Traveling in an RV is a great way to see much of the world at your own pace. Visit when it suits you. Stay the afternoon, and sleep in the RV overnight. Wake up in the morning and see the sights long before the crowds arrive. Pull up stakes and move on to the next destination or simply explore.
All of this is possible as long as you have gas in the tank and power in your batteries.
The battery in your RV is the most important part of the electrical system. It is essential to running your appliances off-the-grid, and most of us buy an RV to camp off-grid.
The best RV batteries allow you to charge smaller batteries and operate emergency equipment. However, there is no one perfect RV battery, just as there is no RV that is perfect for everyone.
You’ll need a different battery or array of batteries to power an RV holding a family of six than the one that keeps the basics in a camper van going.
What is a Deep Cycle Battery Used for?
Deep cycle batteries are generally used for house batteries like those used in RVs. They allow you to pull much more power than a similar capacity starter battery. For example, it can deliver 50 to 70 percent of the stored power and sometimes even more.
This is why deep cycle batteries are often used in mission critical applications like emergency communication systems. RV owners are more familiar with 12v deep cycle battery arrays.
How Does an RV Battery Work?
Most RV batteries are lead-acid batteries. You may have one or several in the battery bank. Each cell produces power, but they should result in a roughly 12 volt power output because this is what most RV power systems run off of.
The classic example is using 2 6-volt batteries in place of a single large 12 volt house battery. This is in contrast to the alternating current that comes from the power grid.
It is also why you need a converter to connect to shore power to run your RV or safely charge your house batteries.
The DC power from the RV battery runs mission-critical equipment like RV water pumps, sump pumps, lights and smoke detectors.
Depending on its energy capacity, you might be able to use it to recharge smart phones and smaller rechargeable batteries.
Note that batteries don’t make electricity, they store it. It is your responsibility to keep the batteries charged, whether you recharge them when plugged into a power pedestal at the campsite or use solar panels on the roof to recharge them.
Once the batteries go dead, your equipment dies, too.
What's Difference between Deep Cycle Battery and Regular?
Deep cycle batteries have differences in the plates that allow it to release nearly all of the stored energy before it can no longer deliver a charge. Regular batteries will have their power output drop off and stop far sooner than a similarly rated deep cycle battery.
Starter batteries are different yet again. They’re designed to deliver a single, powerful burst of energy. They may not be able to deliver 70 percent of their power over 24 hours, but they can deliver 30 percent in a single jolt when required to start a motor or compressor.
Ideally, you want to have all batteries in the battery bank the same make and model. At a minimum, have them be the same battery type, capacity and voltage. That’s essential if you’re going to use one charger to charge them all.
Top 7 Best RV Batteries (Deep Cycle) Review
We recognized that there is no one perfect RV battery. After all, there are differences in how much power people may need. The trade-off between convenience and price is an individual decision we all have to make.
This is why we’ve curated a list of the best RV batteries on the market. All of them are reliable and relatively safe, but they vary in energy storage capacity and features.
Read through them to find one that is right for you. Compare each to your functional requirements and desired features such as battery-charge indicators.
01. Battle Born LiFePO4 100Ah 12v Deep Cycle Battery
This is a lithium ion battery. There’s on risk of acid leaking out if the shell is damaged. However, this battery does not deliver high quality power on its own.
Do not use it to power your sensitive electronics without an inverter or other protective device between the battery and your smart device.
This unit has an incredibly shelf-life relative to lead-acid batteries. It could in theory be recharged five thousand times.
One point in its favor is that it has a built-in battery maintainer. This helps protect downstream equipment from power surges. It also protects you from unsafe operating conditions.
It won’t explode
This battery won’t explode on you. And it will never leak the hydrogen gas that makes lead acid batteries dangerous in enclosed conditions and can create an explosion risk.
This battery is not the best choice for powering an RV. It may shut down at around 10 volts. That means it can’t deliver the 12 volts you need for most RV infrastructure.
Able to run forgiving equipment
Instead, let it run separately connected lights and more forgiving equipment. Use it as a battery for amateur radio equipment and recharging cell phones when paired with an inverter.
It can deliver moderately high power in a constant load until it drops off. However, you cannot use it as a starter battery, though there are other models on our list that can be used that way.
Hasn't built in carrying handle
There is no carrying handle built into the battery, nor does it have connection points for attaching a handle. On the other hand, the long operating life means you only have to deal with its installation once every two to three years.
It only weighs 31 pounds, so it is fairly portable and easy to carry when necessary. You can mount it in any direction, though there is no mounting hardware.
A downside is here
One issue with lithium ion batteries this size is cost. They may be smaller and last longer than lead-acid batteries, but you pay for it up front.
This is why you need to find quality lithium ion batteries. Otherwise, they aren’t the better overall value.
