The Best RV Batteries for Boondocking

The RV is a balanced combination of a comfortable home away from home and a beast on the road. Built like a house as much as it travels with a powerful engine, RV owners from all around the world take on different adventures with their trusty RVs. One such activity that has captivated the hearts of RV owners is boondocking. But you can’t set out for long without electricity, especially since you would need to run at least lights, electric fans, and even a refrigerator.

best rv battery for boondocking

Even if you’re out in the wilderness, you can still power up your electric devices by using the best RV battery for boondocking. However, choosing the top one is not easy as there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Fear not; I’ve made it simpler for you. I’ve tried and tested dozens of RV batteries and have come up with a list of the best ones. Here they are.

12 Best RV Battery for Boondocking Reviews 2020

1. Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

If you want the best RV battery that will perform even in the toughest conditions, then you certainly need a reliable battery made by Battle Born.

There are so many likable things about this particular RV battery. First is its capacity. It can provide somewhere between 3000 to 5000 repeated discharging and charging without compromising its performance. Also, it can provide between 14.4 to 14.6 volts which is enough power to run most RV appliances. I can totally use this battery as a backup power source as it is very flexible and reliable.

I also like the fact that this particular battery is compatible with solar power. I have a small solar power set up in my RV and I’m delighted that this battery works magnificently well with my set up. It is also leak-proof and spill-proof, so I’m not worried about any extra mess inside my RV while I’m driving around the country. I’m also glad to report that this battery is completely maintenance-free. Since I mounted it, I never experienced any issues or need to repair it.

What I don’t appreciate about this RV battery is the brittle housing. The front side of the battery housing is cracked. Although I am aware that the battery itself is separate from its housing, I cannot help but worry a little that the crack may have an effect on the performance of the battery in the future.

Pros
  • Has a long lifespan
  • Leak-proof
  • Spill-proof
  • Can be placed in any position
  • Can work with solar power system
  • Has a 10-year warranty
  • Lighter than old lead-acid battery models
Cons
  • Has a brittle housing
After considering all of the valid points above, I can say that the Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery is a reliable product. It lasts longer than other brands, leak-proof, spill-proof, and most of all – maintenance-free. Moreover, it has a 10-year warranty so you can return it if it fell short of you expectations. If you want to have a long-lasting battery for your RV, fishing boat, or camper, this one will provide you a good supply of energy indefinitely. 

2. VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery

If you have an RV or fishing boat that has a huge energy need, you certainly need a battery that is capable of supplying you with enough electricity to run your gadgets smoothly.

What I like about this particular product is its flexibility. It can be used with either solar or wind energy. This is advantageous for those who like to stay off-road for a long time. I have a small solar power set up and I can say that the battery is compatible with it. Similarly, this battery can be used to supply energy to golf carts and other vehicles that require the same type of battery.

Another positive feature that I like about this battery is the solid design. The housing is tough and doesn’t crack easily. In addition, this battery is leak-proof and spill-free, that’s why I can set it up in any position. This is perfect especially if the RV is traversing on a very rough road condition. Moreover, this one is maintenance-free, so I don’t have to worry about repairs.

If you are budget-conscious, this product will be out of your reach. I don’t like that it is a bit expensive compared to similar products in the market these days. In my experience as an off-road traveler, every penny is precious because it can be spent for other important things such as food, gas, medicine, among other things.

Pros
  • Leak-free
  • Can be mounted in any position
  • Can be used with solar power system
  • Can be used with wind energy
  • Durable
  • Maintenance-free
Cons
  • Expensive
All in all, I can honestly say that the VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery is a phenomenal product. This battery is leak-proof and spill-free, so you can be confident that the lead-acid will not spill out of the battery. Also, this unit is very flexible, as it can be connected to solar and wind energy systems. If you need a battery that can flexibly provide you with a healthy supply of energy, this battery is the one for you.

3. Trojan T-125 6V 240Ah Flooded Lead Acid GC2 Deep Cycle Battery

If you have an RV, fishing boat, camper, truck, or a golf cart, you definitely need a long-lasting battery to provide you the necessary energy on the road. Unfortunately, not all deep cycle batteries can perform satisfactorily. This is where Trojan T-125 6V 240Ah promises to deliver an excellent performance.

