The Universal UB121000-45978 12v is our pick for the best RV battery, which is also a universal storage cell, with a total voltage of 12 volts at 100 amp hour. As a deep cycle RV battery, it has an initial current of 15 amps for standby mode and 30 amps for cyclic use. It is also a spill proof storage cell and has vibration and shock resistance. It is also a deep cycle battery.
Our step-up pick is the Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop and this best RV battery has a size of 10 x 6 7/8 x 7 13/16 inches, so you can note if it will fit your battery compartment. You can place it in virtually any position so you don’t have to feel frustrated with installing it. With a capacity of 120 minutes for the reserve capacity, it can withstand various conditions, even in bad weather. It is also vibration resistant, is a 12-volt RV battery, and is a deep cycle that also fits well for marine applications.
The budget pick is the Odyssey PC680 Battery and this one has full protection against high impact shock despite the lower price. It has about 70 percentage longer cycle life as compared to other types of storage cells out there, and can work with 100% recharge in 4 to 6 hours. The depth of discharge is at 80% with up to 400 cycles for this unit. It also has a spill proof design that is great for bad weather.
A Little Background
All vehicles run on a kind of battery. The RV battery is an integral part of your vehicle because without the RV battery, it will not run properly. The gasoline is just a way to make the engine run, but for the rest of the vehicle, such as the lights and the electronics, it is important to have a fully functioning RV battery so that it will not be in trouble during the darker hours or during those emergency situations.
An RV is a kind of vehicle that is used for summer outings. This coming spring and summer vacations, it is important to have a good traveling vehicle – whether you are off the coast or in national parks, or you just want to travel across states in America or wherever you live. These vehicles are very useful if you want to travel as far as you can and still get the luxury of home.
RVs are perhaps the best way to do it, since you get the amenities that you want without having to live in a gross state all the time and look haggard. They are mostly used during times when the sun is mostly out and you don’t want to camp in a single tent that might be too small for your group. For bigger family occasions or road trips, we suggest a RV instead of just a simple tent.
Checking your battery is necessary for every trip. Remember that vehicles with lights can save lives at night, so it is important to get your vehicle’s battery checked at all times before and after you go on a trip, and even if you just wake up in the morning and go back home at night without using your vehicle at all. This applies not only to regular vehicles but also to RVs out there.
Vehicle maintenance is usually abbreviated as BLOWBAG (or BLOWBAGETS in other countries), which stands for battery, lights, oil, wheels, brakes, air, gas (engine, tire and self). All of these are important, and battery is one of them. Remembering this acronym can not only save your car or vehicle, but it can also save many lives and traffic issues around the world. While the parts of the vehicle are important to check, you also need to be alert yourself when driving.
RV batteries are usually much more powerful than regular vehicle batteries. Some RV batteries can even be used for marine applications, such as in boats. This is why RV batteries will most likely be deep cycle batteries that can be a little bit pricier than your regular vehicle batteries for a car or van. These storage cells are important for maintaining your RV, especially at night when lights and electricity are very much needed by your travel companions.
When you’re buying a battery, it is important to look at the manufacturer date to make sure it’s not defective or expired. The problem with the RV battery is that it is not only pricey but also can be a bit hard to find. This is why you need to look closely at the specs of the RV battery to make sure it is not expired because this will make your vehicle malfunction in some way.
Factors to Consider in the Best RV Batteries
In choosing the best RV battery, you have to know about the following:
Battery size: the size is important because if you do not pick a properly fitting one, then that will be a waste of money. You should use the option of Amazon to check the fitting of your storage cell for the RV to make sure it fits with your model or specific vehicle. Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong size, and this causes problems with returning the product.
Manufacturing date: the biggest factor that decides whether RV batteries are good or not is the manufacturing date. It is true that RV batteries can go bad if they have been in the storage for a long time, and they may lose charge. This is why you need one ideally fresh from the factory, with the date when it was made and the date it will potentially expire, ensuring freshness.
Universal or maker-specific: while it is true that most RV batteries are basically universal or can fit into any kind of vehicle, there are some that are specifically made for a brand or maker of these vehicles, so you may need to consult your user’s manual if your recreational vehicle needs a specific battery instead of a universal one. This can potentially save you more money, should the vehicle be okay with cheaper, universal ones.
