Welcome to our ultimate guide to the best battery for campervans on the market! Whether you want just enough juice to keep your devices charged or need a massive amount of power to keep your business up and running from the road, our expert blog post will help you make the best decision for storing power in your batteries!
One of the best things about living in a van is the ability to go off-grid.
Hit the road, leave all your woes and worries behind, and be completely free.
But if you’re anything like us, you still need a few creature comforts.
Things like lights.
And power to charge our phones.
And maybe the ability to have a 12v fridge to keep our drinks and cheese cold, or run some music speakers.
Also, if it’s not too much to ask, we like to be able to do all those things without the fear of waking up in the morning with our main RV starter battery being completely dead, leaving us stranded in the middle of nowhere and a long hitchhike back to civilisation.
So how can we have all those nice creature comforts and still be able to drive away the next day?
Easy – install a second house battery in your campervan!
But where to begin?
AGM? Lithium? Lead? Running in parallel or series? DC2DC chargers? What are all these things?
Never fear our fellow van lifers, because we’re here to help with this ultimate guide to the best campervan batteries!
Let’s get started….
If you’re planning to spend any amount of time on the road, then a campervan battery is inevitably one of the most important purchases you’ll make for your vehicle. Without a durable electrical system, you won’t be able to use your campervan’s heater, turn on the lights, or even flush the toilet!
Sure, you may have shore power hookups that power your appliances at certain stops. But they won’t do any good if you’re traveling on the road for extended periods of time and boondocking.
The best camper van batteries allow you to use your solar power to generate and store disposable energy even if you aren’t connected to any land power, which is crucial for off-grid travelers.
However, there are tons of battery types to choose from and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Whether you’re interested in installing an AGM deep cycle RV battery or upgrading to a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, there are certain factors to consider before you make the big purchase.
That’s where we come in. We’re here to walk you through the different campervan and RV battery options, and to help you choose the best type of campervan battery for your needs.
That way, you can spend more time on the road with friends and family and less time worrying about being stranded without power.
WHAT WE LIKE
THINGS TO CONSIDER
RENOGY LITHIUM-IRON PHOSPHATE BATTERY 170AH
ENERDRIVE EPOWER B-TEC 200 AMP HOUR LITHIUM BATTERY
BATTLE BORN LIFEPO4 DEEP CYCLE BATTERY
NUMAX XV31MF HEAVY DUTY ULTRA DEEP CYCLE BATTERY
OPTIMA OPT8016-103 D34M BLUETOP
VMAXSLR125 AGM CYCLE 12V 125AH BATTERY
MIGHTY MAX ML100-12 12V 100AH SLA BATTERY
POWERSTAR 12V 100AH AGM DEEP CYCLE SEALED LEAD ACID RECHARGEABLE BATTERY
ODYSSEY PC680 BATTERY
The Best Battery for Campervans
As experienced van lifers, we understand that a durable battery could make or break your off-the-grid experience.
That’s why we looked at numerous factors that the best batteries for an RV or campervan should have, including battery lifespan, efficiency, safety rating, and price.
Let’s dive into our list of the best motorhome batteries with our #1 pick to kick things off…
Our #1 Pick – Renogy Lithium-Iron Phosphate Battery 170ah
If you’re looking for a maintenance-free deep cycle battery that won’t break the bank, then consider the Renogy Lithium-Iron Phosphate Battery. It’s ideal for off-grid travel or dry camping since they hold a lot of charge despite its compact design. They can also be used for backup power since they can easily store wind or solar energy collected while on the road.
And because it uses top of the line lithium-ion technology, it’s twice as efficient compared to the cheaper AGM and lead acid batteries.
Renogy has also developed increased safety measures to give you and your loved one’s peace of mind. High voltage protection, low voltage protection, over high current protection, high-temperature protection, short circuit protection, and automatic equalization are just a few features that make Renogy batteries one of the safest deep cycle batteries we’ve seen.
One of the biggest downsides of owning a Renogy battery is that they cannot be connected in a series. However, it can be connected in parallel as long as the other batteries are also Renogy Lithium-Iron Phosphate Batteries.
|* Excellent build quality and customer service|
* Lifespan of over 2000 cycles
* High-level efficiency
* Affordable for lithium-ion batteries
|* Expensive compared to AGM|
* Multiple batteries must be connected in parallel, not series
Don’t forget to use “VanLifeTheory” at checkout on the Renogy Site for 10% off all Renogy Products!
Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC 200 Amp Hour Lithium Battery
The Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC 200 is easily the best deep cycle battery for RV and campervan owners living in Australia. How do we know? It’s the exact one we use! By using lithium-ion energy, the ePOWER B-TEC can provide 60% more usable power compared to other traditional lead-acid batteries on the market. Not to mention the 200 amp hours of lithium power are equivalent to a 320Ah deep-cycle AGM battery. With power like that, it’s easy to see why lithium is one of the most advanced battery technologies out there.
It’s also great for smaller van builds since it’s only 19.8 inches wide and 10 inches tall. In addition, it only weighs 55 pounds, which is roughly 50% lighter than other deep cycle batteries of its size and power.
Enerdrive has some of the best RV batteries out of any brand we’ve seen. Besides the 200Ah power storage, they also make batteries that come with 12v 100Ah, 125Ah, and 300Ah capacity. But if that’s still not enough juice for your vehicle, you can always connect two ePOWER B-TEC batteries in parallel. Just keep in mind that it’s advised not to connect more than two batteries, or else you overload the power source capacity.
|* Energy efficient RV battery|
* Compact and lightweight
* Long life span
Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
Out of all the 12v deep cycle batteries on this list, the Battle Born LiFeP04 is one of the most eco-friendly. Because it’s made from 100% safe, non-toxic, and renewable energy, it can charge faster and outlast many of its other competitors. For that reason, we consider it one of the best batters for a campervan or RV owner.
It has a capacity of 100 amp hours and a recharge cycle of 3,000 to 5,000 uses, which is fairly impressive for a campervan battery type of this size.
Like other lithium batteries on this list, Battle Born batteries clock in at almost half the size and weight of a lead-acid battery, which is great if space is limited in your camper van.
If you’re looking for a deep cycle battery but need something with a little less power, then Battle Born also makes a 50 amp hour model with all the same high-tech features.
You can also connect these Battle Born batteries with others, providing you with enough energy to power your fridge, toilet, hair dryer, or whatever else you need while dry camping!
Although the price may be expensive for some people, it’s still one of the most affordable lithium batteries on the market today.
|* Affordable price point for lithium|
* Eco-friendly battery
* Built in Battery Management System to identify failures
* 10 year warranty
|* Fragile casing|
Numax XV31MF Heavy Duty Ultra Deep Cycle Battery
If you prefer to stick to the tried and true lead-acid RV batteries, then the Numax XV31MF is going to be your best bet. For the price, you can expect to get anywhere from three to five years of constant use before they sign of wear and tear.
They are also able to be charged down before needing a top-up, making them one of the best deep discharge batteries for RV owners.
Numax batteries also come in a wide range of sizes, starting at 10 amp hours for small campervans and going up to 250 amp hours for those with high powered needs.
But keep in mind that these batteries aren’t completely maintenance-free, as capacity is severally reduced if not used for four weeks at a time. While this is a major downside to many lead acid batteries, the Numax also suffers from severe sulfation, which will also contribute to how many amps are lost.
And while the Numax is designed for most seasons, it will not do well in cold or freezing climates. So if you’re planning on trekking across sub-zero temperature zones, then you’re better off investing in a different type of leisure battery.
|* Very affordable price point|
* Wide range of sizes
|* Requires regular maintenance|
* Can’t be left uncharged for weeks on end
* Not ideal for freezing climates
* Lower than average 3-year warranty
Optima OPT8016-103 D34M BlueTop
The rugged Optima OPT8016-103 D34M is the ideal companion for an outdoor enthusiast or van lifer. Unlike other deep cycle RV batteries on this list, the Optima is designed to be used as both a startup battery and a deep cycling backup power source.
That means you can use it to crank start your engine or power your fridge and campervan air conditioner while on the road.
Optima batteries can be installed in almost any position, and the secure and spillproof case prevents them from causing any damage to those adventurous journies.
And they’re engineered to withstand up to 15 times more vibrations than other rechargeable cycle batteries.
Optima produces several different models of the BlueTop battery. While the D34M should be sufficient for most RV users, the BlueTop D31M offers more power for less than $100 more.
