The battery is one of the most important parts of your RV, especially when it comes to boondocking or dry camping. Because you are disconnected from any external electrical, water, and sewer services, you really have to depend heavily on your RV’s house battery.
Trying to find the right RV battery can be confusing, especially if you aren’t so well-versed in RV systems and battery technology. But we’ve got you covered! In this guide, you will find everything you need to know including: the five best RV batteries for boondocking, what to look for in an RV battery, battery technology, FAQs, and more.
5 Best RV Batteries for Boondocking
1. Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery
The Renogy Deep Cycle AGM 12-volt 100 AH Battery is widely accepted as one of, if not the best RV battery for boondocking available today for several reasons from its durability, reliability, to a very rich set of features. Due to its pretty big capacity, the Renogy AGM 12 V 100AH can not only power your RV vehicle, but also other devices and appliances that we might need within the RV during boondocking, like extra lighting, microwave, and other appliances according to your needs.
Also, the Renogy, just like all AGM batteries, wouldn’t need any maintenance, is 100% safe and non-hazardous, and won’t spill. There are also several useful features like how it’s designed for solar energy storage (so you can use any solar device with it), overcharging protection, and others.
- Fast charging technology, the built-in IC can maximize its charging speed.
- Very efficient, can convert up to 21%-24% of solar power to electrical energy.
- Bonus canvas case with metal eye holes can protect from rough and dirty conditions.
- Leak-proof, spill-proof and maintenance-free.
- Built-in pocket that is zipper-closed, can protect the appliances/devices while charging.
- Maintenance-free, 100% sealed so spill-proof and leak-proof.
- Solar storage capabilities.
- Plenty of protection features.
- Relatively heavy, and not very easy to install due to its weight.
The key highlight of the Renogy Deep Cycle AGM 12-volt 100AH is how it’s very easy to use and maintain. It requires almost zero maintenance since its totally spill-free and leak-free. On the other hand, it is very efficient with decent power storage capabilities, making it one of, if not the best RV battery for boondocking. Since it’s designed for solar power storage, you can easily use solar power to charge this battery, which can be useful during boondocking activities.
A minor drawback of the Renogy AGM 12-V 100AH is that it’s relatively heavy at 66 pounds, but it is very durable with various protection features and virtually maintenance-free.
2. Weize Deep Cycle AGM RV Battery
The Weize Deep Cycle AGM Battery is also one of, if not probably the best RV battery for boondocking for several reasons. The key highlight of the Weize is its advanced, heavy-duty calcium-allow grid, which enhances the overall performance of the Weize battery, and at the same time can help improve its service life (both for cyclic and float applications).
As an AGM battery, the Weize 12V 100AH also features a valve-regulated design, and similar to the Renogy discussed above, it can be used in indoor and outdoor environments without maintenance since it is leak-free and spill-free.
- Ultra-low resistance level.
- Valve-regulated AGM design, leak-proof and spill-proof.
- Low self-discharge.
- Very low resistance level.
- Ease of use with very simple installation.
- Very secure non-hazardous design.
- Maintenance-free, spill-free and leak-free.
- Versatile, can be used for solar panels and RV.
- Not suitable for charging in a sealed container.
- Mounting and wire harness not included in the package.
The Weize Deep Cycle AGM 12-V 100AH is a very reliable and durable RV battery, a suitable choice for boondocking. One of the best highlights of this battery is that it’s not too sensitive to full drainage, especially when compared to other comparable batteries. It is also more compact and slightly lighter than the Renogy, so we can easily move this battery around and store it in a smaller space.
A minor downside is that the battery might not be as long-lasting if you fully drain the charge, so make sure to charge the battery right away in such cases.
3. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M RV Battery
The Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M is an excellent deep cycle battery, making it one of the strongest contenders as the best battery for boondocking with several unique advantages. One of the unique features of the Optima 8016-103 is its dual-functionality and can act as both a starting battery and a deep-cycle battery, this is something not offered by any other products until today.
It is relatively light at 43.5 pounds, so you can easily move it around as needed, and it is also quite reliable with the SpiralCell design which can consistently produce safe electricity. Also, the battery features a really large reserve capacity so you’ll have access to twice and almost three times the power other batteries can offer.
