Best RV Batteries to Buy in 2017
When you are getting an RV, the last feature that you and many people consider is usually the battery. Ideally, people trust the original RV batteries to last for years on end and never think that a time will come when they will need to replace the RV batteries. Yes, batteries since there are some RVs that feature multiple batteries.
If yours is a motor home, your RV will feature the chassis battery that starts the engine and at the very least a 12V deep cycle house battery or two 6V deep cycle house batteries. If yours is a travel camper or trailer, you will only have a deep cycle battery/batteries. The original RV batteries are sufficient to meet the needs of an average RV user. However, depending on the RV lifestyle that you lead and your personal reference, you just might have to start looking for a spare, and one of the best RV batteries on the market.
Several reasons that could have you replace your RV battery or even upgrade, may be the lack of maintenance or a failure on the converter and hard use. Also, it could be caused by cannibalizing of good batteries by connecting them to bad batteries or you may be looking for an upgrade. Whichever your reason for needing a new RV battery, you should work to ensure that you have the best on the market.
For this, there are several things you will need to know and many factors you will need to consider. We shall go through some of these factors on this piece. We shall even provide you with reviews of the best RV batteries on the market to help light your path and make the decision-making process, a breeze.
Difference of RV Batteries with Other Batteries
#1. Large CCA
When you are choosing your RV battery, the most important bit to consider is the CCA. In RV batteries, the CCA refers to Cold Cranking Amps. CCA is the measure of just how much current the battery has the ability to provide at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, RV batteries tend to work best when they are warm and as such you need slightly more power to get them started.
With the aging of batteries, the CCA reduces as their internal resistance increases. The capacity with time decreases and you find the old unit cannot serve in the cold or if not fully charged. New units can, however, work wonderfully regardless of the weather. With a higher CCA, you are guaranteed of better performance.
#2. Deep Cycling
Unlike regular batteries, RV batteries require a specific type of power to run all appliance that it has in it. For this, RV batteries are designed to have deep cycles. Deep cycle batteries are designed with Lead acid which stores power for a long time. The plates of deep cycle batteries also store a specific amount of power.
As such, the more plates the battery has the more power you have. These batteries are designed to charge and self-discharge. As such, you can recharge these units a couple of times before you need to replace them.
Last but not least, in comparison to regular starter batteries that need quick jolts of power, deep cycle batteries store power much slower and through deep and long cycles.
#3. High-Temperature Variation
Generally, RV batteries are designed to operate in wide temperature ranges. However, this does not give you the luxury to charge them at extreme temperature conditions. The charging process is especially more delicate than the discharging process and care should be taken.
Older batteries technologies including NiCD and lead batteries (deep cycle batteries) have a much higher charging tolerance than newer battery technologies. These tolerances allow them to be charged even below freezing temperatures though at a considerably reduced C-rate.
What's Best Battery Types for RVs
#1. Home Battery
A home battery is an important component for any RV since it provides for the base motivation of many of the RV living conveniences. So to help get rid of the confusion, home batteries are commonly referred to as deep cycle batteries that store 12 volts of direct current.
They have been designed to recharge and discharge several times (a couple of hundreds) without getting damaged. The capacity is measured in amps hours and generally, range from 33 – 20 and weight between 50 and 70 lbs depending on the type. Home batteries can last up to 4 times the normal starting batteries.
- Provide energy for a longer time
- Larger CCA rating
- Last longer than normal starting batteries
- Might be quite expensive
#2. Normal Auto Battery
These are relatively smaller than the house batteries. And while they are needed on RVs, they serve a different purpose – to start the engine. They are smaller than house batteries and have slightly smaller CCA as well. The fact that they are used to start the engine means that they provide short bursts of energy to get the engine going and recharge immediately in the process. As such, normal auto batteries may last their entire life without ever discharging to lower than 20%.
- Do not need to discharge considerably
- Thin Lead plates do not allow them to last for ages on end
#3. Marine Battery
These are a hybrid of deep cycle batteries and starting batteries. They tow the line not being great in doing what deep cycling or starting batteries do. They tend to be less expensive than the actual deep cycle batteries, though.
But even with the fact that they feature both deep cycling and starting battery designs, they are suitable for use in RV battery situations.
- Can be produced as starting batteries are
- Are less expensive
- Have a relatively deep cycling performance
7 Best RV Batteries - Reviews
7. Odyssey 31-PC2150S Heavy Duty Commercial Battery
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Very few products in the industry provide heavy duty batteries. Odyssey has however, taken it upon itself to make available a unit that will meet your heavy duty as well as commercial battery needs. The Odyssey 31-PC2150S is the solution to the problem and need you have. The unit is constructed in a way that it delivers great starting power, is durable and has a rapid recovery. With the RV needing to power a host of accessories both in and out of their body, the power provided by these units is all too important.
As for being durable, the Odyssey 31-PC2150S can handle constant vibrations, extended idle periods, extreme loads and harsh environments. The unit is able to do this courtesy of the rugged construction and the pure lead plates tightly packed within it. The non-spill AGM design also protects the unit from the vibration and shock which have the potential to destroy batteries. The pure lead plates mean that the unit delivers more power, twice as much power than normal batteries even.
In addition to the superior power, Odyssey 31-PC2150S have 400 cycles at 80% discharge depth. The unit thus has a longer life cycle (70%) more than most units on the market. you also will be pleased to note the fact that the unit has a faster recharge. In between 4 – 6 hours the battery can be fully recharged. Last but not least, the unit operates in temperatures between -40 degrees and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Odyssey 65-PC1750T Automotive and LTV Battery
Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)
Odyssey, in all honesty, produces one of the best RV batteries on the market. They have been around for a long time and have perfected their skill and ability to point out the needs of its consumers. For this reason, they have been able to secure a top spot on this list of reviews.
