The Best RV Deep Cycle Batteries in 2018
Reviews, Comparison, and An Ultimate Guide
RV batteries are essentially any batteries that are compatible with the electrical systems of an RV and able to meet the needs of the recreational vehicle’s owner. RV batteries are often called “house batteries”.
All RV batteries are “deep cycle” batteries, capable of being drawn down to nearly nothing before being fully charged again. And they can be partially charged again and again without the chemical memory resetting such that you can’t fully charge it again, a problem many encounter when they let their smart phone partially or completely discharge too often.
Top 5 Best RV Battery from 11 - Comparison
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What's An RV Battery Actually?
RV batteries are by necessity deep cycle batteries. They provide a steady and significant amount of current over an extended period of time. Starting batteries provide that initial high load when you start up the engine, but they can’t provide the sustained draw down RV batteries can unless you’re willing to risk them not recharging and being able to repeat the performance.
Marine batteries are deep cycle batteries, but when they are used to prevent rust on a boat, they’re releasing a slow trickle of energy over a long time. While they can be recharged and repeat the process, they’re not designed for the heavier demand RV batteries can support. This is why you need an RV battery to run an RV. The best RV deep cycle battery will let you power not only appliances but high-demand electronics like smart phones and laptops at the same time.
Types of RV Deep Cycle Batteries
01) AGM Deep Cycle RV Batteries
AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Mat. In all AGM batteries, the glass matt provides the internal structure of the battery. The glass mat supports the plates, too, making the battery more resistant to vibration. Because of this, the plates can be made from a purer lead. This gives AGM batteries a better power to weight ratio or greater power density.
In short, they’re as powerful as traditional batteries but at less weight, something you need in an RV. Another benefit of AGM batteries is their greater ability to be heavily drained and discharged.
A side benefit of the design is the fact you don’t have to add water to them, something RVers value since they often want to take the RV dry camping. Another benefit is that they can be mounted in any position.
The low maintenance and high durability comes at a high cost, literally. AGM batteries can cost up to twice as much as traditional lead acid batteries. But what are the different types of RV deep cycle batteries?
AGM Deep Cycle Batteries Types
All AGM batteries consist of lead plates suspended in glass mat material, the AGM. The main difference is their design. The best RV deep cycle battery for you will depend on your budget and your needs. Operational requirements should take precedence over the cost, though, since the alternative for many RV owners is carrying around a generator and extra fuel if they can’t run things off the battery.
A) Flat Plate AGM Batteries
Flat plate AGM batteries look like flooded acid batteries. Most flat plate AGM batteries contain six sets of plates. The electrolyte inside is laid out in a straight line inside the battery.
The fact that the plates are compressed in rows gives it more capacity; it can provide more power when necessary like a starter battery though it isn’t a starter battery per se. The plate’s compressed design gives it a longer operating life, as well.
The benefit of flat plate AGM batteries is that they are more powerful than a similarly sized spiral AGM battery. The downside is that they’re denser and thus heavier.
B) Spiral AGM Batteries
Spiral plate AGMs are sometimes called tubular AGMs. The spiral-wound cells are manufactured to tight specifications so that the plates don’t touch. These batteries have a faster recharge time and longer life expectancy than the flat “plate” batteries.
This is important if you want to be able to recharge the battery as quickly as possible from the RV’s motor so you can plug in your electronics and know that you can continue to do so season after season.
The main downside of this design is the higher upfront cost of spiral plate AGM batteries. This is due to the fact that they have to manufactured according to precise dimensions and using virgin materials.
How Does an AGM Battery Work?
Lead acid batteries consist of lead plates surrounded in a liquid acid solution. The power is produced by oxidizing the lead plates. When the battery is recharged, the process is reversed.
An AGM battery replaces the liquid acid with a solid gel electrolyte. Now there’s no risk of hydrogen gas created during the recharge cycle escaping and creating a fire hazard or needing to be replaced by adding water to the battery.
The trace hydrogen that may be released may be let out through a valve regulator. This is why AGM batteries are generally classified as valve-regulated lead-acid batteries.
The plates in an AGM battery may be parallel to each other and resemble standard lead-acid batteries or they may be wound in a spiral pattern to minimize the space the battery takes up.
