If you camp in your RV, you will definitely need a high-quality RV for your rig to power all your electrical needs. Even if there are power hookups available at RV parks and campgrounds for this purpose, you won’t get access to these services if you prefer to boondock off the beaten path, or when you’re traveling between campsites.
And an excellent choice for RV owners is to get the best 6 volt RV battery instead of a 12 volt battery, thanks to its many advantages.
To make your purchasing experience as smooth and pain-free as possible, we have compiled a delicious list of the best 6 volt deep cycle battery for RV for boondocking with well-rounded specifications and proven performance as well as durability.
This comprehensive guide also includes crucial information about 6 volt RV batteries to help you pick the product that best suit your budget and power needs, including the pros and cons of 6 volt batteries compared to 12 volt batteries, the different types, important buying criteria, major brands, maintenance tips plus answers to frequently asked questions. Dive in and you’ll never have to worry about camping without the luxury of your appliances and devices.
- Comparison Chart Of The Best 6 Volt Batteries
- 6-Volt RV Batteries Basics
- Best 6-Volt RV Batteries
- The Best 6 Volt RV Batteries: Buying Criteria
- Best 6 Volt RV Battery Manufacturers
- 6 Volt RV Batteries Maintenance Tips
- 6 Volt RV Batteries: Frequently Asked Questions
Comparison Chart Of The Best 6 Volt Batteries
|No||Top Rated 6 Volt Batteries||Prices||Our Ratings|
|1||Optima Batteries OPT8010-044||$$||*****|
|3||Mighty Max Battery ML200-6||$$||*****|
|5||Universal Power Group UBGC2||$$||****|
|6||VMAXTANKS 6 Volt||$$$||****|
6-Volt RV Batteries Basics
What is a 6 Volt RV battery?
Usually, for traveling off the grid or to remote areas without the power outlets available at RV parks and campgrounds, campers would rely on a deep-cycle 12 volt battery to power their electric devices appliances. A deep cycle battery is designed for this very purpose by supplying power over an extended period of time.
In other words, it’s designed to handle many thousands of cycles of deep discharge and recharge over its lifetime to supply a sustained source of power. The capacity of the battery can be almost used up each time, without permanent damage to the battery, to a certain extent. This is something your regular “starter” batteries or “cranking” batteries that are used for cranking your engine are not capable of.
Though a 12 volt battery is quite economical and widely available, it is not very reliable for boondocking, due to its limited amp-hours as well as energy storage. This is where the 6 volt version comes into play. Instead of a single 12 volt RV battery, two 6 volt batteries can be used to deliver the same amount of power. Using two 6-volt batteries to create a single power source has steadily become a growing trend for campers and boondockers, thanks to its many benefits.
The advantage is that each cell of a 6 volt RV battery has a larger amp capacity and a broader space per cell for power storage than a 12 volt battery. This means that a 6-volt can withstand deeper discharge and is more capable of supplying constant power. It also has thicker plates, so it can last for many more years down the road with extended use. Furthermore, thanks to recent innovative technologies, the best 6 volt RV batteries are now lightweight, sealed, spill-proof and maintenance free. All of these make them excellent investments for your camping life.
Besides use in RVs, 6 volt batteries for RV trailer are very versatile and can also be used in other electricity-powered vehicles and equipment, such as golf carts, lawnmowers, wheelchairs and much more. They allow for more manageable, easily maintained and cost-effective devices. 6 volt RV batteries can also be used to power energy-hungry torch lights and other illuminations, which is why they are also known as lantern batteries.
6 Volt RV Batteries vs 12 Volt RV Batteries
Two 6 volt RV batteries connected in a series is equivalent to a single 12 volt battery. This setup involves both advantages and disadvantages, thus you need to consider this to decide whether it’s suitable for your camping needs:
- Larger Ah capacities
- Larger Amp capacities
- Larger discharge and recharge capacities
- Long lifespan: With proper maintenance and storage, 6 volt batteries can last from 4 to 8 years, while 12 volt RV batteries usually last up to 2 years
- More expensive. The best 6 volt RV batteries often require a hefty initial investment that the budget campers might find hard to swallow. Do note that some products offer bulk buying, which might help you save a bit of money.
- A bit harder to find if you’re buying offline, as they are usually only sold at large automotive supply stores or specialty stores. As for online, you can find them on Amazon and Walmart.
- Bulkier than a single 12 volt battery and might require installing different battery boxes.
