AGM vs. Lithium Batteries: Which are Better for Solar RV and Camper Van Battery…

AGM vs. Lithium Batteries: Which are Better for Solar RV and Camper Van Battery Banks?

The lithium battery RV and camper van market is estimated to grow 64 percent more per year than the RV battery market as a whole over the next five years, indicating strong continued adoption of lithium batteries over lead-acid batteries. If you’re looking to replace the solar batteries in your RV or camper van, build a new van, or are considering an upgrade to lithium, learn about the pros and cons of each type of battery before deciding whether lithium or lead-acid batteries are right for your solar battery bank.

Types of Lead Acid and Lithium Batteries

There are several types of lead-acid batteries, including gel, flooded, and absorbent glass mat (AGM), with AGM being the newest of the three. Even though all AGM, gel, and flooded batteries contain lead-acid, it is the internal construction of the battery that divides them into their respective categories. AGM batteries use a separator consisting of fiberglass between the wrappers and plate to hold the electrolyte in its place with capillary action, which is similar to how water creeps up a towel when it is placed in a bathtub. This capillary action holds the liquid inside the glass matting, making the AGM Battery unlikely to spill if it is ever exposed. AGM batteries are the lowest maintenance, as well as the latest, type of lead-acid battery, so we will FOCUS on comparing AGM batteries to lithium batteries.

When it comes to lithium batteries, there are several types, ranging from Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP or LiFePO4) to Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) to Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO) to Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA), which can all be categorized as either cobalt-based or non-cobalt based lithium batteries. Unlike lithium cobalt-based battery chemistries, LiFePO4 batteries generate very little heat and do not pose a risk of a thermal runaway due to their extremely stable chemistry. The oxygen and the phosphorus atoms in LiFePO4 batteries are strongly linked by covalent bonding, which enables the ions to remain stable during the oxygen flux that occurs during charge cycles. Cobalt-based lithium batteries have a weaker cobalt-oxide bond that can result in the batteries overheating, which can damage the batteries and reduce their lifespan. We will therefore FOCUS primarily on comparing LFP batteries to AGM batteries, particularly as LFP batteries are a popular choice in RV and mobile applications due to their inherent safety, lack of thermal runaway risk, and longer average lifespan versus lithium cobalt-based batteries.

Top 7 Factors to Consider When Comparing AGM to Lithium Batteries

In order to be fully self-sufficient and worry-free on your next adventure, you will want to first factor in your potential battery bank’s physical size, weight, energy density, safety, and any maintenance requirements. Given that you will have limited space in your vehicle for your batteries, you will want to be sure that you are maximizing your space, as well as optimizing gas mileage with a more lightweight system. You will also need a battery bank that does not pose any risk to your health or safety, particularly as the system will be in close proximity to you as you sleep and drive. Additionally, factoring in the battery bank’s lifespan, charge time, depth of discharge and cost, will ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck long-term as well as making the most of your limited solar power. Take a look below to review the primary pros and cons of AGM and LFP solar battery banks for RV and camper vans across these key categories.

Physical Size, Weight Energy Density

A major advantage of lithium batteries is that they weigh about one-third, on average, compared to AGM batteries and are often also smaller in size. For example, the VMAX 200 Ah AGM battery weighs 82 pounds more, or over one-third more, than the RELiON RB100 LFP 100 Ah battery. Depending on the energy needs of your vehicle and the number of batteries in your bank, this weight can really add up, resulting in lower fuel efficiency and additional funds required for gas or diesel fuel.

The larger nameplate capacity VMAX AGM battery was used for comparison because it has the same usable capacity as the RELiON 100 Ah battery as a result of the VMAX battery’s lower allowable depth of discharge (50%).

In addition to weighing down your vehicle and taking up precious space, heavy lead-acid batteries also do not store significant amounts of energy relative to their large size. This metric is referred to as energy density: how much energy can be stored in relation to the battery’s weight and space. Lithium RV batteries have a much higher energy density than lead-acid batteries. In other words, lithium batteries can store three to four times as much energy compared to the same size lead-acid battery. This higher energy density is a huge benefit for mobile use cases because weight and space are limited. Freeing up space that would otherwise have been taken up by larger lead-acid batteries makes room for more of your belongings.

Safety

As you will be sleeping and living in close proximity to your battery bank, safety is a critical factor to consider. For example, many lead-acid batteries, including AGM batteries, need to be in a properly ventilated compartment within your RV or van in order to prevent the build-up of hydrogen gas that can poison the breathable air, as well as cause battery damage and, in worst-case scenarios, explosions. If you allow hydrogen gas to accumulate in your vehicle, even a small spark can ignite the air and cause serious damage to your vehicle. This is the last thing you want to be worrying about on your next road trip. Alternatively, all lithium batteries have the advantage of not producing hazardous hydrogen gas. Even better, LFP batteries in particular also do not pose a risk of thermal runaway, unlike lithium cobalt batteries. As a result, LFP batteries can also often be installed on their side and in more space-restricted compartments.