Advantages of AGM RV Batteries
You can improve the battery’s life by connecting it to a solar charger or other charging port during the “off” season instead of just leaving it in storage. Compare this to the ability to discharge a lead acid battery up to 80%, though you may not be able to fully recharge it afterward.
Downsides of AGM RV Batteries
AGM batteries remain operational at very low temperatures without freezing. That’s because they don’t have liquid water in them.
A good charger will let you use the same AGM battery for four to six years, whereas a bad one will force you to replace the batteries every year. The biggest disadvantage of AGM batteries, however, is their cost.
02) Deep Cycle Gel RV Batteries
The original gel cell batteries appeared in the 1930s. The gel cells were used in portable electronics because they were less likely to leak than their counterparts. Gel batteries are similar to AGM batteries but not quite the same thing. AGM batteries are classified as wet cell batteries, whereas the electrolyte in gel cell batteries is stiff.
How Does a Gel Battery Work?
Gel batteries are similar to lead acid batteries except for their gelified electrolyte; silica is added to the electrolyte to make it literally stiff. In many gel batteries, the sulfuric acid is mixed with fumed silica to keep the acid (and any hydrogen gas generated) solidly in place.
Aside from the fact that the electrolyte is essentially solid, it behaves the same as the liquid electrolyte when it interacts with the lead plates. The lead plates in gel batteries are very similar except the antimony you find in most flooded batteries' lead plates is typically replaced with calcium.
Gel RV Batteries: Pros and Cons
03) Flooded Lead Acid Deep Cycle Batteries
Flooded lead acid deep cycle batteries are a variation of the traditional wet or "flooded" batteries. The "flooded lead acid deep cycle battery. is designed to be regularly and nearly completely discharged of most of its capacity.
How Does a Flooded Lead Acid Battery Work?
Flooded lead acid batteries generate power as the sulfuric acid acts with the lead plates. As lead sulfate is formed, the battery releases energy. Recharging the battery reverses the chemical reaction.
"Starting" flooded lead acid batteries differ from "deep cycle" batteries by having thinner and often more numerous plates so they can generate a lot of energy quickly, whereas deep cycle batteries don't produce as much power in one burst but generate more power steadily over a long period of time.
Flooded Lead Acid Batteries: Pros and Cons
04) LiFePO4 Lithium-Ion Deep Cycle Batteries
The LiFePO4 Lithium-Ion battery or lithium iron phosphate battery is sometimes called an LFP battery. This type of battery is a lithium ion battery. While most lithium ion batteries are not rechargeable, LFP batteries are They're safer than most lithium ion batteries, as well.
How does a LiFePO4 lithium-ion battery work?
The LiFePO4 battery uses LiFePO4 as a cathode. The anode is a graphitic carbon electrode. This is a variation of the lithium ion batteries that power your laptops and other electronics, but these batteries aren't subject to the same thermal runaway event.
Lithium-ion RV Batteries: Pros and Cons
These lithium ion batteries have a far greater number of recharging cycles than other battery chemistries. This makes LiFePO4 batteries ideal if you're going to be constantly charging and discharging it, such as when you're on and off the grid during the day, recharging from the RV's engine as you drive.
They don't overheat the way standard lithium-ion batteries could, so there's no fire risk from the batteries just because you used them. They're even more vibration and shock resistant than AGM batteries.
What's the downside of Lithium-ion RV Batteries?
05) Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries
By definition, Valve Regulated Lead Acid batteries or VRLA batteries have a small valve to automatically let out hydrogen gas that can build up inside of a battery. This won’t prevent all potential explosions, but it reduces the risk significantly.
These valves are typically found on maintenance-free batteries that don’t let you add water to it. The battery has an indicator on it to tell you when it is out of water (its source of hydrogen) and needs to be replaced altogether.
How Does a Valve Regulate Lead Acid Battery Work?
These closed lead acid batteries work like standard lead acid batteries. However, they're designed to minimize electrolyte loss. They promise to be maintenance free; you don't have to check electrolyte levels or add water.
However, since they can generate hydrogen gas that builds up inside the battery, they have a valve to regulate the pressure and let small amounts of gas out as necessary. The end result is a low-maintenance lead acid battery with all of the advantages and fewer disadvantages as standard lead acid batteries.
Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries: Pros and Cons
Things to Consider for Buying the Right RV Deep Cycle Battery
01) Purpose of Using the RV Battery
All batteries exist to provide power The key issue here is what you're planning on using the battery for Is it going to provide power for a few small devices or run the equivalent to a small house's worth of appliances? You need a battery that delivers the power levels you need for an extended period of time, first and foremost.
For example, if you're going to be using an RV batter to power sensitive electronics like smart phones and laptops, voltage fluctuations could ruin the electronics. Paying somewhat more for a battery that puts out "clean" power saves you from having to replace laptops and your big screen TV. The best RV deep cycle battery literally powers your lifestyle with minimal effort, cost, and disruption.
02) Battery's Weight and Size
RV owners know that they have limited space A cutting edge battery that delivers a lot of power doesn't matter if it won't fit in the RV's storage compartment or connect with the existing electrical system. Given the issues RVs already have with fuel economy, many RV owners would be willing to pay a little more for lighter batteries knowing it translates to lower fuel bills for as long as they own the batteries.
03) Battery Capacity and Charging Time
How much power can the battery hold doesn't matter as much as purpose, since you can find batteries with lower capacity that can discharge more of that power than a higher capacity battery that can only release half its energy.
Charging time matters when you may only be running the motor so long and want to make sure the battery recharges during that time Charging time also matters if you want to guarantee that the battery tops off for the few hours you're plugged in at a campsite.
04) Storing The RV Deep Cycle Battery
The battery's ability to maintain a charge over an extended period of time impacts which one is right for you If you want a battery you can stick on a shelf for months knowing it will probably work when you drop it back in, lead acid batteries or a more expensive alternative with similarly good energy storage capability is essential.
05) Learn about Technology behind the RV Battery
You need to learn the technology behind the RV battery before you buy it. For example, you need to know which RV batteries will freeze up when you're staying in a winter mountain campsite or die on exposure to the Arizona summer sun.
Understand the supporting hardware, since buying a particular type of battery may necessitate buying different chargers than what your RV already has.
06) Life Span and Reliability
Lifespan matters if you're comparing batteries of similar price; the batteries that last longer will save you money over the years because you don't have to buy as many of them over a lifetime. More reliable batteries save you from the horror stories, such as not having the battery die at the worst possible time A reliable high tech battery is less likely to leave you desperately searching for a replacement over one that isn't reliable.
07) Depth of Discharge
Depth of discharge matters when you may not be able to recharge it for a long time It matters when you want to have fewer batteries that you can draw down further instead of a larger number or larger batteries to meet the same power needs.
08) Voltage (6v/ 12v/ 24v/ 48v)
Batteries need to be able to provide the same power as what your tools and appliances consume Power at the wrong voltage or amperage simply won't work.
Safety concerns shouldn't be overlooked. Someone with limited mobility may appreciate a battery that can't spill acid on them as they swap it out Households with children and pets may want batteries that can't spill acid when the battery is tipped over or dropped. Batteries that won't catch fire or cannot explode when overheated or over-charged are certainly a bonus.
Here are the Top 11 Best RV Deep Cycle Battery Full Reviews
We value product reviews because they give us information that the ads won’t share. Then there’s the fact that they often come from people like us, those looking for RV deep cycle batteries that power our devices while we’re on the road.
Here are the best RV deep cycle battery reviews we’ve found, covering a variety of RV batteries because we know that not everyone needs the same thing out of a deep cycle battery.
01) VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery
Editor Rating: 4.5/5
This battery recharges quickly and delivers a steady trickle of energy. That’s a known benefit of AGM batteries, but the Vmaxtanks battery is even better than average.
As with all AGM batteries, take care to use a compatible charger whether you’re charging off a generator or PV system.
These are good, basic and affordable batteries for charging based on a camping PV system to run your lights and one or two small appliances at night.
This is an AGM battery; you don’t have to worry about acid leaks or maintenance requirements. They are lighter than lead acid batteries with the same capacity.
These batteries have a reputation for lasting a year, just past the warranty date, and then dying. They’ll start losing the charge quickly and then stop altogether. That has been reported even when the battery wasn’t allowed to fully discharge and kept above the 50% threshold.
It is difficult to get the manufacturer to honor the warranty when the battery fails. Even if the battery is nearly new, you may have challenges trying to return it. If you are able to return it, you’ll typically be offered another similar battery, not a refund.
