LOOKGING FOR THE BEST RV BATTERY FOR BOONDOCKING?
You are in the right place because the 9 best choices for RV boondocking batteries are all featured here. How do we know they are the best? We have traveled and lived in our RV since 2010 spending many hours finding the important information and testing the best batteries for your travels.
When you are boondocking, it is important to have good functioning batteries, so you are not left without power. There are many different price ranges and options for an RV battery for boondocking, but your best option is going to be the one that you feel most comfortable using.
Some batteries require more maintenance, and some batteries, like your lithium batteries, require special converters and chargers when charging. They charge at a different rate than your lead acid batteries. If you are ready the switch to a lithium battery, it will be worth it in the long run, but it will cost more money upfront.
If you are not ready for a lithium battery, a sealed lead-acid battery is going to treat you great when looking for the best RV battery. Whatever you decide, you can find the best of either kind of RV battery in this article.
Lead Acid RV Batteries for Boondocking
1. Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery
As a whole, the Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery is great. We run two of these with 400 watts of solar, and they last a very long time. They are great for boondocking. This deep-cycle battery is fantastic, and the price can’t be beaten. If you go to your local hardware store and purchase the same product, it would cost you double.
The battery is a sealed absorbent glass matt battery and therefore does not spill acid, and you will never need to fill it with distilled water after repeated use because the battery is sealed, unlike flooded lead acid batteries. You can find better batteries, but they are going to cost you twice as much money.
We would recommend giving these batteries a try if you want something that is not your typical high-maintenance lead acid battery but doesn’t want to spend the money on lithium batteries.
One important thing to keep in mind is the dimensions of these batteries. Your typical flooded lead acid deep cycle RV batteries are smaller. One of these is about the same amp hours as 2 of your typical unsealed lead acid battery you purchase from the store. Make sure they will fit in your available space.
▶ SHOP Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery
2. WindyNation 100 amp-Hour AGM Deep Cycle Sealed Lead Acid Battery
The WindyNation 100 amp hour battery is a competitive boondocking battery. It competes directly with the Renogy batteries. The price is typically a little more for the WindyNation. There are very few differences between the two.
Their reviews and ratings are similar, but the Renogy batteries have more reviews to check out. The WindyNation battery is a heavy battery weighing 66 pounds each but is a good option for sealed lead acid batteries.
There are some who have not been super impressed with the longevity of the batteries, but there are so many variables that go into the longevity of a battery you cannot take those at face value. These batteries should not get as deep a discharge as your lithium batteries, or they can be damaged. This goes for all lead-acid batteries.
People often don’t realize that when a battery is fully discharged or even close to fully discharged, the battery is damaged. This goes for all RV deep-cycle batteries.
This is why it is important to have a sufficient number of batteries, especially if you are boondocking and using solar panels. This will prevent your batteries from discharge damage.
▶ SHOP WindyNation 100-AMP Batteries
3. Optima Deep Cycle Marine Battery
Optima batteries are very unique, and there are not many batteries like them. They are some of the best marine deep-cycle batteries and the best RV batteries for dry camping. This is because of their circular design.
Your typical sealed lead acid battery has lead plates that are flat. This causes them to deteriorate faster than the Optima batteries, where the lead plates are rolled into circular tubes. This is why Optima batteries have their unique shape.
The circular shape helps prevent the deterioration of the lead plates in the lead acid battery. However, because of this circular design and the improved life of the Optima battery, you are going to be spending a little bit more than your typical sealed battery. Those who use these batteries are very happy with them.
They are great reliable batteries that will last longer than your other lead batteries.
▶ SHOP Optima Deep Cycle Marine Batteries
4. WEIZE 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle SLA Battery
Weize makes one of the best batteries for RV boondocking in terms of price. The Weize 100 amp hour battery is going to be the cheapest sealed lead acid battery you will find. The battery has some pretty good reviews.
In comparison, a traditional flooded deep cycle lead acid battery that is not sealed is going to cost you about 150 dollars if you drive to the store to purchase it, and the amp hours are typically less.
This battery costs about that much, and that amp hour rating for the Weize battery is going to be about twice as much. This means the battery will hold almost twice as much charge as your other traditional batteries. The Weize battery works great for those who are boondocking or for those who are looking for a good marine battery.
▶ SHOP Weize 12V Deep Cycle Batteries
Weize LiFePO4 Batteries
If you want a better battery that costs just a little more, then you need to look at the Weize LiFePO4 batteries. The LiFePO4 batteries are superior to lithium-ion batteries for many reasons like longer life and for being safer to use.