Maintenance Requirements

Even though AGM batteries are considered to be more so maintenance-free than wet cell lead acid batteries, due to the fact that they are sealed, AGM batteries still require venting. The attention and time spent monitoring your AGM batteries will necessarily detract from your travels, self-sufficiency, and overall relaxation. Additionally, AGM batteries pose the same risk of being overcharged as other lead acid batteries, which can cause long-term damage to the battery bank. If you overcharge the AGM battery or charge it too quickly for the absorption mat to keep up with, the same dangerous build-up of hydrogen gas can occur. LFP batteries, on the other hand, are the most maintenance-free and easiest battery on the market to own, especially as LFP batteries, such as those offered by RELiON, come with a well designed and engineered internal battery management system (BMS) that automatically protects the cells from being overcharged or discharged.

Lifespan

While it’s true that lithium batteries often have a higher upfront price point, they offer a much longer lifespan than lead-acid batteries. In other words, the age-old adage, ‘you get what you pay for,’ rings true. A single lithium battery often lasts 10 times longer than its lead-acid counterpart, on average. Measured by cycle life, or how many times a battery can be drained and then recharged before it needs to be replaced, lithium batteries offer a 5,000 to 10,000 cycle life when discharged up to 80 percent. AGM batteries, on the other hand, might be capable of 400 to 1,000 cycles, depending on their quality, maintenance, and depth of discharge. If you cycled your lithium battery once a day, it would offer more than 14 years of life, while a standard lead-acid battery often lasts less than two years. While AGM batteries often last longer than other lead-acid batteries, their lifespan still pales in comparison to all types of lithium batteries. If you’re living full-time in an RV and charging your batteries every single day, then you will go through lead-acid batteries much faster than lithium. You might even need to replace your lead-acid batteries every year depending on your depth of discharge and maintenance habits. Lastly, one of the best ways to determine the minimum lifespan of the battery you are considering is to take a look at the battery manufacturer’s warranty.

Efficiency and Charge Time

Lithium batteries are more efficient than lead-acid batteries, which translates into more of your solar power being stored and used, rather than being lost in the charge and discharge cycles. Lead-acid batteries are only 80 to 85 percent efficient on average, depending on the model and condition. Therefore, if you have 1,000 watts of solar power coming into the batteries, there will only be 800 to 850 watts available for use after the charging and discharging take place. Lithium batteries, on the other hand, are over 95 percent efficient. In other words, and using this same example, you would have over 950 watts of power available to use compared to just 800 to 850 watts in the lead-acid battery scenario.

efficient batteries also charge faster, since there are fewer energy losses during the charging process. Depending on the configuration of your system, this could result in you purchasing fewer solar panels and/or a battery bank with a smaller capacity since you will have more usable capacity on a daily basis with a solar battery bank that charges faster. Lithium batteries charge approximately four times faster than lead-acid batteries, on average, due to the fact that they can handle a higher amperage from the charger. Although AGM batteries charge faster than wet cell lead-acid batteries, AGM batteries still charge significantly slower than lithium batteries, which directly results in lower usable capacity per day as well as may potentially require you to keep your vehicle and solar array in a particular location for a longer period of time in order to reach a full charge.

Lastly, you have much more flexibility when it comes to charging the lithium batteries, as you are able to start and stop the charge as needed with no impact on battery performance or lifespan. These charge characteristics mean that there is no concern about completing a long absorption cycle. However, when you partially charge AGM batteries, they lose their capability to charge to full capacity over time. If you constantly charge your AGM battery to only 70 percent, for example, the battery may eventually fail to charge past 70 percent. This then reduces the lifespan of the AGM battery. As a result, lithium batteries are much more suitable for partial charge applications such as solar energy collection and regenerative braking from vehicles.

Depth of Discharge

One of the seemingly more complicated aspects of batteries, especially with lead acid batteries, is the depth of discharge (DOD), which refers to how far down you can drain the batteries before recharging them. The majority of lead acid batteries have a significantly reduced lifespan if they are discharged below 50 percent DOD, whereas lithium batteries can be discharged 80 to 100 percent without resulting in long-term battery damage. Of course, if you can only discharge your AGM batteries down to 50 percent full, that means you have far less usable capacity each day compared to lithium batteries and therefore will likely need to purchase more AGM batteries to reach the same usable capacity as a single lithium battery.

Cost

As mentioned previously, lithium batteries often require a higher upfront price point than lead-acid batteries due to their much longer lifespan, efficiency, higher energy density, and their ability to be discharged more deeply without damage. Especially when factoring in the replacement costs associated with shorter lifespan AGM batteries, lithium batteries often end up being more cost-effective in the long run.

lithium, batteries, which, better

Also, as alluded to above, many fail to factor in that you often have to buy many more lead-acid batteries. sometimes double or triple as many. just to reach the same usable capacity as far fewer lithium batteries. This is because most only look at the total rated, or nameplate, the capacity of a battery (i.e., the kWh the battery is theoretically able to store) rather than the usable capacity (i.e., the kWh the battery is able to store after factoring in the depth of discharge, efficiency and charge/discharge rate restrictions). Lead-acid batteries have a lower allowable depth of discharge, efficiency rates, and charge/discharge rates that directly impact the number of batteries you need to purchase up front, but also significantly impact the Levelized Cost of Storage or the overall cost per kWh you can obtain from a battery, over the course of its lifetime.