If you’re looking for the best dual-use battery bank for your RV or campervan that’s built to survive even the harshest of elements, then make sure to purchase one of the Blue Top Optima Batteries for your next trip.
|* Works as a startup and deep cycling battery|
* Rugged and durable materials
|* Lower than average lifespan|
VMAXSLR125 AGM Cycle 12V 125AH Battery
For many boondockers, the VMAXSLR125 is one of the best RV deep cycle batteries out there. That’s because it can last anywhere from 8 to 10 years on float mode (where the voltage is held constant after the battery is fully charged), making it a long-lasting option for heavy-duty RV travelers.
There are no dangerous fumes or gases, although you shouldn’t worry about that with a sealed, spill-proof RV deep cycle battery like this one.
And with 125 amp hours of power capacity, you can cruise the country without worrying about finding shore power or relying on RV solar panels for energy.
The only downside we found is that the VMAXSLR125 is considerably heavier than other AGM battery models. Although it’s not massive in size (12.9″w x 6.8″d x 8.5″h), it still weighs a whopping 75 pounds.
That can be an issue if you have a campervan that has a light payload or requires multiple batteries. But for an AGM battery, you’d be hard-pressed to find another model that lasts this long.
|* Long life in float mode|
* Comes with screw terminals
|* Incredibly heavy (75 pounds)|
Mighty Max ML100-12 12V 100AH SLA Battery
For under $200, you can have the durable deep cycle Might Max ML100-12 Battery, one of the highest reviewed AGM batteries on this list.
It also happens to be one of the smallest (12.17 inches x 6.61 inches x 8.30 inches), so you won’t have to redesign your interior just to fit in your RV house battery.
The no-spill design can be mounted in every position in your camper (although not upside down), and can even be taken outside if you’re looking for a portable source of power while trekking through the outdoors.
They also can be hooked up in parallel if you need more current to power different appliances in our camper van.
Your battery is guaranteed for 1 year under the reputable Mighty Max brand, which may seem short compared to other models. Although Mighty Max batteries are dependable, long-lasting, and resistant to shocks and vibrations, we would prefer if they came with an extended warranty.
It’s also worth noting that the battery does not come with wire harnessing or mounting accessories. You will need to purchase those additional pieces separately.
|* Affordable AGM deep cycle battery|
* Rugged and resistant to shocks and vibrations
* Spillproof design
|* Lower than average warranty|
* Does not come with additional hardware
PowerStar 12v 100Ah AGM Deep Cycle Sealed Lead Acid Rechargeable Battery
A great addition to the list of best AGM deep cycle batteries is the PowerStar 12v Rechargeable RV Battery. The spill and leak-proof design can be installed anywhere, and the maintenance-free construction means you don’t have to check the water level of gravity of the electrolytes.
Trust us, the best battery for campervan or RV users are the ones that don’t require constant maintenance!
At 32 pounds, it’s one of the lighter 100 amp hour deep cycle batteries on this list. And considering it’s capable of overcharge, over-discharge, vibration, and shock, we believe the PowerStar is one of the best RV battery systems of its kind.
The only downside of this deep cycle AGM battery is the limited two-year warranty. Powerstar may be a reputable company for recreational vehicle batteries, but we would appreciate a longer warranty in case anything were to happen with their AGM batteries.
|* Maintenance-free design|
* Spill and leak proof
* Lightweight for 100Ah RV deep cycle battery (32 pounds)
|* Limited warranty|
Odyssey PC680 Battery
Build for even the most extreme of temperatures, the Odyssey PC680 is a rugged AGM battery that can handle twice the amount of power compared to a conventional lead acid battery in the RV world.
And it can fully recharge in just four to six hours, which means it has the highest recharge efficiency of any sealed lead battery on the market.
As with other camper van batteries on this list, the Odyssey PC680 is a sealed led battery that is shock and vibration resistant.
That means you won’t have to worry about any potential hazardous materials leaking out if it gets knocked over during your ride.
However, we recommend mounting this battery to make sure that it remains secure and stable in your campervan or travel trailer.
