A lot of battery users are familiar with deep-cycle batteries and their benefits. These power packs are actually called deep cell batteries too, although this term is not as commonly used as deep-cycle. Suited for longer periods of use, these batteries boast an 80% depth of discharge ideal for running camping appliances. A deep cell battery is versatile in terms of application. Because of its extended lifespan and higher efficiency rate, this battery pack is ideal not just for camping but also for boats, RVs, materials handling equipment, and golf carts.
There are several options for campers who are using deep-cycle batteries too. They can either go for a flooded lead-acid deep-cycle battery, AGM deep-cycle battery, or lithium deep-cycle battery. While each battery has its own advantages, it's highly recommended to invest in a lithium battery like LiFePO4 instead, despite the higher upfront cost. It fuses a deep-cycle battery's impressive lifespan with an intelligent battery management system for quality performance that will last you for years and years of camping adventure.
How Do I Know If My Battery Is SLI or Deep Cell?
An RV or caravan battery setup would usually consist of two batteries: A starter battery or SLI battery and a service battery, which is often a deep-cell battery. SLI stands for starting, lighting, and ignition. This battery is built with thinner plates and delivers higher amounts of current meant for starting a car's motor, ignition, and lights. When an SLI battery's charge drops below 5%, it's charged through an alternator. As much as possible, this battery type is not suited for complete discharges as it may cause permanent damage to the plates and reduce the battery's lifespan as well.
A deep-cell battery or deep-cycle battery, on the other hand, is used to power whatever camping equipment you have inside your RV such as air conditioner, microwaves, and fridges. You can go for whichever voltage and capacity suit your power needs best—either pack a small 6-volt deep cell battery, a standard 100 amp deep-cycle battery, 200Ah lithium battery, or even a slimline deep-cycle battery if space is an issue. As long as it can provide ample power throughout your entire camping trip, you're good to go. If you prefer off-grid campings and would like to top off your battery while on the go, use solar energy to charge your battery. Mount a set of solar panels on your RV's roof or use portable solar panels like folding solar panels and pair it with your battery bank for a renewable source of energy that you can store for later use.
How Do I Maintain Deep Cell Batteries?
In order to maximise your deep cell battery or any type of battery, keeping it in good condition through regular maintenance is a must. Below are some of the top tips on how to take care of deep cell batteries.
Mind your charge: As much as possible, try not to completely drain your battery. You can choose from several tools to help you track its charge easily such as digital monitors, hydrometers, and amp-hour meters.
Keep an eye on sulfation: Sulfation occurs when lead sulfates in your battery solidify, preventing it from accepting a charge. It's one of the leading causes of battery decline and often cannot be repaired anymore.
Avoid stratification: Stratification is the result of constantly partially charging and discharging your battery. It disrupts the balance of chemicals used to run your battery, causing it to decrease in capacity and performance.
Let your battery rest: A "cooling period" after using and recharging is necessary to keep your battery from burning out. Excessive heat during a charging cycle coupled with immediate use can cause corrosion, which will eventually damage your deep-cell battery too.
Practice periodic equalisation: Equalisation refers to the additional low current charge added to the full charge cycle. This will extend your charge time by around three hours, but in return, will help maintain the balance of your battery cells.
Is Cold Weather Bad For Deep Cell Batteries?
Lithium deep cell batteries generally can perform in cold weather as long as it's not at freezing temperature. The charging process is affected though, as it slows the rate of charging and discharge. Because of this, it may take longer for your batteries to fully recharge in winter compared to summer. Meanwhile, in extremely hot temperatures, deep-cell batteries tend to discharge quickly so you may need to have a battery backup or another portable power source if you're going camping during the summer season.
More from Outbax
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