Before we jump into your best RV battery list, it is important to first go over the basics that needed to be known when dealing with deep cycle RV batteries.
The first thing that should be mentioned is, you should not use a marine or boat battery for your RV.
Yes, they both do say deep cycle, and maybe the batteries made for somebody’s boat worked for an RV back in the 90’s, but it definitely is not a good choice now.
Lead acid batteries is what is in an RV. A lead acid battery is simply a group of cells working in unison. All of these cells produce 2.1 volts. Meaning that a 12 Volt battery has 6 cells, and a 6 Volt has 3 cells working in series.
Something else of note, lead acid batteries do not make a charge, but instead store it. This is a crucial fact to remember when comparing the battery in your vehicle to an RV battery.
So What Kind of Battery Do You Need for Your RV?
Simply put, you don’t want a regular chassis/starting battery that is found in your everyday vehicle. You want what is typically referred to as a house/home battery. Why? Well, simply put, a house battery will provide a consistent stream of energy over extended periods of time. This will power things in your RV like your lights, kitchen appliances and other electronics.
A deep cycle battery is designed to be discharged heavily and recharged frequently. To determine how long one of these batteries can hold a charge, there is a simple formula behind the “Amp Hour Rating” that you will commonly find on the outer battery packaging.
Amp Hour Rating = # of Amps Battery Delivers * # of Hours Before Battery is Discharged
To give you a worded example, an RV battery that can produce 10 Amps for 10 hours has an Amp Hour Rating of 100. 10 multiplied by 10, equals 100. Simple enough.
The newer way of calculating the Amp Hour Rating is by finding the Reserve Capacity and multiplying that by 0.6.
Amp Hour Rating = Reserve Capacity * 0.6
Testing for Reserve Capacity is done at a temperature of 80 Fahrenheit. The battery is then tested to see how long it can produce 25 Amps before dropping below 10.5 Volts.
Now We Talk About The Best RV Batteries
After discussing the somewhat confusing way of measuring an RV battery’s performance, we will now get onto our list of the best RV batteries.
Keep in mind, this list is our opinion and we are open to disagreement. Not everyone will want to use the batteries suggested in the list, which is fine.
In each of the descriptions on the RV batteries listed, we will give the Amp Hour Rating, and other important factors that made that particular battery get onto our list.
Without a doubt, our biggest judging factor when finding the best RV battery is real world performance. Any battery sitting the factory fresh off the assembly line will perform wonderfully. At least, it should. What’s different from factory testing and real world use is that factory testing is fairly predictable, what happens when you’re out camping for 2 weeks is a completely different story.
#5 – Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M Blue Top
Optima Batteries is known for their high quality products. Which is why at #5 we have the
8052-161 D31M Blue Top. Although it says marine battery, it works just as good for any RV.
The Reserve Capacity is 155 minutes of steady, high quality performance. This gives an Amp Hour Rating of 93. Weather does not influence this battery, as it is often still found to be a strong choice for the colder climates. As well, the hotter climates play no foul.
Weighing in at 59.4 pounds, it is obviously a little bit heavier. This is to be expected simply because RV’s themselves are fairly large. The dimensions are:
- 12 13/16″ (Width)
- 6 1/2″ (Length)
- 9 3/8″ (Height)
Designed for RV’s with a lot of accessories, this is perfect for the people who are travelling in high class style. All of the bells and whistles inside of your RV will be easily powered.
If you are interested in having even more voltage flowing throughout your RV, a good suggestion is to buy 2 of the 8052-161’s and have them run in parallel.
#4 – Universal Power Group – 12v 200ah Solar Power Battery
This RV battery from Universal Power Group is a perfect choice for the people looking to
purchase a solar powered battery. Not having to rely on a plug-in to recharge is a really nice advantage to have. Simply let the sun do all of the work for you.
It is a 12-volt battery with an Amp Hour Rating of 200. You will be able to go extended periods of time without having to charge up. Leaving a good amount of room for error should you forget to charge it. It happens to the best of us.
Designed in the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) format, this battery is really resistant to any abuse that may come its way. Often, to get to your designated camping spot, you have to go down old back roads or bumpy gravel roads that are poorly maintained. Those roads will not be an issue here.
This is definitely our heaviest battery on our list, weighing in at 126 pounds. Might be a little difficult for one man or woman to haul around and install. For this you may want to call someone over for a beer and to help you get it situated in your RV.
The physical dimensions of the battery are:
- 8″ (Width)
- 20″ (Length)
- 8 1/4″ (Height)
Something to note, these have more than just a single use. A lot of people are buying upwards of 6 of these and using them for their homes. While we haven’t personally tried this, according to reviews, they work quite well for solar powered homes.