I really appreciate this 12-volt battery. It has a long battery life compared to other similar products in the market these days. This makes it very ideal for RV’s, trucks, and golf carts. My RV benefits greatly from this battery. I also like the way that it can be mounted in any position. Since this battery is spill-free and leak-proof, I don’t worry about it getting ruined even though I drive on a rough and uneven road.

Its main feature is the proprietary Maxguard Advanced Design Separator. This allows the battery to have a maximum life cycle. This is advantageous because the battery can provide more energy during specific moments such as emergency situations.

There are two minor things that I don’t like about this product. First is its weight. Because of the Trojan’s proprietary Maxguard Advanced Design Separator, additional weight has been given to the already heavy battery. This makes it harder to lift or transfer. Next is the fact that it needs to be recharged every 3 to 6 months even when not being used. This is a kind of a hassle for me because it’s an additional task.

Pros
  • Spill-free
  • Leak-proof
  • Has a long battery life
  • Durable
  • Can be mounted in any position
  • Has a flooded technology
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Needs to recharge every 3 to 6 months even if not in use
Summing up all of the valid points above, I can say that the Trojan T-125 6V 240Ah is an incredible product. It is very durable and can be mounted in any position. Its proprietary Maxguard Advanced Design Separator adds more power to the battery. If your RV, fishing boat or golf cart needs a powerful battery, this one will certainly perform admirably and meet your expectations. 

4. Universal Power Group 100Ah Battery

When I decided to set up my solar power system for the RV, I made sure to get the best RV battery for dry camping as I know that all components of the system should be safe, durable, and easily accessible. I chose the UPG 100Ah battery as it is spill-proof and shock-proof, which is exactly what I needed.

This battery is compatible whether you are setting up for a DC or AC power supply for your RV, although you will need an inverter if you opt for the latter. However, even when I chose to run my electric system on DC only, I still got enough power for 3 days even without having to recharge the batteries.

I like that the lead-acid battery is not as temperature-sensitive as the lithium-ion ones, so it keeps its charge pretty well even when exposed to outside temperatures. As I understand, the lithium-ion ones tend to be less efficient in cold temperatures, so I opted for the sealed lead-acid battery. This one is also sealed so spills in case of accidents or earthquakes are avoided.

I would say that while the connection and installation itself is pretty easy, I didn’t like that it is a bit bulky and weighs about 60 pounds that it can’t be moved around easily. I needed two batteries to complete my system, and it got a bit tricky during set up because of the size and weight; but once the batteries are set in place, there is no need for me to carry it again so I guess it’s fine.

Pros
  • Spill-free
  • Compatible with any solar panel
  • Easy to install
  • Allows for convenient scaling up of any solar power system, you could combine up to 4 (for 48V), depending on your load
  • Maintenance-free and rechargeable
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky
Although it is a bit on the heavy side and I was exhausted from having to lift it and move it around while setting up my system for the RV, I am still glad I got this battery because now I can get safe and renewable energy to power my appliances.

5. NPP NP6-200Ah Deep Cycle Battery

As a deep-cycle battery, this NPP NP6-200Ah 6V battery functions well and enables me to enjoy the benefits of a solar power system in my RV.

When I started planning the design for my RV’s solar power system, I thought of getting one 12V battery but realized that it is too bulky for the available space in the RV. I thought of laying it on its side, but as you know, that is not a good thing to do on batteries, even when they are tightly sealed like this NPP battery.

I checked the dimensions of this 6V NPP battery and realized that while two of this will be slightly bigger and take up a little more space than one 12V one, it could make my system more efficient. I was told that deep-cycle 12V batteries are not as efficient as two 6V ones, so I decided to get these NPP 6V batteries instead.

Of course, like any lead-acid battery, there is a risk of burns or fire if this battery is not used properly: but it shouldn’t be a problem if you follow the safety precautions on storage and handling that come with the battery. As this battery follows IEC, CE, UL, and ISO standards, it is a safe product to use on the RV.

A minor thing, but I was not very happy that the terminals of the battery are aligned diagonally instead of being on the same side. I said “minor” because, for me, it’s more on the aesthetics of my setup, as it looks tangled when the cables between the batteries are connected.

Pros
  • Valve-regulated
  • Sealed for safety
  • Has CE, UL, IEC, and ISO certifications
  • Has non-conductive and durable plastic case
  • Two of these could replace one bulky 12V battery
  • Shock-proof and vibration-proof
  • Allows for easy installation
  • Weather and heat resistant
Cons
  • Positive and negative terminals are not aligned on one side
Even though the setup looks a bit messy because of the wires crossing over each other, for me, two smaller true deep-cycle 6V batteries are still better than one huge 12V battery, so I am still satisfied with this purchase.

