The Best RV Battery for Boondocking 2020: Free Boondockers Guide, Brand, and Product Reviews

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The Best RV Battery for Boondocking 2020: Free Boondockers Guide, Brand, and Product Reviews
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Free camping, dry camping, off-grid or wild camping are usually the terms used for boondocking. Some campers, travelers, and RVers choose to be excluded and escape crowded campgrounds and RV parks. We sometimes long for an off-grid exploring.  

Dry camping or boondocking is a simpler form of camping without hookups (water, electric, or sewer). RVers clear themselves from fees and the reservation process but give away the luxury of a developed campground. It’s also an easier way to just park and sleep. It can save you money and time since it’s usually free. Just choose a spot or location that is legal to park and stay overnight. 

If you want to make it enjoyable, you have to prepare the bare essentials carefully. Investing in external batteries, freshwater tanks, solar power, and even a composting toilet is a great move if you plan on off-grid camping. You must at least have a reliable energy source to run some of your electronic devices. Having the right RV battery for your recreational vehicle is essential, for it can make or break your boondocking experience.

Editor's Choice: Top 3 device Picks for Best RV Batteries for Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Choosing the best RV battery that is efficient and reliable during your off-grid camping is not quite easy. Below, we created a simple table comparison for our top 3 picks based on overall quality and performance, versatility and durability, and value for money. Let’s start:

Editor’s Pick for Overall Performance Editor’s Pick for Excellent Performance and Durability Editor’s Pick for Best Price Deal
1. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery (BB10012) 3. VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125 2. Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery
Battle Born LiFePO4 VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125 Optima 8016-103 D34M
It is a Lithium-iron Phosphate Deep Cycle battery technology delivering 3000-5000 cycles. With a built-in Battery Management System (BMS), astounding, even at only 30 pounds. Is an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Deep Cycle battery with up to 8 to 10 years of float service usage. It is engineered with military-grade heavy-duty plates for better performance and service. It is a Starter Marine and AGM Deep Cycle battery with a superb starting capability. It is made with a corrosion-resistant chassis and has up to 3x more recharges than other marine battery models.

Product Comparison

Product Name Battery Type Capacity Weight Price
Product Name 1. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery (BB10012)
Battle Born LiFePO4 (BB10012)
Battery Type Lithium Iron Phosphate
Capacity 100Ah 12V, 100 Amps Continuous, 200 Amps Surge for 30 Seconds
Weight 30 pounds
Product Name 3. VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125
VMAXTANKS VMAX SLR125
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 125Ah 12V, Reserve load of 260, 1.700kWh
Weight 75 pounds
Product Name 2. Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery
Optima 8016-103 D34M
Battery Type Starter and Deep Cycle Marine Absorbed glass mat
Capacity 55Ah 12V, 750 CCA, 870 CA, Reserve load of 120 minutes
Weight 43.5 pounds
Product Name 4. Trojan 6V Battery T-125 240Ah Flooded Lead Acid GC2 Deep Cycle Battery
Trojan T-125 6V 240Ah
Battery Type Flooded Lead-Acid Deep Cycle
Capacity 240Ahm 6V, 195Ah at 5-hour rate, 1.6kWh
Weight 66 pounds
Product Name 5. Trojan 6V Battery T-105
Trojan Trojan 6V Battery T-105
Battery Type Flooded Lead-Acid Deep Cycle
Capacity 225Ah 6V, 185Ah at 5-hour rate, 1.5kWh
Weight 62 pounds
Product Name 6. Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah SLA Deep Cycle VRLA Battery
Universal UB121000-45978
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Sealed Lead-Acid
Capacity 100Ah 12V, 85Ah at 5-hour rate
Weight 64 pounds
Product Name 7. Universal Power Group UBGC2 Sealed Gel Deep Cycle 6V 200AH
Universal Power Group UBGC2 Gel -40703
Battery Type Gel Sealed L - A
Capacity 200Ah 6V, 170 Ah at 5-hour rate
Weight 63.20 pounds
Product Name
VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 35Ah 12V, 300 CCA
Weight 25 pounds
Product Name 9. VMAXTANKS SLR85 12V Battery
VMAXTANKS SLR85
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 85Ah 12V, 190 minutes of reserved load
Weight 55 pounds
Product Name 10. WindyNation 100 Ah 12V NSAP12-100
WindyNation (NSAP12-100)
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 106Ah 12V, 100Ah at 10-hour rate
Weight 67 pounds
Product Name 11. NP6-225Ah 6V 225Ah Deep Cycle Battery
NPP NP6-225Ah
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 225Ah 6V, 210Ah at 10-hour rate
Weight 65 pounds
Product Name 12. Lifeline Marine Battery – GPL-4CT
Lifeline - GPL-4CT
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Marine Deep Cycle
Capacity 220Ah 6V, 750 CCA
Weight 66 pounds
Product Name 13. NPP NP6-200Ah 6V 200Ah Deep Cycle
NPP NP6-200Ah
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 200Ah 6V, 150Ah at 3-hour rate
Weight 63 pounds
Product Name 14.  Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle Battery
Weize 12V 100AH
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 100Ah 12V, 96Ah at 10-hour rate
Weight 60 pounds
Product Name 15. ExpertPower 12v 33ah Deep Cycle Battery
ExpertPower 12v 33ah
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 33Ah at 10-hour rate 12V
Weight 24 pounds
Product Name 16. VMAXTANKS 6V 225Ah Deep Cycle Battery
VMAXTANKS 6V 225Ah
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 225Ah 6V, 1.550 kWh power
Weight 72 pounds
Product Name 17. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery – 100Ah 12v GC2
Battle Born LiFePO4 (BBGC2)
Battery Type Lithium Iron Phosphate
Capacity 100Ah 12V, 200A surge for 30 seconds
Weight 31 pounds
Product Name 18. ExpertPower 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
ExpertPower 12V 100Ah Lithium LiFePO4
Battery Type Lithium Iron Phosphate
Capacity 100Ah 12V, 70A max discharge current, and 50A max charge current
Weight 23 pounds
Product Name 19. Odyssey PC925 Automotive and LTV Battery
Odyssey PC925
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 28Ah 12V, 330 CCA
Weight 23.8 pounds
Product Name 20. Odyssey PC680 Battery
Odyssey PC680
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 16Ah, 170 Cold CCA
Weight 15.4 pounds
Product Name 21. Renogy 12V 100AH Deep Cycle Hybrid Gel Battery
Renogy 12V 100AH (RBT100GEL12-G1)
Battery Type Hybrid Gel
Capacity 100Ah 12V, 30A max charge current, and 1000A (5seconds) max discharge current
Weight 64 pounds
Product Name 22. Renogy Deep Cycle Battery 12V 100Ah
Renogy 12V 200AH (RNG-BATT-AGM12-100)
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 100Ah 12V, 30A max charge current, and 1100A (5 seconds) max discharge current
Weight 64 pounds
Product Name 23. Optima Batteries 8014-045 D3478 YellowTop dual-purpose Battery
Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78
Battery Type Starter and Deep Cycle
Capacity 55Ah 12V, 750 CCA
Weight 43.5 pounds
Product Name 24. Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery
Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M
Battery Type Starter/Cranking and Deep Cycle
Capacity 75Ah 12V, 900 CCA
Weight 59.8 pounds
Product Name 25. Mighty Max Battery 6V 200AH SLA-AGM Battery
Mighty Max Battery 6V 200AH
Battery Type SLA/ Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 200Ah 6V, 54A max charging current, and 900A (5sec) max discharge current
Weight 63 pounds
Product Name 26. XTR6-235 6V 235AH Deep Cycle, XTREME AGM Battery
VMAXTANKS XTR6-235
Battery Type Absorbed glass mat Deep Cycle
Capacity 235Ah 6V, 1100A CCA
Weight 78 pounds

Our 26 Best RV Batteries for Boondocking Reviews 2020

To better help you with this undertaking, we listed and reviewed the best RV batteries available. We also included tips and guides for purchase, together with frequently asked questions when it comes to these impressive electric devices.

1. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery (BB10012) - Editor’s Top Pick for Overall Performance

Are you looking for an RV battery that is reliable, solid, and has excellent performing capabilities? Then this is for you. It’s a LiFePO4 technology that offers longevity, stability, and safety with built-in BMS or “Battery Management System” that protects your unit from failure, temperature volatility, and ground faults. The BMS also regulates the amount of electricity taken out and protects the li-ion cells from unsafe operational conditions.

One key feature of the Battle Born (BB10012) is that it provides repeated discharging and charging for about 3000 to 5000 cycles without compromising its performance. It can give 14.4 to 14.6V charging voltages, which is enough energy to run most of your appliances. Having made 100% safe, non-toxic, renewable energy, the Battle Born (BB10012) ensures that it delivers consistent and clean energy for your devices.

We also want to highlight that it only weighs 30 pounds, yet it provides a continuous 100 Amps of power with 200 Amps surge for 30 seconds. It can be used for solar or PV cell panels with versatility for use, such as marine, healthcare facilities, trucks, campgrounds, and recreational vehicles.   

And considering its expensive price tag, it is said to have a brittle chassis. It may cause it to be vulnerable to damage and can affect performance in the future. Although we know that the outer housing is separate from the battery itself, it’s worrying. But overall, it can resist high or low temps and has high or low voltage and short circuit protection. Plus, it can hold a charge for up to 1 year without a trickle charger.

PROS

  • Performs double the power in the same physical space, lightweight and compact
  • Lasts 10 times longer than other types
  • Can be charged up to 5 times faster than other types
  • Has a built-in Battery Management System
  • No need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • It is made from 100% safe, non-toxic, renewable energy, compatible with photovoltaic or PV cell panels.

CONS

  • Costly compared to other models
  • Some reported cases of a brittle casing that may or may not affect performance.

2. Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery – Editor’s Top Pick for Best Price Deal

If you’re an RVer looking for a multi-purpose model that offers strong sure-starting power, then the Optima 8016-103 D34M may be the best for you. You can maximize your investment because it offers two main purposes: a starter and a deep cycle battery. It gives optimal start-up capability even in harsh weather conditions.

It’s considered a great value for money because it’s 15 times more vibration resistant and can be mounted virtually in any position. With Dual SAE and 5/16 inches stainless steel stud posts, it ensures that it is durable enough as a boat or RV battery. Its design and weight are meant for portability. 

It has plenty of starting capability with 120 minutes of reserve load for consistent performance. We were also amazed by this model’s fast recharging feature and its efficiency. Its BlueTopdesign makes it a high-performance Absorbed glass mat battery that eliminates electrolytes spilling, making it non-spillable. You don’t have to maintain it during operation.

Notable downsides would be its casing is quite vulnerable to damage, and it’s a bit heavier than others. 

PROS

  • Has optimal starting power(dual purpose), has 3 times more recharges than other marine models.
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • No need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Dual SAE & 5/16 inches Stainless Steel Stud Posts
  • It has 15 times more resistance to shock and vibrations and can deal with different weather conditions.

CONS

  • The casing is vulnerable to damage.
  • Quite weighty compared to others, weighs 43.5 pounds.

3. VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125 – Editor’s Top Pick for Performance and Durability

Some may opt to have a long-lasting battery for their trailers. The VMAXSLR125 is an excellent option, with 8 to 10 years in float mode. With its usage span, you can expect that you won’t spend funds for repair or buying a new one anytime soon. It’s an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) type, which is technically a sealed lead-acid battery. It ensures that the unit is leak or spill-proof, and mounting in almost any position is acceptable.

The VMAX SLR125 is rechargeable and has a low release rate with a charging voltage range from 14.4 to 14.9V. Even when using multiple appliances simultaneously, it retains enough energy since it has a low discharge rate. It has military-grade, heavy-duty plates that provide excellent deep-cycle battery capabilities for energy storage.

We also liked that it is flexible to be used and withstand the most demanding usage. It can be hooked up to a PV cell panel set-up. Given its 75 pounds weight, it’s still safe for air, maritime, and surface transport. But if you consider the weight, it’s weighty, and probably that’s the only drawback we found for this model.

PROS

  • Rechargeable and has a  low energy discharge rate.  
  • 8 to 10 years of float service (standby use)
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Very durable, military-grade plates, non-spillable
  • Compatible to PV cell panels
  • It’s manufactured with no dangerous gases or fumes with 99% recombination capabilities.

CONS

  • Heavier compared to other models, weighs 75 pounds.

4. Trojan 6V Battery T-125 240Ah Flooded Lead Acid GC2 Deep Cycle Battery

Trojan T-125 is an amazing 6V model. They are designed with Trojan’s Grid Technology to enhance current flow providing exceptional performance. The Trojan T-105 is included in the signature battery line from Trojan. It also features patented technologies like Trojan’s Maxguard T2 that sustains performance allowing for longer usage.

A common drawback of a flooded deep cycle battery like Trojan T-125 is that it must be maintained properly. It has to be reloaded every 3 to 6 months, even if you’re not using it. You must also keep your water solution at a certain level. Draining lower than 50% of the power is not advisable. Also, sometimes fumes can emanate from this type of battery.

Trojan offers a HydroLink Battery Watering System for maintenance. It comes with an independent water level indicator, internal and external flame arrestors, and a full 4-year warranty.

PROS

  • Engineered with Trojan’s Grid, Maxguard T2, and Alpha Plus Paste with T2 patented technologies.
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Has own watering system for better maintenance
  • Can be used in solar and wind turbines

CONS

  • Weighty
  • Requires maintenance must be charged again every 3 to 6 months, if not in use.

5. Trojan 6V Battery T-105

The Trojan T-105 is also from the signature line flooded batteries, which also features patented technologies like Grid, Maxguard T2, and Alpha Plus Paste with T2 technologies. These special features increase both sustained load and total overall ampere-hours resulting in more power in any application. Trojan T-105 ensures reliability and durability, so it’s one of the ‘go-to’ models.  

