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Introduction to the Best RV Batteries and What you Need to Know
by Cortney and Jeremiah Edwards
I am going to be honest with you, it can be hard to find the best RV batteries. There are so many brands and models on the market that it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones are worth your time and money. This article will help you understand how they work and why some make better choices than others based on your personal needs!
What to Look For When Purchasing a New RV Battery
The first thing to look for when purchasing a new RV battery is its amperage rating. The amp rating indicates how much energy the battery can provide at one time, which determines how quickly you can charge your electronics or power up appliances in your camper. If you are looking for high-power usage and quick charging times, then consider buying a battery with an amp rating between 100 and 700.
The next thing to look for is the voltage of your battery, which determines how quickly it can be charged by solar panels or engine alternators while you are in motion. If you want a fast charge time on the go, then consider buying a 12-volt RV battery with at least 50 amps and a 200-amp hour rating. This means that your battery can provide up to 50 amps without damaging the battery for four hours (50 amps x 4 hours=200 amp hours).
It is also important to consider the type of battery when shopping for an RV battery because they all have pros and cons, just like any other product. Consider buying AGM batteries if you are looking for long-lasting power that can be used in a variety of climates without losing performance or dry cell batteries if you are looking for something that is cheap and easy to install.
The final thing you need to consider when purchasing an RV battery is whether or not it will fit in your camper’s compartment, which is sometimes difficult because they come in different shapes and sizes. If this is the case, then find a size-appropriate model by checking out the battery’s dimensions and depth specs.
Once you have narrowed down your options for the best RV batteries, it is time to make a decision. Since there are so many products on the market today, I recommend talking with someone at an auto parts store or detailed website review like BatteryStuff.com before making any final purchase decisions because they are in the know about all of the latest and greatest battery technology.
Things to Consider and Know Before Shopping
- What size are the terminals on your current batteries?
- How many amps do you need to start and run your RV’s appliances simultaneously for an hour?
- What is the highest amperage that your battery can supply a full charge after being fully depleted?
- What type of battery does your camper have now?
- What are the dimensions (length, width, height) and depth specs of that battery?
- How much money do you want to spend on a new RV battery or what is your budget for batteries altogether?
How Long Does an RV Battery Last?
A fully charged RV battery will last three-five years on average.
In order to get the most out of any type of battery, it is important to maintain them and keep them clean by following these steps: Keep batteries in a dry place, avoid overcharging/ discharging, and do not leave them in extreme temperatures.
What Voltage Is An RV Battery?
The voltage of an RV battery varies greatly. Generally speaking, 12 volts is the most common of RV batteries.
There are different battery sizes available for RVs. These include but are not limited to:
-“Group size” D or C, which is 12 volts. These require higher amps to power up appliances and electronics that need more energy. These may also be called deep cycle solar or engine starting batteries.
Battery size is a critical factor when purchasing an RV battery because the power requirements for your rig differ depending on how big it is, what type of engine or solar panels you have installed, and other factors like climate conditions where you live.
To get the most out of any type of battery, it is important to maintain them and keep them clean by following these steps: Keep batteries in a dry place, avoid overcharging/ discharging, and do not leave them in extreme temperatures.
It is also helpful, with certain batteries, to use distilled water when cleaning a battery. You should also periodically check for corrosion, which may cause the terminal posts on your RV’s battery and the cables to corrode.
What Are The RV Battery Types?
Gel Cell Batteries
Gel cell batteries are a type of battery that is sealed and has a long life if cared for properly.
They have gel sealed in them and don’t need water added making them very low maintenance. They are also spill-proof making them a safe option. These batteries will last up to five years with proper care, though this can vary depending on how they are used.
Gel cell batteries can be a good choice for RVs that don’t see regular use or have high power requirements because they will last longer and require less maintenance than other types of RV batteries.
They also might not need to be replaced after five years if the battery was cared for properly, making them an economical option.
Best Gel Cell Battery:
Ampere Time 12V 200 ah deep cycle hybrid gel battery.
