Choose the Best RV Batterie for Boondocking
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated RV Batteries for Boondocking
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Boondocking is camping without using campgrounds. It simply means camping in an isolated, undeveloped area. Boondocking is the art of living in a self-sustaining, off-the-grid way. It refers to camping without hookups and staying away from other people as much as possible.
The RV batteries are part of these experiences because they provide power for everything you need: lights and sound systems (including TVs), fans and air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, microwaves ovens – anything that runs on electricity!
Benefits of using RV batteries:
- Onboard battery power to run appliances for days on end without recharging;
- The ability to generate electricity with solar panels or generators, which are great ways of powering your RV batteries up during daytime hours when you’re not driving;
- An excellent way to stealth camp at remote locations;
- The ability to go off the grid for a while without having to rely on anyone else’s power source, which is essential if you’re looking for privacy and independence when camping;
How many times have you found yourself asking questions like: “What are the best RV batteries for boondocking?” or “Should I get a deep cycle or AGM battery?” Well, experts have compiled a guide to help your decision-making. You will get the answers to the common questions and read reviews of the top 5 products on the market for this year.
Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah DEEP Cycle VRLA Battery – the Editor’s choice!
This battery will last you for days, designed to resist shocks and vibration so it’s safe in any position. It even comes rechargeable so you can charge up at home or anywhere with a 12-volt outlet – seriously, the fact that you don’t have to stop every day to measure the water levels is what makes this really different from other batteries!
Live a week of boondocking carefree, while carrying less weight on your heart and on the Earth. This eco-friendly battery is reasonably priced both for lack of pricey transportation and for lack of upfront installation done by our experienced professionals.
Vmaxtanks AGM 12V 125Ah SLA Rechargeable Deep Cycle Battery – the best for the extended life span!
This 12V deep cycle battery is 99% recombination protected and can be submerged in water without any danger, which makes it perfect for fighting 100-year storms.
It delivers 125 amp hours at 12 Volts, without upkeep grinding your gears like other batteries out there. This battery is military-grade custom-made plates that float – you don’t need any expensive spill containment pool! Durable and low maintenance, this reliable power bank can be yours today.
The Vmaxtanks AGM Deep Cycle Battery is designed for people who want to go off-grid and enjoy the wilderness. This battery has a service life of 8 to 10 years with no dangerous fumes or gases, which makes it perfect for powering solar cabins and RVs.
Interstate Batteries 12V 110 AH SLA/AGM Deep Cycle Battery – the best for easy maintenance!
With their spill-proof design, these batteries can be positioned almost anywhere without having to worry about messy accidents compromising expensive equipment or work areas. Works with 12v 100ah battery applications: say “goodbye” to dead cars and downtime!
Are you looking to invest in a rechargeable, maintenance-free battery? With professional-grade quality and life span for deep discharge usage, the Interstate Battery 12V 110AH is perfect for your business. Take advantage of this opportunity before supplies run out!
VMAX Solar Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Battery – the best size!
It comes to last up to 10 years. Unlike other batteries that have lower efficiency, this battery reaches 99%.
It delivers 1,200 watt-hours and 100 amp hours that makes it perfect for large capacity devices like refrigerators, lights, pumps, and even carry chargers!
Installing a Goal Zero solar product upgrade is one of the smartest investments you can make to save money on your electric bill! This military-grade battery will last for 8-10 years with zero trace or fumes, designed specifically for 99% recombination capabilities.
VMAXTANKS 24V AGM Solar Battery Bank – the best voltage!
Latest generation lead-acid type for maximum capacity and usability on any adventure or excursion, indoor or out.
Solar-powered, extra-large capacity batteries that come in four packs altogether, VMAXTANKS 24V AGM solar battery bank is perfect for managing all that energy from the sun as you store it to use during blackouts or storms. Get power anytime with its maintenance-free design and safe indoor use options makes this your top priority when upgrading your home’s electric supply.
