Rechargeable batteries are widely used in a variety of settings. From your mobile phone to the camping battery pack you always bring when you want to enjoy the outdoors, these batteries are geared to bring everyday convenience. When it comes to outdoor applications like camping, caravanning, or even boating, rechargeable batteries would usually come in 12V form. Why? 12V rechargeable batteries are considered an ideal size for a portable power pack and mostly, it has just the right voltage output to keep your essential appliances running smoothly.
A 12V rechargeable battery comes in different types suited for different applications as well. For instance, most car batteries are 12V batteries. Deep-cycle batteries, which are usually used as service batteries for powering electronic equipment, typically come in 12V battery packs as well.
In the camping field, the oldest kind of 12V rechargeable battery would be lead-acid batteries, having been invented in the 1800s. A lot of development in batteries has been made since then so while this is still used by some campers, many have switched to newer batteries such as gel batteries, AGM batteries or lithium batteries. Among all of these, the most recommended in terms of overall quality are the lithium iron phosphate batteries or simply LiFePO4. These batteries are fairly new in the market but have been gradually gaining popularity because of their safer, incombustible form coupled with an internal battery management system that protects against common battery issues and optimises each cell for maximum performance with every use.
How Long Does a 12V Rechargeable Battery Last?
Before we tackle longevity, it would be helpful to discuss the three measures of a battery's lifespan. First is the run time, which refers to how long a battery pack will run on a single-use without needing a recharge. This is important if you're going off-grid camping with no access to a mains power, so you need to know your power requirements and compare it with your battery's capacity to have a good run time estimate. Next is the shelf life. This is the amount of time your battery will hold a charge when not in use. It's usually affected by the factors surrounding your battery storage areas such as humidity and temperature. Lastly, we have the cycle life. It mainly pertains to the complete charges and discharges your battery can undergo before it completely declines. This is also usually used to measure how long camping batteries like LiFePO4 will last.
Now, on to the different types of 12v rechargeable batteries and how long they are likely to last. Typically, consumer-based batteries like those integrated into gadgets last for 600 to 1,000 life cycles. Larger 12V portable battery packs, on the other hand, are dependent on their battery chemistry. Flooded lead-acid batteries last for around 3-5 years, while AGM and gel batteries fall somewhere between 2-7 years. 12V lithium batteries especially LiFePO4 can last for 7 years and even a decade if properly maintained. This goes over 2,000 cycles, perfect for repeated use and even in deep-cycle applications.
What Are the Best 12V Batteries For Camping and Caravans?
Since lithium is the most recommended for top-notch quality and performance, here are a few popular 12V portable lithium battery pack names that you can go for when buying your recreational battery. Number one would be the Enerdrive eLITE 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery. This is your standard 12V 100Ah battery made even better with a more compact build that is 50% lighter than its lead-acid counterpart. It can handle a maximum inverter capacity of 1,000W and of course, is fitted with an intelligent BMS that automatically optimises cell conditions for smooth, stable performance.
Another prominent name is the Baintech 12V 75Ah Slimline Lithium Battery. If space is a primary concern, this is the perfect lithium battery pack for you and can even be connected in parallel if you need additional power output. On a budget? Try our LiFePO4 packs here at Outbax. We have a variety of 12V portable batteries, slimline lithium batteries, and even batteries with higher voltage levels like 24V and 48V batteries. The best part? They're all affordable yet of excellent quality to accommodate outdoor lovers who are looking to save more on batteries.
How Do I Charge a 12V LiFePO4 Battery?
The best way to charge a 12V LiFePO4 battery is through an appropriate LiFePO4 charger within 14V – 14.2V of charging parameters. If you're going to connect them in parallel, make sure that each portable battery is within 0.1V of each other to reduce the risk of imbalance between them. Prefer solar charging? It's possible—actually, charging a LiFePO4 with solar is a great idea for off-grid campings and road trips. Just make sure to use a solar charge controller to regulate the energy generated by your solar panels that will flow into your battery and make sure that this controller is at the same voltage level with both your battery bank and panels.
More from Outbax
Ready to buy your 12V rechargeable battery? Browse through Outbax for tons of choices! We have 100Ah lithium batteries, 200Ah lithium batteries, and even lithium solar batteries here. If you're looking to install a 12V dual battery system, we have some of the best deep-cycle battery packs that will make reliable auxiliary batteries. As earlier mentioned, Outbax is all about affordable camping gear as well plus, we make your entire purchase extra convenient since everything is done online. Whether you're looking for batteries in Nerang or batteries in Townsville, we'll have that power pack shipped to you in no time. We also have alternative power sources available including solar panels, inverter generators, and power stations. Shop now!