Question When to replace your chassis batteries in your motorhome?

Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,107
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
The emphasis always seems to be on the house batteries but when do RVers decide to replace their chassis batteries? Do you wait until you have a no crank situation? In my Newmar there is a battery boost option to get the battery juice from the house batteries but I prefer not to have to get to that point. I think chassis batteries are the forgotten ones. So when do you experienced RVers determine when it's time to replace your chassis batteries?
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
1,794
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
I think a quality starting battery (chassis battery) should last at least 5 years, if properly maintained. In a motorhome scenario, starting batteries get relatively little use, at least compared to coach (house) batteries, so proper maintenance is the key. Check electrolyte levels regularly (unless they are sealed units), prevent corrosion at the terminals and clean it up at the first sign of it, keep batteries properly charged (especially during periods of inactivity), etc.

One tool I don't currently have is a battery load tester. They are not very expensive and I think I will probably add one to the toolbox before the next trip. Some can test both 6V and 12V batteries and that's what I'll be looking for as many coaches have 6V batteries paired up for 12V supply. You want to be able to test individual batteries, not just a combined set.

With a decent load tester, you can get a pretty good idea of the battery's condition under a heavy amperage draw. That's important.

TJ
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
310
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutchstar 4369
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crewcab / 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
I use a load tester to test each battery once a year.

My 2013 batteries (all) where still very strong when I sold them at 5+ years. I have kept in contact with the new owner and he has not replaced them yet, so that's 6+ years.

I dont think I ever let any of the banks discharge to below 12v, so that may be helpful.



2019 DSDP 4369 * Active Air * NHSO
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
1,794
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
What load tester are you using? I've been looking at a Schumacher BT-100, but would welcome other suggestions.

TJ
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,107
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
I was just looking at Amazon. I welcome any suggestions for what to buy.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
556
Location
Orinda, CA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4002
RV Length
40’10
TOW/TOAD
2015 Jeep Trailhawk
We pulled the batteries that have a primary positive connector to them yesterday and 2 of the batteries barely passed the load test. Therefore I am going to replace them. Not an inexpensive endeavor.

The interstate gc2-ecl-utl (recommended by Newmar) are anywhere from 149-159 each for the exact model. By the time you add the battery core charge required by California, you have a hefty bill.

C285F1C6-C7EF-41BE-A49C-D299A7427EBD.jpeg
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
1,794
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
Sheridan's post on this thread reminded me that I need to order a battery load tester. Earlier, I was looking at the Schumacher BT-100 but was a little put off by the fact that it is made in China. I lean strongly toward USA-made products whenever I can find them.

Found the following OTC unit recently and like its features...plus, it is made in the USA.

Amazon.com: OTC 3181 130 Amp Heavy-Duty Battery Load Tester: Industrial & Scientific

It's a bit larger, physically, than the BT-100 but I think I can live with that. Think I'll pull the trigger on that one...unless someone has found an even better choice.

TJ
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
1,794
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
There seems to be some question as to whether the OTC unit above is really made in the USA. Some listings say yes, some say no...China.

This one, however, is made in USA.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000KIVP1A/?tag=rvf01-20

Likely, I will go with this one.

TJ
 
Top