The Buyer’s Guide
Different types of RV Batteries:
1) 6-Volt Batteries:
There are 2 types of 6-volt batteries:
- a single battery;
- another type consists of two connected in series;
The first option for a 6-volt battery is composed of a single unit or “battery cell” with its own case made from plastic or fiberglass material, giving it more durability than other models have. A benefit regarding these kinds of batteries is that they’re quite inexpensive when compared to their twelve-volts counterparts since there’s only one cell instead of several which means fewer materials used during production. However, this advantage comes at the cost of power capacity as well as cranking amps per ampere.
The second type of six-volt battery is made by connecting two units in series to create the same voltage as a twelve-volt battery, but only half the current since it’s basically one string of cells divided into halves. The benefit of this model is that there are fewer components needed for its production and therefore makes them cheaper than their twelve-volt counterparts which means they’re more affordable when purchasing an RV battery.
However, these kinds of batteries can’t be charged at high amperage rates like standard 12 volts because they lack sufficient power capacity due to having fewer plates compared to other types out on the market today; also cranking amps per ampere might not be enough depending on what you require for your application or preference.
2) 12-Volt Batteries
12-volt batteries are the standard for almost any kind of application, including powering an RV. This is because they possess optimum power capacity given its size and weight that makes them more convenient to use when you’re out on the road or camping in your camper. When it comes to charging these types of batteries there’s no difference between using a generator or hooking up to shore power since both can fully charge 12-volt deep cycle models just as fast as their six-volt counterparts during normal temperatures.
However, this would require significant amperage rates if weather conditions become hotter than usual due to increased heat exposure from direct sunlight over time making it harder for current delivered through charging sources to effectively disperse throughout all battery plates resulting in lower amp-hours of capacity.
Other issues related to using 12-volt batteries are that they require more maintenance compared to their smaller 6-volt counterparts since there’s a greater number of components within each individual battery cell.
Another issue with choosing this type is its price might be costlier than other options on the market today.
3) Flooded Lead-Acid Deep Cycle RV Batteries
Flooded lead-acid deep cycle RV batteries are a popular choice for RVs. They can be stored in any position, as long as they’re not allowed to freeze. Even though that means you won’t need an expensive battery box or tray, flooded lead-acids still aren’t recommended for use with solar panels because of their low power density (lower than AGM), so experts don’t recommend them if your main goal is off-grid boondocking. On the other hand, it’s an easy to maintain and affordable option when used onshore power only: just make sure to check fluid levels every few months and add distilled water as needed!
Flooded batteries can be maintenance-free, but these tend to have a shorter lifespan and are also more expensive. If you choose a flooded lead-acid battery over an AGM or lithium option, make sure it has the longest warranty possible for peace of mind – this is especially true if you won’t use them onshore power too often!
4) Gel Batteries
Gel batteries are similar to a regular lead-acid battery but instead of liquid, the gel contains silica gels that immobilize the electrolytes. That means they do not need any maintenance and you can mount them in almost any position (except upside-down). They also have a lower self-discharge rate than other types like AGM or lithium-ion – they last longer! However, their voltage is slightly below 12V so make sure your appliances work with such batteries. Also, you can’t use them with a solar charger.
They also offer very fast recharge rates and longer lives for each charge cycle compared with standard flooded cells (flooded) & less voltage regulation required by an external source like many other types of RV deep cycle lead-acid cells need while being more affordable than comparable AGMs.
Immediately after purchase, these kinds of deep cycle RV cells are very low maintenance. However, over time they will need to be watered periodically (depending on use) or you can purchase an automatic watering system for them if desired.
5) AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) Batteries
AGM batteries are the most common type of RV battery. They’re great for all sorts of applications including RVs, boats, and cars! Their main advantage is that they can be mounted in just about any direction without worrying about spilling acid or leaking.
Unlike flooded batteries, AGM batteries do not have a liquid electrolyte. Instead, they utilize an absorbent glass mat to hold the electrolytes in place. Because of this design, they are often referred to as “dry cell” or non-spill lead-acid battery technology. The advantages of AGMs include fast recharge rates and longer lives for each charge cycle compared with standard wet cells (flooded) batteries that most RVs use today.
