How to Charge RV Batteries

How to Charge RV Batteries
Charging the batteries in a recreational vehicle is not a difficult task, but it does require a bit of concentration. Since all of your appliances and lights are powered by the batteries, it's important to keep a full charge. If you are planning to use your RV a lot, you will become a pro at the process in no time at all. Be careful not to get too careless just because you have gone through the process many times before. Batteries are filled with acid and mistakes lead to injury.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Battery charger
  • Distilled water
Step 1
Make sure that all power is off.
Step 2
Open up the location where the battery or batteries are stored. Depending on the size of your RV and how many things require power, you could have two or more batteries to keep charged.
Step 3
Wipe any corrosive material off the connections with a rag or paper towel.
Step 4
Fill the battery with distilled water if levels are low. There is a cap that accesses where the water is stored. Open it up and look for the fill line. This indicates how much water to put in if any is needed. Always use distilled water to avoid contaminants affecting your battery's performance. There are also some "no leak" gel batteries on the market that do not require water maintenance. If you have one of these, there will be no access cap.
Step 5
Connect the battery charger. The red connection is attached to the positive side of the battery and the black connection is either attached to the negative side or clamped to a piece of metal for grounding. Then take the plug on the other end of the charger and insert it into a power source and turn on the unit. It is best to use a "stage" charger that will break the charging process down into three or four sections. These chargers slow down as the charge nears 100 percent and develop into a trickle charge once they are at full capacity. These chargers don't usually come with the RV and must be purchased.
Step 6
Unplug the charger when the indicator light shows that it is full. If you are using a "stage" charger, you will not have to watch this as closely, since they slow the charge after reaching full capacity.

Tips & Warnings

Use caution when working with batteries to avoid getting acid burns or damaging your clothing. If acid does get on your skin, wash it off immediately with baking soda and water. Wearing gloves might help decrease injury risk.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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