Physical condition: you have to consider the physical condition of the battery, so that it will work properly with the contacts of your vehicle’s battery compartment. It is important to have a properly working battery in terms of both physical and internal condition so that it will not damage your vehicle, especially in the contact part, to make sure that all other storage cells will act normally when you install it.
Deep cycle: Get a deep cycle RV battery. Unlike a regular vehicle, an RV takes a lot more power than your usual car or van, and this is why it should be powerful with a deep cycle nature for the recreational vehicle storage cell. You have to take not of this when you are choosing the best RV batteries.
Ease of installation: the installation method of the RV battery should be simple and straightforward. If you are not knowledgeable with installing the storage cell then you can ask a local mechanic or someone who knows how to install it. As compared to most car jobs, it is usually a lot easier, but because it should be fitted in a recreational vehicle, installing the recreational vehicle cell may be depending on what is indicated in your user’s manual.
As our top pick, the Universal UB121000-45978 12v is a spill proof RV battery that makes it ideal for bad weather situations. It has a power of 100 Ah and at 12 volts, and it is an RV battery that has been properly sealed as a lead acid battery superior power. It is also equipped with anti deep discharge property to avoid total discharging. As a maintenance free unit, it is a good choice for those who often camp.
In addition to that, it can be mounted in any position due to the flexibility of the unit. The total size of the unit is 12.17 x 6.61 x 9.16 inches, and it also possesses protection against shocks and vibration. You can also use it for a charge controller and it can outlast other house batteries due to its good voltage as an AGM unit.
You will have less problems with installation due to the mechanisms of attaching cables with 5/16″ cable terminals, which can easily provide plenty of power, and can also be used for a solar regulator for solar charge and charging as a battery for RV, especially if you have RV solar panels.
Flaws but Not Dealbreakers
The only con but not a deal breaker with the Universal UB121000-45978 12v is that it uses wing nut terminals instead of bolt on, but it is fine for most people who park their vehicle into the garage from time to time after each trip.
The Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop is our step-up pick, which can be easily mounted in any position whatsoever and can withstand in bad weather. As a 12-volt unit, it has a total of 750 cold cranking amps when you use it. The total size of the unit is 10 x 6 7/8 x 7 13/16 inches so it will fit on most vehicles out there. It has a reserve capacity of 120 minutes for more life out of your vehicle.
It is not too heavy as well to install because of the total weight of 43.5 pounds. In addition to that, it is also a dual SAE type unit and it is made with 5/16 inches stainless steel stud posts. As for the total capacity, it is at 55 Ah c20.
As a deep cycle unit, it has a backup warranty of 24 month replacement period. Not just for camper, it can hold up with an all day fish for those in the hobby of fishing for the summer vacation.
The Odyssey PC680 Battery is our budget pick, which has a reserve capacity of 24 minutes and approximate of 3 to 10 years of service life, and with a non spilling design. For your protection, it can go for up to 400 cycles at 80 percentage depth of discharge. The good thing about this kind of RV battery is that the unit can attain a 100 percentage recharge in 4 to 6 hours, with 70% longer cycle life than others.
Aside from RVs, it can also work on boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, very light aircraft and the like. With this unit, acid spills are not a problem due to the brass plating, which has corrosion-resistant tin-plated parts and high conductivity for the terminals. It may also work for certain vehicles like a jet ski. It is backed by a 2-year full replacement warranty.
Deep Cycle RV Battery for Solar Use
The Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM is a good choice for those with a need for a solar panel for solar power along with their RV. It has a service life span of 8 to 10 years in approximation, and it bears no threat of dangerous fumes or gases because of the protection with the recombination capabilities. It can be used for smart chargers and even wind turbines. It will also potentially work on inverters and is a AGM deep cycle.
It has a fast recharge rate and it has a military grade custom made plates. The total RV battery size is 12.9 x 6.8 x 8.7 inches. For inverters with 12 volts, the minimum operating voltage recommended by the manufacturer is 11.7V. Like most of its kind, AGM batteries don’t contain any free roaming fluids so it is very safe to use and to install to any vehicle whatsoever. It has a warranty of 12 months.
