Having the best RV deep-cycle battery can make boondocking easy. You can power all your essentials even without an electric grid. All you need is a solar panel or wind turbine to keep the battery charged.
To ensure that you make the right purchase decision, here are some factors to consider:
- Capacity: A higher capacity means a longer use of the battery before it needs recharging. In this list, the capacity ranges from 35Ah to 125Ah. Aside from ampere-hours, you might want to look at the reserve capacity and cold cranking amps for capacity.
- Self-Discharge Rate: A low self-discharge rate indicates how much the battery can hold a charge. Generally, deep cycle batteries have a self-discharge rate of 1%-3%, making them able to sit for weeks without worrying about any power loss.
- Voltage: Deep cycle batteries are available in different voltages- 6, 12, and 24. A higher voltage means a higher power delivered. Most of the batteries we reviewed below are 12-volt models.
Lucky for you, we have reviewed five of the top-rated RV batteries in the market today. Let’s look at each product’s pros and cons, along with a helpful buying guide below.
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5 Top-Rated RV Deep Cycle Batteries
1. Renogy 12V Deep Cycle AGM Battery
This AGM deep cycle battery from Renogy packs a lot of power with its 100Ah capacity. I can run most of my appliances, including a TV, fridge, and a few lights for a day or two. It pairs well with my solar power to keep the battery alive.
What I like most about this 12V RV deep cycle battery is its recovery after a deep discharge. Even if I exhausted the battery near its full capacity, I can still recharge it without any hitch plenty of times. The performance isn’t also affected as it discharges power consistently in all of my devices.
Thanks to its 3% self-discharge rate, I believe that this battery can sit in my storage for many months without worrying about losing the stored power. I like this aspect because I can immediately use the battery on my next RV trip and recharge it less often.
I’ve used the battery in both winter and summer seasons, and I haven’t noticed any change in performance. As long as the temperature falls within the range of 5F and 122F, this battery remains functional. I don’t have to worry about the battery freezing out in winter or blowing up in the summer.
In terms of usage, I feel safe using this battery because the acid is stored in the fiberglass mats, making it virtually spill-proof. No matter how hard I drive the RV down the road, the battery doesn’t get affected by the vibrations. Best of all, it’s maintenance-free as I don’t need to refill the water.
2. WEIZE 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle AGM Battery
Another highly-powered deep cycle battery for RV is WEIZE with its 100Ah capacity. With this power, I can run most of my appliances in the trailer, like a small fridge, microwave, and several box fans the whole day.
I love the quality of this deep cycle marine battery for RV because it feels strong. The terminals are zinc-plated, making them corrosion-resistant and resilient against hot environments. More importantly, the ABS casing material seems to show excellent resistance to vibration and heat.
What I like most is its fast recovery. Even when I run the battery down to 20%, it recharges to full capacity within a few hours only. Also, it pairs well with my wind turbines and solar power, so I have no problem charging the battery when I go off-grid.
In terms of performance, I’m impressed that this sealed lead acid battery can still produce a high power output within the temperature range of 5F to 122F.
It seems like this battery has a low self-discharge rate because it can hold a charge for months. The battery is ready to use immediately after storage and requires no hassle for maintenance with its sealed construction.
3. Interstate Batteries DCM0035 Deep Cycle Battery
The Interstate Batteries DCM0035 is a nice portable deep-cycle battery for travel trailer. This AGM battery is small and lightweight, perfect for tiny RVs and boats. The size and weight are almost half the regular battery, so putting them in a parallel setup is easy.
Surprisingly, the battery lasts longer than I expected. The 35Ah capacity is enough to run my laptop, microwave, and a few lights for four hours in the boondocks. I like that the battery can recover well after discharging almost to zero.
The DCM0035 goes back to its full capacity after recharging for a few hours. When I leave the battery sitting for weeks, I’m happy that the battery doesn’t lose its juice. This battery remains charged even after long storage and doesn’t leak.
More importantly, the battery still works during the cold winter months. It doesn’t freeze out and gets overheated during the summer. I was always looking for a deep cycle battery that I can afford, so finding this model is a relief.
4. Vmaxtanks VMAXSLR125 SLA Deep Cycle Battery
The VMAXSLR125 is a deep cycle RV battery that offers one of the highest capacities among similar deep cycle batteries At 125Ah, it’s enough to run my fridge, fans, and LED lights for two to three days in the backcountry.
Thankfully, this battery works well with my solar panels to constantly keep them charged. I can sleep at night knowing that the battery will be at full capacity in the morning. I believe that the recharging time only takes about four hours, so it’s quite fast.
My favorite of this battery is its robust appearance. The military-grade plates seem vibration-resistant, and the terminals look tough enough to fight corrosion. I appreciate the built-in nylon handle because it makes the battery easy to carry around.
The manufacturer promises a 10-year float service lifespan, and I think it’s possible to achieve this. The battery can still produce a consistent output even when I discharge it past 50%. Because it’s a sealed lead acid battery, it’s maintenance-free.
5. ODYSSEY PC680 Battery
ODYSSEY offers another dependable battery for camping trailer, providing both deep cycle and cranking powers. I can recharge this battery over and over again in as fast as four hours.
What I like most about this AGM battery is its consistent cranking power. The 520 hot cranking amps and 170 cold cranking amps can start my engine without any problem. Even when I let this battery sit for many days, it still cranks the engine like a brand-new unit in just a matter of seconds.
Another aspect that I love about this sealed lead acid battery is its innovative construction. Instead of using thick alloy plates, the battery uses pure virgin lead plates to provide more surface area and power. Also, I’m confident that the terminals won’t corrode anytime because they’re made of brass.
It’s a bonus that the battery comes in a small package. I can install the battery with ease because it’s lightweight, plus it’s flexible to mount. More importantly, I’m not hesitant to put this battery to the test because it promises to last for three to ten years.
