If you have a boat or RV, you’re familiar with a deep cycle battery. Logically, the difference between this type and one that you’d use in a car makes sense. You need it to perform in a certain way that varies from running a vehicle.
These variations make it essential to know what you’re getting. Below are our recommendations to get you going in the right direction.
Our Top Picks by Category
|Best RV Batteries||Product Category|
|Universal UB121000-45978 Deep Cycle AGM Battery||Best Overall 12 Volt Deep Cycle RV Battery|
|Renogy 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM Battery||Best for Solar Energy Applications|
|WindyNation 12V Deep Cycle Seal Lead-Acid Battery||Best AGM RV Battery|
|Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery||Best Lithium Battery|
|VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery||Best 6 Volt Battery|
|Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M||Best for Cranking in Cold Weather|
|Odyssey PC680 Battery||Best for Fast Recharges|
Below is a bunch of in-depth information about each of our recommendations and our opinions of each one.
Best Overall 12 Volt Deep Cycle RV Battery
Universal UB121000-45978 Deep Cycle AGM Battery
The Universal UB121000-45978 Deep Cycle AGM Battery brings all of the advantages of this type of power supply. It is spill-proof and maintenance-free. It provides more than enough power reliably. That’s a huge factor if you’re on the road for long stretches.
The battery’s capacity is 100 Ah. It weighs in at 64 pounds and measures 12.17 inches long by 6.61 inches wide by 9.16 inches high.
- The manufacturer backs up its product with a one-year warranty.
- The battery is reliable, so no nasty surprises.
- The voltage delivery is consistent.
- You can handle how it performs.
- There are occasional quality control issues.
Best for Solar Energy Applications
Renogy 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM Battery
The Renogy 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM Battery stands out as a versatile product that functions well if you want to hook it up to a solar setup. And you can easily use it to power something else during the off-season. It has a 100 Ah capacity, suitable for long hauls with a fully furnished rig.
The battery handles discharging and recharging like a champ. It’s an excellent value too with a 600-cycle lifespan. It’s a bit hefty at 66 pounds. The dimensions are 13 inches long by 6.8 inches wide by 9.0 Inches high.
- It has a decent lifespan of about 600 cycles.
- Customer service is top-notch.
- The battery is well-made.
- The battery may not fit in some setups because of its longer length.
- The manufacturer charges a restocking fee on returns.
Best AGM RV Battery
WindyNation 12V Deep Cycle Seal Lead-Acid Battery
The WindyNation 12V Deep Cycle Seal Lead-Acid Battery works as described, delivering a steady stream of reliable power. It has 100 Ah capacity. The casing is ABS plastic, measuring 13 inches long by 6.8 inches wide by 8.7 inches high. It is also 66 pounds.
It is well-made to last a long time on the road. It’s also an excellent choice if you use solar panels or want to use it back home to power something else. The product comes with a warranty which I always like to see. Its slower discharge rate that makes it an ideal choice if you’re running a lot of devices.
- The battery has a one-year warranty.
- You can easily set it up for solar use.
- The lower discharge rate ensures reliable power.
- It has a respectable temperature range for optimal use in cooler climates.
- The design leaves something to be desired with short terminals.
- It’s more expensive than comparable products.
Best Lithium Battery
Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery
The Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery is the only one of its type on my roundup. It offers several advantages over AGM ones. The primary one is its weight. This one weighs in at only 29 pounds. Its dimensions are similar to other batteries at 12.75 inches long by 6.88 inches wide by 9 inches high.
You can also discharge it to 90 percent, making it an excellent choice for long trips off the grid. Unlike LA batteries, fumes are not an issue. You can use it inside your rig with no risk of any problems. However, it is expensive. But you also have to figure in your lifetime cost with the amount of use you’ll get out of it.
- The manufacturer offers an eight-year full replacement warranty.
- It is lightweight.
- It has an outstanding discharge capacity.
- The lifespan is up to 3,000 cycles.
- Its high price puts it out of reach for many RVers.
Best 6 Volt Battery
VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery
The VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery brings the advantages of this type to the table with a longer lifespan and higher DoC than 12-volt ones. The size is more compact if space is an issue. Its dimensions are 9.5 inches long by 7.3 inches wide by 11 inches high. On the downside, it is a beast at 72 pounds.
However, the battery’s versatility shines if you want to use it for solar or as part of a battery bank. It also manages well if you live in a cooler climate. It’s also a smart option if you need a lot of power with a 225 Ah capacity.
- The battery has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee along with a 12-month replacement warranty.
- The power supply is consistent and reliable.
- The customer service is first-rate.
- It has a high Ah capacity.
- The battery is quite heavy.
Best for Cranking in Cold Weather
Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M
The Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M strikes an excellent balance between performance and flexibility. The manufacturer designed it to handle vibration well so that you can use it in a boat too. You can use the dual-purpose battery for both starting and deep cycling. The fact that it is lightweight is a boon at a manageable 43.5 pounds.
