Find the Best RV Battery to Power Your Recreational Vehicle in 2021

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Chris and Lindsay

If you’ve ever run out of power while camping on a cold night or have found that you constantly drain your RV battery charging the simplest of electronic devices then you’ll understand the importance of owning the best battery for RVs.

We found ourselves camping in 10-degree weather outside of the Grand Canyon where our RV furnace was running almost constantly, draining our battery and leaving us anxious over whether we’d cause it harm and/or freeze to death in the meantime! And we’ve also found ourselves offroad in Baja, Mexico bumping along rocky roads with our flooded lead-acid batteries spilling precious water all over the place.

In a quest to find the best RV battery for all-around RV living we have stumbled across all sorts of options. And as we have shared our stories of success, and failure, and received feedback from many people asking why we chose a particular battery (or batteries), we decided it was time to share the most important information to help you decide which RV batteries were best for your particular setup.

That said, let’s look at a few criteria you should consider before jumping into our top picks for the best RV deep cycle battery.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain links to products we think you’ll like. If you purchase any of the products through the links below we’ll receive a small commission. As full-time RVers, we know our RV products well and only recommend those that we either own or would consider owning ourselves.

OUR TOP RV Battery RECOMMENDATIONS

BUDGET

Mighty Max 12 Volt 35 AH

Deep discharge recovery rate

Great performance in high and low temperatures

OUR CHOICE

Renogy AGM deep cycle

Low maintenance and leak proof

Can be discharged at temperatures below 32℉

Does not need to be vented

PREMIUM

Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle

Built in Battery Management System

Can be discharged to 90%

Deep Cycle RV Battery Buying Guide

We’ve lived in our RV for over 3 years. As such we’ve learned that power and water are the most essential considerations for an RV adventure of any length. And at the root of all things related to RV power is the type of deep cycle battery storing and discharging the power you need to enjoy your life on the road.

Before we share our top recommendations, we want to share a few things to consider about your RV battery selection that will make your shopping experience faster, more productive and less costly.

AWAYS buy a Deep Cycle Battery

The first criteria you should consider is to be sure that you are searching for deep cycle batteries for your RV. The difference between deep cycle batteries and standard car batteries is that deep cycle batteries are designed to be able to be continually discharged to varying low levels, thus going through a deep cycle of discharge and recharge. A standard vehicle battery is not intended to be discharged more than a small amount, thus it is constantly being recharged by the vehicle alternator when the vehicle is on.

You absolutely must have a deep cycle battery for your RV. Vehicle batteries are not designed to endure the constant wear that RV living inflicts on batteries. As such, you’re wasting your money if you purchase anything other than a deep cycle battery.

Types of Batteries

That said, there several types of deep cycle RV batteries of which you need to be aware. When we began our RV journey in 2018 we had no idea about the difference. All we knew is that we only had so much money in our budget to afford our battery bank and solar power system. But fair warning, price should not be the only factor in choosing one of these types of batteries.

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries

A flooded lead-acid battery (FLA) is the most common and most conventional RV deep cycle battery. These batteries operate on the idea that the battery cells themselves are covered in water and enclosed in the battery casing with vents on top to allow the batteries to breathe during their chemical processes. They are the least expensive, but typically store less energy and require the most amount of maintenance. You should NEVER run these batteries lower than 50% of their capacity or else you risk damaging them. If you are just starting off, these are likely already in your RV and you can consider keeping them or upgrading them. And if you do not spend much time RVing throughout the year then you’ll do well to save your money and purchase a lead acid battery. We installed a sealed lead acid battery in our truck and one in our camper connected in parallel and were mostly content with their performance for 2 years of full-time living on the road.

AGM Deep Cycle Battery

Absorbed Glass Mat, or AGM deep cycle batteries, are a step above the flooded lead-acid battery. These batteries are a little more complex in nature but hide their complexities inside a casing that is fully closed and secure. This means that an AGM battery are literally maintenance-free, can be mounted sideways (and even upside down!) and can handle the bumps and bounces that leak water from FLA batteries. They tend to be able to hold more energy and can be discharged down to as much as 80% of their capacity without doing damage to the battery. AGM batteries will also self-discharge quite slowly over time, meaning you can store them at full capacity and return even several months later to a mostly charged battery. An AGM battery (or two) is a great option if you are price-conscious and want a great battery in a moderate price range. We decided to upgrade our batteries to two AGM deep cycle batteries in our 3rd year as we wanted to worry less about maintenance and wear and tear and have the ability to discharge the batteries deeper if needed.

