Review of the 9 Best RV Battery Monitor Systems
There are various types of RV battery monitors in the market. We know that choosing one can be quite overwhelming so we’ve come up with a review of the best RV battery monitors to help you decide which one is the perfect fit for you.
Read our reviews about the best RV Battery Monitors in the market and find out exactly just how useful they are.
Review of the best RV battery monitors of 2021
Here’s our menu of the best RV Battery Monitors for your Quick Navigation:
Where to Buy
4.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
4.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
Simarine PICO Blue
2.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
4.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
Blue Sea Systems
4.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
Renogy 500A Battery Monitor
4 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
AiLi RV Battery Monitor
4.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
4.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
DROK Battery Monitor
4.5 out of 5
1 Year/ 1,000 Hours
The Victron Energy BMV-712 Smart is the battery monitor for the 21st century. It is ready for the Internet of Things systems by integrating network connectivity in its device.
The BMV Smart is a high precision battery monitor. It comes with built in Bluetooth technology, making it easier for you to connect it with your other Bluetooth-enabled devices through Victron Smart Technology. Now, you can check your battery status from your smartphone or laptop computer. It is also compatible with VE Smart Networking.
The Victron BMV 712 battery monitors display the state of charge of your battery, calculate ampere hours that you’ve consumed, and indicates the remaining battery life, and many more. These digital information are displayed in a large format on the monitor. The four buttons make it easy for you to scroll through the information that you need. Another cool feature of this monitor is that you can keep track of another battery’s voltage, temperature, or midpoint voltage.
The Victron battery monitor comes with screws for front mounting and a securing ring for rear mounting. It also has a power supply cable with fuse and 10m of 6 core UTP cable with RJ12 connectors for installation. The product package also includes a 500A/50mV shunt that is fitted with a quick connect PCB. You can also get alternative shunts from Victron should you need them to come in 1000A-0mV, 2000A-50mV, or 6000A-50mV.
The Victron Energy BMV-712 Smart is fully equipped to ensure that your batteries are in their best condition.
On the downside, this battery monitor for RV comes with a higher price tag than other monitors in the market. But this is understandable considering its advanced features and technology.
The Bayite DC 6.5-100V 0-100A Battery Monitor is a popular choice among RV owners because of its simple design. A glimpse at the large LCD screen will instantly show you all the information you need to know about the status of your battery – its voltage, current, power, and energy. It has a blue backlight that you can turn on or off manually.
Aside from the user-friendly screen, this product also comes with an easy to understand instruction manual to guide owners with its functions and operation.
The package includes a power multimeter and a closed CT. The inner diameter of the CT is 16.5mm or 0.65in. It also comes with a 100A current shunt. It is easy to install. You can put the loop on neutral or live line. There is no polarity on the wiring. However, you have to procure the wires, screws, and other accessories needed to install this monitor on your RV.
It comes with a heavy-duty design and you can be sure that Bayite used high quality materials for its construction. This will give you peace of mind that your battery monitor can withstand the rugged RV lifestyle and you can use it for a long time.
Its power multimeter makes it a versatile device which makes it a best buy. It functions as voltmeter, multimeter, ammeter, and power energy meter. This Bayite battery monitor is able to store energy data even when the power is turned off.
There’s also another reason why it’s a bestseller. The The Bayite DC 6.5-100V 0-100A Battery Monitoris one of the most affordable monitors in the market.
However, the meter can only measure pure sine power or active power. It won’t tell you about the battery’s apparent power.
It comes with a sleek design much like a smartphone and its touchscreen mechanization makes it easy to use and navigate its features.
The PICO Blue Package gives you complete power and control over every aspect of your battery. It provides highly accurate information about your battery’s health. Plus you can also monitor the voltage of 6 other auxiliary batteries. It also helps you determine your camper’s water levels, fuel, and black and gray water tank’s status.
And it doesn’t end with that. You can also monitor the status of other energy sources that you’re using such as solar panels and shore power generators. The PICO Blue Package also provides you with another important information – the individual energy consumption of your electric appliances such as your air conditioner, refrigerator and furnace.
You can connect it to 6 battery banks, 6 additional batteries for voltage reading, 14 tank levels for temperature monitoring, and 20 consumer or power generation readings.
As expected, this battery monitoring system is more expensive than other monitors. Premium quality comes with a high price tag.
