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How to recharge the battery carrying a motorhome?

Going in a motorhome with a charged battery is essential. Do you plan to travel independently for several days? For that, here are our motorhome tips for differentiating the types of batteries in a motorhome, knowing how to charge it, how to maintain it and what to do when it breaks down. Follow the expert!

1. The different types of motorhome batteries and their roles

In a motorhome you will find two batteries:

  • The engine battery or carrier battery, used to start the motorhome and located under the hood.
  • The 12-volt living area or auxiliary battery, located under a seat.

The living area battery supplies the lighting of the motorhome, the water pump, the television and the refrigerator (for a compression model). It is slow discharge. You may come across four types of auxiliary batteries:

  • The lead-acid battery;
  • The AGM battery;
  • The gel battery;
  • The lithium battery battery.

2. How do I charge each type of battery in a motorhome?

The battery of a motorhome has the particularity of recharging while you are driving, it's magic! The second solution is to plug it into a motorhome area, to a 220-volt outlet. Finally, opt for a fuel cell or a wind turbine to recharge it with solar panels or a generator, if the conditions are complicated.

Our motorhome tips: Only recharge your living area battery from the mains once a month for 24 to 48 hours, when you are not using your vehicle, to preserve the charge as long as possible.
Do not discharge it beyond 50%.

3. Battery maintenance: how to do it?

Maintaining the batteries of your motorhome is essential throughout the year, and particularly during wintering:
 

  • Charge them and turn them off;
  • Unplug them and store them in a well ventilated place;
  • Check their voltage regularly;
  • Charge them if necessary.

If you have a 100-watt solar panel coupled with a regulator, your battery can charge all winter long, as long as you are in the sun.

4. The most common breakdowns: tips for dealing with them

Here are the most common failures, and how to fix them:

  • Self-discharge: recharge your battery once a month on the mains for 24 to 48 hours.
  • The battery has reached its safety threshold of 10.5 volts: recharge it without using electrical devices.
  • The battery is off: check the 12 volt switch, is it on? Check the 50 A fuse and that the battery terminals are tight.
  • Detection of an unpleasant rotten egg smell: disconnect the living area battery from the motorhome, switch off the 12-volt power supply and the circuit breaker. If the smell is coming from inside, change it.

Charging a motorhome battery now holds no secrets for you. Take care of it so that you can have adventures without worrying about finding yourself in the dark in the middle of the forest! Discover all our advice with Avis Car-Away, the experts in motorhome and van rental.