Best RV Battery that is an AGM type
If you want an AGM RV battery then you can count on the Renogy Deep Cycle. It can prevent over-discharging and it is also applicable for off grid applications, marine vehicles, solar panels and various other applications. As a 12-volt 100 Ah unit for the cold cranking amps, it is a valve regulated lead acid unit. It is leak-proof, spill-proof and also has good instant high-current discharging, giving you a maintenance-free operation for a deep cycle storage cell for general purposes.
With a nominal voltage of 12 volts, this AGM starting battery with deep cycle has a power capacity of 100Ah@10hr-rate to 10.8V @25°C. It is a little heavier at 66 lbs but packs a lot of power. With a size of 13 x 9 x 8 inches, it is made with ABS material for the container for added protection.
It has a 50% DOD cycle life of 600 cycles, with a float voltage of 13.5 to 13.8 volts. When you are charging this unit, it has a voltage recommendation of 14.4 to 14.5 volts.
Best RV Battery that is a Sealed Lead Acid type
The Interstate Lead Acid is a sealed lead acid type but it is also an AGM type with a deep cycle feature. It has a size of 6.14 x 5.16 x 7.68 inches, with a good weight of only 23.1 lbs. It can be used for various devices for mobility, medical or hospital needs. If you also have machinery for agriculture, lighting, or other related devices, you can definitely use this lead acid type RV battery.
It is also very flexible and can be mounted at any angle, as a Group U1 or GT9L non-lithium unit. It is also a self contained battery weigh almost half of what most original boat batteries and vehicle storage cells weigh. It is not nearly as heavy as a larger deep cycle units out there, which makes it a much more convenient unit to use and install. It can also be used for fishing, such as for a trolling motor.
Best RV Battery made of Phosphate and Lithium Ion
The Renogy Lithium-Iron Phosphate is great for those who don’t want to risk over-charging their units. It is applicable for various operations, such as boats, solar panels, recreational vehicles and off road use. It is at 12 volts and 100 Ah and can have a capacity of 100Ah@20hr-rate to 10.5V @25°C. with a 700 cycle 50% DOD cycle life, it is made with ABS+PC for its external casing to make sure that the inside is not leaking at all.
As for the operating temperature, for discharge, it is at -20 to 60 degrees Celsius while it is at up to 45 degrees Celsius for the charge rate. To make sure that this unit fits your vehicle compartment, it has a measurement of 10.24 x 6.22 x 9.68 inches. This deep cycle RV battery is lightweight at only 28.1 lbs and has 14.4 ± 0.2V for the charge voltage and the float voltage. It can be used if you have a sine wave inverter.
Best RV Battery in a Pack of 2
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The ExpertPower 12v 33ah is a pack of 2 units in the price of one. It has a good temperature range and it has a size of 5.16 x 6.34 x 7.72 inches. Made with a rugged construction, it is made with a sealed lead acid construction.
It is rated for 10 hours and 33 amps at 12 volts. It is also an absorbed glass mat or AGM type of unit so that it will not easily leak out anything harmful to your vehicle.
As a deep cycle unit, installation is easy with it because the terminals are 0.25 inches high and are on the same side. It has a wide range of applications, such as for trolling motors, for solar panels, for chargers, for snow vehicles, for scooters, for stereo amps and for various other applications. With a good life for a small battery, it can be a good choice if you happened to have the Goal Zero Yeti 400 solar generator.
Best RV Battery for Camping
The Trojan T-125 6V is meant for camping and is a deep cycle unit that can last for longer hours and days. It has a voltage of 6 volts and it has a flooded chemistry for the construction. It has an amperage of 240 mAh and it is quite easy to install. It has a total size of 10.375 x 7.125 x 10.875 inches. You can use it for camping as well as other outdoor activities.
Giving you long lasting, continuous power and good performance, it can be used for some golf cart, electric cars and the like. If you also have uninterruptible power supplies, you can use it as well. Whenever you want to go camping, they will be amazing at holding a charge due to the superior power. It can be used with gel or AGM as long as have them in a well ventilated area.
