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Maintaining and Understanding Your RV Batteries

RV battery BoxFor those who enjoy boondocking or bringing amenities and the comfort of home such as hair dryers, laptops and more – you’re going to need power. What’s the best way to get power through your RV? Batteries! Now as RVs are getting more technologically advanced, RV batteries are a necessity, but how well do you understand the batteries for your RV?


The basics of understanding your RV battery

At their most basic level, a RV deep cycle battery is lead acid, which means they have several cells connected in a series. Each cell produces volts which is where you get the power from. There are three major kinds of deep cell batteries for RVs available that are made out of plates and electrolytes composed of sulfuric acid, lead and water: AGM, flooded wet cell and gel cell. Each RV battery has both its advantages and disadvantages:

Flooded wet cell battery: available in 6-volt or 12-volt variations, flooded wet cell batteries are the most common RV batteries and are very affordable.

How it works: Flooded wet cell batteries vent oxygen and hydrogen gas while charging, the gases are produced from the electrolysis of water. It requires distilled water to be added and has to be in a ventilated area due to the gases.

RV Battery AGM battery: variation of a lead-acid battery that has advantages over a flooded wet cell battery including a spill-proof design, faster charging time and a longer life.

o How it works: AGM batteries have a fiberglass mat between the plates to absorb the electrolytes while charging and can be mounted in any position. They are more expensive and require a compatible battery charger.

Gel cell battery: Does not contain liquid and is therefore leak proof. It also has a high performance at many different temperatures.

o How it works: Unlike the other two batteries, the sulfuric acid in gel cell batteries is mixed with a thickening agent and forms a gel-like substance. They charge at a slower rate and are more expensive as well.

The life expectancy of RV batteries will depend on how you use them, how well they’re maintained, how they’re charged/discharged and stored. The average time of usable power for deep-cycle batteries is 20 hours but the greater the amp-hour rating, the greater the battery storage capacity. There are many sizes available, but the most common are group 24, 27 and 31.

Battery Diagram

Maintaining RV batteries

Exploded BatteryThe two most common causes for RV battery failure are overcharging and undercharging which can lead to sulfation, which is the formation of sulfate crystals that corrode battery parts. Undercharging is a result of batteries being repeatedly discharged and not fully recharged between cycles. Overcharging is when there is a severe loss of water and plate corrosion and causes overheating and loss of water. Luckily – both of these events are avoidable. Some maintenance tips include:

Checking the batteries once a month to see how they look and refilling the water if needed
Cleaning the batteries to remove corrosion (usually with a stiff wire brush or toothbrush)
Use battery sealant spray to prevent further or future corrosion


RV battery storage

PowerArmor SolarOne of the best ways to help maintain your RV battery is to make sure they’re stored properly, fully charged in an enclosed and well-ventilated area. The PowerArmor RV battery box is designed to provide a safe, lockable storage area for 12 and 6-volt battery applications. Made from 100% heavy gauge diamond plate aluminum with black high impact powder coat frame, we’re not the only ones that think this box looks and functions great.  


“It is doing a good job of keeping the battery charge. Plus, it is super easy to unlock the PowerArmor, I feel confident that my battery will still be there the next time I travel.”

-Jim Baker


When using the PowerArmor to store batteries, you benefit from having extra battery power for your RV, boat, truck camper or vehicle. An access port allows for electrical wires to pass through the side wall of the box so it easily connects to your electrical circuit system. With battery health and performance in mind, the locking battery box features a special ventilated design and acid neutralizing battery mat.