Lithium Ion Deep Cycle Battery

Lithium-ion batteries are quickly becoming the most sought-after RV deep cycle battery. The most advanced of all types of RV batteries, Lithium-Ion deep cycle batteries can be discharged to 100% of their capacity and have a long life expectancy. Like AGM batteries, they are also maintenance-free and can be mounted sideways or even upside down. Of course, these great features come with a much higher price tag, sometimes 2-3 times higher than even the best AGM batteries. But if you want a battery that you install and then forget about because it does the best job possible, a lithium-ion battery is your best option. The self-discharge rate on lithium-ion batteries is incredibly low so they store well for infrequent RV use. We opted against purchasing lithium-ion batteries simply because of their cost. If we could afford the higher price tag of lithium-ion batteries we would likely make the upgrade.

RV House Battery vs Vehicle Batteries

Depending on the type of RV you own, you will likely have separate vehicle and house batteries. A “house battery” is one that is designated for the living portion of your RV. Thus a house battery will power your lights, fans and other accessories inside the camper. On the other hand, your vehicle battery, or starting battery, is designated to start and run your vehicle. In most cases these are separated from each other using a battery isolator switch. But you do want to be aware of your battery setup and ensure that you have one (or more) starting battery and one (or more) separate house batteries.

Battery Capacity

Battery capacity is an important consideration when choosing a deep cycle battery for your RV. But you do not have to overthink this too much as most RV battery options have relatively similar amp hour capacities. Capacity for batteries is measured in amp-hours, more commonly expressed as amp hour rating. Typical deep cycle RV batteries will range between 80-120 amp-hours capacity. Consider you own a battery with a capacity of 100 amp-hours. This means that you could use an appliance that draws 1 amp for a total of 100 hours before the battery would be completely depleted. Remember, FLA batteries should never go below 50% (50 hours) and AGM should never go below 80% (80 hours). So when you are trying to determine what capacity you need in your RV battery you should consider the power draw of all of the appliances you expect to use throughout the course of a day and whether you can charge the batteries in the meantime. For example, between running a vent fan, a few lights and charging an electronic device overnight you may draw 5 amps per hour. So over the course of an 8 hour night, you would use 5 amp x 8 hrs = 40 amp-hours. Thus a fully charged 100 amp hour battery would be at 60% capacity, or 60 amp-hours when you woke up.

As you can see, having the right type of battery or batteries can determine whether you are putting your batteries at risk by discharging them too far. In this situation, all types of batteries would be OK with this 40% depth of discharge. But with FLA batteries you would want to immediately begin to recharge them – whether using solar, a generator or plugging into shore power.

You can increase your capacity in a number of ways. First, you can buy bigger batteries with a higher amp hour rating capacity. Many companies offer a variety in the size of the batteries they offer. Typically you will find a reduced price per amp hour if you do purchase a larger capacity battery. But these will clearly be more expensive and bulkier than their smaller counterparts.

Second, you can connect multiple batteries in parallel to increase their capacity. Doing this will maintain their same voltage but will double the amp-hour capacity. When you connect 2 batteries in parallel you are connecting the positive terminal of one battery to that of the other and likewise with the negative terminals. This creates what is called a “battery bank” and you are able to connect as many batteries in parallel as you have the room and need for. We always have 2 batteries connected in parallel to double our capacity and allow us to use more energy before worrying about recharging.

Battery Size

RV deep cycle batteries come in two primary sizes: 6 volt and 12 volt. Six-volt batteries are your typical golf cart batteries and are becoming more and more common in the RV community. Since most RV electrical systems are based on 12-volt power you would need to connect 2 six volt batteries in series (positive terminal in one battery to negative in the other, and vice versa). You could do this a second time and connect each set of 6-volt batteries in parallel to double the amp-hour capacity. Six-volt batteries are popular because they typically last longer and 12-volt batteries. On the other hand, 12-volt batteries are standard for most RV electrical systems and are immediately compatible in most circumstances. This makes them far more common when shopping for the best RV batteries and in this post, we’ll be sharing mostly 12-volt deep cycle battery options.

The Best Battery for RVs

Now that you have an idea about what kind of RV batteries you can shop for and the criteria you should consider, let’s get into our top recommended deep cycle batteries.

Keep in mind you’ll want to consider the following criteria:

  • Type
  • Size
  • Capacity
  • Cost

Our Honesty Disclaimer: In the course of living in our RV full time for over 3 years we have thoroughly researched all of these products before making the choice on our own. So we’ll give you honest information that allows you to make the best decision for which product is right for you.

Product 1 – Renogy AGM deep cycle

Renogy provides various RV battery energy solutions, and their deep cycle AGM battery is as solid a battery as any on the market.

It has combined affordability with performance to be the perfect partner for any travel trailer or RV.