AGM batteries have a higher cost than other types of RV battery options. However, they are well worth the investment because of their extra-long lifespan and durability even in tough weather conditions.
6) Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are the most efficient and powerful on the market. They have more than 30% better energy density than lead-acid batteries, which means that they can store a lot of power in an often small package. Lithium-ion batteries also recover very quickly from deep discharges without any damage or memory effect.
However, lithium-ion is not cheap when compared to other battery types because there are several processes involved with manufacturing them including casting electrodes, baking powder mixtures at high temperatures for hours (to produce cathodes), and compressing powders by hot rolling sheets under two tons of pressure per square inch (for the anode). For this reason, it’s advisable to make sure your RV is ready before you invest in lithium-ion batteries.
- RV battery materials:
- Lead Acid;
All these batteries come in two types: starting batteries and deep cycle batteries, which is used to power your appliances when there’s no shore power available or you run out of propane gas tanks. You need both kinds if you want a reliable source of electricity on the road. These types of batteries can also be recharged by solar panels, generators, inverters, or other electrical sources with enough watts/amps to do so without draining them too much more after they reach their full state capacity already – meaning it would take days to recharge them again.
An alkaline battery can’t be recharged, but it’s great for starting your engine. It has to have enough energy stored so that the entire engine can turn over and start up – hence why they are not recommended as deep cycle RV batteries.
A lead-acid battery has a lower voltage than an alkaline or nickel battery so it’s not ideal for powering DC devices directly since there will always be some power loss due to inefficiencies of converting energy from one form to another – i.e., direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). This means that it may not always be able to keep up with your power demands.
A lithium-ion or LiFePO battery is also known as LFP deep cycle RV batteries because they have a higher energy density than lead-acid batteries, which means they can store more power in less space. That’s not all though; LFP deep cycle RV batteries also have extremely high recharge efficiency and much lower self-discharge rates compared to other types of lithium-ion/LFP battery chemistries that are available on the market today – even if you don’t plan on using your recreational vehicle for months or longer without recharging them at some point first!
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for the best RV deep cycle battery that can be found anywhere at any price then you will want to go with an AGM (absorbed glass mat) type since they are affordable, but still provide long-lasting power like other types of batteries out there too. They have superior charge acceptance compared to lead-acid deep cycle RV solar batteries as well as lower self-discharge rates. However, their downside is that you can’t mount them in different positions except upright because they might leak due to pressure build-up.
- Battery cell composition
RV batteries are typically made up of 6 cells. Each cell is rated at:
- About 100 amp-hours for a deep cycle battery;
- 50 amp hours for a starting battery. This means that it can deliver high current, as needed to start an engine or other electrical device before going dead flat and being practically useless;
- Deep-cycle RV battery cells are made up of lead plates and lead oxide with only a thin layer of spongy material to ensure ionic contact;
- The term “deep cycle” refers to the fact that they can be discharged down as deep as 80% without damage, so long as they aren’t drawn below about 50% in one go;
- RV battery sizes
The first thing you have to consider is the size of your RV battery. Batteries come in a variety of physical sizes and voltage ratings, so choose one that fits perfectly into the space available for it inside your camper. Also, make sure the battery is compatible with your particular electrical system.
The average size for recreational vehicles is Group 24, 27, and 31. The group number refers to the physical dimensions of each cell in inches (Group 24 = .81 x .98 x ~11). If you have a stand-alone solar power kit mounted on top of your vehicle, you will need at least one dual-purpose tray where both starter batteries can be installed together.
There are even trays specifically designed for mounting 2 RV or marine deep cycle batteries side by side under the hood if there’s enough space available to accommodate them next to each other without compromising any necessary access areas such as oil filter replacement, etc.
- Capacity of the battery
RV battery capacity should be large enough to provide a reasonable amount of current at low engine RPMs (120 amps on average). In addition, it must have sufficient reserve capacity to power all your appliances in case you park somewhere without hookups overnight.