- Dual-functionality as a starting battery and deep-cycle battery with available starting applications.
- 3 times more recharges than other RV batteries, useful for boondocking.
- Up to 15 times vibration resistance compared to other comparable batteries.
- Spill-proof and leak-proof, maintenance-free.
- Mountable in virtually any position.
- Optimal starting power.
- Works well as an RV battery and marine battery.
- Compact and relatively lightweight, easy to move around.
- Very big recharge reserves than other batteries in this price range.
- SpiralCell design, safe and clean energy production.
- Dual-purpose as a starting and deep-cycle battery.
- Do not have many protection measures, so can be damaged after a hard impact.
- Won’t last as long if you leave it completely drained.
On paper, the best RV battery for boondocking award has to go to the Optima 8016-103 D34M due to its various unique features: it can act as both a starting battery and deep-cycle battery (dual-purpose), it is compact and lightweight, and can consistently create safe and clean electrical energy with its SpiralCell design.
A minor downside of the Optima D34M, however, is that it can be seriously damaged if dropped or experiencing any hard impact, even though this product has effective vibration protection.
4. Battle Born LifePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
The Battle Born LifePo4 Deep Cycle is a 12V lead-acid battery that can produce a continuous output of 100AH and, cand can generate a 200AH surge for around 30 seconds. A key highlight of the Battle Born LifePO4, however, is that It only weighs 29 pounds, far less than what other competitors offer, including those in this list. Also, the battery can last between 3,000 to 5,000 cycles (which is a decent number compared to its competitors).
Also, Battle Born offers a limited warranty that lasts for up to eight years. Not only this can be an added convenience for us consumers, but it also shows how confident the manufacturer is in the LifePO4’s durability and reliability.
Very easy to set up (partly due to its lightweight), and paired with various protection features offered, the LifePO4 can protect itself from various internal and external issues like rough conditions and overcharging/deep discharge. One of, if not the best battery for boondocking for all the reasons stated above.
- Lead-acid battery.
- Maintenance-free and modular.
- Compact and lightweight (29 lbs).
- Can hold the charge for 1 year without any trickle charging and without any load, great for unattended storage.
- Built-in Battery Management System can protect the battery against high currents, overheating, excessive cold, high/low voltages, and short circuits.
- Automatic cell balancing, to maintain the quality and efficiency of the battery.
- Can be wired in parallel (unlimited) and series (up to 48v).
- Includes an 8-year warranty.
- Lightweight at just 29 pounds.
- Long-lasting cycles (3,000 to 5,000 cycles).
- Plenty of protection features.
- A great battery management system that can protect the battery from various internal issues.
- Relatively expensive.
A very strong contender as the best RV battery for boondocking, especially if you are looking for a lightweight battery that is still reliable. The Battle Born LifePO4 also offers various protection features like a built-in BMS to protect against overcharge, short circuit, and excessively high/low circuits. These protection features, as a result, allows a relatively long lifetime (3,000 to 5,000 charging cycles).
The only downside of this battery is that it is relatively expensive compared to its competitors.
5. Renogy Lithium-iron Phosphate 12V 100AH Battery
Another great option for boondocking is this Renogy Lithium-iron Phosphate Battery. This battery, as the name suggests, features the lithium iron phosphate technology, making it an interesting contender as the best RV battery for boondocking. The Renogy Lithium-iron phosphate can produce 100AH capacity of current consistently, which is very impressive, and so you can use this model in very-demanding conditions to power up heavy-duty appliances.
This battery also features a fully-sealed design so it’s leak-proof and maintenance-free. Also, you can use this battery in a series connection—to increase its capacity while further lowering its discharge—. Very light at just 28.1 pounds (slightly lighter than Battle Born LifePo4) and compact so it’s easy to move this battery around and wouldn’t consume a lot of space in your RV. A portable choice for boondocking.
- BMS protection.
- Low Self-discharge.
- Triplex Sealed Construction.
- Patent Designed Construction.
- Uses the latest lithium-ion phosphate technology.
- High-capacity of 100 AH even with the newer technology.
- Maintenance-free, fully-sealed design.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Relatively expensive.
