How to Choose the Best RV Lithium Battery
RVing is one of America’s favorite pastimes and doesn’t come without its challenges. From trying to find the perfect campsite to getting lost on a back road, the best way to enjoy your RV adventures is with the right equipment. You love the freedom of the road, but you can’t enjoy that freedom without a reliable RV battery. Whether you’re new to RVing or have a seasoned rig, it’s important to know what kind of battery suits your needs and budget before you buy the best RV lithium battery.
Here are some tips for choosing the best RV lithium battery:
Determine the type of battery you need.
When choosing the best RV lithium battery, you should consider what type of RV you have. Different types of RVs require different types of batteries. The three main types of batteries are:
- Lead acid
- AGM (absorbed glass mat)
Check your amp-hour rating.
The amp-hour rating of your RV lithium battery is critical. The amp-hour (Ah) rating indicates how long the battery can supply power and is determined by the number of amp-hours it can store. This means that if you have two batteries with the same voltage and cold-cranking amps, but one has twice as much capacity as the other, it will last twice as long under a load.
A good rule of thumb for determining whether your battery will last for your trip is to multiply its weight by its rated Ah capacity. If this number exceeds 80% of what you need to run all your appliances without running down too far, you should be able to use them without worrying about charging them during the trip.
Estimate the minimum amount of power you need.
The first step in choosing the best RV lithium battery is estimating how much power you need. To do this, take a look at the following list of common loads and write down each item’s wattage:
- Refrigerator: 500-1000 watts
- Microwave oven: 800-1200 watts
- Lights (bulbs): 10-60 watts per bulb
Next, add up all these numbers to get a total wattage estimate for your load. If your load is over 5500 watts, select an 80 amp DC system; if it’s between 3000 and 5500 watts, choose a 60 amp DC system; and if it falls under 3000 watts, then opt for either size depending on which one meets your needs best.
Compare battery options.
You can better understand which will meet your needs by comparing battery options. Here are some things to consider when comparing batteries:
- How long do they last? The longer an RV battery lasts, the less often you’ll have to replace it. This can be an important consideration if you plan on spending extended periods in your RV or if your RV is used primarily as an alternative housing option in off-the-grid locations and therefore has limited access to electricity.
- Cost of replacement batteries over time. Some companies offer discounts for buying multiples; others charge more for multiple purchases due to higher production costs (or perhaps just because they’re jerks).
- Warranty length and coverage details. Some warranties cover only manufacturing defects; others also include defects that occur during use or charge cycles (i.e., damage by overheating).
- Size, weight, and power output requirements for each type of appliance installed on board—some appliances require large amounts of energy, while others don’t draw much at all from the battery bank(s). This should be considered before setup if you plan to have several different appliances running simultaneously throughout any day/night cycle.
There are plenty of ways to find the best RV lithium battery for your needs, but if you want to save time and money, consider using a battery that experts have tested.