What Type of Battery Charger do I need for My RV?

Ingrid Feagin RV Tech Tips

Welcome to another one of Todd’s Tech Tip Tuesday, presented by the National RV Training Academy, the largest hands-on RV training academy in America. On this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll be answering the question: if you’re considering switching to a lithium battery, why do you need to change the charger? Let’s dive in.

As you may know, there are different ways to charge a lithium battery, but the most basic involves a converter in your RV. However, these converters are typically set up for lead-acid batteries, which can cause problems when charging lithium batteries. Lithium batteries require a higher voltage to charge fully, around 14.4 to 14.6 volts, compared to lead-acid batteries, which only require around 12.7 volts.

To demonstrate, I have both a fully charged lead-acid battery and a lithium battery here. Testing the lead-acid battery with a multimeter, we can see it’s producing around 12.7 volts. However, if we were to hook it up to the converter, it would only charge at around 13.2 volts, which isn’t enough to fully charge a lithium battery.

That’s where a lithium-capable charger comes in, like the Vitron IP22, which I highly recommend. This charger can sustain the 14-volt charge necessary to fully charge lithium batteries. It’s also straightforward to set up, with just a couple of wires to hook up and a plug to connect to a power source. The charger charges at 30 amps, which is plenty for most lithium batteries, as they can charge and discharge at high rates.

Overall, if you’re considering switching to a lithium battery, be sure to invest in a lithium-capable charger like the Vitron IP22, so you can fully charge your battery and avoid any issues down the line.

And there’s your Tech Tip.

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