Features of the PowerArmor include:

PowerArmor Solar Prevent common and expensive storage/battery theft (lock included)
Maintains charge increasing the longevity of the batteries up to 400% to avoid premature battery replacement (solar only)
Dual use for securing batteries and other gear
Bolts to your RV, camper bumper, boat, truck, van, etc.
Heavy gauge diamond plate aluminum for maximum durability
Designed specifically to access RV batteries avoiding interference with your RV
Uses a 10 Watt solar panel (solar only)
Comes in bright tread diamond plate featuring black high impact powder coat frame
Multiple box sizes available holding up to five batteries
Adjustable dividers for custom size compartment storage (PowerArmor Max only)
Acid neutralizing battery mat to avoid corrosion
Legendary Lifetime Warranty
Proudly made in the USA


PowerArmor and PowerArmor Solar:

17-inch box can hold up to one group 24-27 battery
17-inch box can hold up to one group 24-27 battery
24-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries
26-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries, and two group 31 batteries

PowerArmor MAX: 

58-inch box can hold a combination of up to two group 24-27 batteries with two group 31, for our 31 or 27, or five group 24 batteries

RV Battery box size diagram

If you’re interested in learning more about the Torklift International PowerArmor, there are a couple of options for you! Call us at 800-246-8132 and our tech support would be happy to answer your questions about protecting and maintaining your RV batteries. Or, find one of our Certified Dealers near you by clicking here to get set up with one of these RV battery boxes and onto your next adventure.

Where to Buy

 

kerstin

Written by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes, spoiling her cat Clio and daydreaming about future travels.

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What RV battery do I need for my towable RV?

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With so many types of batteries available, it can be difficult to know which type you need for your towable. Do you need a large battery that will provide more power, or a battery just for small things? Depending how much power you need, there are various battery sizes – the most common is a group 24 battery and a group 27 battery, also known as “house batteries.” The group 24 battery is a good choice if you are limited on space or only have smaller accessories you need to power.

The most important thing to consider when purchasing a battery for your towable is the amount of power you need. Deep cycle batteries come in all different sizes. Some are designated by group size, like group 24, 27 and 31. The larger the battery the more amp hours you get. The same can be said for the types of batteries you get. Although all group 24 batteries are the same size, the brand of the battery will also make a difference. Some recommended battery brands with the best power span for a towable are Trojan, Interstate and Exide. You can read about the best batteries for your RV here.

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With a larger battery also comes more amp hour reserve capacity. If you have more space available to you, a 6-volt battery, also known as a group 29 and 31 battery, will meet your needs. With battery theft a major concern, including a recent growth of battery theft in Canada, how can you protect your investment?

The PowerArmor Solar
Torklift has designed a high-quality locking aluminum battery box with solar panel that features a uniquely designed sliding lid that can be easily accessed no matter the mounting location. This box comes with an aluminum tread diamond plate featuring a black high-impact powder coated frame for durability. The battery box bolts directly to your RV, trailer tongue, boat, camper bumper and more. With an access port that allows electrical wires to pass through the side wall, you can easily connect the box and batteries to your circuit system. The PowerArmor Solar extends battery life up to 400% and prevents premature battery replacement with the 10-watt solar panel attached to the lid. 

 

thmb a7720rs• 17-inch box (A7720RS) can hold up to one group 24 or 27 battery – perfect for marine applications or if you only have room for one battery*
• 24-inch box (A7708RS) can hold up to two group 24 and 27 batteries
• 26-inch box (A7712RS) can hold up to two group 24 and 27 batteries, or two group 31 batteries

PowerArmor Max Solar

• A7710R Box holds up to two group 24, 27 and 31 batteries, up to four 31 or 27 batteries, or five group 24 batteries
• PowerArmor Max comes with adjustable dividers to customize storage compartment size

PowerArmor DH
PA Blog 4This PowerArmor battery box design has many of the same features as the PowerArmor Solar, but without the 10-watt solar panel. With a safe, lockable storage box available in multiple sizes, the battery or extra camping gear you store in the PowerArmor is safe from theft and tampering. 

• 17-inch box (A7720R) can hold up to one group 24 or 27 battery 
• 24-inch box (A7708R) can hold up to two group 24 and 27 batteries
• 26-inch box (A7712R) can hold up to two group 24 and 27 batteries, and two group 31 batteries

PowerArmor Max

• A7710RS holds up to two group 24-27 batteries and two group 31, or four 31 or 27, or five group 24 batteries
• Comes with adjustable dividers to customize storage compartment size

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Each battery box has a ventilated design to prevent batteries from overheating, as well as an acid neutralizing mat to avoid corrosion. All Torklift International PowerArmor battery boxes come with locks, a Legendary Lifetime Warranty and are made in the USA.