02. VMAXTANKS 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM Battery
This battery has many of the same advantages of other sealed AGM batteries like not needing water added and can’t spill acid. However, it can leak hydrogen gas and poses an explosive risk if over-heated.
This battery holds it charge better than many other batteries when left in storage for a long time.The manufacturer says it only loses three percent of the charge per month.
Perfect choice for emergency applications
That makes the VMAXTANKS battery the best choice for emergency applications or powering toys like ATVs and bass boats. It is specifically designed for group U1 12 volt, 35 amp hour motors.
Note that this battery doesn’t have the same power storage capacity as the first entries on our list, so you’ll only run a mid-sized boat motor for an hour or two if the motor is continuously running.
That may be enough for spending a day on the lake, as long as you aren’t constantly engaging the engine.
Powering time and limit
It will start to lose power once you start pulling power for the motor from it, so don’t plan on more than five or six hours once you start running things off it.
This battery actually has carry handles built into it. And it is easier to transport and store, too. The unit is just five inches by eight inches by six inches.
Not recommended for heavy appliances
At 35 amp hours, it may run your LED lights or small appliances, but it isn’t going to power your refrigerator or heavy duty appliances. That limits its use as a power source for RVs beyond basic campers.
For example, it can run your lights, sump pump and water pump but not much more, especially
What is the Downside here?
One downside of the model is the higher charging voltage than car batteries, making it harder to charge. It does not have an equalization charge cycle, though this type of battery will experience sulfation.
There is little documentation on this battery, so you don’t have good information on how to safely use a de-sulfation cycle if your battery charger has that option.
03. Universal Power Group 12V Deep Cycle VRLA Battery
This battery is roughly 12 inches by 6 inches by 9 inches. That’s a smaller size than average, though the sixty pound weight is normal. Yet it can be recharged and holds its charge well.
However, some batteries fail to hold their full rated charge, and customer service is weak when that happens. You might be asked to send a sixty pound battery back to the manufacturer to get your money back.
Furthermore, that’s necessary to get any warranty work done, as well. We’re recommending this AGM battery because it is generally low maintenance.
It won’t spill. It doesn’t need water added. It can be mounted in a variety of ways. The Univesel battery resists shocks and vibration better than average, even compared to other VRLA batteries.
An ideal choice
That makes it an ideal choice for those who don’t want to check the electrolyte density every week and just want to plug everything in before going to bed.
The batteries do not have as many recharge cycles as expected. You can recharge it a few dozen times and it delivers a deep, steady charge.
When does it lose the voltage?
After several months of regular use, it starts to lose voltage and eventually won’t fully charge. That’s assuming you get a full-life battery from the get-go.
This makes the Universal Power Group battery fine for weekend camping in a trailer but unsuitable for those who rely on solar panels to recharge their battery every night. And it may only last a year or two of infrequent use.
Uses limitation is an Issue
This battery often fails when you’re doing a deep discharge. That means you can use it to run lights and other light power draws, but it is prone to failure if you use it to run a marine motor.
It is not made to serve as a starting motor at all. Get a battery designed for starting motors, if that is your intended use.
Cold cranking amps or CCA
You can identify those by the cold cranking amps or CCA listed on the battery. We have several potential starter batteries in our list, but this is not one of them.
04. Renogy 12 Volt 100 Amp Deep Cycle AGM Battery
This 12 volt AGM battery by Renogy is low maintenance. It has advanced plates that deliver high currents over an extended period of time. The battery is advertised as delivering 100 amp hours.
It generally delivers more like 90 amp hours. However, the amp hour ratings are based on a 10 hour cycle, not 20, so don’t expect this battery to last overnight.
It has a compact design. It is roughly seven inches deep, nine inches tall and thirteen inches wide. It weighs around sixty pounds. This battery can serve as a boat battery and drive trolling motors.
It is actually made for group U1 motors, 18 to 35 pounds. It can deliver enough power to run a refrigerator for several hours, too. Just don’t try to use it to start your car.
A rechargeable battery
This battery is advertised as being rechargeable. It can be recharged, but it doesn’t last through as many charging cycles as expected. It may only last a few months if you’re recharging it daily.
If you deeply discharge it, then the life may only be a month or two of daily usage. It may even start losing charge. If it doesn’t fully charge, it is prone to overheating when charging.
Swell and explode
This could cause it to swell and, in theory, explode. In this case, stop charging and discard it. Unfortunately, the manufacturer wants you to ship it back to get your money back. That’s also a requirement if you want to have the item repaired or replaced under the warranty.
This battery doesn’t have carry-handles, though it is advertised as such. There are other batteries on our list that do have carry handles.
