RV Batteries Part 1
There are three types of batteries available on the market for use in RV’s.
- Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
- Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
Flooded batteries are the most commonly used battery on the market today. They utilize a combination of lead plates, a sulfuric acid electrolyte, and plate separators to in an un-sealed housing. While flexible in size and variety, they also require regular maintenance of water replenishment due to the loss of electrolytes from venting.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries are a more modern version of the lead-acid variants, such as the flooded batteries, that utilize a separator of fiberglass between the plate and wrappers to hold electrolytes in place with capillary action. Both flooded and AGM batteries can be purchased as either starting batteries or deep-cycle batteries for your RV and motorhome.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are relatively new and use a lithium-ion-derived chemistry similar to other lithium-ion battery chemistries. They have their advantages (such as constant full voltage discharge until drained), can be very expensive, and have their own unique set of circumstances for both charging and maintaining. Since the use of lithium iron phosphate batteries is so limited, they are mostly utilized in RVs in the +$1.5 million range. Look for our future post where we will go more in depth on these batteries!
Bottom line is that unless you live in your RV full-time where your battery bank is being discharged and recharged almost daily, or are mostly off-grid and depend on solar power or generator for recharging, lithium batteries will typically be ruled out due to cost.