One of the big perks of RVing is having power wherever you go. But for RVs, there are a variety of power sources that can be used, including both coach and chassis batteries. So are Interstate RV batteries good?
Here’s what I found out through trial and error:
Interstate Batteries are great RV batteries. They last 7-8 years when properly maintained and have a nationwide warranty from 1-3 years, depending on the model purchased. Their deep cycle batteries are made to handle deeper discharges than regular batteries.
That’s not all there is to know about Interstate Batteries.
So in this article, we’ll dive deeper into how long they last, what exactly a deep cycle battery is, where they are made, and whether they are the best RV battery you can buy.
Just keep reading!
How long do Interstate RV batteries last?
Interstate RV batteries should last at least 5 years. And they can last much longer if properly maintained. Unlike modern car batteries, deep cycle batteries as typically used in RVs should have their water checked every 4-6 weeks and topped off as needed with distilled or deionized water.
Typically, the deeper you discharge a battery, the shorter the lifespan.
But deep cycle batteries are designed to handle deeper discharges than starter or auto batteries. A starter battery, or an auto battery, is the kind of battery under the hood of your motorhome.
Deep cycle batteries should be discharged to a depth of about 20-50% before it is recharged. Be sure to charge them at the end of the day, but don’t recharge them too soon. Doing so will lead to premature failure.
Of course, most of us don’t think about recharging our RV batteries.
But don’t worry. If you use a generator while driving and connect to shore power nightly or at least a few times a week, you will automatically be recharging your batteries.
Interstate Batteries have had 12 complaints filed with the BBB in the 69 years they’ve been in business. Trust me, that’s an excellent track record!
One of them dealt with a complaint of RV batteries that stopped working only a year after purchase. This complaint was made in May of 2019. Interstate offered the consumer a full refund for the batteries. Overall, they have an A+ rating on the BBB website.
As an RV owner, you know motorhomes have two different battery systems.
The “house” or “coach” batteries provide 12-volt DC power to operate things like interior lighting. The chassis battery provides power to start the engine and run things like windshield wipers and vehicle lighting. To read more about the differences between the coach and chassis batteries, check out this recent article.
Just click the link to read it on my site.
— WONG JOWO (@karnadiutomo) April 11, 2018
What does it mean that an Interstate RV battery is a deep cycle battery?
Deep cycle batteries are specifically made to be drained and charged repeatedly. In an RV, there are times when the RV may not be recharging the house batteries, but power is still getting used. In a car, the battery gets recharged continuously while running.
Deep cycle batteries are different from regular batteries.
Regular car batteries produce a shorter burst of electricity. These bursts of electricity are then used to “crank” start a motor, for example, a car engine. Many motors will have an alternator, which will then recharge the battery.
Regular car batteries have thinner plates with a larger surface area. This helps them to create a larger electrical charge in a shorter time. They are the sprinters of the battery world. They produce a lot of power in a short burst.
Their need is temporary, like for starting a car.
Deep cycle batteries produce ongoing, lower yet consistent levels of power. This electricity is enough to power a vehicle without a motor. They need to be recharged regularly.
Deep cycle batteries have thicker metallic elements.
Thicker metal plates allow the battery to release electricity more consistently. Think of them as the marathon runners of the battery world. Instead of having short bursts of a lot of power, they have a lower amount of power for longer periods of time.
And as I mentioned above, deep cycle batteries, unlike most of today’s car batteries, do need to have their water checked and topped off occasionally.
So plan to check the water every 4-6 weeks.
If it looks low, go ahead and top it off. But only use distilled or deionized water. Don’t ever use tap or spring water in a battery. This is because that water likely contains high levels of minerals that can corrode the battery.
Don’t forget to check the battery on your RV before you leave. Deep-cycle batteries have a life-span of 3-5 years and should be replaced if wearing out. pic.twitter.com/ROQXoNMKgb
— RV Pro Mobile Inc. (@RvProMobileInc) September 24, 2018
Are all RV batteries deep cycle?
