Do you need an RV battery monitor?

If you are boon docking or full timing I would expect most of you need a battery monitor.

I rely very heavily on my battery. When the sun goes down it is the only thing keeping my food cold, powering my furnace and running the fans. If you have not read my article on battery charging it is a must read first LINK. It is important to ‘know’ the State of Charge (SOC) so that you do not over discharge your battery and shorten its life. The RV standard battery gauge with 3 or 4 led idiot lights will never let you know the SOC of your battery.

Victron BMV 712
Victron BMV 712 Battery Monitor

A battery monitor that uses a shunt will be able to ‘count the electrons’ that are coming and going from the battery along with accurately measuring the temperature of the battery bank. It can take that information and display it in an easy to understand format. You will be able to choose between a 50% SOC or 50 Amp Hour (AH) left in your battery bank. Some battery monitors like the Victron BMV 712 will let you use an app to configure and monitor it along with sharing the information with other Victron devices.

If you are a weekend warrior it might be a tough deciding if you need a battery monitor. Reasons to not use battery monitor would include: plugging in for 5 days, enough solar production when not in use or a battery bank that costs less than $300 to replace. I believe you need one if you use use 1/2 of your battery capacity in one day or spend more than 3 days in RV without being plugged in/use generator. Of course more tech is better in my humble opinion!

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