Every single RV on the market comes equipped with at least one battery, and every motorhome comes with at least two—a starter battery and a deep-cycle house battery. In this article we are going to discuss the deep-cycle battery to help you get a better understanding of what you might be looking for in a new camper battery.
First, it’s important to understand what exactly the house battery does. This is the battery that runs the lights, refrigerator, water pump, and a few other things when your RV is not running or plugged into shore power. It’s important for dry camping purposes, but in some cases it’s also necessary for things like pulling the slide in and out. For this reason, you never want to be without a good deep-cycle battery.
Unfortunately, these batteries do tend to go out over time, especially if they aren’t well taken care of. Therefore, you will eventually need to shop for a new battery. If you currently find yourself in this situation, this is what you need to know.
The Various Types of Lead-Acid Deep-Cycle RV Battery
Most RVs come out of the factory with a lead-acid battery. While the vast majority of these are flooded-cell batteries, and while this option is totally fine in most cases, it never hurts to know about the other options on the market.
Believe it or not, there are actually a few different types of lead-acid batteries, and some definitely have advantages over others:
- Flooded-cell batteries — As mentioned before, flooded-cell batteries are what most RVs are equipped with. These batteries must be topped up with distilled water on a regular basis, and the terminals must be cleaned from time to time, making them a high-maintenance battery to say the least. Therefore, while this is the cheapest option on the market, you may prefer to spend more money and put forth less effort.
- Gel batteries — Unlike the flooded-cell batteries above, gel batteries never need to be topped up. This is thanks to the fact that they are filled with a thick gel that will not spill or evaporate. While you might still need to occasionally clean the terminals on these batteries, they require much less maintenance, making them worth their slightly higher cost.
- AGM RV battery — Because AGM batteries don’t use any liquid at all, owners don’t need to worry about fillups, and the batteries can be mounted sideways or any other way the user sees fit. This makes them ideal for those who are trying to squeeze a number of batteries into a small or awkward space. Unfortunately, these are the most expensive of the three lead-acid battery options.
Reasons to Switch to 6-Volt RV Batteries
If you do a lot of dry camping, you may find that you’re lacking when it comes to amp hours. For this reason, many people make the decision to switch from a single 12-volt battery to two (or more) 6-volt batteries which are linked in a series. This gives more amp hours. Additionally, 6-volt batteries can withstand a deeper discharge than their 12-volt counterparts. Obviously, this is ideal for those who use battery power often.
Reasons to Switch to a Lithium RV Battery
Looking for an even better alternative? You might consider a lithium-ion RV battery. These batteries are relatively new on the market, and are a fantastic option for RVers, especially those who rely on battery power often.
They are maintenance-free and offer a large amount of power, especially considering their size and weight. This means you can have more power without using too much precious space and cargo carrying capacity. On top of that, lithium-ion batteries charge much more quickly than other options and are incredibly long-lasting.
Perhaps the only downside to these wonderful batteries is their price tag. These batteries are the most expensive option by quite a wide margin, making them difficult for the casual camper to justify.
Best RV Deep-Cycle Battery Options
You might be tempted to head to the nearest box store and grab the first Walmart RV battery you see. However, this is likely not the best way to go. The brand of battery you buy can actually make a huge difference in terms of performance. Therefore, we recommend seeking out a high-quality brand.
Wondering what the best RV battery brand might be? Here are our two favorites:
#1: Best Lead-Acid RV Battery Brand
If you’re looking for a traditional lead-acid battery, we highly recommend purchasing an Interstate RV battery. These batteries have been proven to offer good performance and a long life time and time again. Interstate batteries can be found at Interstate battery stores of course, and can usually be found at Academy stores as well. Besides those options, it is also possible to order these batteries online.
#2: Best Lithium-Ion RV Battery Brand
As far as lithium-ion batteries go, we love the Battle Born brand. This brand offers only the highest quality product and is relatively reasonably priced. Best of all, Battle Born stands behind their products, something you definitely want when making such a big investment. Buy Battle Born batteries online here.