The battery is a bit smaller than standard ones, measuring 10 inches long by 6.9 inches wide by 7.2 inches high. It’s a wise option if you have limited space.
- The battery is lightweight compared to other AGM products.
- It is dual-purpose, making it an outstanding value for the price.
- Its compact size is practical if you don’t have a lot of extra room.
- The battery is more expensive.
- There is only a 30-day guarantee.
Best for Fast Recharges
Odyssey PC680 Battery
The Odyssey PC680 Battery is the most affordable of the products that I reviewed. The recharge time is great at four to six hours. That makes it a reasonable option if you like taking frequent, shorter trips. This product is considerably lightweight for what it is at only 15.4 pounds. It’s smaller too, with dimensions of 7.2 inches long by 3.1 wide by 7.5 inches high.
The battery has limited uses because of its lower Ah. However, it’s a good value if you need something smaller that doesn’t take up a lot of space.
- The battery is an excellent value for the price.
- It comes with a two-year, full-replacement warranty.
- It has a long lifespan of up to 10 years, depending on your usage.
- It is lightweight.
- Its smaller size increases its versatility.
- The depth of charge (DoC) is higher at 80 percent.
- It’s only usable for smaller loads with its 18 Ah.
Recap: Best RV Deep Cycle Batteries of 2019
- Universal UB121000-45978 Deep Cycle AGM Battery – Best Overall 12 Volt Deep Cycle RV Battery
- Renogy 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM Battery – Best for Solar Energy Applications
- WindyNation 12V Deep Cycle Seal Lead-Acid Battery – Best AGM RV Battery
- Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery – Best Lithium Battery
- VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery – Best 6 Volt Battery
- Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M – Best for Cranking in Cold Weather
- Odyssey PC680 Battery – Best for Fast Recharges
Things to Look Out For When Buying an RV Deep Cycle Battery
Your RV deep cycle battery is like your rig’s power plant. The kind you get depends on several factors, including your style of RVing, its size, and the number of appliances and device you plan to run.
Getting the best RV battery means doing a little homework. It will put the rest of the features I’ll discuss in perspective.
Start with determining the draw of each one along with an estimate of how much you use them (a ballpark figure is fine). The reason you’re doing it is so that you can get the right kind to maximize the use you get from it.
A deep cycle battery differs from the one in your car based on the amount of power you need for the time. Your vehicle needs a quick pulse of current to get it going before the alternator takes over the task.
The one in your RV provides a constant stream of current. Its purpose is to discharge to about 50 percent of its total capacity or depth of charge (DoC) before you recharge it to 100 percent again. It works well for this use but is a problem for your car’s battery.
Let’s talk about what you need to consider when getting an RV deep cycle battery. The things to research include:
- Amp hours
- Voltage and charge
- Customer satisfaction factors
I’ll delve into each one and give you some advice about choosing a product.
You’ll find different kinds based on the battery’s chemistry and construction. Lead-acid (LA) ones are the most common. And as you’ve seen, there are also lithium-ion ones.
There are two main types of LA batteries, flooded (FLA) and valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA). The former is probably one you know well. It’s the kind that requires maintenance to keep the plates inside of it submerged for generating the current. You also have to keep them upright because of the fluid. On the plus side, they are affordable.
There are two kinds of VRLA batteries, gel and absorbed glass mat (AGM). They offer several advantages over the FLA ones. First, they are maintenance-free since they’re sealed. You don’t have to keep them upright to avoid spilling the stuff inside them. They will also fare better if you live someplace cold. On the downside, you have to be careful about overcharging them.
Amp hours (Ah) refers back to those calculations you did earlier. Remember that your threshold for discharging your deep cycle battery is 50 percent. So, if you’re tapping it from 50 Ah a day, you need to get at least a 100 Ah one. I’m assuming that you’re at an electric site and can plug in to recharge it.
But it’s a different story if you go off the beaten path with a source of electricity. Then, you have a few options. You can build a battery bank to increase the capacity. You can get power from another source like a generator. Or, you can use a solar setup to get the job done.
Voltage and Charge
Your everyday deep cycle battery is usually 12 volts. However, you will see larger 6-volt setups. A lot depends on your space, which we know is at a premium in an RV. The advantage is that the latter is versatile for a variety of uses other than RVing.
I always consider what guarantee and warranty a manufacturer offers. Make sure there is a money-back policy in case you get a dud. And read the fine print too. Some sellers may charge shipping or a restocking fee. That takes away from the value of even the best RV house battery.
It pays to get the best RV deep cycle battery that you can afford. After all, your rig is your home-away-from-home. You must rely on it for your primary source of power.
My advice is not to skimp. Get the best one for your buck with the best RV batteries. It is a critical part of your setup and can make all the difference between a comfortable stay and one that leaves a lot to be desired. It’s not a huge investment. So, make it matter with a quality product with the features and specs you need.