Do you Need an RV Battery Monitor?


You are operating a sailboat with a power system attached to it and suddenly the system stops working in the midway! You are prone to such accidents until of course, you get yourself a battery monitoring system. Majority of RVs have a tiny button installed in them which gives you a rough picture of the charge level.

However, it does not mean that you are able to monitor the battery level. The button does not furnish accurate results and you may be misguided. RV Battery Monitor is capable of providing a clear and accurate idea of your battery level.

What is an RV Battery Monitor?

A battery monitor, as the name suggests, oversees the battery charging level, and monitors the voltage as well as temperature of the device. It measures the magnitude of energy flowing in and out of your device’s battery at any point in time. Nowadays, battery monitoring systems come with Bluetooth and WiFi facilities along with a modern LCD display system.

A battery monitoring system can tell you the following 3 things:

  • The amount of energy that is going in or out of your batteries at all times.
  • The percentage of battery capacity that is available to you.
  • The amount of time that is left before your battery gets fully charged or drained on the flipside.

A battery monitor also serves an important purpose for a boat owner whose only source of survival is battery power. It also counts as one of the accessories of a DC system that is used in power systems. A battery monitor keeps a record of the charging capacity of the battery. The charge capacity of a battery usually deteriorates as the battery gets old.

This way, you can assess the behavior of your battery with changing time with the help of a battery monitoring system. It will also inform you in advance about the right time to purchase a new battery. While it can’t protect your battery from theft, a good monitor can check the performance of multiple batteries simultaneously.

Benefits of a battery monitoring system

  1. All the major applications such as data centers, manufacturing operations, telecommunications, hospitals, power utilities, and generators rely heavily on a battery monitoring system. The system inculcates a sense of confidence that you will be notified about the battery drainage at the right time.
  2. A battery monitoring system cuts down a major portion of replacement and maintenance costs and maximizes safety levels.
  3. A battery monitoring system is a reliable device as compared to a typical battery system because it automatically records sensitive parameters including overall string voltage and current, unit voltage, ambient and unit temperature, and electrolyte level without needing someone to visit on-site regularly. Time to time on-site visits can turn out to be physically straining for people.
  4. A backup battery ensures a consistent supply of power to the grid during outings or during major equipment failure. At the same time, a preventive maintenance program is also necessary in order to avoid loss of revenues due to safety hazards.
  5. A battery monitoring system has an in-built alarm system that notifies you of the imbalance between the active power and the threshold limit.
  6. This device is much easier to install as compared to the typical battery system.

Important factors to consider while purchasing an RV battery monitoring system

  1. Types of the display monitor

You need to mount the monitor in your RV. Most of the display monitors have buttons to enable you to shift from one mode to another as per your preference. There are usually two options available to you when it comes to choosing the mounting models – a flush mount or surface mount. Some monitor displays may have simple numeric displays while some may have large graphical displays. You can also avail to program the entire system from the display in case of few display monitors. However, you will need to set the maximum battery capacity and system voltage when you first buy an RV battery monitoring system.

  1. The Battery Shunt

The amount of energy flowing in and out of your battery system is measured by the battery shunt. These measurements are recorded in real-time on the display monitor. Apart from the measurements, the battery voltage is also recorded on the display system.

  1. The cables, voltage system, and Temperature Sensors

Some RV battery monitirs come with cables and fuses in order to connect the shunt and battery voltage figures with the display monitor. There are display systems that also take a temperature sensor input.

  1. Presence of mobile app

The recent battery monitoring systems such as Victron BMV-700 Battery Monitor can be easily accessed through a mobile application. It can also be accessed via Bluetooth or WiFi connections. These mobile applications also keep the RV battery monitars updated with the latest software and firmware. This is the most important feature that has recently come into existence.

  1. Additional Features

There are some RV battery monitoring systems that provide an additional feature of supervising not only an extra set of batteries but also the storage and waste tank levels. However, these additional features would require you to empty your pockets a little more.

Bayite DC 6.5-100V 0-100A LCD Display Digital Current Voltage Power Energy Meter Multimeter Ammeter Voltmeter with 100A Current Shunt

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bayite DC 6.5-100V 0-100A LCD Display Digital Current Voltage Power Energy Meter Multimeter Ammeter Voltmeter with 100A Current Shunt
  • Test range: Voltage: DC 6.5~100V; Current: 0~100A; Power: 0~10kW; Energy: 0~9999kWh
  • Store energy data when power off(can be reset to 0). The blue backlight can be turned on/off manually
  • With overload alarm function(If active power is larger than threshold, backlight and power will flash)
  • 4 in 1 meter; Large-screen LCD (displays voltage, current, active power, energy at the same time)
  • Note: Only display and shunt are included. It doesn't include any wire or accessories

The Bayite Display Digital meter operates within the voltage test range of DC 6.5~100V while the current test range varies between 0~100A. It stores the energy data of your battery when the power is turned off. Its blue backlight can be switched on or off manually. The device also sends out an overload alarm if the active power exceeds the threshold. Along with the alarm, the backlight and power will also start flashing indicating the exceeded limit.

Pros

  1. Its power consumption is very minimal, somewhere around 0.2W.
  2. It goes in energy saving mode as soon as the power is shut.
  3. The blue backlight can be turned on or off as per your preference.

Cons

  1. It is suitable only for indoor use.
  2. The device is very sensitive to low voltages and resets itself each time the voltage fluctuates.

Victron BMV-700 Battery Monitor

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The Victron BMV Battery Monitor is a high precision battery monitor that takes into account the total ampere-hours consumed by a battery and also the charging condition of the battery. Ampere-hours is the sum total of the current flowing in and out of the battery. The unique feature of this battery is to measure the voltage and temperature of a second battery by programming up the unit. Its installation requires someone with electrical experience.

