RV Battery Chargers

RVs (recreational vehicles) are perhaps some of the most enjoyable types of vehicles to own, as they allow you to take long-distance trips without losing the comfort of home. Since RVs are basically homes on wheels, it should be expected that there will be appliances such as toaster ovens, hot plates, space heaters, refrigerators, televisions, video game systems, DVD players, and other electronic devices that will need to consume power within the vehicle's cabin. For this reason RV batteries tend to endure more wear and tear and, without the proper RV battery charger, are often drained much faster than conventional batteries. Keeping your RV battery fully charged will keep all of your appliances operating at all times during your vacations and road trips. The following information discusses various types of RV battery chargers, how much they cost, and how they are used and installed.

Types of RV Battery Chargers
There are four main types of RV battery chargers, with each one being classified based on how many charge stages they can facilitate. Although there are some cheap single-stage bulk chargers available from local department stores, these are not ideal solutions. Instead, you should consider purchasing a multistage “smart” RV battery charger that has advanced control circuitry.

Stage I of the charging process is known as the bulk charge, in which the battery is already 50 to 90% charged, and is capable of assimilating a full charge relatively quickly. Single-stage RV battery chargers usually are only capable of facilitating this first stage of charging, and are therefore useless after that. Stage II is known as the absorption or acceptance stage, in which the voltage supplied to the charger is held at a predefined maximum level. Stage III is known as the flood stage, in which the battery is fully charged and receives a small amount of voltage to continually operate without utilizing the reserves. Some chargers are capable of a fourth stage of charging known as the equalizing stage, in which the battery is charged at a high-voltage level for about two hours to ensure that all of the battery cells are charged equally.

The Cost of Various Types of RV Battery Chargers
The cost of onboard RV battery chargers ranges from about $60-$600, depending on the brand, voltage output, and overall feature set. RV battery charges that include an AMP charger, conditioner, desulfator, or maintainer may cost more, with prices ranging from about $100-$600. Some RV battery chargers are capable of pulling energy from the sun, however battery chargers that exceed more than 25 W and have solar panel functionality typically cost between $200 and $500. It is, however, possible to find relatively cheap solar panel RV battery chargers, but these will usually be much less powerful and will therefore be unable to power all of the appliances and electronic devices within RV. The most expensive type of RV battery charger will usually have the capability of being converted quickly to a power inverter.

How RV Battery Chargers Work
Most RV battery chargers include a manual that instructs the user to run the RV engine for at least 5 minutes before attaching the charger. After this, the battery caps are removed then the user is expected to observe the polarity. The user then ensures that each of the lead plates are covered with battery acid, and then distilled water is added to the device as needed. After this the battery is connected to the portable charging unit, and the various stages of the charging process begin. Ideally, it is best to purchase “smart” RV battery chargers which control and lessen the overall voltage input as the battery is charged.

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