How does a 6 Volt RV battery work?
Inside a 6 volt RV battery, there are three cells, with one lead plate and one lead oxide plate submerged in an electrolyte solution of water and sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid will trigger a chemical reaction that transfers ions back and forth between the plates. This produces electrons. The electrons race around the plates and generate electricity. The electricity flows out of the battery terminals to start your engine and power electrical devices. Each cell has a capacity of 2-volts.
How to wire 6 volt batteries?
It’s essential to understand primary ways of wiring 6 volt RV batteries in your rig and how they work. Compared to using a single 12 volt battery, connecting two 6 volt batteries via a series will keep the current or amp hours the same but increase the system’s voltage. Meanwhile, connecting two 6 volt RV batteries in parallel will increase the system’s amp hours, but the voltage will remain the same.
In a series: To connect two 6 volt batteries in a series, attach one’s positive terminal with the other’s negative terminal, then use an additional set of cables to connect the open negative terminal to your RV.
Each battery is capable of providing 6 volts of power, and in this setup, they will supply 12 volts of power in total, but will only offer the Ah capacity of a single 6 volt battery.
In parallel: To connect two 6 volt batteries in parallel, connect the positive terminals to positive and the negative terminals to negative. In contrast to series connection, now their combined Ah capacity will now equal the total sum of the connected batteries, while the total voltage will stay at six volts.
This means that if you want to increase both the voltage and the Ah capacity of the batteries, you will first need to wire two 6 volt batteries in a series to create an equivalent of one 12 volt battery, and then wire this setup to another pair of 6 volt batteries using the parallel connection. The total voltage of this wiring will be 12 volts and the combined Ah capacity will be two times the Ah capacity of a single 6 volt battery.
Types of 6 volt RV batteries
Flooded lead-acid 6 volt batteries: This type of deep cycle battery, also called wet-cell batteries, requires two important maintenance processes. They lose water during the charge cycle and must be refilled regularly with distilled water every 2-4 weeks as needed. Secondly, flooded batteries should be equalized by applying a controlled overcharge once every 30-90 days to make sure each cell is equally charged.
In addition to maintenance, another downside is this type of battery will be permanently damaged if they are fast charged using a regular charger. These batteries produce gas when overcharged, which can damage the cells.
Gel 6 volt batteries: Gel batteries are also lead-acid batteries, however, as they are “sealed”, they eliminate the hazards associated with acid spills or leaks and are almost maintenance free. The acid inside their cells has been added with Silica Gel to turn solid, so there’s nothing to spill even if the battery is broken.
As for disadvantages, they must be charged at a lower voltage than the other 6 volt deep cycle batteries, or else, irreversible voids can develop in the gel and reduce the battery’s capacity. Extremely hot climates can cause water loss and premature battery death in only 2 to 4 years. Secondly, just like flooded batteries, gel batteries cannot withstand overcharging.
AGM 6 volt batteries: AGM batteries (Absorbed Glass Mat) are also sealed, spill-proof even if broken, and maintenance-free. In AGM batteries, the electrolyte is suspended in fiberglass mat separators which act as absorbent sponges to keep the electrolyte stabilized. Offered at about the same price point of gel batteries, 6 volt AGM RV batteries are the most advanced among different types of 6 volt RV batteries. In particular, they tolerate a much deeper depth of discharge than flooded batteries, have the highest charging efficiency, can very well withstand vibration and impact as well as cold weather, all of which make them ideal for a greater number of camping applications.
Lithium ion 6 volt batteries: This type of battery packs the most power into the smallest, lightest unit. They also offer the longest life, more usable capacity and constant power, excellent charging efficiency and resistance to extreme temperatures. Despite its many benefits, they are quite fragile. They require a protection circuit built into each pack to maintain safe operation to avoid being overcharged as well as deep discharges. They also need to have the current maintained within safe limits.
Best 6-Volt RV Batteries
1. Optima Batteries OPT8010-044 6V RedTop Starting Battery
+ Starting battery
+ 6-Volt, 800 Cold Cranking Amps
+ Reserve capacity of 100 minutes
The Optima’s Batteries OPT 8010-044 6V RedTop Starting Battery is one of the best 6 volt starting batteries for RV. What sets it apart is firstly the impressive 800 Cold Cranking Amps, which would allow you to start your RV engine without troubles even in freezing temperatures during winter camping. Another excellent feature is its 100 minutes of reserve capacity. This ensures constant power, so that your rig will continue to run even if your alternator fails.