6. Mighty Max 6V 200Ah Battery

As a battery for the solar power system I have in my RV, the Mighty Max 6V battery has proven to be a cost-effective choice.

I used to have two Universal Power Group batteries that lasted for about 3.5 years, which I think is already pretty impressive considering that some batteries only last up to a year or two. Although in the past couple of months, I noticed that the batteries tend to drain faster, so I thought of getting another pair.

I tried to find the same UPG batteries, but when I checked the prices online, I noticed that the Mighty Max battery is cheaper by around $40 a piece, so I got two of the latter instead.

I like that the Mighty Max battery terminals have internal threads for a more secure connection. It also has a low self-discharge rate so it lasts longer than typical lead-acid batteries. It is protected from overheating/pressure build-up by the built-in one-way release valves that enables the exhaust of oxygen and hydrogen in case the battery is overcharged.

I would say, though, that considering the weight of the battery (approx. 63.1 pounds), they could have made the strap a little stronger – it looks like it could snap anytime. Not that it broke already, but I am worried that the strap would not last long. However, since I don’t have to move it around after I installed it, maybe I would just have to be careful when I carry it next time (most likely when I replace the batteries years from now).

Pros
  • Threaded terminals for better connection
  • Can get to up to 99% gas recombination efficiency
  • Long service life
  • Maintenance-free
  • Leak-proof
  • Can withstand low and high operating temperatures
  • Completely sealed, but has a built-in safety valve to avoid pressure build-up
Cons
  • Strap is a bit flimsy
I think that even with the flimsy strap, the battery still functions well and is just the right size for my system. I appreciate that this Mighty Max battery is not only cheaper than my old batteries but are also supposed to last longer (3-5 years).

7. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M Battery

Motorhomes, RVs, and fishing boats need to have a reliable battery. This is because the battery will supply the necessary power to run the important electronics inside. If you need the best RV battery to serve you even during the harshest condition, then the Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M is the one for you!

I am deeply impressed with this particular battery. Its performance with my RV so far is really good. It has a dual function: deep cycle battery and a starting battery. What surprised me the most is its reserve capacity. 120 uninterrupted minutes is enough to supply backup power to my RV. The SpiralCell and continuous lead plates make it possible to release such impressive amounts of power. Also, this one recharges fast so I can get on the road back once it finished replenishing its energy supply.

The design is really meant for portability. The whole unit is lightweight compared to similar batteries in the market. While the other 12-volt batteries can be mounted in any position, this one should be mounted in one direction only. However, its shock and vibration resistance more than make up for it. This way, the lead-acid and other important components inside the battery will remain intact even though the RV is traveling on a rough road.

If there’s one thing that I don’t appreciate about this product, it will be the weak housing. I’ve accidentally hit it with a wrench and it cracked. I certainly didn’t have this concern with my other batteries.

Pros
  • Fast recharge
  • For deep-cycling and starting
  • Has a reserve capacity of 120 minutes of constant performance
  • Designed for portability
  • Vibration and shock-resistant
Cons
  • The housing is susceptible to damage
In closing, I can say that the Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M is a magnificent product. It is durable, leak-free, and spill-proof. Bad road conditions won’t affect the battery’s performance because it’s completely shock and vibration resistant. Moreover, it recharges fast and functions as a deep cycle battery and starting. If you still cannot decide which battery to purchase, this one will surprise you.

8. Universal Power Group UBGC2 Sealed AGM Deep Cycle Battery

Sometimes, RV batteries need not only powerful but also flexible. This is to accommodate other power sources such as solar energy. If you want a powerful battery that is also flexible, this product will certainly provide you electricity without any issues.

This 12-volt battery is one of the best I have seen so far. It is leak-proof and spill-free that’s why it can be mounted in any position. In addition, this battery is very resistant to shocks and vibrations. It can withstand bumpy roads and still work admirably. I am also glad that this battery is also maintenance-free. This saves me a great deal of money because I don’t have to worry about repairs.