If you really want the best deep-cycle battery for RV boondocking, you will be using a LiFePO4 battery. They can truly discharge without damage. They will last longer. These batteries are more efficient and can handle far more charge cycles.
▶ SHOP Weize LifePO4 Batteries
Lithium Ion And LiFePO4 Batteries For Dry Camping
5. BTRPOWER Lithium Ion Deep Cycle Battery
Lithium Ion batteries are awesome. There are so many benefits to using a lithium-ion battery, and their costs have continued to drop over the years, making them some of the best battery setups for RV boondocking. The Btrpower battery is going to be one of the most economical options for a lithium-ion battery.
As you start to look at Lithium batteries and batteries that are not lead acid, you will start to see better reviews because these batteries, as a whole, are better. This is part of why they cost more money.
If you have had issues with lead-acid batteries in the past and want a good setup that is going to last, you should look at the LiFePO4 batteries for your boondocking setup. They are some of the best deep-cycle lithium RV batteries.
▶ SHOP Btrpower Batteries
6. Redodo 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery
Redodo is going to another reliable battery for a camper. They are very economical and have a 5-star rating. More than 85% of people who use these batteries love them.
A 100 amp hour batter only weighs 25 pounds which is less than half the weight of your lead acid battery of the same amp hours.
This is a big deal if you have trouble moving around heavy objects. It also makes it so much easier to install your battery or to do maintenance if you need to move your batteries at any time.
Some people like to take the batteries out and connect them to a battery maintainer when they will not be used for extended periods of time. These light batteries make this so much easier.
▶ SHOP Redodo 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery
7. Ampere Time 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Lithium Battery
If you are looking for the best deep-cycle battery for RV boondocking, then a LiFePO4 lithium battery is the way to go. Ampere Time’s 100 amp hour LiFePO4 battery is an excellent option that combines high performance, long life, and a reasonable price point.
This battery features high voltage and quick charging capabilities, making it perfect for RV applications. It is also incredibly lightweight, so installation and maintenance are a breeze. And with the superior performance and long life of LiFePO4 technology, you can be sure that this battery will keep your camper powered up no matter where you go.
Overall, if you’re looking for the best deep cycle battery for your RV, then Ampere Time’s 100 amp hour LiFePO4 lithium battery is a great option.
▶SHOP Ampere Time’s 100 AMP Hour Battery
8. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
Battle Born batteries are going to be your gold standard for lithium batteries. They are the best deep-cycle lithium battery for RV boondocking. It is doubtful that you will find a better battery than the Battle Born LiFePO4 battery.
You will find that almost 90 percent of their customers would give their batteries a 5-star rating. This is tremendous when compared to other batteries.
They can be mounted in pretty much any position you would like, and because they are so much lighter, they are easy to mount.
They are green energy batteries which means they are made from safe and nontoxic materials, making them one of the best batteries for the environment. These batteries are perfect for RV, marine, trolling, golf carts, and home off-grid applications. This is truly the best boondocking battery you will find.
The Battle Born batteries come with a battery management system that will protect your battery from damage caused by different temperatures and ground faults.
The only issue you may find with these batteries is they are very expensive. You won’t find many batteries if any, as good as the Battle Born, but you won’t find any that cost as much, either.
▶ SHOP Battle Born LifeP04 Batteries
Six Volt Batteries
9. TROJAN BATTERY T-105 6V DEEP CYCLE
If you are looking at getting a six-volt deep cycle battery, you want to get a Trojan Battery. They are the best 6v RV battery for boondocking. You will find them in golf carts all over because of how well they work.
Six-volt batteries are often considered true deep cycle batteries because they can be discharged lower without damage to the battery.
One thing to keep in mind is you get your best use if you have at least 4 six volt batteries linked together. We used to use 2 six volt batteries in a pop-up tent trailer, and we didn’t see a huge difference compared to a 12-volt lead acid battery.
▶ SHOP Trojan 6-Volt Batteries
What is Boondocking?
Boondocking is when you camp without any kind of hookups. This includes electricity, water, and sewer hookups. Boondocking can be known by other names also. These names can be dispersed camping, free camping, dry camping, and moochdocking.
These all reference the same thing. However, moochdocking is typically boondocking at someone’s house or property.
Advantages of Using an RV battery when boondocking
If you are boondocking, it is a must to have a good battery. Your generator will not run all of your systems. If you do not have a battery connected, there is a good chance your lights or other parts of your RV will not work even if your generator is running.
An RV uses two different electrical systems. One is 12v, and the other is 110 volts. The generator will run the 110-volt part of your RV, and the 12V section is managed by your batteries. Using a good battery with solar panels is a great way to save money when in your RV.
