How to Charge RV Battery While Driving

While traveling with an RV can be a wonderful experience, charging the battery when traveling can prove troublesome. It’s no secret that RV batteries need to be regularly maintained to keep them healthy and perform at their best. 

But if you’re on the road for an extended period, you’ll have a hard time doing this, and knowing how to charge RV battery while driving can significantly reduce your worry levels.

As you use the battery in your RV more and more, the charge gradually decreases. Maintaining and charging RV batteries consistently will ensure they perform at their best even while driving.

Having a charging system installed in your RV is essential to get the best performance out of its battery. We will discuss some of the methods used to charge an RV battery while on the road for your convenience.

Can RV Batteries be Charged While Driving?

Many RV owners want to know if they can charge their RV batteries while driving. The answer to this question is yes, and you can charge your RV batteries while driving.

But generally speaking, it is not the most optimal method of charging RV batteries while driving. However, it was adequate when there was no alternative option.

Vehicle manufacturers now have alternators that produce much more power than those found in older models. You can now charge your RV’s battery while you driving using an automatic charger.

Can RV Batteries be Charged While Driving

This is the most common and practical way to charge your RV’s battery while on the road. The downside is that these chargers are not cheap, and they also require some installation work. But some other methods can be used to charge your RV’s battery while on the road.

How to Charge RV Battery While Driving on the Road

Many RVers have depended on 12-volt charge lines to maintain the charge of their house batteries while traveling. The charge line allows electrical energy to be transferred from the vehicle’s alternator to the house batteries. This was not the optimal method for charging an RV battery while driving, but it sufficed.

Automobile manufacturers have begun integrating “smart alternators” into their vehicles to maximize fuel efficiency in recent years. As a result, intelligent alternators do not produce enough power to charge the house batteries while on the road, leaving little to no energy left to charge the batteries.

How to Charge RV Battery While Driving on the Road

This method is no longer a viable option to charge your RV’s batteries while driving. If you cannot use an automatic charger, or travel in an older model car, using a trickle charger can be an excellent alternative way to charge your RV’s battery.

Charging your RV battery while driving: Alternative Methods

A few other methods can be used to charge your RV battery while on the road. If you’re not able to use an automatic charger or traveling in an older model car.

Some of them are:

01. Using a DC to DC charger:

This is a charger that will convert 12 volts of direct current (DC) to a suitable voltage to charge your RV’s battery. This kind of charger can be used with or without a generator.

Using a DC to DC charger

It is possible to install a DC to DC charger inline and the car’s alternator, and the house battery. Upon receiving DC power from your vehicle, the charger regulates the appropriate amount of electricity to charge your house batteries. Probably, this is the best solution for charging an RV battery while you are driving.

02. Using an On-Board Generator:

If you are traveling in a motorhome with an onboard generator, this is a convenient way to charge your RV’s battery. The generator can be set to charge the house batteries while driving.

Using an On-Board Generator

This is also a practical way to charge your RV’s battery while on the road if you have an automatic charger installed in your RV.

03. Adding an Auxiliary Alternator:

This is an option for those who are not able to use an automatic charger. An auxiliary alternator can be installed in your RV to charge the house batteries while driving. In this setup, the voltage drop could pose a significant problem.

There is a significant voltage drop between the house battery pack and the alternator as the distance between them grows. Motorhome owners can take advantage of it since the house battery and alternator are close by. The distance is too great for a towable RV to maintain a constant voltage.

04. Car Generator or Large Inverter:

Another option that can be used to charge your RV’s batteries while driving is a car generator or large inverter. This option is not as convenient as the others, but it will work in a pinch.

A car generator can be connected to the RV’s 12-volt system and used to generate power to charge the house batteries. A large inverter can also be connected to the RV’s 12-volt system and used to convert 120-volt AC power to 12-volt DC power.

Car Generator or Large Inverter

This will allow you to use standard household appliances while on the road. However, this option can be expensive and require a lot of installation work.

05. Portable Solar Panel:

Solar panels are becoming more and more popular to charge RV batteries while on the road. They are a convenient option for those traveling in a towable RV. Portable solar panels can be set up on the RV roof to provide power to the house batteries.

This renewable energy source does not require additional equipment or installation work. Solar panels are a great way to keep your RV batteries topped off when you’re not on the road.

Portable Solar Panel

Charging your RV batteries while driving can conveniently keep your RV’s batteries charged. These are a few different methods that can be used to charge your RV’s battery while on the road.

FAQs

Here are a few common frequently asked questions about charging your RV’s batteries while driving:

01. Does A 7 Pin Trailer Plug Charge Battery?

Basically, the seven pin plug allows the tow vehicle’s systems to be passed through to the towable. It is not only capable of supplying power for the camper or trailer’s batteries, but it can also perform other functions as well.

02. How Can I Make My RV Battery Charge Faster?

There are a few things that you can do to make your RV’s battery charge faster. The fastest way to charge an RV battery is with a high-amperage battery charger connected to a 120-volt outlet.

03. How Long Does It Take an Alternator to Charge a Battery While Idling?

It is possible to recharge older vehicles by idling them for 15-20 minutes. However, this strategy is not generally recommended. Today’s automobiles come equipped with sophisticated BMSs that can provide a longer battery life.

04. Does Battery Charge While Idling?

Yes, a car battery will charge while idling. The amount of time it takes to charge the battery will depend on the size and type of battery being charged.

In Conclusion

Charging your RV’s battery while driving can conveniently keep your RV’s batteries charged. These are a few different methods that can be used to charge your RV’s battery while on the road.

Overall, there are several different ways to charge your RV’s battery while driving. The best option for you will depend on your specific needs and situation.

We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of the different available methods and has helped you choose the best option for charging your RV’s battery while on the road.