Last Updated on July 12, 2020 by Tanmay Sarkar
RV deep cycle battery is an important component of its electrical system. All the appliances run on it.
Selecting the best RV battery is also crucial here as there are many batteries available in the market. It often raises confusion in the minds of the RV owner.
Use this review and guide to know which one best suits your RV power needs. We have compared different Batteries based on their performance, safety, power needs, price, and others.
1. Odyssey PC680 Battery
After looking at this battery first thing that comes in mind is that it is a very powerful and a good reviewed RV battery. It has a 70% longer life cycle as compared to other conventional deep cycle batteries. Up to 400 cycles at 80% depth of discharge! good for all power needs.
This battery gives high stable voltage for a longer period of time compared to other batteries. With this, the battery is capable of 100% recharge within 4 to 6 hours of charging. Charging time is important for RV life as you have to leave a campsite and your battery is still charging. I mean who can wait for another couple of hours.
The design of the battery is non-spillable and it also has resistance to the vibration, mechanical vibration, and extreme temperature tolerant. All things make this battery suitable for RV. RVs go on different places and sometimes off-road with all those vibrations and shocks.
You will get a limited 2-year replacement warranty so no worry about trying it once. The battery has an average life of 3 to 10 years, that is a good amount of life span.
Pros & Cons
Video: Small Battery Odyssey PC680
2. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery
Weight: 43.2 pounds
Dimension: 10 x 6.88 x 7.8 inches
Voltage: 12 volts
Optima D34M blue top battery is a dual purpose battery as it can be used both for starting and deep cycle. This battery can work even in harsh conditions of RV for starting, strong cranking, and power supply source. many RVers believe that anything brought in RV should be multipurpose.
Taking about its spiral cell technology which this battery is equipped with. It has individual spiral-wound cells that are made up of 2 pure lead plates coated in the precise coating of lead oxide. One coated plate is negative and the other is positive.
Only Optima uses this technology which provides close tolerance required to maintain quality and performance. This is used for monitoring temperatures, humidity, automated processes, and critical tolerance.
This battery can be charged up to 3 times more than other batteries. The solid design can resist 15 times more vibration. You can mount this in any position and do not worry as it is spill-proof. You get more running and more recharges with this unit.
Faster recharge time gives you the freedom of enjoying yourself for a longer period without a break. A 12 volts battery with 750 cold-cranking amps gives you ample power source for your RV. What even better about this battery is that it can start even in bad weather.
This battery also has a reserve capacity of up to 2 hours which is quite a peace of mind.
Pros & Cons
3. Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Solar Wind AGM SLA DEEP Cycle VRLA Battery 12V 24V 48V
Brand: Universal Power Group
Weight: 60 pounds
Dimension: 16.44 x 12.75 x 12.56 inches
This battery can be used in RVs, boats, scooters, motorhomes, wheelchairs, and others. It uses AGM technology which provides resistant design and shock. It also gives you greater freedom to mount the battery in any position without the chance of damage.
A valve is attached to the battery which can be used for regulating and controlling its performance. The storage capacity of this battery is good enough to give it a chance. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
The spill-proof and leak-proof design give peace of mind. You can use it in any position without worrying about its performance or damage.
The body of the battery is made up of strong plastic which can resist vibrations and shocks, that are common in RVs. The all-weather condition makes it useful to take it in any weather condition.
Pros & Cons
4. UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery (12V; 35 AH; UB12350)
Brand: Universal Power Group
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Dimension: 10.25 x 10 x 6.5 inches
Voltage: 12 volts
Average Battery Life: 2.5 hours
This battery is for people who want a lightweight and a good performing battery for their RV power use. The power capacity of this battery is less than the other batteries but it is lightweight too. I will prefer to use this battery where I do not want heavy power use and I could conveniently take it away where ever I want.
It has a compact design which provides easy transportation and easiness to mount it anywhere and anyhow.
The multipurpose battery is suitable for use in RVs, scooters, wheelchairs, bikes, and others. As I said earlier it is a light use battery with only 35 Ah. So, you might need an extra battery if you want to raise power capacity.
Pros & Cons
5. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery – 100Ah 12v with Built-in BMS – 3000-5000 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery
Brand: Battle Born Batteries
Weight: 31 pounds
Dimension: 12.8 x 6.9 x 9 inches
This battery, from the brand Battle Born Batteries, uses the “Battery Management System” which protects your battery from temperature volatility and ground faults. These two are the most common problem that causes battery failure.
The BMS system regulates the amount of power uses and shut-off the system to protect the li-ion cells from unsafe operating conditions. This system is not available in other batteries which increases its life.