The Bottom Line

Despite their higher upfront price point, lithium batteries, and LFP batteries specifically, make for better solar battery banks in RVs and camper vans compared to AGM lead-acid batteries. LFP batteries are safer, especially in small spaces, more light, compact, and energy-dense, and require less maintenance. They also far outlive and outperform AGM batteries, saving you on replacement costs down the line and helping you get the most out of your limited solar array each day. For truly worry-free and self-sufficient adventures, LFP batteries beat AGM batteries in virtually every category.

If you want to learn more about how to upgrade your RV or camper van to lithium batteries, please contact our team of experts to help you decide what will be the best fit for your lifestyle. To learn more about how to calculate your energy needs and find the optimal battery for your application and usage, visit our Lithium Battery Selector Tool.

Best 12V Battery for RV and Dry Camping: A Comprehensive Guide

As seasoned campers, we know the importance of a reliable RV battery when you’re out in the wilderness, away from civilization and power outlets. A good RV battery is your lifeblood, powering everything from your lights to your refrigerator. RV batteries are essential and cannot be understated for dry camping or boondocking.

This guide takes you deep into the world of 12V RV batteries. We’ll review the top 6 options on the market, explore the different types, and offer tips to aid you in finding the best one for your dry camping needs.

In a rush? Not to worry! Below is a quick comparison of the six RV batteries we reviewed.

Types of 12V RV Batteries

To find the optimal 12V RV batteries, it’s crucial to understand the various types available. Let’s dive into the details!

Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries (FLA or SLA)

Also known as wet cells, these are the most common type of RV batteries. They are affordable, available almost everywhere, and come in various sizes. However, flooded lead-acid batteries require regular maintenance to ensure they stay in good working order. This includes checking the water levels and topping them up as needed. SLA (sealed lead acid) require no maintenance.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries

AGM batteries are one type of lead-acid battery with plenty of benefits. They’re sealed and maintenance-free, so you don’t need to worry about upkeep. Additionally, they may be more expensive than FLAs, but their increased durability and lifespan make them a worthwhile investment.

Gel Cell Batteries

Gel batteries are another type of sealed, maintenance-free lead-acid battery. Instead of using a liquid electrolyte like FLAs, they use a gel. This makes them more resistant to leakage and more sensitive to charging conditions. Gel cell batteries are more expensive than FLAs but have a shorter lifespan than Lithium-Ion or LiFePO4 batteries.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

These are the most modern type of RV battery, offering several advantages over lead-acid batteries. They are lighter, smaller, and can deliver more usable capacity. They can also be discharged more deeply and have a longer lifespan. However, they are significantly more expensive.

Lithium Ion Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries

These specific types of lithium-ion batteries are becoming the best RV batteries on the market. They are more stable and safer than other lithium-ion batteries, are much lighter, portable, can be deep-cycled, and have a longer lifespan.

However, like other lithium-ion batteries, they are a bit more expensive. The upside is that they can be stored on their side, unlike lead-acid batteries, which must remain upright.

Deep Cycle Batteries

RV deep cycle batteries are designed to withstand repeated deep discharges and recharge. These batteries can provide consistent power over extended periods. RV deep-cycle batteries are ideal for powering appliances and devices in RVs.

Every RV battery type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages to consider. Choosing the 12v RV battery that best suits your needs depends on your budget and how you plan to utilize your RV.

Best RV Battery for Dry Camping: Battle Born 12v LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

Price: 925.00Capacity: 100AhBattery Type: LiFePO4Weight: 31 Lbs.Dimensions: 6.88″D x 12.75″W x 9″H

Setup Install Experience:We recently installed a Battle Born 12v LiFePO4 RV Deep Cycle Battery in our travel trailer for an extended dry camping trip. We were impressed with its high capacity of 100Ah and lightweight design, weighing much less than other RV deep cycle batteries at 31 lbs. We already had a solar panel and charge controller and found the recharge time was commendable.

The battery has an optional temperature monitoring system to help keep it within its optimal temperature range, which we installed for added assurance. If necessary, you can charge the battery from AC, solar, or a generator.

It was simple to set up and install, fitting perfectly into the designated battery compartment in our RV. It was also an excellent fit for our trailer’s limited space requirements, as LiFePO4 batteries can be placed on their side. Overall, we were pleased with this battery’s performance and look forward to continue using it after our tests.

Pros

  • High capacity of 100Ah
  • Lightweight design – only 31 lbs.
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Fits perfectly

Cons

Performance and Overall Experience:The Battle Born 12v LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery performed excellently on our road trip. We were pleased it provided a steady and reliable power supply to run our RV’s appliances and electronics during our extended dry camping experience.

This RV battery held its charge for long periods, even when multiple devices and appliances ran simultaneously. We also noticed an impressive discharge rate, which allowed us to use more power than we expected without draining the RV battery too quickly.

Overall, these Battle Born batteries proved an excellent investment for our travels. Its high capacity, lightweight design, easy setup and installation, and reliable performance made it a perfect choice for extended RV trips.

