Best Battery Monitor for Van Life 2020

Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with Battery Temperature Sensor

Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with Battery Temperature Sensor
  • This BUNDLE includes a brand new in box BMV-712 Battery Monitor & Victron Temperature Sensor ASS000100000
  • Built-In Bluetooth to track the state of your battery via smart phone
  • Displays the cumulative amp-hours used from the battery
  • Capable of monitoring voltage of second (usually starting) battery
  • Compact 2" display is easy to install and connect, 500A smart shunt included. 5 Year Limited Warranty

The Victron battery monitor is a 12V battery monitor that is perfect for campervans. It is solid, durable, and has various functions that make it stand out from the rest of the battery monitors. It comes with a battery balancer of 24V. Victron battery monitor has Bluetooth technology that allows you to check the status of your battery on your smartphones remotely. Moreover, it is easy to program. The detailed setup menu also you to modify or change settings very quickly. It is easy to install. It comes with a separate front bezel that allows you to choose between a square or a round display. You can do either a front installation with the help of rings, or you can do a rear mounting with the help of securing rings.

Pros

Durable
Solid Construction
Compact Design
Various mounting options
Nice display
Easy to install
Bluetooth communication

Cons

Slightly expensive

AiLi Voltmeter

Sale
AiLi Voltmeter Ammeter Voltage Current Meter Voltmeter Ammeter 100V 350A Caravan RV Motorhome 999 AH
  • Read your battery bank like a fuel gauge, battery status at a glance.
  • Combines many functions in one, these information leads to more efficient use of the battery, which can enhance battery life and reduce the risk of failure.
  • State of Charge (%),The remaining battery capacity ( up to 999AH). Charge and discharge current (A), Voltage (V).
  • Data storage - designed to automatically store the last testing data when system shuts off
  • Universal Battery Monitor- voltage range 8V-100V and up to 350A

AiLi battery monitor is not only intuitive and functional, but it is also simple to use as well. You will not have a hard time figuring out how to use it. This multifunctional device can work as a voltmeter, ammeter, and a current meter. You can keep an eye on the battery status without having to buy multiple devices.

Moreover, this device can be used anywhere from boats to caravans, to motor homes. It has an affordable price as well. You can change the display on the monitor so that it will show the status of the battery in the form of an analog fuel gauge. You can keep an eye on the charge and discharge current, the voltage, the charge, and the remaining capacity of the battery.

Pros

Easy to use
Affordable
Good performance
Trustworthy brand

Cons

Some users voice longevity issues

DROK Battery Monitor

Battery Monitor, DROK 10-100V Digital Battery Capacity Tester, Percentage Level Voltage Temperature Switch Meter Gauge 12V 24V 36V 48V LCD Display Marine RV Battery Power Indicator Panel
  • APPLICABLE BATTERY --- DROK digital battery monitor is suitable for 10-100V (12v 24v 36v 48v 60v 72v 96v) lithium battery, lead-acid battery, lithium iron phosphate battery, Ni MH battery. Default 12 volt lead acid battery.
  • APPLICATION --- this multimeter can be used as battery voltage meter, battery capacity tester and temperature indicator panel for car, marine, RV, boat, etc.
  • PROTECTION --- the battery power detector comes with protective shell, dustproof waterproof surface; input reverse connection protection.
  • LCD DISPLAY --- the battery status reader adopts clear LCD color screen, displays battery capacity, voltage, temperature value(switched by the key).
  • ALARM --- if low voltage, red indicator flashes and buzzer alarms.

What makes DROK Battery Monitor stand out from the rest is its efficiency, simplicity, and practicality.
It is compatible with various batteries and has a max power rating of 100 V. This means it is compatible with batteries from 12V all through to 96V. It caters to 12V lead-acid battery in the default state. It is also compatible with lithium-ion, Ni-MH, and phosphate-based batteries
Not only does this battery monitoring system measure the power supply and tell you about the battery condition, but it also accurately measures temperature in the Celsius scale with temperature sensors. The on/off switch is an excellent addition, which is not present in a lot of rv battery monitor.

Pros

Compatible with various Voltages
Works with different types of batteries
Temperature sensors
Cleat LCD
Affordable

Cons

The battery monitor displays temperature in Celsius scale only

Buying Guide

When you are out camping, it is a good idea to have a battery monitor with you that will show you the status of your battery. You don’t want your battery conking out in the middle of nowhere, now do you?

A battery monitor is a system that measures the flow of energy in your battery all the time. Several other measurements and factors that are important in calculating the amount of charge present are also shown by a battery monitor.

It is a useful tool for your campervan that you should have. There are various products on the market, and each seems to be perfect. However, that is not the case.

Some various features and factors set a battery monitor for campervan apart from each other. Let’s take a look at the things you need to keep in mind before you go out and buy a battery monitor. Let’s get started.

What is a battery monitor?

