Buyer's Guide & Information

Best RV Batteries For Boondocking & Dry Camping

We have reviewed and compared the best RV batteries for boondocking. Dry camping has never been easier with these reliable and long-lasting battery brands.

The RV battery is placed in recreational vehicles as a means to supply power for your appliances and electronics. With the best RV battery for boondocking, you gain consistent power even if you aren’t near a power source. We will evaluate some 12V RV battery models to help you find the one that suits your rig.


Reasons to Invest in RV Batteries When Boondocking

Why do you want the best RV battery for dry camping? Anytime you plan to go off-grid, you need a deep cycle RV battery to offer the power required to run your electronics and appliances. This battery will provide you with the reliable power you need, without a source. Trustworthy batteries are going to give you the confidence you need to travel anywhere.


Choosing A Quality RV Battery for Dry Camping

Battery Type

When choosing RV house batteries, you have many options. You don't want starting batteries as these provide a quick burst of power to get the motorhome running. Instead, you could consider deep cycle batteries, such as a flooded lead-acid, gel, lithium-ion, or AGM batteries. You could also opt for marine or dual-purpose batteries.

Battery Size

Whatever type you choose, the battery needs to fit in the compartment you have. Check the size of the battery box to find an option that fits. If you need to connect multiple batteries, you will want an RV dual battery box to accommodate the additional case. You also want to consider the weight of the batteries, as some might require the help of a friend to get installed or removed for storage.

Depth of Discharge

Another aspect to look at is the depth of discharge. You will find this number listed as a percentage, which shows the power amount discharged from the battery. Lead-acid batteries contain a discharge depth and life cycle that are related. The deeper the cycle is, the longer the battery will last.

Charging Method

How do you plan to charge the RV battery? If you hope to use an RV solar battery charger, you will need a compatible battery. Otherwise, you can charge the battery with your shore power or generator. It’s also possible to use a mixture of charging sources, but you will need a controller or smart charger to manage it.

Capacity

The RV battery capacity is measured by Ampere hours or Ah. Understanding this, seeing a battery featuring 100Ah capacity, you know that means it delivers 100A an hour. The higher capacity battery you choose, the more power it produces, and the longer it will last. In addition, you must look at the voltage. The majority of batteries are 12V, but you could also combine 6 volt RV batteries in a series to produce the same amount.

Life Span & Expiration Date

The deep cycle RV battery does you no good if it is dead. That’s why you should check the expiration date of a battery before purchasing it. If it has been sitting on a shelf for many years, it isn’t going to give you the same lifespan as a fresh battery would.

Power at Low & High Temp

You want to use your RV in a variety of temperatures, but not all batteries can handle this. When operating in lower temperatures, cheap batteries struggle to provide the power you need. However, operating the batteries at higher temperatures can also cause problems. The best battery for boondocking will supply power in all cases.

Build Quality

As you choose the RV battery that works for you, consider how well it has been built. If it isn’t constructed of durable materials, it won’t handle the shocks and vibrations well. As you know, sometimes you have to travel on uneven terrain, which is going to force the battery to endure more stress.

Price & Warranty

Our best RV battery review will give you options from a variety of price points. You can choose a low-cost battery or high-end models instead. Try not to focus too heavily on the price, but rather look at the value offered. A cheap battery might not last as long as one that is more expensive, making it a poor value, especially if there isn’t a lengthy warranty included.


6 Best RV Battery for Boondocking Reviewed

1. Universal Power Group

Our Top Pick!

Voltage

12V

Amp Rating

100 Ah

Battery Type

AGM

Dimensions

16.4 x 12.8 x 12.6 inches

Warranty

1-year

While there are plenty of options on the market for 12V AGM deep cycle batteries, few receive the highly rated reviews as this one does. This AGM RV battery provides maintenance-free operations to make everything easier and safer. This spill proof battery can be mounted in a variety of ways for complete versatility. In addition, the company ensures that the case is made to withstand excessive vibration and shock.

