Recreational Vehicles or RVs have a multifunctional use. It is a transportation and a home at the same time. By using the RV battery monitor, you can ensure the top performance of your vehicle all the time.
What is RV Battery Monitoring System? The RV Battery monitoring system is installed to keep you track and informed about the performance of your battery. With this system on board, you can closely monitor your cells if it is weakening or needs replacement soon.
The RV monitoring system work as your gauge for your battery. You can see how much power is wasted with your batteries. With this gauge, you can also determine which appliances eat up so much of your wattage.
What Is A Battery Monitoring?
Battery monitoring serves as your meter. It tells you how much power your battery has. Without the battery monitoring system, you are like driving around without a gas gauge. You keep filling up with gas because you don’t know how much you have left in your tank.
There are simple techniques to monitor your RV batteries. There is monitoring which is done manually. Some would require the use of the battery monitoring kit which you have to install in your RVs.
Different RV Battery Monitoring Techniques
These techniques vary and depend on the owner’s preference. They can choose the right monitoring system that is adaptable to their lifestyle.
This voltage metering is by far the purest form of monitoring your RV batteries. All you need is a voltmeter. A fully charged 12V battery will be read at 12.73V, and a weak battery may have a reading of 11.66V.
But if you want to get a very accurate reading for your battery, you need to let it idle for about 6 to 8 hours with all the accessories and lights off. Much better if you allow it to sit idle for 24 hours. If your battery is not allowed to be inactive, the voltage reading will be off. Thus, your voltage meter will merely become a guess gauge and not a gas meter.
Specific Gravity Testing
In this kind of test, you will be using a hydrometer. It is also one perfect form of battery testing where you will measure the specific gravity of each cell. The accuracy of your reading will again depend on the length of time your battery is rested.
However, doing this kind of test is a bit messy because you have to suck up the battery’s acid in a glass tube, which is impractical and not a fun thing to do.
Imagine pulling your car off the road and placing a hose to your gas tank to see how much fuel is left. That’s what you will be doing with Specific Gravity Testing. Most car owners wouldn’t want to do this.
This one is a real battery monitor. A “gas gauge” like, that allows you to see what is happening in your battery in real time. It accurately measures the flow of energy in and out of the shunt. The monitor can tell you if the battery is already full and will also register the amount of outflow of energy.
It gives you a percentage of your battery reading from full to empty. Battery monitors are a big help especially for people who would be out for camping for a day or two. Battery monitors aren’t cheap, but they are a vital part of your RV travels.
Why You Need A Battery Monitoring System For Your RV?
We all know that an RV is used for both transportation and accomodation during travels. Therefore, it uses a lot of energy to power up your entire portable house during a vacation.
● It tells you exactly how much power is supplied in each piece of equipment.
● It tells you how much percentage of the battery is left.
● It shows you the remaining time before it reaches full charge.
● It has a display monitor which shows you the different readings for your battery.
● It automatically starts a generator when the battery falls below 50%. (This is available for some models only)
6 Steps To Install A Battery Monitor
The next question will be how to install the battery monitoring system for your RVs. For this installation procedure, you can try different brand names and types. You may also opt to use the one with a Bluetooth dongle.
1. Locate the shunt first, it must be close to the battery. You will need at least 18 inches of cable. The monitor cable needs to run through the display unit location. Doing this requires a bit of drilling and cutting to make through the RV.
2. Prepare the hole for the toggle switch of your voltmeter. Make sure that the voltmeter will snuggle fit in the hole.
3. Now, you can attach the voltmeter and the switch to the plate. You can solder the wires so that it will stay in place.
4. Once you got everything ready, you can now start to install your voltmeter and switch. You may place it near the door for easy access.
5. You can now connect the black wire to the voltmeter and the white wire(ground wire) to the porch or door light.
6. Popped the switch plate and secure it with a wood screw. Once everything is set, switch it on, and you will quickly see how much battery is left in your RV.
Your RV battery monitor is now ready to use, and you will need not worry about depleting your batteries without clear warnings at all.
Now that you have your battery monitoring system installed in your RV, the next question will be how to closely monitor the battery? You should have prior knowledge about it, so you can tell if a cell is in bad shape or not.
How To Monitor An RV battery
If you own a battery monitoring system, know the times when the battery needs a replacement or to check if there is something wrong with the connections.
Battery monitor is also relatively easy to use. RVs uses a lot of energy and having a monitoring system installed in your van can help you know how much power you need to use your equipment and appliances.
Plug any of your appliances and then set the monitor, it will tell you how much voltage it consumes in a few minutes. With the precise calculations, you can efficiently compute how much is taken from the battery with each gadget or appliances you are using.
Having this battery monitoring system in your RV is essential. It aids you in determining the power used up and left for your batteries.
My 4 Best Picked For The Best RV Battery Monitoring System You Can Buy On Amazon
So what could be the best battery monitoring system for an RV? The market offers a wide variety of choices. They differ in prices and of course, the performance. I have gathered some of the best buys on Amazon.com.
1. Battery Monitor, DROK 10-100V Digital Battery Capacity Tester
It is a 12V lead-acid battery. It comes with a protective shell, dustproof, waterproof surface; input reverses connection protection. It alarms when the battery is low or full charge.
Sold for $14.69 in Amazon, this battery comes in 12V, 24V, and 48V battery. It displays the battery’s temperature, voltage, and capacity. It is one of the best buy batteries in Amazon.com.
2. Digital Multimeter, DROK DC Meter
It bears a power shut off storage function, where all the parameters will be stored automatically. It has a reset function for all its accumulated energy data. It also has an indicator for high-powered voltage. It comes with a large LCD that displays the battery capacity, tension, and power all at the same time.
This battery monitoring system is available in 12V, 24V, 48V, 60V and 72V with a price of $16.99.
3. Victron BMV-700 series
It is one of the best high-precision battery monitoring system in the market today. It comes with a price of $179. It is quite expensive compared to other brands.
It accurately shows and computes the state of charge of the battery. With this sense of accuracy, Victron BMV-700 series is the battery monitoring system recommended for RVs.
4. Victorian BMV-702 Battery Monitor
This battery monitor is another leading product from Victron BMV. It is one of the highest selling RV battery monitoring system because of its advanced feature and technology.
Setting it apart with other Victron BMV battery monitoring system, the Victorian BMV-702 uses a Bluetooth dongle which can be used on your mobile phone app. You can quickly check your battery using your mobile phone.
In terms of accuracy, this product is 100% accurate in all its battery and voltage readings. With regards to the price, Victorian BMV-702 Battery Monitor cost the same with other Victron BMV battery monitoring products.
If you are going camping again with your RV, it would be better to buy an RV battery monitor. This monitoring system will keep you abreast of the current status of your array.