Upgrading your RV battery will improve your quality of life while in your RV. This is 10x more important when boondocking but even those who move from campground to campground will see the benefits of having maintenance-free batteries that don’t need any special attention when storing the RV.
Why You Need a Deep Cycle Battery for Your RV
When deciding on the proper battery for your motorhome or travel trailer, you need to consider how it will be used. Are you replacing the battery that starts your engine, usually referred to as a “chassis” battery?
If so, you will be looking for a battery that has a high number of Cold Cranking Amps (CCA). This term defines the number of amps a battery can produce at 0 degrees F for 30 seconds, without dropping below 7.2 volts. In other words, you want a battery that can turn over quickly, even in cold temperatures.
Replacing a battery for your coach requires different parameters. These batteries are called “house” or “coach” batteries and are useful for long term applications like running the lights or furnace in your RV.
For that reason, they are built with much thicker plates and are designed to be used over long periods of time, discharging them quite a bit. That means they also have to be recharged repeatedly, creating a cycle. This process gives house batteries the nickname of “deep cycle” batteries.
You don’t need to worry about how many CCA a house battery has. Rather, look for the number of Amp Hours (ah) on the battery. This will tell you approximately how long you can utilize the power from a battery, depending upon how many amps you are pulling in your RV. These house batteries should also have a Reserve Capacity (RC) listing, signifying how many minutes a battery can deliver 25 amps of current before falling below 10.5 volts. With both of these figures, a larger number is a better option.
More From Getaway Couple
Battery Material Types
One more consideration when looking at house batteries is the material used in the battery. At this time, lithium is the best option but is quite a bit more expensive upfront, but it lasts a lot longer than the other materials so is cheaper in the long run. However, a drawback with lithium batteries is that they do not perform well in very cold temperatures.
One step down from lithium is an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery. These batteries are maintenance-free lead-acid batteries, using a fiberglass mat to absorb sulphuric acid. They handle cold temperatures well and usually have a longer life than their less expensive counterpart, the lead-acid battery.
A lead acid battery is the least expensive option for a house battery but requires the user to top off distilled water in the cells every couple of months. They, too, can be recharged numerous times, but sometimes have a shorter life than AGMs and lithium batteries.
One final item to decide upon when selecting house batteries is size. Deep cycle batteries for RVs usually come in two different sizes: 6 volts and 12 volts. Both sizes can be used in a grouping, whether wired in parallel or as a series, but 6-volt batteries have thicker plates, giving them a bigger cycling capacity (longer life). They do require two 6-volt batteries wired in series to get to the standard 12-volt RV application though.
Best RV House Batteries
Best Lithium RV Battery
- BUILT-IN BMS: BMS stands for "Battery Management System" - the brain of our deep cycle lithium batteries. Our BMS...
- LITHIUM ION TECHNOLOGY: Unlike Lead Acid batteries, Battle Born's deep cycle lithium ion batteries have unlimited...
Battle Born Battery is our top pick for the best lithium RV battery. It has a 100 Ah capacity and an average lifespan of 3000 to 5000 cycles. The Battle Born Battery also comes with a 10-year warranty so you will not need to worry about it for a decade.
The company support is best in class and is one of the many reasons we own Battle Born Batteries. Check out our consultation video with the CEO / COO of Battle Born Batteries.
Best AGM RV Battery
- UPG #45978 UB121000 12V 100Ah
- Dimensions: 12.17 inches x 6.61 inches x 9.16 inches. Weight: 63.93 Lbs
Universal Power UB121000 is our top pick for the best RV AGM batteries. With a total capacity of 100 Ah (~50 Ah useable), these are a great pick to power your RV with little to no maintenance. They have an average lifespan of 600 cycles and a 1-year warranty.
Best 6-volt RV Battery
Trojan Battery is the top name in the game of 6-volt batteries. They must be purchased in pairs to work in your RV at 12 volts. These batteries in pairs have a 225 Ah capacity with 125 Ah useable. Since they have thicker lead plates they are good for around 1200 cycles and come with an 18-month warranty.
Best Lead Acid RV Battery
- 12-Volt, 750 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 10 inches x 6 7/8 inches x 7 13/16 inches tall, Weight: 43.5 pounds, Dual SAE &...
- Optimal starting power even in bad weather
Optima Blue Top Batteries are the best RV lead acid battery to use. They have a capacity of 55 Ah (27.5 Ah useable) but are estimated to last around 400 cycles. They come with a great (for lead-acid) warranty of 24 months.
Best Budget RV Battery
- Genuine ExpertPower Battery - The Most Trusted And Highest Reviewed Sealed Lead Acid Batteries On Amazon
- Battery Type - 12 Volt 33Amp/10 Hour Sealed Lead Acid Battery
ExpertPower EXP12330 is a great option for those who are looking for a budget option. They are AGM batteries which means no maintenance and have a capacity of 33 Ah (16.5 useable). They last around 200 cycles and come with a 1-year warranty.
Last update on 2021-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API