Do RV Outlets Work on Battery? – Works In These Conditions

RVs are essentially your house on wheels, which is why bringing all kinds of appliances with you is the main appeal. RV outlets function a bit differently than your average home outlets. RV outlets have a battery standard that is different from most other vehicles, and hence the information of whether RV outlets work on the Battery is an important one to ask.

The electrical system of the RV may seem confusing, but it’s quite easy to understand. The guide will help you understand what kind of appliances are usable in the RV, and whether various RV outlets work on batteries.

Do RV Electrical Outlets Work on Battery

When people ask, do RV outlets work on batteries, you’ll find that the answer is pretty nuanced. The RV outlets don’t rely on your RV’s built-in battery because there’s a bit of a power difference. Your RV dishes out about 12-volt DC current, and your RV outlets only deal with 110-volt AC power. If you want anything to do with 110-volt AC appliances, you’ll need an inverter for it to run off the battery.

Your RV system is essentially divided into three different electrical systems. The first system is a 12-volt DC automotive system, while the other two systems are a 12-volt DC coach system, and a 120 volt AC coach system respectively. Most of the appliances are applicable on the 12-volt DC, and the 120 AC coach systems.

The 120 Volt AC System

Many of the places where you’ll be able to use the battery are at campgrounds. Many campgrounds provide 120-volt electricity to the plugin. Your RV will have a cord that you can attach to the battery to use all of your appliances. Your RV must have the 120 AC coach systems to use heavy-duty appliances such as roof air conditioner, the fridge, microwave, etc.

The 12-Volt DC System

When talking about the 12-volt system, it’s for the appliances that don’t demand much power. Anything ranging from fans, bulbs, small speakers, etc is included within the 12-volt DC system. The 12-volt DC system isn’t for heavier appliances, which is why knowing which appliance goes where is important to know so you don’t short circuit anything. Believe me, you don’t want anything frying in your RV!

When you attach your RV to the 120 volt AC coach system, the RV converts the current into 12-volt DC currents so you can use the smaller appliances. You don’t need another battery system to supply any kind of DC current. All your electricity needs will be met with a 120 volt AC battery system, so go ahead and take advantage of the facility.

Having a Power Inverter

RV Power Inverter

Let’s say that you don’t have an external battery, and you want to siphon some power from the 12-volt deep marine battery into your AC power appliances, then you’re going to need an inverter. Instead of using the external power source, you can use the RV’s own power to facilitate most of your appliances.

The inverter uses a bit of power, but considering the benefits, it’s worth the cost. You can use the various appliances if the need arises, but it’s better to use the 120 volt AC appliances when there’s a proper external battery source connected.

Using the Appliances Without an External Battery

You can use all of the appliances that are hooked up with the 12-volt DC system if you don’t have any external battery that you can use. You will have to check if your RV model has a 12-volt deep marine battery. You’ll also need to check if your batteries are charged before your departure, otherwise, your battery can suffer in the long run.

If you have a 12-volt battery, you can use everything except 120-volt AC dependent. The appliances you won’t be able to use are the air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, etc.

Using a Solar Power System for Your Appliance Needs

If you have a solar power system fitted into your RV, then you can facilitate many of the appliances that depend on the 12-volt DC electrical system. Most DC systems will benefit from solar power, however, for the AC system, it’s another story.

The power-hungry 120 volt AC coach system needs sufficient energy to function. The best way to tackle AC power supply is to have house batteries that can get charged. Once the house batteries are fully charged, you can use the power to supply your AC coach system appliances. Solar energy is a good option if you really need to use AC-dependent appliances in a pinch.

How to Maintain RV Batteries

How to Maintain RV Batteries

No matter what kind of RV outlets you have working on the battery, if your electrical system isn’t in top condition, you can suffer from some major appliance deterioration. You need to keep your battery in top working condition, and the following tips will help you achieve that.

Flammable Batteries

The chemicals used in batteries are extremely flammable, which is why keeping flames far away is a good idea. If any of the vapors from the batteries catch on fire, it could spell trouble for anyone in the immediate vicinity, so always be careful of flame when working around batteries.

The best thing to do is to disconnect any 12-volt disconnect terminals from the battery to avoid any kind of danger. The best course of action is to keep all kinds of flammable items away from the battery.

Overcharging Your Batteries

This is something that all people in the appliance department must have said once to you to “never overcharge your batteries“. Whether it’s your cell or your RV batteries, overcharging can cause damage to your batteries. Charging decreases electrolyte levels in your batteries, which means if you don’t disconnect them in time, it’s going to hurt the lifetime of the battery, and ultimately your appliances in the long run.

Regular Maintenance of RV Batteries

Cleaning your battery, and its components are important. Everything from the terminals, to the battery cables, is important to inspect. Any faulty wiring or corroded terminals will do a number on the battery’s life. Using battery terminal spray will help you keep the connections clean, and will prevent corrosion.


Your RV system has everything that will give you the most comfortable style of travel. The comfort of the RV is owed to the various appliances found within it. To keep the appliances up and running, you need a power source, and knowing what kinds of appliances go to which kind of socket is important as well.

RV outlets working on the battery have different applications and knowing which appliance goes in which is also important. You can keep the battery maintained to improve your appliance experience, as well as make use of the external batteries for designated RV campgrounds. All in all, take advantage of the RV outlets to take your traveling experience to the next level.

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