Another pleasant feature of this battery that I really like is its flexibility. This product can be hooked up with solar power set up. With this, I don’t have to purchase a separate battery to accommodate the PV energy from the solar panels. This is truly a reliable off-road companion of any RV or camper owner. Even though I know that this battery won’t wear out quickly, it is still nice to know that it has a one year warranty. I can certainly rest easy with this kind of assurance.

One thing that I don’t like about this 12-volt battery is its size. It is really bulky and heavy compared to other batteries in the market today. I had to customize the battery compartment for my solar set up just to accommodate this one. Also, I use a wheel cart to move this one as it really strains my back.

Pros
  • Can be used with solar power
  • Can be mounted in any position
  • Vibration and shock-resistant
  • Does not require water during its lifetime
  • Has a 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Bulky and heavy
In a nutshell, I can say that this 12-volt RV battery is awesome. It is leak-proof, spill-free, and totally maintenance-free. It is also flexible as it can be connected to a solar power set up. What’s more impressive is that this unit does not require water during its lifetime! If you need to buy a battery for your RV, camper, golf cart, or motorhome that does not need maintenance in order to work, this one from Universal Power Group will provide you the comfort that you so deserve. 

9. VMAXTANKS Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle Battery

Not all 12-volt RV batteries are created the same. Some will last only up to 5 years while some will last up to 10 years or so. If you need a long-lasting battery that will provide you the energy your RV, golf cart, camper, or motorhome needs, this one from VMAXTANKS is the one for you.

Out of all the batteries I have seen so far, this one is definitely the most durable of all. If the information on the product description is correct, this one has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. This means that I won’t have to spend a significant amount of money to replace this battery for a newer model. Moreover, even if I use many appliances at the same time, it still retains enough energy as it has a very low discharge rate.

What I don’t appreciate about this product is its weight. Since it uses military-grade plates, the added weight became cumbersome and a total hassle. I have a back pain and I really don’t like lifting heavy objects as it exacerbates my condition. Other than the weight, I find no fault in this amazing RV battery.

Pros
  • Rechargeable
  • Can be connected to solar power set up
  • Has a low discharge rate
  • Has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years
  • Can power multiple appliances without losing energy
  • Safe for air, maritime, and surface transport
Cons
  • Very heavy
Having said all of the important information above, I can say that the VMAXTANKS Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA rechargeable Battery is a magnificent product. It is safe to mount in any position as it won’t spill or leak. It is flexible as it can be hooked up with solar power set up. Also, it is good that it’s maintenance-free as it won’t use up your budget for repairs. If you still haven’t decided which battery to use, the VMAXTANKS Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle Battery will be good for you. 

10. Weize 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle Battery

I built my RV solar power system with the help of my brother-in-law, who recommended me to get a Mighty Max battery. The first battery I got lasted for around 3 years, but when it was time for me to get the replacement, I couldn’t find a seller that could deliver it to me right away. I noticed that this Weize 12V 100Ah battery has similar specifications, so I thought I would try it out.

Fortunately, it worked out well for me as this deep-cycle battery fits in my system without any trouble. I was using the previous one only at night as I didn’t have an inverter then. Now that I got the inverter, I could maximize the available sunlight during the day: I could charge my two 12V batteries and have available power any time of the day.

Among the things I liked about this battery is that it is not as sensitive to full drainage as other batteries do, as it can recover from deep discharge. However, it should be noted that the battery can last longer if you try to avoid draining the charge fully and make sure to charge it right away in case it happens.

I was also impressed that this battery is small enough to fit in other compact equipment, such as motorized wheelchairs. It is compact and can save space inside the RV: it can even fit most battery-powered vehicles like golf carts or lawnmowers.

I didn’t like that it cannot be charged in a sealed container, as I had to customize my setup so the battery will not be susceptible to heat or pressure build-up. I think most sealed lead-acid batteries are like this anyway, so I guess we’ll just have to wait until they come up with a new design that allows for charging in sealed containers.

Pros
  • Leak-resistant
  • Maintenance-free
  • Has deep discharge recovery
  • Compact size
  • Long service life
Cons
  • Not suitable for charging in a sealed container
Other than that minor disadvantage, I think this battery is comparable to other more expensive batteries. It is compact and easily recovers from drainage. In that sense, I believe this is a good option for RV owners.

11. Renogy 12V 100Ah Gel Battery

When choosing between true deep-cycle batteries, I think that gel batteries like the Renogy 12V 100Ah battery is among the safest and most efficient ones to use to date.

