Many of you have asked questions about the cold weather operation of the Volta battery system, described in Marcia’s recent blog about our January trip to Florida.  As Marcia wrote, we drove Escape, which has the first Volta system installed by Advanced-RV.  Here is more background that I hope clarifies the battery issues she described in her “ tell it like it is” report.


Last summer, when we first installed the Volta battery system in Escape, we were so anxious to get started testing that we didn’t include the automatic battery heating system.  Not needed in the summer, right?  The tests of the Volta system went well. Since the system had plenty of stored energy, there was no need to plug in, even when running the air conditioner for multiple hours. Compared to our 12V lithium battery system, the Volta 48V+ system  is about 250 pounds lighter and the recharge rate (using the higher voltage, high output alternator)  is about 1.8 times faster. The Volta system can easily recharge the batteries while operating the air conditioner.

recreational vehicle van

When we left for Florida, thinking it would be a warm weather trip, we didn’t worry about not having installed the automatic battery heating system (an automatically controlled, low energy, resistance heated blanket inside the battery insulation). This heating system automatically maintains the batteries at a temperature high enough that battery life is maximized. Without the heating system, the battery temperature control failsafe kicks in. It will not allow the batteries to be used at below 32 deg F and it won’t allow the batteries to charge below 43 deg F. These are conservative settings that assure long battery life.


As Marcia noted, on our first sleep-stop, we experienced high winds and temperatures dropping to 14 deg F. The battery temperature control failsafe worked as designed, shutting down the batteries when they got too cold, fortunately, not until morning. The existing battery insulation, even without the automatic heating system that we had not installed, worked well under these conditions. As confirmed on the Silverleaf control, the battery temperature dropped slowly through the cold night, and rebounded relatively quickly as it warmed up outside.

Custom RV

After we returned, never having plugged-in over the 17-day trip, we installed the automatic battery heater on Escape and we have routinely  installed this heater on every subsequent Advanced RV Volta installation.  Now, we are ready a March trip back to Florida, ready for cold but hoping for warmth.


Thanks for your questions and this chance to clarify Volta battery system operation.


To learn more about Escape, click here.

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