02) Battle Born 100Ah LiFePO4 12 volt Deep Cycle Battery
If you want to be able to discharge and recharge endlessly, whether you’re charging from a car battery or generator or PV system, this battery is rated for a minimum of 3000 cycles and often lasts 5000 cycles.
The company provides a three year full replacement warranty. The Battle Born battery accepts charges between 14.4 and 14.6 volts, and for those who want to use sensitive electronics with it,
you’ll appreciate the fact that it delivers a similar, steady power stream. It won’t fry your electronics due to distorted power harmonics.
The battery is able to provide brief surges of power for startup, though it isn’t a starter battery per se. It only weighs 30 pounds. This is half the weight of comparable AGM batteries and even less than a lead acid battery.
The biggest issue with this battery is the price. It is expensive. It is only worth it if the weight or operating life is a critical factor for you.
03) Trojan T-105 Flooded Deep Cycle Battery
It is compact. This is a major plus, since you could take and store two or more with you in case you need extra power or want to take a spare with you.
With proper care, this house battery can last seven years. That provides peace of mind relative to a house battery that may last a year or two.
Chronically undercharge it or overcharge it, and you’ll shorten the expected operating life dramatically. Right-size your PV panels, if you’re using solar, to avoid problems.
This golf cart battery is designed to be straightforward to install and remove, and it is easy move and store.
The battery provides 225 amp hours for twenty hours. In short, this house battery can run a full day on a single charge. It’s expensive. That’s enough to strike it off the list for many potential buyers. This battery is very heavy.
04) Optima BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery
The deep cycle battery can serve as a starting battery as well as a house battery. This battery is very tolerant of temperature extremes.
If you’re going to be camping in the hot desert or cold winter, you’ll appreciate this battery’s ability to keep going regardless of the weather extremes.
This Optima battery resists vibration far better than average. That makes it ideal for hikers or powering toys like boats and ATVs. It is often used as a boat battery.
It's an ultra-safe battery. It has no acid, so it won’t leak acid and there’s no need to check water levels. It can be mounted at any angle, and if you drop it, you’re not going to risk a toxic chemical spill.
The company delivers terrible service if you need technical support or need to return it under the warranty. While this type of battery doesn’t overheat like the lithium batteries used in laptops, the terminals themselves tend to overheat on this battery. This could melt the plastic top.
05) XS Power Battery 1360 Cranking Amps 12 V D-Series AGM Battery
This AGM battery brings with it all the advantages of an absorbed glass mat battery. The electrolyte can’t leak, it won’t spill, you don’t need to add water,
and the valve regulator lets out the little hydrogen gas that does need to escape to maintain pressure.
You can mount it in almost any position. Its excellent vibration resistance makes it safe to use for dirt bikes, race boats, dune buggies and RVs.
As a side benefit, its output is perfect for powering a four thousand to five thousand watt car sound system. It holds its voltage well.
The warranty is typically only good for a month. If it dies after that point, the manufacturer will make you jump through hoops. If you need to return it, the manufacturer may require you to pay to ship it, and this is a heavy battery. This battery is often hard to find.
06) Lifeline GPL-4CT 6-Volt 220Ah AGM Deep Cycle Battery
This battery allows you to support low amperage applications for a very long time. It is affordable given its capacity and It lasts a long time in storage.
Also, It has a very low discharge rate when in storage.
These are rugged batteries designed to meet Coast Guard and U.S. military specifications. It is suitable for marine applications and can be used as a house battery.
If you want a battery that will take the use and abuse of whatever you throw at it, the Lifeline GPL-4CT is the best choice for you.
Be careful of the charging requirements. Good luck finding a replacement if you’re out on the road.
07) Amstron GC2 6V AGM Golf Cart, Marine, RV Battery
This is one of the most affordable AGM batteries on this list. Like other AGM batteries, it is a no maintenance battery.
Without that, It generates very little heat when charging or recharging.
There’s no fire hazard with this battery as long as you have the right cables and don’t overcharge it.
The Amstron RV battery has a decent two year manufacturer warranty. It works well in a variety of applications.
As known, It is suitable for use on aircraft, boats and golf carts. Also, It is often used in RVs.
When this battery starts to run down, its performance drops off significantly. If you get a battery that does this, its performance is far less than cheaper batteries.
