Unlike cars, the batteries of an RV are tough and can hold power for a longer duration. But without adequate charging and proper maintenance, you won’t be able to use the full potential of your RV’s battery.
Now, the charging technique you use may significantly impact your battery’s ability to hold a charge. Therefore, in this guide, we have gathered some fastest ways to charge RV batteries.
Fastest Way to Charge RV Batteries
Below are the different fastest ways to charge the RV batteries:
- Charging through Battery Charger
- Charging through Generator
- Charging through Truck/Tow vehicle
Charging through Battery Charger
A battery charger is considered the fastest way of charging because it provides 3 times more charging rate than other ways of charging.
Charging through Generator
Generators are also the fastest way to charge your batteries, but the problem with them is that they can be quite noisy. A generator can charge a partially depleted RV battery in around 5 – 6 hours.
Charging through Truck/Tow Vehicle
Truck/tow vehicles can also charge RV batteries at a speedy rate. The tow vehicle alternator is a one-stage charger that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy to charge the battery.
How to Charge RV Battery while Driving?
It is frequently asked how an RV battery can be charged while it is being driven. There are different ways you can opt for charging an RV battery while driving:
- DC-DC Battery Charger
- Solar Panels
- Voltage-Sensitive Relay (VSR)
DC-DC Battery Charger
The first method for charging an RV battery while driving is to use a DC-DC battery charger. You have to integrate it with the system, and it will electronically boost the current and the voltage going to the trailer battery. You will have to ensure that you install the DC-DC charger close to trailer/RV batteries.
One of the most recommended DC-DC battery chargers is Renogy 40A 40A DC to DC Battery Charger. This battery charger is suitable for all kinds of RV batteries: AGM, Flooded, Gel, or Lithium batteries.
This charger includes a smart protection feature that offers overheat protection, over-voltage safety, and reverse polarity protection. This charger is compact, sturdy, and tough, making it suitable for all conditions.
Another useful technique to charge your RV battery is to install solar panels on your RV. As a result, it will create a dual input DC to DC battery charger accepting the solar panel charge and starting battery charge and will take the role of a charge controller. Once the RV battery is topped up, it will trickle charge the starting battery.
Voltage-Sensitive Relay (VSR)
Last but not least, you can get yourself a voltage-sensitive relay (VSR) to charge the battery of your RV. You will have to connect it between the starting battery and the RV/trailer battery. As soon as the starting battery charges, the relay directs the current to the RV batteries.
How to Charge RV Batteries with Battery Charger?
As you know, a battery charger can be used to charge an RV battery, but the question is HOW? What is the procedure?
Following are some of the steps that you shall follow to use a battery charger to charge the battery of an RV:
- First of all, ensure that the water inside the battery is up to level. if it is not, use distilled water to fill it up. An ideal type of refilling water you can use is Performance Tool Battery Filler. Unlike tap water, which contains minerals even after filtration, this sterilized water is thoroughly purified and mineral-free. It is the best choice for vehicles, whether topping its coolant system, refilling the battery, or washing away the dirt.
- Use a little rag to clean the corrosion from the battery and terminals
- After refilling the water tighten the bolts
- Now to charge the battery, hook the positive and negative terminal and plug in the charger
- Ensure that the charger is on deep-cycle mode and put it on the 10 amp for fast charging
- To ensure maximum safety keep the charger as far away from the battery as possible
- Turn off the charger and remove the clamps once done.
After mentioning the steps for charging the RV battery, I would like to recommend a battery charger: NOCO GENIUS 10, 10-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger.
This charger is designed to be 17% smaller and deliver more power making it an ideal all-in-one battery charger. Genius10 is suitable for all 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid automotive, marine, and deep-cycle batteries, including flooded, gel, AGM, maintenance-free, and lithium-ion batteries.
It features an integrated thermal sensor that detects ambient temperature and alters the charge to prevent over-charging in hot climates and under-charging in cold climates.