Better than average
This battery has a better than average thermal profile. It won’t die at near freezing temperatures. Its performance at very high temperatures, though, is worse than average.
05. WindyNation 100 Amp 12v AGM / Lead Acid Battery
WindyNation is known for making equipment for wind and solar powered equipment aimed at do-it-yourselfers. This is why their batteries are made for regular recharging by portable renewable energy sources.
We’re recommending their single 100 amp hour battery, though they offer sets of 2 to 5 of this battery at a discount. That makes this the ideal battery for RVers running off a battery bank.
It is possible to buy entire sets of these batteries with connecting cables, but we’re recommending individual batteries because that’s what most RVers want and need.
The battery we’re recommending does not come with connecting cables or mounting hardware. If you were to connect these together, we’d recommend 2/0 gauge 9 inch battery interconnect cables.
For deep, repetitive discharges
These batteries by Windy Nation are designed for deep, repetitive discharges. They deliver 100 amp hours over ten hours. We’d recommend fully charging it before you initially discharge it, especially if you’ll fully discharge it in a deep cycle.
The manufacturer uses nearly pure virgin lead to get this level of performance. Windy Nation batteries are rugged, too. They can be used to power a boat, power tools, ham radio equipment, RVs and serve as a backup UPS power source.
Note that it hovers around 12 to 12.5 volts, and it doesn’t deliver high quality power. A lithium ion battery is better in some cases.
This battery sometimes won’t work from the get-go. Return it immediately if this happens.
Have any warranty for batteries?
The company’s one year warranty is very limited, so test the battery once you get it. If the battery works, it will manage six to twelve months of constant cycling before it fails.
This battery is prone to dying if you just leave it on the shelf for six months. That makes it a poor choice for RVs that are only used seasonally.
How easy to maintenance?
Their sealed lead acid batteries are low maintenance. That makes them great for both campers and those living permanently off the grid. They’re designed to work at 25 degrees C, but they may not work if temperatures go below freezing.
This might be the best rv house battery on our list if kept inside a temperature stable cabin or RV that's continually lived in.
06. Weize Brand 12V 100AH Deep Cycle Battery
This sealed lead acid battery by Weize is low-maintenance. And it is rechargeable. Its deep cycle cells deliver a steady stream of intense power for hours.
It can support mobility scooters, electric wheel chairs, trolling motors and RV electrical systems. This Weize is a 12 volt battery. It can be set up in series for 24 volt through 48 volt applications.
A full battery bank
This is the best rv battery for those who want a full battery bank. One downside is that they’re officially rated as 100 amp hour batteries but only deliver 50 amp hours.
You need 2 of these batteries in series to get 100 amp hours. They are slow to recharge, too. A trickle charge like one from a solar array that isn’t getting full light may not charge the battery at all.
The discharge rate may prevent it from staying charged. Monitor these batteries closely. And don’t choose a battery monitoring system with a significant parasitic load.
This battery does not come with a battery monitor system, though other entries on our list do.
The Weize brand battery can recover from deep discharges, and it is unlikely to experience a chemical memory reset.
That’s a common problem with lead acid batteries, and you avoid it with this brand.
Air vents on the battery
The air vents on the battery may pop as the battery recharges. Lead acid batteries should vent hydrogen gas, but few end up giving you an auditory notice of when this happens.
If this release of gas happens repeatedly, you’re not getting a full recharge and the battery’s operational life will be less than you expect.
How easy to maintenance?
While this battery is low maintenance, it can release fumes. That’s why it shouldn’t be used entirely indoors or exposed to flames, heat or sparks. However, that’s a problem with all lead acid batteries.
It comes with screws, but there is no mounting bracket or wire harness for it. The sixty pound battery is best used in an existing system that fits it.
07. Optima Deep Cycle Marine Battery For RV
The BlueTop battery by Optima is identifiable by the blue top on all of their batteries. In this case, we’re recommending the model 8013-103 battery by Optima.
This is a battery equally capable of running your small boat motor as providing basic power for an RV. It has 750 CCA or cold cranking amps.
Weight and AMP
This unit is roughly ten inches by seven inches by eight inches. It is small and relatively lightweight, coming in at 43 pounds. It delivers roughly 55 amp hours of power for twenty hours.
This is the best RV deep cycle battery for those who want a light, steady load on the battery for almost an entire day. And it is one of the best choices if you’re looking for a light battery you can carry with you to power a variety of gear, assuming it provides enough power for you.
How easy to fit in your vehicle?
This battery is 10 inches by 7 inches by 8 inches. Make sure it fits in your vehicle or the battery niche in your equipment before you buy it.
However, that’s a common issue with all non-standard batteries. Don’t assume this Optima battery fits in the same place as a similar Blue Top battery. The dimensions between model numbers are often different.