Pros

  1. Its direct communication port stores a series of historical events that can be utilized to gauge the usage patterns and the health of the battery.
  2. It enables a real-time monitoring of the battery health and provides accurate results.
  3. The installation instructions are precise and clear.

Cons

  1. It provides only basic monitoring of the second battery.
  2. It does not have built-in Bluetooth.

MICTUNING DC 6.5-100V 0-100A LCD Digital Display Ammeter Voltmeter Multimeter Volt Watt Power Energy Meter Blue with 100A/75mV Shunt

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MICTUNING DC 6.5-100V 0-100A LCD Digital Display Ammeter Voltmeter Multimeter Volt Watt Power Energy Meter Blue with 100A 75mV Shunt
  • MICTUNING 4-in-1 DC Multimeter - with 1.0 grade measuring accuracy, it combines Voltage, Current, Power and Energy measurement in one combo,...
  • Unique Voltage Alarm Function- the backlight and voltage value will flash simultaneously if the testing voltage is beyond alarm threshold (6-90V...
  • Data Storage Design - it is designed to automatically storage the last testing data when suddenly powered off and the energy value can be reset...
  • Super Large Digital Display - 51x30mm easy reading LCD screen, clearly displays all testing figures at the same time, while the recessed button...
  • Bonus Current Shunt - it comes with a 100A/75mV current shunt, suitable for large range measurement, no need to waste extra money to get another...

The MICTUNING DC is a super compact device extremely light in weight and can be used with utmost convenience. Its unique voltage alarm function prompts the backlight and the voltage value to flash simultaneously whenever the testing voltage exceeds the threshold value (6-90V factory alarm value). Its data storage is designed in such a way that automatically stores the last testing data when the power suddenly shuts down. The energy value can be reset manually as and when the need arises. The super large digital display vividly displays all the testing figures simultaneously.

Pros

  1. This multimeter can measure voltage, current, power, and energy of the majority of the electrical devices.
  2. It produces highly accurate results and its large display facilitates easy reading of figures.
  3. This device consumes less electricity.
  4. It is able to operate even when the alarm goes out.

Cons

  1. This device can be used for indoor use only.
  2. It needs an additional pointing tool for pressing the function button in order to avoid accidental touch.
  3. The device may fail to meet the expectations.

INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor

INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor
  • Easily plugs into vehicle’s cigarette lighter or power receptacle to monitor battery and charging system voltage
  • Designed for 12-volt negative ground systems
  • LCD displays measured voltage with a bar graph to indicate battery charge level
  • Color-coded LEDs quickly identify battery’s charge status
  • Head pivots for easy viewing and angle adjustment

The Innova Battery and Charging System Monitor can be easily plugged into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or power receptacle in order to monitor the battery and the charging system voltage. Its LCD displays indicate the battery charge level with the help of a bar graph. Furthermore, the color-coded LEDs identify the battery’s charging status in not more than a split second. The head pivots allow angle adjustment to provide ease of viewing the readings.

Pros

1. The device safeguards the engine system and the 12-volt accessories against any damage while turning the device on or during recharging.

2. It easily plugs into the cigarette lighter to keep a check on the battery and the charge.

3. Head pivots facilitate easy viewing.

4. The battery’s charge status can be identified with the help of color-coded LEDs.

Cons

1. The device may not generate accurate results.

2. Its internal accessories may turn out to be of poor quality.

Battery Monitor, DROK 10-100V Digital Battery Capacity Tester, Percentage Level Voltage Temperature Switch Meter Gauge 12V 24V 36V 48V LCD Display Marine RV Battery Power Indicator Panel

Battery Monitor, DROK 10-100V Digital Battery Capacity Tester, Percentage Level Voltage Temperature Switch Meter Gauge 12V 24V 36V 48V LCD Display Marine RV Battery Power Indicator Panel
  • APPLICABLE BATTERY --- DROK digital battery monitor is suitable for 10-100V (12v 24v 36v 48v 60v 72v 96v) lithium battery, lead-acid battery,...
  • APPLICATION --- this multimeter can be used as battery voltage meter, battery capacity tester and temperature indicator panel for car, marine,...
  • PROTECTION --- the battery power detector comes with protective shell, dustproof waterproof surface; input reverse connection protection.
  • LCD DISPLAY --- the battery status reader adopts clear LCD color screen, displays battery capacity, voltage, temperature value(switched by the...
  • ALARM --- if low voltage, red indicator flashes and buzzer alarms.

The DROK Digital Battery comes with a protective shell and also a dustproof and waterproof surface. This device sets out an alarm when the voltage falls prompting the red indicator to flash. The device consists of a clear LCD color screen that displays the battery capacity, voltage, and the temperature. The DROK battery monitor can be used for various instruments such as a portable device, power bank, medical device, robot, golf cart, an electric motorcycle, and self-balance car.

Pros

1. The device consists of a multi-functional meter that not only displays the battery capacity and voltage but also the Celsius temperature.

2. The battery monitor meter allows you to switch on or off the battery meter as per your convenience without having to cut off the wiring connection.

3. Its well made back cover protects the battery monitor from dust and damage.

4. This device is easy to install and store.

Cons

1. The device may be unresponsive at times.

How to Install your new RV Battery Monitor:

Conclusion

This Digital Monitory Setup (from the video above)is a low power consumption device that consists of all the important features that a typical battery monitor must have. It switches to the power saving mode as soon as the device connected to it is shunt and its alarm system keeps a check on the active power and its ability to produce accurate results makes it the best fit.

We highly recommend getting one for yourself!