The one downside to this type of RV battery is the extra weight. At nearly 64 pounds, it might be heavier than some people hope to deal with. This is typical of many AGM batteries. However, you could easily hook these batteries up in parallel or in a series for more flexibility.

Overall, the price on this RV battery is reasonable, just what most people are willing to pay for a reliable power source. However, the company only provides a one-year warranty. While this is a standard term among battery manufacturers, some brands are willing to go beyond the minimum and offer additional peace of mind. If you are looking to boondock regularly, you won't be disappointed with this battery. It has offered many customers with the reliable power needed to be off the grid.

Pros

  • Vibration-resistant
  • Maintenance-free
  • Can be mounted in multiple positions
  • Highly rated

Cons

  • Heavy

2. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop

Runner Up

Voltage

12V

Amp Rating

55 Ah

Battery Type

AGM

Dimensions

10 x 6.9 x 7.8 inches

Warranty

2-year

Another AGM RV marine battery to consider is this option from Optima. It is a 12V battery like the last one, but has a lighter weight, making it easy to transport and install. However, it also features less Ah at just 55 versus 100 with the last model. Still, there are plenty of features that make this model a top choice. With this battery, you gain superior power, even if the weather is poor.

You can mount it in any position to fit easier in your box. In addition, this Optima RV battery is fifteen times more vibration-resistant for maximum durability when traveling in rough terrain. It contains a reserve capacity reaching 120 minutes, so you don't have to worry about it after taking it from storage. The dual-purpose battery contains a unique SpiralCell design that utilizes a new construction to ensure a long life.

The price of this battery rises slightly over the previous model, but many of the reviews suggest that the cost is worth it. One selling feature that the company hopes adds value is the two-year warranty, which is double the term over our top pick. This additional time might be just what you need when choosing new RV batteries.

Pros

  • Vibration-resistant
  • Unique SpiralCell design
  • Can be mounted in multiple positions
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Lower Ah capacity

3. ExpertPower

Top of the Line (Lithium-Ion)

Voltage

12V

Amp Rating

100 Ah

Battery Type

Lithium-Ion

Dimensions

13 x 6.8 x 8.4 inches

Warranty

10-year

If money isn't your concern; you just want long-lasting, reliable power, it is better to look at a lithium RV battery, such as this one from ExpertPower. The 12V lithium-ion rechargeable battery provides between 2500 and 7000 life cycles, making it the best choice for your RV, boat, and other off-grid applications. The LifePO4 battery has a flat discharge curve that holds 12V for up to ninety percent of capacity usage, compared to the typical fifty percent from lead-acid batteries.

In addition, this model comes complete with a built-in battery management system. With the BMS, you gain full protection of deep discharge, overcharge, overheating, overloading, low-discharge rates, and short circuits. You can also store it up to a year without any issues. However, this exceptional option does come at a cost.

Thankfully, the battery only weighs 22.6 pounds, making it simple to transport. The company also provides a ten-year warranty, which is beyond the terms of any other manufacturer. According to the customer reviews, this choice is a winner for anyone that demands instant power while boondocking. If you can’t sacrifice power while you are disconnected, you might have to invest a little more in getting reliable performance, such as what’s offered by ExpertPower.

Pros

  • Lasts longer than lead-acid
  • 10-year warranty
  • Highly rated
  • Built-in battery management software

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Weize

Highly Rated

Voltage

12V

Amp Rating

100 Ah

Battery Type

AGM

Dimensions

12.09 x 6.65 x 9.17 inches

Warranty

10-year

Another option as an AGM RV battery is this model from Weize. The company is considered one of the leaders; just take a look at those exceptional reviews. This 12V deep cycle battery is ideal for boondocking, camping, or marine applications. It provides 100 Ah and is completely sealed. You can count on the exceptional performance, even if you want to use your solar panel or wind charging equipment. It also works well in golf carts, electric vehicles, with garden tools, and more.

