Should I Take the Battery Out of My RV for Winter Storage?

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The end of camping season means preparing for winter. You can do several things to keep your RV safe while in storage. This prep doesn’t just involve cleaning out any food and preparing your water lines. What about preparing your RV battery for winter storage?

Your RV battery winter storage doesn’t have to be difficult, especially for this important component. Let’s look at what you should do with your battery at the end of the camping season.

Should I Take Out My RV Battery for Winter Storage? 

Keeping your battery in optimal condition is essential for longevity and performance. When you put your RV in winter storage, it’s vital to take the battery out. This is especially true if you don’t have a climate-controlled storage location, and your RV could experience frigid temperatures.

When you remove your RV battery, keep it in a clean and dry location that is warmer than outside. This helps avoid any issues with cold weather conditions that could damage the battery.

An RV battery is safely stored for the winter inside the house.

Do I Have to Winterize My RV Battery?

At the end of every season, it’s important to winterize your RV, including your RV battery. This is a relatively simple task that won’t take much time at all. Once you disconnect and remove the battery from the RV, connect it to a charger. 

Once fully charged, you can clean the battery terminals and ensure they’re in optimal condition before putting it in storage. 

Find a clean and dry place to store your battery to avoid being exposed to extreme temperatures. This will help it last for years to come, and be ready for your next camping season. 

How to Protect Your Batteries While in Storage

Your RV batteries are an investment that you want to protect. If you leave them in your RV while in storage, you risk shortening their life and performance. Let’s look at a few things you can do to protect them.

Keep Them Charged

When you allow an RV battery to sit for an extended time without a full charge, you risk damaging the cells. Charge your RV battery before putting it into winter storage. This will maximize its life and performance and ensure it’s ready for the next camping season.

Many RVers invest in a small solar panel mounted to their RV’s A-frame or pin box to keep the batteries topped off while not in use. This is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to ensure your batteries are ready to go for your next adventure.

A woman installs a solar panel to her RV to help her keep her RV batteries charged.

Store in a Climate Controlled Place

Fully charging your battery at the end of the season is important, but where you store it is important too. Try to find a climate-controlled location for your RV battery winter storage.

Most batteries do best when you keep them above freezing and in dry and clean locations. You don’t want water, dirt, or other particles getting to your battery and causing damage while in storage. 

Use a Battery Kill Switch to Eliminate Parasitic Loads

If you don’t plan to remove the battery from your RV while in storage, you should always use the battery kill switch. If not, you’ll likely come back to your RV and discover a dead battery.

Your RV’s electrical system will have parasitic draws from the battery. This usually occurs from essential safety items like a carbon monoxide detector and some luxury items like LEDs on the RV’s entertainment system. They may use a minimal amount of power when not in use, but they can drain your RV’s battery bank over time.

Should I Bring My RV Battery in the House?

While you may not want your RV battery lying in the corner of your dining room for months at a time, bringing it inside is a safe option. Finding a place in a closet or garage to keep it out of the way will work great.

This helps ensure your battery stays warm and dry while you wait for the start of the next camping season. Additionally, make sure you fully charge your RV battery before storing it even when inside your house.

An RV battery is safely stored outside of the RV and in the house to stay warm and dry for the winter.

How Cold Is Too Cold for an RV Battery?

Your RV battery must stay fully charged when in cold weather. However, a fully charged RV battery is more susceptible to cold weather. The more a battery drains, the greater the risk of damage when exposed to cold temperatures.

Lithium batteries work best in cold temperatures. A fully charged lithium battery won’t freeze until temperatures reach the -140 Fahrenheit range, but a depleted battery can freeze when temperatures range from -60 to -70 Fahrenheit.

Those are pretty extreme temperatures. However, lead-acid batteries will often lose 10% of their capacity for every 15 or 20 degrees below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So make sure if you have this type of battery that you fully charge it and store it in a warm place.

It’s easy to see that you want to ensure it stays fully charged no matter what type of battery you have. You may want to invest in a trickle charger that will shut off once it’s full to ensure you don’t overcharge and damage it while it sits in storage.

Do I Need to Disconnect My Battery for Winter Storage?

If you’re storing your RV for winter, it’s a good idea to disconnect your battery. If you keep your RV in a climate-controlled spot where you can plug it in, you likely won’t need to. 

However, there’s a good chance you won’t have this option. We strongly encourage you to protect your RV battery and disconnect it and store it in a safe and warm environment until next season.

While winterizing your RV can be sad, you’ll likely shed a few tears if you don’t prepare your RV battery for winter storage correctly. 

If you depend on power while camping, it’s essential to ensure you do all you can to protect it. Where do you store your RV battery between camping seasons?

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  1. I store my 5th wheel on my property and it has been connected to shore power it’s entire life when we are not dry camping in the desert. I installed the intelicharger to maintain the proper charge while on shore power and our winters typically dive into the teens and occasionally single digits. I have never experienced battery degradation.

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