If you want to go boondocking in your camper, there’s a lot to consider to outfit your rig for off-grid use – one of them being what kind of deep-cycle batteries you should get to support your boondocking adventures. So, what are the best RV batteries for boondocking on solar power? It depends on your budget and power needs!
The bigger your battery bank, the longer you’ll be able to hold power even if you don’t have access to a generator or solar power. However, many traditional lead-acid deep cycle RV batteries are very heavy, and that weight can limit the number of amp-hours you’re able to safely carry in your RV. So first, let’s get into a comparison of each type of boondocking battery, which you need to understand before making a decision.
There are 3 main types of batteries that can work to power the house of your RV on 12 volt electricity. From least to most expensive, the battery types are lead acid, AGM, and lithium.
Lead acid deep cycle batteries are affordable and widely available, but are heavy, offgas fumes, and require maintenance in the form of watering. The normal voltage for these batteries is 12.6 volts, and the amp hours you’ll get out of the battery will depend on the size you get. In order to avoid killing the battery permanently, you should not use more than 50% of the available amp hours before recharging. The most popular lead acid battery for RVs is the Trojan T-105 6 volt batteries. By tying two of these together, you get a 12 volt battery.
Another budget choice for a lead acid battery is the Costco deep cycle golf cart battery. These are made by Interstate and by tying two 6 volts together, again, you have a 12 volt battery. Many users online are quite happy with this setup (as is the author of this blog post!) – but depending on your storage space for the batteries and the amount of power you need, you might need more capacity. For example, if you’re using a portable blender in your RV or even a small dehumidifier, you might need more battery power.
Next up on the rung are sealed AGM batteries. These are a step up from lead acid in terms of cost and quality, and they don’t require as much babying and maintenance as lead acid batteries. Still, these are not massively better and should only be chosen if your batteries won’t be accessible or will be in a place that off-gassing is not acceptable.
Lastly, we have the most efficient battery and truly the best type of deep cycle batteries for RV boondocking: lithium batteries. With these, you can use the entire amp hour capacity without killing the battery. For example, if you have 100 amp hours of lead acid batteries, you have only 50 usable amp hours. If you have 100 amp hours of lithium batteries, then you actually have 100 usable amp hours. Another benefit is that these batteries are far more compact and lightweight, meaning you can easily fit far more power on any rig without worrying about weight. One of the only drawbacks of these batteries is the cost, as they are the most expensive – but if you do a lot of boondocking, it’s really worth it. The best batteries in this category are the lithium batteries by Battleborn. You can easily boondock for days and keep your batteries charged up with some Battleborn batteries and solar power.
We will update this post shortly to include links and additional details, but wanted to get this information published for your use. For now, what do you think of these battery options, and which would you choose as the best deep cycle RV battery for your boondocking needs? If the budget allows it, we recommend lithium batteries!