Boondocking lets you escape from all of the commotion and chaos of our fast-paced world to let you truly reconnect with nature and enjoy carefree days. So if boondocking is supposed to be relaxing, you don’t want to have to stress about your batteries going dead. Implement some of our best ways to extend battery life while boondocking and head into the most remote and secluded places without worry!
The type of battery you use will be directly indicative of how long your battery life lasts. 12-volt car batteries generally last the least amount of time, while 12-volt RV/Marine deep cycle batteries will last longer. Use 6-volt true deep cycle batteries for the longest lifespan. You should try to avoid letting your battery sink below a 50% charge. If your battery does discharge, charge it as soon as possible, always to its full capacity. To extend your battery life even further, implement some of these tips below.
Solar Battery Charging Systems
Installing a solar battery charging system will allow you to supplement your loss of electricity by providing a trickle charge to your batteries. This extends the time they can be used and these systems don’t require consistent fuel to operate, making them superior to using a noisy generator.
Use Your Appliances Wisely
Be aware of how many amps each of your RV’s appliances require to run and use that information accordingly. Wherever possible, select appliances that don’t require electricity, like a french press, a whisk for mixing ingredients, or just use the campfire instead of your stove! Be sure to unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them as they can still draw power even where they’re not in use.
Lighten Up The Mood
Trade out incandescent bulbs for LEDs or florescent bulbs, as they are far more energy efficient. Place battery-powered LED lights in places where little light is required to accomplish tasks (ie. above your entry door, in the bathroom) and use them in combination with rechargeable batteries. Make sure your lights are turned off when they aren’t needed. It can be easy to forget about lights in closets or storage compartments, and if you leave these on unknowingly you are wasting your coveted electricity.
In Coldness and In Warmth
Your furnace fan is a complete battery drainer, so whenever possible avoid using it. Instead, dress warm and use blankets to stay comfortable in the cold. When a bit of warmth is necessary, turn it on for only a few short minutes and the small space of your RV should heat up pretty quickly. For sweltering summer days, just open up your windows rather than turn on your roof vents.
Your Battery Speaks Volumes
Believe it or not, the volume levels on your devices impact the amount of current they draw. Be aware of the volume on your television or stereo and try to find a balance between how loud it must be to be heard and how quiet you can tolerate it without having it impair your ability to enjoy the device.
To Charge or Not To Charge
You’ll get more out of your electricity if you operate devices like your laptop on its own power. Meaning you should charge your device when it is not in use. When it is being used, unplug it from the power source and let it run off of its own built-in battery. When making excursions, bring your devices along and charge them in your vehicle as you drive!
Because of the secluded nature of boondocking, your access to electricity is always going to be limited, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for cutting your stay short. With a few tricks and tips on extending your battery life, you can extend your stay in the great outdoors without overly draining your RV’s energy supply!
Do you have any battery-saving tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments!