How long will the battery last dry camping?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How long will the battery last dry camping? We will discuss the types of RV batteries, what is their autonomy, how to recharge and use them for the best results. 

How long will a battery last dry camping?

Generally, any RV battery will last 2 to 3 days of dry camping. The autonomy of your RV battery will depend on what type you are using, how many amenities your reactionary vehicle has, and whether you are using heating or not. 

The choice of your battery should therefore be based on your need for autonomy, the type of components you use and your electricity consumption habits.

A more sedentary and always connected camper will not have the same needs for autonomy as another always on the road, browsing festivals, stopping in parking lots or on sites with fewer services, or going off the grid.

However, even if your RV is permanently connected to the mains, a battery remains essential in our opinion. It will serve as a backup or replacement power source. Thus, during a failure or a transition, it will be able to compensate and provide the 12 volts current necessary for several basic elements.

So there are a few options available to you depending on your needs and habits:

12-volt group 24 battery140 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.
Group 27 12 volt battery175 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.
Group 31 12 volt battery215 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.

How to recharge your RV battery?

Who says electricity consumption on batteries, also says the need for recharging. It can take up to 40 hours to recharge a battery to its full capacity. 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 through the main supply. You could also equip yourself with solar panels, ecological, to accomplish the task in areas without power. In special situations, a spare battery might be useful.

How to use efficiency the RV battery when dry camping

The batteries found in RVs are 12V deep cycle batteries, that is, they are intended to give a constant current of 12V over a long period of time and can be recharged and discharged frequently without risk. 

This is why motorhomes will have at least two batteries, the chassis battery which is a battery designed to give a large momentary discharge when starting up and the deep cycle battery for RV devices.

The most commonly used deep cycle batteries are batteries made up of plates made of lead and lead oxide and an electrolyte, a liquid made up of water and sulfuric acid. These plates, called accumulators, are bathed in electrolytes and this helps to conserve the charge. Batteries do not generate current, they store it. It’s the size of the plates and the amount of electrolyte that will conserve more energy.

It is also possible to find deep cycle batteries with gel instead of liquid acid, so they are leakproof but need to be recharged more slowly and at a lower current than batteries with gel liquid acid. 

There are AGM batteries, Absorbed Glass mat, which use a fibrous cushion between the accumulators. These batteries charge as fast as liquid acid batteries, are leakproof and better withstand the risk of freezing. Finally, there are phosphate-ion-lithium batteries that offer the best longevity and performance.

There are also battery groups, the standard is 24, but it is possible to find 27 and 31. The group is neither more nor less an indicator of the size of the battery and therefore of its capacity in ampere-hour which is the unit of measure for deep cycle batteries. It is also possible to find 6V batteries which must be used in pairs and connected in series to provide a 12V current, but which offer more longevity.

Understand the different types of battery connections

The majority of RVs are equipped with a single group 24 12V deep cycle battery which has a capacity of approximately 70 to 85 amp-hours. To increase the capacity in ampere-hours, it is possible to simply change the battery for a more efficient model, such as AGM or phosphate-iron-lithium, or to use 6V batteries connected in series or to add 12V batteries connected in series. parallel.

  • Parallel connection: Connecting batteries in parallel increase the ampere-hour while maintaining the battery voltage, so this connection is convenient for adding 12V batteries to the RV. The ampere-hour of the additional batteries accumulating for better autonomy. 

The positive poles are connected to each other and the negative poles, in the same way, no connection is made between the positive and negative poles.

  • Series connection: Connection in series makes it possible to increase the voltage supplied to the circuit while maintaining the number of ampere-hours. This connection will be suitable for 6V batteries which have a better amp-hour than 12V batteries, but which have a lower voltage. Connecting two 6V batteries in series will therefore provide the necessary 12V. 

It is, therefore, necessary to use the 6V batteries in pairs which can then be connected in parallel. The negative pole of the first battery is connected to the positive pole of the second, the positive poles are not connected to each other, nor the negative poles.

RV battery maintenance and storage

To maintain the RV battery, both poles must be washed to prevent corrosion, verdigris, from accumulating there. A toothbrush and baking soda diluted in water will be enough to loosen the deposit.

The battery charge level should also be monitored during storage since the battery discharges even when not in use. A deep cycle battery that is left discharged for too long will be damaged as the batteries will crystallize and will no longer be able to hold a charge.

If you leave the battery connected to the RV between uses, remember to set the “BATTERY DISCONNECT SWITCH” to “OFF”. Some small devices consistently consume battery power even when the RV is not in use.

Be careful not to leave the battery outdoors at low temperatures. Liquid acid should not freeze. It is therefore recommended to place it in a temperate place during winter. AGM and phosphate-iron-lithium batteries have different tolerances to temperature differences, it is always better to refer to the information of your battery manufacturer to know its specificities.

The bottom line

Proper storage, maintenance and use of your RV battery will ensure its lifespan but also its autonomy. We advise you to frequently check the condition of your RV batteries. If you spend a certain time without taking the motorhome, it is recommended to disconnect the terminals so that there is practically no consumption.

If you do not want to disconnect the terminals, you have to start the engine occasionally and it is important to check that the entire passenger compartment electrical system is switched off.

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on How long will a battery last dry camping?

How long will a caravan battery last?

A caravan battery will last between five and 10 years, depending on how you use it. The charge rate of the caravan battery is a very important factor to consider when determining how long your battery will last. 

How long does it take to recharge a 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 is a booster to charge batteries?

A Booster auxiliary battery charger is electronic equipment capable of taking the charging intensity of the vehicle’s alternator and generating a great load intensity towards the auxiliary battery, the most efficient chargers produce between 25 and 40 Amps PER HOUR direct to the auxiliary battery.

How do you recharge a caravan battery? 

The batteries are recharged automatically thanks to the energy generated by the motor. First, the main battery is charged and when it is fully charged, it sends current to the auxiliary battery.


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