In lieu of an external power source, RV batteries power all the amenities inside your unit, such as lighting, appliances and entertainment systems. Batteries are also handle your water heater and CO2 detectors, so it’s a good idea to ensure your battery is high–quality and reliable so you can be rest assured it will work when you need it (usually out in the middle of nowhere). Naturally, if you spend more time in remote locations, (known as boon-docking in the RV parlance) you’ll have to replace your batteries more often than people parked at a campground.
RV Battery Types
When selecting the type of battery, you’ll need to consider the size of your RV, the power demands (appliances, frequency of use) and the type of travel you plan on. Deep cycle batteries are designed for long periods without a recharge. They are available in 12-volt and 6-volt and can be drained of almost all their power, then recharged hundreds of times before functionality ceases. 6 volt will operate appliances, but in some RVs, a 12-volt may be necessary to start up all the unit’s systems.
Amongst the other types of batteries available are flooded acid, gel cell and AGM batteries. Flooded cell are cheaper, but require more maintenance than the standard deep cell batteries. Gel cell are more fussy and expensive. Both of these options require sufficient ventilation because they produce harmful gases.
RV experts often suggest AGM batteries for a number of reasons. First, there are no gas emissions and therefore no need to worry about ventilation. Designed for long trips, they can be installed in a sealed and confined space and can handle the constant vibrations of the open road.
As you can see, there are many options available for the more adventurous RV enthusiast. Like someone planning a longer road-trip in their car or truck, it’s always a good idea to upgrade and replace your RV’s batteries, especially before embarking on any trip to remote locations without an external power source.