What to Look for in the Best RV Battery for Camping

A Survival Artist's Guide To Reclaiming Your Wild Side

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When picking a battery for your RV, there are several things to keep in mind. However, the battery specs aren’t the only things. You should consider your RV as well. You need to think about your electrical consumption, as well as the available space. Can you spare some extra weight, or do you need it for light to pass through?

Big RVs shouldn’t have an issue involving space, but that probably means more electrical consumption as well. Higher consumption does not necessarily mean you need a powerful battery. Instead, you could use several less powerful batteries. Whichever option you choose depends on the electrical power you require, as well as the space available.

You should also keep in mind that some types of batteries require more maintenance than others. Some batteries even produce gas waste and require ventilated storage. On the other hand, some batteries require little to low maintenance. Your budget is also an essential factor, and long-term investment is an option if you often venture into dry camping.

Choosing the Ideal Battery for Your RV

We’ve prepared a list of some of the best RV batteries available so that you can choose the ideal one according to your budget, specs, and RV needs.

1. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery (ASIN: B06XX197GJ) – Best Value

Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.75″L* 6.88″ W * 9″ H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Long lifespan can last up to 10 years
  • Lightweight despite its size
  • Low maintenance as it produces no residue
  • Highly efficient discharge up to 90% DoD
  • Made using green energy
Cons
  • High price

You can be sure this is an outstanding choice because this is a lithium battery. Moreover, Battle Born is a favorite among dry campers, so the brand is trustworthy regarding quality and efficiency.

Although different voltage models are available, we’ll be reviewing the 12 volts 100 amp hour version of it. Since it’s lithium-based, this battery will last several charge cycles, from three thousand to five thousand. Furthermore, it’s pretty lightweight for its potency, sitting at 31 lbs with dimensions of 12.75 x 6.88 x 9 inches.

Battle Born pride themselves on making their batteries with 100% green energy, so you can indirectly help the environment by using these batteries instead of a different product.

High performance and lightweight are expected from a lithium battery, but we like this one for its fast charge feature. Battle Born equipped this battery with a “Battery Management System” or BMS, which helps protect it from failing as most other batteries do.

2. ExpertPower 12V 100Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery (ASIN: B07X4Z8FML)- The Best Overall

ExpertPower 12V 100Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 13″ L* 6.8″ W* 8.4″H
  • Voltage: 12.8 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Surprisingly light compared to other batteries of the same caliber
  • Long lifespan of up to 10 years
  • Low maintenance with no residue
  • Highly efficient DoD with up to 95%
Cons
  • Difficulty operating under 32 degrees Fahrenheit

Another lithium-based battery from another renowned brand. ExpertPower is popular with the RV dry camping community for selling efficient power sources. Their 12 volt 100 AH battery can last from two thousand five hundred to seven thousand charge cycles, giving you about ten years of service.

The price might seem steep, but not having to replace your battery for so long eventually returns that investment in the long run. Besides, this battery has up to 95% DoD, maximizing your usage with fewer batteries than you’d need with other types. Furthermore, it only weighs 22.6 lbs with dimensions of 13 x 6.8 x 8.4 inches, which is surprisingly compact.

While the performance is not all that different from other lithium batteries, we like how lightweight this RV battery is. It might not seem like much, but 10 lbs. can make a huge difference when it comes to dry camping. This is particularly true when you use more than one battery!

3. SCREMOWER LiFePO4 Battery (ASIN: B08G8HXNJK) – The Best Budget

SCREMOWER LiFePO4 Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 13.07″L * 6.93″W * 8.66″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Quite affordable for its performance
  • Lightweight
  • Low maintenance with no residue
  • Efficient discharge with up to 90% DOD
Cons
  • Some users have complaints about its container’s durability

If you haven’t caught on yet, Lithium-based batteries are the best options available when it comes to long-term investment. These batteries tend to have a longer lifespan and higher performance compared to other battery types. SCREMOWER’s lithium battery is a reliable option for those looking for a quality budget choice in the long term.

While there are several versions of this battery, we’ll talk about the 12 volts 100 AH variant. This battery weighs only 24 pounds, and its dimensions are 13.07 x 6.93 x 8.66 inches. It can handle up to seven thousand charge cycles, giving it an expected lifespan of ten years. However, the company’s warranty only lasts five years. The battery also has USB charging ports, which you can turn on and off with a button.

This is a highly budget-accessible option for its performance. We also like the versatility this battery provides, thanks to its USB ports. Some users have complained the battery has some wasted space on the inside, so there might be room for improvement involving its dimensions in the future.