Tested Features:

  • Capacity
  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Setup/Install
  • Performance
  • Reliability

Technical Details:

Battery Type LiFePO4 deep cycle battery
Weight 22.6 lbs
Model number Battle Born Batteries BB10012
Dimensions 6.88″D x 12.75″W x 9″H

Best RV Battery on a Budget: Renogy AGM Deep Cycle Battery

Price: 209.99Capacity: 100AhBattery Type: AGM BatteryWeight: 63.9lbsDimensions: 13.1 x 6.9 x 8.6 inch

Setup Install Experience:

We recently purchased the Renogy AGM Battery and were impressed with its features and performance. These deep cycle batteries are easy to set up and install, as it comes pre-charged and ready to go. It also has a 2-year material and workmanship warranty guarantee, so we knew we were getting a reliable product. Weighing in at 63.9 lbs, this 12V 100Ah deep cycle RV battery is heavy but offers plenty of benefits.

We found the 2000A max discharge current very useful for powering appliances or devices in our RV while dry camping or boondocking, giving us peace of mind knowing that everything would stay powered up even during longer trips without access to an AC outlet. All in all, this battery fits the bill!

Pros

  • Easy to install and comes pre-charged and ready to go
  • One of the better deep-cycle batteries
  • 2-year material and workmanship warranty guarantee
  • 2000A max discharge current for powering appliances or devices in an RV
  • Better performance at extreme temperatures
  • Safe charging with a low self-discharge rate of 3%

Cons

Performance and Overall Experience:

On one of our past road trips, we were able to put the Renogy AGM Deep Cycle RV Battery to the test. We spent much time camping off the grid and relied on this RV battery for power. We had no issues with consistent performance, even in extreme weather conditions. Remember that this is not a starting battery; they are deep-cycle RV batteries.

It provided reliable, dependable power throughout our trip to keep our appliances running smoothly. We also found that it recharged quickly while plugged into an AC outlet, and the low self-discharge rate meant we didn’t lose too much charge when unplugged between stops.

Overall, we were pleased with the performance and reliability of this RV battery during our travels and have been confident in its ability to provide us with plenty of power for camping trips from now on.

Tested Features:

  • Easy setup
  • Warranty guarantee
  • 2000A max discharge current
  • Performance in extreme temperatures
  • Low self-discharge rate

Technical Details:

Dimensions 13.1 x 6.9 x 8.6 inch
Weight 63.9lbs
Model number B075RFXHYK
Batteries 1 x AGM Battery

Best RV Battery for Safety: Renogy 12V 100AH Hybrid Gel Battery

Price: 207.99Capacity: 100AhBattery Type: Gel Cell RV BatteryWeight: 63.9 lbsDimensions: 13.1 x 6.9 x 8.6 inch

Setup Install Experience:

We recently installed the Renogy 12V 100AH Deep Cycle Hybrid Gel Battery in our RV and have been impressed with its performance. This RV battery is compact, making it easy to install.

Once up and running, the battery has provided consistent power over extended periods without any issues or problems. We appreciated the maintenance-free design and its ability to withstand deep discharges while providing reliable energy output.

Pros

  • Maintenance-free design
  • Can withstand deep discharges
  • Reliable energy output over extended periods

Cons

Performance and Overall Experience:

The Renogy 12V 100AH Deep Cycle Hybrid Gel Battery has proven to be a reliable source of power for our RV. We were surprised by the energy output over extended periods, even when subjected to deep discharges. The battery is heavy compared to other 12v RV batteries. The maintenance-free design ensures that we don’t have to worry about regular upkeep and allows us to FOCUS on enjoying our travels.

Overall, our experience with this battery has been positive, and we are satisfied with its performance.

Tested Features:

  • Compact design
  • Maintenance-free design
  • Deep discharges resistance
  • Energy output

Technical Details:

Dimensions 13.1 x 6.9 x 8.6 inch
Weight 63.9 lbs
Model number B084M48255
Batteries Gel Cell Battery – Deep Cycle

LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery

Price: 329.99Capacity: 100AhBattery Type: LiFePO4Weight: 24.25 PoundsDimensions: 13 x 6.77 x 8.43 inches

Setup Install Experience:

The LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery is the best rv battery for RVers looking for an efficient, lightweight, and powerful battery. This 12v battery features a built-in battery management system (BMS) with up to 15000 cycles.

The setup process was straightforward, and we were impressed by its 95% efficiency rating and the 10-year lifetime guarantee it comes with.

Weighing only 24.25 pounds, this battery is extraordinarily portable yet provides enough power to run most RV appliances and devices while dry camping or boondocking. Overall, we were pleased with our initial experience with this product.

Pros

  • Built-in 100A BMS for convenience and safety
  • Up to 15000 cycles for long life expectancy
  • Extremely lightweight; easy to transport in RV or other vehicles
  • 95% Efficiency rate, higher than most 12V RV batteries on the market today
  • 10-year lifetime guarantee so you can be confident in your purchase decision

Cons

Performance and Overall Experience:

The performance of the LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery was outstanding. It provided excellent power output and ran our RV appliances and devices without issues. We found that it had a consistent production and maintained its strength over time. The battery is also lightweight, which makes it easy to transport from place to place.