Best RV Battery with Button Style Terminals
The NPP 12V 150 has button style terminals as compared to other types of units out there. It is also safe from vibration, shock, chemicals and other outside factors. In addition to that, it has a non-conductive body due to being made of ABS plastic. It can be used for various applications, other than your recreational vehicle, such as solar panels, power supply system, UPS or uninterrupted power supply, wind power, emergency lighting systems, telephone systems, alarms and many more.
You can use it for solar panels and a power inverter, and it will also work for systems of various vehicles like vans and SUVs. It also holds a charge longer as it is a quality unit that might cost a little more than the lead acids. At 12 volts and 150 amps, it is backed with a two year warranty. Take note that charging while using will short the life span of the battery, like all units out there.
There were other RV batteries that did not make it to our list because they had reports of old stock and that could potentially harm your vehicle and may also not work properly. It is important for any kind of RV battery to be in good condition when you use it for your vehicle.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What exactly is an RV or motor home?
A: The RV or motor home is a kind of recreational type of vehicle that you can relax like in a hotel. It moves like a real vehicle and you can tow it anywhere you like with fewer restrictions, especially if you live in the United States where there are many designated areas to camp with an recreational vehicle or motor home. There are many kinds or classifications of RVs or motor homes, such as the following:
|Class of motor home||Also known as||Features and amenities|
|Class A||Motor homes||1. Has slide out spaces for additional amenities for living
2. Has a solid body that is usually luxurious in nature
3. The dining areas are very grand
4. The living rooms are also very good in design
5. Lots of nifty designs and functionality for the bathroom
6. Can have a panoramic window
|Class B||Campervan||1. The kitchen is slightly small but space saving and complete with gas grills and the fridge
2. Can have a water heater
3. An external shower may also be present
4. Portable toilets can also be included here
5. Air conditioning and heating is also usually present and included
6. The roof is usually raised
|Class C||Single chassis||1. Has an alcove that can be used as a bedroom
2. Can also have a TV room or video game room
3. Has a single chassis
4. Usually towed or pulled by a truck in most cases
|Travel trailer||Caravan||1. They cannot be collapsed
2. They are usually lightweight and are ideal for small camping
3. Great for use behind your own car or SUV
|Pop-up camper||Collapsible camper||1. Usually has tent walls
2. Towed behind your SUV or car
3. Collapsible as it is constructed
4. Has a pull out berth
|Truck camper||Class C truck camper||1. Usually pulled by a pickup truck
2. Quite similar to the Class C RV
Q: What are the different types of car batteries?
A: Car batteries can help start up a vehicle and it will also power up the vehicle’s lights and sounds. It is a vital part of the vehicle other than the gasoline tank and the engine. There are many kinds of car batteries that are important for you to know about, and here are some of them:
|Type of car electric storage cell||Typical usage or application||Why they are used|
|Deep cycle electric storage cell||1. Boats and marine vehicles
2. Small recreational vehicles
3. Golf carts
|1. Great for long term uses
2. Sustains the electric storage cell life
|SLI or starting, lighting and ignition electric storage cell||1. Cars
2. Other similar vehicles
|1. It can be purchased widely anywhere
2. Short bursts of power give it a nice push
|VRLA or valve regulated lead acid batteries||Two types of VLRA batteries are AGM or absorption glass mat and gel cell batteries. They are mostly used in:
1. Golf carts
2. Marine vehicles
3. Some recreational vehicles
4. Lawn mowers
|1. Does not require any kind of maintenance whatsoever
2. Spillage has a little chance of happening
3. Electric storage cell life is significantly longer
|Flooded or wet cell||1. Airplanes and aviation
2. Any equipment with large energy storage
|1. You can recharge it when it goes out of power
2. They are cheaper than your typical VRLA
3. You get them in easy to install packs
|Lithium ion batteries or li-ion||1. Electric cars
2. Hybrid cars
|1. Fast recharging is one of their biggest advantages
2. They are usually super small and compact to carry so it adds to better mileage
Q: What are some misconceptions about car batteries?