The valve regulated design of this battery ensures your safety when using it indoors or an enclosed environment. It’s completely maintenance-free and leak-proof, making it safer than many other types. On the downside, the battery does weigh 60 pounds, so it’s not like carrying a lithium-ion RV battery around.

With the overwhelming amount of five-star reviews, it’s easy to see that this model is a winner. Considering all of the benefits, one would expect the price to be much higher than what it actually is. However, the manufacturer is one of the companies that only provide a one-year warranty. Still, it doesn’t seem necessary to have a longer term than that, considering premature failure doesn’t seem to be a prevalent issue.

Pros

  • Leak-proof
  • Maintenance-free
  • Highly rated
  • Works indoors and enclosed environments

Cons

  • Heavy

5. Renogy Lithium-Iron

For Long Lasting Power

Voltage

12V

Amp Rating

100 Ah

Battery Type

Lithium-ion

Dimensions

10.2 x 6.2 x 9.7 inches

Warranty

5-year

Another option as a lithium RV battery for boondocking is this model from Renogy. This lithium-ion RV battery comes with a higher price, which is to be expected when you examine the durability and performance. It’s fully sealed and waterproof. You also won’t need to worry about corrosion or leaking. This battery is estimated to provide over 2000 cycles, which is more than double the best lead-acid batteries.

It also includes a battery management system to optimize performance. With the BMS, the equipment automatically balances the cells and offers protection against over-discharge, over-charge, over-current, over-temperature, and short circuits. The low self-discharge rate is estimated at less than 3% a month, allowing you to put it in storage without any worry. It also weighs just 28 pounds, making it a portable option.

Money can’t be a concern when looking at lithium-ion batteries. The value has to be the paramount reason to purchase this unit. When compared with what traditional batteries offer, the cost makes up for itself. Just read through some of the customer reviews that were thrilled by the power and efficiency. In addition, the company does supply a five-year warranty, which is far longer than the standard terms.

Pros

  • Maintenance-free
  • Supplies more than 2,000 cycles
  • Built-in battery management system
  • Superior shelf life

Cons

  • Expensive

6. Renogy AGM 

Trusted Brand

Voltage

12V

Amp Rating

100 Ah

Battery Type

AGM

Dimensions

13.1 x 6.9 x 8.6 inches

Warranty

1-year

To close out our list, we have another option from Renogy, a company that continues to lead the way. This maintenance-free AGM 12-volt battery has a unique valve regulation and separators that add life and durability. You won’t have to worry about any leaks, making it simple to mount this battery anywhere you want. It also comes with proprietary quinary alloy plates and grids to enable a lower internal resistance and higher discharge currents. With this technology, you can expect to receive more capacity than other batteries.

Also, the company uses an upgraded electrolyte formula to ensure the battery remains stable at any temperature. You can use this in cold or warm climates with ease. While this battery overflows with positive customer reviews, there's no getting around the 66-pound weight that can make installation a little cumbersome.

However, it does come with a reasonable price. There is also the option to upgrade to a 12V 200 Ah battery if you prefer. Most people will be fine with the first option, but it’s nice to know it’s available, especially for heavy boondockers. Just keep in mind that this battery isn’t covered by a lengthy warranty. You will only receive a year of coverage.

Pros

  • Maintenance-free
  • Unique construction
  • Includes upgraded electrolyte solution
  • Highly rated

Cons

  • Heavy

RV Batteries for Dry Camping

  • Deep Cycle
    Deep cycle batteries come in a variety of formats. The lithium-ion battery is lightweight and provides more power than other types. In fact, it can offer from 3,000 to 5,000 life cycles. The flooded lead-acid battery is also called a wet cell. It comes with electrolyte solutions surrounding the plates, which helps this model to prevent overcharging. AGM batteries require no maintenance and tend to endure stress better. There’s also the option to use a gel battery, which can be used in extreme temperatures but will cost you more.
  • Solar
    If you have a solar panel for RV battery charging, you will want a particular type of battery that can be charged through the panels. While you will have a larger upfront cost to set up solar equipment, you can charge your battery anywhere the sun is shining.