This battery can be purchased with a charger and battery maintainer, but we’re recommending just the battery itself. This battery can be mounted in almost any positon.
More importantly, it has both 5/16 inch and SAE posts, making it easy to connect to almost anything. This battery by Optima resists vibration and extreme weather conditions.
However, it isn’t designed to survive being submerged.
Limited operating life
One concern with this battery is the limited operating life. It will only last six months with regular use. If you don’t use it very much, it will eventually lose its charge and become nearly impossible to recharge.
You’ll see the energy storage capacity decline over time before you can’t use it at all. For example, it may only charge to seven or eight volts before it can’t charge at all.
How Do You Maintain a Deep Cycle Battery?
Deep cycle battery maintenance is similar to that of other batteries in many respects. They need to be recharged regularly in order to maintain the battery’s chemical memory.
Understand deep cycle vs starter batteries
One difference between deep cycle batteries and starter batteries is that they should be recharged slowly; don’t use a fast charge like what can be used with starter batteries.
Deep cycle batteries and starter batteries both benefit from trickle chargers that prevent it from discharging power. You cannot say that deep cycle batteries maintain their charger longer on the shelf. This depends on the battery design.
Do not overcharge a battery.
This will shorten the battery life. Don’t let the battery physically freeze, since the electrolyte solution inside the battery will expand like water ice. This could crack the shell and let liquid leak out.
Clean the battery posts regularly.
Dirty grime could accidentally short it out, and it can contribute to rust that breaks the battery’s seal. Add petroleum jelly to the surface of the battery posts to prevent rust.
Know "what's the desulfation"
Lead acid batteries eventually see a build up sulfur compounds on the battery plates. Equalizing a battery is a controlled overcharge of the battery to break up the sulfate on the plates. This is also called desulfation. You won’t completely break up the sulfate crystals, but this will extend the life of the battery.
If you have a traditional lead acid battery, you’ll need to check electrolyte levels and add water to it once in a while.
Maintenance-free batteries do lose this water, but you can’t add water to them.
FAQs Regarding RV Batteries
How many years does a deep cycle battery last?
AGM deep cycle batteries can last anywhere from four to seven years. Gel cell deep cycle batteries will last two to five years. Flooded lead acid deep cycle batteries can last four to eight years.
Note that this assumes you’re properly maintaining them.
How many deep cycle batteries does it take to power a house?
The average family uses 30 kilowatt-hours of energy per day. Battery banks should be designed to hold two to three days’ worth of energy so that the household can meet their needs even if it is cloudy two days in a row or their energy needs spike.
Suppose the battery bank is designed to supply 90 kilowatt hours of energy. If you use a powerful 2.4 kilowatt hour battery, the average home requires at least 38 batteries.
How many times can a deep cycle battery be recharged?
Deep cycle batteries can be recharged anywhere from 500 to 5000 cycles. The manufacturer should state how many times it can be recharged. The depth of the charge will generally reduce the number of recharge cycles it can undergo.
That’s why even a deep cycle battery may stop working if discharged 100 percent and left that way for several days.
How often should you charge a deep cycle battery?
Ideally, the deep cycle battery is recharged every day you use it. It should be recharged by the time it hits 50 percent discharge. If the battery is sitting in storage, fully recharge it at least once a month. This is also why you want to fully charge a new deep cycle battery before you use it.
This ensures that it is fully charged before you begin to draw it down, though this also proves that the battery is good in the short time frame you have to replace it if it is defective.
How many hours does a deep cycle battery last?
The deep cycle battery will be rated so many amp-hours. Divide the number of amp-hours by the amps of current you’re pulling, and you’ll know how many hours is should last.
Note that you may not be able to use all of the power in a deep cycle battery.
For example, a 1000 amp hour battery may not be able to last a full 10 hours at 100 amps per hour. It may only last nine hours, while performance drops off as it drains down to nothing.
Can you mix deep cycle and starting batteries?
They can, in theory, but this is not a good idea. Deep cycle batteries can be damaged by fast charging cycles intended for starting batteries, though that isn’t going to happen if it is part of a battery bank recharged by renewable energy.
The problem is the discharging of said batteries. If you deeply discharge all the batteries, the car batteries, a type of starting batteries, will fail faster than they normally would.
In summary, you can use deep cycle and starting batteries in the same power bank, but the starting batteries will not last as long as the deep cycle batteries. And that’s aside from the issues with power management this causes.
Choosing the best RV batteries over the second best makes the difference between being able to take a shower in the morning or having working lights at 3 AM without breaking out a flashlight.
This is why you can’t afford not to get the best RV batteries for your RV. Choose wisely, and enjoy your trip.
As a security concern, you also reviewed "what's the best RV dash cams" on the current market. So let's look at it if you think it's necessary for your camper.