Why Is My RV Battery Draining While Plugged In?

 One of the most important things when RVing is making sure your batteries are properly charging. Batteries allow you to run things like your lights and appliances, and if they are not charged you will have to use your gas power to do so. Something that has been a problem for quite a few RV owners, is your batteries draining while they are plugged in. There can be a few different reasons for this problem, the most common being that something has tripped your breaker, convertor, or inverter, preventing the batteries from charging even though it is plugged in.

Most people choose to charge their batteries from the shore power in their motorcoach. Often, something will trip the breaker or hit the reset button, causing the batteries to stop charging. If this is merely the case, you should be able to reset everything and your problem will be fixed. However, if this doesn’t seem to be your issue, checking the DC voltage output would be your next step. It may be that your batteries need more voltage to charge than what your shore power can supply.

If you have your batteries running off of shore power and you suspect this is the problem, you will want to make sure that everything else on that power supply is working correctly. You should be able to quickly determine if shore power is your problem, as if something has been tripped their should be several appliances not working and/or your lights are flashing, dimming, etc. If none of these things are happening, it is likely either you have an inadequate voltage or something is wrong with the batteries themselves.

Another common problem is that your RV’s batteries are damaged or too old, and simply cannot hold a charge anymore. Since batteries can be expensive, many people choose not to replace their batteries until they start causing problems. However, batteries will only last in between 5 and 7 years (depending on how much they are used), and can be easily damaged if not taken care of.

In order to extend the life of your batteries, make sure you routinely maintain them and make sure they are always recharged as soon as possible. Something some new RV owners may neglect to do during their winterizing process is removing the motorcoach batteries and placing in a clean, dry, and temperature controlled place. Exposing your batteries to harsh colds and moisture will damage them quickly and keep them from charging the next year.

If you have forgotten or neglected to remove your RV’s battery in the winter and it has frozen, DO NOT attempt to charge. The cold temperatures mixed with acid and a power source could cause the unit to explode. Don’t worry, most frozen batteries (depending on how frozen) can be thawed and re-charged. These batteries are still permanently damaged and will likely need replaced within a year or two at this point. While this is usually the case, some frozen batteries cannot be thawed and will need to be replaced altogether, which actually eliminates you risking a thawed battery dying in the middle of a trip. Most RV owners suggest buying new batteries regardless of whether or not you can thaw the battery, since the lifespan of the unit is at risk and could give out at any point. This is why you should make sure you care for your batteries at all times to prevent expensive disasters such as this.

So if your batteries are not holding a charge despite being plugged in, keep in mind that they may have previous damage from a incident like this, or they haven’t been cared for properly. Sometimes, regardless of how well you treat them, batteries just get old and need replaced. This may be the point where they finally give out. This can be pretty frustrating especially if you are in the middle of a trip.

We suggest you should always have some spare batteries that are newer and fully charged in case of your older ones giving out. Even if your replacements are smaller in voltage, it would be still be better than having no battery power your entire RV camping trip. Some great smaller choices such as 2 or 5 amp batteries may be good choices for you!

At the end of the day, the most likely reasons your batteries are charging despite being plugged in would either be that your convertor has been tripped, or your batteries are old or damaged. This may take some trial and error to determine the main cause, but it will be well worth it to have a reliable power source for your motorcoach.

How Long Should I Charge My RV Battery?

Making sure your RV’s batteries are charging is super important, but you may be wondering how long they should be charging. Before you take any trips in your motorcoach you should have all of your batteries completely charged in case of emergencies, as well as it isn’t good for you to drain your batteries below halfway. However, how long it takes for a battery to charge will be different based on the amp and voltage of your battery.

Since it can be so unpredictable on how long batteries take to charge, most RV owners suggest charging batteries 24 to 48 hours before your trip in order for them to be fully charged for your next camping trip. Some people choose to only charge a few batteries, and then charge the rest using shore power while traveling. This is completely fine, however you want to make sure they will charge quickly in case of an emergency when your main batteries give out.

Keep in mind that larger amp (in between 50 and 85) batteries will take much longer to charge, especially if they are completely dead when you go to charge them. You can find battery chargers that will charge them quicker, however it will simply take time charge. If you make sure you are caring for your batteries, they should always charge within their allotted time. But if you let your batteries get drained, exposed to cold or freezing temperatures it can make it harder to charge in a timely manner.

Ultimately, you should charge your batteries until they are fully charged. If this cannot be done before you go on your trip, you should connect them to shore power and let them charge while on the road. Making sure they are fully charged is so important, especially if this is how you run your fridge, lights, or other appliances.

Check out some of these awesome RV batteries and battery charger options of you:

12V Lithium Solar RV Battery

This awesome battery is a great quality option for anyone’s RV, motorcoach, motorhome, fifth wheel, etc. This battery is a 12V solar battery that charges quickly and will last for years if taken care for. The solar option on the battery is great for those living off the grid. Check out this awesome battery option for your coach.

6 Volt Rechargeable RV Battery

This is a smaller yet powerful RV battery option. This battery is 6 volts of power, is rechargeable, and doesn’t need a whole lot of maintenance. This battery has many great features, is very durable, and can function in both warm and chilly temperatures. Check out this awesome battery option for any RV.

NOCO GENIUS10 Battery Charger

Noco Genius is an awesome brand for RV battery chargers! This one is for 10 amp batteries, and charges quickly and safely. This can be installed in your home or RV to fully charge your batteries. Check out this awesome battery charger that is easy to use, install, and keep your batteries at their best.

NCOCO GENIUS 4 Amp Charger

This is another smaller battery charger option that is great for backup batteries that take less time and power to charge. This charger can be installed anywhere, and are easy to use. These charge quickly, and give you all the info you need. Check out this awesome 4 amp battery charger.

We hope this article helped you determine why your RV’s batteries aren’t charging when plugged in! Sharing problems and solutions can make RV living so much easier. So if we didn’t include something that you have experienced, please leave a comment below to share with others. Until then, enjoy, be safe and have fun RVing!