What to Know Before Buying RV Deep Cycle Battery
Purchasing a deep-cycle battery shouldn’t be a no-brainer. All you need is an understanding of the different types and features of deep-cycle batteries. From there, choose one that best suits your rig.
1. The Different Types Of RV Deep Cycle Batteries
A deep-cycle battery offers sustained energy over a long period. Not all deep-cycle batteries are the same because they come in different types, each having its qualities.
- Flooded Lead Acid Batteries
If you want a cost-effective type of deep-cycle battery, flooded batteries might be a suitable option. These lead acid batteries have the same performance and efficiency as the sealed ones, but they differ in maintenance.
You need to top these batteries with water regularly. The plates should be covered with water before and after the battery. To avoid spills, use these batteries in stationary applications.
- Sealed lead Acid Batteries
Also known as valve-regulated lead acid batteries, sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries are maintenance-free as they don’t need water refills. These batteries are pretty safe because they won’t leak acid even when driving on rough roads. Two popular types of SLA are absorbent glass mats and gel cells.
- Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries
AGM batteries seem to be more popular than gel cells because they charge faster and work better under heavy usage. In a cold temperature, AGM can perform better than other deep-cycle batteries because of its low self-discharge rate. Since the electrolytes are absorbed into a glass mat, they’ll never spill.
- Gel Cell Batteries
For warmer climates, gel batteries might be a better choice. They have high heat tolerance and won’t leak the gelled electrolytes when moving. However, you need to use a charger that’s compatible with gel cell batteries or they’ll suffer premature damage.
2. Benefits And Drawbacks Of Deep Cycle Batteries
Nothing can beat deep-cycle batteries when it comes to steady performance over a long period. These camper batteries use thick plates to handle the chemical reaction. As a result, they store more power for a longer life.
Deep cycle batteries are made to withstand constant charging and discharging. Some of the best models have a 1-3% self-discharge rate, so you can exhaust the power without damaging the battery. On average, this type of battery can be cycled more than 1,000 times.
However, you need to put water in the battery, especially if you use the flooded model. Some of these batteries are also heavy, so installing them can be burdensome. Others can also be particular with chargers, so ensure that you use the right one.
3. Features To Look For On A Good Deep Cycle Battery
When you’re shopping for a new deep cycle battery, it can be overwhelming with the many ratings and terms indicated in the product. To help you make the right decision, here are features to look for.
- Output or Capacity: Most deep cycle batteries indicate their capacity or output in amp-hours, cold cranking amps, or reserve capacity.
The amp-hour rating determines how much power the battery can provide in 20 hours, while reserve capacity indicates the number of minutes the battery runs before the voltage drops. Cold-cranking amps tell the ability of the battery to start an engine in cold temperatures, so a higher rating is ideal.
- Self-Discharge Rate: This rating can indicate how much the battery can hold a charge when not in use. The best deep-cycle batteries have a low self-discharge rate of about 1-3% per month. So, even if you let these batteries sit for weeks, they don’t lose the juice.
- Voltage: You must know the voltage of the battery to determine whether it can run your current setup. If you have a solar power system, a 12V battery is ideal, but a 24-volt is more efficient. A 6v deep cycle battery is only suitable for low amperage DC devices like lights.
How Long Does an RV Deep-cycle Battery?
A well-maintained deep-cycle battery can last from three to seven years. To extend the battery life, keep the terminals clean to prevent corrosion which might impede its performance. Also, keep the battery in a cool, dry place to protect the electrolytes from dying due to extreme temperatures.
How to Tell if RV Deep Cycle Battery is Bad?
You can do a visual inspection to check whether the deep cycle battery has gone bad or not. Look for physical damages, like cracks or rust on the terminals. Your battery has gone bad if it continues to self-discharge rapidly even when you clean the terminals.
When you notice that your deep cycle battery loses its battery life quickly, it’s a sign that it’s going bad. Another sign is when the battery can’t be charged anymore. In this situation, the electrolytes must have died because the battery can no longer provide consistent power.
If you’re unsure, check the voltage. Your battery has surely gone bad if the voltage has reached below ten volts.
Can I Use Regular Batteries for My RV?
Regular batteries can’t sustain a steady amount of power longer than a deep-cycle battery. They only provide a large amount of energy in a short period, making them ideal as starting batteries. They’re not ideal to run appliances in your rig off the grid.
If you want something other than deep-cycle batteries, you can use lithium as your travel trailer batteries. This upgrade provides more power to your rig.
Is There a Difference Between Marine and RV Deep-cycle Batteries?
Marine batteries usually have threaded terminals to make the connections easy. They have heavier plates to stay steady against the vibrations from the boat motor. You can use marine batteries as a starting battery, a deep cycle RV battery for dry camping, or even both.
How to Replace and Install Deep Cycle Batteries for Motorhomes?
The first step is to remove the old batteries and the wiring connections. Once done, put in the new RV battery replacement. You can slide in a second battery if you have adequate space available.
Next, wire the new battery into the RV. Tighten the terminal connections with nuts.
By now, I hope you know how to choose the best RV deep-cycle battery. Our top recommendation is Renogy because it has a high ampere-hour rating with excellent deep discharge recovery. This particular deep-cycle battery is sealed, meaning it’s leak-proof and maintenance-free.
The key to finding the best deep-cycle battery is to find one that suits your particular needs. Determine how much power you need and the level of maintenance you’re willing to take.
Okay, so I’m Philip Lopez. I join Riverside Trailer as an editor, where I will be doing research for both content and reviews. I contribute to studies aimed at understanding the most typical problems encountered by RVers on the road. I also keep up with the newest RVing gadget innovations so that I can promptly evaluate and recommend the best options.