4. Weize LiFePO4 Battery (ASIN: B08M8YWC6N)

Weize LiFePO4 Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.8″L * 6.8″W * 8.5″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Adequate pricing overall
  • Lightweight
  • Low maintenance with no residue
  • Efficient DOD up to 90%
Cons
  • None at this price range

This battery is another practical choice to consider if you want to make a long-term investment. Weize’s 12 volt 100AH battery provides up to seven thousand charge cycles, giving you a life span of up to 10 years. It weighs 27.5 pounds, and its dimensions are 12.8 x 6.8 x 8.5 inches. It isn’t that different from other choices, but that’s not a bad thing.

Like other lithium battery options, Weize’s battery is lightweight and more potent than different battery types. It’s also equipped with a BMS system to help protect it from failing.

This battery is slightly heavier than others in the same price range, but not by much. Although it’s not that different from similar choices, we like this one as it comes with protection from overheating. Most users report that while working this battery close to its maximum performance, there’s little to no change in temperature.

5. CHINS 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery (ASIN: B08FMTRYPT)

CHINS 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.99″L * 6.81″W * 8.46″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Adequate pricing for its performance
  • Low maintenance with no residue
  • Efficient discharge rate up to 80%
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Fewer recharge cycles compared to other batteries of its caliber

If you’d like a different lithium battery option, the CHINS battery might interest you. This battery also has several models with different voltage and amp-hours, but we’ll focus on the 12 volts 100 AH version. As you might have guessed by now, this battery is both compact and light.

Its dimensions are 12.99 x 6.81 x 8.46 inches, and it weighs only 24 lbs. You can expect to run this battery through two thousand to five thousand charge cycles, granting it from eight to ten years of life.

While this battery provides fewer recharge cycles than other lithium options, it still gives you a longer lifespan than different battery types. We like this battery because its equipped with a BMS system that prevents its temperature from rising above 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle AGM SLA VRLA Battery (ASIN: B07SW353M8)

Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle AGM SLA VRLA Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.95″L * 6.77″W * 8.42″H
  • Voltage: b12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Affordable upgrade
  • It lasts longer than flooded acid batteries
Cons
  • Heavyweight makes it challenging to accommodate several batteries.
  • Short life span compared to lithium batteries.
  • Low DoD may require more batteries to make up for the shortage

So far, we’ve listed several high-quality lithium batteries. However, despite all the pros of lithium batteries, they are expensive compared to various other battery types. If you’re looking for a quality battery, but lithium batteries are outside your budget, AGM batteries are your next best bet!

This AGM battery by Weize is 12 volts and provides 100 amp-hours. Keep in mind, since this isn’t a lithium battery, its DoD is close to 50%. So if you’re planning your next Boondocking get-away, you’ll need enough batteries to power your trip! The battery weighs 58 lbs with dimensions of 12.95 x 6.77 x 8.42 inches, so plan your set accordingly!

Although choosing lithium batteries seems like a no-brainer when you compare them to other battery types, not everyone can afford them. We like this battery because its cover is built with heat-resistant material, which keeps it from overheating and makes it easier to store and handle.

7. Weize 12V 100AH Pure Gel Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery (ASIN: B07ZN12CKD)

Weize 12V 100AH Pure Gel Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.8″L * 6.8″ W * 8.5″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Affordable and efficient
  • Longer lifespan than other AGM batteries
  • Little maintenance required
Cons
  • Considerably heavier than other options
  • Although it is more efficient, its DoD is still on 50%

This is another battery by Weize, and just like the previous option, it’s an AGM series. This product has outstanding performance for an AGM battery, as well as a longer lifetime. Like other AGM batteries, it produces little to no residue, so maintenance is kept minimal.

Despite being an AGM variant, this product is different from regular AGM batteries since it uses colloidal lead-acid instead of liquid lead-acid. This difference is what makes it more efficient than standard AGM batteries and its longer lifespan. However, this battery is a heavier option being 67 lbs and having dimensions of 12.8 in x 6.8 in x 8.5 inches.

Although this is an AGM battery, it stands out from the rest. We like this battery because compared to other AGM options, this one has a longer lifespan. The manufacturer boasts that with proper care, this battery can last up to 15 years!

8. Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery (ASIN: B075RFXHYK)

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 13.1″L * 6.9″W * 8.6″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Affordable pricing
  • Adequate performance
  • Extended lifespan for AGM batteries
  • Little to no maintenance
Cons
  • Heavyweight makes handling difficult
  • DoD of 50% is a mina drawback on AGM batteries

Renogy is another practical choice in the series of AGM batteries. This battery has 100 and 200 AH versions, both of which are 12 volts. As per usual, we’ll focus on the 100 AH version in this section.

This battery weighs 64 lbs and has dimensions of 13.1 x 6.9 x 8.6 inches, so make sure you have enough room to accommodate it. Its average temperature is 25º Celsius, and its discharge rate per month is only 3%, which means this battery will last a while.

