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How to Make Your Battery Last Longer

How to Make Your Battery Last Longer

Batteries can be expensive, so naturally, you want to make the most out of them and get good value for your money. There are tons of excellent camping batteries you can go for such as a LiFEPO4, which is famous for its safety features and increased capacity. However, no matter how good your battery pack is, its lifespan is still partly dependent on how you maintain and use it. Usually, LiFEPO4s can last for 7 to 10 years. Good enough for its price, right? Below are some of the easiest ways to make sure you get the maximum longevity of your camping battery or RV battery.

Quality > Price

Buy a good battery, to begin with. Despite the high upfront price, this is actually the more cost-effective option instead of buying cheaper batteries that are not as reliable. Most of the time, 12V batteries are ideal for camping or caravanning, but you can always opt for something with a higher voltage output. Purchasing a quality power pack like a lithium battery will save you from constantly having to buy a new one, plus, the enhanced user safety is worth every penny.

Mind Your Charging Habits

One of the most common causes of battery decline is improper charging. Aside from using the correct battery charger, avoid overcharging or undercharging your battery pack. Overcharged batteries heat up faster which can shorten their lifespan and in some cases, cause them to explode. Undercharged ones can drain completely, leaving you with no power in the middle of camping and causing irreversible damage to the battery itself as well. Unless you have a battery pack with built-in BMS like lithium batteries, it's best to keep track of your entire charging process. You can use a digital meter for this, but there are also some battery models that come with an attached battery monitor for easier voltage reading.

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Utilize Your Battery Wisely

As much as possible, try not to discharge your battery to 80% below for long-lasting, optimal performance. Typically, a lot of batteries allow for up to 50% discharge rate but the golden standard for recharging is at 80% to avoid sulfation. Practice disconnecting your battery when not in use, as it's still losing power even when you're not using electricity. Even better, prepare a backup power source like solar panels so you won't have to depend entirely on a single off-grid battery throughout your entire trip.

Practice Maintenance When Not In Use

Battery maintenance applies even when you're battery is idle. Make sure to clean your battery terminals regularly, even when you won't be using it. Check for signs of corrosion as this could lead to sulfation and affect your battery's life in the long run. Most of the time, baking soda and water are enough to clean batteries, but you can also go for gentle commercial cleaners. During the off-season, keep your battery charged either fully or at least 50%. Keeping it drained and stagnant for extended periods causes battery failure, as well as storing them in areas exposed to extreme temperatures.

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Extending your battery's life does not have to be complex. Once you have invested in a good one, regular inspection, voltage reading, and load testing are enough to keep it in good shape. There are manufacturer instructions on charging and usage after you have purchased your battery, so it's easier for you to handle them. However, every battery reaches the end of its life at some time. When this happens, make sure you continue handling them properlythrough correct battery disposal and recycling. There are tons of facilities to help you out with this so your old batteries can be turned into new ones and reused.