What makes it ideal for RV-ing applications is its durable construction and excellent resistance to shock and vibrations, which makes it perfect for camping, especially if you like to travel off the beaten path on rough terrain. The manufacturer even claims that this battery is 15 times more resistant to physical impacts than the standard starting batteries on the market.
Another plus is its lightweight design at only 18 pounds, which allows for easier installation, and you can mount it in virtually any position.
Things We Like
- Optimal starting power even in extreme weather conditions
- Highly resistant to impact and vibration
- Exceptionally lightweight and offers plenty of mounting flexibility
Things We Don’t Like
- A few customer complaints about customer support.
2. Lifeline GPL-4CT Marine AGM Battery
+ Voltage: 6
+ Amp. Hrs. 20, Hr Rate: 220
+ Minutes of Discharge @ 25 Amps – 492
+ Minutes of Discharge @ 15 Amps – 856
+ Minutes of Discharge @ 8 Amps – 1692
+ Applications: RVs, boats and solar
Lifeline’s Marine 6 volt AGM RV batteries is an extremely versatile deep cycle battery. In addition to use in RVs, this model has a proven track record in various applications, including with boats and trucks. For its affordable price tag, its power output is particularly outstanding when compared to competitors, providing up to 550 amps for charging amperage.
Another feature that is very rare to find, even among the best 6 volt RV batteries these days, is the exceptionally low monthly self-discharge rate of only 2%. This makes it the top contender for campers who only travel occasionally and tend to store their rigs for extended periods in between camping trips. It’s rare to come across a product that offers reliable performance at an affordable price like this one.
Almost perfect as it is, the only downside is perhaps its weight. This model is one of the heaviest 6 volt RV batteries on the market today, which means you won’t be able to install it yourself. It would require two or three people for the job. That said, you can always get professional help, and it’s well worth it for the many years of good service you’re going to get out of these Lifeline Marine batteries.
Things We Like
- It’s extra powerful: can deliver up to 550 amps.
- The 2% monthly self-discharge rate is among the lowest in the industry.
Things We Don’t Like
- Very heavy, so installation might require extra helps or professional service
3. Mighty Max Battery ML200-6 6-Volt 200-AH SLA Battery
+ Sealed Lead Acid
+ Voltage: 6, Amperage: 200Ah
The 6V 200AH SLA RV Battery by Mighty Max Battery has earned a reputation as one of the best 6 volt RV batteries for boondocking and four-season camping, and for good reasons. In addition to its spill-proof, maintenance free design and straightforward installation, these batteries are praised for outstanding resistance to vibration and shocks, which makes them ideal for camping off the beaten path and allows for a longer service life despite a lot of beatings on the open road.
In addition, performance-wise, the SLA RV Battery offers high discharge rate and deep discharge recovery. But what really sets it apart is the wide operating temperature range. This battery is sworn by buyers to function without any issues in extreme weather conditions, be it freezing cold or blazing hot. If you travel year round, this would be the best four-season camping RV batteries you can get.
In addition to the 1-year warranty, buyers also commented on Mighty Max’s helpful customer service team. And on top of such outstanding performance and features, the SLA RV Battery is relatively affordable. Especially when you consider the long service life, these batteries offer excellent value for money.
Things We Like
- Spill-proof, thus easy installation and mountable anywhere.
- Excellent shock and vibration resistance.
- Broad operating temperature range for reliable performance in any weather condition.
- Long service life.
- Good after sale service.
Things We Don’t Like
- Surprisingly doesn’t come with any mounting accessories.
4. Trojan T-105 6-Volt Battery
+ Flooded Lead Acid
+ Voltage: 6, Amperage: 225Ah
The Trojan T-105 6V Deep Cycle Flooded Battery is one of the best 6 volt RV batteries out there. We must say this early though, that you’ll need to buy them as a pack of four. And they are quite expensive, so buying four will cost you a substantial investment. That said, buyers swear by their value for money, and you sure get what you pay for. You would need to wire two of them in a series to fully charge your RV at 12 volts anyway, and they would also serve as replacement batteries in case of an emergency. If you have a 24-volt electrical system, these batteries should be right up your alley.
A pair of the Trojan T-105 6 volt offers a 225 Ah capacity, including 125 Ah of usable capacity. Thanks to the use of thicker lead plates, these batteries offer excellent durability rating at approximately 1,200 cycles. The decent 18-month warranty partly shows how reliable and durable the Trojan T-105 is.
