RV batteries

Prince16Prince16 Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
I need some help finding the best batteries for my camper. We do a couple bondocking trip a year. other wise we use shore power and the camper is set uo for solar. We have a 100 w solar panel and pwm 30a charge controller.


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,822 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Prince16 said:
    We have a 100 w solar panel and pwm 30a charge controller.

    Is that all you intend to use? That really isn't very much power to store.

    What do you plan to run?
    Do you deal well with maintenance or need something maintenance free?
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 977 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm set up much the same.  With a group 31 deep cycle Flooded lead acid battery you should be fine.

    On a 6 week trip to Newfoundland, from Ontario, we only ran our generator 2 times.  None of the provincial parks out there had electric sites.  Lots of furnace use too (some daytime highs of 4C...juust above freezing).

    The solar panel really makes it possible to camp like this.  Don't scrimp on the battery though, but you don't need to spend $1000 on a lithium ion one either IMO.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 977 ✭✭✭✭
    And avoid "marine deep cycle" batteries!
  • Prince16Prince16 Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    We will only the lights and water pump. We will use a generator also. 
  • Prince16Prince16 Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    I can deal with maintenance. And thanks for your help.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,639 admin
    You may want to start with "cheap(er)" flooded cell lead acid batteries and assume that they will last 3-5 years (deep cycle storage batteries, not Marine). And see how the system runs.

    Longer term, AGM (a form of sealed lead acid battery) are nice. And Lithium Ion (specifically LiFepO4 lithium iron phosphate) type are really nice for long term use... Li Ion batteries are a "different" animal and you need to do some studying about them... There are DIY banks+BMS, and "all in one" 12 volt (or other voltage) "drop in" replacement units (have internal BMS, and even can have heaters). Not cheap--But can work nice too... Lithium Ion do have a "weakness"--They generally need to stay above ~40F to charge/cycle. Lead Acid are much more forgiving of cold conditions. Li Ion are great for warm to hot conditions. But cost $$$ more.

    For use only a few times a year--Make sure that your battery charging system is using the proper "float voltage" for maintenance charging. Over charging can "boil/vent" Lead Acid batteries and shorten their life.

    And watch the battery bank state of charge in use... Most battery banks are probably killed by over discharging/under charging. Yes, you can take Lead Acid batteries down to 20% State of charge--But you want to get them charging again the next day.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Prince16Prince16 Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    Thanks Bill I think I have decied on AGM.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 953 ✭✭✭✭
    Do your homework - all AGM batteries are not equal. Look at the manufacturers' depth of discharge vs. charge/discharge cycles curves before selecting one. You will find ratings spanning the range of 400 to 1500 charge/discharge cycles at 50% depth of discharge with about a 35% price difference.
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,698 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15 #10
    Fullriver Deep Cycle AGM batteries are the real deal. Careful, many used Telecom batteries aren't designed for cyclic use and won't last very long in regular daily use.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric,  460 Ah. 24 volt LiFePo4 battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Prince16Prince16 Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    Thanks for the good info. I appreciate it.
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