AGM batteries don’t differ from each other by much, which is why any extra features make them stand out. We like this battery because it can perform without issues at temperatures below 0º Celsius, which is necessary when Boondocking on specific areas.

9. Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Battery (ASIN: B00S1RT58C)

Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.17″L * 6.61″W * 9.16″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Accessible pricing for its performance
  • Little to no maintenance
Cons
  • As much DoD as you can expect from an AGM battery
  • Its weight makes it difficult to accommodate

This battery is high-rated on Amazon, and several people have found it adequate as an AGM choice. One of the main reasons this battery is trendy is its accessible price, which is slightly lower than other AGM choices with the same performance. Overall, it is a pretty good deal!

Keep in mind this is no lithium battery, so it weighs 64 lbs with dimensions of 2.17 inches x 6.61 inches x 9.16 inches. Like any other AGM battery, you’ll need to make sure you can fit as many as you need in your RV compartment.

Overall, this is a standard AGM battery with a friendly price tag. However, we like this product because of its vibration resistance and shock absorption, which allows it to be mounted in any position. Despite its weight, this can make handling it more manageable.

10. WindyNation 100 amp-Hour Lead Acid Battery (ASIN: B07BS1ZB15)

WindyNation 100 amp-Hour Lead Acid Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 13″L * 6.8″W * 8.7″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 100 AH
Pros
  • Convenient bundle options
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Extended lifespan for an AGM battery
Cons
  • Heavier option compared to other AGM batteries

WindyNation’s AGM battery is relatively standard, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, all we need is a different option rather than trying the same brands. With that said, you can expect the usual pros and cons of AGM batteries, but you can find this battery in bundles of up to 5 pieces at a great price!

This is a 12 volt and 100 AH battery, weighing 71 lbs, and its dimensions are 13 x 6.8 x 8.7 inches. It’s slightly heavier than other AGM batteries, but it performs just as well.

Despite being fairly standard, this battery does have an appealing feature. We like this battery because it has a low discharge rate, so its lifespan is longer than most other AGM batteries. WindyNation claims that with proper care and usage, this battery can last up to twelve years.

11. Vmaxtanks VMAXSLR125 AGM Deep Cycle Battery (ASIN: B00ACNO2AO)

Vmaxtanks VMAXSLR125 AGM Deep Cycle Battery
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.9″L * 6.8″W * 8.7″H
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Size: 125 AH
Pros
  • Sturdy build
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Long lifespan for an AGM battery
Cons
  • Price feels a bit steep
  • Heavyweight makes handling difficult

Another choice in standard AGM batteries is Vmaxtanks deep cycle AGM battery. This battery is probably the heaviest on the list, being 75 lbs. Its dimensions don’t differ much from other batteries, 6.8 x 12.9 x 8.7 inches, respectively.

Although it is very standard, we like the lifespan of this battery. With proper care, the company boasts it will last anywhere from eight to ten years. Be sure to charge it properly and keep your electrical usage within its DoD to make the most of this battery.

Picking the Right Boondocking Battery

Being out of the grid requires you to be self-sufficient, so batteries need to be reliable. Not just your RV, but everything else inside depends on your batteries for a steady power source. Coming home to a dead battery is not a position you want to find yourself in a while off the grid.

To make a good choice, you need to make sure your battery can handle your power requirements. Most of your electronic equipment should tell you how much power they require. Once you figure out how many amp-hours you need, all that’s left is getting enough batteries to cover it.

However, battery reliability is often in your hands as well, and there are steps you can take to ensure you make the most out of your batteries. For starters, you should try not to overwork your batteries with more than they can handle. Otherwise, you’ll shorten their lifespan.

This can be problematic because batteries often advertise themselves for a certain amount of amp-hours, but you can only use about half of it without shortening its lifespan. If you need a total of 80 amp hours, you’d probably need two batteries to cover that. Two 100 AH batteries with 50% DoD would give you 100AH to work with to cover the 80, AH you need.

You could use a single 100 AH battery, but if its DoD is 50%, your battery may stop working at top efficiency sooner than you’d like. We’ll discuss this further in our buyer’s guide, so keep reading if you want to know more!

Choosing the Right Amp-Hour Amount

The most vital thing to consider when shopping for batteries is the amp hours you need on your RV. Not having enough amp hours may leave you stranded while disconnected from the grid. That’s not a situation you want to find yourself in!

There are a few ways you can go about finding out how many amp-hours you need. Some RVs have screen devices that show your total electrical usage in real-time. Alternatively, most devices tell you how much electricity they use, more often than not in the back. Unfortunately, not all appliances will tell you their amp-hour usage outright, so you’ll need to calculate it yourself.