This model comes with high quality polypropylene construction and on top of that, outstanding structural adhesion, which serves to minimize corrosion and allows for a longer lifespan than the average 6 volt RV batteries on the market. Another notable feature that contributes to the battery’s long lifespan is the calcium grids, which significantly decrease gas emissions. Trojan claims that with proper usage and care, the T-105 can offer up to 10 years of good service on the open road. With that, their big price tag is justified.
Another appealing quality that makes these batteries one of the best 6 volt RV batteries ever made is its low self-discharge rate of about 5% to 15% per month. This means if you often store your RV in the off season for an extended period at a time, you wouldn’t have to worry about your battery being completely dead after the long storage. (That said, if you tend to store your rig for months, best to invest in a trickle charger to keep your precious batteries topped off.)
Things We Like
- Approved by IES safety standards.
- Exceptionally low natural discharge rate
- Durable polypropylene construction
- Excellent structural adhesion eliminates the risk of corrosion between grid frames.
Things We Don’t Like
- Quite expensive
5. Universal Power Group UBGC2 Sealed AGM Deep Cycle 6V 200AH
+ Voltage: 6, Amperage: 200Ah
The Universal Power Group 6v 200AH AGM Deep Cycle Battery offers all the benefits that a sealed AGM battery has to offer, and to be fair, it doesn’t pack impressive features like a broad operating temperature range or a high cold cranking amp. That said, this model is highly affordable, well rounded, practical and easy to use and maintain. It’s one of the least expensive options among the most reliable 6 volt batteries out there, and when you consider its extremely versatile applications, this model might be an ideal bargaining choice for bulk buyers.
Things We Like
- Mountable in any position
- Excellent resistance to shocks and vibration
- Wide applications: Compatibles with RVs, boats, solar, golf carts, motorcycles, wheelchairs and more
Things We Don’t Like
- Customers often complain that the instruction manual is almost unreadable, which made installation a bit of a headache.
6. VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Battery
+ Voltage: 6, Amperage: 225Ah
+ Heavy duty lead tin alloys
This multi-purpose VMAXTANKS’s 6v 225Ah AGM Battery has a stellar reputation for offering reliable performance in boats and RVs alike. This AGM battery is spill-proof and maintenance-free, thanks to its sealed design. This also means you can mount it in any position, since it can’t spill acid.
It can withstand repeated deep discharges, as well as extreme weather conditions and shock and vibration on the open road, making it ideal for camping. This AGM battery is made to absorb and store as much electrolyte as possible, which will allow you to power your appliances for longer periods of time while dry camping without electrical hookups as well as excellent charging efficiency.
A notable feature that earns this product a spot among the best 6 volt RV batteries on the current market is VMAX’s use of heavy duty lead-tin alloys, which significantly improve the battery’s reliable performance as well as extend its service life. Its overall durability in harsh camping conditions is one particular aspect that buyers often praise in their reviews.
If you want an RV battery for boondocking, this model would also be an ideal fit. VMAXTANKS built this battery with these types of situations in mind. It should have no problem meeting your battery needs when you’re camping away from civilization.
Things We Like
- Spill-proof and maintenance-free.
- VMAX’s heavy duty lead tin alloys allow for extra reliable performance and lifespan, even with repeated deep discharges.
- Can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Things We Don’t Like
- Some customers complain about experiencing shipping issue
The Best 6 Volt RV Batteries: Buying Criteria
The first step in seeking the best 6v battery for RV comes down to deciding which type would be suitable for you. While flooded batteries will require more maintenance, gel and AGM batteries are spill-proof and almost maintenance-free. Regarding performance, AGM batteries and lithium ion batteries are superior, but AGM batteries are more practical for use in RVs, as they are made to withstand more beatings on the open road as well as extreme cold weather. They also have the highest charging efficiency and tolerate deep depth of discharge.
One of the most important specifications of RV 6V batteries is capacity or power, that is the amount of current a battery is capable of providing over a determined time frame. How much power the battery puts out is rated or measured in Ah, which stands for amperage hours or amp-hours. Amp hours indicates how many amps the battery discharges in a 20-hour period.
A related rating is reserve capacity, which measures the amount of energy the battery effectively stores, which technically means the battery’s charge capacity. The reserve capacity is rated in minutes and measures how long a battery can run at 25 amps of current without its voltage dropping below 10.5 volts. All in all, the best 6V RV battery for boondocking should offer more amp hours and reserve capacity to power your appliances and devices for longer.
