Best Deep Cycle Battery: When it comes to power, we would always want to have uninterrupted supply, irrespective of the usage. While utility power lines supply all the power that we may need at our homes, offices, and other such places, the requirement of power doesn’t end here. There are many other areas where we need a continuous power supply and those aren’t covered by utility lines. That is where batteries come in. They supply power where utility lines do not. However, not all batteries are the same. While a starter battery provides only short bursts of power as needed to kickstart a car, deep cycle batteries are the main sources of power for RVs, generators, ships, and boats, forklift trucks, golf carts, and many more. Unlike started batteries, these batteries are meant to be discharged completely before they are charged again. This means that these batteries supply power for a long time at a stretch before they require charging. The deep cycle batteries find a wide range of important usage and having one at home would indeed be a wise decision, especially if you go camping or tailgating often.
Types of Deep Cycle Batteries
Irrespective of how and where you plan to use the battery, it is vital that you know which type of deep cycle battery you need. This is because each type is more suitable for certain uses than others. Deep cycle batteries can be classified into the following types:
Flooded Lead–Acid: These batteries are a good pick for your recreational vehicles. Though they need a bit of maintenance, they usually have a long life which means that you do not have to worry about replacing it any time soon.
AGM: This type of battery is not only suitable for powering up your RV, but also boats, trucks, etc. Apart from being versatile in use, AGM batteries have a number of advantages over other types of deep cycle batteries. It is stronger and tougher, requires less maintenance, can handle high temperatures, has a lower self-discharge rate, is less prone to sulfation, does not spill, and be kept idle for quite a long time.
Deep Cycle Gel: This type of battery also finds use in RVs. While it offers some benefits similar to that of the flooded lead-acid type, it has a number of disadvantages. They have a slower re-charging rate, have narrow charging profiles, can easily get damaged, and so on. That is why this type isn’t much favored by RV owners.
Lithium–ion: Anyone looking for a lightweight and simple alternative to AGM and flooded lead-acid batteries can opt to choose lithium-ion batteries. Their main benefit, other than being lightweight, lies in the fact that come with high charging efficiency and life cycles in the range of 3000 – 5000.
Factors that Determine a Good Deep Cycle Battery
Whether you are planning to buy the best deep cycle battery for your RV or boat or for any other purpose, it is essential that you consider a few key factors that determine the best product for your needs and what kind of performance you can expect. In fact, it has been seen that a wise decision based on the following factors will help you buy a battery that will not only serve your purpose but serve it well:
Capacity: This should be one of the primary concerns when planning to buy a deep cycle battery. The battery that you choose must have the capacity to produce the power that you need. The capacity is usually measured in Ah or ampere-hours and higher the capacity, the more power will it be able to supply. The power requirements need to be measured in order to determine the capacity of the battery that you need. If you are planning to use the battery in an RV, truck, or boat, measure the power requirement of all the systems of the vehicle or boat. Once you have a total power requirement value, choose a battery model that can offer the same amount of power, or preferably a bit more to avoid straining the battery.
Size and Weight: These are, indeed, two of the most important considerations to be made while deciding on the best battery for your use. Batteries come in different sizes and weight, and the correct choice of the size and weight is important so that it doesn’t cause any problem in the operation of the system that it is supposed to power up. For example, buying quite a heavy battery for your golf cart or boat is unwise as this will surely cause problems in the operation of the cart or boat.
Depth of Discharge: The amount of power that a particular battery can discharge before it has to be charged is referred to as the depth of discharge of the battery, usually represented in percentage. The higher the percentage, the longer will the battery last without requiring a re-charge. It must, however, be remembered that the depth of discharge is inversely related to the number of life cycles of the battery. The deeper each cycle is, the lower will be the number of total cycles.
Life Cycle: The number of cycles the battery can produce will determine how long you will be able to use the battery. The more the number of cycles the battery can produce, the more will be the number of times that you can use the battery until it is completely discharged. In short, the higher the number of cycles, the longer is the battery life.
Voltage: The battery voltage is also a determining factor in the choice of the best deep cycle battery for your use. Most batteries will usually have a 12-Volt DC voltage. However, while choosing the battery make sure that the system where you are planning to use the battery can support 12V-DC current. Else, you may have to consider buying a power inverter that can help convert the DC to AC so as to match your system requirements.