This model is designed to be leak-proof, so it can also be mounted in almost any position. Since this is also a flooded type, it shares the same disadvantage with the Trojan T-125. Good thing Trojan offers their HydroLink Battery watering system for better maintenance. The Trojan T-105 weighs less than T-125, a bit lighter at 62 pounds.

PROS

  • Engineered with Trojan’s Grid, Maxguard T2, and Alpha Plus Paste with T2 patented technologies.
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Has own watering mechanism for better maintenance
  • Can be used in PV cell panels and wind turbines

CONS

  • Weighty
  • Requires maintenance and must be reloaded every 3 to 6 months if not in use.

6. Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah SLA Deep Cycle VRLA Battery

When it comes to versatility, the Universal Power Group UB121000-45978 is a great option. It’s an absorbed glass mat battery, so you are sure that it is well sealed. Spill-proof and can be mountable in any position are few of its notable advantages. It’s durable enough to withstand different weather conditions, vibrations, or shocks. 

A common drawback would be it’s a bit bulky and weighs around 64 pounds. Overall, this 12V 100Ah model provides good performance, not only for your trailer. You can also use it for supplying energy to golf carts, scooters, or solar power systems.

PROS

  • It is well sealed, no leaks and spills.
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • It’s durable, can operate in different weather conditions, vibrations, or shocks.
  • 1-year warranty

CONS

  • Solid and heavier compared to other models.

7. Universal Power Group UBGC2 Sealed Gel Deep Cycle 6V 200AH

Another versatile model, the Universal Power Group UBGC2, is a 12V RV battery. It can be used for camper trucks, golf carts, motorhomes, or solar power panels. Since it comes from the same manufacturer of the UB121000-45978, expect a well-sealed, leak and spill-proof. It’s also maintenance-free and can be mounted in almost any position. It has a shock and vibration resistance feature due to its durable casing. 

The UBGC2-4073 is a Gel sealed battery. It has a longer usage cycle, range, and wider temperature range than absorbed glass mat batteries. We can say that this model is a great help when you do off-grid camp out during winter. It can charge more readily but needs a longer initial use period to reach optimal performance.

PROS

  • It is well sealed, no leaks and spills.
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • It’s durable, can operate in different weather conditions, vibrations, or shocks.
  • More temperature stable, it can operate on a wider temperature range.
  • 1-year warranty

CONS

  • Solid and bulky
  • Requires a longer initial use period to reach optimal performance.

8. VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH Battery

If you’re looking for a good performing AGM battery, then the VMAXTANKS V35-857 is a great option. At just 25 pounds, this can provide 300 cold cramping amps and 390 marine start-up amperes. It has a charging voltage of 14.4V to 14.9V. It can offer up to 3500 plus cycles at 10% depth of discharge.

The VMAXTANKS V35-857 has ultra-low resistance that makes it 99% efficient compared to 85% -95% in most deep cycle or other Absorbed glass mat and Gel batteries. It has an extra-strong ABS container that reduces house case bulging and plate warping, so you are insured it has long usage expectancy and high performance. Like the VMAXTANKS SLR125, it has an expected usage span of 8 to 10 years in float service usage.

PROS

  • Can be reloaded and has a  low energy discharge rate  
  • 8 to 10 years of usage (standby use)
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Very robust, durable plates, No need to maintain during operation, non-spillable 
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Some experienced rusty screws
  • Missing proper datasheet with regards to the model’s practical performance
  • Since it only weighs 25 pounds, it can only provide 35Ah at a 20-hour rate.

9. VMAXTANKS SLR85 12V Battery

The VMAX SLR85 is another great choice because it’s compatible with solar, wind, and off-grid backup power. We recommend that the usage of depth of discharge should not exceed 50% so that you can use 90W for a solar power system. They offer an optional AC charger for smart battery management. It’s durable and requires no maintenance when in operation.  

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • 8 to 10 years of usage (standby use)
  • Compatible with PV cell panel and  wind turbines
  • Very durable, heavy-duty plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable

CONS

  • Weighty

10. WindyNation 100 Ah 12V NSAP12-100

The WindyNation deep cycle AGM battery is a sealed design battery; using 99.99% pure lead, yields an extremely low self-discharge rate. It provides superior performance compared to other standard batteries. Typical applications are for Recreational vehicles, off-grid wind and solar, offshore marine power, telecommunications, alarm and security schemes, electric vehicles, golf carts, etc. Since this unit is sealed, it has non-spillable construction. It can be wired in a series or parallel. It can also be installed or mounted in any position except upside down. 

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Very robust, durable plates, and spill-proof
  • Can be wired with multiple batteries for voltage and amp-hour boost

CONS

  • Weighty
  • Poor resistance to hot temperature

11. NP6-225Ah 6V 225Ah Deep Cycle Battery

The NP6-225Ah is a good model for its price. Its house frame is made from a non-conductive ABS plastic. Just like other absorbed glass mat sealed types, it has a strong resistance to shock and vibrations. It’s very easy to install, and you won’t have to maintain it. It packs a punch when it comes to performance and reliability for its compact built and weight. It is ideal for alarm schemes, telephone switching networks, electric wheelchairs, and can be used for PV cell panels too. The NP6-225Ah weighs at around 65 pounds and can be bought for two as a package.

PROS

  • Mountable in any position
  • Very robust, durable plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable 
  • Can be wired with multiple batteries for voltage and amp-hour boost
  • Designed standby usage of 10 years at 20ºC
  • Has ISO, CE, IEC, and UL certificates

CONS

  • Weighty for a 6V unit
  • Quite pricey

12. Lifeline Marine Battery - GPL-4CT

The GPL-4CT is specifically a sealed design, with usages ranging from marine, camper, trailer, and trucks. This unit is made in the USA, so you’re assured of its high performance. It is an astounding model passing the military requirements as they onboard numerous military vessels. It is made to handle shocks and vibrations. Due to its low internal resistance, it can work for up to 250 percent amp-hour.  Plus, it comes with a 5-year warranty. 

PROS

  • Mountable in any position
  • Very robust, durable plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable 
  • Passed military-grade requirements
  • Has a 2% monthly self-discharge rate
  • Designed to handle shocks and vibrations

CONS

  • Bulky

13. NPP NP6-200Ah 6V 200Ah Deep Cycle

NP6-200Ah works great with recreational vehicles and PV cell panels. If you’re looking for a model that will not be bulky when you go boondocking, this may be a good option for you. This model has several certifications, including IEC, CE, ISO, and UL standards, ensuring that it undergoes great quality control devices. Like the NP6 225Ah, it has great resistance to shock and vibrations. It can operate on both high and low temps. It weighs a bit more for a 6V energy storage.

PROS

  • Mountable in any position
  • Very durable, heavy-duty plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable 
  • Can be wired with multiple batteries for voltage and amp-hour boost
  • Designed standby of 10 years at 20ºC
  • Has ISO, CE, IEC, and UL certificates

CONS

  • Weighty for a 6V unit
  • Quite pricey

14. Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle Battery

The Weize LFP1200 is intended for both standby and deep cycle applications. When used in cyclic operations, the charging rate should be kept in the 14.60V to 14.90Vt range. If on standby usage, the charging voltage should be kept at around 13.50V and 13.80V. It has a low self-discharge rate and long expectancy as long as it’s not discharged deeply too often. It doesn’t require you to maintain it and is intended for usages like trolling motor, golf cart, wheelchair, and Recreational Vehicles. 