The Trimetric TM-2030 battery monitor is a handy tool to have in your RV (and boat) as it provides you with the information you need to be able to plan the length of your off-grid camping adventure and monitor your solar (or marine) batteries as well.
This monitor works with all battery types. It gives an accurate reading because it is shunt-based as opposed to hall effect based monitors. It also measures the percentage of your battery capacity based on amp-hour measurements which provides better accuracy than voltage reading.
Trimetric TM-2030 measures the charging and discharging of your battery so that you know when you need to add storage capacity. It also tracks the number of days since the last time that your battery was fully charged. It has an alarm system to alert you if your battery is overcharged or running low. You can program the monitor accordingly. This will help you take care of your battery’s health.
When used with WF-2030 WiFi module, you can access the information about your battery’s health from your smartphones, tablets, and computers.
When used with the SC-2030 solar charger, it allows amp-hrs based battery charging to provide sufficient charge and prevent battery sulfation. This is one of the outstanding features of this BMS because it can extend your battery’s life.
However, this product is not user-friendly. You might want to keep your manual handy so that you can understand its features and how to use it. It also doesn’t come with a shunt. You need to buy one separately as it requires a shunt for your current measurements. It should also be noted that this does not come with a flush mount. It sticks out about an inch or so from the surface so if you mount it on your RV’s wall, you can hit it as you pass by.
You can’t go wrong with the State of Charge Monitor from Blue Sea Systems Digital Meters. It provides you with an accurate measurement of the state of charge of your battery. This unit supports programmable shunt ratios. You can use this with 3 other batteries for voltage reading.
The unit itself is rated at IP66 waterproof level which means you can put it anywhere in your RV and not worry about it getting wet. The display uses an OLED monitor that is very readable no matter what time of day. The button system adds to its ease of use.
Its alarm system is also very useful in alerting you regarding the condition of your battery. This will definitely help you in prolonging its lifespan.
The package includes a 500A battery shunt which makes it easier to connect your BMS to your primary battery.
The only downside to this BMS is its price as it comes with a rather expensive price tag.
The Renogy 500A Battery Monitor will be a great help in improving the overall performance and longevity of your battery. With this monitor, you won’t be guessing the condition of your battery. You can see the accurate reading about the state of charge and amperage flowing out of your battery right on the large backlit LCD screen. You can see multiple electronic parameters on the screen to let you know about your battery’s voltage, current, power consumption, and capacity.
It is a universal battery monitor that you can use with voltage ranging from 10V to 120V and up to 500A. It is also compatible with different types of battery such as lead acid, lithium-ion, lithium iron phosphate, and nickel-metal hybrid.
This monitor gives you high precision current detection and accurate battery state of charge. You can also set an alarm for high or low current voltage. When the alarm is activated, the backlight and voltage value will be shown on the screen to alert you on what to do when you reach the cut-off voltage.
This battery monitor is equipped with data storage capacity. It automatically saves the last testing data when its power is off.
The package includes the LCD interface, 500A shunt, transparent shunt holder, 20 ft shielded wire, and B+ wire. The shunt holder makes it very convenient to mount the shunt while the long shielded wire allows you to monitor the status of your battery from a distance. It is easy to install but it doesn’t come with any other accessories which would be helpful in protecting the health of your battery.
The Renogy 500A Battery Monitor is reasonably priced and is one of the most affordable monitors in the market. Given its features, it is definitely a best buy for RV owners.
One of the most recommended monitors out there is the Aili battery monitor. It can be used not just for RVs but also for cars and boats. It is suitable for mobile equipment like e-bikes and cleaning machines.
It is also compatible with various types of batteries from lead acid to lithium batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries that have a capacity range of up to 999 ampere-hour. It is a multi-functional device as it serves as a voltmeter, ammeter, and voltage current meter.
With Aili battery monitor, you will know your battery’s capacity, current charge and discharge, voltage, and state of charge. The charging status indicator is like the one you see on your smartphone and tablet. Use all these information to take care of your battery’s health so that you can enhance its performance and extend its life.
It is easy to install and easy to use. The package includes the battery monitor, current sampler, and 2 meter cable. It comes with an instruction and operation manual to guide you through the process. Once you’ve set it up, you can read your battery status from the LCD screen just like a fuel gauge.
The Aili battery monitor is also very affordable and it does exactly what it promises to do making it worth every penny.
