This topic is about the set of RV batteries powering the domestic appliances and outlets of a recreational vehicle, NOT engine batteries.
These RV batteries are commonly called house batteries. As you probably know, a battery is simply an electrical device for power storage.
When it is time to build a battery bank or a set of house batteries wired together, we have different types of lead acid battery to choose from.
Knowing and understanding the differences will help you to make a sound decision in the proper selection of rechargeable batteries.
If you plan to dry camp without a campground electrical service, you will quickly discover that your house batteries need to be recharged in order to have enough electricity to spend successive days at the same location.
This is what the boondock RVer is concerned about.
The first objective is to have enough battery storage capacity to fulfill all the electricity needs for the anticipated duration that the RV is not plugged into an electrical service.
After the proper selection of rechargeable batteries is done, you want to determine how many you need. It is only in making calculations to identify your daily energy consumption that you will be able to properly size your battery bank
Learning to wire efficiently this set of house batteries with adequate battery cables is very important.
Keep also in mind that even if your battery bank consists of 4 to 6 batteries, it is primordial to have the capacity to fully recharge them.
Understanding the charging process and the selection of the appropriate charge controller is crucial in order to increase the longevity of your rechargeable batteries.
Without the proper equipment, the knowledge, and good management of the demand and supply in electricity, it would be difficult for the 'boondocker' to dry camp for an extended period of time.
Learning to monitor the voltage drop of house batteries with an amp meter and in the case of wet cell rechargeable batteries, checking their level of electrolytes are all necessary maintenance duties in order to prolong their longevity.
When comes the time to recharge your rechargeable batteries, instead of going to a campground for a hook up electrical service, you may consider solar panels plus wind power or simply a fuel generator as other alternatives.
Every method chosen has PROS and CONS.
The RV batteries of a recreational vehicle directly supply 12 volt direct current (DC) as well as alternating current (AC or household current) but in this latter case, via a device called an inverter which converts current from DC to AC.
The 12 volt RV batteries DIRECTLY power all DC appliances including 12 volt lights or accessories, the water pump and furnace.
Fluorescent lights, fans, satellite dish, all other items plugged to AC outlets like television, microwave, sound system, computer, coffee maker (unless it is a 12-volt coffee maker) will be powered after the conversion of battery current from DC to AC is done via the inverter.
If you only depend on your set of house batteries to supply AC appliances, note that they are very power hungry and can deplete the charge of rv batteries very quickly. Good monitoring is necessary.
This is why some appliances are built to be powered either with AC current or propane gas as is the case for the refrigerator.
The boondock RVer would switch to propane when dry camping and only get back to AC current if he/she decides to go to a campground with electricity service included in the campsite fee.
For the same reason, a gas oven rather than an AC convection model would be prefered to preserve the battery charge.
Note that a solar oven is another interesting alternative. Obviously, if you are not dry camping, a campground electrical hookup will supply all the AC current you need to all AC appliances you have.
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