Best RV House Battery

When you’re planning on taking a trip with your family in your RV, you’ll need to have a capable RV house battery if you want your appliances to function once the vehicle’s main engine is turned off for the night.

If you’re like most RV owners, however, learning the ins and outs of RV electrical systems is still a work in progress.

In this article, we’ll explain what you should be looking for when you’re shopping for an RV house battery and why making the right choice will have a significant impact on how much you enjoy using your RV on the road.

How To Choose an RV House Battery

There are four types of RV batteries: deep cycle batteries, AGM batteries, lithium batteries, and small vehicle batteries. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages for use in your RV. For most people, deep cycle batteries will be the right choice.

However, there are many different models of deep cycle batteries that are suitable for use in RVs.

To differentiate between deep cycle batteries and find the one that’s the best option for your family’s RV needs, you’ll need to consider the three most important traits of RV house batteries: the maximum discharge rate, the self-discharge rate, and the operating temperature range.

Maximum Capacity and Maximum Discharge Rate

The maximum discharge rate of a battery is measured in volts, which you will find abbreviated in product descriptions as V.

The capacity of batteries is measured in ampere-hours, which is abbreviated as Ah. In short, the more ampere-hours a battery advertises, the higher the maximum capacity of the battery.

The maximum discharge rate of the battery is important because it determines how many appliances you can use at the same time.

Thus, if an RV house battery claims to have a maximum discharge rate of 12V, it can support twice as much demand compared to a 6V battery. Most RV house batteries amplify the basic voltage of the battery by as much as ten times so that the battery can power 120V appliances.

In real terms, 6V could be the difference between needing to economize on simultaneous appliance use and being able to run an electric kettle and a toaster oven at the same time.

On the other hand, not everyone will need an RV house battery capable of supplying a handful of appliances at the same time. If you plan on using your RV alone, you can probably make do with a lower maximum discharge rate.

However, there’s never a situation in which smaller battery capacity is preferable for an RV house battery.

Self-Discharge Rate

Not to be confused with the maximum discharge rate, the self-discharge rate of a battery describes the pace that a battery loses energy when there isn’t anything drawing power.

The self-discharge rate of a battery is determined by the chemistry of the battery. In the context of RV house batteries, lithium batteries have the lowest self-discharge rate, taking several years to fully discharge without any use.

The self-discharge rate is important because your RV will not be drawing power from your battery the vast majority of the time. When you do want to draw power from the battery, you want the battery to have sufficient energy to supply your appliances.

Batteries with higher self-discharge rates are more likely to be dead when you haven’t used your RV in a long time. In contrast, batteries with low self-discharge rates will reliably have enough charge to power your appliances when you need them the most.

Operating Temperature Range

The operating temperature range of your RV house battery may seem like an odd feature to pay attention to, but it’s critical to understand.

While batteries discharge slightly even when they are not being used to power appliances, batteries self-discharge much more rapidly when they are hot.

Thus, if you plan on leaving your RV in the baking sun in the summer, you should expect an RV house battery with a narrower operating temperature range to experience faster self-discharge.

The opposite is also true to an extent. Colder temperatures inhibit batteries from self-discharging, but they can also cause hairline fractures to occur in the battery casing if the battery is warmed from freezing temperatures too quickly.

As an RV owner, you need to find an RV house battery that has an operating temperature range, which reflects how you will use and store your RV.

If you plan on leaving your RV in the freezing cold over the winter, you don’t necessarily need an RV battery that’s rated to operate at cold temperatures.

RV House Battery Reviews

Now that you know what to look for when you’re shopping for an RV house battery, it’s time to investigate our top three picks for the best RV house battery.

Best RV House Battery Under $150

Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle AGM SLA VRLA Battery

The Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle AGM SLA VRLA Battery is our choice for the best RV house battery under $150 because of its formidable operating temperature range, acceptable maximum discharge rate, and easy installation.

With the Weize, you’ll get 100 Ah of capacity, which is more than enough for basic applications. The same goes for the Weize’s output, which at 12V is sufficient for at least one major appliance.

You should take care when using the Weize battery in the winter. While it’s rated to withstand a standard range of temperatures, the battery’s self-discharge protection isn’t as strong as you might prefer.

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Easy installation
  • Anti-overheating coating
  • Anti-fracture glass housing

Cons:

  • Weak instruction set
  • Low maximum capacity

ML35-12 Gel - 12 Volt 35AH Rechargeable Gel Type Battery

The ML35-12 Gel - 12 Volt 35AH Rechargeable Gel Type Battery is a small and capable RV house battery which makes up for its low 35 Ah capacity by being rapidly rechargeable.