#3 – Amstron GC2
One of the cheaper batteries on our list, the Amstron GC2 is good for golf carts, marine and
This is a 6 Volt battery. So if you plan on purchasing one of these, you will probably want to buy 2 and run them in parallel. Not too many RV’s out there that can run on only one 6 Volt.
Employing the fairly common Absorbed Glass Mat technology, these will not spill or freeze when broken. This is a big deal because although they are nowhere as bad for malfunctioning as they used to be, batteries still do have a tendency of malfunctioning from time to time. With this unit, you just simply remove it from your RV with no damage done.
Reserve capacity at 25 Amps is 475 minutes. This is great if you are someone who spends most of the camping trip outdoors. Reserve capacity at 75 Amps is 124 minutes.
Weight for this battery is 68 pounds. Still fairly heavy, but a lot lighter than our previously listed battery. Dimensions are:
- 2” (Width)
- 1” (Length)
- 8” (Height)
#2 – VMAX Solar slr125
Weighing in at 77 pounds, the VMAX Solar slr125 is not only a really popular choice for RV’s,
but a lot of people are using it to generate power for their solar powered homes. With that being said, this battery is designed to be used with solar panels, smart chargers and wind turbines.
Life expectancy for this product is 8 to 10 years, should you run it in float. The 12v and 125 Amp Hours mean you will be able to relax while this thing powers your RV and not have to worry about recharging it for quite a while. Charging voltage, as recommended by VMAX Solar themselves is 14.7v.
Physical dimensions on the battery are:
- 9″ (Length)
- 8″ (Width)
- 7″ (Height)
There is a 12 Month Exchange warranty for this battery. And 30 days’ money back guarantee, no questions. Making it a great option for people looking to get a feel for different batteries. If you like it, awesome, keep it. If not, send it back and buy a different one.
There is also free shipping for most orders costing more than $150. Make sure to double check if you are buying in bulk to be sure that you qualify for free shipping.
#1 – Carmanah CMH-AGM-100 – Best RV Battery
At the #1 spot we have the CMH-AGM-100 from Carmanah. We personally thought thisbattery was the top of the line simply because of the versatility and attention to making life easier for the people installing this battery in their RV’s.
With 2 handles at the top that retract, you won’t have to worry about awkwardly carrying out this 67.7-pound battery. A lot of people might think this is overkill for a battery, but when you’re hauling it around, you will see for yourself just how much easier such a little add on can make.
Not only is it good for your RV, you can use it for marine and powering small camps. Of course, to power a small camp, you are going to need more than one. But, running in parallel, these batteries are incredibly powerful.
Known to outperform different Group 31 batteries at different temperatures, this battery is a cheaper alternative to the really top end name brands out there. This was another huge deciding factor for us when determining whether or not it was the best RV battery. Top of the line performance while saving some cash is a huge bonus for us.
110 AH at 100-hour rate, this battery will provide a maintenance free, clean, strong source of power for everything you need charged up.
Check it out at Amazon, as of right now there is a sale going on with free shipping.
Getting The Most Out of Your RV Battery
Now that we have gone over the best RV batteries, we will now give you some pointers on how you can get the most out of your battery. Specifically, on extending the life of your RV battery.
First off, the life expectancy is determined by the person using it. If you baby it, follow all of the manufacturers recommendations on discharging and recharging it by the book, you will get a really long life out of these batteries.
Keep in mind a battery cycle is when a battery is discharged from 100% down to 50% and then recharged back up to 100%. If you are doing this, your battery will last a lot longer over someone who discharges it to let’s say 60% and the recharges back to 100%. It is similar to your smart phone. You always want to let the battery run dry on your smart phone, and then recharge it back up to full juice.
The sooner you recharge your battery after it has been discharged to 50%, the better. No need to wait, plug it in as soon as possible.
Keep in mind, when recharging, to extend the life even further, you are going to want to recharge at minimum amps over longer periods of time.
Don’t ever try to charge a frozen battery. This can result in an explosion and severely injure
anyone within the distance of the blast. Simply let it thaw out, and then proceed with the recharge.
A lot of people will determine what the best RV battery is by how long it lasts. So, in order to have a good experience with your battery, make sure you take good care of it and don’t discharge down to 0%.
If you are planning on running multiple batteries in parallel, try and get the 2 exact same models. This will prevent any discrepancies from happening. Also, there may be compatibility issues between 2 different batteries from different brands.
After reading through our guide and tips and tricks on how to find the best RV battery, you should be fully aware and ready to make an educated purchase.
If you are unsure of anything, feel free to re-read as many times as you would like, this can help clarify any confusion you may have. It can also give you a better idea on what battery you should go with.
Depending on where you are from in the United States, allow anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks for shipping time. Be sure to factor this is if you have a camping trip that is coming up right away. You may have to pay a little bit more for express shipping in order to get your battery in time for your camping trip.
Other than that, you should be well on your way to purchasing the best RV battery for yourself.