Clocking in at just over 13 pounds, the Odyssesy PC680 is the the perfect small size battery for a camper or RV with limited space. Combined with the fact that it can withstand both hot and cold temperatures and run through 400 cycles at 80% discharge depth, we believe it’s a solid battery type for adventurous RV and campervan travelers.
|* Rugged, spillproof design|
* Slim design (7.15 x 3 x 6.65 inches)
* Lightweight (13.45 pounds)
* 100% recharge in 4 to 6 hours
|* Shorter than average limited 2-year warranty|
Choosing the Best Battery for Campervans
Charging your RV batteries can be done via the alternator (when the vehicle is running), shore power (when plugged in) and solar power.
When choosing the best battery for your campervan or RV you’re going to want to find one that is compatible with your solar power system. If you don’t have a solar power system we recommend that you check out this post to get you started.
Also check out our new detailed guide on the best RV battery monitors so you can ensure your battery never goes flat.
Battery Types and Purposes
As the name implies, start batteries provide a jolt of power to start your engine’s motor. These batteries need to use approximately 20% of their energy capacity to start the vehicle.
While a start battery is important to run your camper, it’s not the right type of battery you need to power your electronics, lights, or camping accessories.
If you want to power your campervan accessories and appliances, then you’ll need to purchase a house battery, otherwise known as a leisure battery.
These are the batteries that are required to operate the fridge, lighting system, water pump, or electric toilet installed in your van. House batteries can be charged using an alternator, solar power, or shore power hookup.
Types of Campervan Batteries
Flooded Lead Acid
Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) batteries use lead and liquid sulfuric acid to create a chemically charged current. Most people opt for FLA batteries because of their long lifespan and affordable upfront cost.
They’re also the oldest form of battery technology, which made them at one point, the most common option for RV and campervan owners.
However, there are some potentially dangerous downsides to FLA batteries. First of all, the battery itself stores liquid sulfuric acid, which can cause corrosion or damage if leaked. This is why it’s important to keep the battery in an upright position at all times.
When the battery is charged, it also released oxygen and hydrogen particles. These fumes are incredibly toxic if inhaled, which is why it’s very important to have proper ventilation installed in your van.
And while FLA batteries may be cheaper upfront, they can be expensive to maintain in the long run. They have to be topped off every month or so, which is a secondary cost and time constraint you should take into account.
If they aren’t properly taken care of, their battery life and efficiency could begin to deteriorate. Be sure to check these best practices for FLA battery maintenance.
|* Affordable price point|
* Availability of sizes
|* Contains potentially hazardous materials|
* Must be kept upright
* High maintenance
* Not efficient in cold climates
When gel cell batteries were first introduced, they eased many of the pain points associated with owning an operating a FLA battery. They use the same technology that FLA batteries do, except the electrolytes are suspended in a gel instead of a liquid.
One of the biggest benefits to gel is increased safety. There are no fumes that could escape the sealed lead acid battery, which means you don’t have to worry about toxic gases circulating within your van.
These batteries also tend to be sealed and contained inside a protective case, so they won’t leak if accidentally tipped over. And they require less maintenance, which is great if you have limited time and only travel a few times a year.
On the other hand, gel batteries have a lower power output compared to traditional FLA batteries, which could be a problem if you have a lot of appliances to run. And they tend to be more expensive than both FLA batteries or AGM batteries.
Generally speaking, gel batteries don’t last as long as other campervan or RV battery models. To extend the life of your gel battery, it’s important to recharge it properly. If you don’t use a charger designed specifically for a gel battery, the battery will burn out very quickly.
|* No maintenance required|
* No fumes or toxic gases (sealed lead acid container)
* Ability to sit for long periods without use
* Doesn’t require a flat surface for installation
* Less efficient compared to FLA
An AGM deep cycle battery, or Absorbant Glass Mat battery, is one of the most popular battery technologies for RV, boat, and auto manufacturers. It’s a type of sealed lead acid battery similar to gel styles, but instead of gel, the electrolytes are suspended in soaked glass fibers.
For this reason, an AGM deep cycle battery won’t leak or spill hazardous materials if knocked over. Nor do they need constant maintenance like FLA batteries. This makes them one of the best RV battery models for many campers.
But unfortunately, there are a few downsides to owning an AGM RV battery. Like gel batteries, AGM batteries have a low energy output, which makes them less efficient over time.
