RV living is such a freeing experience. Exploring different places and immersing yourself in the great outdoors is a great way to live. To sustain this kind of lifestyle, you need day-to-day tools and appliances to operate properly like lights, water pumps, etc. and we rely on our RV batteries to supply the power needed for these tasks. Here is our guide to the best RV battery on the market.
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Whether you’re in the market to buy a new battery or perhaps upgrading to a better one, there are some things you need to know. Dive in and learn everything you need to know before purchasing the best RV battery for your motorhome.
What Is An RV Battery?
Typically, RVs have one or more batteries attached to them. It is an essential component that provides power inside your motorhome when external power is not available. It is made up of 2 systems which are the 120-volt AC system and a 12-volt DC system.
Rv batteries are lead-acid batteries wherein several cells are connected in a series and each cell produces 2.1 volts. These batteries technically don’t make electricity, they just store them from external sources like generators, shore power, vehicle engine, and solar panels.
What Are The Different Types Of RV Batteries?
RV batteries are not built the same, they differ in designs, function, and life expectancy. Before you buy a new battery make sure you’re getting a unit that is compatible with your RV and has a long-lasting performance.
Flooded electrolyte batteries
This is the traditional and most common type of Rv battery. Liquid electrolytes inside the cell compartment are freely moving. Occasionally, you need to replenish the water when it dries out.
These types of batteries are usually used as automotive starting batteries, motorcycle batteries, ATV batteries, and a lot more. It requires more work when it comes to maintenance.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
This RV battery is a type of sealed lead-acid battery and can perform like a starting battery or deep cycle battery. The internal construction of this battery allows better discharge and recharge efficiency. With its tight packaging and ability to handle vibrations effectively, it highly impact resistant and has the least internal resistance. These types of RV batteries are low maintenance and easy to install.
This type works best in very deep cycle applications and lasts longer in warm weather applications. It is similar to AGM with regards to its construction where electrolytes are suspended near the plate’s active material. Gelled electrolytes don’t spill as easily as the flooded- lead-acid. They are very easy to install and don’t require much maintenance.
This is the newest type and most lightweight out of the four. These batteries are extremely energy efficient and can be drained almost to nothing. One main drawback is that it is way more expensive compared to the others.
What Is A “Deep Cycle Battery”?
Deep cycle batteries are designed to provide continuous and reliable power over a period of time which is typically longer than most batteries. These batteries are used for RVs, Marine applications, golf carts, and Off grid-renewable energy.
Deep cycle batteries are ideal for RV campers because they serve as a dependable power source for operating electrical items like TV, AC, mobile phone chargers, and more.
These batteries can be discharged 80% but it’s better not to discharge them below 45% as most manufacturers suggest.
The types of deep cycle batteries are; flooded batteries, Gel batteries, AGM, and the most recent one, Lithium-ion battery.
What To Consider When Choosing An RV Battery?
When choosing the best Rv battery, it’s easy to get lost in the pool of confusing terms and highly technical features. To make it simple, here are the most important things you should consider and look out for when you are choosing a battery for your campers.
Probably the most important factor out of all, batteries are synonymous with electricity and power. The power capacity of the battery you are choosing should be able to keep up with the electrical demands of appliances and tools in your RV.
Go for deep cycle batteries since they’re much cheaper and can run consistently for periods. The different types of deep cycle batteries have pros and cons which you must also consider. Flooded batteries, which require more work when it comes to maintenance. AGM batteries help in maintaining battery charge and can handle cold temperatures well. You can also opt for energy-efficient Lithium-ion batteries which is the latest addition to deep cycle battery types.
Different types of RVs require different battery sizes as well, make sure the one you are choosing is compatible with your campers. Although it’s tempting to buy larger ones which are typically more powerful and has more perks, it still boils down to how it will fit in your camper battery slots.
Depending on how frequently you use it and how you maintain it, RV batteries typically last for about 2-6 years. One type of battery that can live up to 10 years is the Lithium-ion battery, it is energy efficient but is more expensive.
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What Is The Best Battery For RV Use?
Finally! It’s time to choose the best battery that suits your RVs. No need to worry since we’re one step ahead.
We’ve sorted out and listed the best RV battery currently on the market. With outstanding features and reasonable prices, you’ll definitely find the perfect battery for your RV camping needs.
How To Install An RV Battery?
Installing an RV battery can be daunting, but someone has to do it, right? No need to panic because the following steps below are super easy to follow.
- First and foremost, protect yourself, make sure you wear a pair of gloves and eye protection since you’ll be dealing with lead-acid batteries.
- Disconnect any power sources and turn off the things that draw power from the battery. Keep in mind the position of the battery in the tray in relation to polarity.
- Disconnect cables and remove the old battery in the tray. Make sure you disconnect the negative cable first.
- Clean the battery tray as well as the battery cable ends, keeping it dirty can reduce the performance of your battery.
- Securely Install the new batteries, make sure the polarity is right.
- Connect the cables. Remember that the Positive cable should be connected first and then the negative.
- To lessen the corrosion, use a protective terminal coating after you have secured all connections.
- Time to test! Make sure that everything turns on and charges.
How To Take Care Of Your RV Batteries?
Be Cautious! Before you deal with your lead acid battery, make sure you are properly protected to prevent accidents. Remember to wear gloves and goggles and do not smoke in instances where you need to open up the RV battery.
Charge the discharged batteries as soon as possible, this will prevent sulfation, wherein small crystals start to form on the plates and if left for a long period of time it can result in a dead battery.
Turn off Unnecessary loads if possible, these items can slowly discharge your RV batteries over time. You can simply switch off items like Tv antenna power booster, clocks, stereos, and things that you don’t necessarily need at the moment.
Check water levels in batteries, make sure you do this more frequently in hot weather as it can dry up the battery.
Use mineral-free water(distilled water is best) when you add water to the battery, regular tap water can cause sulfation.
Clean Battery terminals to prevent corrosion. You can use spray terminal cleaner or mix one cup of baking soda and one gallon of water then rinse with water. Reconnect the terminals and apply sealant spray to prevent corrosion.
Stored batteries are recommended to have a freshening charge if the voltage of 12 -volt battery drops below 12.4 volts and the 6-volt battery drops down to 6.2 volts.
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