A: A deep cycle RV battery can be costly if you buy them, and this is why you need to take good care of them properly. Here are some common myths and misconceptions when it comes down to car batteries:
|“Maintenance-free batteries do not need any maintenance.”||It is not always the case, because you still need to check for any physical signs of wear and tear, which is crucial because if your electric storage cell gets damaged then it might affect the performance of the electric storage cell itself as a whole.|
|“You can fully recharge your RV battery by idling or driving your vehicle.”||Not always the case, because fully recharging can be influenced by different factors, such as the weather. For instance, if you consume more electric storage cell power on a very cold day to start your vehicle, it won’t really make the cut for the full charge for your vehicle’s electric storage cell overall.|
|“You should disconnect the electric storage cell in case you need to leave your car for a long time.”||Not a good idea, because it might make the electronic components fail much later on if they don’t have a power source, especially if your vehicle has a computer box, which can be sensitive. You should just charge it with a maintenance charger instead.|
|“Anyone can replace the car electric storage cell by themselves.”||Replacing a electric storage cell takes some skill and knowledge of automotives – it’s not just something that some guy can do. If you are not sure how to exactly put your electric storage cell in place, you’d better get someone to install it for you, for safety purposes.|
Q: What are some dos and don’ts of RV batteries?
A: RV batteries can be sensitive and also pricey, and therefore, they must be taken care of properly. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes down to maintaining your car electric storage cell:
- Keep yourself protected with the use of safety goggles when handling RV batteries.
- Make sure terminal clamps are kept clean from corrosion.
- Your trunk should have the jumper cables in case of emergencies.
- Keep the electric storage cell in shape using spray or a special kind of grease.
- Make sure you know the physical signs of electric storage cell failure, such as dim lights.
- Don’t ever forget to turn off the lights when you leave your car.
- Don’t let your electric storage cell run out – always check it periodically or at least 2 times in a year.
- Don’t forget that the negative cable comes out first when removing a electric storage cell to avoid a short circuit.
- Don’t neglect your vehicle outside of a garage where bad weather might ruin starting.
- Don’t let the electric storage cell suffer during idle times when waiting – turn the engine on to support it.
Q: What are the pros of lithium car batteries?
A: Lithium car batteries have their own advantages, such as the following:
- They have better energy levels.
- They draw a constant voltage of mostly 12 to 13 volts.
- Lithium batteries are usually lightweight.
- They have a greater charge current of about 100 to 200 percent.
- They can take most deep discharges better.
Q: What are the cons of lithium car batteries?
A: Lithium car batteries, while having their pros, also have some cons, such as the following:
- Shelf life may not be that good for the lithium electric storage cell.
- The protection that is required may be too complicated.
- Lithium ion batteries are usually more expensive.
- They aren’t always found everywhere yet, since they are a new technology.
- Lithium ion batteries have limited shipping restrictions around the world.
Q: What are some advantages of AGM batteries?
A: An AGM battery or absorbed glass mat electric storage cell has the following advantages:
- They can charge 5 times faster than a flooded type electric storage cell.
- The depth of discharge is better than the flooded types at 80%.
- They are the best for use for solar panels and wind energy.
- Many higher end vehicles can make use of AGM batteries.
- If you have an recreational vehicle or motor home then you can use it as well.
Q: What are the downsides of having an AGM battery?
A: While AGM batteries harbor good points, there are also some disadvantages, such as the following:
- The cost of an AGM electric storage cell can be unfriendly towards many people.
- The discharge rate is still not as good as lead acid batteries.
- There is no overcharging protection for an AGM electric storage cell.
Q: What are the pros or advantages of using a gel electric storage cell?
A: A gel electric storage cell is a kind of electric storage cell that is still newer in technology. It has the following pros:
- They can be installed easily because of their leak-free design.
- Maintaining them is easier because of the leak-free design.
- They can be generally mounted in any way possible due to the design.
- Hazards can be diminished because of the leak-free design.
- They are less likely to have discharge death.
- There are no fumes that can be toxic to your health.
Q: What are the drawbacks or cons of using a gel electric storage cell?
A: The gel electric storage cell may also have some cons that discourage people from buying it, such as:
- The gel electric storage cell can be costly to buy in general.
- It is still a new technology so not many people embrace it yet.
- Charging capacity can diminish if you overcharge it.
- It can get worse if you store it in hot places.