08) Carmanah CMH-AGM-100 RV Deep Cycle Battery
This battery has a decent cost to power ratio. It can deliver 110 amps for 100 hours. If it is putting out 105 amp hours, it lasts 20 hours.
It has built-in carry handles making it easy to transport to off-grid locations, such as when you want to take it camping.
The Carmanah CHM-AGM is maintenance free. It can quickly charge from solar cells, and it can work with inverters.
As the great, It is designed to support off the grid applications. Finding this battery when you want an exact replacement can be a challenge.
While their promised performance is great, sometimes people get duds that don’t deliver anything close to that. And when this happens, it is difficult to get a replacement from the manufacturer.
09) NPP 6V 200 Amp AGM Deep Cycle Camper Golf Cart Battery
This battery at first seems middle of the pack in terms of price. It isn’t the cheapest, but it is far from the most expensive.
However, when you realize you’re getting two batteries for this price, you realize what a great deal it is.
The NPP battery allows you to use one battery to run the lights while you put another in a golf cart or run one of your run-about toys.
Or you can use one to power ham radio equipment or navigation equipment out in the wilderness while those back at camp have another just like it to run basic electronics.
This battery resists shock, vibration and temperature extremes.
Some batteries drain much faster than expected. This is especially true if you’re using the batteries day after day or drawing on them heavily with each cycle. Be careful of how you charge them and avoid letting them discharge entirely.
10) Renogy RNG-BATT-GEL12-100 Deep Cycle Pure Gel Battery
The Renogy RV batteries are incredibly durable. They won’t leak electrolyte or gases. There’s no explosion risk or potential mess if you drop it.
These batteries are valve regulated, letting the very small amounts of hydrogen gas escape when necessary.
However, they have a very low self-discharge ratio. They’ll last a very long time before going bad.
These Deep Cycle Pure Gel batteries have a very stable charging and floating voltage. It's good for more than a thousand cycles.
This allows you to reasonably expect it to last three years if you’re charging and discharging it daily.
The Renogy batteries are stable over a wide range of temperatures. This particular battery is good to temperatures as low as 25°C. If you want to know that the battery will still run when it is well below freezing, this is the one you want to own. This battery also works if temperatures hit 45°C.
This is another hard-to-find battery. If you really like it, you’ll want to stock up when you find it. It's one of the heavier batteries on our list, and it doesn’t have added features like a carry handle to make handling them any easier.
11) WindyNation 100 Amp–Hour 12 Volt AGM Deep Cycle Battery
Editor Rating: 4.4/5
This is a deep cycle battery, designed to work almost as well when it is almost completely depleted as when it is fully charged.
You can fully charge and nearly fully discharge it repeatedly without worrying about the battery’s “memory” resetting so that it can only be partially recharged in the future.
The battery life is estimated to be ten years, assuming it is properly maintained.
As a sealed lead acid battery, it needs minimal maintenance. It is also appropriate for use in locations where you must have a spill-proof battery.
This is a long-discharge battery. Because it is designed for nearly any application, it will operate unless you literally have the battery upside down.
This battery is versatile. You can use it to run amateur radio equipment, power equipment, RVs, boats, golf carts and industrial applications.
It's also suitable for renewable power storage, capturing energy from wind turbines and solar panels. It will last a long time despite repeated charge and discharge cycles.
A minor inconvenience is the short hub terminals. That makes it harder to connect to everything else. You can use wire up to 4 AWG with it. A 2/0 AWG interconnect is included with the battery.
Important FAQS about RV Deep Cycle Batteries
01) What Is a 6-Volt Golf Cart Battery?
Golf cart batteries are simply those designed to connect to the average golf cart, though they can be used as a power source in other applications. A pair of these batteries, for example, could be used to store power from a photovoltaic system.
A 6 volt golf course battery puts out 6 volts. You can find 6 volt golf cart battery models that are AGM batteries, gel batteries and flooded lead acid batteries.
Features of 6-Volt Golf Cart
Six volt batteries typically have thicker plates than 12-volt batteries. One of the benefits of these batteries is their low cost. You can wire them in series or parallel. Several 6-volt batteries connected together correctly will give you 12 volts of power and twice as many amp hours as a 12-volt battery. Golf cart batteries are designed to handle vibration and impact.
They're made to be easy to install and connect. Their smaller side makes them easy to carry and store The fact that you can replace one or both versus trying to find a replacement for a bad 12 volt battery can be a plus.