To start us off, the unit comes with a whopping 3-4 year full replacement warranty. This warranty testifies of the quality of the unit. The warranty shows that Odyssey is completely confident in the product manufactured.
The warranty, however, does not mean that the unit will give in after the third or fourth year. No, as a matter of fact, the unit features a lifespan of 3-10 years. This way, with this unit, you will not only save money but also your time trying to get yet another replacement unit. This lifespan is 70% longer in comparison to conventional batteries.
As a deep cycle battery, the unit affords up to 400 cycles, at a depth of 80% of discharge. With this feature, your unit will feature more stable voltages for longer and will recharge faster. This unit can get to 100% within 6 hours or less.
When mounting, you have great flexibility. The non-spill design that the unit features allows you to install the battery at any position and angle. The unit is also vibration resistant and shockproof. As for the temperatures, the unit can withstand with great efficiency, temperatures within -40 degrees and 45 degrees Celsius.
5. Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Installing the Optima Batteries 8052-161 in your RV or your boat will have you enjoying exceptional recharges and running time than you would conventional AGM batteries. Optima Batteries 8052-161, though perfect marine battery for boats that feature trolling motors and a wide range of electronic systems also works perfectly for RVs that have comfortable utilities that drain batteries fast.
The unit has been constructed and designed in a way that it is vibration resistant and delivers optimal power in an efficient manner as well as recharges faster. The vibration resistance is 15 times better than with traditional batteries. With the faster recharges you will never have to worry about the battery dying out on you. With less worry means more fun.
Adding to the above, the unit is mountable in just about any position courtesy of the spill proof feature it has. You will also fall in love with the fact that the unit is maintenance free. Last but not the least, at the heart of the Optima Batteries 8052-161 is a SpiralCell Technology that provides the unit with unique and important tolerances against humidity and temperature.
4. Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting Battery
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
This RedTop Optima Batteries 8004-003 is the ultimate RV starting battery that has been constructed to provide a powerful burst of power to start the engine. You can rely on this unit to start your machine every single time. Being a 12V battery with 800 CCA, you will have what you desire from this unit.
The unit has been constructed in a way that it can withstand constant bashing and smashing (not directly, though). Vibrations on the rough roads are not enough to throw this unit off its stellar performance. The vibrations of this unit are 15 times more impressive than with normal units.
The unit has been designed specifically for hot rods, SUV’s street cars and many other applications as well that need a battery that is spill-proof. Being spill proof, you will be able to mount the battery in any position you desire without the fear of spilling the contents. Optima Batteries 8004-003 also has a faster recharge, a longer lifespan with no maintenance and reverse capacity.
3. Exide MC-31 Megacycle AGM-200 Sealed Maintenance Free (AGM) Marine Battery
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
If there is a battery company that understands your need for a battery that you can use in your RV, it is Exide. Exide MC-31 Megacycle is their latest solution to your RV battery needs. Marine batteries are different from the normal batteries especially when you think of the features.
To provide great service, the unit comes with 700 CCA at a low of 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 840 at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
The unit also has a total reserve capacity of 200 minutes. The battery features an attractive dual terminal design and has an absorbed glass mat separator which is engineered to provide maximum recombination and to help prevent a cell dry out as well as providing a superior compression of the elements which assures you of great stability even when the vibrations are extreme.
Last but not least, the unit comes with a 24-month warranty from the date you make the purchase.
2. WindyNation 12V 100 Amp-Hour (240 Minute Reserve Capacity) VRLA Battery
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
WindyNation at first glance comes off as a product that is unique and attractive. The exterior design makes all who see it want to purchase. They say that first impressions can make or break a deal. Well, for the case of this unit, the first impression without a doubt has worked to its advantage.
WindyNation 12V AGM SLM Battery is a deep cycle battery that is made perfect for off grid power such as RVs. The 12V yields a whopping 100Ah which is more than enough to meet the needs of many individuals.
The unit comes with a reserve capacity of 240 minutes and is completely sealed. The lead acid in the battery does not spill and the unit as a whole is maintenance free and devoid of any poisonous fumes. The lead plates that are used (pure) have a very low rate of discharge. The floating life of the battery is between 10-25 years operating at 25 degrees Celsius.
The unit, you will be pleased to note, comes with a 1-year warranty which is a testament to the quality of the unit.
1. Optima Batteries 8020-164 35 RedTop Starting Battery
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
This is yet another product from Optima. Like with other products from this company, you should expect nothing but quality and efficiency. Optima Batteries 8020-164 35 is a 12 V battery with 720 CCA. The unit measures 9.38 x 7.69 x 6.75 inches and weighs about 31.7 pounds.
Optima Batteries 8020-164 35 also feature a reserve capacity but is slightly lower in comparison to other products. The unit has a total of 90 minutes of reserve capacity. This might not be the highest reserve capacity in the industry but it is good enough. The unit provides for constant performance with this reserve capacity.
The model also has been designed in a way that it provides optimal starting power even when the weather is not all that favorable. In addition to this, the unit comes with a resistance to vibration which is 15 times better than with conventional batteries. This resistance improves the durability and lifespan of the unit.
When all is said and done, you need to realize that there are very many RV batteries in the market. However, you will need to sieve through all of them and get the best there is for your needs. Choosing the best RV battery will see to it that you are not back in the shop in a matter of months. Also, note that even as you are choosing a battery specifically for your RV, you might need the battery in other applications as well and as such need to do great in your choice.
The above reviews provide a great starting point.