Q: What are the differences between flooded and sealed batteries?
A: Car batteries can either be flooded or sealed batteries, and they have the following differences:
|Criteria||Flooded batteries||Sealed batteries|
|Sealing||Flooded batteries have removable caps to distinguish them from sealed batteries.||Sealed batteries are basically sealed without removable caps, so they are basically leak-free.|
|Cost||The cost of flooded batteries can usually be cheaper as compared to that of the sealed batteries.||Sealed batteries are usually more expensive as compared to the flooded type batteries.|
Q: How much do typical RV batteries cost?
A: The typical cost of a vehicle electric storage cell is as follows:
|Unit price||About $100|
|Low priced electric storage cell||$50 to $120|
|Higher quality electric storage cell||$90 to $200|
|Lead acid type electric storage cell||$125 to $135|
|Batteries from service providers||$75 to $120|
|AGM batteries||About $200|
|Installation||$10 to $100|
Q: What are the tools needed to change your RV battery?
A: To install your RV battery properly, you will need the following:
- Crescent wrench
- Adjustable wrench
- Adjustable pliers
- Socket or wrench with a size of 0.4 inch or 10 mm
- Hammer for loosening stubborn terminal cables
- Cleaning agent for electric storage cell terminals
- Protective gloves
- Safety goggles
- Corrosion protection spray can
Q: What are some common RV battery problems?
A: As for the common RV battery problems, here are some of them:
- The fluid levels or electrolyte levels are significantly low.
- The electric storage cell case may be severely damaged.
- Corrosion and vibration might have damaged the plates.
- The terminals have been corroded badly.
- The internal connections are broken due to corrosion.
- Low or no charge state causes sulfate problems.
- Shed plate material build up causes short circuit.
- Plate separator failure gives the electric storage cell a short circuit.
Q: What are some common RV problems that people encounter?
A: There are a couple of common problems that recreational vehicle goers might encounter, such as the following:
|Holding tank has odors||If your recreational vehicle suddenly leaks too much odors, this is usually because of the problems of the air pressure. You should also make sure that the holding tank is emptied properly and is at the right size for your needs. You can also add a roof vent cap.|
|Slide out problems||When you want to retract or extend slide out components of your recreational vehicle then it might run into problems. The driver’s seat is usually the culprit when it comes down to the slide out problem.|
|RV batteries are dead||Usually, this can be resolved by just checking the position of the electric storage cell or replacing the electric storage cell as needed if you find that it has no charge anymore. Cold cranking or starting battery procedures also help. Deep cycle batteries typical have a decent shelf life and reserve capacity, similar to what you see in a marine battery.|
|Power pedestal not working properly||You can resolve this by the checking if the off position is set on the appliances that are in the recreational vehicle itself.|
|Lack of knowledge in the recreational vehicle height||This can cause problems like the radio antenna potentially getting caught on a tree branch or worse – the air conditioning unit might also get damaged. Don’t park on very low clearance areas to solve this.|
|Not using a spotter||Unlike cars, spotters are very necessary in a trailer home because of its size and lack of visibility. Always consider getting a spotter before you park your recreational vehicle properly.|
|Towing incompatibility||Most trailer homes don’t have the correct gross vehicle weight rating for your tow vehicle, so make sure you know this first before you start towing your trailer home.|
|Not making a checklist||As with all vehicles, you should definitely have a checklist to see what’s wrong and left unchecked with your vehicle first.|
Q: What are the pros and cons of wet cell or flooded RV batteries?
A: A wet cell or flooded RV battery has the following pros and cons:
- It can be used for utility purposes and applications.
- You can use it for backup power.
- It is also dependable for grid energy storage.
- Maintenance can be hard because it might leak.
- The potential leaks can be harmful and toxic.
- It may not survive most extreme climates.
Wrapping It Up
In the long run, we believe that the Universal UB121000-45978 12v is our pick for the best RV battery due to the total voltage of 12 volts at 100 ampere hour, being a spill proof storage cell, being a deep cycle battery, and bearing an initial current of 15 amps for standby mode and 30 amps for cyclic use. Moreover, the best thing about this RV battery is that it has good vibration and shock resistance for rough usage.