02) What Is a 12-Volt Deep Cycle Battery?
Twelve-volt batteries have enough power to work as starting batteries for golf carts and a few other applications. They're designed with thinner plates to put out more power when the demand is high but can provide a constant source of power as well Most of these batteries are flooded lead acid batteries and VRLA batteries.
Features of 12-Volt Deep Cycle Battery
Many 12-volt deep cycle batteries are designed to be multi-purpose. This is why they're often called "house batteries" for many RVers. The higher voltage makes it less efficient. The deeper you let them discharge, the shorter their operating life.
You can wire them in parallel, but this only increases the amp hours, not the voltage. This is why many RVers switch from 12-volt batteries to two (or more) 6 volt golf cart batteries.
03) What Is a 48-Volt LiFePO4 Lithium ion Deep Cycle Battery?
A 48-Volt LiFePO4 Lithium-ion deep cycle battery is simply a LiFePO4 Lithium-ion battery designed for deep discharging. These batteries have a long operating life and many more recharge cycles than equally powerful lead-acid batteries.
Features of 48-Volt LiFePO4 Lithium ion Deep Cycle Battery
As you increase the voltage of the battery, you increase the price. A 48-volt battery will cost more than a 36 volt battery of the same design. These batteries can power an off-road electric vehicle. If you want to be able to power both a small RV and your toys, a 48-Volt LiFePO4 Lithium-ion deep cycle battery is a good choice.
04) What Types of the Battery Is Recommended for RVs?
The best RV battery for you will depend on how much power you need, how much space you have and your budget. In general, lead acid batteries aren't recommended due to safety concerns and their shorter operating life, especially if you're deeply discharging them.
05) What is CCA rating on battery?
CCA stands for cold cranking amps. The CCA rating is an indicator of the starting power of the battery. The greater the CCA rating, the easier it is to start the engine using the battery, particularly during cold weather.
In general, you want the battery with the highest CCA rating you can afford if all other things are equal, especially if the RV will be operated in cold climates.
06) Why does my RV battery explode?
One common cause of this is adding water to a battery and charging it immediately afterward. That’s why you should charge the battery before you add water prior to putting it into storage. Let the distilled water seep into the battery and distribute itself through the electrolyte before you charge it.
The same issue arises when you try to charge a frozen battery. Because the frozen water is essentially separated from the rest of electrolyte, the water turns into gas instead of interacting properly with the lead plates.
Alert for Maintenance free batteries
Maintenance free batteries can still lose electrolyte over time. If the battery indicator is red, suggesting the battery is out of water, don’t recharge it or it may explode.
Overcharging any battery can cause it to explode when it produces too much hydrogen gas. If the ventilation around the battery is insufficient, the risk of explosion is greater.
Yes, If there is a rotten egg smell around the battery, don’t charge it. Be careful, If there is a hydrogen leak or suspected one, don’t let anything create sparks around the battery, either.
Check double battery posts and cables
Battery explosions are sometimes due to dirty battery posts and cables. Clean these regularly to prevent explosions.
Know how to properly jump start the battery. If you connect a jumper cable to a good battery and then a dead battery, this creates sparks and could spark an explosion.
If you have two or more batteries and one is bad, a converter could accidentally overcharge the good battery as it tries to charge the bad battery to the point of an explosion.
07) How long will RV batteries last with everything on?
The short answer is that it depends on how much energy is stored in the batteries. The longer answer is that it depends on how much power you have and how much power you’re drawing from the batteries. If you’re careful to conserve power like keeping the lights and water pump usage to a minimum, a 12 volt battery could last a day or two.
Moderate usage typically draws down the battery within 24 hours; this is why so many RV owners expect to recharge the batteries daily using generators, solar cells or connections to the grid.
08) How do you connect two deep cycle 12-volt batteries in parallel to an RV?
If you’re going to use two deep cycle 12-volt batteries, they need be connected in parallel. To do this, you’d connect the positive to the positive and the negative to the negative using a charger wire.
Secure the charging wire on the positive posts, and then repeat the process with the negative posts. The negative lead for the RV trailer will be connected to the negative lead of the first battery.
09) Should house batteries be removed from an RV during winter shut down?
