The Definite Guide to The Best Deep Cycle Battery for RV

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Batteries are undoubtedly the most important part of cars and vehicles in general, and for recreational vehicles (RV) in particular, batteries are indispensable parts of the vehicle’s electrical system that keeps everything in your RV up and running when there’s no power supply. As critical as it sounds, not many people give much care about picking the right kind of battery for their RVs as they assume that any kind of batteries will do the trick.

In fact, choosing the right kind of batteries is a lot more important than you think, as a good battery will not only boost your RV’s performance but also make your RV experiences smoother and much more productive. And deep cycle batteries are no stranger to RV owners thanks to their efficiency and capacity. The question is, among dozens of different types of deep cycle battery out there, how can you find the best deep cycle battery for RV?

Rest assured, because we are to help you choose the best one for your RV. Read on to learn about our top picks for deep cycle batteries for RV with in-depth reviews so that you can make the right choice.

Best Deep Cycle Battery for RV

What You Should Know about Deep Cycle Battery for RV

What is A Battery and How Does it Work?

Before we start presenting our list of best deep cycle battery for RV, let’s first learn a bit about deep cycle battery and how it works. The more you understand the working mechanism of deep cycle battery, the more you will be able to make the most out of the battery for your RV.

If you are from a non-technical background, it can be confusing at first when trying to grasp all of the basic notions in the battery field in general and deep cycle batteries in particular. But don’t worry, we will quickly walk you through the glossary of deep cycle batteries so that when you run into such terms in the future, you can easily figure out what they mean and how to choose the best one that fits your needs.

What is A Battery?

What You Should Know about Deep Cycle Battery for RV

Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen – Flickr.com

You may already have an idea of what a battery is, but in case you don’t, a battery is a type of storage device that stores power instead of making power. But what are batteries made of?

The most common type of batteries is the lead-acid type, and quite recently, a new type called lithium-ion batteries emerged as a competitor with a lot of superior characteristics. However, it is unlikely that lead-acid types will be wiped off the field as the lithium-ion batteries require a lot higher initial expenses and high disposal expenses compared to lead acid ones.

The composition of the acid is typically 30% of sulfuric acid and 70% of water when fully charged. There are other varieties as well, such as nickel-iron types. The nickel-iron type has impressively long battery life. However, the efficiency is considerably low with different voltages. That’s why the nickel-iron type is never a top choice for batteries.

Regarding battery size codes, there is no one-size-fit-all. Batteries come in various sizes, which are based on the physical size and terminal placement. Battery capacity should not be confused with battery sizes. In other words, the biggest batteries are not necessarily the most powerful batteries.

What is A Deep Cycle Battery?

Unlike cars, recreational vehicles (RVs) require a lot more power for their functions, including all the appliances and devices inside the RV. That’s why an RV needs to rely on house batteries instead of regular car batteries to run, and a deep cycle battery is thus an excellent power source for an RV house.

As the name suggests itself, a deep cycle battery is a type of lead-acid batteries that undergo a process known as deep cycling, in which the battery is discharged then recharged many times over. As deep cycle batteries last several times longer than normal batteries, they allow large storage of steady power over long periods of time.  

How Temperatures can Interfere with Battery Capacity

Temperature plays a big role in determining the capacity of batteries. If the temperature drops, the capacity of most batteries will decrease, and if the temperature rises, the capacity will go up. Therefore, weather conditions and the temperature that you plan to have your batteries exposed to should be considered before you decide to purchase your battery.

The standard temperature for batteries is around 25 degrees Celsius, but most manufacturers nowadays have put a lot of efforts into improving the temperature tolerance of their batteries, especially the industrial deep cycle batteries.

How Temperatures can Interfere with Battery Capacity

Photo Credit: Picture2Day Photography – Flickr.com

Battery Cycle or Battery Lifespan, Which Matters more?

Some people measure the lifespan of batteries with cycles, and chances are you frequently see the number of cycles as an example of how long a battery lives. But is this true?

A battery cycle is defined as one complete discharge and recharge cycle. To be more specific, when your battery starts to discharge from 100% to 20% or 10%, you recharge your battery to go back to 100%, which means you just complete a battery cycle. As far as battery cycles are concerned, the term “Depth of discharge” is usually mentioned to refer to the state of charge of the battery. Knowing about the state of charge can be helpful when you start familiarizing yourself with the deep cycle batteries.

