By Christopher Dougherty
The RV Medic
Now that we’re engrossed in the holidays, many of us have our RV’s in storage, as the weather gets frigid. But, what did you do with your RV battery?
RV and marine batteries won’t freeze when they’re fully charged, but they sure will when the charge gets low. According to Trojan Battery, a fully charged battery will freeze at -92°F, but when it is discharged to a 40% charge, it freezes at 16°F. When this happens, the plates can become cracked, destroying the battery. A swollen battery case in the spring is a sure sign the battery has frozen.
There are three things you can do to prevent this. First, remove the battery and put it someplace that won’t freeze. Second, keep your coach plugged in and the battery charging while it is stored, regularly checking the water level if you have a flooded battery (a solar charger will also work to keep the batteries topped off.) Third, which also requires a power source, is to install a battery warmer blanket. This will keep the battery from freezing as long as it has power, but keeping the battery charged uses less power, and unless at gets really cold where you are, keeping the battery charged should do the trick. If you’re using a small power source like a trickle charger or solar charger, make sure all loads in the coach are disconnected from the battery, like detectors, radio, etc.
If you suspect you battery froze during the winter, have it checked by a reputable RV service professional, or by a battery dealer.