I used to have a UPG sealed lead-acid battery that worked well with my RV solar power system. Until recently, I have only ever used lead-acid batteries from UPG or Renogy, since these batteries are durable and cost-efficient. This changed when I found out from a neighbor that lead-acid batteries tend to be more sensitive to high ambient temperatures. He recommended that I get a gel battery so that I wouldn’t have to worry when the temperature goes up during the summer.

Apart from gel batteries being more high-temperature-resistant, one thing that really appealed to me about this Renogy battery is that it can last up to 10 years. My RV solar power system’s service life is supposed to be 15 to 20 years, which means that I might only have to buy two sets of the gel batteries for the entire system until I would have to replace the system itself.

I still got a backup Renogy 12V AGM battery which I use for extra power in the RV, but so far I would say that this gel battery’s performance is also very promising.

I didn’t like that this battery is almost twice the price of most 12V 100Ah batteries, although I think it’s still reasonable considering that it is a pure gel battery and could last up to 10 years.

Pros
  • Rechargeable true deep-cycle
  • Slow discharge and mild corrosion
  • Designed to evenly distribute gel electrolyte
  • Valve-regulated and air-tight seal
  • Has built-in explosion-proof safety valves
  • Can last up to 9 months in storage (if not used) at 25 degrees Celsius
Cons
  • A bit on the expensive side
If I consider the price versus the service life of the battery, I think this gel battery could still be considered as cost-efficient as other 12V 100Ah in the market today. That being said, of course, I would still appreciate a much cheaper battery – but for now, I am satisfied with the design and construction of this Renogy battery.

12. ExpertPower 12v 33Ah Rechargeable Deep Cycle Battery 

Off-grid camping can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to finding a power source. This is why I decided to install a solar power system in my RV, and it is also why I had to get the Expert Power 12V deep cycle battery.

I knew I couldn’t get a flooded battery for my solar power system for safety purposes, so I was choosing between an AGM and a gel battery. When I set up the system for my RV, I opted for the Mighty Max gel battery because I was living in Arizona and temperatures can get really high during the summer – which is something that the gel battery could manage pretty easily.

On the other hand, since I moved to Michigan, I had to switch to this AGM battery because of temperatures dropping to -8 degrees Celsius or lower during the winter. I like that this ExpertPower AGM battery can withstand extreme temperatures – which makes it perfect for boondocking.

Although it might seem like a minor thing, I think that not having the operating temperatures indicated on the battery itself could pose a problem for some RV owners, especially those who are just starting to build their RV systems. I forgot to check the operating temperatures when I ordered this battery, so while I was installing it, I had to do a quick research online just to find the temperature range (-40 to 60 degrees Celsius) so I could take note of it.

Pros
  • AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery type can withstand both extremely low and extremely high ambient temperatures
  • Terminals have screws for a more secure connection
  • Spill-proof
  • Compact size
  • Deep-cycle and rechargeable
Cons
  • The battery body does not indicate the maximum and minimum temperatures at which it can be used safely
Apart from the minor disadvantage of not having the battery properly labeled with its operating temperature range, I would say that this battery is a good option for anyone considering setting up their own RV power system. I consider this ExpertPower battery as one of the most reliable RV batteries for boondocking available today.

What to Look for When Buying an RV Battery for Boondocking

best rv battery for dry camping

To RV owners, boondocking can mean a lot of things. Some people associate the term with simply having an overnight stay in your RV, whether it is in a Wal-Mart parking lot or along the highway. Another type of boondocking is camping ground boondocking. This is where you set up camp in an RV park or a general camping ground for a couple of nights, going out of the city and closer to the outdoors all the while still having the advantages of electricity, water, and a sewer system among other things. The third kind of RV boondocking is the undeveloped campsite boondocking. This is where you find an undeveloped but safe location in the outdoors, where you can roast marshmallows and gaze at the clear night sky, away from the buzz of the modern life.

The duration of the boondocking is up to the RV owner, but one thing is certain: to have a smoother, safer, and better boondocking experience, you would need a trusty RV battery that can handle it.

If you are looking for the best RV battery for your boondocking adventures, here are some factors to consider when choosing.

  • Voltage

In choosing the best RV battery for you, first, you would need to determine the capacity you would need for the specific kind of activity you are to pursue. Consider the amount of voltage the rig is compatible with, and what is needed for the activities. There are owners who opt for combining several batteries, in most cases two 6V batteries, in order to have a total of 12V system for the rig. However, the most common choice is the 12V battery, whether you choose a starter or a deep cycle variation is up to you.