The downside to this is that some owners have reported longevity issues. Maybe because it is made of plastic
The Mictuning DC multimeter is an affordable and dependable device that will help you keep your batteries in top shape. You can use it for your RV battery and solar system. This multimeter measures voltage, current, power, and energy with 1.0 grade accuracy. And all of these information can be read easily on the super large digital LCD screen.
It is compatible with most electrical devices with a maximum power rating of 100A. It is also lightweight, portable, and easy to use. The buttons are pretty straightforward. They allow you to control the backlight, set the voltage alarm threshold, and reset the energy value.
You can set its voltage alarm function and it will alert you if the voltage goes beyond the alarm threshold by flashing the voltage value on the screen together with the backlight to catch your attention.
This multimeter has a data storage capacity. It is designed to automatically store the latest testing data when its power is turned off.
The package comes with a 100A/75mV current shunt and the manufacturer offers free technical support for all your installation and operation concerns. they also have reliable customer service.
Just be careful during installation and follow the wiring order so that it will work properly. Take note also that this device is for indoor use only. You will also need to use a pointing tool in pressing the function button to prevent any accidental touch.
The Drok 12 volt battery monitor is always among the top choices of RV battery monitors because of its efficiency, simplicity, and affordability. It is compatible with different 12V battery types such as lead acid, lithium, lithium iron, lithium iron phosphate, and nickel-metal hydride batteries. It is suitable to use for batteries in RVs, cars, boats, and other instruments that have a maximum power rating of 10-100V.
It is a multifunction device that measures the battery voltage, capacity, and temperature. But take note that the temperature is in Celsius. These information are conveniently displayed on the clear digital LCD color screen making them easy to read and understand.
The 12 volt battery monitor is made with durable materials. It comes with a protective shell, waterproof and dustproof surface, and input reverse connection protection.
It also has an alarm function to alert you if the voltage is below threshold. The red indicator flashes and there is also a buzzer to get your attention.
Some users have sent feedback that the instructions are a little difficult to follow but once you get the hang of it, you’re good to go.
What Is An RV Battery Monitor and How Does It Work
We usually talk about the different sizes and amenities of RVs. But today, we’ll talk about an often overlooked feature of our recreational vehicles – the batteries! More specifically, we’ll talk about RV battery monitor systems, their importance, how to use them, the best RV battery monitor systems, and other related questions.
You need your RV batteries to power all the electric appliances and equipment in your trailer – your air conditioner, refrigerator, furnace, water heater, water pump, among others. These are the things that will make your camping more comfortable.
But oftentimes, you’re clueless about the true state of the charge of your RV battery — is it fully charged or near empty? Is it time to connect it to a shore power? What if you’re out boondocking? Knowing how much battery you still have left helps you estimate the time you need to reach a shore power because a generator can only do so much. Unless you have solar panels installed of course.
Draining your batteries isn’t a good idea either. It will affect the battery’s condition and lifespan. This is why it’s important to have an RV battery monitor system.
First, let’s define what an RV battery monitor is and what it does.
An RV battery monitor is a device that you install in your RV to know how much energy is flowing in and out of your battery. This will help you determine if your battery is draining or how many energy amp hours you have left.
It is a very useful tool that you should have in your RV. The RV battery monitor system can show you the state of charge or discharge of your battery or the percentage of the overall battery capacity. You will know how much time you need until it is full charged and you’ll also be aware how much time you have until it gets discharged.
The RV battery monitor system or BMS works by measuring the inflow and outflow of the current to and from your battery. It detects when your battery is fully charged and then keeps track of the outflow of every amp of energy from your battery. This is what you can see as the remaining battery capacity percentage that lets you know the state of your battery.
In other words, the BMS shows you how much power you’re consuming at any given time. It works with different battery types such as lead acid, gel cell, SLA, and NiCad. You can also use it with different voltages.
If you want to know how much current your appliances are drawing, you can turn them on and off one at a time and check the monitor to determine how much each one is consuming when in use. This sort of awareness about your current consumption will make you realize which appliances drain your battery faster. You need this information when you want to maximize your run time and conserve your battery life.
Benefits Of Using A Battery Monitor
By now, you may already have an idea why RV battery monitor systems are essential for your campers but let’s discuss their advantages in detail.
This is obviously the main function of a battery monitor. It allows you to monitor your battery level. Its ampere hour meter measures your electricity usage inside your RV. With the ampere hour meter, there’s no more need for any guessing game when it comes to your power level.