Dry Cell Batteries
Dry cell batteries are a type of battery that needs to be recharged periodically, but they can last up to five years in some cases. These are the types of batteries you may find inside your flashlight or smoke detector at home.
Because of how small dry-cell batteries are (the max voltage is generally 6V), they will only be useful for very small RVs.
The lithium-ion battery is a sealed deep cycle battery that can last up to ten years if properly cared for and maintained.
They are often used as backup batteries in RVs because they charge more quickly than other types of batteries and do not need water added periodically like AGM batteries.
Lithium-Ion Batteries may also be a good choice for people who need to plug in their RV each night or those with high power requirements because they recharge quickly and last so long.
Best Litium Ion Deep Cycle Battery:
Battle Born LiFe RV Battery
AGM RV Battery
An AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery, or a type of deep cycle battery is a battery that is not sealed that will last up to ten years with proper care.
The difference between an AGM RV Battery and other types of batteries is that they have a glass mat between lead plates and are filled with an acid. This is like a typical lead-acid battery. The glass mat makes the battery more stable and last longer.
They also have a higher charge rate than other types of batteries, which may be helpful for RVs that plugin each night or are used regularly.
AGM batteries do need water added periodically for maintenance purposes. They will last longer without losing power as long as they are cared for properly.
Best AGM Deep Cycle Battery:
Weize 12V 100 AH Deep Cycle AGM
Lead Acid Deep Cycle RV Battery
Lead-acid deep cycle RV batteries are a type of battery that will last up to three years if taken care of.
A Lead Acid Battery is different from an AGM battery in that it has lead plates in a bath of acid whereas the AGM has glass mats between the plates. This makes a regular Lead Acid battery-less expensive and more affordable. For this reason, it won’t last as long and will have a lower current rating.
For maintenance you will want to add distilled water. You can also further clean corrosion and acid spillover with baking soda.
Lead-acid batteries are more likely to spill than other types of batteries. You should also avoid overcharging/ discharging. Also avoid extreme temperatures, which can cause the battery power to run low quickly.
Best Lead Acid Deep Cycle RV Battery:
Optima Blue Top Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery
What is a Deep Cycle Battery?
A deep cycle battery is a battery that can discharge more power for the same period of time. It is a more robust designed battery and can be found in the different types of batteries listed above (AGM, Gel, Lithium-Ion).
This means that the battery is able to give out more than 50% of its charge without being damaged or needing maintenance.
A deep cycle battery can be found in lots of different devices, like your car and some lawnmowers. They’re also often used in RVs because they can be hooked up to solar panels or a generator.
Do You Need A Deep Cycle Battery For Your RV?
It may not be necessary for you to get a deep cycle battery if you’re using your RV like a cabin.
However, this type of battery is ideal if you need something that can store power and keep it available for use. For example, they might work well as the main source of electricity in an off-grid vehicle because they don’t require much maintenance and they provide a lot of bang for your buck.
A 12-volt deep cycle battery is one of the most common types of RV batteries, but you can also find them in other voltages depending on what your needs are and how much power they need to do their job properly.
What is Life Cycle?
Life cycle refers to how many charges/ discharges a battery can take before it should be replaced.
Most lead-acid batteries will last between 600 to 800 cycles with periodic maintenance. For instance, you need to add distilled water that evaporates over time in AGM or lead-acid batteries.
How Do I Charge My RV Battery?
RV batteries charge by plugging the RV into an electric power source. After the RV is plugged into the power source (ie: outlet at a campsite) a converter transforms the AC energy to DC energy. You can also charge a battery with a generator or solar panel system if your RV is setup for that.
How Long Does It Take To Charge An RV Battery?
The time it takes to charge an RV battery will depend on a variety of factors, including the voltage and size of your battery as well as how you are charging it–such as using solar panels or a generator.
If you are using solar panels to charge your battery, it can take anywhere from three days to a week depending on how much power you are able to generate.
If you are charging the battery with your generator, then it will depend more on the size of the engine and how much fuel you have available. The type of fuel used by the generator will also affect the charging time. A small generator will charge your battery in about three to four hours.