It should be noted that while deep cycle batteries are technically made to withstand deep discharge cycles, it’s recommended that you should not let it repeatedly go down to less than 45-50% depth of discharge, as it will shorten the battery’s lifespan. This requires you to pick a battery that can supply the adequate amount of power for your needs without getting depleted past this threshold. This is important for boondockers, as you will be able to go for several days without any recharge.
This in turn requires you to estimate your daily power consumption. Make a list of the frequently used electrical appliances and devices in your rig and add up their energy requirements. Of course you won’t be using them all at a time, so take that into account, but do allow for a little wiggle room to be on the safe side. Start with the most power-hungry appliances, that is the air conditioning unit, the oven, the fridge, the vacuum cleaner and microwave.
It’s worth noting that if you often boondock, it’s a sustainable solution to install solar power to be as sustainable as you can as well as for recharging your 6 volt deep-cycle batteries. You can also charge your batteries via campground electrical hookups, so plan ahead, and via a generator.
But boondockers or off-grid RVers should look into buying a 6v battery capable of supplying your power needs without depleting. It’ll make sure you can go for several days without any recharge, which is perfect for these rig owners.
Depth of Discharge
Another crucial specification of a 6 volt RV battery is its discharge depth, expressed as a percentage of the total capacity of the battery. Most 6 volt deep cycle batteries are made to withstand a 50% depth of discharge. And do note that while many models will be advertised to handle up to 80% discharge, you generally should not deplete your battery down to less than 50% on a regular basis, as it will shorten the battery’s lifespan.
Particularly for lead-acid batteries, repeated deep discharges will reduce the number of discharge cycles the battery can handle, which means the battery will die prematurely. This is because deep discharges below the safe threshold of 50% result in mechanical stresses in the plates, and the practical capacity of a battery may drop lower than its nominal capacity.
Operating Temperature Range
This is particularly important for full-time campers who travel year round in varying weather conditions, or campers to live or travel in extreme temperatures, but is more often than not overlooked when one’s looking for the best 6 volt RV batteries. You should look for a battery that can provide constant power in both high and low temperatures. The best 6 volt RV batteries for four-season camping should be able to withstand several degrees below freezing temperatures in the winter, and above 35 degrees Celsius in the summer.
Although you can easily find out this information in the product descriptions, since manufacturers would often advertise this feature, it’s a good idea to browse the reviews to judge a product’s true weather-resistance.
The RV life involves a lot of shock and vibrations on the road, so your batteries should be made with a sturdy construction to withstand those bumpy terrains. Furthermore, if you prefer to travel off the beaten path, the roads would typically be rougher, so you might want to get a sealed battery so that it won’t spill acid. While 6 volt RV batteries generally last longer than a 12 volt battery, they are more expensive, so if you have decided to pay more for 6 volt batteries for your rig, better make sure you get a reliable, durable one that will be of good service for many years to come.
6-volt batteries are generally larger in size than a 12-volt battery, but are significantly lighter, weighing around 45 pounds compared to some 100 pounds. Generally, the larger a 6 volt battery, the more power it tends to offer, which means your appliances will stay powered longer. However, this depends on whether your rig has enough space for 6 volt batteries. Two 6 volt batteries wired together are much bulkier than a single 12 volt battery, so they might not fit in every RV’s battery box.
With their rising popularity, the market for 6 volt RV batteries offers a wide variety of battery types, sizes, power output, construction and price points. Again, it’s not necessary to buy the most powerful and often more expensive batteries. Have a clear view of your average energy consumption and your camping style (how often do you boondock and how often you’d stay at RV campgrounds with electrical hookups to charge your battery). This will help you select the best 6 volt RV batteries with the highest value for your budget. As for different price ranges, you can generally expect:
- From $45 to $150: 6 volt RV batteries in this range tend to be smaller and have lower amp-hour ratings. The cheapest models typically are flooded cell batteries, and don’t come with very high quality construction.
- $150 to $500: These are definitely expensive, but you’ll get much more amp hours and a longer service life. Batteries in this range are best suited for various camping applications: they are often sealed and spill-proof, made to withstand shock and vibrations as well as extreme weather conditions. Maintenance-free gel and AGM batteries often fall into this category, with the best AGM models typically ranging from $200 to $350, with many premium products approaching $500. If you often go on extended off-grid trips on rough terrain, travel year round in varying weather conditions and have high power consumption, then it’s a worthy investment to get the best 6 volt RV batteries you can afford.
