Most travel trailers nowadays come equipped with an RV battery monitor system. These monitor systems let you know your trailer’s battery level along with voltage, consumption rate, wattage and so on. But many battery monitor systems also feature extended abilities to monitor other systems, such as tank fluid levels or charging from solar panels or generator. You can even install RV monitors that let you control the temperature inside your trailer. There are many digital models available too. The best monitoring systems for RVs come with a Bluetooth integration that lets users access it through their smartphones. Having one of these systems installed can prove very beneficial in the long run. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to get an RV Battery Monitor system. To help you choose the right one for your vehicle, we compiled this list of the six best RV monitors.
6 Best RV Battery Monitors
Do you need a high precision smart battery monitor for your RV?
If yes, then the Victron Energy BMV-712 Battery Monitor is your best bet. It is a smart battery monitor that calculates ampere-hours consumed and the charge state of a battery. It uses complex algorithms to precisely monitor multiple factors on a single screen.
It is easy to use and even easier to install this battery monitor system. In the box, you get a separate front bezel for a round or square display appearance, a securing ring, and screws for mounting. Also, did we mention it comes with Bluetooth built-in for the IoT era?
Look at the pros and cons of this product to make a calculated decision.
- Built-in Bluetooth Communication
- This feature lets you monitor the system on your smart device (iOS or Android).
- Easy Installation Process
- You can install this battery monitor without any hassles.
- Easily Programmable
- A detailed and quick install menu guides you through the various settings.
- Not ideal for large vehicles
- The cable that connects the shunt to the monitor is only 30-feet long.
The Simarine Pico Blue RV Battery Monitor is a high-end monitoring system ideal for RVs, boats, and tiny homes. It gives you accurate information about your vehicle’s battery status and comes with sensors that allow you to monitor fuel and water levels along with the status of your black and gray water tanks.
This battery monitor’s sleek appearance is enough to light up any space. It looks like a cool wall-mounted tablet with touchscreen controls. On its screen, you can easily read and scroll across the information gathered by this device.
The setup process may seem tedious but for the functions involved, spending a little time installing it is worth it. Once it is set up, you can check the status of your RV’s systems right away through the screen or on your smartphone. If you want to invest in a great battery monitor, the Simarine Pico Blue RV Battery Monitor should be at the top of your list.
- Looks ultra-chic
- If you want the battery monitor to enhance the appearance of your RV, this should be your go-to monitor.
- Monitors multiple aspects
- It monitors the tanks, temperature, inclinometer, and many other functionalities of your vehicle.
If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to break the bank buying an RV monitor system, steer clear of this product.
This cheap and easy to install battery monitor system provides metered information about the following:
- Battery current
- Battery voltage
- Battery wattage
- Stored energy level
You can read these four indicators easily in a four-part backlit LCD display. You need no configuration or settings to set up this efficient device.
What we did not like was it didn’t include any cable. You’ll need to pick up your wiring from a hardware store for installation. That adds to what you initially spend to set up this device.
Even so, for the price you pay, you get a simple and precise device that provides all the necessary information in an easy to understand way.
- Extremely affordable
- When compared to other monitor systems, this one from Bayite is very pocket friendly.
- User-friendly interface
- The four-part display makes it easy to read. Also, you don’t need to configure this device.
- Easy installation
The installation process is a breeze once you get the right wire to connect the shunt to the monitor.
- No wiring included
- You only get the device and a shunt with this product. To connect the two, you’ll need a cable. This means you need to separately buy a cable that can connect the shunt to the monitor.
- Limited applications
- You can only monitor the four metrics mentioned above with this cheap battery monitor system.
The Bogart Engineering Battery Monitor is a battery monitoring system designed mainly for off-grid use. This trimetric monitor provides you with key information on the following:
- Charge rate
What we did not like about this monitor was that it is not flush-mounted. When you hang it on your RV’s wall, it will stick out about an inch from the surface it’s mounted on. If you intend to install it behind a panel, it may work for you.
This is an honest review, so we’ll tell you something most people won’t. The interface is super complicated. You’ll need to scan through the manual at least twice to figure out the operation of the various menus. And even after that, throwing away the manual is not an option. Unless you have an eidetic memory.
- Battery alarm
- This is a handy feature for a battery monitoring system. If the device detects any condition that may damage the battery, it sets off an alarm.
- Accurate monitoring
- Once you know how to access different menus using the manual, you’ll see that the monitor shows accurate readings.
- No shunt included
- You only get the monitor in the package. To connect it to your RV, you’ll also need a shunt and wiring.
- Complex interface
- Without reading the manual, it is impossible to switch menus. Even after reading the manual, you may take a while to get accustomed to the system.
This exceptional battery monitor by Blue Sea Systems lets you monitor up to four battery banks with a single unit. Its design connects multiple batteries to show you the voltage of three secondary banks with a primary bank.
