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Published Oct. 7, 2021

Traveling in an RV offers a certain level of luxury and comfort to camping. And if you’re an RV enthusiast, you know the benefits of having a comfortable rig that allows you to have a proper bed to sleep in, TV to watch on rainy days, AC to cool you off when it’s unbearably hot, and lots of cold beverages to drink. You also know that all of these things (minus the bed) require electricity to run them, possibly including the RV itself. While most campgrounds offer power pedestals to plug into to meet all your electricity needs, a growing number of RVers are opting for backup battery power that can run their RV off the grid. We have rounded up our favorite RV batteries that can act either as a starting battery, or be combined into a powerful battery bank that can keep you comfortable without being hooked up to pedestal power.

Best RV Battery Reviews & Recommendations

When it comes to long-lasting, reliable, and plentiful power for your RV, lithium batteries are rapidly becoming the gold standard, and the Eco-Worthy 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery is our top pick overall. This model is capable of powering your RV for more than 3,000 cycles, and can still maintain up to 80 percent capacity after that. The service life of this lithium option is over eight times greater than the standard lead-acid battery and the built-in Battery Management System (BMS) protects the battery from deep discharging, over charging, overheating, short-circuiting, overloading, and more.

Weighing in at 23 pounds, this battery is also one-third of the weight of a normal lead-acid battery, making it a great option for RVs, large or small. Use it as a starting battery, backup power supply, or off-grid applications. This battery can be connected in series or parallel to meet almost any power requirement. The drawback to this option is its higher price point but considering it’s a lithium battery, this is a great deal.

Specs
  • Brand Eco-Worthy
  • Model L13060202010-1A
  • Weight 23 pounds
PROS

Long lifespan

Can be deeply discharged

Can be connected in series or parallel to meet larger power needs

CONS

Expensive

Only backed by a one-year warranty

Some concern about consistent quality control

If you’re looking for a more budget-conscious, yet reliable RV battery, check out the Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah AGM Deep Cycle Battery. The absorbed glass mat technology allows this battery to be maintenance-free and easy to care for. You can also mount it in any orientation without having to worry about dangerous and damaging acid leaks. It’s able to work reliably in a variety of harsh weather environments and temperatures, making it a great choice for your RV, boat, trolling motor, golf cart, and more.

This battery comes backed by a one-year warranty for added peace of mind, but it should be good for up to 500 cycles, giving you years of reliable use. The drawback to this option is its weight. Weighing in at 60 pounds, this battery can be tough to maneuver and mount. It’s also only able to be drained down to 50 percent capacity before requiring a recharge, unlike lithium, which can be drained down much farther.

Specs
  • Brand Universal Power Group
  • Model B00S1RT58C
  • Weight 60 pounds
PROS

Affordable price tag

Long-lasting

Leakproof and resistant to vibration

CONS

Questionable customer service

Heavy

Can’t be discharged as deeply as some other options

When quality, reliability, and durability are your biggest concerns, the Renogy 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Lithium Battery offers you next-level performance. It offers an impressive 4,000 cycles with 100Ah of continuous discharge current and its high-tech BMS with dual processors ensures reliable and safe protection from overcharging, deep discharge, overheating, short-circuiting, and more. It also helps to maintain a balanced voltage across all cells.

Another great feature of this battery is the manual activation switch, which gives you the option of putting it into “shelf mode” in order to slow the discharge rate and extend the battery’s already long lifespan. You can connect multiple batteries in parallel and still have the auto-balancing function to maintain optimum discharge in the long term. This battery also comes with the ability to connect to the real-time Renogy DC Home App, letting you monitor its charging status and discharge levels remotely. The drawback to this battery is its very high price point as it’s easily the most expensive battery on our list.