Because this battery is made with gel technology, its capacity remains stable over the course of its rated number of lifetime cycles. The flip side of this trait is that the battery is not as tolerant of temperature extremes.

Likewise, the battery suffers more from rapid heating after a cold start, so plan accordingly.

Take care when handling and installing this battery. Repeated stress to the carrying handles can cause them to snap off, allowing the battery to tumble and potentially be damaged. You should also take note that no mounting accessories are included with this battery by default.

Pros:

  • Rapid recharge capability
  • Highly mobile
  • Friendly aesthetic
  • Stable capacity over lifetime

Cons:

  • Low capacity
  • Fragile handles

Best RV House Battery Under $250

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery

The Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery clocks in at 100Ah of capacity and 12V of output, making it a formidable choice for your RV. Unlike other house RV batteries, the Renogy has a wider than average operating temperature range. 

The Renogy’s performance won’t drop if you use it in the scorching heat or in the freezing cold. Nor will its casing experience fractures caused by rapid heating from a freezing state.

The Renogy also minimizes self-discharge to 3% of its maximum capacity per month of downtime, meaning that it’s a great choice for people who only drive their RV once in a while.

While you shouldn’t take the Renogy to areas cooler than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it’ll serve you well so long as you stay within its tolerances.

Pros:

  • Wide operating temperature range
  • Low self-discharge rate
  • Durable
  • No maintenance required

Cons:

  • Not suitable for arctic temperatures despite a wide range
  • Casing scratches easily

Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Solar Wind AGM SLA DEEP Cycle VRLA Battery

The Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Solar Wind AGM SLA DEEP Cycle VRLA Battery is our second choice for the best RV house battery under $250 as a result of its acceptable capacity, high number of lifetime cycles, and decent warranty policy.

With a standard 100 Ah capacity and a lower-than-average self-discharge rate, this RV house battery is very well-rounded in comparison to many of its competitors.

This battery advertises that it can be mounted in any orientation, unlike other batteries that require a right-side-up orientation to perform properly. While true, the performance of the battery may suffer over time if it is mounted in alternative positions.

However, if your RV only has a mounting slot of a specific orientation, this battery might be the right choice.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • No maintenance necessary
  • Spill-proof design
  • One-year warranty

Cons:

  • Confusing instruction set
  • Mounting position may impact battery performance

Best RV House Battery Overall

Renogy 12V 200Ah Rechargeable Deep Cycle Pure Gel Battery

Our choice for the best RV house battery overall is the Renogy 12V 200Ah Rechargeable Deep Cycle Pure Gel Battery on account of its superior capacity and minimal self-discharge over extended periods.

Boasting a large capacity of 200Ah, the Renogy gel battery also claims to retain its charge for as long as ten years at room temperature. For people who almost never use their RV, this battery might be a great way to cut down on the hassle of charging the house battery.

With Renogy’s gel battery, you’ll get a battery that’s rated for temperatures as cold as you’ll ever encounter on Earth. The same is true for its hot weather operating temperatures. This means that if you plan on traveling to extreme places, it’s hard to beat the Renogy gel battery.

Pros:

  • Large 200Ah capacity
  • Excellent self-discharge protection
  • Great for use with RV solar panel systems
  • Maximum operating temperature range

Cons:

  • Large form factor
  • Heavier than normal RV house batteries

Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

Our runner-up choice for the best RV house battery overall is the Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery. With the Battle Born, you’ll get nearly 5000 cycles in the battery’s lifetime, meaning that it’s among the very best on the market for cycle numbers.

You’ll also get a higher-than-average maximum discharge rate which is higher than the house outlet at home. Most people won’t need to make use of this capability, but if you have a lot of different appliances to power, the Battle Born won’t let you down.

While the Battle Born battery is excellent, it isn’t perfect because of its taller-than-average form factor and extreme weight. Other batteries are lighter and more compact despite having the same 100 Ah capacity, so plan accordingly.

Pros:

  • Exceptional longevity
  • Environmentally-friendly construction
  • Higher than average maximum discharge rate for supporting multiple appliances at once
  • Lifetime of nearly 5000 battery cycles

Cons:

  • Weighs 31 lbs
  • Significantly taller than other batteries with similar capacities

Driving Off

Now that you’re up to speed on our top picks for the best RV house battery, it’s time to make a decision about which battery to use with your RV.

If you want a large battery that won’t ever be dead after a long vacation from your RV, check out the Renogy Gel battery.

On the other hand, if you don’t plan on taking long breaks from your RV or traveling to locations with extreme temperatures, the Weize battery is probably a better choice.

Remember, your RV house battery behaves differently depending on the temperatures you expose it to. Never perform maintenance on RV batteries yourself, and try to avoid mechanical trauma to your batteries, as it can damage their performance.