PROS

  • Mountable in any position
  • Very durable, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Can be wired with multiple batteries for voltage and amp-hour boost
  • Has deep discharge recovery
  • Compact size

CONS

  • Weighty compared to other 6V models.

15. ExpertPower 12v 33ah Deep Cycle Battery

The ExpertPower EXP12330 is a 12V unit with 33A at a 10-hour rate; it has a good reputation and rating on Amazon. It is usually used on street sport motorcycles, personal marine craft, snowmobiles, scooters, and recreational vehicles.  It can be charged for 20hrs; you can use a 12V 2A Smart Charger. This model is also certified by UL, CE, DOT, and ISO. The usage span of this model is around 3 to 5 years. The terminals have a more secure connection.  

PROS

  • Mountable in any position
  • Very durable, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • It can be wired with multiple batteries for voltage and amp-hour boost.
  • Terminals have more secure connections.

CONS

  • Lack of information or datasheet for comparison and must rely on user reviews.

16. VMAXTANKS 6V 225Ah Deep Cycle Battery

Overall, VMAX6-225 is an outstanding model. This unit is quite flexible since it can be used and attached to PV cell panels and wind turbines. It’s sealed-designed with high-quality plates with an expected usage of 10 to 12 years in float service usage. We recommend that you use an AC charger compatible with its specifications. You can use up to 120W as long as the depth of discharge should not exceed 50%. This model doesn’t require to be maintained during operation.

PROS

  • Mountable in any position
  • Very durable, heavy-duty plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Compatible with solar and wind turbines.
  • It’s expected usage is 10 to 12 years in float service.

CONS

  • High-priced
  • Weighs 72 pounds

17. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery - 100Ah 12v GC2

  • 3000 to 5000 usage cycles
  • Mountable in any position
  • Very durable, heavy-duty plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Can be discharged up to 100%
  • It can be charged up to 5 times faster than other types.
  • Great for unattended storage
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty

PROS

  • Mountable in any position
  • Very durable, heavy-duty plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Compatible with solar and wind turbines.
  • It’s expected usage is 10 to 12 years in float service.

18. ExpertPower 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

ExpertPower EP12100 Battery is another option if you’re opting for LiFePO4 batteries. Its formulation provides 2500 to 7000 cycles and 10 years usage compared to 500 cycles and 3 years usage span in regular types. It also has a built-in Battery Management System (BMS) that protects it from overcharge, overloading, deep discharge, overheating, and short circuits. It’s super lightweight compared to other types, weighing only 22 pounds. The unit’s flat discharge curve holds above 12V for up to 95% of its capacity usage. It is made from non-toxic materials that can be produced with less energy and can be recycled easily. It has a low self-discharge rate of about 2% per month when stored. 

PROS

  • 2500 to 7000 cycles
  • 10 years usage expectancy
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Non-spillable
  • Built-in BMS 
  • Great for unattended storage

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Comes only with a 1-year warranty

19. Odyssey PC925 Automotive and LTV Battery

The Odyssey PC925 Battery boasts its CCA rate of 330 and a 20hr energy rating of 28Ah. It is an excellent choice for small to middle-sized RVs. With an absorbed glass mat technology, this unit is non-spillable, no leakage, and doesn’t require to be maintained during operation.

It’s a good investment because it has a longer service of up to 10 years. The PC925 has the highest recharge efficiency of any sealed types. It’s capable of 100% reload in just 4 to 6hrs, and it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other models. The Odyssey PC92 is a fantastic source of backup energy for your PV cell panels and motorhomes.

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Non-spillable
  • Limited 3 and 4-year full replacement warranty
  • Vibration and shock resistance
  • 3 to 10 years of service expectancy
  • Lightweight and compact

CONS

  • Some are experiencing malfunction on the model.

20. Odyssey PC680 Battery

The Odyssey PC680 offers 3 to 10 years of usage e. It can also be reloaded faster, 4 to 6hrs. Weighing only 15.4 pounds, this is the lightest among our list—an excellent choice for small RV owners due to its size and weight. Durable and spill-proof, it’s resistant to extreme temperatures and vibrations. It has a decent CCA rate of 170.

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Non-spillable
  • Limited 2 years full replacement warranty
  • Vibration and shock resistance
  • 3 to 10 years of service expectancy
  • Lightweight and compact

CONS

  • Recommended only for small trailers or motorhomes
  • Relatively low capacity

21. Renogy 12V 100AH Deep Cycle Hybrid Gel Battery

The Renogy 12V Hybrid Gel battery is an excellent choice for standby or daily power requirements. Gel types are also sealed; therefore, they share almost the same with absorbed glass mat when it comes to durability. It can withstand repeated charge and discharge cycles. This model can also be connected in a series or parallel battery bank. But take note, we suggest that you only use 1 model type and do not mix different types. Even having a different set of brands is not advisable. Patented plate composition and gel electrolyte ensure excellent recovery capability after excessive discharge.

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Non-spillable
  • Manufactured with gel suspended electrolyte and advanced valve-regulated technologies
  • Corrosion-resistant grids provide up to 12 years in standby operations.
  • With a self-discharge rate below 3% per month

CONS

  • A little bit expensive

22. Renogy Deep Cycle Battery 12V 100Ah

Another good option if you’re opting for an Absorbed glass mat battery is the Renogy AGM12-100. It has a wide operational temperature range. The improved electrolyte formula ensures stable capacity and outstanding discharge performance at low temperature below 32°F. Like its gel-type brother, it self-discharges by 3% every month.

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Non-spillable
  • Manufactured with gel suspended electrolyte and advanced valve-regulated technologies
  • Corrosion-resistant grids provide up to 12 years in standby operations.
  • With a self-discharge rate below 3% per month

CONS

  • A little bit expensive

23. Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop dual-purpose Battery

The Optima D34/78 model is one of the high performing absorbed glass mat models from the YELLOWTOP line. It is ideal for trucks with winches, vehicles with high-demand electronics and audio equipment, massive equipment, and commercial vehicles. You can also rely on this model to provide you an ultimate starter and deep cycle power. This Dual Purpose model is non-spillable and can be mounted in virtually any position. It has a reserve load of 120 minutes for stable performance. You can use this unit when electrical demands are higher than average.

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • No need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Lightweight
  • Has extra 120 minutes of extra load
  • Optimal starter capability

CONS

  • A little bit expensive

24. Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery

Just like the Optima D34M, the Optima D31M is another high performing absorbed glass mat battery from the BLUETOP line. It also has an exceptional running time and more recharges compared to a traditional battery. Flexible due to its dual-purpose function, it can act as a starter power and a deep cycle battery. It works well with your boat or trailer truck. It has 3 times more recharges compared to other marine types. An excellent built when it comes to durability, it has more than 15 times vibration resistance. It has both dual SAE and 5/16 stainless stun as a post type.

