Dave Solberg

Testing RV Battery for Charge & Condition

Dave Solberg
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Duration:   4  mins

The onboard battery has become an essential component of RV travel, powering everything from cooking appliances and camping gadgets to your entertainment for the evenings. That’s why it’s so important to keep track of how well your battery is running and give it proper maintenance between uses.

There are various tools that are essential for testing an RV battery for optimal performance, and each offers a different kind of insight into your battery’s status. In this lesson, we focus in on the charge of your battery, and walk you through a demonstration on testing your RV battery to see how much power it can offer and how long it’ll last.

Tips and tools for testing an RV battery

If you’ve owned and operated an RV for a while, chances are you’ve had to either test or change your onboard battery. Like anything electronic, your battery’s performance level drops over its lifespan, and you should know when to have it inspected, upgraded and replaced. To help you figure out whether your battery is still in good shape, Dave Solberg demonstrates step by step the process for testing your RV battery to find its maximum charge.

Dave shows you how to use a multimeter, battery load tester and hydrometer to measure important aspects of your battery, and then explains how you can determine whether your battery is okay to use or needs replacing based on what you find when testing the RV battery. You’ll learn how to check each of the battery’s cells to get a proper reading on its performance level.

When testing your RV battery, make sure you follow Dave’s advice to decide the appropriate course of action. If your battery’s charge levels are good but not great, it may be time to consider investing in a new unit that won’t give you any trouble. Use these expert tips for testing an RV battery, and we guarantee you’ll get the most out of your electronics!

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

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7 Responses to “Testing RV Battery for Charge & Condition”

  1. James Messick

    My new-used RV had two lithium house batteries. How would you evaluate the condition of those batteries?

  2. Paul Wiggins

    If not covered in a more in-depth segment the the battery hydrometer will spot a shorted cell sometimes even before other test equipment. Test the electrolyte level in all cells and if 1 cell drops below the average level of the other cells there’s your short. Characteristics of a single shorted cell is a battery to low on charge to start a motor then when jumped immediately starts.

  3. Howard Stern

    When do replace a 'dead' battery or attempt to charge it? If charge is the answer how? Drive or put a quick charge on it?

  4. Gary Stephen Miller

    Use safety glasses when popping the caps off the battery !!!!



  6. Pitt

    WHERE are your safety glasses and gloves????????????? AMAZED you would show people to do this around ACID with NO safety equipment. VERY UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Mike Stratton

    Have one chassis battery and two coach batteries (wet). Unit will likely sit under a carport all winter this year. Looking for recommendations regarding battery maintenance over a long period of zero to minimum use. Thank you for your help.

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