The number of battery cycles does not indicate the lifespan of batteries. In fact, battery life is directly linked to the depth of each battery cycle. To put it more simply, if a battery’s depth of discharge is 80%, the life of that battery will last twice as long if it is discharged to 50% every day. Many people make use of this fact to extend the life of their batteries, but we recommend that you should strictly follow the instruction of the manufacturers and perform proper maintenance and care rather than attempting to extend the battery life by yourself.

Battery Voltage

Speaking of battery voltage, all lead-acid batteries generate around 2.14 volts per cell when they are fully charged. But one thing you should know about batteries is that batteries age over time, even when you store them in ideal environments. Batteries that are not used for a long period of time will gradually lose their charge. This process is known as self-discharge.

When you look for the best RV deep cycle battery, you should take into account the self-discharge rate of the battery. New types of batteries such as AGM ones do not lose much of their charge while the older types tend to lose more (up to 15%). What’s worth noticing is that you should never leave your batteries partially discharged for more than one month as it is going to speed up the deterioration of your batteries.

The higher the temperature gets, the faster your battery will self-discharge. As a result, the battery life will become shorter under high temperatures. If you don’t think you can spend much time on regular maintenance, consider choosing new types of deep cycle batteries for your RV such as lithium ion or AGM to reduce the risk of having to replace new batteries often.

Different Types of Deep Cycle Battery

Different Types of Deep Cycle Battery

Photo Credit: R0Ng – Flickr.com

Deep cycle batteries are normally classified into two types: flooded and valve-regulated lead-acid. The valve-regulated lead-acid can be further divided into gel sealed and sealed absorbed glass mat (AGM). The most widely used battery type is the flooded type, but the best quality deep cycle battery for RV does not necessarily have to be a flooded one. It entirely depends on your needs and the conditions of your RV as each type has its pros and cons.

Flooded Deep Cycle RV Battery

Flooded, or also known as “wet” batteries consist of lead and lead-oxide plates submerged in an amount of electrolyte fluid which is composed of sulfuric acid and water. One major advantage of a flooded deep cycle battery is cost-effectiveness as it can last for a good period of 5 or 7 years at a lower price than other types. However, this type does have some drawbacks, such as loss of efficiency, restriction in installation (they should be installed in upright positions) and high demand for regular maintenance.  

AGM Deep Cycle RV Battery

The second type of RV battery is the AGM batteries, which prove to be a fantastic option for those who do not like the hassle of performing regular maintenance. AGM batteries are composed of super thin glass fibers which are woven into a matt. Hence they are called absorbed glass mat batteries. Unlike flooded batteries, these AGM batteries hold the electrolyte in the glass mats.

Due to these features, AGM batteries enjoy a lot of advantages over the flooded batteries. The first advantage is that they are more flexible and can be installed in other positions than upright. The second advantage is that they do not require maintenance and cope well with low temperatures. However, they are more susceptible to overcharging and need higher voltage to be charged compared to flooded batteries. Also, they tend to be pricier.

Gel Deep Cycle RV Battery

The third type of RV Battery is the gel sealed type, which is not often recommended to RV’s owners, especially newbies, due to various limitations. Although the gel sealed batteries do not require maintenance, they are more prone to damage and failure if not charged properly. Among the three deep cycle battery types, this is the most expensive one. Therefore, it is not a popular option for RV batteries.

Gel Deep Cycle RV Battery

Photo Credit: Stephanie Conrad – Flickr.com

Lithium-ion Deep Cycle RV Battery  

In addition to the three traditional options above, a new type of RV battery known as Lithium-ion deep cycle battery is becoming more and more popular. Lithium batteries offer outstanding features that surpass flooded and AGM batteries such as lightweight, high portability plus excellent and consistent performance under extreme temperatures. Though there is more than one type of lithium-ion batteries, the recommended type for RVs is none other than Lithium Iron Phosphate for optimal results.

Many people consider the lithium iron phosphate type the best deep cycle battery for RV as it is incredibly stable, safe, highly tolerant to full charging and surrounding environments while requiring no maintenance. The cost of lithium iron phosphate batteries is higher than their fellow batteries, but it will be a wise investment in the long run.      

Tips on Using Deep Cycle Battery for Optimal Performance

Even the best deep cycle battery for RV may not perform as expected if not used and maintained properly. One common mistake of RV’s owners is that once they are done with installing the battery, they make few efforts in maintaining the battery, which invariably results in battery failure, premature aging or short lifespan. Before you settle on a deep cycle battery, here are a few tips to maximize it performance and durability.