We love boondocking and will often boondock. By having good batteries and a good inverter, we can charge all of our phones and electronics from the batteries at night, so during the day, they are ready to go, and there is no need to run the generator.
Types of RV Batteries for Boondocking
There are essentially three types of batteries you will need to learn about when you are looking for batteries that will supply your RV when boondocking. Below you can learn about the different types of batteries you can choose from for your dispersed camping.
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Lithium batteries are going to be the best batteries for your RV. They are a lot less weight than other batteries. They also charge a lot faster than your lead acid battery.
Lithium batteries can discharge almost 100 percent without causing damage to the battery. Another great thing about Lithium batteries is they have a low discharge rate. Batteries, when not in use, will gradually discharge over time.
A lithium battery discharges slower than lead acid batteries.
Self-Contained Gel Batteries
Self-contained gel batteries are not a common battery used in an RV. They are good batteries, but they are very touchy and can be damaged easily. Gel batteries work just like sealed lead acid batteries, but they do not have liquid inside like lead acid batteries. They use a gel.
This is fantastic for the correct application. The gel batteries can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more because the gel functions much better than when using liquid acid.
The issue you will have with them is they are very sensitive to temperature and charging. If a gel battery is not at the correct temperature or not charged correctly, the battery will be rendered unusable.
This is why the majority of RVs will not use get batteries. They struggle to hold up to the rigors and different temperatures you will experience while camping in your RV.
Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries (AGM)
AGM batteries are great batteries. They are lead acid batteries, but they have sealed batteries with a fiberglass mat that is a separator that moves the electrolyte solution between the lead plates. They are far less maintenance and can be positioned in any manner except upside down.
These are good batteries and are commonly found in RVs, boats, and some vehicles.
Flooded lead acid batteries are your most common type of battery. They are the type of battery that is often found in your vehicle. They are not sealed, and therefore the electrolyte solution can spill out easily if overcharged or if the battery is tipped over.
These batteries require more maintenance, like adding distilled water after repeated charges.
Things to Consider In the Best RV Battery for Boondocking
Outside temperatures can have a profound effect on your boondocking deep cycle batteries. Generally, freezing temperatures cause the most damage. If your batteries are discharged and freeze, it can cause irreparable harm to your batteries.
Lithium batteries work better than lead acid batteries in the cold because their performance does not drop as much as lead acid batteries when they are cold. The cold weather makes it harder for batteries to transfer a charge.
If you are going to be in cold weather, you may want to add an additional RV battery for dry camping to ensure you have sufficient battery power.
If you are looking for durability, lithium deep-cycle batteries are superior to any lead-acid battery. This means they are better than sealed or flooded lead acid batteries. However, many times people are put off because of the higher upfront cost of lithium batteries.
You will also notice that Lithium deep cycle batteries have a much longer warranty and are able to charge and discharge about three times as much.
This means you could pay as much as three times more for a Lithium deep cycle battery, and your cost over time would be the same as a lead acid battery. This does not take into account the fact that Lithium deep-cycle batteries charge much faster and are half the weight.
Your most expensive batteries are going to be Lithium RV deep-cycle batteries. These batteries are also known as LiFePO4 batteries. Some of them cost about twice as much as lead acid batteries, while some super fancy lithium batteries will cost much more.
Your cheapest RV deep cycle battery is going to be your flooded lead acid deep cycle battery. These batteries you will typically purchase these from your local battery supplier. These are not something that is commonly shipped to your house because the electrolyte solution can leak out.
A close and competitive option that is great to purchase online is going to be your sealed AGM lead acid batteries. We recommend these for most people because they are low maintenance, and the cost is competitive with flooded lead acid deep cycle batteries.
Things to Look For in the Best RV Battery for Boondocking
There are a few things you should look at when you are looking for a great RV deep-cycle battery for boondocking. Below are some important things to consider.
6V vs 12V Batteries
Twelve-volt and 6-volt batteries are both reasonable options used for RV boondocking. If you are using 6-volt batteries, you will typically have to connect them in series to you have 12 volts, and then if you have 4, you can connect them in parallel to increase how many amp hours you have.
Six-volt batteries are considered true deep-cycle batteries because they can handle a greater discharge than a 12-volt deep-cycle battery. This is because they have thicker lead plates than 12-volt batteries. Your 6-volt batteries will typically weigh less, and they can have higher amp hours.
Another great aspect of 6-volt batteries is they can last longer than their 12v counterpart. Many people do not use them because they are more expensive, and you need more of them than you would need in a 12-volt version.
Number of Amps or Capacity
The number of amps is how much capacity your battery has for use. If you have a 50 amp hour battery, your 100 amp hour battery will last twice as long if powering the same things. How many amp hours you should have depends on how much power you are going to be using and how off-grid you want to be.
