10 Best Camper Van Batteries For DIY Camper Conversions
When it comes to campervan conversions, everyone has a different idea of what the most important part of the build is. We might have helped you to learn how to build a campervan, but the finer details of our affordable tiny homes are always the most hotly discussed among vandwellers.
Which are the best campervan toilets, what is the best campervan insulation, and which are the best campervan cookers to complete your rolling tiny home?
With so many different products out there on the market, it can be a complete minefield when trying to pick the right one for your set up, and nothing is more confusing than picking the Best Camper Van Batteries for your new off grid living lifestyle.
The electrical system is without a doubt the most important part of your campervan. Without it, you can’t turn on lights, charge up your gadgets, power your heater, or operate your fridge. It’s what keeps you living off grid for longer and away from campsites and electrical hook-ups.
Having a great solar set-up will always help with your electrical needs, but if you don’t have the right batteries, then you might find yourself blasting through your energy reserves quicker than Scar Face can blast through a mound of…well, you get the idea. We’ve listed 10 of the Best Camper Van Batteries on the market today, covering a range of different types and makes to give you an option to suit your individual budgets.
Van Battery: An Overview
Of course, the notion of the best camper van batteries is completely subjective. What is suitable for one person might not be suitable for another, and it all boils down to how many Amp Hours you will need to keep your devices running, and also how many things you will be plugging in and keeping on at any given time.
Let’s assume that you don’t have any solar panels to keep your batteries topped up. The lower the Amp Hour rating (or Ah), then the less charge your battery can hold.
If you have a light that pulls 1amp from your batteries, and you also have two 25Ah batteries, then the light will be able to run for 50 hours before your batteries deplete. If you’re running a light and an inverter that pulls 10Ah, then your batteries will be depleted in under 5 hours. Got the general idea? Right, let’s move on.
Batteries come in many different shapes, sizes, and ratings, but the most commonly used are ‘Lead Acid’, ‘Lithium-Ion’, and ‘Lithium-Iron Phosphate’. I’ve written them in price ascending order in the last sentence, but you’ll find out more about why certain types are cheaper than others as we delve into the article.
You’ll also see me mentioning AGM batteries from time to time. AGM batteries (or absorbed glass mat for all of you connoisseurs out there) contain just the right amount of liquid to keep the glass mat wet with the required electrolyte, so if your battery breaks or cracks, you won’t have to contend with a river of liquid spilling out onto your shoes.
Best Battery for Van Life
Every electrical set up will be different from the next, so if you’re trying to decide what the best camper van batteries would be for your build, head over to our website and pick up our How To Build A Camper e-Book for just £9.99. It has a massive electrical section and some helpful hints and tips on calculating the size of batteries and solar panels that you will need for your conversion!
This might be a little biased, but I’m going to talk about the Numax range of leisure batteries first as they are the ones that I have inside my modified campervan. They might be cheap and not as well reviewed as some of the other batteries on the market, but they certainly do the job and haven’t let me down yet!
I have two 100Ah batteries in my system, but you can buy Numax batteries ranging anywhere from 10Ah through to 250Ah. They are designed for deep discharge, which means that they can cope with being almost emptied and then recharged up to full again without losing their minds and shutting down.
They use a lead-acid system, sometimes known as a wet battery, and last around 3-4 years with heavy usage. With a solid solar system backing them up, they will probably end up lasting longer as they won’t have to go through as many charge cycles.
The downside to these Numax batteries is that they don’t cope very well in sub zero temperatures. This is true for all lead acid batteries, so if you’re planning on spending a lot of time near one of the poles or in very cold climates, then maybe consider splashing out on one of the Lithium Ion setups.
If, however, you’re just planning on using your camper to head to warmer climates, then consider giving these Numax batteries a try.
Up next in our best camper van Battery list is a battery system that can cope with anything from the scorching heat of the Sahara desert to the wintry tundras of the Arctic.
This Renogy lithium-iron phosphate set up has been used by workplaces and companies all over the world in all manners of industry, which should give you some piece of mind when thinking about whether it would be able to cope with your fridge and hair straighteners.
Lithium-iron phosphate batteries are the perfect solution for anyone who wants to spend a lot of time living off the grid as they can hold a lot of charge and can take a lot of strain. You will often find them in a Luxury RV or Monster Camper as they are perfect for running larger items like washing machines and some of the best campervan heaters on the market.