Best 6 Volt RV Battery Manufacturers
VMAX makes a variety of batteries for use in boats and RVs, trolling motors, power sports, golf carts, wheelchairs, solar, as well as backup batteries and chargers. Their batteries are known for their unmatched reliability and performance, particularly their ability to deliver high currents and withstand extreme deep cycles without dying prematurely. VMAX is a name you would always see in any reviews of the best 6 volt batteries for RV.
Founded in 1925, Trojan has become a pioneer in the field of deep cycle batteries, thanks to tireless research and commitment to a high quality standard. Trojan’s 6 volt batteries are widely used in RVs and other applications, and known to reliably deliver constant power and long lasting service.
Mighty Max Battery
Established in 2006, Mighty Max Battery is the new kid around the block, but has quickly become a trusted household name when it comes to affordable, reliable and long lasting RV batteries. Mighty Max produces a large portfolio of deep cycle batteries for a wide range of applications, including use in RVs, motorcycles, powersport, golf carts and wheelchairs as well as all general batteries, solar panels and solar panel accessories.
Universal Power Group
Back in 1968, UPG began as a distributor of electronic components to large original equipment manufacturers. In the 1970’s, it became an authorized Panasonic battery modification center, launching the brand into the field of custom energy-storage solutions. The company then expanded into the production of sealed lead-acid batteries in the late 90s. Since then, it has further expanded its product portfolio to include other energy solutions, such as gel batteries, smart lithium-ion batteries, chargers and solar panels. Its 6 volt batteries for RV offer excellent value for money, despite not having a large portfolio to choose from.
Optima has been in business for more than 40 years, thus its expertise in the energy solution field is proven. It built the first maintenance-free, high-performance AGM batteries in the 1970s, and since then has earned a name for itself as the maker of some of the best deep cycle batteries for a wide range of applications as well as the best 6 volt RV batteries for camping. Optima is particularly praised for its high quality AGM batteries, and one of its all time best selling products is the Optima Deep Cycle Marine Battery.
Odyssey is another household name that has been around for quite some time and is still going strong. For over 100 years, the brand has been making reliable automobile batteries as well as batteries for RVs, boats, and other applications.
Crown prize itself for producing deep cycle batteries with some of the thickest lead plates in the industry, which contribute to excellent power output and a longer lifespan. In addition, its well-appointed products clearly show the brand’s attention to detail and commitment to high quality, well-rounded energy solutions for campers. For instance, while lead-acid batteries do need regular maintenance in the form of adding distilled water, Crown has made this easy by adding the PROeye indicator, which allows you to check the electrolyte levels without having to open the battery up.
NP Power International Inc. is a power supply manufacturer which specializes in high-quality lead acid batteries for RVs and power banks. Its product portfolio offers a wide range of deep-cycle batteries, including lead acid batteries, AGM batteries, gel batteries, solar-powered batteries and front terminal batteries.
Renogy is a well known manufacturer of deep cycle batteries, battery chargers, charge controllers, inverters, solar panels and off-grid kits for use in RVs, boats, homes, businesses, and virtually any application you can think of. Renogy prides itself on supplying the most efficient and reliable but also most affordable products.
6 Volt RV Batteries Maintenance Tips
- Avoid repeated deep discharges. Never let your batteries get below 80% depth of discharge, and on a regular basis, you should only deplete your batteries down to 50%. Under 80% depth of discharge, the hard sulfation process will take place and cause irreversible damage to your batteries, which will shorten its lifespan. Recharging your batteries soon after depleting them is necessary.
- Use a deep cycle batteries charger for 6 volt RV batteries: 6 volt RV batteries are deep cycle batteries, and they need a special charger specially designed for optimal charging, called deep cycle battery chargers. If you use a regular charger, it will fast charge the batteries, which is detrimental to their health and lifespan.
- For flooded lead-acid batteries, maintain electrolyte levels: Wet cell batteries will lose water with each charge cycle, so you will need to refill it with distilled water to maintain a functional electrolyte level.
- Keep the battery terminals corrosion-free: The terminals are prone to corrosion, which would affect the battery’s performance. You should regularly check for rust buildup and clean them off with a commercial battery contact cleaning solution for this purpose, or simply using a mixture of baking soda and water with a soft brush for scrubbing.
