Some people may prefer to enjoy their RV hooked up to water, electricity, and sewer services, but that isn’t for everyone. Others feel the call of the wild and want to experience nature close up without being limited by where they can find the right hook-ups. Boondocking can be an incredible delight, and it doesn’t require “roughing it” as some may think! This is where your RV battery comes in handy, letting you use all the functionalities of your RV without being hooked up to campsite amenities.
But which one is right for you? The best RV battery for boondocking depends on your RV and your personal preferences, but some are certainly better than others. In this article, we’ll break down the different types of batteries and which one might be best for your rig.
FOR THOSE NOT-SO-SUNSHINY DAYS
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Finding the right RV battery for you isn’t just a matter of going out and buying the most expensive and powerful one. It depends heavily on the type of trip you’re taking, where you’ll be boondocking, and for how long. Here are a few things to consider about what you want out of your battery before you dive in:
RV batteries are divided into two voltage categories: 6-volt and 12-volt.
Your RV will require 12-volt power, but this can be achieved by linking two 6-volt batteries in a series. 6-volt batteries are pretty inexpensive and last longer than 12-volt batteries, and you can even hook up pairs of other batteries in parallel for extra power if you’d like.
12-volt batteries, on the other hand, are even cheaper but tend to not last as long. You can save money with a 12-volt if you plan on boondocking for a short amount of time, but it’s usually worth springing for a pair of 6-volt batteries.
Different RVs have different sets of appliances and devices, which means they also have different energy requirements. It’s important to know how much energy your RV will need to do all the things you want it to do before you buy a battery. A good rule of thumb is to add up the energy requirements for all the appliances and devices that you want to use in your RV, then get a battery with a capacity that’s double this total number.
You might just use your RV battery to power your devices and kitchen appliances, but in some instances, people use batteries to start their RV’s engine as well. This will require a special dual-purpose battery.
If you want to use it to start your engine, the battery’s cranking amps are an important measurement to know. This gauges how much power your battery can supply to start up your engine.
RV batteries each have their own optimal temperature ranges that they thrive in. If they’re used outside this range, they may not perform as well. To ensure you get the right battery, be aware of the estimated temperatures you’ll experience wherever you’re headed beforehand so that you can buy accordingly.
You’ll likely be driving over some rough and varied terrain while boondocking, so you want a battery that can withstand a bumpy ride. Some batteries have spill-over problems, making them a hazard to have if they’re going to shake and vibrate a lot while you drive. Getting a strong, durable battery is always a safer bet.
GETTING ALL THE RIGHT AMENITIES
Another must-have boondocking amenity for many is a functional toilet. Make sure you have a place to go— wherever you go— by reading about the best RV toilets.
Now that you know what to look for in an RV battery, let’s talk about some of the finest batteries on the market. These are great choices for almost any boondocking need:
This is, for all intents and purposes, the best RV battery your money can buy. It’s lightweight, lasts much longer than most other batteries, and generates power extremely quickly. It holds its charge for a long time so you can power your devices all day long. It is rather expensive, so this isn’t the best choice if you’re on a tight budget; but if you can afford it, this is an excellent RV battery.
The biggest draw of this battery is its immense durability. You can take your RV anywhere, in pretty much any weather condition, and rest assured knowing that this battery will last the entire time. It can handle heavy wear and tear as well as shocks and vibrations, and it is an easy install.
This deep cycle battery lasts quite a while and is a really safe option. It’s spill-proof, leak-proof, and explosion-proof, and was constructed with a tight seal to prevent unwanted air from entering the battery. Furthermore, the Renogy Pure Gel battery has a low self-discharge ratio, so it won’t lose its charge quickly when it’s not in use. Thanks to all of this and its long lifespan, this battery is a great choice for anyone who values security most of all in their RV battery.
This RV battery from Optima Batteries is known for having better weather resistance than most batteries out there and can handle its fair share of shocks and vibrations too. A great feature of this battery is its 2 hours of reserve capacity. If you run out of charge, you can safely power your RV for another 2 hours before it completely runs out, which is a great backup to have in many situations. You’ll also enjoy fast recharging if you go for this battery.
The Weize Deep Cycle battery is your best bet if you’re on a strict budget. It costs less than most other batteries while still providing a great lifespan and a high-performing calcium-alloy grid. The relatively low weight of this battery is great for ease of use and easy installation, making it ideal for boondocking. Look no further than this Weize battery if you’re on the hunt for an inexpensive but reliable battery.
This RV battery is great because it’s so easy to use and enjoy. It takes little to no maintenance while being secure, withstanding shocks, vibrations, and many types of weather conditions with no trouble. It also has a 2-hour reserve capacity, granting owners much relief in tight situations. The main downside is that it’s somewhat expensive, but if you’re willing to pay the price, it’s worth every penny.
TYPES OF RV BATTERIES
Wondering what the difference is between a lead-acid battery and a gel mat battery? Learn more about the differences between battery types in this blog!
Your RV battery will keep the lights on wherever your RV takes you, which is why it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right one. Before purchasing your battery, make sure you take your RV lifestyle into consideration including what you’ll be powering, what climates you’ll be in, and how long you need your battery to last. Doing so will help you narrow down your search to the ones that best suit your needs!
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