If you want to be largely off-grid, we would recommend a minimum of 200 amp hours for a small RV. If you can up the amp hours significantly, and you have an appropriate size inverter, you would be able to run your appliances like a microwave or fridge from your batteries. You could also use it to cook camping crockpot meals, use an electric heater, or power your awning lights.
However, if you did this, you would need a good amount of solar panels to recharge those batteries after each use. We use 200 amp hours with 400 watts of solar, and it works great for us. If you notice your batteries are dying and they are new, you should look at adding more batteries or solar to keep your batteries charged.
Every time you discharge your lead acid batteries below 50 or more percent, they are lightly damaged, and the more deeply discharged they get, the more damage that can be caused. This is why people highly recommend Lithium batteries.
Rate of Discharge
The rate of discharge, also known as a battery’s C rating, is how fast a battery will charge or discharge. This is a complex mathematical equation, and it is different for each battery configuration. As you would expect, the discharge rate for a lithium battery is better than the discharge rate for a lithium battery.
In short, a battery will discharge on its own over time, even if there is no power draw. In some batteries, you are able to charge faster than others, and in some batteries, you are able to use the power they have stored in a faster and more efficient manner. Generally, Lithium batteries are much better in these aspects than lead acid batteries.
If you want to learn more about charge rates, check out this website to learn more.
Installing Your best RV battery for dry camping
Battery installation is fairly straightforward. You disconnect and connect the terminals. However, there are a few things you should be aware of. When disconnecting old batteries, you should remove the negative terminal first and then disconnect the positive terminal.
When you are installing a new battery, you should do this process in reverse. The positive terminal should be connected first and then the negative terminal. If you are installing multiple batteries in parallel, then you will want to connect the positive terminals first and then the negative terminals.
Charging Your RV Batteries When Boondocking
There are several ways to charge your batteries when boondocking. The most common is to use a generator with a converter or battery charger to charge your batteries. However, many people have moved away from using a generator and are using solar panels to charge their batteries.
Solar panels are a great way to charge your deep cycle batteries when boondocking. Solar panels harness the energy of the sun, which is free of charge, to keep your batteries charged.
We love using our BougeRV solar panels. They have worked great for us. They keep our batteries charged, and it does not require a loud, noisy generator.
A few more things you need to be aware of when it comes to charging your batteries. If you are using a generator, you will either need to have your generator on for a long time period to make sure your batteries are sufficiently charged, or you will need to use a charger or converter that will charge your batteries quickly.
If you are using solar panels, you will want to make sure you have enough solar power to charge your batteries relative to how much you use them and how efficiently your solar panels are able to charge your batteries.
Getting the most out of your RV battery for Boondocking
If you have good batteries, you want to take care of them, but you also want to be able to use them as needed. There are a few things you should pair with your good deep-cycle boondocking batteries to make sure you are maximizing their usefulness.
Battery Monitoring System
Your RV boondocking batteries are very important to your boondocking success and, therefore, should be taken care of. A battery monitor system will help you keep track of where your batteries are at. This can also help you determine if you need to add more batteries to your boondocking setup or if you need to add another solar panel to keep them charged.
▶ SHOP Battery Monitoring System
A battery box is typically going to be used for smaller campers or large RVs that have a battery area where the battery might come in contact with other objects. A battery box is a great way to keep your battery from getting damaged and is a great place to store your battery. Make sure your battery will fit the size of your battery box.
A double battery box is great for those looking to upgrade their small battery box to a large box that will fit two batteries.
▶ SHOP Battery Boxes
▶ SHOP Double Battery Boxes
RV Solar Panels
RV solar panels are the perfect combination to have with great RV boondocking batteries. The best RV batteries for solar are going to be your Lithium batteries because they charge faster. Solar will keep your batteries charged to ensure they don’t become damaged from being overly discharged.
If you have not used solar panels, we highly recommend giving them a try. They are great if you boondock or are in an area where you are not plugged into shore power.
We used our BougeRV solar panels a ton on our last trip through Southern Utah, and it was amazing. We didn’t have to worry about running out of battery and used an inverter to charge our electronic devices overnight.
This is a great solar panel starter kit if you are interested in adding solar to your RV or need a gift for RV owners. You can read about our experience with these solar panels in our review of the Bouge RV solar panels.
▶ SHOP Solar Panel Starter Kits
RV inverters are a must if you are boondocking, not to be confused with RV converters. They make it so easy to charge your electronics or use 120-volt power from your batteries, so you do not need to use your generator. We use our inverter to charge our electronics and computers.
