How long does it take to charge an RV battery with a truck?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How long does it take to charge an RV battery with a truck? We will explain how to charge, clean and maintain an RV battery.

How long does it take to charge an RV battery with a truck?

Charging an RV battery to its full capacity with a truck can take up to 10 hours for a minimum capacity, and up to 40 hours for a full charge. Of course, this assumes that the battery was completely empty. It will also vary depending on the RV battery’s capacity and use. The best way to recharge the RV battery is via AC power.

A generator can help out in the event of a breakdown, it will help with recharging and, above all, will allow you to power your trailer and 110-volt elements such as air conditioning. However, while there are so-called “silent” models, this is a noisy and polluting option that faces strict regulations at most campgrounds and festival sites.

Here are the most common RV batteries types and some details about them:

Battery capacityCharge timeDetails
12 volt (group 24)140 minutes on 25 ampsThis is an entry-level battery, ideal for trailers that are always plugged in. 
It will be used to supply your trailer occasionally in the event of a breakdown or during a stop, when you are travelling, for a short period. It is the most economical to buy.
12 volt (group 27)175 minutes on 25 ampsThis battery will provide a little more range and will be a good choice for the traveller who settles in campgrounds with services for sufficiently long stays.
12-volt battery (group 31)15 min on 25 ampsThe longer-range choice in 12-volt types, but more expensive to buy.
Two 6 volt batteries440 min on 25 ampsFor maximum autonomy, you can use two 6-volt batteries in pairs. This type of battery will require two slots and allow maximum runtime. 
This may be a good option for off-field campers, browsing festivals, or camping in national parks without service.

What are the differences between a 6-volt RV battery and a 12-volt RV battery?

Usually, a 12-volt battery is considered to be used to power household appliances, your “household source” in a way. It gives you access to all-purpose electricity, whether for lighting, refrigeration or to operate your water pump.

To do this, you can use a 12-volt battery or two 6-volt batteries installed in series or in parallel. In both cases, they are deep cycle batteries fitted with lead-acid batteries and equipped with 2.1-volt cells. 6-volt batteries contain 3 cells per battery while 12-volt batteries contain 6 cells.

Is there a difference and if so, which configuration to use?

6-volt batteries are generally larger, but much lighter (around 20 kilos) than 12-volt batteries (45 kilos). More and more RV owners are opting to purchase two 6-volt batteries to power their vehicles. Why? Because this solution has the advantage of offering increased longevity while doubling the voltage without increasing the ampere-hour. 

Longer life because 6-volt batteries have larger accumulator plates and more spaced cells which generate deeper discharges. If you opt for two 12-volt batteries placed in series or parallel instead, expect to get twice the voltage and twice the amp-hour.

In any case, the two configurations have their own uses. This is to check the requirements of your appliances and to assess whether you have the space to install 6-volt batteries.

What does the term “deep discharge” for RV batteries mean?

When we talk about “deep discharge” we mean the time is taken for a battery to discharge and the amount of energy that can be drawn from it over a period of time. For RV campers, it is strongly recommended that you use deep cycle batteries as they have much thicker battery plates designed to be constantly discharged and recharged. 

The amperage of deep cycle batteries is measured in “ampere-hours” where the ampere-hour is the amount of energy delivered over a 20 hour period. You can also measure a battery in “reserve capacity”.

How does an RV battery differ from a battery designed for an automobile?

In both cases, they are lead batteries. So they have several 2.1-volt batteries connected together. These batteries consist of a series of accumulator plates (made of lead and lead oxide) submerged in a conductive liquid, an electrolyte, made of water and sulfuric acid. It is the size of the plates and the amount of electrolyte that determines the amount of energy stored by the batteries in the battery. 

Note: a battery does not generate energy, it can only store it.

As we mentioned above, the best RV batteries are characterized by “deep discharge”. They allow you to draw a stable current from them over a long period of time. They are also designed to discharge and be recharged often. 

Rather, a car battery is designed to deliver high current over a short period of time. Put simply, your car’s battery is used sporadically to start the engine while a deep cycle battery is designed to constantly power your home appliances while you are not directly plugged into an electrical grid.

How do I store an RV battery?

To make sure you won’t damage your RV’s battery, it’s important to store it properly. First, never store a completely discharged battery or the accumulator plates will crystallize and harden. Batteries self-discharge, so it’s important to recharge them regularly to prevent damage. 

We, therefore, recommend that you recharge a stored battery once every three months.

So how do you “clean” an RV battery?

To properly maintain your battery, all precautions are required! It is important to clean your battery well – do it regularly. Do not wait for corrosion to build up as corrosion will irreparably damage the device.

Start by taking out your old clothes. The ones you don’t like, the ones you would paint your bedroom with. Bring accessories to protect your vision (glasses) and your skin (gloves). The acid can be dangerous if it gets on you. 

Use a metal brush or toothbrush with baking soda mixed with hot water to clean the exterior of the battery. You can apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to the connections to prevent them from rusting early if you feel like it.

Final thoughts

A so-called “maintenance-free” battery will still require a minimum of care. It is necessary to protect the battery in a plastic compartment with a cover, otherwise, the rain could damage it and oxidize the connections. During winter storage, we recommend recharging it once a month. The average battery life is about 3 years.

If you need more advice or want to change your battery, do not hesitate to contact us. Also, feel free to share any thoughts you may have about RV batteries.

FAQ about How long does it take to charge an RV battery with a truck?

How long to recharge a trailer battery?

Recharging a battery to its full capacity can take up to 40 hours. Of course, this cooldown assumes it’s completely empty. It will also vary depending on its capacity and use. The best way to recharge the battery is via AC power.

What is a smart battery charger?

Smart battery chargers are based on the latest developments in technology and aim to simplify the task of users. Also, this type of charger analyzes the type of battery and its condition throughout the charging process.

What battery to put on a trailer?

For a trailer, you can use a 12-volt battery or two 6-volt batteries installed in series or in parallel. In both cases, they are deep cycle batteries fitted with lead-acid batteries and equipped with 2.1-volt cells.

What charge for a 12V battery?

A battery must always be charged, the charge must be stopped between 2.25 V and 2.4 V per cell. Either: Between 6.75 V and 7.2 V for a 6 V battery, and between 13.5 V and 14.4 V for a 12 V battery.

References

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