Is a battery necessary?

I have a question for all of the electronic guru's out there. I have a seasonal campsite and am always plugged into shore power. I'm wondering if I really need to have the battery in my trailer hooked up? Could I just leave it out and put some electrical tape over the cable ends or does the battery need to be there? I'll appreciate all comments. The interior lights are 12V, most everything else is 110.

Re: Is a battery necessary?

I have a friend who rents a camper trailer which is permanently set up and wired to shore. She had no battery in it, but then the converter failed and every 12-volt light and appliance was dead. She bought a battery and a cheap battery charger to keep it going until she could install a new $300 converter.

The trailer worked fine with no battery. I have no idea if the absence of the battery strained the converter some way and cased failure but it seems like it might. Perhaps our electrical gurus will chime in here and offer a more educated opinion.



New Member
RE: Is a battery necessary?

I wouldn't go without a battery. That converter charges (depending on your converter) off what charge is in the battery. If there's no battery the converter will charge at max and keep doing so until it's told the battery is full.
If your just trying to save wear and tear on your battery I'd pick up the cheapest battery you can find, hook it up and make the converter happy.
I think this is true, correct me if not.


Senior Member
Re: Is a battery necessary?

Converters take 120V AC and make 12V DC. The 60Hz from the AC is fairly hard to get rid of, and I'm thinking the 12v battery may be used as part of the filtering. Plus, with a battery, if you every have a power outage, you'll still have lights.
Re: Is a battery necessary?

This is one of the design "features" of an RV that doesn't quite make sense when you use it like a mini mobile home (seasonal.)

If it were mine, I would get rid of the batteries AND change the 'converter' out with an appropriately sized 12vdc power supply.

Then buy some cheap flashlights for the power outage.
Re: Is a battery necessary?

Sorry, John. The battery is not a "heat sink." You might be thinking of 'capacitor' which it does act like on some converters.

You don't need the battery charging circuits on a converter if you don't have (or need) house batteries. The only other function of the converter is to supply DC for the 12v systems. Most converters are made with less regulation than a basic electronic power supply, because they are designed with the assumption that there will be house batteries connected to them. It's a money thing.

My point was that if you are going to use the RV like a mini mobile home and never go on the road with it, then you don't need the batteries or converter. You can replace those components with an electronic power supply that has good 12vdc regulation.