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • No need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Has extra 120 minutes of load
  • Has 155 Minutes of reserve load
  • With whooping 900A CCA

CONS

  • A little bit expensive

25. Mighty Max Battery 6V 200AH SLA/AGM Battery

The ML200-6 is a 6V SLA/ AGM deep cycle battery. It has a low self-discharge rate of 3% per month. It features a built-in one-way release valve that enables you to exhaust the oxygen and hydrogen if the unit is overcharged. It can be used for applications like PV cell panels, consumer electronics, engine starters, golf carts, motorcycles, etc. With its internal thread terminals, it ensures a secure connection.

PROS

  • Mountable in almost any position
  • No need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Long usage expectancy of 10 years
  • Can withstand high and low temperatures
  • Internally threaded terminals for secure connection
  • Sealed but has a built-in safety valve to avoid pressure build-up

CONS

  • The strap is a bit fragile, be careful when handling it.

26. XTR6-235 6V 235AH Deep Cycle, XTREME AGM Battery

The VMAX XTR6-235 by VMAXTANKS is a great unit for golf cart and mobility applications. Like other VMAX models, it has a custom-built military-grade alloy providing great durability when it comes to off-grid camp. The XTR6-235 has an expected usage span of 10 to 12 years in float service usage. It can also be used in PV cell panels, providing 175W to 450W power; 120W may be used if the depth of discharge would not exceed 50%.  

PROS

  • Rechargeable and has a  low energy discharge rate.  
  • 10 to 12 years of usage span (standby use)
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • Very durable, military-grade plates, no need to maintain during operation, non-spillable
  • Compatible with solar panels

CONS

  • Weighty at 78 pounds

What to look for when buying the best RV Battery for boondocking experience:

  • Ability/Capacity

One of the most important things to consider when buying for a specific battery is its ability and capacity to store and discharge electricity for your RV. You should compute the total load of your RV. Since you have appliances and devices, you have to charge during your off-grid campout experience.

You can check the specified amp measure, Amp-hours (Ah). It indicates the total number of voltage that the device can provide for one hour or a specific hourly rate. Manufacturers usually analyze and put the 20-hour rates for their unit in 5-amp operations. You can also see this in the model’s datasheet.

Knowing the specific feature of the model you’re eyeing on allows you to estimate the devices and appliance’s demands. Always check your trailer’s electrical compatibility, adapters, and converters that can be used on some batteries. A battery rated as 100Ah at the 10-hour rate of discharge can deliver 10A for 10hrs before the terminal rate drops to a certain value such as 1.67V per cell, 10.02V for 12V battery.

  • Cold Cranking Amp/ Marine Cranking Amp Rating

The cold-cranking ampere (CCA) and the marine cranking ampere (MCA) ratings are almost similar. The difference is to get the CCA rating, the battery is measured by the rate of amperes it can support for 30 seconds, at a temperature of 0°F, and until the rate drops to 1.20V per cell (7.20V for 12V battery). As for MCA, the temperature must be at 32°F.

By looking at the CCA/MCA rates, you will have an idea about the quantity of energy the unit can provide. But some datasheets or product information will not contain this information. It is important only if you want to utilize the battery to start your RV’s engine.

  • Depth Of Discharge & Discharge/Charge Cycles

The depth of discharge (DOD) indicates battery depletion. It heavily impacts the amount of discharge/charge cycles a battery can undergo over its usage span. If you frequently go deeply or fully deplete the battery use, it would be shortened. Manufacturers indicate the depth of discharge also to suggest the number of cycles the battery can provide. 

If it is fully depleted, the DOD is 100%; when it’s fully charged, DOD is at 0%. When indicating the number of cycles, for example, 400 cycles at 80% depth of discharge, it means going deeper than 80% can lower the number of cycles it can perform. This data informs the buyer what percent the battery can be used and avoid shortening its usage. Other factors that can affect battery cycles are temperature and charging methods.

  • Voltage: 6-V vs.12-V Batteries

When selecting the rate, make sure that it corresponds to the equipment’s voltage in your trailer. Some RV batteries typically run on a 12V DC deep cycle electrical energy. A 12V RV battery can provide double amp-hour and is less expensive than the 6V types. It’s also easy to buy in auto stores since it’s more common. You can usually see them with two jumper connections to keep your 12V assembly working. 

The 6V unit, on the other hand, is generally for golf carts and other devices that operate on a 6V unit. It operates in a series connection as compared to the 12V’s parallel connection operation. These units have larger amp-hour (Ah), greater charge and discharge rate, and longer usage span. It is more expensive than 12V, a bit larger in dimension but physically lighter. You should choose based on the energy requirements and space you have in your RV.

  • Price & Availability

Choosing the right RV battery for an off-grid campout is quite easy if you know and understand the required specifications of your RV and its devices. After understanding the required load for a smooth and safe operation for your appliances during an off-grid campout, you can now try to look at the pricing and availability. 

Looking at the most popular brand or model used by RV enthusiasts is okay. You should consider that buying a high-quality product means it will be more expensive than normal ones. And since this can also be considered a long term investment, choosing an impressive model can result in the best RV experience.

You should not be afraid to look at other brands too. Always ask and look for the specific details appropriate for your devices. You can also read other people’s reviews and ratings on the model you are eyeing on.

Other Important Factors to Consider for dry camping:

  • What kind of boondocking are you going for

Boondocking experience comes in different ways. The RV battery you must have will depend on what type of boondocking you’re going to do. You can start with the simplest type, an overnight stay. “Wallydocking” is one of the most common examples of an overnight boondocking. This term is used by RVers, who sometimes had to stay at Walmart due to bad weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Moochdocking is another type of overnight free camp out. You might hear this term by some RVers, and it refers to staying at a friend’s driveway overnight.

Of course, not all boondocking is free of charge. Rvers can also make reservations at RV parks or campgrounds without the hookups. The nightly fee is reduced since you’re just paying for space or spot, but you won’t have electric, sewer, or water hookups. The last type is much more popular than others; it’s what people usually think of when they encounter off-grid campouts. Some RVer beginners get scared of this because there are no services of any kind. It’s off-grid camping or tenting on an undeveloped campsite; it is usually the most enjoyable, though preparation is very important. Therefore choosing the best RV batteries can make or break your off-grid camping experience.

  • Terrain Vibration & Extreme Temperature Resistance

Sometimes you’ll experience tough roads, harsh terrains, and bad weather when you travel and do dry camping. If you’re looking for a great product, you should also consider looking at its design, durability, and build. Some RV batteries are made with military-grade plates and casing; these durable units can withstand unpredictable shocks or vibrations and extreme temperatures when you travel.  

Delivering at high or low temperature is also important. The temperature may also affect the operation and its ability to charge and discharge. Some models have good tolerance to heat, while others can perform much better even in freezing conditions. Identifying the specifications you require is a great way to determine the best RV battery for boondocking and your Recreational vehicle.

  • What type of RV battery is best suited for you

There are many kinds of RV batteries, and we recommend that you understand what these types are so you can find the best one for you.