- Some dos and don’ts on charging: Never connect a battery charger on wet battery terminals, as this can ignite the battery. Before starting your charging sessions, always switch off all lights and electrical circuits connecting the battery charger and remove the key from the ignition.
6 Volt RV Batteries: Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you hook up a 6 Volt RV battery?
First, make sure all electrical appliances and devices, including all lights, are turned off. Place the battery on the mount dedicated for it in your rig and connect the cables. If you want to produce an equivalent of a 12 volt battery, wire two 6 volt batteries in a series. Attach one’s positive terminal with the other’s negative terminal, then use an additional set of cables to connect the open negative terminal to your RV. The two batteries will now supply 12 volts of power in total, but will only offer the Ah capacity of a single 6 volt battery.
If you want to increase the combined Ah capacity, wire the two 6 volt batteries in parallel. Connect the positive terminals to positive and the negative terminals to negative. Now their combined Ah capacity will now equal the total sum of the connected batteries, while the total voltage will stay at six volts.
2. Should 6 volt RV batteries be wired in series or parallel?
6 volt RV batteries need to be wired in a series to create a single 12 volt battery, or you can wire two pairs of 6 volt batteries in a series, then wire the two pairs together in parallel to increase both the voltage and the Ah capacity. Meanwhile, 12 volt RV batteries should always be wired in parallel because you want to increase the amp hours but keep the voltage the same.
3. How long do 6 Volt RV batteries last?
As with everything else, proper usage and maintenance are key. If you take good care of your 6 volt batteries as per the maintenance list above, lead-acid and AGM 6 volt batteries can last anywhere between 4 and 8 years, while gel batteries can last from 2 to 5 years. In general, you can expect the best 6 volt RV batteries to last much longer than an average 12 volt battery, which often needs replacing after only two years.
4. How often should I charge my RV battery?
This all depends on your power consumption, which depends on how many people you travel with, how big your rig is and whether it’s equipped with many power-hungry appliances. Most luxury Class A, Class C motorhomes and luxury fifth wheels come with full-size residential appliances that consume a lot of power.
While most batteries can last a few days before needing another charge, you might find your batteries getting depleted much more quickly if, say, you’re traveling in the summer and really need to run the A/C. If you like to dry camp, it’s a good investment to get some solar panels to keep your battery charged when you don’t have access to electrical hookups.
5. Where should I store my RV batteries?
When you are storing your RV in the off season, you should keep your deep-cycle RV battery somewhere at reasonable temperatures that are neither too hot nor too cold and keep the Battery Disconnect Switch in the “batteries off” position. And don’t rest the battery directly on the floor. In the winter, make sure it never drops below freezing.
As deep-cycle batteries all experience natural self discharge, you should use a trickle charger or a battery maintainer to maintain your 6 volt batteries at full charge during storage. A trickle charger is designed to offset the battery’s self discharge rate, so it’s not supposed to overcharge your battery, but just to make sure, you should check your battery regularly during storage to make sure everything’s in order.
6. Is it bad to leave your RV plugged in all the time?
If you leave your RV battery plugged in all the time, even after it’s fully charged, it can deplete the cells’ electrolyte levels and over time shorten the battery’s lifespan. However, this would not be a problem if you have a battery tender or a smart charger that charges your battery in three or four stages, the last of which would only trickle charge your battery, that is simply maintaining it at full charge by just offsetting the battery’s self discharge rate without overcharging the battery.
7. How long does it take to charge a dead RV battery?
This varies widely, but let’s consider below 50% depth of discharge as “dead”, since you shouldn’t let your 6 volt RV batteries be depleted below this level. If your battery is discharged to below 50% capacity, you’d need up to 8 hours to reach full charge using your stock RV converter. But if you use a smart charger, you’d need much less time to reach a full charge, usually only around 2 hours. These smart chargers charge your battery at different voltages in different stages, depending on how full the batteries are at one point, which allows for very efficient charging.
8. Why Is my RV battery draining so fast?
The most common reason is you may have left some unnecessary appliances on for extended periods, such as dome lights and headlights, which draw more power from the batteries than you think you do. Another maintenance tip is during storage, you should disconnect the ground wire to prevent it from draining the battery.
9. Do 6 volt RV batteries charge while I’m driving?
While you’re driving, your 6 volt RV batteries will receive a charge via the engine’s alternator. When you’ve reached your campsite, you can also run a generator to top off your batteries.
Last Updated on October 11, 2021