Does My RV Have The Wrong Type of House Batteries?

by Marty Homan
(Laceyville Pa)

The Right Type Of House Batteries for Your RV

The Right Type Of House Batteries for Your RV

I am changing the batteries in my 2001 pace arrow coach and noticed that the two batteries for house power are just regular car batteries. am I wrong but should these be deep cycle batteries or are the batteries in it correct

ANSWER: Hi Marty, can regular 12-volt car batteries be used as house batteries? Yes, they can, but are they the best choice? No, they are not. Since you are already changing out the batteries in your RV, I would suggest that you use two Deep Cycle 6-volt batteries as your new house battery setup.

Take a look at the battery type information below to see why I recommend true deep cycle batteries as house batteries.

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Starting or Cranking Battery: Just as its name implies it is a battery that is designed to crank over an engine to get it started. It provides a powerful short burst of energy and is not designed to provide power for a long period of time. It is also not designed to be discharged and recharged often; the life span of this battery will be greatly reduced if it is used to power the 12-volt system of a 5th Wheel. It will also not provide power for as long as a Deep Cycle Battery.

RV/Marine "Deep Cycle" Battery: This is a cross between a Cranking and true Deep Cycle Battery. It can provide enough short burst energy to start the engine and it can provide power to the house portion of the RV for longer periods of time than a Cranking Battery but not as long as a true Deep Cycle Battery. It can also be discharged and recharged more often than a Cranking Battery but will not last as long as a true Deep Cycle Battery. Again I would not
recommend this battery to power your 5th Wheel.

True Deep Cycle Batteries These batteries are designed to provide constant power for a longer period of time. They are not designed to crank over an engine. They can be charged and discharged more often and last longer than either the Cranking or RV/Marine Batteries when it comes to powering the 12 volt accessories in an RV.

Most RV Experts and RVers agree that 2 six volt Deep Cycle Batteries hooked up in series (see diagram at the top of this page) will provide power for longer than 1 twelve volt Deep Cycle Battery.

Depending on the size and use of the RV some RVers have 4 Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries hooked in a series parallel circuit (see diagram at the top of this page), that will theoretically provide this low level power for twice as long as 2 six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries hooked up in series. This is especially important if you are going to be doing a lot of boondocking (camping where electricity is not available).

If your RV is equipped with a solar charger, it will also extend the length of time that this power will be available to you.

Trojan T-125 Deep Cycle Battery

Bottom Line: My minimum recommendation is using two six volt Deep Cycle batteries like the Trojan T-125 (pictured above) to power your RV. If your RV has extra space in the battery compartment then a 4 six volt Deep Cycle battery setup is even better especially if you intend to do a lot of Boondocking. I would definitely not accept the 2 twelve volt car battery option.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for Does My RV Have The Wrong Type of House Batteries?

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know your batteries.
by: Anocsnydernymous

You are free to use whatever battery you want, but advising people to use the wrong battery , for the wrong reasons, is just, well - WRONG.

Use a pair of deep cycle golf cart batteries. You don't have to pay $50 shipping as they are readilly available from every decent local battery supplier anywhere in North America (and in many other places around the world)

As for the charging question - no there will NOT be a problem, as a 12 volt battery IS 2 six volt batteries in series (technically 6 2 volt cells - and each 6 volt battery is 3 2 volt cells) It is because of this that 2 6 volts in series is better than 2 12 volts in parallel.

Great blog
by: Jaeger

This is a great blog, but your choice of battery, I would definitely go with another battery than the Trojan. Because when the shipping charges are more than $50 over the price of the battery, sounds like someone is trying to rip someone off. Just my opinion.

12 vdc to 6 vdc
by: Mike

If your converter is putting out 13vdc, and you change to 2 each 6 vdc, will the converter overcharge or screw up the 6 volt batteries??


wrong batteries
by: roadster27

car type cranking batteries do not hold as much reserve power but cost substantially less , as far as lasting as long , warranties on a deep cycle batteries are 6-12 months vs car 3-10 yr ,and there are chemicals to put in the battery to keep it from sulphating , in the place of 2 6volt bat you could put 2 - 12 volt bat in the same footprint and have more available power for longer , there is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do , and a solar panel to keep charging them combined with led bulbs should last you a very long time boondocking as i do in my 34 ft Georgie boy class A motorhome .

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