They’re great when used as back up batteries too, storing wind or solar energy for when you need it the most. You could definitely use these to power your tiny homes as
These Renogy lithium-iron phosphate batteries are designed to be leak proof and spill proof, and they will have no problem in providing your appliances with constant electrical power.
The bad news is that they are a little more expensive than your lead acid alternative. If you’re planning on spending less on your solar setup and more on your battery system, then these would be a great product to stick in your basket as you can easily link them together to create a bigger reserve.
If you would rather have something a little cheaper, then the next item might be more up your street.
If you’re searching for a cheap and cheerful all-rounder for smaller jobs, the Interstate DCM0035 are for you.
Used by everyone from farmers to doctors wielding strange and mystical devices, these batteries are a perfect choice for anyone who wants a reliable power source without spending all of their hard earned cash.
Interstate batteries are all sealed and don’t require you to open them up and carry out any routine maintenance checks, making them a safe option for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable digging around inside the thing that ultimately keeps their beers cold inside the fridge. It can be used in everything from small travel trailers to an amphibious camper, so you know it’s going to be sturdy, durable, and capable of coping with different changes in temperature and environment.
Interstate batteries can cope well in snowy conditions even though they are lead-acid powered, but they might be a little temperamental if you’re planning on spending a lot of time parked outside a log cabin in Alaska. They can cope well with any shocks and vibrations that you might experience while out on the trail or trundling through the forest, and they’re built to withstand deep discharges.
The bad news is that they aren’t exactly suitable for powering larger items, so maybe stick to using your scrubba wash bag instead of installing an onboard washing machine.
The Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle battery is one of the heaviest — but that’s probably because it’s crammed full with so much awesomeness. And with an average lifespan of 8-10 years, you can forgive it if it’s a little on the hefty side.
If you’re interested in storing up your solar energy and selling it off to eager campers at festivals who are dying to charge their phones, then these batteries would be the best for you. Vmaxtanks are made from solid and durable materials and give the impression of b
One of the recurring themes that we’re finding in the specs about these deep cycle AGM batteries is that they can withstand shocks and bumps, which is great news for any overland enthusiasts out there.
The Vmaxtanks battery range can be mounted almost in anywhere and in any position, making them perfect for your tiny trailer or your obscure CaravanBoat. Everywhere you go, you can always take electricity with you (even if you can’t take the weather with you).
Another good point that is worth mentioning is that this battery can cope with cold and hot temperatures, and it won’t have a hissy fit if you swap and change between the two on a regular basis.
As aforementioned, the only downside is that this battery is a pretty hefty dude, but as long you work out before buying them then you shouldn’t have a problem in lifting them in and out of your camper.
There always has to be a spacey sounding product in one of my articles, and luckily the Odyssey PC680 fulfils this quota.
While you might not find this powerhouse on board the Starship Enterprise, it could definitely cope with anything that our little rolling land-ships might need. For those of you that like taking the paths that are normally reserved for the wildest off road trucks, this battery also comes with vibration control to protect the pure lead plates from shocks, bumps, scrapes etc.
We’ve covered a few deep cycle batteries in this article so far, but the Odyssey PC680 has the best stats when it comes to being able to run in the harshest of off
We’re talking about the type of terrain that only the EarthRoamer Camper could get to; mountain top caves where the nearest town is about 300 miles away. It would even be a great option if you’re planning on building a tiny eco house somewhere far away from the comfort of ‘the grid’. It can cope with tough climates and changes in temperature, all while boasting an impressive 400 cycles at 80% discharge depths.
While the Odyssey is said to have three times the lifespan than other AGM batteries, some users have reported that it doesn’t hold charge for as long as some of the other batteries on the market. Again, if you have a good solar set up, then this won’t really matter too much.
If you want something that is as sturdy as your grandfathers hob nail boots, then this is definitely the battery for you.
If I was about to head off on an epic road trip where no man or woman has boldly gone before, then I would want a battery that sounded like it had been crafted in the fires of Mount Doom by a horde of demonic engineers.