All RV house batteries will deep cycle batteries due to the nature of how RVs use and recharge the house batteries. They need to be able to run for long periods without necessarily being recharged simultaneously. The chassis battery which starts the engine in motorhomes is not a deep cycle battery.
While all RV house batteries are deep cycle, not all deep cycle batteries are the same.
The most basic type of RV battery are flooded lead-acid batteries. They are the least expensive and have been around for over a hundred years!
They require a good deal of maintenance.
They require routine cleaning and must have distilled water added to them regularly. They are prone to releasing toxic gasses, which can be dangerous if your batteries are stored inside your RV.
Flooded lead-acid batteries are ideal for casual campers who aren’t cycling the battery often.
Gel batteries are similar to flooded lead-acid batteries but contain silica in the electrolyte, which creates a gel. There is no need to add water, and you don’t have to worry about off-gassing.
Overcharging them can damage the battery severely. Keep an eye on it or have a smart charging device to prevent overcharging.
Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries use similar technology to gel and lead-acid batteries but don’t require any maintenance. You don’t have to worry about off-gassing, and they can sit in storage longer. They also have a better deep cycle performance and larger capacity.
They are, however, more expensive and have a shorter life expectancy.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most expensive. They also have the longest lifespan, deeper depth of discharge, and are lighter weight.
— Kevin Van Dyken (@kevinvandyken32) April 29, 2016
Are Interstate Batteries Made in China?
Interstate Batteries are not made in China. They are made in the United States and Mexico and they have several plants located across North America. But 98% of their batteries are made in the United States.
Interstate Battery contracts with regional battery manufacturers to make their batteries. This is primarily due to high shipping costs, the weight of the batteries, and hazardous material shipping regulations.
While the majority of batteries are made in the US, some of them are made in Mexico.
Batteries made in Mexico are required by law to be labeled. So, if you purchase an Interstate battery without a sticker on it, it is made in the USA.
Approximately 98% of batteries that Interstate sells are made in the USA.
This includes automotive batteries and small engine/lawn mower batteries. The exception being power sport batteries (motorcycles, jet skis, ATVs, etc.). source
Always wanted to head down the coast camping at all the best beaches? Load up the RV check the battery and make this summer the one where you finally make it happen! https://t.co/cjCSwwmJZq pic.twitter.com/v7CathvwUX
— Battery Town (@batterytown) January 3, 2019
Who makes the best RV battery?
Amper Time’s Lithium Iron deep cycle batteries are the best battery available for RV house batteries. They are one of the most expensive RV batteries, but they last longer, have better performance, and are maintenance-free.
CLICK HERE to check them out on Amazon.
That one has almost 1,000 ratings, and almost all are 5-star. At less than 50 pounds, it’s significantly lighter than a lead acid battery with the same capacity.
It boasts a 10-year battery life and comes with a 5-year warranty. It’s maintenance-free, and you don’t have to worry about any dangerous or explosive gasses.
They last 2,000 to 5,000 cycles, whereas a lead-acid battery will last 200-500 cycles.
They’re also nearly indestructible. You don’t have to worry about damaging the battery by running out of water or discharging too much.
Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries won’t overheat, and even if punctured, they won’t catch on fire. Generally, they have a life expectancy of approximately 5-7 years.
Whether or not this battery comes with a low-temperature cutoff is left up for debate.
Some of the reviews say that it does; others say that it does not. So, if you are going to be traveling in extremely cold climates, you may want to test it before you take it out in the wild.
CLICK HERE to check them out on Amazon.
To get the longest life out of your RV battery, discharge it to 20-50% before you recharge it.
All of your RV house batteries are going to be deep cycle batteries. But the type of deep cycle battery you choose is up to you. The majority of Interstate batteries are made in the USA. It won’t have a sticker on it saying so, though. It will have a sticker if it’s made somewhere else.
Are you going to make the switch to Interstate Batteries?
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