RV Battery Maintenance: Shocking Tips For Keeping Your Batteries Charged

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeeping your RV batteries maintained extends their lives, and assures you that the power you need will be available when you next need it. These pointers are easy to do and are highly effective ways to add years to your equipment.

Keeping the Battery Posts Clean

Corrosion that builds on the posts of batteries reduces the amount of amperage they can deliver. Over time, the corrosion builds as the battery is used. It acts as insulation between the posts and the battery cables. It’s easy to clean off with a stiff wire brush, baking soda and water. Remove the cables from the posts, scrap away as much of the white or blue corrosion, and pour water over the posts. Sprinkle the baking soda over the posts and let it work. Repeat the process with the cable ends if they show corrosion.

After a period of time, pour more water over the posts, using the wire brush to loosen any residual corrosion. Dry the posts and apply Vaseline or battery anti-corrosion spray to inhibit future corrosion. Reattach the cables, tightening carefully.

Flooded Cell Batteries

These batteries need occasional topping off with distilled water. If the water level falls too low, the battery will become permanently exhausted. Be sure that you use de-ionized or distilled water because dissolved solids in tap water interfere with their operation.

Remove the caps off the top of the battery and look inside. The water level should be an eighth to a quarter of an inch from the top. Monitor your batteries monthly to see how much water they use and set your schedule based on your observations.

Restoring a Discharged Battery

It is possible to restore a battery that’s been repeatedly charged and discharged, but it takes a battery charger that has an equalization mode. Your RV may or may not have this feature. It works by equalizing the charge, and uses a voltage range between 15.4 and 16.2. Before you start, be sure to disconnect the battery from the RV because the higher charge can burn out any low voltage devices you have plugged into the outlets the battery supplies. You should also check to see that it’s safe to use such a device with your particular battery. The Air Stream International Signature trailer has an electronic automatic battery disconnect switch, making this process simple.

Protecting Unused Batteries

Over time, not using the battery will discharge it. You can prevent this by using a battery maintainer charger. These devices supply a trickle charge, keeping them at a functioning capacity.

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Don’t Forget About Your Awning!

AwningCarePatio awnings can get dirty quickly and can even tear. It can also be a challenge to keep up with the maintenance. It is easiest to take care of your awning by preventing  When you sit under your patio awning, you want it to function properly while also looking as good as it possibly can. Follow these tips to keep your awning in great shape for extending the awnings life.

Cleaning

Cleaning the awning takes a little bit of time and effort, but you’ll see that it’s a worthy exertion. One good tip is to take the awning covering completely down from its secure position. If you apply some dish soap to it coupled with hot water, you can clean it well. It’s a good idea to wet a car washing brush that has soft bristles with the soapy water solution. If you roll up the awning covering for a few minutes after applying the soap, you will notice a cleaner material when you rinse it off with a hose. There is also a Zip-Dee cleaner sold specially by Airstream. This is a foaming solution that can also be applied with a car wash brush to make the awning cover look cleaner and smell better at the same time. When the pollen flies off the trees, it can make the awning look old and blemished. You can restore it to new with these methods.

Maintenance

Sometimes the awning can become stiff and difficult to move. This is not a good situation if you would like to move it and clean it properly. There’s a solution called Campers RV Solution that is good at loosening up the awning material so that you can have better access to it. You should apply this substance at least twice per year. It’s better to prevent the stiffness from happening than to try to combat it once it is already setting it. You should also make sure that the awning can repel water very well. You can use other scrubs after it is already clean to make sure that the water doesn’t soak into the awning and cause mold and mildew. If you are worried about bleaching agents causing the color to fade in your awning cover, several people report that vinegar is a safe cleaning solution that works extremely well.

Caring for the Airstream awning cover is an important part of owning a trailer. When you sit on the patio, you want the awning to look and smell great at the same time. Your guests will have a better impression of your habits if you have clean awnings. A great trip will include clean awnings that function the way you want them to. Make sure to buy the correct materials for cleaning and maintenance.

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Winterization of Your Airstream

AirstreamYou’ve made the most out of your Airstream during the vacation months, but those Winter winds are beginning to blow and you need to make sure your “travel companion” is going to be ready to go in the Spring. That means getting it properly winterized. As you follow each of these steps you’ll want to put together your own checklist for next year and add any quirks that may be unique to your specific model.
The first step is to drain all tanks. The biggest threat winter poses is freezing temperatures which cause liquids to expand and crack your pipes, tanks, fixtures, and hoses. Drain the fresh water at the holding tank spigot. Drain the grey and black holding tanks, and do a thorough flushing of the black tank using the water jet port. Some models have combination grey and black tanks, so be aware of this. Drain the water heater next. If you have a water heater bypass that can make the task a lot easier, but if you don’t, that’s fine too. Just remove the water heater drain plug.
The next step is to drain your water lines. Open up the hot and cold water faucets in your RV and then uncap the low-point drain lines. Once the lines are drained, replace the cap and close all faucets. Disconnect the lines going into the water pump and let it run briefly to remove the water from the pump itself. Just run it for a short period of time so you don’t take a chance on burning it out.
The next step calls for a special piece of equipment, but you can find it at almost any RV supply store. It’s an adapter that allows you to connect an air compressor to your fresh water service inlet. Once it’s connected, open up your faucets, one at a time and use no more than 60psi of air pressure to blow out all of the lines. This should include the shower and the toilet. Many times the hand sprayer is forgotten and becomes a victim of the cold, so be mindful of that. This is also a good time to drain the water filter canisters, and if you have any water-dependent appliances like washers, dishwashers, ice-makers or such, those lines will need to be blown out as well. Blowing out the water heater may take some time and require rocking your RV a bit, so be prepared.
The final step, once everything has been drained, is to put about a cup of special RV grade anti-freeze down each drain, including the toilet.
At this point many individuals choose to also pull the batteries, but that is a personal decision.

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