Installing/Replacing RV Batteries

Follow these steps to replace or install RV batteries.

  1. 1
    Power the RV down
  2. 2
    Open the box and remove the black terminal from the battery.
  3. 3
    Remove the red cable terminal, ensuring that the two never touch.
  4. 4
    Remove the battery from the compartment.
  5. 5
    Place your new battery into the box.
  6. 6
    Start by attaching the red cable, then the black.
  7. 7
    Secure all of the connections and close up the battery box.
  8. 8
    Dispose of the old batteries properly.

You can also watch this helpful video.

If you want to learn how to hook up solar panels to an RV battery, you will want to make sure you have a solar panel kit and an inverter. Aside from this, you can also learn how to hook up RV batteries in a series, which allows you to boost your voltage. If you prefer to set them up in parallel, you attain a higher capacity with an addition of ampere-hour.


Charging RV Batteries for Boondocking

  • Generator
    Many people prefer to charge the RV battery with a generator. To charge your RV battery with a generator, run the equipment until the batteries read fully charged. You won’t want to have the RV plugged in at the same time. Also, turn off the RV and set your emergency brake. Charging time relies heavily on the weather, so you might have trouble getting a full charge when the temperatures dip low. If you want to increase the speed of charging, turn off all electronics and appliances until the batteries are full.
  • Solar Panel
    For those that spend a lot of time boondocking, the solar panel kit provides your best option for charging. It's completely portable, and you can charge anywhere. Charging also doesn't cost you anything, once you make the initial investment. To get setup, you will need solar panels installed. It’s also necessary to have an inverter that converts power. If you prefer, consider purchasing a solar power charging kit for the RV and just keep it simple. Just make sure you are always facing the sun for faster charging times.
  • Jumper Cables / Battery Charger
    If you prefer to carry around a portable battery charger, that’s a possibility as well. Your unit will have both the negative and positive clamps, which connect to your battery. Disconnect the battery from the RV before connecting the clamps. Once the battery is at capacity, the system will indicate a full charge. Then, you can turn off your charger and disconnect it, beginning with the negative (black) clamp. With a dead RV battery, it might be best to jump-start it with another vehicle, just as you would a vehicle. 
  • Converter Charger
    With a converter, you can quickly charge the RV battery. This handy device converts 120V alternating current to 12V DC power. While it's not the most efficient way to gain a charge, it's convenient. This system will only supply 40 amps and charge the battery up to 5 amps. You don't want to rely on this source with a completely depleted battery. In addition, any time you charge this way, you will want to plan ahead for the additional time.

RV Battery Storage & Maintenance

If you plan to park your RV for the winter, you must store your RV batteries separately. Here are some steps to follow.

  1. 1
    Inspect your batteries. If there is any sign of damage, leaking, or defects, you need to replace the batteries.
  2. 2
    Clean the terminals with baking soda and water.
  3. 3
    Use a voltmeter to test the battery and ensure it is completely charged.
  4. 4
    Place the case in a secure RV battery lockbox.
  5. 5
    Before you reinstall the battery, charge it entirely once again.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What RV appliances can I run on battery power?

Your RV batteries can run the water pump, major appliances, and lights without access to a power source.

How long do RV batteries last?

If you maintain your RV battery and run it appropriately, it could last between five and seven years. To keep it running its best, make sure you discharge and recharge correctly.

How many batteries do I need for my RV when dry camping?

It all depends on the amperage you require. Use one 12V 24 group deep cycle RV battery, which provides 70 to 85 Ah, or you could use two 12 24 group RV batteries, running parallel to create 140 to 170 Ah.

Does an RV battery charge when its plugged in?

The RV batteries charge when you are plugged in. This power only comes about as a trickle charge, so it does take time to get the batteries at a full charge.


Conclusion

If you are hoping for a 12V AGM RV battery at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with our top pick from Universal Power Group. It offers the perfect balance between reliable power and cost-effective service.

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