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Deep Cycle Batteries are arguably the most import addition to your off grid set up or RV. Although it is possible to go camping without any power, not everyone feels the need to go full Bear Grylls. At Outback Equipment we stock the largest range of batteries in all different sizes to suit everyone's needs. Whether that’s powering an off grid tiny home, or just a power pack to get you through a hike, there’s a battery to suit.  

Portable Batteries & Power Stations: 

The need for a portable power station and portable batteries on road trips is clearly apparent, as there will always be occasions where you can’t bring a vehicle with you but still want to be able to enjoy all the luxuries of 12v accessories wherever you. Choose from a range of portable power packs from: Companion, Projecta, Hulk, Dometic, Thunder and Coast to Coast.  

Deep Cycle Batteries

When you think of a deep cycle battery, in short it is a battery that is designed to be charged and discharged in cycles. It is designed to produce a steady power output over an extended period. If you discharge a deep cycle battery to about 10v, it must be recharged to complete the cycle. Whereas a car battery is designed to be discharged all at once to provide enough energy, to get a car started, before switching over to charging off the alternator. The difference is that this kind of battery is not designed to be cycled and should be kept fully charged. A deep cycle battery is not an indication of quality, it is simply a type of battery, designed for use in rechargeable systems such as solar or as an auxiliary battery in a dual battery system, with a DC-DC battery charger. 

AGM/Gel Batteries vs. Lithium-ion Batteries: 

As far as upfront cost goes, it is the main difference. However, as Lithium-ion batteries have become more affordable in recent years they have risen in popularity. In this comparison we will explain why spending the extra on lithium batteries may save you in the long run. Firstly, AGM batteries are cheaper because the materials in production are inexpensive and more widely available. Lithium batteries need to use more expensive materials and the main ingredient: lithium, is harder to come by. The main point of choosing lithium over AGM is the lifespan of these batteries: 

  • The more you discharge an AGM battery, the fewer cycles it has in the long run. 

  • AGM batteries are generally recommended to only be discharged to 50% of their capacity to maximize their cycle life, meaning if you want more power, you’d need more batteries wired into a battery bank. Which means more upfront costs anyway and a considerable increase in weight. 

  • A lithium (LiFePO4) battery boasts a much longer cycle life, with a depth of discharge of around 80-90% meaning less batteries are required to achieve your desired capacity. Meaning: less weight, less space and more power. 

While lithium batteries appear to have multiple advantages, AGM batteries have proven useful in different situations, such as being able to charge in freezing temperatures, with some AGM batteries performing better than others. Whereas lithium batteries need temperature regulation for sub-zero conditions. Lithium batteries are usually half the weight of AGM batteries as they do not contain lead acid. Because of this, lithium batteries can save quite a bit of volume and weight in your RV or caravan. Therefore, we would recommend using AGM batteries as the preferred option for those only using their RV a few times a year and to use lithium batteries if you are planning to be off grid for quite some time.  

AGM Benefits: 

  • Can be used as starter a battery (most lithium batteries can’t) 

  • Can still charge in colder conditions 

  • Can be wired in series or parallel 

  • Lower upfront cost 

Lithium-ion Benefits: 

  • 15% higher charging efficiency 

  • 50% lighter than AGM 

  • A Longer lifespan 

  • Deeper depth of discharge (80-90%) 

  • Higher quality technology for what you pay 

In Series vs. In Parallel: 

Think of series, as ‘two batteries acting as one’. Wiring your batteries in series will increase the voltage output of a 12v battery to 24v or even 36v - only in larger vehicles. This gives you a more efficient current at higher amperage load capacities. This means the current runs faster and more efficiently so that the wiring cables are under less stress and do not need to go up in size.  When you have batteries running in series as a 24v system you can easily run a 5000w inverter with normal gauge wiring. However, the bigger you go, the more complicated the battery bank design will be, you will need more sophisticated battery monitoring systems, higher quality fuses, bigger shunts and the gauge of wiring has to the same throughout. For best results you need to use two or three of the exact same battery and they must not be completely discharged past 50% of their capacity or you will essentially halve their life span of every battery in that bank. 

Wiring batteries in parallel is the most common way to increase your amp hours. We have personally tested the Baintech Slimline Lithium batteries in parallel, giving us a whopping 220Ah of power, which we were absolutely stoked with since we were also able to increase the current flow capability from 100 Amp to 200 Amps. This meant we were able to run an 2000w inverter, cable of handling the current draw of a small microwave, which was perfect for our caravan set up.  

Q&A’s: 

If an auxiliary battery goes flat can be recovered: 

Remove all output sources and switch off the LED voltage meter or battery box it’s housed in. Apply a battery charger to a 240v source and trickle charge until full. This may take about a day and depending on the quality of the battery you may have to replace the battery if it continues to discharge too quickly. It is very hard to ‘recover’ a battery to what it was before being completely flat, however a lithium-ion battery should still last a few years. 

How do I get the most life out of a battery: 

For the best possible longevity keep your auxiliary battery charged at above 13V. Check the battery once a month if not being used. 

How to store a Lithium battery: 

Do not operate or charge a lithium battery when the temperature is less than zero or above 45 degrees Celsius, doing this can affect the lifespan of your battery as freezing temperatures will drain the battery 10x faster than normal.  

What is a battery management system: 

If your lithium battery has a battery management system in-built then it will have a low voltage disconnect at around 13v, so the battery should never fully discharge or go completely flat. It is an electronic solid-state circuit board which manages the cells and protects the battery from over charge and over discharge. If your battery drops this low your BMS will automatically cut power and you will be able to recharge without damage once or twice. More than this, and it will start to affect the longevity. The idea is to keep it always charged at a minimum of 13v for the best results. 

How to mount/install a battery: 

Always mount an AGM battery standing up. A lithium battery can be installed in any position; however, upside is not recommended by some manufacturers, especially Baintech slimline batteries. It’s best to read the instructions carefully, as each manufacture will be different. 

Why shop with Outback Equipment?  

  • We’re Australian owned and operated – We’re based right here in the south of Brisbane. If you ever need help with an order or a product, you can call straight through to our friendly local team.  

  • Plenty of payment options – You can pay via PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, zipMoney, Afterpay, and direct deposit – whichever is most convenient for you.  

  • Delivered to your door – You don’t have to worry about darting across town to grab your order. We deliver your goods straight to your door to save you time and energy.  

Order Your Auxiliary Batteries Today  

Stay in complete control of your power grid with our range of deep cycle AGM batteries and Lithium-ion batteries. For the best portable power stations, shop online to find the finishing touches for your recreational vehicle today.