What About Batteries?
Batteries that are not in use during the off-season must be cared for as follows to extend battery life and reliability:
- Disconnect the batteries to avoid self-discharge due to parasitic loads such as clocks, ground faults, etc.
- Put batteries into storage fully charged and keep them above 75% state-of-charge. Check state-of-charge every 90 days and recharge if necessary.
- Ideally, store batteries in a cool, dry place with temperatures not below 32°F (0°C) or above 80°F (27°F). Typically, batteries will self-discharge at faster rates at higher temperatures.
Care of Deep Cycle Batteries:
RV Care deep cycle batteries are designed to provide excellent service life in deep cycle applications. The life of an RV Care deep cycle battery will be determined not only by the number of cycles (one discharge + one recharge) it receives, but also by the depth of each cycle. The deeper the discharge, the more damage to the battery plates and consequently the shorter the battery life.
To obtain maximum service life, your RV Care deep cycle battery should be fully charged every day it is used, even if it is only discharged 25%. Do not completely discharge any deep cycle battery if it can be avoided as the deeper the discharge the less life you will obtain from your battery.
To fully recharge a battery, you must replace the ampere hours removed from it, plus a 20% charge. This is because a lead acid battery is not 100% efficient on recharging. Do not charge your battery beyond the fully charged state as this also shortens service life.
Always leave the filler caps in place, tight and secure to reduce the risk of battery explosion and serious injury! Always wear safety glasses when working around batteries. Batteries can explode! Protect your eyes. Do not charge batteries without proper instruction.
Starting Service (Automotive - also called Chassis or Engine Starter Batteries)
When a battery is called upon to deliver several hundred amps of power to the starting motor, the battery must be able to deliver this power quickly… within a few seconds. This power comes off the surface of the plates inside the battery. Therefore, a battery with more plate surface area and less resistance will deliver power quicker than one with less plate surface and high resistance. That's why starting batteries are made with thinner plates… because you only use the power off the surface of the plates for starting the engine.
Deep Cycle Service (Marine & RV - also called House or Coach Batteries)
A deep cycle battery is called upon to deliver a long, slow discharge of fewer amps… for several minutes or hours… in a deep cycle application, such as running a refrigerator, lights or other accessory load. In this case, the power comes from deep within the plates, not merely off the surface, as in starting. Therefore, deep cycle batteries are specially engineered with heavier, thicker plates with fiberglass reinforcement, special power-producing active material and special heavy-duty separators. With these features, the battery can withstand the potentially damaging effects of continual deep discharge and recharge. The unreinforced, thinner plates of a starting battery can’t handle this constant deep cycling, and will fail in short order.
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