The first thing that you need to know is what a monitor is actually. It is a device that gives you detailed information regarding the charge and load on the battery. Moreover, it also monitors the number of cycles a battery goes through along with the battery history. Battery monitoring your when you are in a van is pretty important since you are out on the road and don’t want to end up with damaged batteries.
A battery monitor has an ammeter functionality. It analyses the amount of current that is flowing in and out of the terminals of the battery to give you the output.

It requires that all the grounded wires are ground on a shunt that is, in return, connected with the negative terminal of the battery. A connection is made between the battery and the shunt directly with no connections with the positive terminal.

The shunt is the brain of the battery monitor. The interface panel is plugged with the shunt. Voltmeter also performs a similar function. However, it lacks various features that are offered by battery monitors.

Types of battery monitors

There are two kinds of battery monitors for RVs and campervans. The first kind of battery monitor measures only the voltage and is commonly known as a voltmeter. The other type is the one that measures both amperes and volts.

Voltmeters are a simple and cheap option and measure the voltage of your battery in an easy way. If you know how to read the state of charge of your battery depending on their type, e.g., AGM, Lithium-Ion, etc., then you are good to go with a voltmeter.

However, the issue with voltmeters is that the reading will not tell you anything about how much power that is being drawn by the system, If you are charging the battery with the help of solar power from solar panels (from your solar system with solar panel) or alternator, the voltmeter will not tell you whether your battery is being charged or not.

This means that you can miss out on faults and end up with a damaged battery. Batteries don’t come cheap, and if you are not careful, you are going to end up losing hundreds of dollars. Therefore, you should buy a proper RV battery monitor also like has an “ammeter” functionality rather than buying a simple voltmeter.

Some come as multi-meters while others as voltmeters. You can choose the type of monitor as per your preferences and requirements.

Compatibility with existing electrical systems

You need to check out if the battery monitor you are buying is compatible with the existing electrical system in your van build like solar panels. Various battery monitors are compatible with different kinds of electrical systems, so make sure you check this before purchasing the final one. Theses systems work with various voltages. They work with different types of batteries as well, such as SLA, lead-acid, NiCad, gel cell, etc.

Power consumption

With the help of battery monitoring, you can check if your charging equipment is working properly or not. You can also know which equipment is wasting how much power or consuming additional power. If you become aware of this, you can turn it off to save your battery charge.

Notifications

RV Battery monitors come with notification alerts. They notify you when your RV battery is dying, or if it is not charging properly. You can also record the previous data of the battery and use it if you are doing troubleshooting.

Temperature

A few battery monitors not only show the battery status in the form of amps and volts, but they also show the battery temperature using temperature sensors. This is an important feature with the help of which you can keep the temperature of your battery under control and prevent it from overheating. The LCD displays of the battery monitors tell you everything you need to know about the health of your battery.

Ease of Use

Another thing that you need to keep an eye out for is the ease of use and accessibility. You don’t want to buy a battery monitor that is difficult to use and has many features that you don’t know how to access. Look for a simple and accessible design.

Warranty

When it comes to any product, warranty is something you can’t skip on. A good and long warranty period assures that the manufacturers have complete faith in the quality of their product.

Check the warranty period of the batter monitor so that if the device fails you, you can get a refund or get it repaired at least. You should also take a look at the customer services of the company so that if you have any queries in the future, you will get a quality response.

Cost

When you are out buying not only battery monitors, you have to keep an eye out for the price tags. A higher price tag is not a guarantee that you will get better quality as well. Many battery monitors come at an affordable cost and function correctly.
Additional features result in added costs. Be certain that you know what features you are looking for in a battery monitor, and then buy one that suits your budgetary requirements. Fix a budget, write down the features you want in your battery monitor, and then choose the one that fulfills both criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs

Q. Which brands of battery monitors are popular?

When you are searching for good battery monitors, you have to keep popular brands in mind as well. The brands that are currently popular due to their quality and durability are Bayite, Victron, WATERWICH, and DROK. These companies have been around for quite a while, and have a good reputation.

Q. Can I change the features displayed on the monitor screen?

This varies from monitor to monitor. A few monitors provide you with the ability to choose which features you see on the screen. Check the instructions manual that came with your battery monitor and see if you can do the desired changes to the display.

Q. How can I install a battery monitor in my campervan?

There is no definite and straightforward answer to this since every battery monitor has its own way of fixation and installation. Read the user manual that came with the monitor and install the monitor in your RV properly.

Q. How do I take care of my van battery monitor?

Taking care of a battery monitor is not a difficult task. Most of them don’t require any kind of maintenance. However, you need to keep the battery monitor away from harsh elements such as direct sunlight, moisture, etc. Moisture is not good around electronics, so make sure that your battery monitor is installed in a safe and dry place.

Final Verdict
When you are out camping in the wilderness, you have to make sure that the battery in your campervan doesn’t give up on you. With the help of the right battery monitor, you can make sure that your battery remains in excellent shape, and you remain informed of any change in its condition.
There are various products out in the market, and it gets difficult to choose the best. Go through our product reviews and choose the battery monitor that you think is the best one. If you are still looking for more, then read our thorough buying guide to know which features you need to look out for.

Happy camping, Folks!