Common Camper Battery Problems during the Winter:
Ideally, a battery should last anywhere from 3 to 6 years, however, exposure to the elements especially and bad driving habits could drastically shorten its lifespan. Most car batteries use an electrolyte solution which holds the charge and is affected by extreme weather temperatures.
Read on to discover the most common camper battery problems during the winter.
Most people believe that leaving the battery plugged into the camper’s battery converter when storing it for the winter will keep it topped off. Your camper battery is similar to that of a smartphone.
Leaving it continuously connected to a charger will ultimately destroy it as it causes excessive gassing. Gassing refers to when the electrolyte generates hydrogen and oxygen gas as a result of being too hot. The gas buildup could cause your battery to burst. For older camper batteries which are normally vented, the electrolyte could cook away and leave the plates exposed, thus ruining them. In any case, overcharging your camper battery will mean that you have to buy a new one.
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If you need to get your battery back in service, consider buying a battery maintainer rather than a charger. This charges your battery as is necessary and automatically turn itself off until the voltage drops when it turns itself on once more.
An undercharged battery is one that’s used or whose power is discharged without being fully recharged in between the cycles. If your battery is undercharged, sulfate particles form and attach themselves on the battery’s charge plates. If this is not remedied immediately, the particles crystallize and block the charge and prevent the battery from performing optimally. Undercharging is the primary cause of the majority of the battery failures.
Sulfation refers to the formation of crystals on the battery’s charging plates. Salvation happens every time the battery is discharged or recharged. While this happens on all standard batteries, the process is accelerated by either undercharging, overcharging or letting the battery sit idle for too long. Rapid sulfation could happen in a few days if the battery is undercharged or overcharged.
It is inevitable that your camper battery will eventually lose the ability to charge and retain the charge as long as you would want. With proper maintenance, you could extend its lifespan for 3 to 5 years. However, with improper maintenance, you could be going back to the shop a new battery after as little as 6 months.
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