How to Replace Your RV Batteries?
FIRST OF ALL, DO I EVEN NEED NEW BATTERIES?
If you’re having to use your generator more often, limiting your usage of electronics or get nervous about being away from shore power because your batteries no longer doing what they're supposed to, it may be time to replace them. If your batteries no longer hold a charge, this is also an indicator.
As this task may seem intimidating, we've compiled a list answers to the most common questions that will walk you through the process of changing your batteries. Along with this we have a helpful tool to determine exactly what you need.
IS THIS DANGEROUS?
The process to replace batteries is often thought of as a dangerous job. On the contrary, the batteries in most recreational vehicles are running on a 12 volt system. Unlike a house hold plug where you could get shocked should you touch the wires, this doesn’t happen with low voltage batteries. Caution should still be used as some can be quite heavy and if they are not sealed, they could leak if mishandled.
WHATS THE FIRST STEP?
Is important to keep your batteries installed, if possible, while you source new ones. Your first step is to determine what type of batteries you will need to replace them. We suggest you take a picture of your batteries, do a quick search online or call a reputable battery company that can help you determine what you have and what you should order.
SHOULD I REPLACE MY BATTERIES WITH THE SAME ONES?
With batteries being a consumable item, most RV manufacturers may not put top of the line batteries in the vehicles they sell. This is the best time to consider a higher quality battery.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT KIND OF BATTERY I HAVE?
There are several types of batteries but the chances are you either have Lead Acid or Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. The easiest way to tell is to look at the top of the batteries, if you see several caps on the top then it’s a Lead Acid. If the battery is sealed, then it’s most likely an AGM. For more information, we have a put together a helpful guide that outlines AGM vs Lead Acid vs Gel batteries.
IF I HAVE LEAD ACID BATTERIES CAN UPGRADE TO AGMS?
Yes, not only can you upgrade your Lead Acid batteries to AGM we also highly recommend it. In order for Lead Acid batteries to maintain their charge, they need maintenance. It’s important to check both the water level and the specific gravity of the acid. We recommend only qualified battery technicians perform this procedure. In contrast, an Absorbent Glass Mat battery is completely sealed. You never have to service the batteries. They are plug and play into your current system.
I HAVE MULTIPLE BATTERIES, DO NEED TO REPLACE ALL?
It’s recommended, when one battery is failing, that you replace all within the system. The chances are really good that the others will fail if they aren’t already.
HOW DO I FIGURE OUT WHICH BATTERY TO REPLACE IT WITH?
All batteries are members of a specific “GROUP”. Each GROUP has specific sizes and have codes such as 27, 31, 8D, etc… When you identify the GROUP type of your existing batteries, then you are ready to find replacements. From here you would search online or contact a reputable battery dealer.
HOW DO I INSTALL THE BATTERIES?
The best way to install your replacement batteries is to take a picture of your current wiring. Remove your existing batteries and set them aside. Now install your new batteries one by one using the picture you took as a reference point. We recommend securing your main positive wire and install that at the very end.
WHATS THE FASTED WAY TO GET NEW BATTERIES?
We understand that figuring out which battery you have AND which options are best suited for you. Therefore, Battery Guys has made this process extremely easy. Simply click here to send us a picture of your batteries and we will email you your options.