1.Starter batteries

This type delivers short, high-current bursts to crank your engine. They frequently discharge only a small part of their capacity. They can deliver a much larger burst of power for a short time as essential for normal engine start-ups but are not good at withstanding multiple discharges or charging cycles. Draining it can shorten its usage span.

It’s okay to use it for inboard or outboard marine engines. Since it has thinner plates, it can provide fast electrical spikes but does not maintain high energy output for long periods. This type of battery is not usually recommended for trolling motors or providing electricity to appliances.

2. Deep Cycle batteries

It allows you to use most of their capacity compared to starter batteries. It is designed to be deeply discharged regularly. It has 4 class types, and these types have their advantages and disadvantages. Some can be used as a starter battery, but you’ll be compelled to have multiple units since it has low start-up power. Now, let’s dive into it:

  • Flooded Lead Acid Deep Cycle Batteries

This type is notable for its flooded appearance due to the electrolyte fluid surrounding the completely submerged plates. It is the most popular among deep cycle batteries. It is sometimes called wet cells; the electrolyte is a mixture of water and sulfur surrounding the lead-oxide and plates.  It deals better than AGM or gel type when it comes to overcharging because they’re unsealed. 

They are inexpensive and more common. If it’s stored without electrolytes, it has indefinite storage longevity. There are also downsides when using this type. The typical usable load is about 30 to 50%, with a charging efficiency of 70 to 85%. It tends to generate poisonous gas when charging, and thus it must have regular refills with distilled water. It does not tolerate freezing and must be fully charged when stored. It only has about 300-500 cycles.

  • AGM Deep Cycle RV Batteries

AGM or Absorbed glass mat batteries are technically sealed lead-acid batteries. It’s also very much popular with campers due to its 95% charge efficiency with 60 to 80% usable load. Since it’s a sealed type, it does not release fumes, and not maintaining it during operation is okay. The liquid electrolytes are packed into the ceramic mats, thus making them non-spillable. It has greater resistance to high or low temperatures.

AGM types are usually used in boats, trolling motors, trucks, campers, and RVs. Though they can provide fast charging, this type is a bit sensitive to overcharging. It’s a bit more expensive compared to the flooded type.

  • Deep Cycle Gel Batteries

Deep Cycle Gel Batteries are also sealed like the AGM. The electrolytes in this type of battery are made up of viscous gel. It doesn’t release fumes and is spill-proof. A bit 5 to 10% lower charging efficiency compared to AGM. It does not require to be maintained and has a low self-discharge of 1 to 3 % per month. Gel batteries are preferred by those who plan to use it in heavier operations with high vibrations and temperatures.

It is usually used for PV cell panels and can be more expensive than absorbed glass mat batteries, even if they have the same load. It requires a specific charging profile that is different from other types. We recommend that you ask for assistance if you don’t have enough experience with this type. They’re quite sensitive to overcharging and do not tolerate fast charging.

  • Lithium-ion Deep Cycle Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are popular with RVers if they want a lightweight but exceptional RV battery. This type has a high charging efficiency of 95% and can reach up to 5000 cycles. It allows high charge rates compared to other types with 80 to 100% usable load. It can be stored with a low charge without damage and does not require to be maintained. The lithium-iron-phosphate battery (LiFePO4) type is one of the most popular due to its different chemical construction, stability, durability, and safety.

With all its advantages, it’s quite expensive upfront. Do not charge it at low or near-freezing temperatures. Some formulations can be thermally unstable and pose a fire hazard. It is a good investment in the long run, given the total cycles it has.

3. Dual-purpose or Marine

A dual-purpose marine battery offers a supreme starting power together with cycling capabilities. Use it with a switch system or an insulator that functions as a backup for a deep cycle battery. It can provide start-up power for your engine, but not as reliable as a real starter battery. When compared to a real deep cycle battery, it may not handle numerous charges and discharges.

  • Why is it necessary to have the best RV battery for boondocking?

Even when you’re not going on an off-grid campout, having a spare RV battery for your recreational vehicle is a great solution during an emergency stay. It has many application uses, including for appliances like coffee makers, water pumps, microwave ovens, etc.

It’s necessary for dry camping to have a consistent energy supply to your rig and its appliances. It can be a good backup energy supply for your generator or solar panels. A LiFePO4 can be a good option because it’s lightweight and allows fast charging. But take note that it does not work well on lower temperatures. 

It’s critical to have even more energy storage when going for an adventure outdoors. Ensure that the units are properly fully charged, especially if you plan to spend off-grid for days. AGM batteries can be a good option if you’re planning to take rough roads in your travels. Mounting it in almost any position is okay since it has no leaks and spills. Some are built with heavy-duty plates to ensure it can withstand vibrations and shocks during your travel. You can combine up to six units of 6V units, but don’t forget to consider your trailer’s space.

  • Are there any good brands?

You’ll never go wrong if you want to invest in the best RV battery for boondocking in the market. Never go for generic brands because it’s for electrical purposes; these models should be reliable and certified. Here, we listed some of the most recommended brands available today.

1.Battle Born Batteries

When it comes to the best LiFePO4 battery types, Battle Born may be the best option. They can provide the most stable, efficient, and remarkable lithium-ion battery on the market. They manufacture their products locally in Reno, Nevada. They are devoted to designing and manufacturing units with cutting-edge technologies, making them safe, green, and renewable. With great customer service, they can assist whenever you want to upgrade, complete an energy system, or any concerns regarding their devices.

2. VMAXTANKS

VMAXTANKS specializes in making high-performance batteries for tough applications. Their units can be used in high-power competition audio devices, hydraulics, marine, PV cell panels, commercial or industrial applications, and recreational vehicles. They manufacture excellent absorbed glass mat line models together with the best marine and starter battery capabilities. They manufacture from the US and Vietnam. They also have facilities in China, Taiwan, and Germany. 

3. Trojan Battery

Established in 1925, Trojan has been manufacturing various types of batteries for more than 90 years. They’re most known for deep cycle batteries used for PV cell panels and motive devices. They also focus on clean energy initiatives and recycling programs. They have ISO registered manufacturing facilities in California.

4. Universal Power Group

This manufacturing company has been serving the industry for almost half a century. They offer a wide variety like VRLA Gel or AGM, Alkaline, Coin Cell, NiMh, NiCad, and LiFePO4. They also manufacture their products locally. Some of the markets they power are biomedical or home medical equipment, emergency devices, power tools, mission-critical applications for military and defense, industrial and facility maintenance, automobiles, trailers, campers, etc. They also provide unit replacement programs.  

5. Mighty Max

Specializing in SLA, AGM, LiFePo, and Power Sport batteries, this brand is also reliable. They offer express delivery within 24hrs of the process order; your ordered unit can be shipped within 2 to 3 days across the entire USA.   

6. Optima-Batteries

It is probably one of the best brands available today. They’ve been providing unique and reliable products for almost 40 years of technological innovation and engineering. They introduced the first maintenance-free lead acid batteries intended for commercial and military use. They have technologies like Spiralcell as the first digital battery charger and maintainer.