Lithium-ion technology is another factor that gives this battery exceptional longevity. This also gives unlimited mounting capacity. Li-ion batteries are good over lead-acid batteries that do not have any protection against ground faults.
Batteries are made from 100%, non-toxic, and renewable energy material. These batteries also last for more cycles and can be charged and discharged repeatedly. Talking about its charging time, it is better than other batteries.
Moving these batteries is quite easy as it weighs only 31 pounds. 100Ah and 12 volts weight weighs only 1/3 that of the weight of a lead-acid battery. One thing which is excellent about this battery is that there is no acid in it so, it is easy to mount it in any position.
Multipurpose battery perfect for use in RV, campers, golf cart, and others.
Pros & Cons
6. VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery
Weight: 25 pounds
Model: VMAX857 TM
The unique thing about this battery is the physical and chemical structure of its plates. They get special treatment during manufacturing which provides them unique strength, reliability, and high performance.
You will not see these qualities in other Pb-Ca plate batteries. AGM or the Absorbed Glass Matt between the plates is specially designed which provides many electrical and physical advantages. It also makes battery vibration and shock-resistant.
The battery is non-spillable and non-hazardous as the electrolytes are totally absorbed by the AGM. These batteries are 100% maintenance free as there is a tough tank seal that protects the plates.
The unit has a long life span and can recover after repeated deep discharge so, no worry about the battery charging failure. You can run appliances for 4 to 5 hours with 50-60% depth of discharge.
One problem that I came to know about this unit is that it cannot hold a charge for longer than other 12V deep cycle batteries.
Pros & Cons
7. Odyssey PC925 Automotive and LTV Battery
Weight: 26 pounds
Voltage: 12 volts
Cold Crank Amp (CCA): 330
This battery comes with 3 to 10 years of service life. It has a 70% longer life than other conventional batteries and up to 400 cycles at 0% depth of discharge. It also supplies a stable voltage for a longer period of time.
The best thing about this battery is that they have the highest recharge efficiency than any sealed lead battery available. Full charging time is 4 to 6 hours and the reserved time is around 52 minutes.
Mounting it is easy and you can do it any angle, it non-spillable design will take care of the battery. Special design makes the unit vibration and shock-resistant. The battery will be safe during high impact shock.
Manufacturers have given 3 to 4 years of full replacement, this battery is worth trying.
Pros & Cons
8. WindyNation 100 amp-Hour 100AH 12V 12 Volt AGM Deep Cycle Sealed Lead Acid Battery
Brand: Windy Nation
Weight: 66 pounds
Dimension: 13 x 6.8 x 8.7 inches
Container Material: ABS Plastic
This battery comes with a 1-year warranty. It’s an AGM sealed lead acid battery with heavy-duty plates. Its plates are designed for deep, repetitive discharges.
Multipurpose battery which can be used for solar systems, RVs, UPS, offshore marine power, portable tools, and others.
Its 99.995% pure virgin lead is the reason for its extremely low discharge rate and max power storage. The best thing is it float life which is 10 to 12 years at 25 degrees.
The design is non-spillable and it’s 100% maintenance-free.
Pros & Cons
9. Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery
Weight: 59 Pounds
Dimensions: 12.8 x 6.5 x 9.38 inches
Voltage: 12 volts
Another battery from the brand Optima, this one can be used for both starting and deep cycle purposes. It has a reserve capacity of 155 minutes which is not available in most of the batteries.
A double purpose battery suitable for the use in RVs, boats, and others. It has a starting power of 900 cold-cranking amps which is quite good. The body is made up of strong plastic which is durable. The exterior of the battery is made up of polypropylene exterior.
The design of the battery makes it spill-proof and vibration resistant. No worry about the damage of any sort. One thing you should keep in mind about this battery is that it is quite heavy and large.
Pros & Cons
10. Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah for RV, Solar Marine and Off-grid Applications
Dimensions: 13.1 x 6.9 x 8.6 inches
Weight: 66 pounds
Nominal Voltage: 12V
Float Charging Current: 13.5V
Max Charge Current: 30A
Container Material: ABS Plastic
Maintenance-free battery as it is manufactured with thick absorbent glass mat (AGM) separators. It also has an advanced valve regulated technology. AGM technology saves the battery from acid leak and maintenance.
Manufacturers have used high purity material which increases their shelf life. Good thing is that it reduces the monthly self-discharge rate that is below 3% at 77 degrees or 25 degrees Celcius. This is 5 times lower than other batteries.
The improved electrolyte formula makes the battery capacity stable and better discharge performance even at low temperatures.