It is important to monitor your battery status so that you know how to conserve your available power. You’re aware of the appliances that draw more power from your battery and you know that you should use them properly and turn them off once you’re done using them to avoid draining your battery.
There are battery monitor systems that give notifications when there are battery failures. Others even provide users with historical data about your power consumption. This is helpful when troubleshooting the power issue.
Measurement and Forecast of Battery Voltage and Capacity
The battery monitor system comes with a battery meter which measures the battery voltage and capacity. Now you have a way of determining your battery’s capacity and know when it’s time to have it replaced so that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of having your own power source while camping.
Take note that the higher the discharge rate or the faster your battery gets discharged, the lower its capacity. It affects the amount of current that it can deliver at its rated voltage.
You can also use your RV battery monitor system in your other devices such as electric motorcycles, golf cars, medical devices, and many more. So, you’re not just buying it to use for your rig but you’re free to use it with your other battery-operated equipment.
Easy to Use
These monitors are user-friendly. They are easy to install and the information they provide is easy to read and understand. There are some that show the digital measurements while some present the information in a bar graph.
Each RV battery monitor system offers different features as an added value. Some show the temperature aside from the status of the battery and power supply.
Some monitors come with a switch so that you can turn it on or off at your convenience. Others have an LCD screen making it easier to see the information even when it’s dark inside your RV while some monitors come with a Bluetooth function so that you can check the status of your battery from your smartphone or any Bluetooth-enabled device.
There are also other battery monitors that can be connected to your RV generator so that you can automatically use your generator once your RV battery reaches a certain level (preferably before it reaches 50%). This feature will help prolong the lifespan of your battery.
Types Of Battery Monitors
When you go searching for RV battery monitor systems, you’ll find out that there are different types available in the market. We know that it can get confusing so here are 2 most common battery types and what you need to know about them.
Deep Cycle Batteries
These are lead batteries which have been designed to be deeply discharged regularly. It’s okay to use most of the capacity of this type of battery. They are able to provide sustained and long-term energy. These are most commonly used in golf carts, boats, and modern RVs.
There are various subtypes of deep cycle batteries such as gel-type batteries, flooded wet-cell batteries, and absorbed glass mat batteries. You’ll find out that each one comes with different maintenance needs andquirks of its own.
These batteries are an alternative to deep cycle batteries. Those who use this type of batteries usually have solar power that they can use once their battery capacity reaches a certain level.
Lithium batteries are more expensive than deep cycle batteries. This is because they have a much longer lifespan which is around 5,000 cycles unlike deep cycle batteries that can only last until 400 or so cycles. These batteries are also small, lightweight, and has low maintenance to be maintained in tip top shape.
Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best RV Battery Monitor
Before you set out to buy an RV battery monitor system, here are the factors you should consider to get the best RV battery monitor for you.
Price is a major factor in deciding which RV battery monitor system to buy. How much are you willing to spend to get this device? How much is your budget?
There are different battery monitors available at various price points so you’ll surely find one that fits your budget and easy on your wallet.
You get to choose between surface mounting or flush mounting.
Do you want your RV battery monitor to be physically mounted on top of the wall or any surface? Or do you it to be fitted or recessed inside the wall?
You have to check the features or buttons of the RV battery monitor that you’re interested to buy. This will determine whether it is suited for surface or flush mounting.
RV battery monitors come with different display screens that’ll show you the information they provide regarding your battery level. They also come in different sizes.
It is a matter of preference and practicality. You choose if you want a small screen showing limited information or a bigger monitor that can give you a more detailed information regarding the battery’s charge level, voltage temperature, charging speed, and many more.
Some battery monitors have available app support. This means that you can check your battery status from your WiFi-enabled devices such as smartphones or laptops. This is also important for monitoring your RV battery level when it’s not in use.
Convenience or Ease of Use
Check if the RV battery monitor is user-friendly. Is it easy to configure? Are the information presented easy to read and understand? Choose one that you can install and operate without any fuss and trouble.
You better check if the monitor you’re buying has a battery shunt as not all monitors have this.
A battery shunt is connected to your RV battery and it’s the one responsible for measuring the inflow and outflow of energy, voltage, and battery capacity.