There are a few things to remember:
- The capacity of the battery is measured in amp-hours (Ah);
- You can calculate how many amps your appliances require by multiplying their wattage by 12 volts. For example, if you have a 1200W microwave oven and it’s rated for 120V operation, its amp draw will be roughly 100Ah;
- The capacity of your 12V battery should be at least 100Ah if you plan to use it for powering all the typical RV electrical appliances overnight with enough power left in reserve so that they are still running when you wake up in the morning;
- If your batteries drain completely, then their charge time will take over 20 hours, which is not practical during camping season or boondocking periods. You can upgrade to two 200Ah+ batteries instead of one larger single unit and this way double electricity storage space without adding extra weight by using a converter/charger;
You will need to know the voltage of your system in order to choose the right battery. The most common voltages are 12 V. It is also possible that you have a 24 V or 48 V system, but these options are less common since they require more expensive components for installation and maintenance.
12-volt RV batteries usually come in 6-volt models, which means that two of them should be wired together in parallel through their positive terminal posts (the red connectors). If one of the twelve-volt batteries were hooked up by itself, both its terminals would read exactly +12 volts if it was fully charged.
But once discharged down even slightly below 50%, say 46% discharged for example, then each post would only +11 instead – something that would fry your entire electrical system. So, two batteries wired together in parallel prevents this from happening because it always keeps the voltage on each terminal within one volt of its equal partner across all states of charge (SOC).
If you have a 24V or 48V RV power system running off deep cycle batteries, they can be combined to make an even higher voltage like 96 volts for example. However, if you’re not sure what kind of battery system is installed on your unit then contact whoever built your rig since that person will know best – whether it’s 12V or something more complex.
- Charge and discharge cycles of a battery
A total of 100 charge and discharge cycles is considered to be the number needed for an RV battery before it starts seeing its efficiency drop. The standard rule on how long batteries last is about 200-300 more than whatever you see printed on them, so expect your RV or car battery to last around 400 complete charges and discharges.
Batteries are considered dead when they no longer can hold a charge. This means that the battery has reached its end of life and should be replaced without delay before it damages your appliances or vehicle.
The shelf life of batteries is also important to consider, as you do not want to buy new ones every time you need them if they will just sit in storage for months on end before being used again. To prevent this from happening, try getting deep cycle marine batteries that have approximately 2 years grace periods were unused yet still kept up with maintenance (water levels) so there’s little chance of damage due to neglecting their care until next use. These tend to be more expensive than normal car/RV lead acid but well worth it in the end.
The best way to get your money’s worth out of an RV battery is by taking care of it well and making sure you charge them before they hit 23-20% so that they last longer.
- Temperature considerations
- When off the grid, you need to find a balance between power and temperature. It is important not to overcharge your batteries which will reduce their life but also keep them somewhere around 20F;
- This means that when it’s too cold outside (-30 F) they won’t accept charge very well if at all. Your furnace on propane or on electricity for example would have less output, colder air coming out of vents, or even stop working completely because your battery voltage drops under 12v while using an inverter appliance;
- On the other hand, when it’s too hot outside (above 86 F) batteries will discharge very quickly. Your air conditioner has to work hard and your water pump may not even run because of voltage drop under 12v while using an inverter appliance;
- When it’s too hot, you can try to lower the voltage at which your inverter runs (12 or 24v), and when it is cold outside make sure that you don’t run appliances with low power draw such as water pumps;
- Terrain and Weather of the Area
The best RV batteries for boondocking will depend on your specific situation and what you’re looking to do with it. For example, if you like camping in hot areas that are dry throughout the year then a lithium battery would be ideal as it can withstand high temperatures without deteriorating or catching fire. If instead, you enjoy winter campouts and live somewhere where the climate is more moderate (or even cold) where there might be some snowfall during those months, lead-acid might be better suited because these types of batteries hold up well in colder climates than other types available today.