For Lead-acid Battery

As the lifespan of lead-acid deep cycle battery is considerably lower than the advanced lithium-ion battery, more care is required to extend the life of this type. Of course, you can’t expect a lead-acid cycle battery to last for years, but with the right technique and knowledge, you will save yourself a lot of time and money on your RV battery.

Tip 1: Look for High-quality Battery from Trusted Suppliers

When it comes to securing a reliable power source for your RV, always choose high-quality batteries with trusted reviews. There is a lot of quality products out there, but there still exist a small number of non-authentic batteries that are poorly made. If you are on a tight budget, consider obtaining quality used batteries to restore them back to the original capacity. Reconditioning batteries should only be attempted with care by experienced users.

Tip 2: Make Sure You Know What You Have and What You Want

You need to know your system voltage and the size of your battery compartment to work out the type and number of battery you’ll need. For a 48-volt system, you can opt for eight 6 volt batteries or four 12 volt batteries. Remember to keep sufficient space between batteries to allow for expansion while avoiding friction and increased temperature.   

Tip 3: Prevent Corrosion

To maximize the performance and lifespan of your batteries, it will be useful to prevent corrosion beforehand with one simple step: Apply thin layers of coating on all of the terminals, wire lugs, bolts and other items with protective substances such as non-hardening sealant or petroleum jelly before you install your batteries. Also, seal exposed wires with tapes for further protection.

Tips on Using Deep Cycle Battery for Optimal Performance

Photo Credit: ysella – Flickr.com

Tip 4: Perform Regular Check and Inspection

Regular inspection of your batteries is an essential step in extending the life of your batteries. However, this step is usually neglected or ignored. By checking and inspecting the conditions of your batteries regularly, you can proactively prevent issues or minimize the risk of failure. Batteries should be thoroughly checked upon delivered and continue to be inspected on a regular basis.

Never forget to wear protective gears and clothing when working with batteries. During the inspection process, look out for cracks, dirt, signs of corrosion or leakage. All wiring connections should be tightly connected but not overtightened as it will do more harm than good.

Tip 5: Invest in a Renewable Energy System Digital Monitor

It’s always good to be prepared for the worst scenario, thus investing in a renewable energy system digital monitor will be a wise decision because it will enable you to detect and troubleshoot any problem that may arise, including battery issues. Trust us; when you travel on your RV to remote areas, you will be thankful for having such an energy system digital monitor.

For Lithium Ion RV Battery

The lithium battery technology is superior to the lead-acid batteries on many aspects, particularly on the lifespan. The lithium-ion RV battery is one of the top choices for large power storage with higher efficiency, and there are a couple of things you can do to maximize the performance of lithium-ion RV batteries.

The common type of lithium-ion batteries used for RVs is the lithium iron phosphate type, which outperforms all other conventional batteries. To prolong their lifespan, try to keep them operating in the appropriate temperature range so that they can have the most favorable environment to run. Secondly, just like the other types of batteries, it is never redundant to invest in an energy system digital monitor to keep tabs on the performance and conditions of your battery.

Top Picks for The Best Deep Cycle Battery for RV

Once you get to know basic facts about RV batteries, you will find it easier to determine which type works best for you. However, it is still a real challenge to find the ‘right’ one, given the increasingly high number of RV batteries available in the market. To save you from the struggle and confusion, we have compiled a list of the best deep cycle battery for RV that is guaranteed to keep you and your RV satisfied.  

Odyssey PC680 Battery

Odyssey PC680 Battery

Odyssey PC680 Battery

The first one that is featured on our list is the Odyssey PC680 Battery, which remains a favorite choice for many people, including both RV owners or non-RV owners. This battery is extremely versatile and can work perfectly well with a wide range of vehicles: boats, motorcycles and of course recreational vehicles.

The Odyssey PC680 Battery has made a reputation for itself with many exciting features at a fairly reasonable price, which makes it a great option for the best deep cycle battery for RV.  

One notable feature of the Odyssey PC680 battery is that it is extremely well-built and can endure harsh conditions. As a 12-volt AGM deep cycle battery, the Odyssey PC680 can handle shock and vibration very well while offering more power with pure lead plates.

Another plus is that it allows a longer cycle life compared to other traditional deep cycle batteries. A lot of people also praised this Odyssey PC680 Battery for its sturdiness, long battery life, and compact design.

