Deep-cycle batteries have always been talked about, especially in the camping field. These are usually the preferred battery type especially for long hours of application mainly because of their increased usable capacity. However, before going on to its perks, let's answer the most basic question first: What is a deep-cycle battery?
When you say deep-cycle in batteries, these pertain to power packs that can run reliably even at an 80% discharge level. This is primarily why they are preferred for off-grid camping—they can last for an extended period of time without needing to be recharged. Unlike starter batteries that give off short, concentrated bursts of power, deep-cycle batteries supply a stable stream of current ideal not just for powering appliances but also for recreational vehicles, marine applications, and electronic vehicles. In terms of structure, deep-cycle batteries have thicker grids and plates that give them a longer lifespan. They are mostly known for their higher capacity, although these batteries are built with a higher percentage of antimony as well for improved cycling abilities. Additionally, they have rubber separators and a glass mat that helps retain active material and contain water loss.
There are several types of deep-cycle batteries too. The most popular ones would be flooded lead-acid batteries, AGM deep-cycle batteries, and lithium deep-cycle batteries. While there are some campers who still use flooded batteries, these batteries are actually lagging in terms of overall quality compared to batteries backed by modern technology. AGM deep-cycle batteries, meanwhile, remain a popular pick among Australians for their lower price. These work well too, but if you're going to ask, which type makes the best deep-cycle batteries, it would definitely be lithium deep-cycle batteries, such as LiFePO4 packs. These combine not just an increased capacity but enhanced safety features too. LiFePO4 batteries also have a built-in battery management system (BMS) for optimal performance and automatic protection against common battery issues like overcharging, undercharging, overheating and short circuits. Because they are incombustible, you never have to worry about your battery pack catching fire, which is ideal especially for beginners.
How Many Years Does a Deep Cycle Battery Last?
Most deep-cycle batteries last for up to 6 years or more with proper handling. While these are built for long-lasting use, a part of your battery's lifespan will still depend on how you use and take care of it, especially during charging. Improper charging is one of the most common causes of battery decline. For deep-cycle batteries, make sure that you use the correct deep-cycle battery charger and that you are giving it a chance to complete one full charge cycle every now and then. See to it that you are slow charging your battery as this is the best way to top it off and that you don't discharge it below 10%. Deep-cycle batteries may have more usable capacity, but for optimal performance, it is best to keep their discharge level in check especially when you're using them as a camping battery or caravan battery.
Do You Need a Special Charger For Deep-Cycle Batteries?
Yes. Deep-cycle batteries ideally would be best charged by a smart charger to keep them in good condition and provide maximum results. As much as possible, do not use a regular charger to recharge deep-cycle batteries because they are not designed to handle the fast-charging process and excessive heat that most traditional chargers generate. Recharging deep-cycle batteries is easier than you think and does not really differ much from the charging procedure of other batteries. First, make sure the battery terminals are clean. Connect the positive cable to the red terminal first, then the negative one to the black terminal. Once you're done with this, you can now plug in your charger and switch it on. If you're using a smart charger, this is even more convenient as you can adjust it to your preferred settings and leave it since it will automatically stop charging on its own.
Can Deep-Cycle Batteries Be Overcharged?
Deep-cycle batteries can be overcharged depending on the battery type and charger that you use. This is more likely to happen with batteries without integrated BMS and non-smart chargers that need to be manually tracked. Overcharging your deep-cycle battery may lead to a lot of issues and number one of them is overheating. If you're using a non-LiFePO4 battery, there is a higher risk of your battery exploding while charging or even while in use. Grid corrosion is another result of overcharging. You won't necessarily see this in your battery but damages in your power pack's grid can affect its performance and shorten its overall lifespan as well.
More from Outbax
Here at Outbax, we offer some of the best quality and most affordable deep-cycle batteries online. We have a variety of them as well—12V deep-cycle batteries, 100ah deep-cycle batteries, and even deep-cycle marine batteries! Our power packs are proven and tested by thousands of customers who happily gave great lithium dee-cycle battery reviews on our website. Whether you're after Perth deep-cycle batteries or Adelaide deep-cycle batteries, Outbax has your back. We make sure every camper gets to have a great outdoor experience without breaking the bank, so we have other available camping gear as well including inverter generators and solar panels. Visit our website now and check these goodies out for yourself!