Overall, our experience with this battery was positive. It worked efficiently and provided reliable power for us during our RV trips. We were particularly impressed by its longevity, as it can last up to 15000 cycles and comes with a 10-year lifetime guarantee. We recommend this battery to RVers looking for an efficient, lightweight, and powerful battery for their next adventure.

Tested Features:

  • Built-in BMS
  • Cycle expectancy
  • Efficiency rate
  • Weight and portability
  • Output power
  • Longevity

Technical Details:

Dimensions 13 x 6.77 x 8.43 inches
Weight 24 Pounds
Model number 12V100AH
Batteries LiFePO4 Battery

Best RV Battery for the Money: Interstate Batteries 12V 110Ah AGM RV Deep Cycle Battery

Price: 279.99Capacity: 110AhBattery Type: AGM Deep Cycle BatteryWeight: 65 Lbs.Dimensions: 13.31″ x 6.69″ x 8.54″

Setup Install Experience:

We recently set up the Interstate Batteries 12V 110Ah RV Deep Cycle AGM Battery in our RV, which is performing exceptionally well. It efficiently powers all of our appliances during dry camping or boondocking.

The battery uses VRLA Technology to prevent spilling and over-pressurization, so we felt confident it would last a sufficient length of time, even under heavy use conditions. Plus, the fact that this company has been in business for over 70 years gave us added assurance of their quality products. Overall, we’ve been very satisfied with this battery!

Pros

  • Long life with deep discharge uses
  • VRLA technology to prevent spilling and over-pressurization
  • Easy to install and set up
  • Highly durable and resistant to vibration

Cons

Performance and Overall Experience:

The Interstate Batteries: 12V 110Ah RV Deep Cycle AGM Battery has performed exceptionally well in our travels being nomads for a year. The RV deep cycle battery was easy to install and set up, even without professional help, so we could quickly get it up and running with minimal hassle.

We’ve been impressed with its deep cycle capabilities, allowing us to keep powering our appliances and devices over extended periods with consistent performance. Additionally, its VRLA technology ensures the battery is safe and reliable for long-term use. The 65 lb weight of the battery was manageable enough for us to transport it around if needed too.

Based on our experience, we are very satisfied with this battery and recommend it to other boondockers as the best rv battery for safety!

Tested Features:

  • VRLA Technology
  • Deep Cycle Capabilities
  • Installation
  • Durability and Vibration Resistance

Technical Details:

Dimensions 13.31″ x 6.69″ x 8.54″
Weight 65 Lbs.
Model number ‎‎DCM0100
Batteries AGM Deep Cycle
lithium, batteries, which, better

Best RV Battery for Camping: LiTime 12V 100Ah MINI LiFePO4 Lithium Battery

Price: 369.99Capacity: 100Ah miniBattery Type: LiFePO4Weight: 19 Lbs.Dimensions: 10.23 x 5.23 x 8.95 inches

Setup Install Experience:

The LiTime 12V 100Ah MINI LiFePO4 Lithium Battery is among the best batteries for camping on the market. It’s small size and lightweight design impressed us, making it easy to install in tight spaces and even mount upside down if needed.

It also has an IP65 waterproof rating, so there is no need to worry about the battery getting damaged in wet conditions. The battery can be conveniently recharged from AC power, a generator, or solar.

Overall, we found this battery an excellent choice for RV owners who need reliable power at a reasonable price point.

Pros

  • Small size and lightweight design for easy installation in tight spaces
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • Can be recharged from AC power, generator, or solar panels
  • Optimum internal design and compact structure
  • 10-year or 15000 life cycles

Cons

Performance and Overall Experience:

The LiTime 12V 100Ah MINI LiFePO4 Lithium Battery delivers excellent performance for an RV battery. It’s optimal internal design and compact structure can withstand temperature extremes while being IP65 waterproof. This makes this 12v battery ideal for other uses, including on the water.

The recharge time from AC power, generator, or solar is also speedy, making it ideal for a multiple-battery setup. You could keep a battery plugged in charging while using the second. We found that this battery had a reliable reserve capacity over extended periods and could handle deeper discharges than other types of batteries.

Overall, we were impressed with the reliability and performance of this battery and would highly recommend it to any RV owner looking for the best RV batteries available.

Tested Features:

Technical Details:

Dimensions 10.23 x 5.23 x 8.95 inches
Weight 19 Lbs.
Model number B0BX8S2VJ5
Batteries 1 x LiFePO4 Battery

What to Look for Before Making a Purchase

Choosing the best 12V battery for your RV can be a challenge if you’re unsure what you’re looking for, but here are a few factors to consider when making a purchase:

Battery Type

The type of battery you should get will depend on your needs and budget. Opt for a lithium-ion battery if you want a long-lasting, lightweight battery with fast charging. Flooded lead-acid batteries may be the best choice if you’re on a budget, but they will be more than triple the weight.

Battery Capacity

Battery capacity is the measure of energy storage in a battery, with higher capacity providing longer-lasting results between charges. It’s essential to consider the amp-hour (AH) rating to make the best choice for your needs.