Pros of the product

  • Lightweight & sturdy
  • High versatility: this battery can work pretty well with a wide range of Powersports applications
  • High tolerance to extreme conditions
  • Strong resistance to shock and vibration
  • Long-lasting (up to 5 or 7 years)
  • Good value for the money
  • Highest recharge efficiency among its peers
Cons of the product

  • The battery does not come with terminals
  • Limited warranty policy
  • No fund or replacement when returning damaged batteries

100 Ah LiFePO4 12 volt Deep Cycle Battery

100 Ah LiFePO4 12 volt Deep Cycle Battery

100 Ah LiFePO4 12 volt Deep Cycle Battery

The second battery on our list is the 100 Ah LiFEPO4 12 volt Deep Cycle Battery, which has continually received positive feedbacks from customers ever since it was launched.

If money is not an issue for you, then we recommend you give this powerful battery a try. Its power is undeniable, as it is one of the lithium iron phosphate deep cycle battery that is the most advanced type available in the market.

100 Ah LiFePO4 12 volt Deep Cycle Battery

There are many great things to say about this battery, and some may argue that it is the best one out there.

First off, this battery offers much higher capacity than the lead-acid ones of the same size.

Secondly, it is completely safe with no fear for spillage or leakage.

Thirdly, it can last up to 3000-5000 cycles in comparison with 700 cycles by a regular lead-acid battery, and not to mention the super fast recharging rate, which is ideal for a travel trailer or a camper.  

Pros of the product

  • Impressive performance
  • Higher capacity than conventional batteries of the same physical size
  • Very light in comparison with other conventional batteries
  • Safe and reliable
  • Very long lasting (can be used for many years without losing much of capacity)
  • Highly durable (can be recharged over and over while still retaining almost full capacity)
  • Requires no maintenance
Cons of the product

  • The price is a lot higher than lead-acid batteries

Universal UB121000-45978 12v 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery

Universal UB121000-45978 12v 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery

Universal UB121000-45978 12v 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery

If the price of 100 Ah LiFEPO4 12 volt Deep Cycle Battery is out of your reach, you may want to consider a more reasonable option, which is the Universal 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery.

Although this battery does not employ the lithium-ion battery technology, its performance can be quite satisfying for most users. Marketed as being completely “spill-proof,” users won’t have to be too concerned about safety with this battery.

With the AGM design, this battery is a good choice for an RV considering its quality and price. The battery can be installed in any position with high resistance to shock and vibration. Another plus for this battery is its fast recharging rate and low standing self-discharge rate, which means you do not have to recharge it often.

The durability is also a plus, as many praised this battery for being sturdy and reliable even after a long time of usage.

Pros of the product

  • Safe and reliable, designed to be spill-proof
  • Good value for the price
  • Highly durable
  • Lightweight
  • Shock and vibration resistance
  • Maintenance free
Cons of the product

  • Some users reported that the quality of this battery was not consistent
  • Won’t last as long as lithium-ion batteries

Trojan Trojan 6 Volt Battery T-105

Trojan Trojan 6 Volt Battery T-105

Trojan Trojan 6 Volt Battery T-105

The next entry will come for one of the most renowned battery manufacturers – the Trojan company.

They are one of the biggest players in the field of manufacturing deep cycle batteries, so please be assured that batteries made by them are usually on the list of the best deep cycle battery for RV or other vehicles.

If you are into flooded batteries, then this one can be a fantastic deal for you: the Trojan Trojan 6 Volt Battery T-105.

As a flooded lead-acid battery, this one comes with thicker plates with specially designed deep-cycle cells. The customized cells make the battery less prone to degradation over times of usage, which makes this battery stand out among other similar flooded lead-acid batteries.

In comparison with AGM batteries or gel batteries, this flooded battery cost the least while delivering an impressive performance. It is safe to say that this one is an excellent match for RVs, electric vehicles or uninterruptible power supplies.

Pros of the product

  • Affordable option compared to other battery types
  • Works great with golf carts and electric vehicles
  • Specially designed battery cells that make the battery more durable
  • Long lasting if maintained properly
Cons of the product

  • Shipping costs are high
  • Requires regular maintenance. Otherwise, it won’t last long
  • Requires some technical knowledge to make the most out of this battery
  • Can only be installed in the upright position

Battery Tender BTL35A480C Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

Battery Tender BTL35A480C Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

Battery Tender BTL35A480C Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

Although the traditional batteries can offer quite a few benefits, it is still undeniable that the newcomer – the lithium iron phosphate battery is very promising in becoming the future of batteries.

