The Best RV Deep Cycle Battery: The Complete Buying Guide

One of the greatest joys of owning an RV is the freedom,
freedom to hit the road, and leave all your problems and stressors at home.

When you get out on the open road and set up your camp, the
last thing you’ll want on your mind is a sketchy battery that can’t hold a
charge, or even worse.. a battery that dies while trying to run an AC or
fridge, this would ruin your trip immediately.  

We believe firmly in choosing a top of the line RV deep
cycle battery because even though some items can be skimped on, having a good
reliable battery on the back roads or in the mountains is priceless. Having the
assurance of reliability will not only keep you from being stranded but leave
you worry free to enjoy your trip.

With a sea of no name or knock off companies these days
making batteries, it can be hard to distinguish which brands and makes are
reliable and which are cheap and will only work for a few trips. 

Below we’ve done countless hours of research to compile a guide of the best
deep cycle batteries as well as important features and what to look for when
shopping.

Best Deep Cycle Batteries

VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery Deep Cycle HI Performance Battery



VMAX batteries are a new kid
on the block in the world of batteries but they have truly provided they’re
worthy by being absolute workhorses.

VMAX is really proud of the
design of these batteries. They seem to have been engineered very well by
focusing on using heavy duty lead tin alloy which helps prolong the life of the
battery.

These batteries come with an
absorbent glass matt (AGM) between the heavy-duty plates making this battery
highly resistant to vibrations and shock. 

Its power output is 35 Amps
per hour and requires zero maintenance. This battery dimension are: L=7.7″ W=5″ H=6.1″ and charges
very rapidly.

One of our favorite parts of
this battery is its size! If you have an RV that doesn’t have much room to
spare this little beastly battery is perfect. Another great use for this
battery is just having it around in case you need a strong little battery
that’s portable.

Positives Negatives
Very dependable
Engineered extremely well
Uses high quality metal extending life
Small, fits in tiny spaces
Excellent charge time
No maintenance

Not cheap
Need to keep up with battery charge
Heavy

 

Check price on Amazon.com

Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 – 12V 35AH U1 Deep Cycle AGM 



When you’re looking for a cheap cost effective battery for smaller jobs, we can’t recommend this battery enough.

While the VMAX is more of a power house, this battery is much cheaper (and lighter). If you need a battery that you can pick up and move around with you this will be your go to, weighing in at 23 pounds!

This is battery uses sealed
led Acid (SLA), this battery is rated at 35 AH and dimensions are: 7.68 in x 5.16 in x 7.13 in

It includes a valve
regulator allowing this battery to be used indoors and outdoors, using a
calcium grid to extend cycling.

Positives Negatives
Low Price
Light weight
Great output for size
Portable
Can be mounted in any position
30 Day refund
1 year full warranty

No fancy connectors
Charges slow

 

Check price on Amazon.com

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah for RV, Solar Marine and Off-grid Applications



Renogy batteries are a favorite amongst
RV’ers due to high Ah ratings and great customer service.

This battery is highly recommended when
charging with solar, as it was specifically designed to work with solar energy
storage. This battery is AGM and is rated at 100AH at a 10 hr rate.

This battery works great for every type
of usage, including daily and for storage.

It is not the cheapest battery on the
block however it will be reliable and accommodate multiple charging sources,
and hold a great charge and also has the ability to discharge high currents.

Positives Negatives
High AH rating
Great customer service
Corrosion resistant
Maintenance free
Can be mounted in any position
Great reputation among RV guys

Heavy
Pricey for low budgeters

 

Check price on Amazon.com

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery



If we had to choose one
battery for all around performance, durability and dependability. We can’t
recommend this battery enough.

This is our personal favorite
brand, that we use ourselves. This battery is designed to use in the harshest
of conditions, packing 750 cold cranking amps.

The reason we chose this
battery is how its designed to be ran continuously. It contains six packs of
super tight coiled lead plates far exceeding typical flat plate batteries.

This battery also has an
extremely fast recharge time which is great for people like me that forgets to
charge my battery!

Positives Negatives
Very powerful amperage
High quality build
Built in reserve capacity (120 minutes constant use)
15X more resistant to vibration
Long battery life
Can be mounted anywhere
Good replacement warranty (no haggle)

Expensive
Heavy
Amperage is comparable to cheaper batteries

 

Check price on Amazon.com

How We Selected the
Best Deep Cycle RV Batteries

We spent countless hours researching and reviewing the
biggest manufacture and their best models looking at their battery components,
customer reviews, reliability problems, and finding out what people were
looking for (including us) and also our history of brands of batteries we have
purchased.

 Important Features to Consider

  1. Type of Battery
  2. Depth of discharge
  3. Amp Hour rating
  4. Maintenance
  5. Cold cranking amps
  6. Cycle Life  
  7. Charging methods

Battery Type:

When comparing different types of batteries one of the first
things you have to decide is what type of battery you will want, a 12 volt or
AGM sealed battery.