Specs
  • Brand Renogy
  • Model 12V 100Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery
  • Weight 26 pounds
PROS

Super long lifespan of more than 4,000 cycles

Can be monitored remotely via the Renogy App

Auto-balancing function ensures level discharge across all cells

CONS

Expensive

Concerns over the company honoring its warranty policy

Can only be wired in parallel, not in series

If you’re looking for a dependable and durable dedicated starting battery for your RV or boat, consider the Optima OPT8016-103 Deep Cycle Battery. This is a dual-purpose starting battery that can also be used for deep cycling. It provides 750 cold-cranking amps to give you maximum starting power in almost any weather. This battery can handle RVs with lots of electronics that are known for quickly draining other, lesser batteries.

Since it uses AGM technology, it is leakproof and can be mounted in any position, giving you lots of options for set-up. It’s up to 15 times more resistant to vibration than typical lead-acid batteries, so it can handle driving around uneven terrain no problem. The toss-up comes in the capacity; with this model, you only get 55Ah, whereas with some others comparably priced, you could get up to 100Ah. Being an AGM-type battery, it’s also quite heavy compared to some other options.

Specs
  • Brand Optima
  • Model OPT8016-103
  • Weight 43.5 pounds
PROS

Specifically designed for RV and marine environments

Maintenance-free

Resistant to vibration

CONS

Somewhat pricey

Less reserve capacity than some other options

Heavy

The Ampere Time 12V 50Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Battery is an ultra-lightweight, durable, and quickly rechargeable lithium option that won’t break the bank. This 50Ah battery model provides 640Wh of energy, which is comparable to the 720Wh you would get from a 100Ah lead-acid battery. Unlike lead-acid, which can typically only be discharged to 60 percent, you can drain this battery down 80 percent and still have it be fully recharged and ready to rock in 1-2.5 hours, versus the 10-20 hours you need to wait with lead-acid.

It offers a similar BMS that other higher-priced lithium batteries have, which protects from overheating, overcharging, short-circuiting, and more. You also get a lifespan of more than 4,000 cycles, which means that this battery can last up to 10 years before needing to be replaced, making it a solid investment over time. We also like that this battery comes backed by a five-year warranty. Unfortunately, this battery does not have a low-temperature cutoff and can’t be charged or discharged in temperatures under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you live in a colder climate and store your RV all winter, this isn’t the best option for you.

Specs
  • Brand Ampere Time
  • Model APT-12V50AH
  • Weight 11.57 pounds
PROS

Ultra-lightweight

Affordable lithium option

Super long lifespan

CONS

Not suitable for really cold climates

Still pricier than AGM batteries

Provides slightly less power than a 100Ah lead-acid battery

How We Selected the Best RV Battery

As you can imagine, there are dozens of different options for RV batteries on the market. In order to narrow down and select only the best options, we chose products that came from well-known manufacturers with a solid track record of producing reliable and innovative battery products. We wanted to offer a diverse selection of versatile options that would work for a wide range of RV sizes and power requirements. For pricing strategy, we also wanted to offer a wide range to suit any budget, so you’ll see products ranging from below $200 to the upper end of the spectrum.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

RV batteries are certainly not one-size-fits-all, either in power output or budget. In order to properly assess your battery needs, you need to know what your power requirements are. Do you want an RV battery that’s specifically designed to start and run your rig or are you looking to create a more self-sufficient, independent system that allows you to take your RV off the grid and go boondocking whenever you want? This will have a major impact on your budget also. Buying a single starting battery is obviously much less of an investment than putting together a dedicated battery bank.

What to Consider When Buying RV Batteries

Types of RV Batteries

Flooded Battery

Flooded RV batteries are also known as wet cell batteries. These are the typical, more common type of batteries. They’re super affordable and easy to come by but the drawback is that they require regular maintenance in order to work properly. You need to top them off regularly with water in order to keep the cells wet. This type of battery has a shorter lifespan and is less resistant to vibration than some other options. They also need to be mounted on a flat surface, as they will leak in any other orientation.