Still don’t believe us? Then check this one out. Here we give you the lithium iron phosphate battery from the Battery Tender Company. With its superior features, we can guarantee that even the pickiest users will be happy with it.

With the voltage rate of 12 volts, this battery weighs only 8.27 pounds, which is much lighter than many fellow batteries that normally weight around 60 pounds.

Furthermore, the lifespan of this battery is also a huge plus, which is up to five times longer than lead-acid batteries. It also performs well under different temperature conditions and can be installed in any position.

With its compact design and flexibility, it is a recommended choice for a wide range of vehicles and power sports applications such as utility vehicles, motorcycles, and marine crafts.

Pros of the product

  • Super lightweight
  • Lasts five times longer than conventional batteries
  • Works well with many types of vehicles
  • Saves a lot of space when installed
  • Maintenance free
Cons of the product

  • Costs more than types of batteries
  • Some users reported poor customer support and sudden failure after a short time of usage
  • Some users complained about warranty policies

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA Rechargeable Battery

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA Rechargeable Battery

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA Rechargeable Battery

The next one on our list is none other than the Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr 125 AGM Deep Cycle rechargeable battery, which is a formidable competitor among other fellow AGM batteries.

Although it belongs to the AGM battery category, it possesses a surprisingly long battery life and impressive capacity. Marketed as a heavy-duty battery, this beast is made to deliver steady power through its military standard custom-made plates.

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA Rechargeable Battery

What most people also like about this battery is that it is very well-constructed and expected to last up to 10 years. Besides RVs, this battery is also a perfect choice for solar panel systems or other heavy-duty machines.

With this Vmax battery around, you will never have to worry about unsteady power sources for your travel trailer or camper, especially those with solar panels.

Pros of the product

  • Well-built and durable
  • Long battery life
  • Safe and reliable
  • Custom made plates unlike other AGM batteries
  • Can be installed without fear of leakage or spilling
  • Perfect match for heavy duty machines
  • One year warranty
Cons of the product

  • Very heavy (75 pounds)
  • Not easy to install or move around due to heavyweight

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting

Last but not least, the final entry on the top list is one of Optima’s proud products: the Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M Bluetop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery.

Don’t be fooled by the name “marine battery” because this one works as well with RVs as with marine crafts. For those who can’t handle the heavy duty battery above, this one will be a big relief as it is much lighter. Plus its capacity is quite satisfactory.

This Optima BlueTop Deep Cycle battery offers fantastic starting power even in unfavorable weather conditions. But there’s more to this powerful battery than meets the eyes.

This BlueTop deep cycle battery is specially manufactured to outperform conventional AGM batteries. Instead of traditional flat plates commonly found in AGM batteries, this one is built with spiral wound cells consisting of two pure lead plates, which allows better control and the ability to be mounted in any position.

Deep Cycle Marine Battery

What makes this BlueTop Deep Cycle Battery stand out is its amazing resistance to shock and vibration, which claims to be fifteen times better than other conventional AGM batteries.

In addition to its durability, this BlueTop battery also offers fast recharge rates and strong capacity allowing longer running time. Whether you own a boat or a camper, this BlueTop Deep Cycle Battery is an excellent option that won’t let you down.

Pros of the product

  • Amazing starting power and strong battery capacity
  • High efficiency with a fast recharging rate
  • Higher durability than common AGM batteries
  • Can withstand even extreme weather conditions
  • Highly resistant to shock and vibration
  • Perfect choice for boats
  • Excellent warranty policies: products with defects can be replaced for free for up to 24 months
Cons of the product

  • More expensive than conventional AGM batteries
  • Not as lightweight as newer battery models (lithium-ion batteries)

Conclusion

Owning and traveling with an RV can be a wonderful experience one can ever have, and more and more people are putting more care into maintaining their RVs just like their second home. Therefore, it is incredibly important to find a good deep cycle battery for RV as many appliances in the RV will have to rely on the batteries to function properly. We hope that this post has given you sufficient information to decide which is the right one for you.

Please keep in mind that there is no single battery considered to be the best. There are plenty of options that cater to different needs as listed above, therefore, check out the reviews, the pros and cons above to see which type will best fit your situation.

There are many other tips apart from installing a good battery to turn your RV experience into a fantastic one, for example, investing in an RV surge protector or a tankless water heater for RV is also a pretty good idea for energy saving and optimal performance. Thank you for your time and happy traveling!

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