The Battle Born range of batteries
Battle Born Batteries are lightweight but pack a serious punch, and if they stop punching, then your 8
The only downside is that the outer casing on these batteries can sometimes be a little less sturdy than other brands in the same league, but I wouldn’t let this put you off buying one.
How many times are you going to be taking your batteries in and out once you have installed them into your system? The chances are that it won’t happen that often, and the no-spill-no-leak technology means that if you do get a tiny crack, then you don’t need to worry.
Optima batteries are the real deal. If you’re after a rugged battery that can cope with anything that the elements might throw at it, then this cool looking powerhouse may be the only product from our list that you will ever need.
This battery is more than capable of providing constant power from the durable lead plates inside, giving you instant access to any of your gadgets or appliances whenever you need them.
One of the best things about this Optima battery is that it can double up as a starter battery too, so you’re basically buying two batteries for the price of one.
Optima Batteries have been put through all kinds of important scientific tests, and the whizz-kids in the search department have confirmed that they are 15 times more resistant to vibrations and impacts than other batteries in the same category. If you drive vehicles like the Storyteller Overland and these Outside Van Campers, then these batteries will be the perfect accessory for your high octane adventure lifestyle.
The nerdy goodness on our list is being kept alive by the next space-age sounding product in our list. Powerstar Deep Cycle batteries are perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy some of the comforts that they love from their day-to-day lives while out on the road.
Their bigger design gives you more power thanks to the larger plates in the inner depths of the product, and they will stay spill free and 100% efficient no matter where you house them and how you secure them down.
Powerstar Deep Cycle Batteries are a perfect solution for anyone who wants to use electricity on the go or to store wind and/or solar energy for an off-grid retreat. The important thing for us vanlifers, however, is that it the Powerstar can cope with regular discharge and recharge cycles, making it ideal for any digital nomad travellers that use a lot of electricity on a daily basis.
The only downside to this battery is that it is a little bulkier than some of the other products on the list. This may or may not be a problem depending on where you’re planning on housing your batteries. If you want to take them in and out on a regular basis to charge up in your home, then perhaps you might want to consider something a little smaller.
If you’re just planning on housing them underneath your bed and leaving them there for the duration of your camper’s life, then I don’t think the the size will really be a problem.
The WindyNation Deep Cycle is another affordable van battery option; but don’t be fooled into thinking that the quality isn’t as good as other on our list.
The WindyNation 12 Deep Cycle is a solid option for anyone who is travelling in a van on a budget and wants all of the power that a top quality lead-acid battery can provide. Like many other marine batteries, it can be used in any terrain and is a reliable choice when twinned with a solar system on the roof of your camper.
You can comfortably put two or three together too in a parallel connection, giving you all large power bank that doesn’t take up too much space and, more importantly, doesn’t cost the earth!
As with many of the batteries above, this WindyNation Deep Cycle battery can cope with deep discharge and recharge, and it’s also a perfect choice for anyone who wants to do a little bit of off
The only downside that I can see to this batter is that it doesn’t come with a portable cinema or a brand new car as standard. That and the plastic casing might crack if you throw it on the ground a couple of times. Just don’t do anything stupid with it; it’s a battery, not a toy!
10. Mighty Max
The last product on our mighty best camper van batteries list is the Mighty Max 12V 100Ah battery. It joins the ranks of other incredibly named batteries in this mightily big article because of its affordable pricing, and the fact that you don’t need to open it up to check fluid levels inside.
If the thought of living off the grid is what gets you up in a morning, then this little beauty will keep making you smile time after time, day after day. It’s perfect for anywhere that you might need 12V power, and can be removed from your van and transported to another place with ease without the worry of it frying up like Pikachu if it suddenly starts to rain.
The Mighty Max has been designed to be used outdoors, so you could even take it with you on every hike if you like!
The MightyMax can more than cope with any type of terrain that you might end up driving over, but I guess you wouldn’t expect anything else from a battery with a name like this. It can be hooked up to other batteries to create a super power bank of epic proportions, and it is designed to cope with deep discharge and multiple recharges.
The only downside that we can find is that it doesn’t come with any extra elements that you might need to house it anywhere other than the floor. If you were thinking of making a cage for this battery halfway up your wall, then you’re going to have to get a little bit creative.
I’m nitpicking here though; the Mighty Max is a great choice for everyone from all-rounders to dedicated overlanders.
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