How to Jump an RV When It Breaks Down

Many people choose the RV life because it’s better for their mental health or even financial situation. They want to be constantly on the road, explore the world, and live a life that can be called risky.

Nonetheless, don’t forget that it comes with its own list of risks. One of the most prominent ones will have to be the batteries and all of the damage that can happen to them, leaving you with a powerless RV on the side of the road.

Today, we’ll walk you through how to jump-start an RV when it breaks down so that you’re never stuck in that situation ever again.

Know Your Batteries

Knowing what kind of components you’re dealing with is essential in such situations, and something that radically different in RVs when compared to cars would be the batteries. RVs house not one but two batteries, known as the engine battery and the house battery.

In a nutshell, the house battery is responsible for providing more power over a longer period; hence, it’s accountable for appliances inside the RV, such as refrigerators. 

On the other hand, the engine battery is designed to produce more power for shorter periods. Subsequently, it’s responsible for exterior lights and audio systems.

After you learn about jumping your RV, check out our latest articles, Top Fender Flares for Your Ram 1500 and What Does BSW Mean On Tires?, for your reading pleasure.

Check Battery Viability

Both of these batteries are lead batteries, and as lead batteries are used, charged, and de-charged, they end up creating tiny crystals of sulphuric acid on the inside. 

If these batteries are undercharged for too long, this sulphuric acid will accumulate (frozen) and become permanent, actively ruining the battery.

In case of overcharging, the water inside the battery will evaporate (leaking), leading to overheating and eventually burning the battery. 

Thus, make sure that none of these situations has befallen the batteries before you do anything to them by simply observing them. Ensure that there are no accumulations around them and that they aren’t burned.

Clean the Area

Try to remove any rust from around the batteries, in addition to any dirt or gunk that can cause a hiccup in the process of wiring the batteries.

Process

Before attaching any cables, the first step you need to go through is knowing the voltage of each of your batteries. 

If you have two 6V batteries in series, you’ll take the red cable and connect it to the positive side on one battery, while the black cable will go on the negative side of the other battery.

That will create a circuit of positive-to-negative all around. As for ground cables, they will have to be connected carefully to the underground positive, and the underground is negative on each battery.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you have two 12V batteries connected in parallel, then the red cable will go to the positive terminal, while the black connection will go with the negative terminal of the battery.

Portable RV Jump Starters

Portable RV jump starters are an essential piece of equipment to carry around these days. RVs are known to have dead batteries more often than not, and there’s not always another vehicle upon which you can depend on.

Hence, we have these compact tools that boast a multitude of uses throughout your day, and they don’t need frequent charging. Nevertheless, in order for that to work, you have to know the proper RV jump starter for your vehicle. 

That depends on the power requirements of your engine:

  • Four-cylinder gas (150-250 amp)
  • Four-cylinder diesel (300-450 amp)
  • Six-cylinder gas (250-350 amp)
  • Six-cylinder diesel (450-600 amp)
  • Eight-cylinder gas (400-550 amp)
  • Eight-cylinder diesel (600-750 amp

And the battery volts:

  • 6V
  • 12V
  • 24V

All of that can be found in your users’ manual and printed on your batteries.

Another interesting detail about this jump starter is that they can operate as portable chargers for all of your devices which can be incredibly beneficial. Lastly, they’ll relieve you of the burden of jump starter cables.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, learning how to jump an RV when it breaks down is not rocket science. You just have to know your vehicle’s basics, what components you have, their requirements, and how to deal with them.

Moreover, you need to know very well the signs of damage and danger that can appear on your batteries to avoid even bigger catastrophes. Plus, if you feel that something is beyond your own abilities and/or understanding, don’t hesitate to call a tow truck or any professional company to deal appropriately with the situation.