How Do I Know When My Battery Needs To Be Replaced?
Your RV battery will need replacement when it starts losing capacity and needs more frequent charging, or if you notice that the voltage gauge doesn’t show full power anymore.
A good rule of thumb is that if your 12V battery does not read at least 13V on a full charge, it needs to be replaced soon. Make sure to understand the limits of your battery as set forth by the manufacturer.
Should I Keep My RV Battery Plugged in All The Time?
This answer depends greatly on how you use your RV.
You should not keep your battery plugged in all the time if it is in storage. The cables should be completely disconnected from the battery. You can use the disconnect switch if your RV comes with one.
If you want to keep your battery plugged in all of the time, it should be on a trickle charge with overcharge protection. This is useful for long periods of storage.
If you live full-time in your recreational vehicle, your power system likely has power charge protection. This means that is completely safe to leave your battery plugged in to shore power all of the time.
If you have an off-grid system for your RV that includes a solar panel charger, then you will also likely have overcharge protection installed. Make sure to read your RV manual to stay better informed.
How Do I Install an RV Battery?
The battery should be mounted on a strong, level surface.
It needs to be positioned so that the fluid levels can be checked and maintained–which is why it’s important not to mount them too high and with enough clearance.
Make sure you have enough ventilation for safety reasons and position the battery in an area where it has enough room for maintenance. Remember lead-acid and AGM batteries relieve hydrogen.
You may need a battery box with straps and clamps to hold the cables and battery in place. You’ll want this before you mount your battery–which should be level, either sideways or perpendicular depending on what type of RV batteries you have.
Be sure to read your specific RV manual for manual for electrical connections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a solar Panel to Charge My Battery?
Yes, you can use a solar panel to charge your battery.
You will need two deep cycle batteries to store the power from these panels in order for them to work well with an off-grid RV system.
Solar Panels are not advised on RVs that have limited space or do not get much sun exposure and cannot store enough energy.
Best RV Battery For Dry Camping/ Boondocking
Typically, the best battery for dry camping or boondocking is a deep cycle battery.
If you are boondocking you will also want a battery that will work well with a solar panel system. Lithium Gel and AGM battery manufacturers typically have a deep cycle model.
Best RV Battery For Boondocking:
Universal Power Group UB121000 12v Deep Charger
Best RV Battery for Part-time boondocking?
Any Deep Cycle 12V Battery should be great for part-time boondocking.
Best battery for Cold weather?
The Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M Bluetop battery is great for cold weather. The reviews show that the starting power is a sure thing. The battery is low maintenance and super reliable.
Best Budget-Friendly RV Battery?
Windy Nation 12V Deep Cycle Battery. This battery is both budget-friendly and can last up to 12 years if cared for. It is relatively maintenance-free and super reliable. It is built with protective plates to defend against wear and tear making it a great choice for most RVers.
Best All-terrain RV Battery?
The VMAXTANKS battery is made with a military-grade protective outer layer to protect against wear and tear as well as spilling. It is very lightweight and yet remains an affordable option. It has great reviews from purchasers. It is a great option for off-grid RVers.
Another Great RV Battery Option:
Odyssey PC545 Battery
The Odyssey PC545 battery is a deep cycle solar battery that has an amperage rating of 50 amps. This battery is sealed and will last up to seven years as long as the batteries are not overcharged or left in extreme temperatures, which can cause them to lose power quickly.
Conclusion to The Best RV Batteries
We hope this guide has helped you understand the intricacies of finding the best RV batteries. There are many factors that go into battery selection and purchase, but we’re confident in our list as a starting point for your research. What is your favorite type of RV battery and why? If you found any errors or omissions in this article, please let us know!
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Hello! My name is Cortney. I am 45 years old. I live full time in a 33 foot airstream trailer with my husband of 21 years. I run my own business out of my tin can and love living small. I have two grown kids and three pets. I have worn many hats including mental health counselor and truck driver. My husband is prepping for retiring from the Navy in the next five years. He has been serving for over 22 years faithfully.