery charger every other month as well.
Keep reading to learn more about RV batteries and how to store them in winter, including what you should do if you decide to remove them.
Why You Should Disconnect RV Batteries in Winter
RV batteries should be disconnected for storage in winter to prevent damage from cold weather and freezing. It will help preserve your batteries so they’ll be ready to go when the warmer weather returns.
It Prevents Discharging and Sulfate Buildup
As RV batteries try to stay warm in cold weather, they gradually discharge, which can lead to a buildup of sulfates on the positive plates. If these sulfates are not removed, they will eventually lead to the battery’s inability to hold a charge.
It Prevents Corrosion and Damage
Disconnecting the RV batteries will also prevent the terminals from corroding. When the battery is not in use, the terminals will slowly corrode from the acidic vapors that are released from the battery. This corrosion can eventually cause problems starting the RV in the spring.
Learn more about RVs and winter in my post “Costs Of Heating a Motorhome (RV) In Winter – My Experience.”
How To Disconnect Your RV Battery for Winter
There are two types of battery terminals on an RV: the positive and the negative. It’s important to know which one to disconnect first when you are ready to store your RV for the winter.
When storing your RV battery for winter, disconnect the negative terminal first, then the positive. If you disconnect the positive terminal first, it could come into contact with a metal and cause a spark. This could potentially cause battery damage.
When you’re reconnecting the battery once your RV is ready to use, it should be in reverse order. Reconnect the positive terminal first, then the negative.
Does Keeping RV Batteries in Warm Storage Really Matter?
Most RVs have a lead-acid battery that is sensitive to cold weather. If the temperature dips below freezing, the battery will not be able to generate the electricity needed to power the RV. This can be a big problem for RV owners who live in cold climates.
It’s crucial to have warm storage for your RV batteries. It will protect the battery from the cold and allow it to generate the electricity needed to power the RV. The storage area’s temperature should be above freezing, preferably above 50°F (10°C).
How To Keep Your RV Batteries Safe While in Storage
Just because your RV battery is in storage doesn’t mean you can forget about it. You still need to ensure that it is properly taken care of, as it is a crucial part of your RV.
Here are some tips on how to keep your RV battery safe while in storage.
Identify Your RV Battery’s Make and Model
Different makes and models of RVs require different types of batteries, so don’t hesitate to consult your owner’s manual. This should provide invaluable information on the exact make and model of the battery you have.
If your owner’s manual doesn’t provide enough information, it’s best to consult a qualified professional who specializes in repairing RVs. A certified technician will be able to easily identify which type of battery your RV requires, as well as advise you on the right level of care and maintenance for that particular kind.
Keep Them in a Climate-Controlled Environment
It’s important to keep RV batteries in a warm, dry environment to ensure that they last and perform properly. RV batteries can be sensitive to extreme temperatures and can become damaged if they are too hot or too cold.
Keeping the batteries at an optimal temperature while protecting them from the elements will help them last longer and make sure that they charge properly and that their performance is never compromised.
Ensure They Remain Powered
RV batteries will slowly drain while in storage unless they are regularly topped off with a charge. Lead-acid batteries, for example, can self-discharge at a rate of 3-5% per month and need to be charged every few months to keep them in good condition. If you have a lithium-ion RV battery, you still need to charge it while in storage, even though they have a much lower self-discharge rate.
Disconnecting vs. Periodically Recharging RV Batteries
One of the most common questions RV owners have is whether they should disconnect their batteries or charge them every other month. After all, it can be a hassle to charge them up constantly, and if you’re not using your RV for a long time, it may be more convenient to take the batteries out.
So what’s the verdict? Is it better to remove and store your RV batteries, or is it better to keep them charged? Well, it all depends on the type of battery you have.
If you have newer, maintenance-free batteries like lithium-ion RV batteries, it’s usually best to keep them charged. On the other hand, for older lead-acid batteries, it’s usually better to remove and store them warm to avoid damage.
If you’re using your RV regularly and the battery is in good condition, charging it every other month should be sufficient. There’s no need to disconnect it. However, if you’re not using your RV regularly or the battery is in poor condition, it is best to remove it during winter.
It’s preferable to remove RV batteries in winter. The main reason for this is to prevent damage to the battery caused by cold weather. RV owners should take special care when removing their batteries during the winter months, as they should be stored warm and dry.
Lithium batteries are more forgiving than other battery types regarding cold weather. And remember that you both have a starter battery as well as your leisure batteries or “home batteries.”