Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. NextRV may be rewarded credit or commissions from qualifying purchases at no expense to you. Thank you for helping us keep the wheels rolling.
Tis’ the season to get the rig ready for camping! You get ‘er pulled out and start going through everything. What’s working and what needs fixing? Low and behold you’ve got a dead RV battery.
But wait, it’s only a couple years old, how can it be dead already? “There goes another $100 bill” I say to myself. I’ll admit this has happened to me more times than I care to disclose. Like a fool, I’ve always just bit the bullet and bought new batteries. Big mistake!
A Chance Meeting
That was until I met a man named George while camping up in Glendo, Wyoming. (There’s a beautiful lake, great walleye fishing and plenty of campsites there if you’re ever passing through.)
While camping at the lake, only a day in to the trip, I lost battery power. George, who happened to be camping next to me, noticed I had my batteries pulled out of my Thor Four Winds motorhome.
“Bad batteries?” I hear from the camp site over…
I holler back “Yep, damn things are barely 2 years old”
So George and I get to talking and he tells me he hasn’t bought a new battery in 10 years!
I thought to myself, “He’s just blowin’ smoke up my dress”.
“Take a look at this…” George says as he motions me over to his camp.
“What does the manufacture date say on that battery” he says as he lifts up the back seat in his boat revealing the battery compartment…
And sure enough, it said 8/07 (August 2007). This was last summer, which means the battery was over 11 years old!
George smiles and turns the key over on the boat ignition. The engine fired right up and he quickly turns it off.
“You ever hear of battery reconditioning?” George asks…
“No, what is it?” I asked.
George starts telling me how to revive any dead battery but I can hear my kids fighting and my wife is hollering “What do you want on your sandwich!?”
We were supposed to be out on the boat by now but I wanted to get the dead RV battery situation handled. You know, just in case I had to run to town to get new ones.
George notices my family getting restless and says “Go have fun on the lake, I’ll have these batteries good as new by the time you get back.”
“Really? Aren’t you headed out fishing yourself?” I asked.
“No, no, I caught my limit yesterday and I’m taking it easy today. Go on, have fun with your family and I’ll get these batteries fixed up,” George says.
“I sure appreciate it George, all you can drink beer at my place tonight, let me bring these batteries over” I said.
George definitely had me thinking…
How the heck can you “revive” a dead RV battery? I’ve never heard of such a thing. At one point I thought maybe he was going to steal my batteries but as far as I was concerned they were dead anyway.
Fast forward to later that day. I’m walking back to camp from the boat and I see the batteries sitting on my camp table. George is reclined back in his chair under a big cottonwood.
“You’re all set! Get them babies wired up and let me know if it works.” George says as I walk up.
Sure enough, as soon as I got the batteries wired up, I flipped the battery power switch and we had power again. A quick peek at the control panel power meter showed we had 100% battery.
After getting cleaned up I went over to George’s camp and asked him how he did it. He said he ran an auto parts store for 30 years and the guys who used to come in and buy the dead batteries showed him how it was done.
George said “You only need 3 things. This special battery charger, this white powder and distilled water.”
I’ve shared the detailed instructions below.
Here’s How To Do It:
You will need the following items to restore batteries at home and you may already have a couple of them in your medicine cabinet or pantry.
- Restore Pulse Repair Battery Charger – The company who makes this charger sells it exclusively on their website, it’s not available anywhere else. At the time of this writing, they were around $30. The website is: RestoreBatteryCharger.com
- Epsom Salt – Epsom salts are commonly used in bath water to relax sore muscles and loosen stiff joints. You can find it at Walmart, your local drug store or similar outlets. You want the finer salt, not the big chunky stuff. Don’t buy the fancy kind, the cheaper the better.
- Distilled Water – You can buy this at your local grocery store or drug store in gallon jugs.
Note: A standard car battery charger will not work, I’ve tried. You have to use the Restore Pulse charger above because of how it pulse charges the battery.
Safety Disclaimer: You should wear safety glasses, a long sleeve cotton shirt and pants and chemical rated rubber gloves before working with batteries. This tutorial is for informational purposes only. I’m not responsible for any damage you do to yourself or others or loss of personal property. Whew…you never know who’s reading 🙂
Step 1: Remove the battery cell caps with a pair of pliers or a flat head screwdriver.
Once you’ve removed the caps you should see holes in the top like this:
Step 2: Using a medium sized Dixie cup or something similar, dilute one heaping teaspoon (regular plastic dinner spoon) of Epsom salt in warm distilled water.
Step 3: Pour this solution into one of the cell openings until the water comes up to about 1/2 inch from the top of the opening. Spoon any remaining Epsom salt in the cup into the cell opening. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for each cell opening.
Step 4: Replace the cell caps and connect the Restore Pulse charger to the battery. Plug it into an outlet and then press the Repair button. The charger display will read FUL when the battery is fully repaired. This can take up to 12 hours depending on how bad the battery was to start with.
That’s it! You’re now a battery restoration expert. No more dead RV battery issues for you.
Save Money, Make Money
You can restore your own batteries and save thousands in the long run. Become an entrepreneur and start a new side business. Make money selling reconditioned batteries for half the price on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or even at garage sales.