Following our trip back from Myrtle Beach, I noticed the voltage on our house battery was extremely low. The fridge even agreed with me and displayed an error to let me know.
Before our trip to the beach, I found the two 6-volt batteries I had installed were not working very well. So I replaced them with the 12-volt battery which originally came with the trailer. The 6-volt batteries were the ones in our trailer that our RV dealer left connected while they had my RV in for service over the winter. I am sure completely draining the batteries did some major damage to them.
The new battery seemed to work quite well. At least so I thought.
Upon returning from our trip, I noticed that our battery voltage was very low again. The lights in the RV would dim even when plugged into shore power. This was not good.
I called our RV dealer to find out if the new battery which came with the trailer (and I never even used until now) was still under warranty. I was not the least bit surprised when they said “NO”.
I am now shopping for new batteries. I need to make the decision on which type to go with. Here are my choices.
Single 12-volt Lead-Acid battery.
This would fit directly into my trailer. They require a small amount of maintenance keeping the water level in them topped off. They have a 90 amp hour rating. I would need only one of these batteries at a cost of $82.
Two 6-volt Lead-Acid batteries.
This would work with the battery charging system in my trailer. They require a small amount of maintenance keeping the water level in them topped off. They have a 215 amp hour rating. I would require two of these to produce 12 volts. I need to modify the battery compartment to accept two of these batteries, add an extra vent and need to do some wiring. The total cost would be $180.
Two 6-volt AGM batteries.
They would also work with the battery charging system in my trailer. They require no maintenance. They have a 190 amp hour rating. I would require two of these to produce 12 volts. I still need to modify the battery compartment to accept two of these batteries and need to do some wiring. They would not need to be vented. The total cost would be $360.
Upgrade to a Lithium battery.
These batteries would not work with the battery charging system in my trailer. The advantages are that they require no maintenance, are a lot less weight, charge much quicker, and require no venting. Another plus is that your typical lead-acid RV battery only allows you to use around 50% of the rated capacity, whereas a lithium battery allows you to use 99%. The lifespan on lithium is 10 times that of a typical lead-acid battery. The cost of one of these batteries is $950.
I really was tempted to go with the Lithium battery but I guess I wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge. I went with the cheaper option, Two 6-volt AGM batteries. In the future, as lithium becomes more prevalent, I will definitely be upgrading.