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It doesn’t take much to explain why a second battery in the recreational vehicle (RV) is so important. The starter battery already installed in your RV (usually in the engine compartment) is not suitable for supplying the appliances! So if you want to use a laptop, radio, or kitchen appliances in the RV and still want your camper to start easily, there is only one thing that can help: you have to get a good second battery!
Are you interested in buying an RV battery with good value for money? Keep reading to find out the best RV batteries and how to choose one even if you’ve not bought one before.
RV Battery Reviews 2022
1. Renogy RV Battery – Editor’s Choice
The Renogy RV battery is a deep cycle 12-volt pure gel battery with 200 amperes per hour capacity. Made by Renogy, a renewable energy brand that supplies high-quality solar products, the deep cycle pure gel battery is considered the best RV battery on the market by many. Specially designed for off-grid solar power systems, it will give you maximum power storage and can be charged up to 1000 cycles at 50 percent depth of discharge (DOD).
This battery is a pure gel battery model. Therefore, it is a maintenance-free battery thanks to the gel-like material inside the battery that makes it completely sealed.
It is equipped with a PE compound separator construction, which ensures that the gel electrolyte is evenly distributed throughout the internal battery and ensures the best uniformity of all parts of the battery.
The valve-regulated sealed construction and reinforced triplex sealing on terminals and posts prevent electrolyte leakage, ensure the liquid-tight condition of batteries in normal operation and prevent internal air from entering the battery.
Due to the use of lead-calcium alloys, Renogy batteries have low self-discharge and reliable performance. The temperature in the room, the self-discharge rate per month of the Renogy battery is about 3% of the battery capacity.
However, these solar batteries are gel batteries, so they are often expensive and are sensitive to overcharging. But if you install them in a system that has an MPPT charge controller, everything will work fine. Click here to see the best price.
- Lead-acid and AGM battery cell composition
- 100 AH capacity
- Deep cycle battery
- 1000A maximum discharge current
2. ECO-WORTHY LiFePO4 – Best Charging Cycle
If you want to build a DIY solar system in your RV, LiFePO4 batteries are your best option as a buffer battery! This battery technology is safe, good, powerful, and is now not that expensive.
The ECO-Worthy LiFePO4 100Ah battery is one of the cheapest models currently on the market, but it has a good BMS and over 3000 cycles. You can now easily get the 100Ah battery with BMS for less than $400.
The ECO-Worthy is a battery with actual LiFePO4 cells as well as BMS and housing. There isn’t much to report on the outside. The battery is connected via two M8 screws on the top.
The LiFePO4 battery lasts significantly more cycles than classic lead gel batteries or lithium-ion batteries.
The manufacturer says it has more than 3000 charge cycles, but depending on the depth of discharge, 7000 cycles are also possible.
The ECO-Worthy meets its capacity specification of 100Ah or even slightly exceeds it. However, the 50Ah version has a slightly too low capacity but this issue doesn’t exist with the 100Ah version.
There are no big surprises here. The voltage curve of LiFePO4 batteries is super flat. Only at the very beginning is the voltage a little higher with around 14V and at the end with less than 11V a little lower.
If you are looking for the cheapest possible LiFePO4 battery with a large capacity, then the models from ECO-Worthy seem to be a good option. The only thing the battery seems to be missing is an under-temperature shutdown (below 0 degrees). Here you either have to be careful manually or use a charging controller that has this feature. Click here to see the best price.
- 12 voltage
- 100A maximum discharge current
- 25 to 30A maximum charging current
- 3000 plus charging cycles
- Built-in management system (BMS)
3. Weize RV Battery – Best Portable Battery
With dimensions of 12.1 x 6.6x 8.3 inches, the Weize RV battery is a portable 12 volt 100 amps hour sealed lead-acid battery. Replacing the UB121000, the Renogy 100 amp hour battery is a high-performance deep cycle battery that has a deep discharge recovery.
The battery is ideal for off-grid use at home, at a camping trip in an RV, van, travel trailer, Mini Kota/Sevylor/Cobra, or trolling motor. With the possibility of installing it in wind and solar panel applications, you can use it as backup energy equipment to power a sump pump, a mobility scooter, a wheelchair, or other electrical appliances.
