Table of Contents Show
- What Is a Lithium RV Battery?
- Can I Replace My RV Battery with a Lithium Battery?
- What Should I Look for in a Lithium Battery?
- How Much Do Lithium Batteries for an RV Cost?
- Your Lithium RV Battery Options
- What Is the Best Brand of Lithium Battery?
- Buy a Lithium RV Battery to Eliminate Your Battery Anxiety
Once you understand how the power systems work in an RV, you quickly realize that the lead-acid house battery most RVs come with is underwhelming in its performance. That’s why the first upgrade many travelers opt for is a lithium RV battery.
Lithium batteries are relatively new compared to lead-acid ones, which have been around for more than 150 years. But lithium battery technology has come a long way in a short amount of time. These vast improvements especially help for use in RVs and vans.
These batteries are known for their increased lifespan, ease of use, lighter weight, energy efficiency, and reliability. But the initial price point is a little steep compared to lead-acid, so you don’t want to choose the wrong option when upgrading.
Let’s dive into some details about lithium RV batteries, what to look for, and some of the top options for you to consider.
What Is a Lithium RV Battery?
A lithium RV battery is a rechargeable 12V battery that uses different chemistry than a standard lead-acid 12V battery. Many RVers upgrade to these, especially those using solar power to charge their house batteries.
Lithium is more environmentally friendly than lead-acid. Many of the companies producing them also have a strong focus on sustainability.
Can I Replace My RV Battery with a Lithium Battery?
Yes, you can replace your RV battery with a lithium battery. You can easily upgrade to this popular option as long as the batteries have the same voltage.
However, the one caveat comes down to the RV’s charger. If your charger doesn’t specifically support lithium batteries, it will still work but less efficiently.
There are many benefits to changing from lead-acid to lithium. Lithium batteries typically have more usable energy storage, weigh less, and maintain a more steady discharge rate. All of this equates to a much better user experience.
Pro Tip: We upgraded to lithium batteries a few years into full-time RVing and you can watch our installation video here.
What Should I Look for in a Lithium Battery?
First, you need to consider the type of lithium battery. The best current option for RVs is a battery based on lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4).
LiFePO4 is one of the safest battery chemistries on the market. It has a long lifespan, charges quickly, discharges at a consistent rate, and has an almost fully usable amount of energy storage.
Also, ensure that any lithium battery you choose has a battery management system (BMS). This helps maintain the battery’s optimal health, extending its lifespan. Most companies outlined below will include a built-in BMS.
Be sure that the lithium battery’s voltage matches the electrical system of your RV. Most RVs have a 12V system, the most common type of battery (whether lead-acid or lithium). But, certain rigs operate on different voltages. Double-check the compatibility before purchasing.
Also, make sure that the replacement battery will physically fit in your battery storage compartment.
How Much Do Lithium Batteries for an RV Cost?
The typical price for a 100-amp-hr, 12V lithium battery for an RV has hovered around $1,000 for quite some time. But, you can find many options now in the $700 to $900 range.
That sounds like a lot when comparing the price of a lead-acid battery. But remember that lithium batteries last much longer and have more usable energy even when comparing batteries of the same capacity.
For instance, a 100-amp-hr lead-acid battery can only use about 50% of its capacity before beginning to suffer irreparable damage. You can completely discharge a LiFePO4 battery without damage.
Pro Tip: We weigh in on whether or not buying a Walmart RV battery is worth it.
Your Lithium RV Battery Options
Lithium battery technology has made some advancements, particularly related to RVs. Several companies have flooded into the market, but only a handful have built dependable reputations and consistently lead the pack.
We’ve narrowed the options down to five companies. We feel confident in recommending these to anyone looking to upgrade from lead-acid to a lithium RV battery.
Battle Born Batteries
Meet the 100 Ah 12 V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle battery, the pinnacle of deep cycle lithium-ion battery technology for your RV!
This battery weighs only 31 pounds but is capable of providing you up to 100 Amp of continuous current or 200 Amp of surge current for its whole life expectancy of 3000-5000 cycles.
It's made in the U.S.A. and comes with a 10-year warranty.
Battle Born Batteries has a reputation for being one of the most reliable lithium battery makers in the RV industry. The company, founded in 2013, is located in Sparks, Nevada.
