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Will a Marine Battery Work In an RV?

using a marine battery for a RV

You have been planning this RV trip for a lifetime. This is your chance to see it all from sea to shining sea-Yellowstone Park, The Rocky Mountains, The Grand Canyon and more! 

But all you have is a marine battery. Will a deep cycle battery start an RV? 

If the RV starts, will a marine battery supply enough power to keep it going for your dream trip? 

Is a marine battery the same as an RV battery? 

If it works, are there any other uses a marine battery could provide in an RV?

Let’s take a close look and see.

Can I Use A Deep Cycle Battery To Start An RV?

NPP NP6-225Ah 6V 225Ah Deep Cycle SLA AGM Battery

Deep cycle batteries can be used to start an RV. There are a number of advantages to deep cycle batteries when compared to cranking batteries.

First, deep cycle batteries can start an RV even when they are partially discharged. They provide an adequate amount of energy to start an RV even if you encounter power spikes.

Next, deep cycle batteries provide 500 amps of power for 80 hours. They provide this power without going below 10.5 volts. 

They typically have thicker plates than cranking batteries. Their plates are also more active. This allows them to provide more power for a longer duration.

It is recommended to use two 6 volt batteries instead of one 12 volt battery. 

Since the battery becomes inactive once the RV is started, two six-volt batteries end up giving you a longer duration and more starts. Six-volt batteries have thicker plates than 12-volt batteries.

Deep cycle batteries are also easily rechargeable. That way, you can spend more time traveling and less time recharging your battery. 

In all, you can expect to get three to four times the amount of energy from a deep cycle battery than you get from a cranking battery.

Although the discharge rate of deep cycle batteries after eight hours of use is around 50 percent, the added storage capacity still makes them better than a cranking battery. 

selecting a deep cycle battery to start your RV

So selecting a deep cycle battery to start your RV is not only a better choice but is a better value.

They are more valuable because they are more durable. Greater duration means more starts and less time recharging. 

Remember, the purpose of a starting battery is simply to get the RV going. Once started, the workload is transferred to the alternator. 

Is A Marine Battery The Same As An RV Battery?

RV 101® - RV Battery Basics - What You Need To Know

Marine batteries and RV batteries can both start an RV. They are both essentially electrical storage devices. They both work in similar ways, but they are not the same.

First, marine batteries are larger. They must be because they store more energy. So your battery storage compartment in your RV must also be larger.

Energy storage is measured by the number of amps per hour that they store. While marine batteries can store 100 to 200 amps per hour, RV batteries typically average 70 to 85 amps per hour. 

Review your owner’s manual to see the number of amps per hour that your battery will need to maintain your RV. 

Be sure to consider the number of appliances you have in your RV and the power needed for each.

Marine batteries are usually heavier than RV batteries. This is also due to the higher amount of energy that they store. 

Storage capacity also affects power output. Marine batteries yield high energy for a long time. RV’s batteries yield lower energy, but this level can last for a longer time. 

While marine batteries yield more overall amps, RV batteries do have more starting amps.

Optima OPT8016-103 Batteries D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Expect your marine battery to have a shorter life. Since it puts out higher levels of energy, it tends to also discharge quickly. 

So, consider the length of your trip as you make your choice. 

When it comes to polarity or a device’s tendency toward a positive or negative charge, you are better off with a marine battery since not all RV batteries are polarized.

When you charge your battery, you will want to charge your marine battery at a lower amperage than you would an RV battery.

The temperature of a marine battery can lower to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The RV battery temperature ranges between 32 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lastly, marine batteries are more expensive, even though they require more maintenance. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because both batteries will start an RV, they are the same.

Other Uses For A Marine Battery In An RV

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah for RV, Solar Marine and Off-grid Applications

Marine batteries can power many devices and appliances in an RV, but with a limit on the available power, you must be careful about how you distribute it. Here are some of the devices you may need for your trip:

A radio is valuable for many reasons. 

Besides the entertainment value, you can keep track of weather reports as you travel from city to city. Radios are portable and will keep you connected to the world without taxing your battery output.

Televisions also do not drain power. Consider an adapter to expand your program choices. 

Select a device that offers a DVD option, set up a video game console and you will never lack excitement.

Don’t hesitate to hook up a computer. Traveling the country is more enjoyable with the World Wide Web.

There are plenty of antennas on the market that are specially designed to increase reception in an RV. 

bring your computer to increase reception

Don’t forget the hot spot on your cellular phone. Ask your cellular company about a hotspot router . Satellites are also an option.

You can also use your marine battery to provide many other comforts. Keep your food cool and fresh with a refrigerator, preferably a small model that conserves energy. 

On longer trips, plan to visit some of the restaurants in the towns that you pass through. This will cut down on your cooking time and result in less power usage.

Bring along a microwave oven to heat your food. 

If you dislike processed foods, bring plenty of fruit. This is a healthier option. Still, you will want to have a quickly prepared, hot meal occasionally.

Stay cool with an RV air conditioner . There are many compact models on the market. 

Select a model that also provides heat. Depending on the time of the year that you travel, you may encounter sharp climate changes.

Small appliances such as blenders, electric can openers, and hot plates also are usable without taxing a marine battery. Lights, fans, and water pumps are also compatible.

Whatever you use, use it in moderation. 

Marine batteries can handle the load if you stay conservative. Ask your local electric company for a list of devices, including the energy usage of each device.


So we have seen that both marine and RV batteries can start an RV, but a marine battery and an RV battery are not the same. 

A marine battery is larger, heavier, and puts out a high amount of energy in a short amount of time. So, a marine battery needs to be charged more often.

Besides starting an RV, a marine battery has many other uses. 

You can use a marine battery to power a radio, a television, a computer, a microwave oven, a refrigerator, an air conditioner, fans, lights, and other devices and appliances.

So enjoy your dream RV trip, and bring along many of the comforts of home!