How to Troubleshoot Your RV Battery Not Charging

troubleshooting your RV battery not charging

RV batteries are one of the most common issues RV owners have to deal with. If you have an RV and use it year-round, you’ll want to take the time to make sure your battery doesn’t stop working unexpectedly. Luckily, you can take simple steps to make sure your battery stays in great shape and continues to work even when you need it most. Read on to find out how you can troubleshoot your RV battery not charging and avoid being stuck in the woods far from civilization.

Checking The Fuse Box

When troubleshooting your RV battery not charging, the first thing you should do is check that you have blown a fuse. You can check that by flipping over your service panel cover (usually under your driver’s seat). Look for a black box with little glass doors on it. 

Remove each fuse and make sure they aren’t burned out. If any of them look discolored or melted, replace them with new ones—it’s pretty cheap insurance. Test the fuses again after replacing them; if they’re still faulty, move on to another theory. Get more information about RV products at Mr RV Expert.

Checking the Batteries for Loose or Broken Terminals

First and foremost, make sure you have solid connections on your batteries. A loose or broken terminal connection is usually enough of a problem to prevent your RV battery from charging properly. Check all of your cables and make sure they are not frayed or broken. 

If they are, you will need to replace them with new cables or make repairs. Ensure that there is an adequate amount of space between each cable clamp and its associated terminal post. Tighten any loose clamps using a wrench, but don’t over tighten them, as doing so can crack one of your battery’s terminals!

Checking the Fuses

Most RVs use fuses and circuit breakers instead of wiring a ground fault interrupter (GFI) into their electrical system. This isn’t a problem if you keep track of what fuse or breaker is for what outlet and test them periodically. 

You can check your fuse by unplugging whatever is plugged into it, then plugging it back in while you look at your fuse box: if it stays lit, your fuse is good; if not, you’ll need to replace it with one of equal amperage.

Checking The Regulator/Rectifier

RV batteries are charged with a 12-volt converter, often referred to as a regulator/rectifier. This is essentially a fuse box that sits outside of your RV and converts 120 volts of AC power into 12 volts of DC power for charging your battery. Over time, it can wear out and require replacement. The simplest way to test it is to pull one fuse out of your fuse box and replace it with another. If you have an LED light in there, it will come on when you do so. If not, you may need to get a new regulator/rectifier or take yours in for repair. If they do, then there’s probably something wrong with your RV wiring, and getting it checked by an electrician would be wise before trying anything else.

Checking the DC-DC Converter

If your RV battery’s not charging, check your DC-DC converter. This converts power from your rig’s 120V AC outlet into 12V DC for things like lights and appliances. If it’s not working, you may need a new one. 

We can help with that; we sell both new converters and replacement inverters (the part of a converter that does all of the heavy liftings). If you have multiple batteries and are having trouble with just one, it may be because your converter isn’t putting out enough power—in which case replacing your current device will work wonders.

Inspecting the Cable Runs and Connections

Check your RV’s battery cables. If they’re dirty or frayed, you might have a short circuit preventing current from reaching your batteries. 

In addition, inspect all connections—including cables and clamps—to make sure they are free of cracks and corrosion. Clean as necessary, tighten loose connections, and replace damaged pieces. The better shape everything is in, the more quickly you’ll be able to charge your batteries.

Testing the Battery with a Load Tester

When you buy a new RV battery, you have no way of knowing if it will function properly until you install it and try to turn on your RV. If your battery is not charging, try using a load tester before installing a new one. 

If it doesn’t read above 80 percent capacity, you may need to replace your current battery—it either has reached its lifetime limit or is defective. Don’t let anyone sell you a new battery if yours isn’t dead yet. It just needs some jump-starting!

How do I know if my RV converter is charging my battery?

If your RV battery is not charging, it could be because of a number of reasons. You first need to check if your converter and inverter are plugged in and turned on. If they are, you will want to check all of your fuses and make sure that they are not blown. 

Another thing you will want to do is test your load on each circuit breaker. If one circuit has a high load, then there may be a short or something else wrong with it so turning it off, for now, might be a good idea until you can figure out what is going on with it.

Why do my RV batteries keep going dead?

If you’ve been RV camping or boondocking, your battery(s) have likely gone dead. If so, keep reading. This information will help you troubleshoot and get you back on track. It’s a common problem: Every time I go out in my RV, I seem to kill my battery. As an RV owner who is constantly on the go (I camp about 60 nights per year), let me tell you that lots of things can drain your battery power quickly. 

Final Words

RV batteries are used for running your lights, appliances, and other electrical devices in your RV. You may have heard how our modern battery technology has come a long way from where it used to be. There are two kinds of RV batteries: flooded lead-acid and sealed AGM. Both battery types can be found in most RVs, although newer RVs will tend to use sealed AGM batteries as their starter battery due to their longevity. Although both types of batteries offer advantages, a sealed AGM battery is often preferred due to its simplicity and ease of use.

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