A great choice for campers who are looking for efficiency and lightweight in their battery, and don’t want to do too much maintenance. A very versatile choice, applicable for various operations (not only boondocking but also boats, solar panels, off-road vehicles, etc.).The key highlight is obviously the lithium-iron-phosphate technology that operates at 12 volts but can produce a consistent capacity of 100AH at a 20-hr rate. It also features a fully-sealed ABS+PC external casing to make it leak-proof and maintenance-free.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Boondocking RV Battery
To find the right RV battery for boondocking, there are a few different things you should keep in mind.
Starting Batteries vs House Batteries
It is very important to understand that an RV requires two batteries: a standard starter battery and a deep-cycle “house battery”.
The main purpose of a starter battery is to provide the engine a brief but powerful surge to start the vehicle — just like the battery inside of a car. Starting batteries are also sometimes referred to as chassis batteries.
RV House Battery
An RV House battery is used to supply a consistent 12-volts of power to the RV itself, which can then be used to power appliances and devices. They are deep cycle batteries that produce less energy than starter batteries, but produce it consistently over a much longer period of time. House batteries are also commonly referred to as coach batteries and motorhome batteries. They usually have a much longer lifespan than a standard starter battery, lasting up to three or four times longer.
A high-quality house battery is essential for boondocking and dry camping. For boondocking, a good rule of thumb is to look for an RV battery with a high amp hour capacity.
Different Types of Deep Cycle Batteries: Material
Generally, there are two different types of deep cycle batteries, which are categorized by the material used to make them:
- Lead acid. Most rechargeable batteries use valve regulated lead acid technology due to its affordability and the fact that it is relatively reliable.
- Lithium. Lithium batteries are lighter in weight, more compact, and would generally require less maintenance. However, they are generally more expensive although they have a much longer lifespan.
Different Types of Deep Cycle Batteries: Technology
Based on the technology used to produce electric energy, there are three common types of deep-cycle batteries:
- Flooded Electrolyte. This is the most common technology used in rechargeable batteries. They will require occasional maintenance like checking and refilling the distilled water levels when required. The biggest downside of this technology is corrosion produced at the terminals, which will require regular cleaning from time to time. Generally the most affordable type.
- Gel Technology. Batteries that use Gel Technology tend to cost more than standard flooded electrolyte batteries, however, they last longer and do not require maintenance. However, they are generally worse at fast charging compared to flooded electrolyte batteries.
- AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). AGM batteries tolerate fast charging better than gel batteries, and as with gel batteries, last longer than flooded electrolyte. Often regarded as the best type today.
RV Batteries for Boondocking FAQs
Can you use a regular car battery in an RV?
No, you cannot use a car battery in an RV. Automotive (non-RV) batteries are designed to produce surge powers (brief but very high amounts of power) to start the engine. While your RV also requires a true deep cycle battery to provide consistent power. Check out the buyer’s guide section above to learn about the difference between a starter battery and a deep-cycle battery.
What are RV batteries made of?
RV batteries, as well as most other rechargeable batteries, are made with lead-acid technology because it is both effective and affordable. There are some nickel-cadmium (NiCad) RV batteries available, but they are generally more expensive. Newer batteries use lithium-ion technology and other variants using lithium, but currently, they are still significantly more expensive than lead-acid batteries.
Can you store an RV battery in your house?
Yes, virtually all RV batteries are pretty safe to store in your house, but make sure the area is well-ventilated. Don’t store the battery in areas with heat sources like a stove, that might cause your battery to explode. Also, avoid storing your battery in a fully-sealed, air-tight container (this can also cause an explosion).
What is boondocking?
Boondocking is a term used to describe traveling in an RV without the ability to connect to any water, electric, or sewer services. It is also commonly referred to as “dry camping.”
When it comes to boondocking, choosing a dependable RV battery is absolutely essential. The RV batteries we have reviewed above are — based on our tests — the best options available on the market, especially for boondocking. Each battery does, however, offer its own unique features and drawbacks. Overall, our favorite RV battery for boondocking is the Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M.
Now, it’s time to take that RV out on the road and have an adventure!
Is there an awesome RV battery that you think we should try out? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.