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Are You Ready to Go Camping?
Are Your Batteries?
DCPS Blog by Emily Nikolaisen, 06/20/16

From packing the firewood and matches, to the toilet paper, if you're an RV'er you know that being prepared is what keeps things fun when you're out in the great wide open. While you're getting ready, don't forget to take care of your RV batteries to ensure you don't have a problem later.

RV, camper parked in a meadow of purple flowers.

It’s fairly easy to keep your RV Raptor series batteries (PDF) ready to go for camping trips, you just have to know what to look for! It’s extremely important to maintain these batteries and keep them working properly so that they’ll have the longest life possible. You can check on batteries fairly easily yourself, or you can have a professional maintain them. If you are going to be the one who is checking on the state of your batteries, make sure to wear safety glasses and protective gloves.

Before you start, disconnect all external power to all of the items in your RV, and turn the main power switch off. Once you’re finished with that, check the terminals, connections, and battery trays. If they’re corroded, clean them. A baking soda solution will work in a pinch. If you opt for this method, mix one part baking soda in four parts hot water, then apply. While baking soda works occasionally, we recommend our DCPS Neutralizing Battery Cleaner for long term use.

Start by disconnecting the battery, then apply the DCPS Neutralizing Battery Cleaner, and thoroughly cover the battery being careful to avoid getting any on the inside of the battery. Once the color changes, rinse the cleaner off with water. Don't forget to clean the connections! Once that’s done, rinse and dry everything off. Reconnect the terminals, and apply a little bit of dielectric grease to the connections because it will help to prevent oxidation.

Before camping season, it’s a great idea to have your batteries tested. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of maintaining your batteries, we’re happy to help check them and test them! Remove the battery and bring it to us. As a side note, if a battery needs to be replaced, don’t add a new battery to an old bank. The whole battery bank must be replaced.

Your batteries will have a great life expectancy if they’re taken care of and charged properly. How batteries are discharged and charged make a big difference. A battery cycle is one complete discharge from 100 percent down to about 50 percent, then charged back up to 100 percent. If a battery is discharged to 50 percent everyday, it can last twice as long as it would if it was to be discharged to 80 percent. The life expectancy of a battery depends on how soon a battery is recharged. The sooner you are able to recharge it, the better off your battery will be. If you follow these easy steps, your battery will be ready for any camping adventures you go on this season!

RV Cooking | Taco Soup Recipe

Looking for a pantry meal that won't send you on a trip to the grocery store while camping? This savory soup is a family favorite!

1-2 T Olive oil
5-6 Chicken tenders (or a can of chicken will work too)
Black pepper (ground)
1 can diced tomatoes (juice from tomatoes and all)
1 can beans (your choice: Northern, Black, Pinto, Kidney--rinsed well)
1 box chicken broth
1 onion (red, white or yellow)
Taco seasoning (1 pkg - Or make your own)
Splash (1/8-1/4 C) Milk

Toppings: Sour cream, crushed corn chips, grated cheese, salsa

In medium-large soup pan cook the chicken tenders* in olive oil with black pepper. When cooked cut the chicken into bite sizes and put the chicken back in the pan. Chop 1 small onion and add it to the pan to begin caramelizing.

*If you're using canned chicken, caramelize the onion and add the chicken when you're adding the beans.

Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, the taco seasoning and about 1/2-1 C water to the frying pan to deglaze. Add the rinsed beans and a splash of milk. Heat approximately 10-15 minutes and serve with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Source: Cookbook Bites Blog, Suzanne Nikolaisen