  • Capacity

Always check the battery’s capacity before making a decision. The amp-hour rating is a factor that must be considered because it deals specifically with how much electricity you can store and use later. If you are confused as to what it means, just remember this: when the battery has a 100 AH rating, that simply means that the battery is able to provide 100 amps for the duration of a whole hour.

In considering the capacity of the battery that you need, determine the specific power requirements of your rig. Check the appliances on board, including your gadgets, devices, household equipment, tools and other things that you would need to charge or plug in to use. Determine the power they require and the duration as well as the frequency of their usage.

For an RV that is to be used in boondocking, it is advisable to look at deep cell batteries with high capacity. This is because the high capacity deep cell batteries are more stable when it comes to being a power source, just as it is reliable in storing electricity for a longer period of time, and being quite durable.

Another thing to consider in the battery’s capacity is its charging versatility. If you are to pick one specifically for boondocking activities, then choose an RV battery that you can charge in an RV solar panel, a battery charger, a generator, or the RV park’s charging system. A great RV boondocking battery is one that can utilize the use of shore power, solar power, and the generator. This is to make sure that you encounter no hiccups in the middle of your trip.

  • Performance Considering the Temperature

When you take an RV for boondocking, you are accepting the reality of the activity’s nature: that the outdoors might be beautiful, but still quite unpredictable. One of the factors often looked over by new RV owners (as well as a number of seasoned ones) is the temperature.

Surely, when getting from Point A to Point B, you will encounter different weathers. In some areas, it might be cold, wet, and raining. In others, it would be blistering hot, and dry, with no winds. Can you imagine having your RV battery malfunction at this crucial moment in your trip because of the temperature’s effect on the battery?

This is why it is important to look for batteries which will be able to perform in contrasting temperatures. Some batteries are incapable of working in low and freezing temperatures, and while others are not adept to perform at humid areas. Pick a battery that can sustain its functions even with this, and it would not hurt to choose one that specifically would not break down as it reaches 50% total capacity.

  • Performance Considering Terrain

As it is with traveling between places with heavy changes in weather and temperature, it is also advisable to consider choosing an RV battery for boondocking that is able to withstand constant vibrations, shaking, and movement.

Given the nature of boondocking, you are sure to face different challenges when it comes to the terrain you are driving in. Some roads would be smooth and easy to drive at, while some are inevitably going to be rougher, rockier, or more slippery. Unknown to many, this can directly affect how your battery functions.

Choose a battery with a great design that will prevent any spills and leaks that can harm it. High-quality batteries manufactured with durable materials are usually sturdier than your standard RV battery. The solid housing they provide is able to absorb the oncoming impacts, shocks, and vibrations that the unpredictable terrain might give out.

  • Price

After considering the needs of your rig, the capacity of the battery, the voltage it has, and its durability in facing the potential troubles in your boondocking, it is now time to consider the price. High-quality batteries might be pricier than what you expect, but consider buying it for the quality of boondocking experience you want. It is a long term investment that you and your family will enjoy and would make your RV better.

In essence, when searching for an RV battery, you should understand your RV and have an inkling of your needs. This would mean checking your electrical needs, summing up which appliances you’ll be using and how much power they need. In doing so, you’ll have a better understanding on what to look for.

Other Important Factors to Consider

battery for rv boondocking

  • What is a battery for RV boondocking?

One of the most beloved activities that RV owners usually take on is boondocking. Boondocking, also known to some as dry camping, has no definite meaning for RV owners as it can pertain to different styles and variations of the activity.

The first one is overnight boondocking, and it is the simplest of the three. This is the type of dry camping where you spend the night in your RV while it is parked in an accessible lot, or if you are feeling adventurous, even in safe spots alongside the highways.

The second boondocking variation is the camping ground boondocking. This is where you secure a spot in a developed camping ground or RV park. In some grounds, amenities are still available, while in others they are not. This is the perfect middle ground for transitioning into the third type of boondocking.

The third type is called the primitive campsite boondocking. This is probably the most famous kind among the three and is usually what people imagine when you say boondocking. This is where you go totally off the grid, setting up camp in a safe but secluded area away from the city buzz and under the clear, unpolluted skies.

