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Indoor Storage > Storage Tips > Filling the Water on Your Vehicle's Batteries

Filling the Water on Your Vehicle's Batteries

Batteries used in cars, RVs, boats and trailers are all lead acid batteries, which are comprised inside of lead plates surrounded by electrolyte. The latter is a mixture of water and acid that facilities the discharge of electricity from the battery. Though you never need to add acid to your battery, water does evaporate and need to be replenished frequently.

Never use tap water in a battery. Use only distilled or deionized water. Now, while car batteries are constantly recharged by the operation of the vehicle, batteries used in boats, trailers and RVs are often employed to run electrical appliances or trolling motors (on boats) and are not automatically recharged. So RV, trailer and boat batteries need to be recharged once a month or after 10 discharge cycles (10 uses of the vehicle in question), whichever comes first.

Recharging the battery does cause water loss, however, so after recharging your boat, RV or trailer battery, be sure to check the water level and replenish as necessary. Generally, the water should reach about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch above the lead plates. If the water level ever goes below the level of the plates, severe damage to the battery can result. So it is wise to consistenly check the water level.

Remember also that batteries are by nature "leaky." If you don't use your battery for a month, it can lose as much as 30 percent of its water.

The biggest threats to batteries come from the charging and discharging process. Sulfates form as crystal on the batteries' lead plates during the normal discharge process, but if the battery is recharged quickly and correctly, the sulfates will reconvert to sulfuric acid. On the flip side, if you overcharge a battery, it will cause further sulfation, and this can be deadly.

In the operation of your boat, RV or trailer, never let the batteries discharge below 80 percent of their holding value. Thus a 12-volt battery must never be used to the point that the charge left in it drops below 10.4 volts.

In conclusion, boat, RV and trailer batteries are high maintenance items that need a lot of attention. If you store your vehicle at Premier Indoor Storage in Corona, Calif., however, on-site mechanics will routinely check your water level and recharge your batteries as necessary. This makes owning a prized vehicle in the Inland Empire, whether in Riverside, Lake Elsinore, Ontario or elsewhere, that much user friendly. You have to store your possession somewhere, so why not a facility like Premier that's dedicated to world-class service?