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With a locking battery box, you can prevent common battery theft and also use them to safely store other gear once you choose which battery is the perfect fit for what you need. Using a proper storage method, like the PowerArmor, you can keep your batteries in optimum condition year round, saving cost on premature battery replacement. For more information on any of our battery products contact us at 800.246.8132. 

*A7720RS requires use of a 6-amp regulator. Details here.

 

 

shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. When I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 

 

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How much does an RV battery cost?

 With a wide variety of RV batteries to choose from, their prices range just as wide. The cheapest RV battery on the market is the Apex Group UI RV battery that costs $48.25, and the most expensive battery being a Lifeline GPL-8DA deep cycle RV battery for $699.88. All RV batteries have the same purpose, but not all are equally created. So, what kind of bang are you getting for your buck? We asked our veteran RV tech Darrel what his opinion is. Darrel has worked in the RV industry for decades and personally installed his share of batteries.

Battery Blog 1Duracell ultra-high capacity battery for deep cycle 6v RV-$109.99

• This is a 6-volt battery with 230 Ah
• 12-month free replacement warranty 
• Easy twist and release vent caps for watering

Trojan Reliant-$377.97

Battery Blog 2• This is a 12-volt battery with 150Ah 
• This battery is made with robust plates that extends the life cycle and comes with a low calcium grid alloy that reduces gas emissions
• A separator of glass fibers serves to isolate the positive and negative plates while acting as a blotter to absorb the electrolytes

Lifeline GPL-8DA-$639.99

Battery Blog 3• This is a 12-volt battery with 255Ah
• This battery is specifically manufactured for deep cycle applications 
• All Lifeline batteries are Coast Guard approved and handmade in the USA, backed with an industry leading five-year warranty


Which one does Darrel recommend?

Darrel recommends the Trojan Reliant. When talking with Darrel he said he recommended this battery because, “the brand produces quality batteries that have been around for years, and they are high capacity batteries that are durable.”

How many batteries do I need for my trip?
Depending on what kind of trip you are taking, you may need anywhere from two to five extra batteries. Extra batteries are always a good thing to have on hand. You are able to expand your power capacity and extend your trip with having extra batteries. Any of us who go off-roading or off-grid boon docking understand the importance of having that extra power to be able to use light bars as well as our stereos. For those of us who travel, whether it’s in a trailer or RV, we all appreciate being able to use the appliances because we have enough power to do so. Having extra batteries brings convenience and many luxuries to the outdoor life.

Where can I store these extra batteries?

Battery Blog 4Torklift has designed a high-quality locking aluminum solar battery box featuring a lockable slide top that can easily be accessed no matter the mounting location. This box comes with a precision laser cut 100% aluminum bright tread diamond plate featuring a black high impact powder coated frame. Boxes can bolt directly to RV, trailer tongue, camper bumper, etc. It features an access port that will allow electrical wires to pass through the side wall of the box to easily connect to your electrical circuit system.

PowerArmor DH Solar/ PowerArmor Max Solar
The PowerArmor solar boxes extends battery life up to 400% and prevents premature battery replacement with the 10-watt solar panel bolted through its lid. 

PowerArmor Solar DH starting at $468.99

• 24-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries
• 26-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries, and two group 31 batteries

PowerArmor Max Solar starting at $651.99

• can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries, two group 31, four 31 or 27, or five group 24 batteries. 

PowerArmor DH/ PowerArmor Max

This battery box design has the same features as the PowerArmor Solar and the PowerArmor Max Solar minus the solar panel. The PowerArmor Max comes with adjustable dividers to customize storage compartment size.

PowerArmor DH starting at $310.99

• 24-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries
• 26-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries, and two group 31 batteries

PowerArmor Max starting at $525.99

• Can hold up to two group 24-31 batteries with ample room to store additional hitch or RV towing related equipment by utilizing the storage dividers, or as many as four group 27 or 31, or five group 24 batteries.

Each battery box comes with Torklift International’s Legendary Lifetime Warranty.

Still not convinced? Picture this: You are on a camping trip when you leave your trailer to go on a hike. Your two Trojan Reliant batteries are sitting unsecured in the factory installed brackets on the tongue of your trailer. You then return back to a crime scene. That’s over $750.00 in batteries disappeared not to mention hundreds to repair the cut wiring left by thieves! The PowerArmor box will protect your investment with its key entry system.

The PowerArmor Solar boxes take it a step further. The 10-watt solar panel on top will trickle charge the batteries and extend their life by up to 400%. The trickle charge helps by keeping the battery in optimum condition year-round unlike batteries sitting in storage that may suffer from sulfating (caused by undercharging). The solar panel easily maintains battery life by not under or overcharging them, keeping them in great condition and extending your battery investment. Even without direct sunlight the solar panel on the PowerArmor Solar absorbs reflective light. Each PowerArmor box comes with Torklift International’s Legendary Lifetime Warranty and is proudly made in the USA.

To start protecting your investment, call us at 800.246.8132 or visit our website Torklift.com.

 

shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. When I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 

 

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A fresh take on a green idea: PowerArmor Solar

green-ideaAfter hearing of numerous customers’ challenges regarding battery theft from their RVs and trailers, Torklift employee Darrel Hagglund was inspired to begin developing a design that would not only prevent battery theft, but would also extend the life of the battery through the use of solar energy.

 

Solar-panelSolar panel keeps RV batteries healthy

We make it easy to be energy efficient
While the use of solar panels on RVs isn’t new, saving energy by combining security and improving the effectiveness of battery life is a fresh take on efficiency.  Not only will you sleep better knowing that your battery is safe from thieves but when the mercury climbs, the new PowerArmor Solar provides a 400% increased battery life on RV batteries, allowing you to turn up the heater to stay warm and comfortable all night without the worry of running out of juice.

Keeping it simple
Multiple PowerArmor Solar sizes are available to accommodate up to five spare batteries.  Each PowerArmor Solar battery box uses a Zamp Solar 10-Watt solar panel to trickle charge the batteries. The locking battery box is made with heavy gauge diamond plate aluminum and bolts easily to your RV, truck, van or camper bumper with a unique slide top for easy storage access.  Designed to securely store batteries, trailer hitch parts and camping gear, PowerArmor Solar is easy to clean and available in bright tread diamond plate with black high impact powder-coated trim. The larger-sized box, PowerArmor MAX, comes with adjustable dividers to customize your storage needs.

power-armor-on-trailer-tonguepower-armor-lock-box
Power Armor Solar protects and extends the life of your batteries

Ask and you shall receive
While many outdoor enthusiasts might consider RV camping downright sacrilegious, there are still a lot of us who want to enjoy the great outdoors with some of the comforts of home in an RV. With some of these latest and innovative gadgets to hit the market in the RV world this year, not only can they make the experience more enjoyable; now you can extend your stays, save money and keep your belongings safe and secure.

mega-phoneAt Torklift International, a family-owned company since 1976, we take customer suggestions and needs into great consideration. PowerArmor Solar is one example of how, by listening to the needs of our customers, Torklift can make camping easier and more fun for the entire family.  The PowerArmor Solar comes with Torklift’s Legendary Lifetime Warranty and is proudly made in the USA.

Click here to learn more about the PowerArmor Solar battery box.


 

Tamy finalWritten by Tamara Williams:
Currently Tamara Williams studies English at Arizona State University. She is a writing professional specializing in technical writing and SEO blogging for small businesses. Tamara also works with Project Pen, an innovative program for inmates at New Mexico and Arizona prison systems editing and providing feedback for their essays, poems, short and non-fiction stories.

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