Should I Disconnect My RV Battery When Plugged In?

RV batteries are typically lead-acid batteries that can store electricity. An RV battery is comprised of lead oxide and lead plates stored in an electrolyte material made up of water and sulfuric acid.

One of the numerous questions that are frequently asked by RV users is should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in?

There is no straight answer to this question. But to extend the lifespan of your RV battery it is better to disconnect the battery when it is not in use.

Should I Disconnect My RV Battery When Plugged In?

It depends if you have a smart charging system in order to maintain optimal voltage. Then you can always keep connected your RV battery while plugged in. Just make sure it won’t overcharge your battery.

This is a sulfation prevention technic to always connect a battery plugged in. When a battery keeps depleted lower than 80%. This will push the acid to the bottom of the battery while the water drifts at the top which causes sulfation.

To prevent this, you should always keep connected your RV. And to extend lifespan a smart charging system will be recommended which will take your batteries responsibility.

Do I Need A Battery If My RV Is Plugged In?

Usually, you don’t need a battery if your RV is connected to an external power source. This will work as long as your converter is connected and working properly.

However, you won’t have a backup power supply if any power outage occurred. Experts recommend that without a 12-volt DC battery many of the functions inside an RV will not work. So, having a battery is much more convenient.

AGM vs Lithium-ion: A Short Comparison

A short comparison among Gel-cell, absorbed glass mat (AGM) and Lithium-ion RV battery will be given below:

TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Gel CellSpill and corrosion-proof.Lightweight.Long lifespan.Expensive.Easy to overcharge.Special charging is required.
AGMCan use standard RV charging.Spill and corrosion-proof.True maintenance-free.More expensive.
Lithium-ionLong-lasting.No self-discharge.Rapid charging.Expensive.Newer technology.

Tips for Longer RV Battery Life

There are many ways to extend your RV battery life. Here are some of the tips:

  • Do not overcharge or undercharge.
  • Try not to let the charge drop below 80%.
  • Invest in an RV battery monitor.
  • Do not store battery uncharged.
  • Clean it regularly.
  • Invest in an RV battery monitor to read the charge.
  • Maintain batteries during off-seasons.
  • Disconnect the battery when it is not used.
  • Invest in a smart charging system.
  • Buy at least a good camper battery to camping with.

Best Batteries for RV

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery: This maintenance-free battery relieves you from worrying about any leakage. The proprietary alloy plate makes sure the internal resistance is low and the discharge rate is optimal. It has a long shelf life, the monthly discharge rate is under 3%. Which means you can store it for a long time.

Optima OPT8016-103: The Optima battery will make sure you get enough to start your RV even in bad weather. This battery is more resistant to vibration than its peer. So, you won’t have to worry when you drive off-road. On top of that, it has a reserve capacity of 120 which can ensure constant performance.

ExpertPower 12V 20Ah: It is one of the most efficient batteries out there. This battery’s discharge curve holds above 12 volts up to 95% of capacity. The weight is 1/3 of a lead-acid battery, so you will be easily carrying it around. The built-in Battery Management System protects it from short circuits, overloading, overheating, deep discharge, and overcharge.

Frequently Asked Questios (FAQs):

Should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged into shore power?

No, you do not need to disconnect your RV battery when plugged into shore power.

Do I need to disconnect my RV battery?

Yes. Otherwise, small electrical devices like a gas detector, clock drain power.

Does RV battery charge when plugged in?

Yes. RV battery will charge while plugged in.

Should I disconnect my RV battery for winter?

Yes. It is always recommended to disconnect all the batteries during temperature drops too low.

What is the best way to charge RV batteries?

Using Dc to Dc charger is the best way to charge RV batteries. It will safely charge the battery and prevent alternator damage.

How long does it take to charge RV batteries on shore power?

Actually, it depends on the kind of charger you have. Approximately 20 hours will be needed with a regular 3 stage charger.

Bottom Line

The topic has been briefly discussed should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in or not. The final answer is, it depends.

If you have a smart charging system, well you can always put your battery on charge. And if you don’t then always maintain the charge level above 80% to avoid sulfation.

I also recommend if your battery is connected to a shore power then no need to worry. Your converter will do the rest.

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