It’s also suitable for electric vehicles, golf carts, tools, garden tools for the lawn, industrial and medical equipment, emergency lighting, security alarm, and more.
The 12-volt deep cycle battery is a 100-amp-hour battery that uses a high-strength, state-of-the-art calcium-alloy grid. This provides outstanding performance and good durability both in cyclic and float applications.
The battery has an Absorbent Glass Mat technology with a design that is valve-regulated and can be used in indoor and closed environments with no leaks and with no maintenance. So it provides superior performance for all uses. Click here to see the best price.
- Sealed lead acid rechargeable battery
- AGM technology
- 12 volt 100 amps hour
- Deep cycle battery
- Screws included
4. Renogy Hybrid GEL Battery – Best Gel Battery
The 200Ah 12V deep cycle Gel Battery from the Renogy brand is recommended for applications of photovoltaic solar energy, UPS, maritime vessels, etc.
The 200ah deep cycle battery is a type of GEL-type rechargeable solar battery equivalent to AGM. Being a sealed monoblock battery, this design allows it to be maintenance-free. It can be installed in places with very little ventilation.
GEL deep cycle batteries stand out as one of the solar batteries with the greatest potential in the solar energy industry, with unique characteristics compared to AGM batteries that have a shorter useful life.
The Renogy battery is characterized by having a suitable size for handling by 2 operators. It includes 2 handles to facilitate its transfer. This deep cycle battery, being of the GEL type, is free of spills and can even be installed vertically or horizontally.
Although the battery accepts deep discharges, this can significantly affect its lifespan.
GEL deep cycle batteries are maintenance-free throughout their life. This is possible since they are completely sealed and do not expel gases to the outside.
Also, It is possible to install the battery in places without ventilation or temperature-sensitive places. It can withstand low temperatures of up to – 4 degrees Fahrenheit and high temperatures of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The deep cycle GEL technology helps exceed its useful charge cycles. The 200ah battery can be installed in photovoltaic solar systems for homes, mobile homes or industries, solar lighting, UPS-type backup systems. Click here to see the best price.
- Deep cycle battery
- Hybrid Gel battery
- 200Ah 12 volt
- 750 cycles at 50% DOD
- 6 layer sealing construction
5. Ampere Time LiFePO4 – Premium Pick
Based on their years of experience, Ampere Time offers innovative mobile storage solutions that guarantee reliability, efficiency, and long life.
Presenting all the advantages of Lithium-Ion Phosphate Technology, Ampere Time batteries will bring you the performance you want even in the event of regular deep discharges. The batteries meet the most stringent requirements. It’s usable even at temperatures down to – 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has an optimal lifespan of more than 4,000 charge/discharge cycles, even in the event of regular deep discharge. It weighs far less than lead-acid batteries with the same capacity. With this battery, 100% discharge is possible.
LiFePO4 batteries like this have some advantages compared to classic lead batteries but also compared to lithium batteries. In principle, you can also use classic lead-gel “car batteries” as solar batteries. These are also available very cheaply with quite a large capacity. However, these batteries are not good in terms of cycle stability! With deep cycles, you can destroy a car battery in just a few cycles!
But with LiFePO4 batteries such as the Ampere Time, usually do not burn when they are overcharged or undercharged. These can gas and bloat, but usually, there is no open flame. Only in the event of massive physical damage can a slight fire develop, but this is significantly more controlled than with regular lithium-ion batteries.
This makes the Ampere Time battery much safer in continuous operation indoors! These batteries can be connected in parallel and also in series with each other.
Most lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) batteries like this are the safest of traditional lithium-ion batteries and the Ampere Time battery has a UL testing certificate, the highest level of safety in the industry, to prove this. Click here to see the best price.
- Up to 4,000 charge/discharge cycles
- UL certified
- Lithium iron phosphate battery
- Built-in management system
- 100 amps hour
Things To Consider Before Buying an RV Battery
A battery system is one of the most important elements of the camper if you need to have energy independence. Let’s see what are the different batteries on the market and which one to choose according to your needs.
Different Types of RV Batteries
There are different types of batteries available for use in the RV. Here they are:
These wet batteries are cheap but require a lot of maintenance. Wet batteries can often still be found in older mobile home models. In terms of structure, they are similar to classic starter batteries, but their cycle stability is significantly higher. Due to the somewhat outdated technology, wet batteries are quite cheap to buy, but involve a high level of maintenance. The disadvantages are therefore obvious. Regular checking of the acid level is necessary, water needs to be refilled as needed, and any gases produced must be routed to the outside via a valve.
