When it comes to RVing and van life, having a reliable power source is crucial. Whether you are parked at a campground with an unreliable power output or simply want to boondock at your favorite location overnight, having a reliable power storage onboard your RV can make the difference between having a comfortable night with your amenities or roughing it out in the cold (or if you’re staying overnight in the Arizona summer, in the heat without constant air conditioning). Traditional lead-acid batteries have been the go-to for powering RVs and vans for years, but the trend is shifting as their downsides are being overcome by new advances in battery technologies especially with lithium ion batteries. In this article we will go over some comparison between how they’re different and in what scenario would you want one or the other.
Physical & Power Output
Lithium batteries are a more modern and efficient power source for RVs and camping van offering a lightweight and compact size, high efficiency, and long lifespan. They have become increasingly popular among RVers and van lifers as camping styles and power demands shift over the years.
One of the biggest advantages of lithium batteries over lead-acid batteries is their ability to be discharged deeper without damaging the battery’s lifespan. This means you can use more of the battery’s stored energy, allowing you to power more appliances and devices for longer periods of time. However, note that the deeper the cycle you go, the less cycles you get overall, some seasoned campers would include RV solar panels and chargers to their setup to minimize the depth of charge of their RV lithium ion batteries, lengthening the life of their batteries.
Additionally, lithium batteries can be recharged more quickly than lead-acid batteries, which means you can spend more time enjoying your adventures and less time waiting for your battery to recharge. And lastly lithium batteries often have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance, with some lasting 10X longer than traditional lead-acid batteries, making them a worthwhile investment in the long run despite the slightly higher price compared to traditional lead-acid batteries.
Choosing the right batteries
Not all lithium batteries are the same and choosing the right lithium battery for your RV or van is important. There are a few key things to consider, such as the battery’s capacity, voltage, size, weight, price and quality. Capacity refers to the amount of energy that the battery can store. Make sure to choose a battery with enough capacity to power all of your appliances and devices while on the road. The voltage of the battery needs to match the voltage of your RV or van’s electrical system. Depending on the size of your RV or van, you may have limited space for a battery bank. Make sure to choose a lithium battery that is compact and lightweight enough to fit your needs.
Lastly choosing the battery quality is important as the RV parts space is flooded with generic batteries which can result in unreliable power and potentially battery failures. Fortunately at Xantrex, we do not take quality lightly, having a track record of stringent testing in our products, we stand behind our products and batteries to ensure RVers and Vanlifers can count on us whether they are in the hot Arizona summer with the air conditioning on or if they’re camping at a campsite with an unreliable power source.
In summary, lithium batteries are a game changer when it comes to having a reliable power source for RVs and vans. They offer many advantages over traditional lead-acid batteries, including longer lifespan, higher efficiency, and quicker recharging times. When choosing a lithium battery, it’s important to consider factors such as capacity, voltage, size, weight, and price. With the right lithium battery and proper usage, you can power your RV or van life adventures smarter and more efficiently than ever before.