How Long Do RV Batteries Last?

It’s important to know what type of battery you have to determine how and when to charge it. Maintenance and longevity will also vary significantly with the different models. Of course, how long it lasts will also depend on how many appliances and devices you are running and how much power each of them uses.  

Today, we’ll examine the different types of batteries, how long each lasts with regular use, how to know when they need replacing, and some tips that’ll help you extend their lifespan.  

So, How Long Do RV Batteries Last?

An RV battery’s lifespan varies from 3 – 6 years for lead acid models or up to 15 years when you use newer lithium iron phosphate, also called LFP or LiFePO4 batteries. 

Types of RV Batteries

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries use lead dioxide plates, a cathode and anode, and liquid sulfuric acid as an electrolyte to create an electric current. 

However, these differ from the style you use in your car. Regular lead-acid batteries can never be discharged below 50%. If this happens even once, you may need to replace it. Given an RV’s high power demands, these batteries aren’t recommended.  

Instead, RVs use deep cycle batteries with thicker plates than regular lead-acid models, allowing you to discharge to 80% or more. Manufacturers often still recommend not to discharge them below 45%, but if you do, you shouldn’t have to run out and buy a new one. These are the models used in most RVs because they are cheap to produce. 

The drawback to deep-cycle lead is that these batteries only have an average lifespan of 3 – 6 years. Furthermore, their charging cycles (the number of times they can be charged before needing replacement) are typically in the 200 – 500 range. For those on a budget trying to keep the cost of living in an RV down, they may seem tempting. But depending on how much power you use and how often you drain your batteries, those initial savings might not be worth it in the long run. 

The other drawbacks of these models are that they could be more convenient and require regular maintenance to clean the corrosion and check the water levels. They also discharge faster when in use and storage. When storing, they require a trickle charge to extend their lifespan and are also prone to leakage when tipped. 

AGM Batteries

AGM batteries are improved lead acid models that use absorbent glass mats (AGM) without liquid electrolytes, making them less likely to leak. This also makes them less affected by temperature extremes, which matters when used in cold weather. However, they can still be damaged by overcharging or undercharging and still require maintenance.

AGM models last longer at around 6 – 10 years with 500 – 800 charging cycles. Their lifespan will depend on how much they are used and how well they are maintained. 

Gel Batteries

Gel batteries are another lead acid model. Their liquid electrolyte is mixed with silica to create a more stable, immobile gel-like substance to store energy. Compared to their predecessors, these require less maintenance and are vibration-resistant, which is vital for those who travel a lot in the backwoods. 

These also have a wide operating temperature range and a longer cycle life. They last about ten years with approximately 500 – 1000 charging cycles, although some cheaper models reportedly only last about six years.   

Lithium Batteries

Lithium-ion technology offers several advantages over older technologies. They’re lighter in weight, last longer, discharge more slowly in use and storage, and require no maintenance. They aren’t prone to corrosion and don’t have any dangerous liquids to spill, and you can discharge them completely without ruining their capacity. 

Lithium batteries have a lifespan of around 10 – 15 years. You also won’t have to worry about thermal runaway when buying newer LFP or LiFePO4 batteries. While they cost more upfront than other models, their prices have dropped significantly, so check them out; you might be surprised to discover they are within your budget. 

Since they last for more charging cycles, 2000 – 4000 cycles on average, they’ll last many times longer, especially if you live in your RV and have to recharge often. This makes them the most economical option when you consider buying 4 – 8 deep cycle lead acid batteries before replacing your one lithium battery. 

If you really want to keep long-term costs down, you can purchase a solar energy array like one of EcoFlow’s Power Kits, and your power will be renewable, clean, and free.

To determine how many solar panels you need for your RV, consider how many appliances you have and how much power they draw. You must also assess how much space you have on your roof for rigid panels or if you want additional portable panels to be placed on the ground.

For those with small RVs or high power demands, EcoFlow’s flexible solar panels are ideal for their curved surfaces to maximize your roof’s surface area, allowing you to generate as much electricity as possible. 

How Do I Know if My RV Needs a New Battery?


Depending on the type, an RV battery should be replaced every 3 – 15 years. Knowing your battery type, you’ll also know its expected lifespan. If yours is older than its lifespan, it may be time for a replacement. If you plan to go on a long trip or journey far into the wilderness, you don’t want to deal with a dead battery.


Batteries with lead-acid chemistry will develop corrosion and rust on their terminals (the points connected to the RV). It’s essential to clean it off every few months with a soft brush. However, if your terminals are heavily corroded or the corrosion builds up again very quickly, it’s a sign that they should be replaced. 

Runs Out Of Power Quickly

If your battery doesn’t last as long as it used to and you haven’t added any new equipment, it’s a good sign that its capacity has been reduced and is due for a replacement. 

They Don’t Take a Charge

If you’ve charged your battery and it still won’t power your RV, it’s likely past its lifespan and needs replacing. In this case, it may also run out of power quickly before it ceases receiving charge altogether.  

Strange Sounds or Smells

If your battery starts making strange noises like sizzling or produces unusual odors, it’s a sign that it’s about to fail and could indicate a potential safety concern. If so, it’s best to replace it immediately. 

Tips for Extending the Life of Your RV Battery

Avoid Fully Discharging the Battery

Keeping your RV battery charged when it reaches about 40 – 50% capacity will help extend its lifespan. Discharging them fully can reduce their lifespan, even if they’re designed to handle it. 

Don’t Overcharge Your Battery

Never leave your battery charging after it’s fully charged. Overcharging weakens by discharging hydrogen ions and evaporating water in lead-acid batteries. Excess heat can also lead to thermal runaway, particularly in older Lithium-ion models. Newer LFP models don’t have this problem, but removing them from the charger is still good practice. 

Avoid Extreme Temperatures and Humidity

Extreme temperatures and moisture can cause corrosion, reduce your battery’s lifespan, or even lead to thermal runaway. Of course, you cannot do much while in use if it’s hot and humid or freezing outside. But be sure to bring your battery indoors to a cool garage for longer-term storage. 

Use the Battery Disconnect Switch

When you aren’t using your RV, use your battery disconnect switch to avoid parasitic loads from antennas and lights from draining it. Older RVs may not have a switch, so you could install one or physically disconnect it if you aren’t using it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Drains an RV Battery?

RVs have parasitic loads that drain power anytime the battery is connected and charged. TV antenna boosters, 12V lights, electronic devices, and circuit boards can gradually deplete the charge over time. When not in use, it’s essential to disconnect or use a battery disconnect switch. 

How Often Should I Replace My RV Battery?

How often you should replace your RV battery depends entirely on the type you are using. Lead acid models should be replaced every 3 – 6 years, AGM and Gel models last up to 10 years, and newer LFP models last 10 – 15 years or more. 

Final Thoughts

RV batteries are one of the most important pieces of equipment in your RV, so it’s not something you want to take lightly. Learn what kind of model you have so you know if maintenance is necessary, how to maintain and store it, and when you should charge it to help extend its lifespan as long as possible. 

When you add one of EcoFlow’s Power Kits to your essential RV gear, you won’t have to worry about running out of charge, even when boondocking, as long as you have solar panels or a smart generator to recharge your system. 

Now, you can head out and enjoy your next off-grid adventure with the peace of mind of knowing what to expect from your RV battery.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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