There is a risk of leakage. The battery itself must therefore be stored within an acid-proof container.
Also, wet batteries should never be discharged less than half if possible. The service life is also modest, compared to other types.
Although there are so-called “maintenance-free” wet batteries with VRLA accumulators, escaping gases and the depth of discharge are also decisive disadvantages.
Gel batteries are maintenance-free batteries, unlike the lead-acid models. The biggest disadvantage of a wet battery is almost easily remedied by a gel battery.
The electrolyte is not liquid here but is bound in a gel. They are maintenance-free and are considered to be very durable, even under high stress. A high depth of discharge without consequential damage is a big plus for gel batteries. Still, some disadvantages need to be pointed out.
The high internal resistance of gel batteries often means that charging with solar power is only possible to an insufficient extent.
The charging times of a gel battery are relatively high compared to other types. The purchase price is high, but can be amortized due to the long service life.
AGM batteries are known for fast charging time. AGM batteries are completely different types of batteries. The acronym stands for Absorbent Glass Mat. Here, the electrolyte is stored in highly porous micro-glass fiber fabric.
They are maintenance-free and the internal resistance is significantly lower. The advantages over gel batteries are the fast charging time and the significantly higher resistance at low temperatures.
The high capacity of the battery should also be emphasized. However, AGM batteries are more sensitive to high temperatures. Accordingly, there may be a drop in performance.
In contrast to the gel battery, frequent deep discharge is not advisable.
Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries (LiFePo4)
The most modern technology in batteries is the lithium iron phosphate batteries (LiFePo4), which combine several advantages. These lithium-ion batteries make almost their entire capacity available for use. A frequent, almost complete deep discharge is, therefore, no problem at all.
They can be charged very quickly and are also very compact and light. With more than 4,000 cycles, the high purchase price is justified. Of course, lithium iron phosphate batteries are maintenance-free.
The only disadvantages that can be mentioned are the high acquisition costs and the modern charging technology that is required.
Which Should You Choose?
If you have the budget, then just buy a lithium battery – LiFePo4 battery. If you don’t have the budget at the moment, GEL and AGM batteries are cheaper alternatives.
The cheapest product is the wet battery. However, it is not necessarily leak-proof and may leak out. But it would also work if charged correctly. If you rely on weight, space, and use, the only option left is the LifePo4 battery.
Hot Weather vs. Cold Weather
As with cold, excessive heat affects the performance of RV batteries. Higher temperatures have a greater negative impact on a battery’s internal chemistry.
For example, in regions with extreme heat, batteries have a lifespan of 30 months, while regions with extremely cold temperatures can last, on average, around 55 months.
However, in cold conditions, RV batteries can also drop in performance for as much as 30 to 60 percent and the battery can be weakened in the long run.
That’s why it’s advisable to choose batteries with low-temperature and high-temperature shut-off systems.
High temperature is the most damaging. It causes vital fluids in the battery to evaporate, weakening its ability to charge. Furthermore, extreme heat can also speed up the corrosion process, which damages the internal structure. Once a battery is damaged by heat, capacity cannot be restored.
However, the consistency of the electrolyte in a gel battery is ideal for high temperatures, but it’s very vulnerable when it is cold. AGM batteries however perform better in cold temperatures while lead-acid batteries can also withstand more than -50 degrees Celcius temperature.
The capacity of a battery tells you how much electricity it can supply. This parameter is given in ampere-hours. RV batteries are usually offered in the capacity range of 50 amps to 200 amps per hour. However, it is important to note that you cannot use every battery until it is completely discharged.
Depending on the type, lead batteries such as wet batteries, gel batteries, and AGM batteries should only be discharged to around 50-70 percent. If you have decided on a lead battery, you must of course choose the capacity of your battery accordingly larger!
So that you can be really self-sufficient on the road without running out of electricity in between, you should think about the required battery capacity at the beginning of your electrical planning. Basically, it’s very simple. The more devices you want to operate with your battery in the mobile home, the larger the battery must of course be.