The terrain and weather of the area you plan to camp in should be considered as well. If you’re camping somewhere where there are a lot of rocks or debris, then an AGM battery is probably best because they don’t leak like other types do when punctured (and it would prevent any corrosive damage).
On the flip side, if you know that your campsite will have lots of water availability such as rivers, streams, or lakes then deep cycle batteries could work better for solar panel setups because these can withstand repeated exposure to water, unlike regular car batteries which cannot handle much moisture at all.
- How much power do you need?
In general, you need enough power for your appliances and electronics at night. At some point during your trip, you will run out of battery power – this occurs even if only one appliance runs on low energy consumption overnight.
For example, a typical water pump uses around 3500 W per hour while running and 100-400W when not pumping any (idle mode), depending on the type of pump you have installed. This means that if your battery only has 100Ah, it will run out in just over one hour (if using a water pump). Therefore, we recommend choosing an RV battery with at least 150Ah and preferably more than 200-250 Ah to be safe and ensure enough power for most appliances and electronics overnight.
In addition, those who want to power the TV/cable every day should also consider getting a battery with at least 100Ah capacity or more depending on how much juice your devices require. As for RV appliances that don’t use up too much energy (for example, LED lights), they can be run overnight without an issue as long as you have enough solar panels.
RV batteries tend to lose their charge even if not used daily so make sure to check on them every day if you’re not using the RV. Also, make it a habit of checking your battery voltage (how many volts) with either a DC voltmeter or an app for that matter.
How to maintain RV batteries when not boondocking?
- Keep batteries fully charged if not in use. This will reduce the risk of sulfation and corrosion on your battery plates. If they are stored, don’t let them go below 50%. It is also recommended to recharge once per month for 30 minutes with a solar charger or trickle charger. For best results, be sure to connect both terminals after charging;
- Clean your batteries terminals and cables once a month to keep them from corroding. Be sure to disconnect the battery before you do so. Use baking soda or vinegar with warm water for this task;
- In case of freezing temperatures, it is recommended to remove the ground cable as well as any covers on top of the batteries in order for them not to freeze and crack open. Also, be aware that cold weather will shorten battery life but if they are stored properly there should be no issues;
- When driving, be aware of how much energy your battery is using. The more you use them the faster they will drain so try to decrease power consumption as much as possible (i.e.: turn off electronics). You can also check on any dashboard or in a mobile app if there are monitoring systems installed;
- If you have an inverter with a remote display, it’s best to put this somewhere visible when boondocking so that you can monitor its usage and know where the batteries stand at all times without having to walk up to the RV every few hours;
What is the best RV battery for boondocking?
The best RV battery for boondocking is the one that can hold enough charge to power your appliances and electronics, and meet your specific needs. Answering this question requires you to know what type of camping equipment will be running off batteries as well as how often it runs. The amp hours of a battery are not an indication of whether or not that’s the right size.
Instead, look at amperage – such as 12V/20 Amp-hour. If you have multiple devices with different ratings, add them together first. For example, a laptop computer and phone use about 15-20Amp hours each.
How long will an RV battery last boondocking?
A good battery should last between three to five years. However, several factors could affect this time span such as the weather conditions of your location or how often you use it.
How many batteries does boondocking of an RV take?
There are 2 types of batteries for RV boondocking – the starting battery and the house batteries. The number you need depends on your needs but most RVs take between 1-4 deep cycles or “house” batteries which will power things like lights, water pumps, etc., during the night when there is no solar input available. There is no set number of batteries for boondocking so it all depends on your specific needs.
Should I keep my battery plugged in?
During the winter, many boondockers opt to keep their battery plugged in and maintain a charge. Although not ideal for long-term storage, this practice keeps batteries from draining too low and becoming unserviceable. The best place to do this is near your vehicle where you can also monitor its status easily.
This will only require an extension cord with a power strip at one end so that multiple items can be charged simultaneously or powered on as needed. Some people even install outlets outside of their vehicles directly into the ground using waterproof boxes – these are great for powering lights around camp!