They are known for their LiFePO4 batteries built with a rugged, long-lasting design. Their 100-amp-hr, 12V battery with a built-in BMS has become an industry standard. You can charge and discharge it several thousand times.
- LONGEST LIFE - Up to 10X longer cycle life, 50-60% less weight & 25-50% more capacity than lead-acid equivalent.
- SAFETY - Inherently safe chemistry. PCB/BMS provides extra protection. Plug, play and charge - NO watering, NO gasses...
Another industry leader is RELiON, founded in 2014 and headquartered in Rock Hills, South Carolina.
RELiON creates reliable LiFePO4 batteries. Like Battle Born, their 100-amp-hr, 12V battery comes standard with a built-in BMS. These lightweight options charge fast.
- Uncompromising Quality:State-of-the-art battery cells ensure a lifespan of more than 4000 cycles, 100A continuous...
- Self-Heating Function:The intelligent self-heating function will start operating automatically once the battery’s core...
Renogy sprouted from a project by Louisiana State University students in 2010. The company is headquartered in Ontario, California.
Renogy is best known for its renewable energy systems focused on solar power. However, lithium batteries serve as key components in those systems.
The battery Renogy is best known for is its 100-amp-hr, 12V LiFePO4 battery with a built-in BMS and a self-heating mechanism. This mechanism helps the battery to operate consistently when temperatures get cold. It is also one of the more affordable options on the market.
- LiFePO4: ExpertPower’s newest line of batteries – The No.1 Sealed Lead Acid Battery Seller on Amazon.
- Longer Service Life: Our LiFePO4 battery provides 2500 - 7000 cycles & a 10 years lifetime compared to 200 - 500 cycles...
ExpertPower, based out of Los Angeles, launched in 1987. This energy storage solution company builds LiFePO4 batteries. Additionally, they make sealed lead-acid batteries, solar panels, portable power stations, and other related items.
ExpertPower’s 100-amp-hr, 12V LiFePO4 battery has a built-in BMS and comes with a warranty backed by more than three decades of customer satisfaction. However, it is one of the more expensive options on our list.
- Lithium SuperPack Battery
- 12.8 VDC, 100Ah high current discharge, 100A continuous
Victron Energy, headquartered in the Netherlands, has operated since 1975. They manufacture power conversion equipment that includes various products that focus on solar energy solutions and off-grid applications.
Recently, Victron Energy has become well known for its mobile applications, such as RVs and boats. Like our other top choices, Victron Energy’s 100-amp-hr, 12V battery comes with a built-in BMS and a long lifecycle.
Similar in price to ExpertPower’s 100-amp-hr battery, Victron Energy lies in the higher price range.
Pro Tip: When researching RV batteries, make sure to read 12 Volt Or 6 Volt RV Battery: Which Is Better?
What Is the Best Brand of Lithium Battery?
For our money, Battle Born Batteries is the best brand of RV lithium batteries on the market. The folks at Battle Born understand RVers’ battery needs.
They also make them easy to change from lead-acid to lithium at an affordable price. This company provides one of the most cost-effective RV lithium solutions.
Battle Born Batteries products have a long lifespan, are highly safe, can handle getting jostled around during travel. You can go off-grid with these energy-efficient, fast-charging power packs.
They discharge at a steady rate, weigh less than lead-acid batteries, and are essentially maintenance-free. To top it all off, Battle Born Batteries come with a 10-year warranty.
Buy a Lithium RV Battery to Eliminate Your Battery Anxiety
Most RVers quickly realize that their rig’s typical lead-acid house battery lacks in performance. They don’t work well in extreme temperatures and only have about half of their rated functional capacity. Lead-acid can take a lot of maintenance and can be a bit dangerous to work with.
Though lithium RV batteries cost a bit more up-front, they can actually cost less over their lifespans. Perhaps more importantly, they help eliminate the anxiety you might feel in trying to keep your lead-acid battery working or charged up daily.
In addition to their much longer lifespan, lithium RV batteries take little to no maintenance. And you can use the total energy capacity without damaging them. They charge much faster than their lead-acid counterparts.
Plus, they discharge at a much more steady rate, allowing you to enjoy the luxuries of your RV with less hassle.
So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to upgrade to lithium RV batteries?
Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API