Now, the duration of the boondocking differs from driver to driver. But however long it will be, there is one essential equipment that RV owners will need: a reliable RV battery for boondocking.

Unlike your standard RV batteries, a boondocking RV battery is supposed to be more durable, can store and collect more energy, and has a design that allows for better performance. As a power source, they are supposed to be able to support your everyday and travel items, gadgets, and appliances as well as your RV tools and equipment.

Simply put, the RV battery for boondocking is probably one of the most important factors that will make your off-grid experience smoother, better, and overall more enjoyable because of the availability of electrical energy, albeit limited.

  • How does it work?

Like traditional batteries, the RV battery for boondocking is able to store in energy in the form of electricity as it is connected to a power supply. This stored electricity is then later on used in order to power a number of compatible. However, as a seasoned vehicle enthusiast, I have had an RV by my side through years of traveling and I must say that even longtime owners and the new ones can be confused as to how it works. Here are the basics of it.

Deep cycle batteries are oftentimes the choice of RV owners. This is because the deep cycle battery is made to be charged and recharged all the while suffering no damages internally and externally. They are able to store energy and become a steady power source for your daily gadgets, even the AC and your RV’s entertainment system.

Now, the RV’s boondocking battery can only power these if you determine the voltage they would require upon a specific duration of time. Try and look for the voltage capacity of the battery, as well as the amp-hour rating. The battery’s amp-hour rating indicates the total amount of amps that it can disperse in an hourly period, and it indicates a 20-hour minimum standard. So if it indicates 100 ah as its capacity, this means it can disperse 5 amps an hour. This, together with the voltage, is what will allow you to determine what kind of onboard gadgets and appliances you can use and for how long.

Now when it comes to charging, there are several ways to store power in your battery. For one, nowadays the use of solar power is the current trend. It is easy to use, gathering energy can be done while driving or even parked, and it also operates with no noise whatsoever. Plus, it’s renewable and safe for the environment.

Another way is with an onboard generator that you can use while traveling. This is the most common one, but it uses either diesel or gasoline, emits smoke, and is very noisy. In order to charge with this generator and still have peace and quiet, you need to place it far from your RV when running.

The last option would be shore power or RV pedestals, which utilizes the RV park’s power supply. However, it is worth mentioning that most RV park pedestals use 120-volt alternating current for power, but sometimes there can be some underloading or overloading of power depending on the number of users or if the park is a bit old. Make sure to have a surge protector or voltage controller when charging to prevent damaging your RV battery.

  • What are the different types of RV batteries for boondocking?

Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries – This type of deep cycle battery is probably the most famous among all the options, being the ‘traditional’ battery that it is. The word ‘flooded’ in its name indicates the use of electrolyte fluid, which submerges the plates inside its housing. The main advantage of the lead-acid battery is that it can handle overcharging because of its hydrogen venting process. It also has a longer life, which means it can withstand long trips and can be used for years and years. It is also the affordable option.

AGM Lead-Acid Batteries – The AGM in its name stands for ‘absorbed glass mat’. This is another type of lead-acid battery, with the modification inside being a fiberglass mat that is able to absorb the battery’s electrolytes instead of letting them flow around. It internal resistance is lower than that of the flooded cells, and it is also capable of managing performance in higher temperatures and even in lower ones. Another great thing about the AGM lead-acid battery is that it is known to self-discharge slower than the other RV battery variations.

It is also often called ‘maintenance-free’, which is a far cry from the standard flooded lead-acid battery that requires constant maintenance checks. AGM batteries usually have a sturdy design to avoid tumbling and spillage.

Lithium-Ion BatteriesThe lithium-ion battery is the go-to choice for a number of RV owners out there. The main reason for this is that it is capable of a high-charging efficiency, as well as high life cycles ranging from 3000 to 5000. It also helps that it is lightweight and quite durable, able to withstand numerous trips and uses.

  • Why do you need an RV battery for boondocking?

RV owners choose a boondocking-specified battery because of its many advantages on and off the road. These are as follows:

  1. Can store more energy – because boondocking typically means you’ll be staying at a place where there is hardly any source of power, your battery must be able to handle the power load you need for days on end. A standard battery won’t be able to cut it, while an RV battery for dry camping will do wonders.
  2. Is a stable power source – because it stores more power, it becomes a reliable source of electricity for your RV appliances.
  3. Can be charged easily – as aforementioned, there are three ways to charge your RV battery, which are through solar power, RV generator, and park pedestal. So in case one of them is not available, you still have the other two choices (given that you have purchased them beforehand).
  4. Is highly durable – as they have been create specifically for dry camping, you can count on your battery to still work even when you go through rough terrain and can’t help the bumps on the road.

