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Cold Weather Use

As you'll see, cold temperatures can affect your system. But do not worry – your batteries have built-in safety features to prevent cold-weather damage.

To protect the batteries, there are two safety features that come into play in cold temperatures:

  • The batteries will not CHARGE if they are 32ºF or colder.
  • Additionally, the batteries will not POWER any part of the system if they are -4ºF or colder.

When the batteries warm up, they will wake up and act normally. 

Cold Weather Storage

If you are storing your van in cold temperatures, check out our storage guides for 1st Generation Revels and 2nd and 3rd Generation Revels.* When storing your van, if your plumbing is winterized then you do not need to keep the interior heated. Follow the instructions in our storage guides to fully power down your system. 

*Guide: Which Generation of Van Do I Have?

Cold Weather Use

If you use your van in cold temperatures, leave the interior heat on (even at a very low setting) to keep the inside above 32ºF so the system will continue to function normally.

Remember, it is a best practice to regularly monitor your system via SOC and voltage to ensure your batteries are not depleting. This is particularly important if you are not regularly deep charging your system with long drives or plugging into shore power.

To monitor, do not solely trust SOC. You must also check voltage to ensure your batteries are not depleting. If voltage is 12.8 or lower (even if SOC is high), your batteries are depleted and you should charge immediately via shore power or driving. Read our Victron Battery Monitoring Guide to understand why.

Common Questions

How can I monitor my battery temperature?

For 2nd Generation and later Revels, use the Lithionics app to check battery temperature. 

There is not a temperature monitor for 1st Generation Revels. 

How will cold weather affect my system if there are no battery heaters?

The batteries are inside the heated/cooled space in your van, which means as long as the van heat is on, battery temperature is not an issue in cold weather. If you’ll be storing your van in cold temperatures, the most robust way to store the system is to completely power it down. Check out our storage guides for 1st Generation Revels and 2nd and 3rd Generation Revels for more information

What happens to my system if the battery temperature falls below 32ºF?

If the interior of the van falls below freezing, the batteries will not accept a charge. Even if you are driving, your system will not charge. 

In this scenario, if there are any loads on the system then they will eventually completely deplete your batteries and cause a low voltage shutdown. During a low voltage shutdown, you will be unable to use your system until the batteries are heated above 32ºF then reset and charged.

If your batteries still have charge, you can use the van’s heater for a few hours to warm the system above 32ºF, at which point the batteries will resume accepting charge from solar/driving/shore power.

My batteries were charged, but the temperature is below -4ºF and nothing works.

The batteries protect themselves and they cannot be damaged if you try to use them when they are below -4°F.  At these frigid temperatures, the batteries will not charge AND they will not power any components. To restore functionality, you must thoroughly warm the interior of the van to above -4ºF (such as with a space heater plugged into an external power source or by parking in a heated space). 

When the batteries warm up, they will wake up and act normally. It is extremely difficult to get the batteries to -4ºF even if it is much colder outside. If the sun is shining on your van, it will be passively heated from that.

My system was on, then it got really cold and now nothing works.

If your batteries are below -4ºF AND also are totally depleted, then you’ll need to warm the interior of the van above 32ºF before you can reset the batteries and charge them. Using a space heater plugged into an external power source or parking the van in a heated storage space are both options in this scenario. 

After a significant time with the heat running, the batteries should be warm enough to reset and then accept charge from driving, shore power, or solar. Remember, if you try to charge them and they are too cold, they will protect themselves and you will not damage them! 

When you are confident that the interior of the van has been thoroughly heated, read our guide for what to do when the system is shut down.