What is the best deep cycle battery for a travel trailer?
When you are looking for the best deep cycle battery for travel trailers, it is important to look at not only its amp-hour capacity but also its physical dimensions. The reason for this is that you need to make sure the battery fits well in your trailer.
If you have a small travel trailer, then there is no need to get an oversized battery. It will just take up space that could be used for other camping essentials or living necessities. Another thing to consider when looking at deep cycle batteries is their reserve capacity (RC). If the battery has low RC it means it doesn’t hold power well and can go dead quickly if not properly monitored.
What is the best RV battery for cold weather?
When it comes to cold temperatures, you will get a longer life out of deep cycle batteries with high amp-hour capacities. Furthermore, if the ambient temperature drops below the freezing point (32F), you will have a tough time charging your battery because most alternators aren’t powerful enough to do so in this condition.
Does the RV generator charge the battery?
If you have a higher wattage generator that can actually charge your battery, then yes. However, if the RV generator is only charging smaller appliances and draining power from the main house batteries as it charges them simultaneously, then there will be no gain in voltage from using the generator to charge your camper’s deep cycle marine battery.
How do I charge my Boondocking RV battery?
The best way to charge your battery is by using a solar panel. It fits the lifestyle of an RVer and provides enough power without having to use electricity from another source, such as plugging into shore power or generator running. You can either purchase a portable one (the lightest option), or you could opt for mounting it on top of the RV roof (if space allows).
But what if you don’t want to purchase an extra solar panel? Well, then the next best option is by using your car alternator or generator. You could let it charge overnight (while you sleep) and keep your appliances running smoothly during the day.
Is it bad to leave your RV plugged in all the time?
Leaving an RV plugged in while not in use is fine, but it should only be done for a maximum of two weeks. If left longer than this, the battery can become damaged which will ultimately decrease its overall lifespan. To ensure your battery isn’t being overworked by remaining on charge all day long you’ll want to invest in either an automatic or manual “smart” charger that allows you to shut off once charging has completed.
What runs off an RV battery?
Many things can be run off an RV battery. Things like the fridge, lights, and other appliances all require power to function properly.
How do I charge my RV battery fast?
There are multiple methods for charging your RV battery fast. The first method is to connect the solar panels directly to the batteries without using a charge controller in between. This option will work when there is good sunlight available and you don’t need much power (to run appliances or charge devices).
You can also remove your RV house batteries from their compartment and use an external deep cycle charger that plugs into 120-volt AC wall outlets. It works just like any other regular electric car battery charger, but it’s faster than most of them because it has higher amperage output. If you want something even more powerful, you could try jump-starting your vehicle with jumper cables connected directly to the DC terminals on both vehicles. These techniques will work, but they can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.
Another option is to use an inverter that has a pure sine wave output and plug it into your 120-volt AC wall outlets in the RV. This way will charge your batteries with fewer voltage spikes than charging them directly with solar panels or using jumper cables connected to another vehicle battery.
You could also try out one of those automatic battery chargers that connect themselves to shore power when needed (120 volts) and disconnect themselves during low power conditions so as not to drain any energy from the batteries while still keeping them fully charged at all times.
Finally, there are some fancy gadgets called smart chargers that have multiple sensors for monitoring temperature, voltage, and other factors to automatically turn on or off based on the current conditions.
However, you choose to do it, charging your batteries faster doesn’t always result in them lasting longer because there are so many variables involved. The best way is usually just using a high-quality multi-stage smart charger for maintaining deep cycle RV house batteries during storage (to prolong their life) but not trying to charge them too quickly if they aren’t empty and don’t need much power right away.
Useful Video: BOONDOCKING with LITHIUM vs AGM – Which is Better?
Here is a list of the top 5 RV battery products and where you can find them. This guide should give you the confidence to make an informed decision when it comes to buying new batteries for your boondocking rig. Hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful and it will encourage you to look at the reviews of each product as well as FAQs with answers for more information.