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We recently published a post explaining the significance of a battery monitor for your RV. In today’s post, we’re taking a look at five of the best RV battery monitors on the market today, and we’ll share some insight into why these particular monitors are worthy of being described as being among the best.
Let’s jump right into it…
What Is an RV Battery Monitor?
For an in-depth look at RV battery monitors and why we need them, please check out our post about that here.
In general, an RV battery monitor is a gauge that not only tells you how much battery life your RV’s battery bank has left but also monitors the condition of your battery bank so that you don’t drain your batteries to the extent that you damage them or render them useless.
So, the battery monitor is important as a gauge of your battery’s overall condition, and of the amount of power that remains stored in your battery bank at any given time. Some RV battery monitors supply other information as well, as you’ll see in our brief reviews of the monitors being highlighted in this post.
The Best RV Battery Monitors For Your Rig
And that brings us to the five best RV battery monitors currently on the market. We begin with two RV battery monitors from Xantrex since we have a Xantrex system, we’re familiar with their stellar quality, and we like having the personal experience to back up items we highlight whenever possible.
The LinkPRO from Xantrex is capable of measuring currents up to 10,000 amps – so this is a very substantial battery monitor. It displays voltage, charge, discharge current, amp hours consumed, battery capacity remaining, and your battery bank’s remaining power time.
Equipped with a programmable alarm relay, the Xantrex LinkPRO can be configured to turn on your generator as needed… or turn off devices as programmed when voltage exceeds your set boundaries.
The small round unit has a clearly backlit LCD display and a user-friendly interface. All the information you need, including the editable parameters, are available at a glance or at the press of a button.
The LinkPRO includes a second battery input to monitor voltage on a second battery if needed (which is good for motorhomes so you can check the voltage on both house and chassis batteries from the one monitor… though it’s important to note that you can only monitor the VOLTAGE of that second battery/battery bank).
A 500-amp shunt is included. This device is what you’ll need to wire inline between your battery(ies) and the loads in your RV in order for the monitor to be able to track the power flowing out of, and into, your battery bank.
The quality of Xantrex products is unmatched in the industry and their customer service is consistently stellar.
Also from Xantrex, the LinkLITE battery monitor
Similar to the LinkPRO, the LinkLITE displays charge and discharge current, amp-hours consumed, voltage, and battery capacity remaining. It has the same backlit LCD display and a user-friendly interface and includes a second battery input to monitor voltage on a second battery if desired.
Whereas the LinkPRO is capable of measuring currents up to 10,000 amps, the LinkLITE measures currents up to 1,000 amps and is thus appropriate for a smaller RV and battery system.
Like the LinkPRO, the LinkLITE displays voltage, charge, discharge current, amp hours consumed, battery capacity remaining, and your battery bank’s remaining capacity. It also has the programmable alarm relay to turn on your generator or turn off your devices when voltage exceeds the boundaries you’ve set.
As with the LinkPRO, a 500-amp shunt is included.
- Read your battery bank like a fuel gauge
- Package Dimensions: 12.065 H x 16.764 L x 9.652 W (centimeters)
Perhaps the most popular RV battery monitor currently on the market is the Victron BMV-712. Even if you don’t have other Victron components as part of your electrical system, this battery monitor will perform well on its own as a separate entity.
Victron’s BMV-712 provides a Bluetooth app that allows you to program and control your battery monitor from your smartphone and/or tablet. This may sound intimidating to some at first glance, but it’s actually easier to program and control the system from your phone than it is from the mounted display panel.
This means that your smartphone can act as a secondary display, allowing you to monitor, configure, program, and control your battery monitoring system directly from your phone. This particular Victron battery monitor even allows you to see historical data on your energy usage and your battery’s health.
The BMV-712 is easy to install and easy to use and comes with a 500A shunt you’ll need to install.
Read more about it:
- The Victron Energy BMV-712 Smart Battery Monitor (Grey) is a high precision smart battery monitor, specially designed for systems with battery voltage...
- Midpoint Voltage Monitoring: The BMV-712 features an additional input which can be programmed to measure the voltage of a second battery, battery...
A simpler Victron battery monitor is the SmartShunt. You won’t have a mounted display on the wall of your rig with this battery monitor, but you can see all information and data by using the Victron Mobile App which connects to the SmartShunt via Bluetooth.
The Victron SmartShunt is very easy to install on the negative side of the battery bank. A thin wire is then connected to the positive side and the SmartShunt is set up from there using the app on your smartphone or tablet.
The Victron SmartShunt is available in 500 Amp, 1000 Amp, and 2000 Amp models which come with the appropriately-sized shunt.
- The SmartShunt is an all in one 500 amp battery monitor. Your phone can be connected and acts as a display.
- The SmartShunt connects via Bluetooth to the VictronConnect App on your phone/tablet and you can read out all monitored battery parameters - like...
Simarine Pico One
Simarine’s Pico One battery monitor not only serves as a battery monitor but can also monitor holding tank levels!
You can monitor your battery (and any other voltage sources connected) remotely from your smartphone or tablet, or directly from a mounted touch display.
The Pico One offers real-time monitoring of battery health with data on current, temperature, and voltage, and is Simarine’s entry-level RV battery monitor for rigs with smaller systems. (RVs with larger systems can look to the Pico Standard or Pico Blue packages… or custom configure their own combination of a display and auxiliary monitoring elements… it’s a very versatile system).
The Pico One can monitor the health of one main battery bank, the voltage of a secondary battery, and two tank level readings/temperatures. (The Pico display can be expanded to connect to up to 6 battery banks, monitor 6 additional battery voltages, and track up to 14 tank levels/temperature levels by adding additional modules.)
The display shows the percentage of battery power remaining, the amps coming in through your solar panel(s), and the amps being drawn by appliances and devices such as your refrigerator, lights, etc.
The screen is intuitive and easy to read and use.
- Precise Battery State of Charge Monitoring
- Inlcuding SC303 300A Combo Shunt with 1x Current and 2x Voltage monitoring inputs
We’ll leave you with a video from our friend Brian from RV with Tito who has some very good information to offer on this battery monitor.
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.