RV lithium batteries are the new kid on the block regarding power storage. These lightweight and compact batteries have been gaining popularity with RV owners and boaters alike, but are they really better than lead-acid batteries? Before you set out to buy the best RV lithium batteries, let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of both battery types.
The Differences Between Lead Acid and Lithium Batteries
There are two primary types of deep-cycle batteries, lead acid and lithium-ion. Lead acid batteries are the most common type of battery you’ll find in your RV. They were invented in 1859 by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta and are still used in many applications, including electric cars, industrial machinery, power plants, and solar installations.
Lithium-ion batteries are newer on the scene—they were first commercialized in 1991. Unlike their lead-acid counterparts, lithium-ion batteries can be recharged over 100 times before needing to be replaced; they also have a longer lifespan than lead-acid ones. Another benefit is that these batteries weigh about half as comparable lead-acid units.
Capacity and Charge Cycles
While lead acid batteries have a higher energy density than lithium, the latter’s capacity will last longer because of its low discharge rate. In addition to that, they can be recharged more times than lead acid. In fact, lithium batteries have a longer lifespan and higher cycle life than their counterparts. These factors make them ideal for powering electric vehicles (EVs).
Lead acid batteries need to be replaced more often due to their shorter cycle life and lower charge capacity. They also tend to lose their charge faster when left unused for long periods—a disadvantage for RVs, which may spend weeks parked in storage without being used during winter or summer vacations.
Size and Weight
Lithium batteries are more compact and lightweight than lead-acid batteries. This is a significant advantage if you need to fit your battery in tight spaces, such as an RV or boat. Lead acid batteries will be much heavier than lithium because they have a higher energy density. You should stick with a lead-acid battery if you need to move your battery often or use it during heavy-duty applications.
Lead acid batteries can also be used in electric vehicles, which makes them popular among those who drive electric cars and trucks.
Lifespan Charging Efficiency
One of the most notable benefits of lithium-ion batteries over their lead-acid counterparts is their longer lifespan. The life span of a lithium battery can be up to three times as long as that of a lead acid battery, which means you won’t need to replace it as often.
This is because lithium-ion batteries do not suffer from sulfation—a process where lead sulfate crystals build up on the plates inside your battery, causing damage and significantly reducing its capacity. In contrast, a lead acid battery’s lifespan is limited by how often you discharge it and how much you recharge it; if you consistently drain your RV’s battery below 50 percent before fully charging again, this may significantly reduce its lifespan.
Lithium batteries are significantly more expensive than lead-acid batteries. However, several factors make up for this cost differential, including efficiency and weight/size differences between types of batteries.
Lead acid Batteries weigh more and take up more space in your trailer or RV because of their larger size – plus, they require maintenance. Additionally, lead acid batteries release hydrogen gas when charged, which can cause fires if it builds up inside the battery case. However, this problem can be solved by using ventilation caps on top of each cell to ensure that no gases escape from within when charging overnight.
Buying an RV lithium battery or a lead acid battery mostly depends on your vehicle type and driving style. Lithium batteries are worth considering if your vehicle has a high power requirement. They are also lighter and more compact than lead-acid batteries. On the other hand, if you don’t often drive or only need to use electricity occasionally, lead acid batteries might be better suited for your needs because they have lower maintenance requirements than lithium ones.