Selling your RV often comes with many surprises. The recreational vehicle you have may be unmatched and have the best features, but while looking for prospective buyers, you find that they are not at all finding it worth to invest. The resale value of an RV depends on several factors including its cleanliness, mileage, and more importantly the condition of its parts. For instance, you can find a motor home with fully functional accessories is selling at a higher price than another model or make. A well-maintained battery is one such critical component of your home on wheels that adds significant value to a customer’s money, and therefore selling your RV becomes easier when you have an up and running battery that lasts for more than a decade without your buyer having to replace it every two to three years. Here is how you can test the battery and determine whether it is functional or not.
RV Battery Testing and Easy Fixes
RV batteries are expensive, but testing them is not so. A 20 USD multimeter will tell you the exact battery conditions. Here is how to look for any fault in the battery, using a multimeter.
The multimeter can be both analog and digital, although the latter is preferred more as there is no chance of misreading. To check whether the battery is working correctly or not, attach the red wire to the positive terminal and the black one to the negative end. Turn on the meter and set the scale where the meter reads 12 Volts DC.
Now, measure the reading again by turning off the engine and other equipment. When the battery is fully charged, the meter will show a voltage slightly higher than 12 volts. However, if the battery is depleting, the reading will be less, about 11 volts or less than that.
Not only batteries, the alternators and charging units may have some issues. To check it, measure the battery voltage keeping the engine on. This time, the reading will be high, about 13.8 volts. A higher reading indicates that the alternator is working fine whereas a drop in the voltage means there is some issue in the alternator.
You can use the multimeter to check the charging system. If you find everything is fine, test the house batteries.
In a set, only a single battery may be faulty while others are fully functional. To identify the defective one, take each battery out of the system and test individually.
There are few tasks to do before you start testing batteries. Firstly, check the wire-layout. It can be either two 12-volt batteries connected in parallel or four 6-volt batteries forming a series-parallel connection. Never forget to do this. Otherwise, reconnecting the wires would be a big cumbersome task. If you are unsure about handling batteries, never hesitate to get them tested by a technician.
Taking a pre-charge reading and comparing it with the standard percentage of charge is another important task before performing the open voltage test. Before charging the battery, measure the voltage and find out the percentage of charge. You have to recharge the battery if it is charged somewhere between zero percent to 70 percent. An overnight charging followed by few unused days will prepare the battery well for this test.
After the said period, measure the voltage. A fully charged 12-volts battery reads 12.73 volts whereas the reading for 6-volts battery is 6.37 volt. In both cases, a lower reading indicates either the battery has a defective cell, or it wasn’t for a long time.
For flooded batteries, watering is an essential task to keep the battery performance up to the mark. While testing the battery, check its water level and refill accordingly. However, unless discharged, there will be enough water to cover the plates. So, charge the battery first and then add the extra water.
While watering, remember a few things. Avoid using water with more minerals. Rather, utilize distilled water for this purpose. Further, remember the electrolyte in the battery contains acid. So, avoid contact with skin while watering it.
Fully functional set of batteries will enhance the resale value of your motor home. Therefore, before selling your RV, check the current battery condition and adjust the value accordingly. A luxury rig is not just the means to travel across the country. When a buyer invests in it, the vehicle becomes their home. As a seller, ensure that the batteries are safe to use when a customer is about to embrace the RV lifestyle.