RV Battery Monitoring

RV Battery Monitoring

Boondocking or "dry camping" in an RV and not using a battery monitor is like driving a automobile and not using a fuel gauge.

Should you fill your tank up on a regular basis and never drive additional than to the nook store, this strategy can work just fine. But if you will do any form of severe camping without electrical hookups or a every day dose of generator, it is important that you maintain a detailed eye on your batteries. This is especially important when counting on solar, because you'll rarely know for positive what state of charge the sun has left you with.

Batteries will last longest should you never cycle them below 50% capacity, and going over 80% drained starts to noticeably damage even the most effective "deep cycle" batteries. If you happen to use the "lights are getting dimmer" methodology to tell that your batteries are running down, they'll virtually definitely be permanently dead within a year. Not good – significantly in the event you’ve invested in expensive AGM batteries.

Voltage Metering:
The simplest way to regulate your batteries is via a voltage meter. A totally charged 12V battery will read 12.seventy three V, at 50% capability 12.10 V, and when you've gotten just 20% left (vital territory!) 11.sixty six V. The Oliver trailer features a system standing panel that can show you your battery voltage, and by keeping watch you can get a sense for the way you're doing.

However there's a BIG catch. To get an accurate and meaningful voltage reading, your batteries should have been sitting idle for no less than six hours, and ideally twenty four. Which means no lights on, no charger related, no photo voltaic running – primarily no use whatsoever.

If the battery isn't effectively rested, notably whether it is at the moment being used (even when just to boat power meter a light), the voltage reading is going to be off – and subsequently almost useless.

Imagine in case your car’s gas gauge was solely accurate after you had been pulled off the highway for six hours. That is not notably conducive to getting wherever….

Consider the voltage meter to be primarily just a "guess gauge", and not a gas gauge.

Specific Gravity Testing:
You can too very accurately test the state of charge of nicely rested flooded lead acid batteries by utilizing a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of each particular person battery cell. However doing this includes sucking up battery acid into a glass tube. Not fun, or typically practical.

In a automobile, this can be akin to pulling off the road, letting your engine cool, and then sticking a hose into your fuel tank to see how a lot fuel remains. You really don’t need to be doing this. Trust me.

Battery Screens:
A real battery monitor works by measuring the present flowing into and out of your battery through a really accurate shunt. As soon as the monitor detects that your battery is full, it keeps track of every amp of outflow, and it provides you a proportion remaining readout or a simple to read empty to full bar graph.

This at last provides you a usable "gasoline gauge" view of the sate of your batteries.

Battery displays will not be low cost, however they're value it. If you're really going to be utilizing your batteries for more than a day or of disconnected camping, I consider a proper battery monitor to be important equipment