RVs are one of the most versatile vehicles available. It’s no wonder they’re so famous for camping trips.
They offer all the facilities of the home, including electric utilities. For this to be a possibility, many people park their RVs at a campsite to access external power sources.
However, that’s not always a possibility or even a priority of some people. So, how do you use electric devices without a power source?
Which makes you wonder do camper outlets work on battery or not? RVs have a fantastic electric system which allows many power sources and conversions.
But how does a battery work on an RV outlet? And how to ensure safety while using it? Look no further because we have gathered all necessary camper battery information for you down below!
Do Camper Outlets Work on Battery?
Camper outlets work on battery as the 12-volt battery can be connected to the RV’s 12-volt DC system to power the camper or the RV.
While AC powered devices can’t function through the camper outlet and battery connection, the 12-volt battery provides power to a vast array of RV devices.
Before using an RV, you must understand the electrical system of the vehicle. Especially if you want to know do camper outlets work on battery or not.
Since you’re going to use the RV multiple times for traveling, knowing the inner mechanism can come in handy and even save your life.
Simply put, RV has three different electrical systems. There’s the 120-volt AC (Alternative Current) coach system, 12-volt DC (Direct Current) coach system, and 12-volt DC automotive system.
The 120-volt AC and 12-volt DC coach systems are primarily used. Most campgrounds offer a plug-in option of 120-volt AC external power.
Power cords of most RV vehicles are about 25 feet long, and either has a 30 Amp or 50 Amp system. If you use the external plug-in source of the campground, you can power the entire RV.
Almost every device in the RV needs 12-volt DC power. However, if you want to use the roof air conditioner, microwave, electric mode refrigerator, and other AC outlets, you need a 120-volt AC power source.
The 120-volt AC power is converted to 12-volt DC power for products that need 12-volt current to run while connecting to the campground plug.
Some of these devices include a furnace fan, bathroom vent fan, water pump, overhead lights, gas leak detector, LP gas mode refrigerator, stereo, etc.
An RV’s power circulation panel is similar to your house’s panel. There are self-propelled blade fuses for the 12-volt DC part and circuit breakers in the 120-volt AC part.
How to Use Camper Outlets on Battery
If you travel to a campground, you get the option of plugging in your RV and have external power. However, your destination or break stops may not be a campground, and you don’t get to plug in your RV.
In that scenario, you may feel helpless as RVs need the power to function to the best of their capabilities. Since you don’t have an external source, the thought do camper outlets work on battery is crossing your mind.
When you don’t have access to an external power system, you can use the 12-volt DC system to power your RV. For this, you need to have a 12-volt deep cycle marine battery.
If the batteries are fully charged, and in working condition, you can use it to power many RV devices.
But it does have its limitations. As it’s being channeled through the 12-volt DC outlet, you can’t use devices that require 120-volt AC currents. Products such as electric refrigerator, microwave, roof air conditioner, and openings, which are electric, can’t be used.
RVs such as the motorhomes come equipped with an automotive system battery and coach system auxiliary battery. You can charge the additional battery while driving the motorhome, or through an external source connection or generator.
Tips to Maintain Camper Battery
Now we know do camper outlets work on battery or not. It’s equally important to understand how to take care of camper batteries, so they don’t cause problems while attached to the camper outlets.
Regular check-up is vital to maintain a healthy battery. You can inspect some features by yourself. Below are some examples:
What to Check: Examine the electrolyte levels of the battery. If you charge your camper battery frequently and continuously, it decreases the electrolyte level.
Add water as necessary. Stop adding when it reaches the leveled mark in the cells and never overfill the cells.
Maintenance-Free Battery: For maintenance-free battery, the procedure differs. The eye color on the battery shows what state the maintenance-free battery is in. Remember to check the manual before working.
Cleaning Battery: Make a solution of water and diluted baking soda to clean the battery. Make sure to rinse it properly with water after you’ve cleaned it.
Battery Cables: Routine check-up of battery cables and other connections are necessary. They need to be clean and tight but don’t constrict them too much.
If the terminal connections are in a clean and tight condition, spray battery terminal protector on them to avoid rust.
Charging Camper Batteries: Always check the charge level and keep the camper batteries fully charged. You never know when you may need it.
The gravity reading of a fully charged camper battery should be somewhere around 1.215 and 1.250.
After you take off the batteries, charge them thoroughly, and check them regularly. Re-charge if you see it’s getting low.
Carefully read the instructions given on the battery manual to properly maintain the camper battery. The ones which are deep-cycle batteries need to be charged with lower Amp for an extended period.
Check RV Devices: Do camper outlets work on battery when you’re not using the RV? They do, but if the battery is continuously on, it can get drained pretty quickly.
The electronic products such as the LP gas leak detector, radio clocks, TV antenna supporter, or any 12-volt light can drain the camper battery.
Most RVs come with a battery disconnect switch, but if yours don’t have one, you need to buy one that can be connected to the battery post.
So, you can merely detach the battery to avoid draining when you’re not using the camper. Chassis batteries can install disconnect switches as well.
Professional Help: It’s not uncommon that someone didn’t feel at ease upkeeping their RV battery. At the end of the day, it’s an expensive crucial item of your valued RV.
So, if you don’t feel confident about what you’re doing or just feel that you need an expert opinion, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional working in the service center.
How To Prevent Problems
The batteries which are checked regularly to maintain quality can be used on camper outlets.
For your RV to work correctly, you need to inspect all of its features but paying extra attention to engines and batteries is vital. Even a small careless mistake can end in a big disaster.
The last thing you want is to have an accident while traveling and quite a far way. Batteries can cause problems if not taken care of properly. They can stop working and cause injury, as well.
Even though it has been mentioned before, there’s no alternative to examining your camper battery routinely. Check the water level and always use distilled water to fill the batteries.
Also, clean the corrosion or rust on the battery terminal connection to avoid any future accidents.
Check Battery Voltage: Use a voltage meter to check the house battery voltage. For the first reading, detach any AC power source from the RV before you check the voltage.
Take another reading with the AC power and working converter on. Compare the two readings. This evaluation can determine the condition of the camper’s 12-volt DC battery system.
No Open Flame: Not working on batteries around a flame may seem like common sense more than advice, but many people actually do it. The battery vapors can ignite and cause terrible injury.
Before working on a battery, always remember to turn off any 12-volt DC power source and remove the negative battery cable.
Checking Routine: You need to make the inspection a priority, especially a week before you use your RV on a trip. You also need to do a routine examination every month.
For seldom use of the RV, try to maintain a fully charged camper battery, satisfactory water levels, and cleanliness. This way, even if you need to use it all of a sudden, it’s still in good shape.
I hope that answered all your questions and doubts about do camper outlets work on battery or not. RVs are a flexible vehicle that can be powered through many types of sources.
You can attach the 12-volt battery to the 12-volt DC system and enjoy all sorts of electric luxuries. It’s truly a marvel!
Remember to check your battery to keep it fully charged. Otherwise, it may not function properly. Clean the connections routinely as well.
But, don’t always keep it running on the RV. It will drain faster, and you have to charge it frequently, making it less durable.
Take care of the batteries properly to have a safe and wonderful trip!
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.