Manufacturers have used proprietary quinary alloy plates and specially treated plate grids that results in low internal resistance and high discharge currents.
The batteries are specially designed for solar energy storage applications. The battery is leak-proof, spill-proof, and maintenance-free as I have said earlier.
Pros & Cons
RV Battery Benefits
1. Power Supply
The first benefit is the fulfillment of power needs. Electricity is one of the most essential things today. We cannot run many useful appliances and devices without it. Even communication which is very useful and important during RV travel is depended on electricity.
An RV battery fulfills these needs if you do not have any other power sources such as a generator, offshore, and solar power.
Lithium-ion batteries are different than the conventional batteries as the manufacturer has taken enough safety measures. The technology that is used in the manufacture of RV batteries keeps them safe for daily use.
Today’s batteries are spill-proof, shockproof, and vibration proof. If the batteries overheat then it will shut down automatically preventing any explosion or fire.
3. Best Performance
Lithium-ion batteries are known for their extended long-lasting performance compared to conventional batteries. Lead-acid batteries let you use only 50% of the charge of its rated capacity while lithium-ion RV batteries let you use over 90% of its capacity.
Some of the models have reserved capacity which can be used in troubled times. These batteries deliver high sustainable voltage levels for a longer period.
4. Weighs Less
Weight balancing is crucial for RVs as it affects the engine performance and balance of the RV itself. You already have too much load on the RV so you cannot put more on it. But, the good news is these batteries are not heavy as the conventional batteries used to.
Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight without sacrificing power needs. it helps in keeping the load of the RV under the limit.
5. Environment Friendly
Lithium-ion batteries are environmentally friendly as their CO2 emissions levels are low. The technology used in these batteries reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
Disposing of these batteries is safe for the environment, most of the models are construct out of recycled materials. The eco lovers will like this a lot!
RV Battery Types
RV batteries are used in RVs for running many appliances such as water pumps, coffee machines, microwave oven, Television, etc. There are different types of RV batteries available which can be confusing for some people as to how to select a perfect one.
There are mainly two types of RV batteries starting and deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries are further divided into 4 types.
Let’s take a look at them one by one.
1. Starting Battery
These batteries are not used as for RV deep cycle battery. Inside a starting battery, there are many thinner plates that increase the surface area exposed to the electrolytes. This results in a higher amount of energy short bursts.
There rating is based on cold-cranking amps. It simply means that a given starting battery can supply power for what amount of period at 0 degrees F. The voltage supplied by the battery should not drop below 7.2 volts.
2. Deep Cycle Battery
A deep cycle battery is a large one that supplies more amps to your RV. It is basically lead-acid type or AGM depending upon the manufacturer, it is designed for deep discharging of its max capacity. There are models which can be used for starting purpose too.
It is used to run appliances in your rig. Knowing the power requirement of the RV is a must before installing a deep cycle battery as the different rigs have their own power needs.
Different designs and technologies are used in the manufacturing of deep cycle batteries that is AGM battery, Lead Acid battery, Deep cycle Gel battery, and a Lithium-ion battery. Let’s know about them!
1. Flooded Lead Acid Battery
In 1959 Gaston Plante discovered the lead-acid chemistry which gave birth to the flooded lead-acid battery. It is also known as wet cells. Flooded lead-acid batteries got its name because the plates are fully submerged in the electrolyte fluid.
It is one of the popular batteries used in RVs. Inside you will find lead oxide and lead plates that are submerged in an electrolyte solution. The electrolyte is a mixture of water and sulfuric acid which surrounds the lead oxide and lead plates.
When the battery is discharging due to power supply the plates start to change into lead sulfate, this results in dilution of electrolyte. When the battery is charged again the sulfate coating dissolves in the electrolyte which results in the concentration of the electrolyte.
During charging oxygen and hydrogen is released due to a chemical reaction between plates and electrolyte.
Benefits of Lead-acid battery
Long Life: the lead-acid battery can be used for a longer period of time but it requires maintenance. You may have to add water in the solution from time to time, cleaning of the terminals and equalizing the charges.
Overcharging is no problem: lead-acid batteries can handle overcharging better than other deep cycle batteries as there is a hydrogen venting system available in the battery and the battery itself is not sealed.
2. Dual Purpose or Marine
A dual-purpose battery is good for starting and deep cycle needs. There is a switch or an isolator that can be used as a backup in a deep cycle battery or starting battery.
There is one problem with these batteries as it cannot perform well compared to a cold-cranking battery and they are also not good for too many discharges and recharges compared to deep cycle batteries.
3. Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Battery
AGM batteries are also popular among RV owners as it is much tougher and stronger than flooded lead-acid batteries. They are also like lead-acid batteries with the only difference that there is a fiberglass mat that absorbs the electrolyte.
AGM batteries are used in RVs, boats, trucks, and trolling motors. Another thing which makes it better is the internal resistance which is lower than the flooded cell batteries and it is capable of resisting high temperatures.
The self-discharge is slower than compared to other batteries. Every battery discharge itself slowly even if it is not supplying power, this is known as self-discharge.
The fiberglass is weaved into a mat that holds the electrolyte and it increases the surface area. This mat holds the electrolyte for a long time and there is no risk of a spill.
AGM Battery Benefits
Spill-Proof: the fiberglass mat holds the electrolyte which makes the battery spill-proof.
Maintenance Free: AGM batteries do not require a lot of maintenance as flood lead-acid batteries needs. This is because AGM is not at risk of sulfation and it can be easily stored for a longer period.
No Hydrogen Gas: AGM batteries do not emit hydrogen while charging as the flooded lead-acid batteries.
Stable & Sturdy: AGM batteries perform well at low temperatures too as the electrolyte does not freeze. They are vibration-proof too.
4. Deep Cycle Gel Battery
This type of batteries is also popular among RV owners as they can be used in tough conditions and are easier to transport. The electrolyte in these batteries is in the form of a gel which is highly viscous.
These batteries can perform better in high vibrations and temperatures. Although they are much expensive than the AGM type.
If you do not have past experience with deep cycle gel battery it’s better to know about them in detail. It is due to the fact that charging these batteries should be slower than usual as charging it too high might cause the formation of gas pockets on the plates.
These gas pockets on the plates can keep the electrolyte away from the plates. They can get damaged due to improper charging. You can charge these batteries with the help of solar power, generators, or offshore power.
5. Lithium-ion Deep Cycle Battery
Lithium-ion deep cycle battery is the best available battery for your RV and there are many reasons for that. first of all, they are lightweight which is ideal for RV use.
It has a high charging efficiency and 3000 to 5000 life cycles. They can supply power well in extremely low and hot temperatures.
What voltage is an RV battery?
Before selecting an RV battery you must know about your power needs as it will ensure you have the ideal battery for your power needs. Many factors can decide the selection of a battery and one of them is the voltage.
Voltage is the pressure that originates from the power source, pushing current of charged electrons through a conducting loop. Let’s know what voltage RV battery is available.
1. 12v RV Battery
This type of RV battery is used in running TV, microwave oven, lights, computers, and other electrical appliances running on 12v power. most of the time 12v system works parallel connection to supply 12v connection.
So why they are popular among RV owners? The reason is its low price than 6v battery, gives double amp per hour, consistent 12 volts power, and is easily available in the market.
However, its drawback is that it gives a much less amp-hour rating for each connected battery.
2. 6v RV Battery
6v RV batteries are becoming popular among RVers because of its versatility and usefulness. One of the best features of them is that the 6v battery can operate as a 12v battery by combining them in series.
This gives higher amps-hour in comparison to a regular 12v battery. They also have a longer life span and typically less maintenance is required. 12v batteries are known for their greater discharge and recharge capacity. They are lighter in weight but costlier than the 12v batteries.
Factors to look upon when buying an RV battery
Selecting the best suitable RV battery is no problem if you know what you need. Look at these factors which will help you out in finding the best RV battery.
The RV battery capacity is measured in Ah, it means Ampere hours. It is the specified amount of current that the battery is capable of delivering over a specific period of time.
Like for example, a battery with 60Ah capacity will deliver 60 Ampere for one hour. Higher the capacity of the battery, the longer it can hold and release electricity.
The best will be to calculate your appliance’s power consumption and then buying the required capacity RV battery. Remember to have room for some additional power in the future as your power consumption can increase or decrease.
When the power consumption decreases then it’s ok but making room for the increase is the best way. After making calculations see that after consumption it does not go down below 50 to 60% of the total capacity. In this way, you can add up appliances in the future without buying a new battery.
If you camp most of the time off-grid then it will be better to opt for a powerful battery with higher capacity. If you mostly camp in RV campgrounds then you may not need a powerful battery as power is available in most of them.
2. Depth of discharge
Depth of discharge means a specific amount of power discharged by the battery in the form of percentage over time. This is also an important feature of the RV battery that you should look upon.
Here, the life cycle of a battery and depth of discharge is correlated as generally seen that deeper cycles also lead to fewer cycles.
Look for a battery that can optimize its life cycle when the depth of discharge is high.