While winterizing an RV always includes removing perishable food and draining the water tanks, there’s debate as to whether or not you need to remove the batteries at the same time. However, this is a good idea for several reasons.
First, it gives you the opportunity to remove corrosion on the top of the battery and from the terminals.
You can store the battery in the RV, though it needs to be disconnected so that it doesn’t drain due to parasitic loads like ground faults. Storing it on a shelf in the garage eliminates this problem.
Charge the battery full before storing
If you’re going to store the battery, fully charge it, first. Charge it before you add electrolyte (if the battery isn’t sealed), since the addition of water and then charging it can cause the electrolyte to overflow.
Store the battery somewhere that doesn’t get below freezing. You’ll want to check the battery’s charge every three months. Recharge as necessary. However, you should never try to charge a frozen battery since it could explode.
10) How do I run my laptop of 12volt RV batteries?
The best solution is to buy a DC to AC converter designed to be plugged into cars. This will convert the 12 volt RV batteries’ output into something your laptop battery can accept.
Another option is to charge a lithium battery bank from the 12 volt RV batteries and then use this to power your laptop.
11) How many batteries and solar panels would it take to power an RV?
The short answer is that it depends on how much power you need. You’ll need both more solar panels and batteries if you intend on running an air conditioner and big screen TV. If you’re only going to run a radio, lights and the occasional small appliance, then the number of batteries and solar panels are likewise reduced.
If you’re boondocking, parking far from utilities and not driving most days, then you both need solar panels for energy and need to plan on solar power and batteries meeting all of your needs. Your batteries have a capacity measured in amp-hours. That is amps multiplied by hours. Determine how much power you’ll draw from the battery with each cycle.
Then realize that you’ll need enough solar power to recharge these batteries each day. A hundred watt solar panel at peak efficiency produces eight amp-hours of charge per hours. You’ll need enough solar panels to recharge the batteries each day for the next day’s use.
12) Is it possible to use a Marine/RV battery in a pickup?
Marine and RV batteries are usually deep cycle batteries, not starter batteries like most car and truck batteries. In this regard, it is better to use any starter battery for starting the car than a marine/RV battery. That said, if you don’t have anything else available, you can try to use a marine/RV battery to start the vehicle as long as it is rated for the cranking current of your car.
If that’s the case, it will operate a car for a while, and that may be enough to get you to civilization so that you can get a proper car battery. However, the deep cycle battery shouldn’t be used repeatedly as a starting battery.
13) What do I do after I hooked up a battery wrong in an RV?
A common cause of this is hooking up the RV batteries backward. This could cause inline fuses to blow; this is actually the most common issue and the first thing to check. These fuses are found at either end of the wire at the points where they connect to the battery, starters, alternators and converters.
The fuses are typically thinner than the wires they protect. Fusible links may separate without being visibly burned. You can track down which fuses blew using a multimeter.
Sometimes the solution is flipping the breaker in the panel, and this is always necessary if you blew a fuse.
If you fried the converter, that needs to be replaced. Newer converters, though, have reverse polarity fuses. You may need to replace these fuses, and then see if things come up. Then again, it is cheaper to replace these fuses than the converter itself.
Check the battery wires for the right voltage without the battery hooked up. If these are fine, then it is probably the converter that is hosed.
In some cases, connecting the battery incorrectly can reverse the polarity of the battery. If this happens, that battery will never work right again. In this situation, the battery needs to be replaced.
14) RV batteries dead; trickle charge or fast charge is better?
The first question is whether or not your RV battery can fast-charge at all. If you have a deep cycle battery like an AGM battery, the answer is probably yes, you can fast charge and a fast charge finishes the job faster. If the battery can’t accept a fast charge, then you need to go with a trickle charge. A fast charge risks an explosion in that case. Never charge a battery too fast, since this will always damage it and hurt its performance.
The next question is how you’re charging the battery. If you’re trying to charge the battery via solar panels, you’re only going to get a trickle charge. You have to wait, and you can’t fast charge it. If you can connect to the power grid or charge the battery via a car alternator, you can. In this case, the question is how much time you have and what energy source you have available.
Choose the RV deep cycle battery that is best for your particular application. Understand how to maintain the battery and the rules regarding its proper use. Know that the battery isn't a standalone object but that its performance is dependant on the chargers you use, the power source used to charge it, how you use it and how heavily you draw it down.