Battery Lifespan

Battery lifespan is an essential factor to consider when purchasing a battery. Lithium batteries have the longest lifespan of around 15,000 cycles, while flooded lead-acid and AGM RV batteries have the shortest at about 750.

Battery Maintenance

Consider the maintenance required for each battery type. Some RV batteries require regular maintenance, while others are maintenance-free. For example: Flooded

Compatibility with Solar Panels

If you want to use solar panels as a power source, it’s important to ensure that the charge controller you use can handle the solar panel voltage input and is compatible with your battery type.

Weight

Consider the weight of the battery, mainly if you have limited space in your RV. Lithium-ion RV batteries are typically the lightest, while lead-acid RV batteries are heavier.

Budget

Finally, consider your budget. Lithium batteries are generally pricier than lead-acid batteries, so you may need to consider the cost when purchasing.

Conclusion

Finding the best 12V battery for RV and dry camping can be challenging. Still, you can find the perfect fit for your RV and camping style by considering your specific needs, the types of RV batteries available, and critical features like amp hours and cold-cranking amps.

No matter which battery you choose, take proper care of it to ensure long and reliable battery life. Happy camping!

Frequently Asked Questions About 12v RV Batteries

How do I keep my RV battery charged while dry camping?

Solar panels are an excellent green energy source for keeping your RV batteries charged while dry camping. A well-sized solar panel system can meet most, if not all, of your electricity needs.

How often should I replace my RV battery?

The lifespan of an RV battery depends on the type and how well it’s maintained. Generally, lead-acid batteries last 3-5 years, while lithium batteries can last up to 10 years even with deep cycling.

lithium, batteries, which, better

Can I use a car battery for my RV?

While car batteries can provide a burst of energy for starting engines, they’re not designed for the deep cycle use that RVs require. Therefore, using the best deep-cycle battery for your RV is better.

Best RV Battery

Aidan Pounder is a Motor1.com product tester who has written reviews spanning from car insurance to rooftop cargo boxes. He regularly traveled both cross-country and internationally for cycling throughout his youth, having been awarded multiple state titles and podiuming at national championships across several different disciplines of the sport. He spent his more formative years under the hood of a car making sure he could get to his next bike race and knows the best way to secure all of your gear out on the road. His reviews have appeared in major automotive digital publications such as HotCars and Motor1. Aidan brings road trip know-how and a touch of DIY spirit to our team. If he’s not burning through the clutch on his 2003 Ford Focus Zx3, you’ll find him keeping up with the latest happenings in the world of European football.

Like all other vehicles on the road, a recreational vehicle (RV) needs a battery to operate. With an RV battery. the stakes are higher, as you’re not just powering a vehicle for a trip to the grocery store and back. An RV battery not only has to be able to power your RV over long distances but also power all of the appliances and electronics inside. If you drive an RV, you know that your battery is one of the most important parts of your camper. So don’t risk ruining your next family excursion due to a faulty battery, and invest in one of the best RV batteries on the market.

Best RV Batteries

Our Review Standards

To select the RV batteries featured in this buyers guide, our team first combed through dozens of resources such as DIY mechanic and auto enthusiast forums, manufacturer and RV-specific websites, instruction manuals from manufacturers, and reviews from online retailers. We pay particularly close attention to quality reviews and recommendations that highlight the quality of warranties, customer service support, build quality, materials, and overall reliability.

We also factored in the quantity and quality of online retailer reviews from websites such as Amazon, RealTruck, Advance Auto Parts, and more. We looked at factors such as standout customer reviews, prices, meaningful superlatives, and discount shipping eligibility.

Why You Can Trust Us

Since 2020, we have published over 200 auto product reviews in an effort to make shopping for auto products easier. Our team of writers, editors, researchers, and product experts collaborates to thoroughly vet top products. We try to perform in-house testing on real vehicles whenever possible before making our recommendations.

When testing is not feasible, however, our aim is to make your life easier by doing all the online research for you and presenting that research in the form of easy-to-read product comparisons and buyers guides, rather than outright recommendations. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

RV Battery Buyers Guide

Many RV owners find out they need a new battery for their RV, but don’t know where to start. With this in mind, our review team has done the research for you. We’ve reviewed all of the different types of RV batteries and highlighted our top picks above. Below, we detail the best way to store RV batteries. and how to maintain your RV’s battery.

Types Of RV Batteries

There are four notable types of RV batteries : flooded lead-acid batteries. AGM batteries. gel cell batteries, and lithium-ion batteries.

  • Flooded lead-acid batteries : This is the most common type of RV battery. An electrolyte system helps chemically generate power in this battery, but the solution will need to be topped off with distilled water now and then.
  • AGM batteries : Similar to a flooded lead-acid battery. this battery stores its electrolyte solution within an absorbed glass mat – hence the name.
  • Gel cell batteries : This is another type of battery with a slight twist on the flooded lead-acid battery. This type of battery features a gel between plates rather than an electrolyte solution.
  • Lithium-ion batteries : This is the latest and greatest development in RV battery technology, with the most popular of this type of battery being a LiFePO4 battery. This type of battery is lightweight and long-lasting, but usually more expensive than other batteries.