Although the device is primarily used for off-grid cabins or a set of batteries, it still provides value to RVs with batteries. For the price, you get an OLED monitor with an easy button system. You can read the screen in broad daylight as well. The button system lets you observe and switch between multiple batteries simultaneously. Adding to its functionality is its IP66 waterproof rating!
This means you are free to install it wherever you want on your RV. What we didn’t like, however, was its price. It is a basic monitor but more expensive than the other options in the market.
- 92 dB battery alarm
- Under potentially damaging conditions, an alarm is set off to alert you.
- Monitors multiple battery banks
- You can hook it up to three battery banks plus monitor the voltage and state of charge of another one. So, in all, you can measure the voltage of four battery packs with a single device.
- Extremely expensive
- Perhaps the only downside of this phenomenal monitor system. It is very unreasonably priced for a basic battery monitor.
Designed for small to medium battery banks, this device by Renogy is a smart and affordable solution to monitor your RV’s battery. This product is a mixture of great design and several useful features to monitor your RV’s battery status.
The LCD screen and intuitive buttons make it simple to program and use. By pressing a single button, you can skip between various operations. Checking the voltage, the current, the power consumed, and battery capacity becomes quite easy.
The kit doesn’t include any wiring to connect the monitor to the battery. Also, you don’t get other things like temperature sensors or other accessories that may come in handy. But for the low price you pay for this battery monitor, these drawbacks are something you can probably overlook.
- Easy to program and use
- The interface of the Renogy 500A Battery Monitor is straightforward. It requires no complicated process to switch between the menus.
- Sleek design
- You get a backlit LCD with four buttons on the right-hand side. The design is clean yet elegant.
- No battery cables included
- You will need to buy wiring from a hardware store or separately as this product does not come with battery cables.
Buyers Guide to Pick the Best RV Monitor System
Picking the best RV monitor is more about selecting the right capabilities than going for individual components. Most monitors provide the same features with the only difference being their accuracy. As you move to higher-end products the precision level increases accordingly.
To pick the best RV battery monitor for yourself, consider the following factors before buying:
You can select from a wide range of RV battery monitor systems. The basic models may cost less than $20. But you can choose to spend more than $500 to get a comprehensive system customized to your requirements.
This factor is solely based on your budget. If the budget is not a constraint and you want only the best system for your RV, go for a more comprehensive option.
This may seem insignificant, but the mounting of your battery system determines whether it will fit in your RV. While some feature a protruding mount, others have a more advanced flush mount.
Protruding mounts are great for DIYers as they are easy to mount and maintain. And when you don’t need the system anymore?
Simply take it off the wall.
However, it is not the same for flushed mounts. Apart from their difficult mounting process, the flush mount does not have many drawbacks. It does not take up any extra space in your RV and you won’t bang into it.
How big is the display monitor?
Is it big enough or sharp enough to display relevant information?
The cheaper models offer basic functions like displaying information about the battery’s charge level or voltage. No additional useful features come integrated into them.
If you move up the ladder, you’ll find impressive features like detailed information on charge level, battery temperature, voltage, and charging speed. Yes, you will pay more but these battery monitor systems are accurate and effective.
It’s 2020, the age of smartphones and technology. Smart battery monitor systems let you connect your phones to them. This allows you to monitor battery and other levels on the go.
Simply connect your phone to the monitor via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and monitor your RV wherever it is–even in storage!
Ease of Use
There’s nothing more frustrating than a system you can’t get yourself to understand. Overly complicated procedures in a 30+ page manual?
No, thank you!
It may work well for people who know their way around such complex systems, but most of
us aren’t accustomed to complex systems. Look for streamlined controls and an intuitive command scheme.
If you’re buying an expensive monitor system to install in your RV, it better come with accessories. Some useful accessories to look for including a temperature sensor, fused cables, and extra wiring.
Additional accessories aren’t a necessity but if you are paying a substantial amount, most products will come with these.
A shunt is nothing but a simple connector that connects the monitor to the battery through a cable. It allows the monitor to do its job of reading the charge of battery level, voltage, current, and so on.
Some monitors come with shunts while others don’t. We advise getting an RV battery monitor system that comes with a shunt. This is important if you want to avoid any complications in the future.
Basic systems provide information like the voltage or current details of batteries. But advanced battery monitors can store messages and provide alerts when needed.
This feature is extremely useful if you plan on putting the RV in storage. It lets you check for updates on your RVs battery status and low voltage warnings without physically entering the RV.
Our Final Thoughts
The best RV monitor for your vehicle depends on the size of its battery bank, what information you need to access, and how often you will need it.
There are hundreds of RV battery monitor systems on the market. From cheap to high-priced, these systems are available at every price point. Narrow down how much you are willing to spend and shortlist the best options accordingly.