The easiest way would be to buy a really big battery. Unfortunately, batteries are anything but cheap. A good LiFePo4 battery with 200Ah, for example, costs over $200. To save money, you should first calculate your electricity needs carefully. Think about which electricity consumers you will use in your mobile home. Some of the most notorious power hogs that can be connected are the fridge, water pump, fan (kitchen, toilet, bathroom), heating & hot water boiler, blender, coffee maker, to mention a few.
No matter which battery you choose, charging or discharging causes wear and tear. The manufacturers specify a certain number of charging cycles in connection with the so-called DoD value (DoD stands for deep discharge, e.g. 50%) as the battery life of their batteries. However, each manufacturer cooks its own soup here, which is why these values are difficult to compare with each other.
Regardless of the type, the charging cycles are an important purchase criterion when buying an RV battery. For example, if the number of cycles is 750, the battery can be charged 750 times without any loss of cell. Afterward, recharging is still possible, but you have to reckon with the fact that the capacity will continue to decrease.
Also note that while manufacturer A states a DoD value of 50%, manufacturer B can make claims of 30%. Since we sometimes take more or less capacity in practice, this is only a rough guideline.
Also, the best RV battery is slow-discharging or deep cycled, this means that it is designed to supply current for long periods. It is ideal because it works well with slow and deep discharges, recharges quickly, withstands many recharging cycles, is compact in size, withstands vibrations well, can be installed either sideways or upright, and requires no maintenance.
If you do not know whether to take a 200 Ah or 100 Ah RV battery, you must know that when it comes to battery size, you must always refer to two of its most important characteristics, therefore the voltage in volts and the capacity, measured in Ah (amps per hour).
The capacity indicates the quantity of electric charge present inside it, the voltage measures the electrical difference between the poles; the higher the voltage, the higher the amount of current that can pass. So there is no better battery size, the choice depends only on your needs.
The electrical system generally, on an average motorhome is powered by a 12 V voltage battery. The required amperage also depends on the daily electrical loads of the system.
The end-of-charge voltage is the voltage that must not be exceeded during the charging process. This is usually between 14.4 and 14.7 volts. Gel, AGM, and lithium batteries react particularly sensitively when this voltage is exceeded and can be damaged in the long term. You should therefore take this into account when selecting your battery chargers.
The end-of-discharge voltage is the voltage above which the battery should no longer be discharged. Otherwise, a deep discharge would occur. With lead-acid batteries, this can lead to a drastic reduction in service life. With these batteries, the end-of-discharge voltage is reached from around 10.5 to 11.8V – depending on the outside temperature and the battery type.
What is the longest-lasting RV battery?
Lithium batteries (specifically LiFePO4 batteries) are the longest-lasting RV batteries. And one of the best models of this type is the Ampere Time 12V 200Ah LIFEPO4 battery. With 10 years of estimated service life, the high-end battery has more than 4,000 charge cycles.
How long should a battery last in an RV?
A 12 volt RV battery should be able to last for 2 to 3 days while powering appliances such as the water pump, refrigerator, lights, and charging of phones. However, the batteries do not all discharge in the same way, and their run-time changes according to the type (gel, AGM, or acid).
How long do lithium RV batteries last?
The average lithium is rated for over 2,000 cycles. However, many can see more than 5,000 charge cycles which can mean more than 20 years in an RV. It depends on the size of the battery. Thanks to their ability to self-discharge, this does not affect their lifespan as much as lead-acid.
Should I keep my RV plugged in?
There is no point plugging in your RV all the time when the battery is not in use. However, when you're onboard or out on the road, there is no reason why you shouldn't plug your RV in.
We have shown you the best RV batteries on the market and what are the factors to consider when buying. The final advice that we feel we can give you is to choose a battery that has an amperage that is at least twice as much as what you have calculated to avoid problems. You may end up needing to connect extra equipment that you did not take into account. A higher amperage is also recommended to avoid discharging the battery more than 50 percent.
An RV battery will be sufficient to guarantee the power supply and charging of all appliances and devices (PC, lights, fridge, TV, smartphone). In order not to consume too much energy, it would be an idea to use the cigar lighter to charge smaller devices such as cell phones, cameras with a simple USB adapter. You can always connect a second battery if the one previously purchased is not enough.