Fortunately, that’s not difficult to do. A quick browser search should show you how to get it done. Since it’s a simple math formula, all that’s left is to gather the number and calculate it. Once you know how many amp-hours you need, all that’s left is determining which and how many batteries you should get.

It all comes down to the battery’s DoD or depth of discharge. This is the actual flow of electricity you can use from the battery to power everything on your RV. For example, if a 100 AH battery has a DoD of 50%, it means you can safely use 50 AH without damaging the battery. In the same example, if you need 80AH to power your RV, then two of these batteries would be enough.

Another thing to consider is the charge cycle of your battery. If you go dry camping regularly or for extended periods, you’ll find yourself recharging your batteries often. Batteries can only handle so much recharging before their performance begins to fail. If you recharge your batteries frequently, it might be worth investing in a battery with lots of charge cycles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.     What’s the difference between flooded acid batteries and AGM batteries?

Flooded acid batteries are the least efficient type of battery you can have, and RVs often come equipped with one of these. AGM batteries are the same as flooded lead-acid, but they have features that make them more efficient. For starters, flooded lead-acid batteries are high maintenance. They require ventilation and cleaning since they expel gas and waste.

AGM batteries are sealed, so they expel little to no gas and residue. This improvement alone puts AGM batteries above regular flooded lead-acid ones. However, that’s not all. AGM batteries have a longer lifespan as they have more charge cycles. The best part is that the price isn’t too far from regular batteries, so they’re an affordable upgrade.

2.     Are lithium batteries worth the investment?

In short, yes! Lithium batteries are considerably more potent than flooded lead-acid and even AGM batteries. They leave little to no waste, and they are significantly more powerful. They also have a much longer lifespan; a single lithium battery can outlive several AGM batteries.

They’re also more efficient, as their DoD is higher. AGM and flooded lead-acid batteries have a DoD of 50% or close to it, while lithium batteries range from 90% to 100% DoD. This efficiency means you’ll need fewer batteries to meet the AH quota of your RV, and since they have a long lifespan, you won’t need to replace them regularly. Lithium batteries are less expensive in the long run.

3.     What happens if I use more amp hours than the DoD of my batteries?

Overworking the batteries will result in premature failure. In other words, you shorten the battery’s lifespan. This is why it’s essential to keep track of your energy consumption and make sure you’re not going above the usage of your batteries. Having to replace batteries often is expensive, especially if you’re using lithium batteries!

In the worst case, overworking your batteries may result in a dead battery altogether. So take care of your batteries, and they’ll take care of you when you’re Boondocking.

4.     Can I use 6-volt batteries instead of 12 volts?

Some people prefer 6-volt batteries because they are more reliable, although slightly more expensive. If you prefer using 6-volt batteries, then you’re in luck. With the proper wiring, you can use 6-volt batteries on your RV!

Remember that you need to plug your batteries in parallel for this to work, so you’ll always need two batteries instead of a single one. The benefit of this is that your amps won’t increase, and your batteries will drain equally. Furthermore, your batteries will behave as they were 12 volts this way.

5.     How can I help my batteries last longer?

Not overworking your batteries is just one of the steps you can take to improve their lifespan. You can also recharge your batteries often. If you don’t let them go past 50% of their charge, they’ll last longer. With that said, don’t overcharge your batteries either, as this negatively affects their performance and lifespan.

2.     What steps can I take to reduce my electrical consumption?

Taking steps to prolong your batteries’ life is fine, but you can also take some steps to reduce your overall electrical consumption. Simple changes can make a massive difference in the long run. For example, try switching to LED lighting as they use less energy to run. Solar panels are great if you dry camp often, as you can recharge your batteries essentially for free from anywhere off the grid.

Making a Final Decision on Your Battery

It comes as no surprise that the ideal battery for an RV depends on how you plan to use it. If you’re only going on a quick getaway for a day or two, you don’t need a top-of-the-line battery. You should invest only in what you need. Otherwise, it won’t feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.

On the other hand, if you’re an avid dry camper, it’s well worth investing in the long term. The best kind of batteries for Boondocking is lithium ones. They might seem pricey, but AGM batteries will cost you more in the long run. We’re not just talking about lifespan and power output; there’s a clear weight difference too.

A single lithium battery weighs half as much as an AGM, and you’ll probably need double the amount of AGM batteries even to get close to the power output of lithium batteries. In other words, due to their lightness and efficiency, lithium batteries as basically four times lighters since you also need fewer batteries!

Proper care for your batteries will ensure you don’t need to replace them for a while, so dry campers should note how to best care for their batteries. It’s not a bad idea to carry a spare. You never know what could happen while off the grid. However, hopefully, our tips will help you avoid a situation like that!