Generally, RV batteries are designed to have 12 volt DC but sometimes RV owners prefer 6 volt DC and combine them into a series for 12 volt DC. It depends upon the power needs of the RV owner. 12-volt batteries work fine in most of the RVs.
There are many ways to charge an RV battery, popular among them are generator, solar power, and shore power. It solely depends upon the availability of a power source for charging it.
You may have the three power sources at a time for this you need a smart charger or charge controller. With the help of these devices, you can charge the battery depending upon the power source without compromising the correct charging method.
A smart charger or charge controller is also helpful in adjusting the voltage and current automatically. It saves the battery from power surges that can come through shore power.
5. Size & Weight
The capacity of the battery determines the weight and size of the RV battery, the higher the capacity the larger will be the weight and size.
Generally, 12-volt deep cycle batteries will weigh around 100 to 200 pounds. The best way is to calculate your power need and select an ideal battery for the RV is to aim higher to have a battery with the right size and weight without sacrificing the power need.
RV battery has to be tough and strong to resist vibrations that are produced in an RV while driving it on country roads. An important factor which you cannot overlook.
If the battery is not vibration-proof then it can get damaged and will not supply power.
7. Power at low and high
People drive to different climatic conditions in an RV so does your battery comes in contact with high and low temperatures. It is in best practice to select battery which can resist and work well in both conditions. A good 12V deep cycle battery will supply power at low and high temperatures.
Most of the time low temperatures can make battery performance weak. So, select a battery that can supply power even at low temperatures. With that high temperature can also affect the performance, so find a battery that is compatible with working in hot and humid conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ
Q1. When should I replace my deep cycle battery?
A1. You should replace your specific battery is the following time frame: 1. Marine Battery: 1-6 years 2. AGM Deep Cycle Battery: 4-6 years 3. Gel Cell Deep Cycle: 2-5 years 4. Starting Battery: 6 to 12 months 5. Lead Acid Deep Cycle Battery: 4-7 years
Q2. What Is An RV Deep Cycle Battery?
A2. An RV deep cycle battery is used in an RV to run many electrical appliances such as water pumps, TV, coffee machine, microwave, refrigerator, and others. It is called a deep cycle battery because it can supply power to the electrical appliances for a longer period of time than any other type of battery. A deep cycle battery is different from a starting battery as the later is used to supply high power for a short frame of time to crank the engine starter. On the other hand, a deep cycle battery is designed in such a way that it can discharge up to 60 to 70% of its capacity. This discharge percentage rate depends upon the model and manufacturer. Inside a deep cycle battery, there are plates that are thicker than the starter battery plates. These thicker plates have less surface area which gives it the ability to supply power for a longer amount of time. When the battery is charged the electricity is stored inside the electrolyte which is supplied again through the plates to the appliances.
Q3. How Does A Deep Cycle RV Battery Work?
A3. A deep cycle RV battery works on the principle of repeated discharging and charging. When the battery is charged the electricity is stored in the electrolytes and when in use it supplies the power back and discharges.
Q4. How long do RV deep cycle batteries last?
A4. The answer depends upon the type of battery, manufacturer, and charging method. Generally speaking, they can last up to 3000 to 5000 recharges or 5/6 years if you do the maintenance work regularly. That includes cleaning the terminal, knowing how to charge different types of RV battery via different types of power sources such as a generator, solar power, off-grid. Monitoring the electrolyte level is important as the charge depends upon it but, avoid overfilling.
Q5. Are AGM deep cycle batteries better?
A5. Yes, AGM batteries are better than lead-acid type batteries as they are spill-proof, durable, require less maintenance, and emit no hydrogen gas as in a lead-acid battery. AGM batteries charge up to 5 times faster than the acid lead batteries and also have the ability to deep cycle. AGM batteries can discharge up to 80% of its full capacity whereas the flooded type can discharge up to 50% of its overall capacity. The electrolyte is between the fiberglass mat that’s why it does not spill when you keep the battery in any position. This is not possible in a lead-acid battery.
Q6. Should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in?
A6. Yes, you should disconnect the RV battery when plugged in as it will protect the battery from deep discharge. Commonly battery discharge itself when not in use, this is known as self-discharge. When you disconnect the battery the discharge process slows down.
Q7. Do RV batteries charge when plugged into shore power?
A7. Yes, the RV batteries charge when plugged into shore power as AC or DC converter will do the job.
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Tanmay Sarkar is the person behind writerzmag.com. An RV enthusiast, lover & admirer. Whatever I learn about RVs and RVing, I share it on this blog. Learning is a lifelong experience and it should be shared with people who have the same hobby and love as you… This blog is and shall be for the people who love and want to know about RVing…