Find out everything you never knew about deep cycle batteries

If you've just purchase your first RV or boat, you'll need to know a few things about deep cycle batteries. Let's start by answering your first question: What is a deep cycle battery, and how is it different from a car battery? A car battery provides a short burst of energy to get the motor running, then the alternator takes over to provide the electrical power for the car as you drive. Since a car battery only provides the initial surge of electrical current, it doesn't drain much juice from the battery with each use. On the other hand, a deep cycle battery will use the majority of the battery's energy with each use. With an RV or boat, you need a lot of steady power; a deep cycle battery provides it.

Boating, not floating

Deep Cycle Battery

There are three types of marine batteries: starting, deep cycle and dual purpose. On most boats, you usually find both a starting battery and a deep cycle battery. A dual-purpose battery, just as its name suggests, gives you the best of both worlds. It's usually best to have a starting and deep cycle battery, but sometimes small boats only have room for one battery to be installed. When you purchase a boat, you're good to go with the deep cycle battery that's installed. However, as you add additional equipment to your boat over the years, you'll need to rethink how much power you need when it comes time to buy a replacement battery. That's when it's time to talk with a technician about marine deep cycle batteries. Buying the same type of battery you started out with or guessing how much power you need could leave you stranded on the water, floating instead of boating.

Trolling motor batteries and more

When looking for a battery for a trolling motor, pay attention to the reserve capacity minutes (RC) of the battery. The higher the RC rating, the more minutes you get to stay on the water. You'll also notice batteries for trolling motors have an AH (amp hours) rating. Again, higher is better. A deep cycle 12 volt has more RC than a 6 volt deep cycle battery. But if you use two 6 volts in series, you will actually have more reserve capacity than with one 12 volt. In addition to marine and RV use, deep cycle batteries are used as a source of back-up power, to store solar power and for golf carts. When considering the purchase of a deep cycle battery, consult a reliable retailer to find out which one best suits your needs.

Recharge your batteries

Deep cycle batteries are made to use up (discharge) most of the power stored inside them and then to be recharged fully. So one of the worst mistakes you can make when deep cycle battery charging is to use only a bit of the battery power and then recharge it. While you might think you're replacing what you've used so it'll stay fully charged, you're actually training it to have a shallow charge. So give a deep cycle battery a great workout, and then fill 'er up. Deep cycle batteries can be used a variety of ways, but make sure you get the right one based on how you plan to use it, and then recharge the battery correctly.

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