Charging Time: As much as it is important to have a battery that discharges slowly, it is also important to have one that can charge up quickly. Otherwise, you will be left without power for far too long and that may cause inconvenience. That is why it is best to check out the manufacturer mentioned charging time before you decide on a particular model.
Shock and Vibration Resistance: If you are planning to use your deep cycle battery for RVs, boats, trucks, carts, etc. it is obvious that the battery will have to go through constant jerks and vibrations. That is why it would be wise choosing a model that is highly resistant to vibrations and shocks caused due to jerking. If the product is not shockproof, it may need frequent repairs, entailing unnecessary expenses. That is why, it is best to choose a sturdy, shock-proof product.
Susceptibility to Temperatures: While purchasing the best deep cycle battery, care must be taken that it can work in a wide range of temperatures. Just as the battery should be able to power up your system when it is chilly cold, it should also be able to continue operating when the barometer rises sharply. Having a battery that is less susceptible to weather changes will give you the guarantee that the system will run under most weather conditions.
Best Deep Cycle Batteries that you can Buy
1. Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA rechargeable Battery:
This deep cycle battery from Vmaxtanks comes with military-grade plates and normally they tend to last 8-10 years at least. This battery is capable of providing 12V of power, but in case you need more power, then you can easily connect this battery with others to generate more power. This battery has a rating of 125ah and more importantly this battery charges a lot faster than any other deep cycle batteries available in the market. The battery is not that large in size, so you do not have to worry about the space that you require to store the battery. But remember that the battery is a bit tall than the other batteries so you have to choose the storage space carefully as well. According to deep cycle battery reviews, the battery weighs only 75 lbs which makes it easier to carry anywhere you want. Although the design of the battery includes a handle and its encased in plastic still, it is recommended not to carry the battery a lot.
- Charges a lot faster
- Works great with any RV or solar panel
- Energy capacity really high
- Installation is really easy
- 125ah of power rating
- You can use multiple batteries to have more power
- Can last till 10 years
- The plates included are of good quality
- If you consider the reliability and quality, this battery probably is the best that you can get
- A bit on the heavier side
- Bit costly compared to other batteries in the same category
- You get only 12V of power
- Does not include any type of venting which might be useful for avoiding explosion
- Does not come with the additional connecting cables
- The handle might come off, in case you wish to carry it a lot more than you should
2. VMAX MR127 12 Volt 100Ah AGM Deep Cycle Maintenance-Free Battery:
This deep cycle battery from Vmax is one of the best batteries that you can get from trolling motors or boats. The battery is well encased and comes with a handle that you can use to carry the battery anywhere you want. The battery weighs only 68 lbs which are easily supported by the handles which are made out of heavy-duty plastic. The battery is completely spilling proof which enables you to install the battery in any position you want. The electrolytes used are absorbed by the AGM which makes it resistant to any kind of bump, vibration or shock. This battery is rightly known to be one of the best non-hazardous and non-spill batteries that you can buy.
- Ready to be mounted in any position you want
- The plastic handles included are of great quality
- When it comes to reliability, this battery is one of the best that you can get
- Not much in size, which makes it easier to store in place you want
- Charging time is quite low
- According to deep cycle battery reviews, this battery is completely non-hazardous and spill-proof
- You do not have to deal with vapor issues
- Not really one of those affordable batteries
- Might be a bit heavier compared to other batteries of the same category
- If you are planning to use this battery on a boat, you won’t be able to connect multiple of these because of the weight
- Comes with an only 12V power output
- Comes with 100ah power rating
3. Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 – 12V 35AH U1 Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery:
This particular deep cycle battery is small in size but it’s capable enough to get your job done. With a measurement of 7.68” X 5.16” X 7.13” and a weight of 23 lbs only, this portable battery certainly stands out amongst the other batteries available in the market. It includes a loop handle which makes it easier to carry and of course the weight of the battery adds to the portability as well. With that small size, you can store the battery anywhere you want. This battery is capable of working indoors and outdoors as well which is really great. This battery does not require much of maintenance and yet it’s performance level does not decrease even a bit. Once you install this battery, you do not have to bother about the temperature. This battery is built to adapt in cold and hot temperatures with ease. In case you are looking for a battery that can survive multiple deep discharges, well this is the best battery for you.