And if you’re road tripping through colder climates, you might notice that your AGM battery doesn’t perform as well as an FLA battery would have.
|* No maintenance required|
* Small, compact size
* Ability to sit for long periods without use
* Doesn’t require a flat surface for installation
|* Low energy output compared to FLA|
* Not efficient in cold climates
Considered to be the most robust form of camervan battery technology, a lithium (LiFePO4 / Lithium-ion / Li-ion) battery is the best battery for an RV or campervan. In terms of performance, they last longer, charge faster, and require less maintenance than other RV batteries on this list.
However, they are considerably more expensive (many lithium batteries can cost upwards of $2,000), which deters many campervan and RV owners from making the initial purchase.
You also need to make sure they always stay charged above 20%, which does require some level of monitoring if they aren’t being used throughout the year.
We feel that’s a small price to pay for a battery of this caliber. So if you don’t mind the high-cost upfront, a lithium battery is the best RV battery you can buy in terms of performance and efficiency.
|* Long life|
* Fast charge
* Doesn’t require a flat surface for installation
* Can be run to empty before recharge
|* Expensive upfront cost|
Things to Consider when Buying Campervan Batteries
When shopping for the best RV batteries, it’s important to look at the size of the battery. This size of a battery is measured in amp-hours (Ah), which translates to the amount of power the battery has on a single charge.
First, you should calculate how many amp-hours you need to power your appliances in your RV. For example, one appliance that uses 1 amp of current for 1 hour will consume 1 amp hour. So if that appliance were to run straight for 24 hours, it would use a total of 24 amp-hours of power.
If you have multiple appliances drawing from one battery source, then you’ll want to look for an RV battery with a larger amp hour size that can sufficiently power all of your accessories.
Size and Weight
Before you spend big bucks on the biggest and most powerful battery at the store, you’ll want to consider the physical size and weight of the battery itself.
Generally speaking, a normal 12 volt 100Ah battery will clock in around 44 pounds (or 20 kg). Some RV owners might also want a double battery bank system, which will add twice as much weight to your van build. If you have a big payload, this might not seem like much.
However, batteries can be one of the heavier items if you have a small camper van.
Although leisure batteries are relatively heavy, they also tend to be small, especially compared to other appliances in your van. If you have a lot of space, then you shouldn’t have a problem fitting one or two batteries inside your camper.
12 volt vs. 6 volt
One of the first questions you’ll ask when researching the best RV batteries is whether to buy a 6 or 12 volt battery. Most RVs and camper vans come with 12v batteries by default, which are cheaper and more common to find compared to 6v batteries.
However, 6 volt batteries have larger amperage when connected in a series, and they can be recharged more often. They also tend to last longer because they have thicker plates, more space per cell, and a deeper discharge compared to the average 12 volt house battery.
Series or Parallel Connection
It’s possible to combine multiple RV batteries together in order to create a larger power source. This can be accomplished by joining them in either a series connection or parallel connection.
If you want to keep the same amperage but add extra voltage to your battery bank, then you can connect the batteries in a series. For example, let’s say you have two 6 volt batteries that have 10 amp-hours each. You can connect the negative terminals to the positive terminals with jumper cables, resulting in a battery bank with 12 volts of power with a capacity of 10 amp-hours.
On the other hand, a parallel connection will increase the current but keep the voltage at the same level. By connecting the two positive terminals to the two negative terminals of two 6 volt batteries with 10 amp-hours each, you’ll have an increased amperage of 20 amp-hours. However, you’ll still have the same power storage of 6 volts because they drain equally in use.
The best battery for RV use should withstand the test of time no matter where your journey takes you. However, different types of batteries have different life spans, which is important to tak if you don’t want to replace your purchase every few years.
Flooded lead acid batteries can last anywhere from four to eight years, although it requires regular maintanance to keep it up to speed.
AGM deep cycle batteries also last around the same time and usually lose power capacity around the seven-year mark. While an AGM battery has a mediocre life span, it still requires far less maintenance than a flooded lead-acid battery, which makes it more desirable for many van lifers.
The average lifespan of a gel battery is anywhere from two to four years, which may seem limited. On the other hand, they can live up to 15 years if properly cared for and adequately charged with a gel-specific charger to prevent burnout.
If you’re looking for a durable battery with a potentially long lifespan, then you’ll want to purchase a lithium battery. These guys can last anywhere from seven years to two decades, which means you won’t have to worry about replacing your battery for years to come.
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