Most of us are quite familiar with car batteries. But what about travel trailer batteries? Are they similar to car batteries? Every recreational vehicle has a set of house batteries used to power essential components of the vehicle, i.e. water pump, lighting and other 12V needs.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that one can connect multiple batteries to construct a single power source. Each battery has its own characteristics for starting the engine of a travel trailer. For instance, motorhomes will have one battery for starting the engine and another battery for running in-house systems.
The starting battery used in a RV is similar to that which is used in a car. However, because of the large engine they are expected to power, they usually have large Cold Cranking Amps (CCA).
Therefore, when choosing a travel trailer battery, the task involves replacing the current engine battery with a new one that has similar CCA ratings or above.
Travel Trailer Batteries: Things you need to learn
House RV batteries
Unlike the engine starting batteries, house RV batteries are able to provide smaller amounts of amps for a long time rather than seconds. This type of battery is often discharged completely before it can be recharged again in a process known as ”deep cycling”.
A house battery designed for deep cycling tends to last longer than an engine start battery. It is reported that a deep cycling battery will last 2 or 3 times longer than a standard engine start battery.
Deep cycle is measured in AH units, i.e. the amount of power it can deliver in 20 hours. Another form of measurement used in this battery is called RC or reserve capacity — which is the length of time the battery can maintain a 25 amp load of power. Even if you’re new in the world of batteries, you don’t have to be a genius to know that more is better. The more the AH and RC of a battery, the more the capacity of that battery.
However, take note that there is no standard way of comparing AH to RC values. Therefore, make sure you’re comparing an apple with an apple.
Technology used in recreational vehicle batteries
They currently use lead-acid technology where lead plates are bathed in water/acid solution known as electrolyte. However, this type of a battery will lose electrolytes with constant charging, so you need to frequently add battery water.
Other RV battery manufacturers market their batteries under the ”maintenance-free” tagline. In these batteries, the cells have been sealed so that electrolyte cannot escape. However, this technology is not very effective when you consider the heavy charging typical with deep cycling RV batteries.
Finally, the last type of RV battery uses Absorbed Glas Mat technology where electrolyte are trapped in a special sponge made of glass fiber. This type of recreational battery is very effective in retaining electrolyte with every charging of the battery. They are similar to gel type batteries which are also very effective in retaining electrolytes regardless of the charging frequency. However, Absorbed Glas Mat RV batteries have since replaced Gel batteries in popularity.
Performance vs battery price
12V starting batteries are produced in numbers every year. These batteries typically last for 2 seasons of RV usage on average. Deep cycle RV batteries will last between 4-10 years with good care, though they can cost up to 4 times the cost of a standard 12V battery.
The reason why these batteries are pricey is due to the fact that they are manufactured in low volumes compared to starting batteries which are produced by the millions each year. Because there’s limited supply in the deep cycle battery market, prices have to go up.
Bathed-cell deep cycle batteries will perform well, except they need some maintenance to work in good condition. On the other hand, Gel deep cycle RV batteries will perform well and require zero maintenance. For smart purchase decisions that won’t cost you a lot, you could go for bathed-cell golf cart deep cycle RV batteries. They cost less and can last up to 7 years.
Travel Trailer Batteries – Recommendations
1) Optima batteries 8016-103 FFPD 34M Blue top starting/deep cycle battery
This is a 12V battery which boasts of up to 750 cold cranking amps. It has a reserve capacity of up to 120 minutes, with optimal starting capacity even in bad weather. The cost is $175 (http://is.gd/XVEXSw).
2) Amstron GC2 6V AGM Golf cart, RV battery
This Amstron branded battery is a sealed lead capacity with 6V and 210000mAh. It costs $182 only. With proper maintenance, the battery can last for years. To find out about the features of this battery, visit this link http://is.gd/5BibCP