Once you stay for a couple of days or more in the wilderness, you’ll still be able to have access to your creature comforts, or the very least your modes of communication, with the help of RV batteries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

rv batteries for boondocking

What are good RV battery for boondocking brands?

Don’t go generic; choose batteries from reliable brands only. Why? It’s because this will give you the confidence that your product will work as specified and as expected. And when shopping for RV batteries, these are the most recommended brands to choose from:

  1. Battle Born Batteries – if you want locally-made batteries, this is a great option. All their products are made in Reno, Nevada, which they call the Battle Born as well. Their name itself implies that their batteries are ready for long hauls and intense adventures. What I love most about this company is that their batteries are manufactured using renewable and sustainable materials.
  2. VMAXTANKS – when it comes to batteries that provide maximum performance coupled with minimal maintenance necessary, VMAXTANKS takes the lead. Their batteries are installed with Absorbed Glass Mat or AGM, which means these items, can handle shocks and major vibrations. When going off-road, this brand is my top choice.
  3. Trojan Battery – having been established in 1925, Trojan has more than 90 years’ worth of experience in manufacturing various types of batteries. Their flagship products are deep-cycle batteries which are very reliable when going camping for several days.
  4. Universal Power Group – another company that has been in this industry for a long while now, UPG has been a reliable battery manufacturer for half a century now. Their batteries all have a no-fuss design and are highly durable.
  5. Mighty Max – if you are looking for batteries that work great with solar power systems, I would recommend Mighty Max batteries. They also have matching solar power parts and accessories.
  6. Optima Batteries – if I would choose just one brand among the rest, Optima Batteries is my choice. Not only do they look awesome – they definitely last for more than a decade!
  7. Renogy – this is a brand I trust when it comes to solar-powered products. I use this brand for my other RV and camping needs, actually!

How to choose the right size?

Most RV appliances run on 12 Volts, so if you’re getting a battery, it would be best to choose this type. If you’re opting for 6 Volt batteries to make 12 Volts, make sure you know how to connect them in series. 6 Volt batteries are undeniably smaller in size than 12 Volt batteries, so if you have a small space allotted for the battery, you can opt for them. But always take into consideration your RV’s needs.

How to setup?

RV batteries can typically be used right out of the box (or whatever packaging it comes in), especially if it is maintenance-free. If it needs to be topped up with electrolyte, use distilled water and fill with the correct volume.

Follow the instructions that it comes with to help you identify the positive and negative terminals so you can connect them appropriately. Also, turn off all devices and appliances that connect to the old battery, before replacing the old battery with the new one.

How to use?

You can use your RV battery by connecting it to your rig. There is a specific spot for batteries in a fifth wheel, so you should check where it is the moment you buy an RV. Once the battery is connected, you can power up your RV appliances. Once the battery runs out of power or is discharged, it’s time to recharge it by connecting to a power source such as at home, at an electric pedestal in RV parks, or by using solar-powered or fuel-powered generators.

How to care and clean?

RV batteries can last anywhere from a couple of years up to a couple of decades. But it all depends on the maintenance. The amount of maintenance that must be done on an RV battery depends on the type of battery.

Part of caring for your battery is making sure they charged properly. A battery’s lifetime becomes shorter the more often it is undercharged or overcharged. Your battery must be charged to its optimum capacity without getting overcharged (monitors can help with this if you don’t have it).

Even if your battery is stored and not in use (when off-season, for instance), it must still be routinely checked, charged and maintained. Lead-acid batteries discharge even when not in use. Maintenance must be done at least once a month.

Conclusion

If you want your life to be more comfortable even when going on great adventures in the wilderness, you should make sure you have all the necessary equipment when doing so. Having an RV is an awesome solution as it allows you to bring everything you need, with additional perk of being your transportation as well. It works as a home in the middle of the forest or the desert. Your camper may have all the appliances you want, but they won’t work without power. This means you need nothing short of the best RV battery for boondocking.

It must have enough capacity, have the correct voltage, be charged properly, and be sized accordingly. Whichever battery you choose, keep in mind that when it comes to electrical items, they must be maintained regularly.

Leave a Comment