How to Connect Two RV Batteries

How to Connect Two RV Batteries
One of the disadvantages to traveling in recreational vehicles (RVs) can be the limited power generated by the RV's battery. When an RV isn't plugged in to an alternative power source, the battery and the generator are all the RV has to power all on-board operations. To counter this, many RV's have space to support a dual-battery system. This is effective, but you have to make sure the batteries are connected properly to avoid an electrical malfunction.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two batteries
  • Screwdriver
  • Charger wire
Step 1
Remove the old battery or batteries, if necessary. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the bolts holding the batteries in place and connecting the power cords to the positive and negative ends of the batteries. Disconnect the negative cords before the positive ones to avoid shorting the system.
Step 2
Set the new batteries into the battery holders.
Step 3
Connect the positive cord running from the RV onto the positive terminal of the first battery, then run charger wire between the positive terminals on the first and second batteries. The charger wire can be wound around the terminals to hold it in place. Place the clamps/protective covers over the positive terminals on each battery. These prevent accidental electrocution by making it hard to touch both ends of the battery at once, and they will also help hold down the charger wire.
Step 4
Connect the negative cord running from the RV onto the negative terminal of the first battery, then run charger wire from the negative terminals on the first and second battery.
Step 5
Tighten the bolts securing the batteries with a screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

 
Check periodically to make sure the charger wire is still connected between the terminals on each battery. Your RV will usually still turn on with just one battery, but it won't be as strong of service, and it won't let you know that the charger wire is connected.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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