Some RV battery monitors, usually the newer ones, offer this kind of service. They send you messages that concern the status of your battery. You’ll receive alerts if there are battery issues. This comes in handy when you’re not using your RV and you still want to know the status of your battery.
Check if your monitor comes with cables and fuses so that you can connect your battery shunt and voltage inputs to your display monitor. There are also some monitors that include temperature sensors to know the battery temperature and display this information in your screen.
RV battery monitor systems are essential in ensuring that your RV battery is in good condition. It is a worthwhile investment as it helps you extend the lifespan of your batteries and it lets you plan your camping and vacation time according to your need for power source.
There is a wide range of RV battery monitors in the market. They come with various features and at different price points giving you more options to choose which is the best battery monitor that will fit your needs.
Some more Related Questions about RV Battery Monitor Systems
How do I read my RV battery monitor?
There are 4 important information that you need to know for you to understand what your RV battery monitor shows you. These are: volts, amps, amp-hours, and time.
Volts (V) – Volts or voltage is the pressure from a power source that is responsible for pushing the current through a conducting loop in the electrical circuit. Volts is used to determine the battery’s state of charge. You also need this to check if your battery is charging properly.
When charging your battery, there should be an increase in voltage displayed on your voltage monitor. For example, you have a 12V battery. It is fully discharged at 10.5V so you need to charge it. You will know that it is fully charged when it reaches 12.6V to 12.8V.
However, it will take time before your battery is fully charged. It depends on the charge rate and size of your battery bank.
Amps (A) – This is the unit of measurement used in electricity. It tells you the rate of the flow of current in or out of the battery. When you’re charging, you will see a positive number (6.0A). When you’re discharging or consuming electricity, it will show us a negative number (-6.0A).
Amp-Hours (Ah) – This is a unit of electric charge. It tells you how much energy is stored or removed from your battery or how much amperage your battery can provide for exactly one hour.
For example, you run a 6A load for one hour, then 6Ah are consumed during this time.
Time (t) – This shows an estimate of time (in hours) that the battery can sustain its load with the assumption that the load is constant over time.
What should my RV battery voltage be?
RV batteries which are in good condition and fully charged have a resting voltage of around 12.6 volts. You want to keep them as close to full charge as possible all the time to maximize their lifespan.
It is recommended that you don’t let your batteries go below 12-volts when you check the LCD display. When this happens, it means that it is already 50% discharged or even below 50% of its state of charge. This can damage your batteries and would impact the number of deep cycles that they can provide.
How do you monitor RV batteries on a budget?
As shown above, there are some affordable RV battery monitoring systems.
Here’s also an easy way on how you can monitor your RV batteries voltage. Do this throughout the night when your batteries are well rested.
- Before bedtime in the evening, you should take note of the date and voltage of your battery.
- Make sure that you turn off everything that’s consuming electricity in your trailer or there’s just a minimal amount of power that’s being discharged from the battery.
- Before the sun rises in the morning, write down your battery’s voltage.
- Compare the 2 voltages from the previous night and the following morning.
- Do this for a few more days to give you a fairly accurate voltage of your battery.
- For example, you get an average reading of 12.1V, you will know that you shouldn’t let your battery level go below this so that you have a happy battery and that’s how you can take good care of it to extend its lifespan.
How to install an RV battery monitor?
When you’ve already bought your own RV battery monitoring system, it’s time to install it. Here are the basic steps in installing your monitor.
- Prepare a cable that is at least 18 inches . Make sure that it can run through the location where you’re going to install the display unit. It is recommended that you choose a location near the door for quick and easy access. You’ll need to drill and cut the cable so that it can go through your RV.
- The shunt of your RV battery monitoring system should be close to the battery. Put a hole so that the toggle switch can go through it. Make sure that the hole is big enough to fit your voltmeter securely.
- Start attaching the switch and voltmeter to the plate. Make sure that the wires are kept in place by soldering them in.
- Then, you can now install the RV battery monitor’s switch and voltmeter.
- You can now connect your black wire to the monitor and the white wire to the RV’s door light or porch.
- Put the switch plate and secure it with a screw.
- That’s it! You can now use your battery monitor to determine the amount of battery left.
How to take care of my RV battery monitor?
It is so easy to take care of your RV battery monitor. They require no maintenance at all but make sure that you do not expose it to harsh elements and water or moisture so that the electronics won’t get damaged. Just ensure that it is in a dry and secure place, protect it from getting wet, and use it with proper handling.