Are you fed up with lead-acid batteries that only last two to three years and require lots of maintenance? Many RVers are turning to lithium batteries as a trusty, low-maintenance alternative to the standard batteries they’ve been accustomed to. The issue is there are plenty of lithium batteries flooding the market that are coming from overseas and are uncertified, with inferior cells and a poor lifespan. How can you make sure you’re getting a high quality lithium battery for your RV?
In this quick video lesson, RV maintenance and repair expert Dave Solberg discusses the best methods for finding a quality lithium battery that’s worth the price. If you’re spending more than a thousand dollars to replace your standard lead-acid batteries, you should be sure that what you’re getting is built to last, with good cells and a guaranteed long lifespan. Quality lithium batteries will be asked to stand up to occasional extreme heat and below-freezing temperatures, as well as bouncy travel that they must endure on some of the more remote parts of the country.
What does a good battery look like?
The sample battery that Dave has on display in this video is from Expion360. These batteries come equipped with high-quality, UL-listed cells. The interior of the battery’s case is molded specifically for the battery pack, so it will hold the cells snugly without leaning on spray foam and other supports used by many of those who offer a so-called “quality lithium battery.” Those things won’t hold up, and it’s important that the cells are properly supported when they’re on the receiving end of constant road vibration.
Another thing you’ll notice in an actually quality lithium battery is the means of connectivity. How are the cells connected? According to Dave, if your battery doesn’t use mechanical connections, you should run in the opposite direction. Solders can’t hold up to scorching and freezing temperatures or vibration, and frankly just won’t stand the test of time.
Here’s a quick tip for spotting a bad battery: if it’s half the price of well-rated, high-quality batteries, there’s a reason. These manufacturers almost always cut corners in the places that matter, i.e. cheap materials, poor connections, and stuffed cases. Should you decide to go the route of lithium, do yourself and make the additional investment and get the quality lithium battery. Do your homework, check the parts, read the reviews, and make sure you know what you’re getting!