Materials packed into this Deep Cycle Battery store well, giving you five times more energy than a flooded 12-volt deep cycle battery after a winter spent in the shed. Renogy designed the battery to work alongside the solar charging systems the company also produces.  Those accustomed to sleeping with extra blankets will be happy they chose this particular model. The AGM deep cycle battery can withstand extreme temperatures and even charge itself when temperatures are below zero, so your battery system will never leave you in the dark.  Renogy developed this battery to make sure you plug it in, store it in place, and forget about it for a while.  The battery has fully sealed itself within a leak-proof case, each extra pound providing extra backup power. The Renogy AGM is a perfect choice for your RV’s first battery upgrade. One full RV battery charge has the reserve capacity to power a 70W TV for 7 hours. If you’ve chosen to power your recreational vehicle with Solar equipment or don’t want to shell out big bucks for atypical current needs, you can rest easy with this choice.

WHAT WE LIKE THINGS TO CONSIDER
* Low maintenance and leak proof
* Can be discharged at temperatures below 32℉
* Does not need to be vented
* Heavy
* Cannot be discharged below 50%
* Battery Balancer may be needed to help extend life with systems of two or more batteries.

Product 2 – Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

This powerful Lithium battery is not just Battle Born, Its battle-ready.

Lithium batteries sit at the forefront of RV power technology, and this particular maintenance free lithium battery could be the best deep cycle battery on the market.

Powerful features abound in a lightweight physical frame that won’t strain your back. The fine folks at Battle Born designed this to craft the best RV deep cycle battery on the market. The lack of liquid particles allows you to install this battery any way you can fit it into the rest of your build. Maintenance and stress-free living are paramount for van life, and this cell battery doesn’t require constant vigilance. Lithium RV batteries are capable of safely discharging to a lower battery percentage than cheaper options. If you’re looking to upgrade from typical AGM or lead-acid RV batteries, you’ll find an excellent build quality at an affordable lithium price in this offering. RV’ers considering shelling out the big bucks for a lithium battery expect a long lifespan in return for their investment. Battle Born tests have yielded lifespans of over 5,000 charge cycles, and the company is so confident in their product they include a 10-year warranty. From Design and assembly to customer service, all aspects of the development are made for your recreational vehicle and handled in the USA. 

WHAT WE LIKE THINGS TO CONSIDER
* Built in Battery Management System
* Can be discharged to 90%
* Lightweight
* High upfront cost
* Can’t be charged in freezing temperatures

Optima OPT8016-103 Batteries D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Optima batteries prove sometimes there’s no need for extreme RV deep cycle battery set-ups.

If you’re just looking to charge a few lights and cellphones while you’re not moving around, the right lead-acid battery is all you need.

Optima batteries prove sometimes there’s no need for extreme RV deep cycle battery set-ups. If you’re just looking to charge a few lights and cellphones while you’re not moving around, the right lead-acid battery is all you need. The Optima Opt8016 is the best lead-acid AGM battery you could choose to rely on.  It’s smaller and lighter than standard batteries often found in RV house charging systems and wields minimum charging times. Optima batteries unique design allows it to function as both a starter and deep cycle AGM battery, making it more than capable of kickstarting higher wattage devices. It’s built to withstand long storage times maintenance free and designed to function well in extreme temperatures and desert environments.  Optima batteries design also offers vibration resistance, which may not feel like a big deal until you finally get the rig into some forest service roads. Top it all off with a spill-proof container ensuring you won’t get any lead-acid leaking around your recreational vehicle, and you’ll find one of the best RV battery systems.  A simple, no-frills attached choice, this battery is a step above any power source available at a big-box store while still not breaking the bank. 

WHAT WE LIKE THINGS TO CONSIDER
* Spiral cell technology creates a safe, strong and clean power source
* More resistant to vibrations than other AGM batteries
* Low amp hours for the price
* Overcharging reduces lifespan
* Some customers complained of short lifespan

Trojan T-125 6V 240Ah Flooded Lead Acid GC2 Deep Cycle Battery

Trojan has been churning out 6 Volts of the best deep cycle and engine batteries in golf carts for close to 100 years.

Regardless of whether or not the company planned it, the trojan battery has become the industry-leading 6V heavy duty choice for powering up a travel trailer or recreational vehicle.

The six volts are still a deep cycle battery, and although this thing isn’t built quite like the other recreational vehicle deep cycle gel batteries on this list, it is more than capable of charging and recharging while being spill-proof and leak-free. The batteries are simple to convert to 12-volt use and have even recorded voltages well higher than 12, with plenty of cold cranking amps. These types of deep cycle batteries are flooded 6V batteries prepared for a long lifespan. Fueling your freedom with a series of these heavy duty batteries paralleled is a safe way to increase your battery’s lifespan with little self discharge. Choosing the Trojan 6 volt RV batteries will help you hold a longer charge than pairing together two 12 volt batteries. This performance doesn’t happen all on its own, as there is regular maintenance required. Owners should make sure to equalize charges, monitor water levels, and keep the battery clean. These steps build character and reserve capacity. If you have set your heart on using a 6V system in your recreational vehicle or travel trailer battery, relying on the TrojanT-125 to get your home moving gives you a reliable, long-lasting power source. 

