Are RV Batteries Deep Cycle?
The “house” batteries (the batteries supplying power to the living area of the RV) are a deep cycle. This allows them to be recharged many times. However, on a motorhome, the engine battery is a typical car battery.
The Deep cycle batteries can be recharged with solar panels, a generator, or by plugging into the power at an RV park. Likewise, a few motorhomes may have a system in place to recharge the house batteries with the engine’s alternator while driving.
When your RV is plugged into power at an RV park, or if you are using a generator, an RV converter/charger device converts that power into 12volt DC power that is stored in the batteries. Solar panels make 12volt DC power in the first place, and that is stored in the batteries through a charge controller.
Why Are the RV Batteries Not Recharging?
There are many reasons why your batteries are not recharging; for one thing, they could simply be worn out. Never let your house batteries go below 50% charged, you need to recharge them immediately if they go too low. You can check the battery charge on the RV control panel. If the batteries go lower than 20%, they will be permanently damaged and will never work at 100% capacity again. Remember, recharging a battery can take some time, especially if it is very low.
If the RV has been in storage for a while, the batteries could naturally go dead over time. If you must store your RV, check on the batteries once a month while it’s in storage and recharge the batteries as necessary. Also, very cold, freezing weather can be hard on batteries, causing them to drain or recharge very slowly.
Other reasons why the batteries are not charging could be:
- A broken or corroded wire
- Loose or corroded battery cables
- A bad inline fuse
- The power converter/charger is faulty
If there is a problem recharging the RV house batteries, first check the wires; on a motorhome, the batteries are often under the entry steps. Look to see if there are screws or some other way to lift up the step to see if the batteries are there. Look to see if any cables or wires are loose or corroded. Also, look to see if there is an inline fuse, and check that.
If all of the wires and cables look OK and the batteries are still not charging, then the problem is most likely the converter/charger. Unless you are a qualified RV mechanic, don’t open up or tamper with the converter. Instead, take your RV to a qualified RV repair shop and let them troubleshoot and fix the problem.