Do RV Batteries Charge When Plugged Into Shore Power?

RV Batteries Charge through Shore Power

You’re probably wondering if your RV batteries will still charge when plugged into shore power.

This is a good question because many people worry about their battery’s life span and don’t want to risk having to replace them too soon.

“Do RV batteries charge when plugged into shore power?” has a very good answer, and it’s YES! Shore power does not just provide electricity for your RV; it also provides a full-time battery charger.

So yes, RV batteries do charge when connected to shore power.

Do RV Batteries Charge through Shore Power?

So, do RV batteries charge when plugged into shore power? Yes, they do.

A question that some RV owners may be asking right now is “do RV batteries charge while driving?” The answer to this question is no. 

While the battery voltage may increase slightly while you are driving on the road because of accessory use, your battery’s voltage will not become fully charged until it is connected to an electrical outlet for several hours.

So, if you are camping in a campground with hookups or at home without worrying about running out of juice on your batteries, make sure you leave them plugged in when not in use!

This way they stay charged and ready to go when you are on your next adventure!

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Should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged into shore power?

Another question many RV owners may be asking is “should I disconnect my battery when plugged into shore power?”

The answer to this question is no. When you plug your RV into an electric outlet (or campground) with shore power, the converter that converts household current to 12 volts sends out alternating currents at 120 Hertz.

This creates what is called a pulsed DC supply which charges the battery through an alternator or generator. The voltage inside many RVs can be as low as 10 volts and as high as 14 volts during use.

When you connect to shore power with an electric cord, you allow the batteries in your RV to charge. When an electrical device is turned off, the battery voltage returns to its previous level.

This is why when you turn on a light or use an outlet, you can hear a slight hum coming from your converter; it’s working! So no, it’s not recommended that you disconnect the battery when plugged into shore power.

You will need to plan out where exactly in your RV that you are going to place your inverter if you want to plug something in outside of the RV.

The last thing you want is for someone to accidentally step on wet ground and get electrocuted because they stepped on something outside of the RV.

How long does it take to charge RV batteries on shore power?

The last question we will cover is how long does it take for your batteries to become fully charged when you are on the road.

This time will depend on the voltage output of the battery charger, battery voltage level before charging, and what type of shore power cord is being used.

If there is an electrical outlet in the area where you are camping, chances are that they have a connection that can be accessed with either a 30 or 50 amp extension cord.

This means that you would need an adapter to plug into another household outlet. Typically, this adapter would be included when purchasing a shore power cord at most RV supply stores.

When it comes to properly charge your RV batteries with your converter while plugged in at a campground, the voltage output is dependent on what type of converter your RV has.

Converters that are built into an RV will automatically convert the supplied current from the campground to 12 volts and then switch back to 110 volts at 60 hertz (or 110 VAC). This will prevent blowing fuses and tripping breakers.

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A stand-alone battery charger would plug directly into a household outlet without having to go through an inverter first.

These types of outlets typically do not provide as much power as those meant specifically for RVs and would require more time for your batteries to become fully charged.

An important note about converters: When your converter is charging your batteries it increases the voltage on your batteries, this can shorten the life of your batteries if you are not cautious. This is why it is important to keep inverter use to a minimum, so as not to overload them.

Power inverters are typically found in most RVs today because they are necessary for appliances that require 120 volts. However, one must be aware of how much wattage is being used at any given time and make sure that they do not exceed their limits.

If you have an inverter with too many watts for your battery charger or shore power cord then you will end up with a fried converter!

Always check with the manual of your RV to see what the maximum allowable is for all devices you intend to use on your RV. Typically, you will not exceed more than 50% of the total watts allowed for all devices at once.


One of the most common questions that RV owners have is whether or not their RV batteries charge when they are plugged into shore power. The answer to this question depends on what type of battery you have in your RV, so let us break it down for you.

If you have a wet cell lead-acid battery, then yes! Your RV will be charging while plugged into shore power without any problems at all.

However, if you have an AGM Battery (aka Gel Cell) then no-your batteries won’t charge via shore power because these types of batteries don’t like being charged by alternators and prefer to be slow-charged with direct current from solar panels or wind turbines only.

If the battery has been sitting on a charger for too long and it’s time to unplug so you can move your RV away from where there isn’t any more electricity available.

And make sure you first disconnect the cable that goes between your generator and starter box. This will keep sparks from igniting-which could lead to an explosion in this situation!

Ruby Nicholls

I am a traveling journalist and content creator, in love with the world of Mobile Homes & RVs. I spend my time filling up on new adventures, and sharing them with you so you can feel inspired to travel too! Every experience is different and at the end, we are all tourists of our own lives.

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