Frequently Asked Question

Battery Storage - AGMs
Last Updated 3 years ago

Properly Storing Your RV (Click to read the full blog)

RV Storage: Storing a solar equipped vehicle for long periods of time (a month or more) takes considerations to avoid battery damage.

RV owners often overlook proper off-season storage of batteries. When your vehicle is left in storage, it is important that the batteries aren’t drained past a certain point. If they are lead-acid batteries (including AGM), it is also important to give them a frequent full charge at certain intervals. Lead-acid batteries will discharge over time and must be maintained, even if they are not being used. The rate of self-discharge depends on the batteries’ design and the temperature. Flooded batteries have higher self-discharge rates than AGM batteries. Higher temperatures increase self-discharge, which is why batteries should be stored in a cool place. Lithium batteries have virtually no self-discharge.

For all lead-acid batteries, proper storage requires the vehicle’s shore power cord to be plugged into a reliable electrical outlet and your inverter/charger sending power to the batteries. If power is lost or cut off, your batteries may drain to the point where damage could occur. We have heard too many stories about clients who put their rig in storage, expecting a stable shore power connection, and coming back months later to find a ruined battery bank and an unplugged cord or tripped breaker.

Flooded and AGM Batteries - Tips For storage inside: If they are being put into long-term storage without any loads active to drain power, we recommend starting your storage tenure at 100% and maintain one full charge at least every 3 months. If they are being put into long-term storage with devices powered on and any loads active and draining power, we recommend a full charging cycle at least every 2 weeks.

Flooded and AGM Batteries - Tips For storage outside: Another option is to use a small solar array (typically 100 watts) with an appropriate charge controller, leaving the solar active to maintain battery charge. But, if your solar array gets covered, it won’t produce power and your solar charge controller will actually draw power from the system which can contribute to crashed batteries. If you store your rig under a cover, you should turn off the breaker, or remove the fuse, between the charge controller and the battery system.

If it is not possible to keep the RV plugged into a stable power supply, or use a solar array, you can remove the lead-acid batteries from the vehicle completely. They should be fully charged, then stored in a cool, dry place where they can be maintained by charger with a more stable source of power. This is particularly important in cold climates where a discharged battery is likely to freeze.

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