Battery for Your RV: Golf Cart Battery vs Deep Cycle

rv battery golf cart battery vs deep cycle
rv battery golf cart battery vs deep cycle

Finding the right battery for your RV is very important as this is what determines the smooth running of your vehicle. Some people may have a confusion when it comes to understanding the difference between golf cart batteries and deep cycle batteries because you would usually find both terms being used when referring to batteries for an RV. However, it is important to remember that golf cart batteries are essentially deep cycle batteries as well.

Do RVs Need Special Batteries?

Yes, essentially an RV would require a battery that provides it the power it needs. The batter also needs to be long-lasting and provide a steady amount of power over a period of time, but without running out too quickly.

Differences between Golf Cart Battery vs Deep Cycle for RV

There are some basic differences between the two, such as the golf cart battery is bigger in size and is a 6-volt. Batteries used in an RV are often a set of two 6-volt batteries wired together to create 12-volts.

When it comes to golf cart motors, approximately 4 standard car batteries are needed to provide the 36-48 volt power that is needed to get them running. These are connected together 3-4 times. On the other hand, deep cycle batteries are specifically made to be continuously discharged after some time, but with a constant steady output.

How are a Car Battery and a Deep Cycle Battery Different? 

In order for the car to start, a car battery can provide a huge amount of current for a short burst. Once the engine has started, the alternator will take over. A car battery can survive its whole lifespan without ever being drained.

On the other hand, a deep cycle battery has the ability to provide a steady level of current over a long period of time. This battery can produce large amounts of power without draining itself at a fast rate. A deep cycle battery can also be drained over and over again, but has the ability to be recharged. It can do so regularly from an outlet, which is also not an option available in a car battery.

6-volt Golf Cart Batteries vs. 12-volt Deep Cycle Batteries

6-volt Golf Cart Batteries vs. 12-volt Deep Cycle Batteries

You will be able to find 12-volt batteries that are “deep cycle” and are often significantly cheaper than a 6-volt “golf cart” battery. However, the 12-volt deep cycle batteries may be problematic because they are essentially a cross between a starter car battery and a true deep cycle battery. Therefore, they cannot be considered a complete and true deep cycle battery.

If you are someone who plans on spending most of your time in RV parks that contain full hookups, you may opt for the less expensive set of 12-Volt RV batteries as it could be a good choice for you. They are usually about $100 each and can be purchased at most auto-parts stores, as well as Walmart. However, they cannot be discharged as deeply or as often as the 6-volt deep cycle golf cart batteries, and therefore, they will also not last as long.

6-volt deep cycle golf cart batteries have the ability to be discharged up to 80% of their energy and then can be fully recharged without having any damage done to them. However, this is not something that can work with a 12-volt deep cycle battery.

Additionally, 6-Volt deep cycle golf cart batteries are quite resilient and can take more wear-and-tear without being damaged. If you are a full-time resident of an RV or you are someone who lives off the grid for long stretches of time, the 6-volt deep cycle golf cart battery is the one for you. These batteries can be depleted of their energy and recharged more often than 12-volt deep cycle batteries, while also being able to last much longer.

Another advantage of the 6-volt golf cart battery is that it has thicker plates inside as compared to a 12-volt deep cycle battery. This allows the 6-volt battery to provide more energy for a long period of time, as well as allow it to survive a deep discharging without damage, something a 12-volt deep battery cannot do. Also, unlike the 12-volt deep battery, the 6-volt golf cart battery can survive a larger amount of recharges without getting destroyed.

So overall, it can be noted that several full-time RV-ers and RV technicians would ideally recommend using two 6-volt golf cart batteries that are wired in series, rather than two 12-volt deep cycle batteries.

It is a known fact that all those who have dealt with RVs long enough understand the benefits of choosing golf cart batteries. They last much longer and provide more power which is crucial to RV residents who venture off to remote areas for long periods of time.

Features Car Battery Deep Cycle Battery
Measurement capacity Cold cranking amps Reserve capacity
Charging Method Should run until fully discharged Discharges 1-3% each time
Ideal Useful life 1-2 years 2-3 years
Power discharge Short bursts of electricity Lower, consistent power discharge
Metallic elements Thinner metallic elements Thicker metal plates

What Kind of Golf Cart Batteries Last The Longest?

Batteries containing lithium have proven to perform better than those containing lead-acid. This is due to the fact that the chemistry of the lithium allows the battery to be recharged much more and therefore, used longer. The average of lithium batteries range between 2000 and 5000 cycles, while lead-acid batteries generally have 500 to a 1000 cycles.

What Is The Estimated Life Expectancy Of Your RV Battery?

Well essentially, the life expectancy of an RV battery depends on its users. So basically, how you use the battery, how much you care about maintenance, how well they are discharged and recharged, and how well they are stored. All of this aids the lifespan of the battery.

A battery cycle refers to a complete discharge of the battery to a point that is not damaging to it, and then a complete recharging. A key factor that helps with preserving the life of the battery is dependent on how deeply the battery is cycled at each time.

Therefore, if a battery is used to a point below the required amount that it should be, such as 50 percent of the total battery, then the life and strength of the battery will eventually reduce. However, if the user is careful about the discharge and recharge of the battery of the RV, they are likely to keep the battery running in tip shape for a long time.

A good way to keep your battery safe is to keep in mind the battery’s amp hour rating. The amp hour rating should be cut in half because you should not want to completely deplete the battery before you recharge it. Ideally, the sooner a battery is recharged, the better it will be for it.

Now this will be different for people, depending on how they decide to use their RV. If you are someone who intends on camping in an RV park or near a place that has readily available outlets, you will be able to recharge your battery at ease and your biggest concern would only be general maintenance of the battery.

But if you are someone who would like to get away, you should consider the highest amp hour capacities that your RV would allow you to fit in.

What Are Common Mistakes When It Comes To Battery Maintenance?

While being around an electric outlet may be greatly beneficial to keeping your battery in healthy shape, it can still cause problems if you are not too careful. The most common mistakes that can severely damage RV batteries is undercharging and overcharging.

Undercharging happens as a result of a battery not being fully recharged despite it being constantly used and depleted. This causes the sulfate material that connects to the discharged sections to become hard. Eventually, this sulfate will not convert into active material that is needed and the battery will get destroyed.

Overcharging leads to a great loss of water in the battery as well as corrosion of plates. However, these are both problems that can be avoided if the user is diligent in their care and maintenance of the batteries.

2 thoughts on “Battery for Your RV: Golf Cart Battery vs Deep Cycle”

  1. Okay, so, 4 6v batteries in series for my rv, at under $600 and I can get 4 deep cycle for about the same.

    6v amp hours v 12 v amp hours would be a good post. How does that fair? What should I be looking for? Basically, I have 31 acres, and I want to have huge solar, that I increase over time that will run everything a country boy needs to survive living high on the hog. hmmmm

  2. Get lithium batteries from aliexpress

    Even your 4 golf cart batteries are around 400 ah if 12 volts

    You need about 800 watts in solar and this js enough power to use the lights and some small power like a slow juicer and use the furnace

    More than twice thar size in ah and in solar to try and use household items like the microwave so 8 golf cart batteries best to purchase lithium if you do live remote


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