7. Renogy

This company started as a small project by students at Louisiana State University. They sold a limited range of solar devices through Amazon, eBay, and suppliers. They were able to increase their sales, and they kept innovating their merchandise. In 2016, they received recognition and awards, including a spot in Inc. 5000’s, 500 fastest growing private companies.  They offer renewable energy items and pride themselves with the best when it comes to solar devices. They also provide services compatible with home, business, boating, and recreational vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which is Best for You?

Everyone’s needs and uses are different, so there’s not a model that could fit all. However, your requirements must be defined so that you’ll identify which is the best for you and your RV boondocking experience. If you’re a short-term boondocker, you’ll probably stay off-grid for 2 to 3 nights at a time. Therefore, LiFePO4 batteries would be too much, and it will only cost you more money when you can have an alternative at a lower price. You’ll be wasting its capability and will be left unused most of the time. A standard 12V absorbed glass mat battery should suffice this particular category. 

Suppose you want to be a long-term boondocker, maybe dry camping for a week or so. Lithium-ion may not be the first choice for you, especially if you’re on a budget. A nice set of 6V deep cycle or absorbed glass mat batteries should do a great job for you. But if money is not a problem, you can invest in lithium-ion types. 

The most adventurous would be the full-time boondockers. These RVers live out of their RV most of the year or all the time, and mostly stay off-grid. They usually use RV solar panel devices to keep their batteries charged. Getting a durable model is a great option for you. Here, you have to invest in the type of battery required to use. LiFePO4 types are the best choice because they have durability like an AGM and have many cycles to power up your RV. To avoid wasting money, we highly recommend that you do not settle for a house battery.

  •  Is it bad to keep your RV batteries plugged in all the time?

It is probably one of the most common questions for new RVers going off-grid. The answer is not that simple; for example, if your trailer uses a simple charging mechanism, the constant charge might damage them due to overcharging. However, you can fix this problem by using a smart battery charger. The battery charger will monitor status and float them when they reach a full charge. With this, it will be at an optimum level because the charge is maintained, extending its usage span.

You could also opt for a solar charger. Since it’s getting charged by energy emitted by the sun and not by your RV shore power, you don’t have to worry if it will overcharge. You can keep your unit loaded without having to plug it in or running a generator.

  •  How To Charge RV Batteries? 

Properly charging the unit itself is very important to maximize its usage. It ensures that it will operate on its optimum potential. You should always take precautions when it comes to charging. We listed some of the charging options available. To avoid unnecessary problems, we recommend that you still charge them with their specified charger.

  • Charge with generator

You can charge it using an RV generator. You can use portable or inverter types. Make sure it is also fully charged. Always make sure to turn off your appliance and other RV equipment when you use it. Charging time usually depends on the temperature. Take note that you may not get the full load if the temperature is below 40 degrees. To avoid any accidents, make sure that the RV is turned off with your emergency brake engaged. 

  • Charge with Solar Panel

Other off-grid campers lean more on using RV solar panels. Make sure your RV battery is compatible and capable of sunlight charging. You can save money too because of its efficiency and no-cost energy coming from the sun. For maximum efficiency, make sure that the PV cell panels are properly placed towards the sun.

  • Charge with Converter Charger

Charging using a converter charger is also an option for charging. This works by converting a 12V AC into a 12V DC. It only charges the unit at up to 5 amps and can only supply an average of 40 amps. It may not be that efficient if you’re planning for a long off-grid trip.

  • Charge with Battery Charger or Jumper Cables

This portable charging device has both negative and positive clamps.  You must connect them to the battery directly. Check the indicator light to know the status of your unit when charging. You should turn off the charger first and detach the connection from the black clamp.

  • What are the do’s and don’ts when charging an RV battery? 

A faulty procedure or inadequate charging device can result in decreased battery usage and underwhelming performance. Here are some tips on what to and what not to do when it comes to charging.

  • First, become familiar with and follow the instructions issued by the charger manufacturer.
  • Never charge or discharge a battery in an airtight enclosure. It generates a mixture of gases internally. These gases might vent into the enclosure and create a potential explosion when ignited by a spark.
  • Do not charge it if it’s frozen. Avoid charging at above 120° F (48.8° C) temperature.
  • The recharge time will depend on the depth of the preceding discharge and the charger’s output current. You can compute for the approximate charging time of a fully discharged unit by dividing the load (amps hrs) by the rated output of the charger current (amps) and multiply the resulting number of hours by a factor of 1.75 to compensate for the declining output current during charge.
  • When charging in series (positive terminal of one battery is connected to another), the interconnecting cables must all be of equal length and resistance to ensure equalization of the load.
  • When charging in parallel (positive terminals are connected to the positive terminal and negative terminals to the negative), all must receive the same charge in the string. The charge current each battery receives will vary until equalization is reached.
  • Do not mix units of different capacities, make, or age in a series string. It may cause some to be overcharged or undercharged.
  • Charge the string in 24V battery groups through a constant current source with zener diode regulation across the group. It will minimize the effects of cell or battery differences.
  • Although some are great with fast charging, it is not normally recommended. It can produce internal heating, and hot spots could result in shortened service.
  • Exercise caution to assure that the charger is disconnected after cycle charging or that the floating potential is configured accurately.
  • Charging within 6 months after receipt to account for storage from the purchase date is important. Sulfation might cause permanent loss of capacity.

 

  • How to set up my RV battery? 

What’s good about motorhome batteries is that they can be used right out of the box, especially those that don’t require campers to maintain it. These sealed types can operate in almost any orientation without loss of capacity or electrolyte leakage. However, we recommend that you not put them into operation upside down. Never mix it with other types, for example, SLA and nickel-cadmium batteries.

Always wear insulated gloves when handling. You can follow the instruction manual that comes with it to help you identify the negative and positive terminals and connect them appropriately. If it requires to be loaded up with electrolyte, use distilled water and fill it with the correct volume. A brand new battery will be 5 to 10% lower than the rated capacity. It will reach the full amp-hour when the battery has been cycled 10 to 30 times.

You must never charge or discharge them in a sealed environment. Typically, some types generate a mixture of gasses internally. Suppose you want to install them in series to increase electric potential. In that case, the first battery’s positive terminal should be connected to the second unit’s negative terminal and so on down the string. Interconnecting cables must be of equal length and resistance to ensure equalization of the load. Having different capacities can cause overcharging, while others remain undercharged if you don’t follow the recommended installation. 

Do not place them near objects which can produce sparks of flames. You can fasten them tightly and make shock absorption provisions if exposure to shock or extreme vibration is likely. To prevent heat exchange problems between batteries connected in series or parallel, we advise that you provide an air space of at least 0.4 inches or 10mm in between. Flooded types can be tilted at 20 degrees from vertical; this is the maximum tilt angle. Operating a gel-type vertically or horizontally is okay, as long as it’s not upside down.

  • How do I properly care and maintain my RV battery?

Carefully inspect your unit regularly to detect and correct potential problems before they can harm. We recommend that you start a routine when you first receive them. There are many tools to help you properly care and maintain them. Remember always to use insulated gloves, wear protective clothing, and goggles when handling. 