Inverters come in different sizes, and the size depends on what you are going to be using the inverter for.
If you are just going to be charging your electronics like a phone, then you can get by with a smaller 1,000-watt inverter or a 1,500-watt inverter. If you are wanting to use a computer and a computer monitor, then you will be using more watts and should use a larger inverter like a 3,000-watt inverter.
▶ SHOP RV Inverters
Tips for Taking Care of Your RV Batteries
The most important thing you can do for your batteries is to keep them charged and don’t let them discharge too much. Depending on the type of battery you have can make a significant difference in the importance of keeping your batteries charged. A lithium battery can discharge 90 percent before it can be damaged. A lead acid battery can become damaged with as little as 50 percent discharge.
When you are using your RV, and when you have your RV in storage, you should make sure you have taken the correct precautions to ensure your battery will not become severely discharged.
Understanding Your Two RV power systems
An RV has two power systems, and they are both run differently but together. Keep reading to learn about the two systems.
120-Volt AC System
Your 120-volt AC system is what powers your Air conditioner and the large appliances that you plug into your typical household outlet. Even your cell phone uses a 120-volt charger when you use the charging cube that has the two prongs. The 120-volt system is typically run by your generator or when you are plugged into shore power.
12-Volt DC power System
Your 12-volt DC power system is typically used for smaller appliances like when you plug your cell phone charger into the cigarette lighter to charge, you are charging with the 12-volt DC system. The lights in your RV are also run by your 12-volt deep cycle battery. Your batteries are what power the 12V DC portion of your RV.
If you have a bad converter or your batteries are not charged, your lights or other 12v systems will not function even when plugged into power or when using your generator.
If you run into an issue where your generator is on, or you are plugged into power, and your lights are not working well, there is a good chance your converter is bad and not charging your batteries or something is wrong with your battery setup.
FAQ: Best RV Battery for Boondocking
What size battery do I need for boondocking?
The size of battery you will need for boondocking is also known as how many amp hours you will need. This number is different for everyone because each family uses a different amount of power, and they have different sizes of RVs, which use different amounts of power.
Another factor is how long you are going to be boondocking and how much solar, if any, you have or how much you use your generator to charge your batteries.
Aside from the large possible variation in general, if you have 100 amp hours to 200 amp hours, this will probably be sufficient. We have 400 watts of solar and 200 amp hours of battery power, and with five people, we can easily go a week or two with plenty of battery power.
If you start with 100 amp hours and it is not sufficient, then you can easily add more to your system or add some solar to helo charge your batteries.
How long will a RV battery last boondocking?
This depends on how much power you are using while you are boondocking and the size of your RV. If you are in a small camper van, then your 100 amp hour battery will last much longer than your full-size RV because everything is smaller, and you will use less power.
It is recommended to go boondocking close to your house or in your backyard and see for yourself how long your battery will last for you and your family while boondocking.
What is the best RV battery for dry camping?
Your best RV battery for Boondocking is going to be a lithium battery which is also known as a LiFePO4 battery. RVs do not use Lithium Ion batteries, but they use Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries.
These are safer and better for RV use. Battle Born batteries are probably your best battery, but because they are so expensive, they might not be practical for most people.
▶ SHOP LiFePO4 Batteries
How Many Amp Hours Do I Need For Boondocking?
The amount of amp hours you will need for boondocking is not the same for everyone. This number varies depending on the size of your RV, your family, how long your boondock for, and how much power you use.
It is recommended that if you are boondocking, you have 200 amp hours and some solar to charge those best RV batteries for boondocking, but this could be more or less for each individual or family.
How Many Batteries Do I Need When Boondocking?
The number of batteries you will need will depend on how large your batteries are. If you are using your typical flooded lead acid deep cycle battery, you may need four because they are only 50 amp hours.
If you purchase a sweet 100 or 200-amp hour LiFePO4 battery, you may only need one.
How Can I Tell If My RV Battery Needs Replaced?
You can tell if your RV battery needs to be replaced in multiple different ways. An easy way is to take it into your local automotive store and have them test your batteries. This is a foolproof way to determine if your battery is bad.
Another way is just by noticing your charged battery is not longer keeping your lights on for very long. However, this could also mean your battery was not fully charged.
Many new battery chargers will tell you if your battery is unable to take charge and if it is a bad battery.
Conclusion: Best RV battery for Boondocking
We hope our battery guide has given clarity into what can be a complicated and interesting world of boondocking batteries. A new and well-cared-for battery is very nice to have in any camper. Having a good RV battery for boondocking is so important if this is how your family camps in your RV.
Whether your camper is old or new, a new battery is something that will make you feel comfortable no matter where you chose to explore.
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