Read More About: Is Cleaning Battery Terminals Without Disconnecting Safe
How to Charge RV Battery with Generator?
Using a generator to charge the battery can be another good option. I would say that using the generator is the best way of charging because it is user-friendly and all you have to do is switch on the generator, and the battery starts charging.
To charge the RV battery with a generator, you have to follow the given steps:
- In case you are looking forward to applying the generator to the battery must follow the given steps:
- Get a set of jumper cables
- Attach positive to positive and negative to negative
- Start the generator
- Measure the current
- Place the Genset away from RV and ensure that the exhaust is on the opposite side
- Make sure that your battery is large enough to meet the charging needs
- Remove the cables once battery has charged
Don’t Miss This: For most generators, the 12VDC charging output is low and unregulated, it is always recommended to use a battery charger to charge a battery from the generator.
How to Charge RV Battery with Solar Panel?
A solar panel is an ideal option for charging an RV battery. Now to charge your RV’s battery, you will have to follow the steps provided:
- Take the solar panel to the top of your RV and lean it on the roof in the direction of the sun
- Use the cable of the solar panel to connect it with the batteries
- Cut the alligator clips from the cable that comes with the solar panel and use a 10 – 15 feet long wire to bring it down to the trailer batteries in the front of the RV
- Take the positive clamp from the solar panel and attach it to the positive terminal
- Take the negative clamp from the solar panel and attach it to the negative terminal
- The solar panel features a reverse protection diode inside, which is safe because the current from the battery will not flow into the solar panel
- The battery is now charging
- You can check whether the battery is charging or not using a multimeter
You must know that this method only trickle-charges the battery instead of fully charging it so that it doesn’t die.
Now the question arises which is the best solar panel? After going through different reviews, I came up with one of the best solar panels in the market: Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit.
The solar panel features monocrystalline solar cells with an efficiency of 21%. The Renogy Wanderer 30A PWM charge controller allows you to expand the system to a maximum of 400W. Best of all, it provides an output of 500Wh per day and can fully charge a 50Ah battery from 50% in 3 hours.
How to Charge RV Chassis Batteries?
Charging the chassis batteries of an RV depends on the design and the model of the vehicle. Here I have provided some of the ways that can help you charge the chassis batteries.
- When you plug into 120v AC, your charger will charge the batteries
- You can use solar panels to charge the batteries
- While driving the coach, the engine alternator charges both the engine battery and your coach batteries
- You can use a trickle charger to charge the chassis batteries
- A conventional battery charger can be used for charging the chassis batteries
How to Charge RV Battery from Vehicle?
If you didn’t know earlier whether you can charge the RV battery from the vehicle, then let me tell you that you can charge an RV battery from the vehicle.
The larger white wire plug present on your truck is the charging wire of the TT batteries. Following are some of the ways in which you can opt for charging the RV battery from the vehicle.
- Pull the TV nose to the TT nose and hook the jumper cables so that you can get a better electrical connection.
- Keep your TV idle for an hour or so because it is hooked up directly to the TT battery
- Or place the weak battery in the truck’s box and plug it in. While you are driving it around, the battery will keep on charging.
- While you follow the above ways, you must ensure that you meet the below conditions:
- The trailer battery should be low.
- The trailer is connected and recognized.
- The TV engine is good and running.
How Long to Charge RV Battery When Plugged In?
One important thing that should be addressed is how long you should charge your RV’s battery after plugging it in?
To put it simply, the charging time of the RV battery depends on the battery’s amp-hour rating and the charge rate of the charger. For example, that your battery has a rating of 100 amp hours, and the charger’s rate is 10 amps. This means that it will take 10 hours to completely charge the battery.
You are now aware that there are several ways to charge RV batteries that you can use to make the charging method the most convenient. But irrespective of the charging method you use, you must ensure that you use the right charging tools to neither harm the battery nor yourself.