You can examine the outside appearance of the battery by looking if it has cracks. For flooded types, any fluids on or around the unit may indicate that electrolyte is spilling or leaking out, and it should be repaired or replaced.  

Look closely for damaged or loose parts. Always check all battery cables and their connections. It should be intact; broken or frayed cables can be extremely hazardous and must be replaced. Make sure there is good contact with terminals. Tighten all wiring connections, but do not overdo it. It can result in post breakage, post-meltdown, or fire.

Visual inspection is not enough to determine the overall health of your battery. Routine electric discharge and gravity checks will not only show the state of charge but also spots signs of improper care such as undercharging and over-watering (for flooded types). You can do an open-circuit voltage test for non-flooded batteries by doing these following steps:

  1. Disconnect all connections from the battery.
  2. Measure voltage using a DC voltmeter.
  3. Check the state of charge with the table provided below.
  4. Charge the battery if it registers 0% to 70%.
  5. If it registers below the specified values, it means it was left in a state of discharge too long, or the battery has a bad cell. If this happens, take it for repair or replacement.

Percentage of Charge

6v

12v

100

6.37

12.73

90

6.31

12.62

80

6.25

12.50

70

6.19

12.37

60

6.12

12.27

50

6.02

12.10

40

5.98

11.89

30

5.91

11.81

20

5.83

11.66

10

5.75

11.51

For flooded types, watering must be done at the right time and in the right amount, or it will underperform, and its longevity might suffer. It should always be added after fully charging the unit. There should be enough water to cover the plates before charging. If it’s been discharged partially or fully, the water level should also be above the plates. 

Keeping the water at the correct level after being fully charged will prevent you from worrying about the water level at a different state of charge. We recommend that you always check your unit once a month until you know how often they should be watered. Here are important things to remember when handling and using flooded types:

  1. Do not let the plates get exposed to air because this may cause corrosion.
  2. Do not fill the water level in the filling well to the cap because this may cause overflow, corrosion, and, consequently, losing capacity.
  3. The electrolytes are a solution of acid and water; avoid skin contact.
  4. Never add acid to a battery. 
  5. Local climate affects charging methods and operations; that’s why it’s important to know when to water them.

It can attract dust, grime, and dirt. Keeping them clean will help you spot signs of trouble when they appear and avoid it. Here are some tips for cleaning your unit:

  1. First, check if all vent caps are tightly in place.
  2. Clean the battery with a cloth or brush with a solution of baking soda and water. When cleaning, do not let any cleaning solution or other foreign matter get inside the unit.
  3. Then, you can rinse with water and wipe with a clean cloth.
  4. Clean the terminals and the inside of cable clamps using a post and clamp cleaner. Cleaning them will have a bright metallic shine.
  5. Reconnect the clamps to the terminals and thinly coat them with a silicone gel or anti-corrosive spray.
  6. Always keep the area around it, moistureless and clean.

Periods of inactivity cause extreme harm to deep cycle or other types. To ensure that they remain healthy and ready for use when you place them into storage, we suggest the following guidelines:

  1. Avoid locations that are most likely to have a freezing temperature. To prevent freezing, keep it at a high state of charge. Remember that freezing could result in irreparable damage to its plates and container.
  2. Avoiding direct exposure to heat sources such as radiators or space heaters is also important. 
  3. You must completely charge the battery before storing it.
  4. Store it in a cool, dry place, protected from the elements.
  5. Monitor the specific gravity (flooded) or voltage during storage. Give a boost charge if it shows a 70% charge or less.
  6. Completely charge your battery before reactivating.
  7. Equalize the batteries (flooded) before putting them back into service. 
  8. Be sure to charge them fully every 3 to 6 months if you’re going to store them for an extended period. Most deep cycle types will self-discharge 5% to 15% per month, depending on the temperature storage conditions.
  9. Flooded or wet cell types require watering periodically. You must check them once a month after installation to determine the proper watering schedule. You can use distilled water after fully charging.

Properly discharging the units is also important. Below are some helpful tips when it comes to discharging.

  1. Note that shallow discharges will result in longer battery usage.
  2. 80% discharge is the maximum safe discharge; we recommend 50% or fewer discharges. 
  3. Do not fully discharge a flooded type by 80% or more.
  4. We recommend operation only between 50% to 85% of the full charge range. A periodic equalization is a must when you use this practice.
  5. Do not let them deeply discharge for any length of time.
  6. Lead-acid types do not develop a memory and do not have to be fully discharged before recharging.
  7. It should be charged after each period of use.
  8. If it’s charged up but can’t support a load, it’s most likely bad, and testing is necessary.
  •  How do I recycle my batteries? 

You can return old units to the retailer, automotive service station, manufacturer, or other authorized collection centers. Collection service is usually at most landfills, transfer stations. Lead-acid types are 97% recyclable; lead is the most recycled metal today. The electrolyte can be processed for recycled wastewater uses. Typically, a new battery contains at around 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic. You must never put them in with your household waste.

  •  What does sulfation mean and what causes it? 

The term sulfation generally starts when the battery energy potential is below 12.4V. It’s a build-up that occurs when the sulfur molecules in the electrolyte become so deeply discharged that they begin to coat the battery plates. The plates will become so coated that the battery will no longer take charge or deliver current.

There are numerous causes of sulfation. Here are some examples:

  • Your unit sits too long between charges, as little as 24hrs before damage can be done.
  • You don’t use it regularly and don’t have a maintenance charger.
  • The electrolyte level is low, and the battery plates become exposed to air.
  • Parasitic drain or abnormal and continuous discharge of energy in the vehicle is constantly flattening the battery.

There are many maintenance chargers available on the market. Just plug the charger into the main power and attach your battery. It can be left on permanently without damaging the battery. If there is no access to mains power, another option is to use a solar trickle charger.

Editor’s thoughts and conclusion

Finding the right one for your requirements can be challenging. It has to be reliable and must provide optimum performance for you and your RV boondocking adventure trip. Off-grid camp out is an awesome experience, especially if you love RVing. It’s like bringing your house with you to a secluded location where you can enjoy nature solitary or with family and friends—having the best RV battery for boondocking means it can hold up with frequent discharges and turn up your devices and appliances. It can make your off-grid camping experience enjoyable and induce unnecessary headaches. 

Remember that they are not always made equal. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Because off-grid means you’ll be staying at a place where there is hardly any electricity source, your battery must be able to handle the power load you have for days on end. You must choose a compatible model with your requirement; therefore, a normal house battery won’t cut it. Ensure that it’s designed for traveling on rough roads or extreme weather conditions for the best RV escapade. The more stable and durable it is, the more it becomes a reliable electricity source for your appliances.

Whichever RV battery you opt for, keep in mind that it must be regularly maintained when using electrical devices. You also have to know how to care for your unit, especially if you’re not going to use it regularly. We hope you follow our tips properly regarding maintaining the item to avoid wasting your money on repairs and replacement. If you take care of them, you’ll have a lasting companion when you go on your off-grid camping adventure. We hope that this guide and our reviews have helped you find the perfect battery to fit your needs.

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