RV Battery Storage

RVs are usually stored away during the winter months and batteries of any kind naturally discharge over time. So how do you go about storing your RV battery when it’s not in use?

  • Remove the batteries from your RV.
  • Disconnect your house batteries. (Appliances such as refrigerators and smoke detectors drain milliamps over time.)
  • Charge the batteries as they naturally discharge – charge fully once a month if you can access your battery while it’s stored.
  • Unplug all converters.
  • Periodically check on your batteries.

We recommend that you disconnect your batteries from your RV for storage purposes, as during the winter months, freezing kills flooded-cell batteries. We also recommend steps such as recharging the battery as it naturally discharges because a charged battery cannot freeze.

RV Battery Maintenance

Maintaining your RV battery partly depends on what type of battery you have. For example, lithium batteries require little to no upkeep. While we recommend checking with your manufacturer for maintenance protocols for your specific battery, there are a few basic maintenance jobs you can do:

  • Maintainelectrolytelevels in flooded-cell batteries to reduce the chance of sulfation.
  • Clean battery terminals to remove any built-up corrosion.
  • Frequently recharge your batteries to lessen the chance of sulfation and to optimize your battery’s lifespan.

The Best RV Battery for 2023: Our Top 5 Recommendations

RV batteries have so many important uses, from keeping an electric wheelchair running to powering a refrigerator. Given their important purpose, it’s crucial that you have an RV battery that works well and fits your every need.

Keep reading to find the best RV battery for all sorts of different occasions and outcomes.

Our Top Picks

Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

Our overall best pick goes to the Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery! This product can power a surprising number of gadgets and machines all at once, and it maintains battery power for many hours even while doing this.

The Battle Born Batteries LiFEPO4 Deep Cycle Battery is made out of renewable, non-toxic materials, so you can feel good about your environmental impact while recharging your battery.

Furthermore, this battery is compact and easy to store. Its side post connectors are well-made and easy to locate when attaching wires to the battery itself.

In addition, this RV battery weighs in at only 31 pounds! That may sound like kind of a hefty product, but in terms of RV batteries, that’s practically as light as a feather.

As an added bonus, Battle Born Batteries has extremely responsive customer service. If you ever have an issue with your battery or a question about how it works, get in touch, and you’ll have an answer in no time.

One thing to keep in mind in order to successfully use this battery is that you’ll also need to purchase a charger that’s meant specifically for lithium batteries.

While this battery comes partially charged, it’ll need to be fully charged for you to get it going, so a lithium charger should definitely be on your shopping list if you don’t already have one.

Luckily, once your battery is up and running, there’s almost no maintenance needed to make sure that this product is doing its thing! All you need to do is ensure that it’s properly charged.

Although it has a high sticker price initially, this battery will more than pay off over time because it’s so stable and long-lasting. The Battle Born Batteries LiFEPO4 Deep Cycle Battery is definitely worth the investment!

WEIZE 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle AGM Battery

If this is your first time using an RV battery and you don’t want to blow a lot of money on it or if you’re just looking for a good deal, the WEIZE 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle AGM Battery is the best budget option for you!

One great aspect about this battery is that it can charge effectively in a wide range of temperatures. Specifically, this particular RV battery can operate in weather anywhere from 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is a perfect option especially if you live in an area with particularly warm temperatures or in an area with temperatures that fluctuate often.

For people who need multiple batteries to do the job, look no further! This brand of batteries connects well to one another, and you’ll have no problem adding as many batteries as you need to the group.

If you’re in need of a battery for a smaller vehicle or other piece of moving equipment, this battery is a solid option, too. It’s sturdy enough that it holds up well on machinery like golf carts, electric wheelchairs, and electric bikes or scooters.

Another plus for this specific battery is that it’s fairly long-lasting. Given its longevity, you get a great value for purchasing this product at such a low price!

Furthermore, WEIZE guarantees a two-year warranty for these batteries, so if you have any issues with the product, you can get a replacement or an adjustment from them when you need it!

Coming in at just over 63 pounds, this battery is definitely one of the heavier products on the market. Luckily, however, it has a super useful carrying strap that may help to lighten your load a little.

Despite some minor flaws, the WEIZE 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle AGM Battery works incredibly well at a price that can’t be beat!

LiTime 12V 300Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Battery

When you need a battery that will keep your equipment powered for a seriously long time, the LiTime 12V 300Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Battery should do the trick!

Specifically, this battery is able to keep some electronics running for multiple days in a row without needing to be charged. This is true not just of the smallest appliances but also of larger ones, like an 80 Watt refrigerator.

In addition, this battery is on the bigger side but still manages to be compact and able to fit where you need it to go. It packs a remarkable amount of long-lasting power into a reasonably sized container, given its effectiveness!

In terms of overall lifetime, these batteries also hold up to the test! They come with a hefty price tag, but it’s definitely worth it since you’ll be able to keep using these batteries for years to come.

For an RV battery that’s consistent and reliable for days on end, you can’t go wrong with the LiTime 12V 300Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Battery!