AGM Battery

Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries are sealed lead-acid batteries. The mat contains electrolytes with a mixture of sulfuric acid and fiberglass material that makes the battery maintenance-free and spill-proof. These batteries are gaining popularity with RVers who want to be able to live off-grid and be more independent. They have a good lifespan of 3-5 years and are relatively affordable. They’re able to hold a charge and power devices more quickly than wet cell batteries. They can also be mounted in any orientation since they’re sealed and won’t leak.

Lithium Battery

Lithium batteries are the cream of the crop when it comes to long-lasting, powerful, and reliable RV batteries. Unlike typical lead-acid batteries, which can only be drawn down to 60 percent of their capacity before needing to be recharged, you can draw 85-95 percent of a lithium battery’s total capacity, meaning you need to buy fewer batteries to supply the same power requirements. These batteries also offer life cycles in the thousands, versus the hundreds of cycles you get from a lead-acid battery before needing to replace it. The rub is definitely in the price. Lithium batteries come with a premium price tag, but considering you’ll have them for up to 10 years versus 3-5, it may be well worth it if you can find it in the budget.

RV Battery Key Features

Battery Size

Not all RV batteries are the same size, so be sure to measure your available space prior to ordering to ensure that your battery will fit and be able to be hooked up properly. 

Power Capacity

RV batteries typically come in 12- or 24-volt options and can provide anywhere from 30-200Ah of power capacity, so know before you purchase what your system is and what your power needs are. Typically, the more electronics your RV has, the more amp hours you will need to run them. Also, consider what your method of recharging the batteries will be. If you’re plugged into pedestal power the majority of the time, this is much less of an issue than if you’re planning to use solar power to recharge your battery bank.

Life Expectancy

With most lead-acid batteries, you will get a lifespan of 3-5 years before needing to replace them. With lithium, you can get 10 years or more. Deciding how long you want to go before replacing your battery can impact your selection greatly. Also keep in mind that over-taxing your batteries will greatly decrease their lifespan, as will improperly storing them during the off-season.

Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and RV batteries. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • A fully charged 12-volt battery is actually 12.7 volts. Never let your battery discharge below 12 volts, as this will rapidly decrease its life expectancy.
  • If you have wet cell batteries, always use mineral-free distilled water to top them up. Regular tap water has all kinds of contaminants that will shorten the life of your RV batteries.
  • If leaving your RV sitting for long periods, be sure to shut off the battery disconnect switch so that small, constant power draws, like the LP gas alarm, circuit boards, Wi-Fi boosters, etc. don’t overdraw your batteries while you’re away.
  • Installing a simple battery monitor is an easy way to keep track of the status of your batteries so that you know when they need to be recharged without having to guess.

FAQs

Q: How do I install an RV battery?

First, turn off all power to your RV. Take note of the position and polarity of your current RV battery. Disconnect the negative cable first and remove the old battery. Be sure terminal posts are completely clean and free of corrosion. Install the new battery in the same orientation as the old one. Connect the cables and install the hold-down hardware. Test the RV lights, and you should be good to go.

Q: Is it bad to leave my RV plugged in all the time?

In the short-term, it’s not usually a problem, but if you’re leaving your RV plugged in for months on end, over time, it can deplete the electrolytes in the batteries and thus shorten their lifespan, so we don’t recommend leaving your RV plugged in for extended periods unless you have an RV battery tender or smart charging system hooked up to it.

Q: Where should I store my RV batteries?

The best place to store RV batteries is somewhere close to room temperature, like your basement or attic. Try not to store them in a shed or garage if you live in colder climates during the winter, as it’s detrimental to the lifespan of the battery to be kept in temps below freezing. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a rugged, reliable, and efficient RV battery, our top pick overall is definitely the Eco-Worthy 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery. This lithium battery is capable of powering your RV for more than 3,000 cycles, and can still maintain up to 80 percent capacity after that.
For a more budget-friendly, yet highly functioning option, check out the Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah AGM Deep Cycle Battery.The absorbed glass mat technology allows this battery to be maintenance-free and easy to care for.

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