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What are the Best RV Batteries?

Power - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 7/17/2023

Pickup with a camper attachment lit up at night in a field under a starry sky

Shopping for RV batteries can get pretty complicated. Batteries Plus has an impressive selection of RV battery options, but if you can't tell the difference between a flooded starting battery and an AGM deep cycle battery, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. This blog will help walk you through RV battery basics. We'll explain the different battery types and chemistries available to RV owners and provide some recommendations for the top-performing RV batteries in each category.

What are the Three Types of RV Batteries?

There are three basic types of RV batteries:

Starting Batteries (also known as cranking batteries) - Designed to deliver short bursts of power necessary to start your RV's engine. They function similarly to the battery in your car or truck.

Deep Cycle Batteries (also known as cycling batteries) - Provide a continuous source of power over a longer period of time. Deep cycle batteries serve as the "house" battery on RVs, powering things like interior lights, clocks, TVs and refrigerators.

Dual Purpose Batteries - Function as both a starting and deep cycle battery in one. Dual purpose batteries are capable of providing the initial burst of power needed to start an engine, while also delivering the cycling power necessary to run appliances and other interior accessories.

How Many Batteries Should I Have in My RV?

Most RVs will require two different batteries, one to start the engine and one to power everything else.

For Low Power Needs - If you have a minimal amount of applications onboard, you may be able to get away with using a single dual purpose battery to power everything.

For Moderate to Heavy Power Needs - Use a starting battery to turn over your engine and a deep cycle battery as your "house" battery.

For Heavy Power Needs - Using a dual purpose battery together with a deep cycle battery will give you additional cycling power for a larger number of onboard applications.

What are the Differences Between Flooded, AGM and Lithium RV Batteries?

In addition to the battery types discussed above, there are also three different battery chemistries available: flooded lead acid, AGM lead acid (short for absorbed glass mat) and lithium iron phosphate. Chemistry will determine the cost and performance level you'll get from a battery. Here is a breakdown of their differences:

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries

  • Flooded batteries are available as starting, deep cycle or dual purpose RV batteries
  • Have the lowest upfront cost of the 3 battery chemistries
  • Feature the shortest lifespan of the 3 battery chemistries
  • Are not completely sealed; requires you to regularly top off the electrolyte inside with distilled or deionized water
  • Have a high rate of self-discharge; will require a battery charger to maintain the battery's charge in storage

AGM Lead Acid Batteries

  • AGM batteries are available as starting, deep cycle or dual purpose RV batteries
  • Have a higher upfront cost than a flooded battery
  • Designed to last 2-3X longer than a flooded battery (this often saves money in the long run over a flooded battery)
  • Completely sealed; require no additional maintenance
  • Have a lower rate of self-discharge; will still require a battery charger to maintain the battery's charge during long term storage
  • Charge faster than a flooded battery
  • More resistant to vibrations & extreme temperatures
  • Weigh less than flooded batteries

Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries

  • Lithium iron phosphate batteries are available as deep cycle batteries only
  • Have a higher upfront cost than flooded and AGM batteries
  • Designed to last up to 10X longer than a flooded battery
  • Completely sealed; require no additional maintenance
  • Have a very low self-discharge rate; will rarely need to be charged while in storage
  • Can discharge up to 90% before they need to be recharged
  • Charge faster than most AGM batteries
  • More resistant to vibrations & extreme heat
  • 55% lighter than AGM batteries

What are the Best RV Battery Brands at Batteries Plus?

Duracell Ultra Flooded Battery

  • Reliable flooded battery with starting, deep cycle & dual purpose options
  • Comes with a 12-month limited replacement warranty

Duracell Ultra Platinum AGM Battery

  • Perfect for deep cycle & dual purpose use
  • Offers more power and a longer-lasting performance than flooded batteries
  • Comes with a 30-month limited replacement warranty

X2Power AGM Battery

  • Superior dual purpose battery
  • Has a higher lead content than most other AGM batteries, which provides more power
  • Built to last 3X longer than a standard flooded battery
  • Comes with a 48-month limited replacement warranty

X2Power Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

  • Superior deep cycle battery
  • Provides a continuous high power drain during use
  • Built to last up to 10X the longer than a standard flooded deep cycle battery
  • Comes with a 5-10 year limited replacement warranty
  • The Battery Management System provides optimum safety by protecting against overcharging and over-discharging

Batteries Plus is Your RV Headquarters

Shop Batteries Plus for all your RV essentials. We carry a variety of RV battery chargers as well as booster cables, replacement windshield wiper blades and other essentials in our Auto Center.

Want to learn more about RV batteries? You'll find plenty of useful information in our RV Battery Buying Guide. You may also want to read our blog article entitled "Does Shore Power Charge RV Batteries?" for valuable RV battery charging tips.

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