Most of the RVs contain two 12-volt batteries to power different electric appliances. It is necessary to add distilled water when their levels become low after charging.
How to Check RV Battery Water Level? You can check the RV battery water level by parking the RV on a leveled surface. Locate the batteries, remove the plastic covers, and unscrew the exhaust pipes. Take proper safety measures and pry off the plastic caps with a screwdriver. Check the water using a flashlight or mirror, or use the battery water level indicator.
It is necessary to check these batteries right after charging them to improve their performance and longevity. Lead acid batteries need water as part of the electrochemical reaction to generate enough electricity.
How do you check the RV battery water level?
You do not require special tools or expert help to check water levels in your RV batteries. It is an easy procedure, and you can do this in 4 to 5 minutes. Regular maintenance and servicing are necessary to increase their life span.
Locate batteries in your RV
It is necessary to locate the batteries in your RV to check their water levels. The location differs according to their model, manufacturing brand, and design.
You can also check the owner manual to know about their location. In addition, you can also take help from your friends and dealerships if you do not find them.
Mostly these are located on the front side and in the exterior compartment depending on the size and manufacturing brand. In addition, you can also find them in the interior floor compartment and retractable entryway steps of your vehicle.
Park your RV on the leveled surface
It is also necessary to park your RVs at a stable and leveled ground surface to check their fluid. Sparking at the ground surface is essential to determine the correct levels.
You cannot identify their correct amount when one side is raised while the other is lowered. The fluid moves towards the lowered side because of its thin consistency.
The uneven surface gives incorrect information because fluid accumulates on the lower side. People think that there is no need to add more water to them.
The electrolyte solution remains at the same place when these are parked on a leveled surface.
Remove Plastic covers
They have plastic covers to protect their wires from rodents and pest attacks. These can enter the exterior compartments through campgrounds and chew the wires, leading to short circuits and electrical issues.
Remove the plastic covers by wiggling them with both hands. Exhaust pipes are also screwed on these covers for off-gasses removal to the exterior side of your RV.
Unscrew the exhaust pipe from these covers for better access. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the nuts and detach the exhaust pipes from them.
Clean the surroundings
It is necessary to clean the surroundings before accessing them. Corrosion and acid buildup are common in old RV batteries because of under and overcharging issues.
In addition, dust can also accumulate on their surface when you do not cover them with plastic compartments.
Electric cleaners can remove dirt, corrosion, and acid buildup from their surfaces. Spray the solution and then wipe it off with a dry cloth.
Take safety measures
Batteries need safety measures because of electric current and the acidic electrolytes that can cause skin burns.
Turn off the power supply so you cannot accidentally touch their terminals and get electric shocks from them during the procedure.
Wear plastic gloves and face shields to protect your hand and face from acidic electrolytes. It is also necessary to keep the flaming objects away from them. Park your RV at the leveled surface to depict its correct water levels.
Remove caps and check the water level in the battery
You can see two plastic caps on the battery’s surface. Use the flathead screwdriver to pry off these plastic covers and check their water levels.
Use your mobile phone’s flashlight if there is insufficient light in the surrounding. You need a flashlight if you check them at night and in low-light conditions.
You can also use a mirror to determine their correct levels. Add the distilled water to them if their levels are below the split rings. Use distilled water because it has low mineral content than tap water, which causes the deterioration of plates.
Use battery water level indicator
Some RV batteries contain water level indicators; you do not have to check their levels manually. These monitor the electrolyte concentration with floats.
The floats move up and down with the concentration of the fluid. The green sign on these indicators depicts enough concentration of fluid.
The red warning sign depicts the low electrolyte concentration, and you should add distilled water to maintain their performance.
How often do I need to add water to my RV battery?
You should add water to the batteries prior to charging them. Avoid adding it unless the plates are exposed and do not have sufficient fluid to dip them.
The time to add water depends on the number of times you are charging them. Charging causes the loss of hydrogen gas and its decreased level.
I prefer to check the water levels in my RV battery once a month or after every trip. You can increase and decrease the time of maintenance schedule according to their use and charging.
In addition, it also depends on the size of the cell that holds sufficient fluid. The larger ones hold more fluid and do not dry quickly compared to the smaller ones.
It is also necessary to consider these components’ overall health and age.
Where should the water level be on an RV battery?
Checking the RV battery’s water level is part of regular maintenance and service. Check their concentration after charging because electrolytes and fluid expand after charging.
Expansion of electrolytes occurs due to high temperature during charging. Many people do not know about the exact standards and correct range.
It should be slightly above the plates for good performance. In addition, the fluid level is correct if it covers the plates properly and these are submerged in them.
You have to add more if it is lower than the bottom of these plates. Moreover, some consider the fill well or split ring the standard.
Fill rings are made of plastic material and 1 inch below the cell caps, and you can easily see them. The fluid should be 1/8 inch below the bottom surface of these split rings.
In addition, some batteries contain the plastic rings mentioned with a maximum sign. It is necessary to add the water according to this maximum sign.
Avoid adding extra water to the cell capes and overfilling them. Overfilling can disturb the electrolyte concentration and cause dilution, affecting battery performance.
Furthermore, it can also cause fluid overflow and acid buildup on the sides of the plates.
What happens if RV battery water is too low?
Batteries from lead acid batteries evaporate in the form of hydrogen gas, known as off-gassing. The depleted water levels cause the oxidation of lead batteries.
Electrolytes become too acidic and trigger the sulfation reaction. The cells become too acidic because of changes in the concentration of electrolytes.
RV battery plates are exposed to oxygen which causes corrosion. In addition, it can also cause charging issues and decrease their performance.
You need to charge them repeatedly because of acid and corrosion buildup on their plates that does not allow them to hold the charge for longer.
It also affects the performance of electric appliances in your RVs. You can see blinking of lights and poor functioning of electric items because of the decreased voltage supply.
In addition, you have to charge them more frequently, which takes time and can ruin your trip.
Furthermore, it also decreases their longevity, and they become dead early.