RoyPow LiFePO4 Battery

People who live in cold climates know that it’s essential to have equipment that will stand up to freezing temperatures. Luckily, the RoyPow LiFePO4 Battery can handle the task!

When this battery is actually in use and discharging power, it can keep actively running in weather as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s tough enough to get the job done even in wintery conditions!

With that kind of endurance, you can keep this battery outdoors in many seasons if it’s appropriately protected from the elements. However, if the weather does get way too cold for the battery to function properly, this battery still has you covered.

It automatically stops the recharging process if temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit so that the battery doesn’t get damaged. Ultimately, this will help extend the battery’s lifespan.

The RoyPow LiFePO4 Battery is a must-buy for anyone who finds themselves needing the power of an RV battery in cold weather!

EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator

Is solar power more your thing when it comes to generating energy? Well, the best RV batteries still have you covered with this EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator!

Although it may look like an involved set-up, this generator is easy to figure out from start to finish! For example, the battery itself has a very clear and well-laid-out interface. With its many USB ports and AC outlets, it’s not hard to figure out what kinds of equipment this battery can charge and where each wire or cord goes.

In addition, this product can withstand all sorts of weather conditions. While it works best in sunny weather, its efficient conversion rate allows it to continue charging when the clouds are out.

However, if you’re using the generator in a part of the world that’s consistently cloudy, you may want to up the number of solar panels you have going at one time for maximum charging speed.

These solar panels can also handle a rainstorm! They’re made out of waterproof materials that won’t rust or break down when they come into contact with precipitation. Just make sure that the battery itself doesn’t get too wet.

This generator is the most expensive product on our list, but the price definitely reflects its quality and capacity. For a solar power experience that runs smoothly and produces a lot of energy, the EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator is the product for you!

How to Choose the Right RV Battery for You

To seal the deal on the best RV battery for you, there are a few additional factors you might have to think about.

As with any big purchase, you’ll want to consider what kind of budget you have for buying an RV battery. On the whole, RV batteries are fairly expensive, but there are lower-cost options that won’t break the bank if the cost is an issue for you.

You should also consider the frequency of usage for the battery you’ll be purchasing. If this battery is something you’ll attach to a piece of equipment that you use every day, then you’ll want a product that is specifically equipped to run for long periods of time, and that will last for a while.

Finally, thinking about how many pieces of equipment you’re going to run using this battery is an essential step to the consideration process.

If you’re planning on connecting multiple devices to one battery, you’ll need to make sure not only that the battery you have in mind has the capacity to power all of them but also that it has the functionality to connect more than one set of wires to it.

RV Battery FAQs

For any lingering questions you might have about what matters when choosing the best RV battery, check out this FAQs section!

Can RV batteries withstand extremely cold and extremely warm temperatures?

The ability of an RV battery to withstand severe temperatures really depends on the specific brand and make-up of each individual battery.

Some RV batteries can operate successfully in both very high and very low temperatures, while others can only work in one temperature extreme or the other.

If you live in a climate where your battery will be exposed to exceptionally cold or hot weather on a regular basis, you should pay special attention to the manufacturer’s instructions before making a purchase.

These instructions will usually give you a range of temperatures within which the battery can function or at the very least, they’ll say whether or not the product holds up in warm weather or cool weather.

Are these RV batteries American made?

For many consumers, it’s important to know where the products they’re purchasing are coming from! In addition, some people like to prioritize buying products that were made in the United States. This applies to RV batteries, too.

While it really varies from battery to battery, many of the components that an RV battery is made up of are only manufactured in other countries. Therefore, it can sometimes be impossible for RV battery parts to be manufactured in America.

However, some RV batteries are assembled in the United States. For example, the Battle Born Batteries LiFEPO4 Deep Cycle Battery is assembled in Nevada!

What is the average lifetime of an RV battery?

As you’ve probably already figured out, there’s no standard lifetime across the board for every single RV battery. In addition to this number varying between different brands, there are a few other factors that cause an RV battery’s lifespan to fluctuate.

For example, the number of machines you have connected to a single battery may alter the amount of time that the battery will work.

Specifically, a battery that’s powering one object with low power needs compared to a battery that’s powering three objects with medium power needs will likely last for a longer time.

On the other hand, the number of batteries sharing the load may also impact a battery’s longevity.

If the job of powering a larger machine is split between three batteries rather than one or two, there may be less wear and tear on the batteries that are dividing the work.

Finally, the amount of time per day is another aspect to consider when evaluating how long your RV battery might last.

It makes sense that a battery using up its charge 24/7 might have a shorter life overall than a battery that only runs for a few hours per day.

Now You Know All About RV Batteries

Every RV battery is a little different, and there are definitely some that have unique benefits compared to others. Hopefully our list has provided you with some of this information to help you figure out which is the best RV battery for your own circumstances.

If you enjoyed our line-up of the top RV batteries and want to dive into similar equipment, check out the Camping Gear section of our website for more product reviews!

Posted on Last updated: March 13, 2023

My name is Ryan Cunningham and I’m on a mission. I want to get families, singles, anyone and everyone outdoors and enjoying the world of camping! You’ll find everything you need to get started here.

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