WHAT WE LIKE THINGS TO CONSIDER
* Good for up to 1200 cycles
* Powerful battery for the price
* Not maintenance free
* Need more than one battery connected in parallel

Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Solar Wind AGM

Simple and effective is this 12V 100 AH Chinese version of a lead-acid deep cycle battery.

It is a low-maintenance battery option at a reasonable price, good enough to handle average energy needs.

It’s not easy to find 100 Amp Hours at this price, and the Power Group 12V 100AH AGM battery has offered up that convenience alongside industry-leading durability. Some of the best RV deep cycle gel batteries need heavy duty installation procedures to make sure no spillage occurs, but these 12 volts are housed in individual stainless cells allowing you to mount it as you need without worrying about acid flow. Individuality protects the battery housing unit’s vital components and boosts the reserve capacity, giving you more backup power. These particular cells will profile heavily on the scale, and this battery is slightly heavier than others in the same class. Ideally, you’ll only feel that weight upon installation. The company offers a one-year warranty, but expect the deep cycle AGM battery to last somewhere between 3-7 years, depending on your usage. Universal power group is one of the most popular international battery companies, and this 12-volt system their stalwart option. Universal has produced one of the best deep cycle batteries internationally. Shock-resistant, the durable RV battery will make sure to tackle most owner’s deep cycle battery needs. 

WHAT WE LIKE THINGS TO CONSIDER
* Spill proof when mounted in any position
* Resistant to shocks and vibration
* Great price point for amount of amp hours
* Poor customer service

Product 6 – Mighty Max 12 Volt 35 AH

Mighty Max has offered up a budget 12V RV battery built for every scenario, meaning the deep cycle battery is a maintenance-free option that resists shocks and vibration.

What really sets this deep cycle battery apart is the price point.

The Might Max 12 Volt 35 AH battery is the cheapest option on this list, and second place isn’t even close. It may not be the best RV battery, but If you don’t need much more than 35 Amp Hours, there may be no need to invest in a more expensive product when this battery exists. Max designed this particular deep cycle battery to hold a charge and get your RV moving through dust and grime, as long as you don’t install the RV battery upside down. The deep cycle battery can be mounted anywhere and works regardless of the temperature. Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean Mighty Max skimped on the details. The battery is non-spillable, and the acid inside never gets near the light of day. The deep cycle battery was initially crafted to power small vehicles like golf carts and ATVs and certainly won’t be solely capable of powering the needs of a larger rv. In addition to the price, the RV battery is also the lightest option on the market. If you have a smaller recreational vehicle or more minor energy needs for your deep cycle battery to handle, this could be a great budget option to bring with you on your next road trip. 

WHAT WE LIKE THINGS TO CONSIDER
* Deep discharge recovery rate
* Great performance in high and low temperatures
* Better for smaller systems

Renogy 100ah Lithium Ion Battery

This lithium RV battery is one of the best options if you are considering investing in the best deep cycle battery for your heavy duty setup.

The price point, Cheaper than most other lithium batteries on the market, makes biting the bullet on an upscale option a bit less dramatic.

It will only set you back 26 pounds and comes with features specific to solar arrays, like F12 terminals. Other lithium batteries are more suited for automotive use. As you should expect in a lithium RV battery, the Renogy 100AH Lithium Ion battery should be with you for over a decade and can hold through thousands of charging cycles. The RV battery can function in all sorts of extreme temperatures and is even slightly waterproof. The renogy system brings about communication by including RJ45 communication ports that will allow extended data transfer from your battery to your mainframe. The more you can understand how your battery is absorbing power, the more you can optimize your battery charging to extend your lithium’s lifespan. The best RV deep cycle batteries keep track of that information while further protecting themselves against overcharging and short-circuits to stay in your RV longer. If you want to take the plunge and invest in the best RV battery, this Renogy option pairs well with any system. 

WHAT WE LIKE THINGS TO CONSIDER
* Extended lifespan of more than 2000 cycles
* Built in BMS protects against over charging, temperature, discharge, overcurrent, and short circuit.
* Smart battery auto balances the cells in each RV battery connected in parallel
* Can be only connected in parallel with identical batteries
* Some customers noted that the BMS does not accurately protect the RV battery from completely discharging.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.