12 Volt batteries

The cheapest will be your typical 12V battery, the best
thing about these batteries is they’re cheap and decent at starting and ok at
deep cycle.

One downside to these batteries is they have to be
maintained. 12 volt batteries are vented and release gas, if the water level of
these batteries are not maintained you will eventually kill the battery or give
it a shorter life span.

AGM batteries

In almost all cases these batteries are superior due to no
maintenance, they are sealed which means you can mount them in any
position.  Other huge pros of these
batteris is they charge much faster and store better (do not lose energy).

In the past the biggest con of AGM batteries was the price,
however today they do not cost much more than regular batteries and are
superior in pretty much every other way.

Depth of Discharge:

Each manufacture has recommendations on what depth of
discharge a battery can undergo to prolong its life.

A simple explanation of depth of discharge is 50%, that
means you can allow your battery to go to 50% capacity before recharging to
100%. When you go below the recommended levels you allow sulfation to occur
which causes lead sulfate crystals to build up which is the lead cause of
battery death.

Amp Hour Rating:

Amp hour rating is the amount of amps a batter can use
typically per hour. Say you have a 50AH battery, this means it will supply 50
amps per hour.

If your battery doesn’t have per hour, and just says 100 amp
in some cases such as this, a battery will be measured by a 20 hour rate
(industry wide). For instance if you have a 100 amp rated battery, this mean
the battery can produce 5 amps per hour for 20 hours.

For the most part you should stick to finding battery
displaying amp hour ratings (AH).

Maintenance:

Even though maintenance on a battery seems crazy easy, when
you have so many other components and lists to tackle while prepping your RV
not having to check batteries and hope they’re charged is a real time saver.

As discussed above, to avoid maintaining a battery, we
highly recommend sticking to an AGM sealed battery so the possibilities of
killing your battery prematurely or getting stuck somewhere won’t happen due to
not double checking your batteries.

Cold Cranking Amps

This refers to the amount of Amps your battery will have
when something is pulling power from it during sub zero temperatures.

This will be something to really pay attention to if your RV
will be in cold climates, especially for an extended amount of time. The
batteries we go over in this guide have more than enough for basically any cold
condition.

Cycle Life

This is an important feature that must not be skipped. This
refers to the amount of charging and discharging cycles a battery can handle.

Some manufactures “will over engineer” the battery to last
more than listed while cheaper manufactures will do the opposite. This best way
to choose a good cycle life is to pick a known brand that has excellent quality
control and quality assurance.

Charging

As stated numerous times in this guide, having a battery
that holds charge and has the ablity to charge quickly is paramount.

Normal lead 12 volt battery will off gas and lose charge
over time and take longer to charge back to 100% while AGM batteries will hold
charge for a very long time and also charge quicker.

Another important topic is how the battery will be charged?
Solar? Generator? Trickle charger?

All of these can influence the way a battery will
charge. 

How do deep cycle RV
batteries work?

One of the best features of deep cycle batteries and why they’re
sought after is the ability to discharge its almost entire capacity regularly.

Deep cycle batteries contain thick plates that resist
corrosion during cycling.

Deep cycle batteries contain two categories: Flooded and
valve-regulated lead acid.

Flooded contain fluid that “floods” or covers plates while
valve-regulated contain a thick gel like substance that doesn’t need
maintenance.

Common Question and
Concerns  

How do I charge my
battery?

Typically a manufacture will recommend how to charge your
battery, always make sure you are using a converter if necessary to convert
from different currents. A smart charger is a great bet if you are uncertain.

Typically a battery will be fully charged (depends on your
charging method and battery type) in around 3-4 days.

How long will my
battery hold a charge?

This is very dependent on several factors that don’t allow
us to give you a specific time, including temperature, age of the battery, type
of battery, what it’s being used for and how it was charged.

 Our best
recommendation is to get a battery monitor, we can’t recommend this enough when
out on the road.

How long will my battery last?


Again very dependent on many factors. We’ve seen cheap batteries last 2 years while the average good name brand highly maintained battery last up to 10 years! We’d say the average is 5-7 years!

How to remove/
replace battery/connect batteries

  1. Power down your vehicle, cut off the main disconnect switch if you have it, if not turn off all the breakers.
  2.  Locate the battery and disconnect the negative terminal first with a socket wrench (please don’t use pliers, rounding screws are easier than you think).
  3. Remove the red terminal cable (don’t allow the red and black to touch! You’ll only forget this once)
  4. Disconnect the black cable from the negative terminal and repeat the cleaning on this cable
  5. A good habit is to clean the cables with a wire brush to ensure a great connection before tightening back
  6. Connect the red cable to the red positive terminal first and tighten, do the same with the black cable and negative terminal
  7. Now you should be good to turn the power back on!

Conclusion

We genuinely hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and its been
helpful while looking for a deep cycle battery for your RV. With the importance
of using reliable and safe batteries we’ve put extensive consideration into
this guide to help you choose a great battery.

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