- Really small in size which makes it easier to store even in tight places
- Really light in weight
- The weight of 23lbs adds to the portability effectively
- Completely pocket-friendly
- Perfect to use outdoors and indoors
- Comes with a loop handle that makes it easier to carry
- As per the deep cycle battery reviews, it does not require a lot of maintenance
- Perfect for tent camping or small watercrafts
- Rated only 35Ah
- Does not work well with the lawn tractors, RVs or golf carts
- Does not hold the charge for long
- Does not include any hardware for mounting
4. Mighty Max Battery ML18-12 – 12V 18AH CB19-12 SLA AGM Rechargeable Deep Cycle Replacement Battery:
If you are looking for an affordable deep cycle battery that can be used for light-duty work, then this particular battery from Mighty Max is the best that you can get. This battery is lightly weighted at only 12 lbs and more importantly its pocket-friendly as well. It has a specification of 12V of power with a rating of 18Ah. It’s made to withstand difficult weather conditions and that makes it perfect for indoor and outdoor use as well. This battery is completely spill-proof and does not require a lot of maintenance as well. The size of the unit is not much which makes it really easy to use in the small boats, kayaks, and medical devices. But do remember that the battery includes bolts and screws only and no additional hardware to mount the battery.
- The battery size is not that much which allows you to keep the unit in even tightest of the spaces
- Lightweight adds to the portability
- Does not require maintenance
- Completely spill-proof
- If you compare with other batteries in the same category, this battery is really affordable
- Capable of running during tough weather situations
- Not built for heavy-duty work
- Comes with only 18Ah rating
- You have to keep on recharging pretty much frequently
- Does not include any harness or a mounting hardware
- It can run for only 3 hours straight
- You need to install the battery in an upright position
5. 12V 55Ah Power Boat Pontoon Electric Trolling Motor Deep Cycle Battery – Mighty Max Battery:
In case you are having a budget crunch and are looking for an affordable deep cycle battery, then this particular 12V battery from Mighty Max might be the best choice for you. It offers an amazing 55AH which is useful in doing moderate and light jobs. This battery can be mounted in any position you wish, so installing it is not an issue. The unit does not include any hardware for mounting; instead, it comes with bolts and screws. The battery weighs around 39 lbs only which adds to its portability petty much. If you go through deep cycle battery reviews you will understand that this battery is perfect for using in trolling motors, small boats and for some medical devices as well.
- Fairly affordable
- Does not weight much which adds to the portability
- Being small in size, it can be easily fitted in tight spaces
- It can work a maximum of 9 hours when used for small duty jobs
- Does not include any hardware to mount the battery
- Cannot be used in large vessels or RVs
- Once the battery is completely discharged, it takes a lot of time to charge it fully
- In case the battery is kept idle for a longer period of time, it might lose some power
- Comes with only 55Ah
Important FAQs Regarding Deep Cycle Batteries
How to charge my deep cycle battery?
Deep cycle batteries can be charged in different ways. You can connect them to power outlets, generators, converter-charger, battery charger, or by using wind or solar energy.
Which charger should I buy for my battery?
In case you are planning to use a battery charger for recharging your battery, it is crucial to check whether the particular charger matches your battery type.
How long will the battery last?
There is no specific answer to this question. The lifespan will depend a lot on how you use and maintain it. Incorrect use or charging can have a serious impact on the life of the battery.
Should I equalize my battery?
Yes, all batteries must be equalized to enhance lifespan, restore its lost capacity, and for making the battery more efficient.
Do I need to refill my battery?
If you have opted for the flooded type, you will need to replace the lost water at regular intervals to ensure that the acid level remains above the lead plates.
Tips for Safe Use of the Deep Cycle Battery
Deep cycle batteries pack in a powerful and steady punch, but when charging the battery, you must be extra careful so that you do not end up damaging your battery. To ensure safe charging, here are a few tips that you should follow:
- When charged, the battery will feel extremely hot. Make sure that the battery cools down before you re-install it.
- The charger that you would be using must match the type of battery that you have bought.
- Avoid short charging your battery as this can reduce your battery life.
- If you haven’t used your battery for quite a while, try boost charging it.
- The battery should be disconnected when charging, and should preferably be in a well-ventilated area.
- Make sure that you do overcharge your battery as this can lead to explosions.
If you are looking for a consistent and long-lasting source of power when you are off-grid, deep cycle batteries are, indeed, the best pick. That being said, the choice of the deep cycle battery must be made very carefully so that it can serve the purpose well without requiring repair or replacement. Going through our guide and deep cycle battery reviews will surely help you decide on the best product for your use. so, be wise and choose a product that will last you long.