When looking to buy our new Travel Trailer, this battery life question kept coming across our minds. We have spent many nights in our trailer dry camping and we have a good idea of how long you will get out of your batteries.
How long do travel trailer batteries last?
Travel trailer house batteries typically last 2-3 days if you are utilizing the normal functions of your RV such as the water pump, heater, lighting, and refrigerator. If you are able to conserve energy or have larger batteries, you will be able to get 6-7 days of battery life.
The length of time your batteries will last depend on if you are trying to conserve energy or if you are using your trailer as usual. Retracting and extending your awning twice a day as well as running incandescent lighting can eat batteries really fast. Here are the best 12v batteries for your RV on the market today.
How to Conserve Power in your RV
There are several items you can do before the camping trip and after to conserve power in your travel trailer or RV. Making sure your batteries are fully charged before you go will keep you having the most juice. Read our battery charging guide to learn tips and tricks to keep charged.
Upgrade the Lighting in your Travel Trailer
In preparation to go camping, switching all of the bulbs in your camper to LED will significantly reduce the amount of energy they consume. A typical incandescent bulb in your RV will be 18 watts. If you have 25 bulbs throughout your trailer from your reading lights to your bathroom lights, you would use 450 watts of power if they were all turned on.
An equivalent LED bulb with the same brightness consumes 1.2 watts. If you had every LED bulb on in your trailer, you would be using 30 watts or essentially the same wattage as two incandescents. If you use lots of lighting at night, this upgrade will greatly increase your battery life.
Another benefit to LED bulbs is that they last longer, stay cooler, and have greater durability. When you drive, your whole travel trailer is rumbling and the filament in your incandescent bulbs can break. LED bulbs are solid state and will not be affected from bumps in the road.
Turn off the Water Pump on your Travel Trailer
The water pump will be another user of electricity. Make sure to turn the master water pump switch off whenever you are not using water. Doing this will conserve energy as the pump is not using power waiting to turn on “on demand water”.
Lower your Heating Usage in your RV
If you have to run heating on your travel trailer, the blower motor consumes a lot of battery. Try setting your thermostat back a few degrees while you are sleeping.
If you need heat during the day, set your thermostat to the desired temperature. Once you reach the desired temperature, set the thermostat back a few degrees so the heat does not kick on every 15 minutes or so to keep the setpoint. When you need heat again, turn the thermostat up to where you want the heat to be and back down after. Utilizing this technique will reduce your fan time conserving battery. Setting back your heater will also save propane, read more on propane usage and conservation from our article.
Adding insulation in your roof vent cutouts or skylights is an easy way to keep heat in the trailer. These skylight covers are typically just plastic with poor seals and have no R value whatsoever.
Tip: When you get to your campsite, leave your vehicle on and plugged in to your trailer when you go through your leveling process if you have electric stabilizers or an electric tongue jack to squeeze a little more power out of your vehicle and not from your battery reserve.
Buy more Batteries for your RV
The battery or batteries installed in your travel trailer will greatly dictate the amount of life you will have.
First off, if your RV has only one house battery, adding a second battery will double your capacity. If you currently have two batteries, adding a third will give you an additional 30% battery life if you have space. Your RV should have a deep cycle battery, if not, make sure to purchase a good brand deep cycle battery.
Upgrade to a 6 volt Battery System.
The batteries that came with your RV from the dealer may not be the best of the best. Typically they may be 70 amp hour 12 volt batteries. 70 amp hour 12 volt batteries will be ran in parallel, keeping the voltage the same, but doubling the amp hour rating. If you have two batteries, this will give you a total of 140 amp hours.
Typical 12 volt batteries for travel trailers can come in two sizes for deep cycle. and most travel trailers have dual batteries.
- Group 24- Approximately 81 Amp Hours Each Totaling 162 Amp Hours
- Group 27- Approximately 88 Amp Hours Each Totaling 176 Amp Hours
A nice set of Trojan 225 amp hour 6 volt batteries wired in series, would double the voltage to 12 volts but keep the amp hour rating at 225. This is about 40% more battery life than your stock dealer batteries of 140 amp hours.
How to Keep your Travel Trailer Batteries in tip top Condition
These tips below will keep your batteries in good condition for many years:
- Store batteries indoors in the winter
- Keep batteries on a battery maintainer in the winter
- Keep RV batteries charged
- Monitor water levels weekly with use or monthly of storage
- Do not discharge under 50%
- Use appropriate charging methods for your battery
- Brush off any corrosion on terminals
How long will a battery last dry camping?
Typically your battery will last 2-3 days in your RV while dry camping. This can be extended if you do not need any heat or lighting.
Do I need a battery for my travel trailer?
Yes, you will need a battery for your travel trailer. Even if you are plugged into shore power, some items only operate off of 12 volts.
How to reduce travel trailer battery drain?
Unplug tv’s, microwaves, clocks, equipment, chargers, or anything when not in use. Make sure to turn off your master switch when you leave your trailer as to not leave any lighting or items on when you are gone.
How long will a RV Fridge run on battery?
Your refrigerator in your RV will run off of propane with the control board running off of 12 volt battery power. The fridge will run for 2-3 days if you are using the trailer, or about 6-7 days if you are conserving power and have little other use in your trailer. If you have dual propane tanks and are charging your battery, your fridge could last 30 days if you have a newer efficient model.
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