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How To Choose a Suitable Battery for Your RV Between AGMs and Lithium Batteries?


The quality of our traveling life is significantly affected by a constant and reliable power supply. On-board energy storage batteries are responsible for ensuring a reliable power supply. Currently, both lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries are widely used in RVs and Camper. Here is a comparison of lead-acid and lithium batteries, which should help you decide which type of battery is right for your RV.

What’s the difference between AGM and lithium batteries in terms of lifespan and costs?

The budget plays a crucial role in determining which battery to get. Since lithium batteries are more expensive, to begin with, AGM is the obvious choice. But what’s the reason for the difference?  Lithium batteries, on the other hand, use more expensive materials with some difficult to find ( for example, lithium ). AGM batteries are less expensive because the materials used to make them are inexpensive and widely available.

There is also the factor of the life expectancy of the battery when deciding between lithium and AGM. Here the initial cost of the lithium battery can be offset.

It is recommended to only discharge AGM batteries to 50% of their capacity to maximize their cycle life. This is because AGM batteries have a sensitivity to discharge depth. The deeper the discharge, the fewer cycles the battery will have. To achieve the desired capacity, more batteries are needed due to the low depth of discharge (DOD) of 50%. In addition, there is a lot more space needed to store batteries.

As compared to lithium (LiFePO4) batteries, lithium batteries have a much longer cycle life because the depth of discharge is not as significant. As long as your device’s DOD is between 80~90%, you will require fewer batteries to meet its capacity. Having fewer batteries means storage space is required. Considering the initial cost per life cycle, lithium batteries are better than AGM.

How does the technology of the AGM compare with the lithium battery?

Although lithium batteries do have some advantages, AGMs have been around much longer and have proven time-tested technology. In fact, AGM batteries are also better at charging in freezing temperatures ( below 0 degrees Celsius ) - though their efficiency suffers a bit. on the other hand, it is not possible to use lithium batteries in temperatures below freezing with AGMs.

AGM batteries and lithium batteries have different sizes and weights? how do they compare?

Additionally, lithium batteries are significantly lighter since they do not contain lead-acid, which leads to them being significantly smaller. Also, since their DOD is 80~90%, a lithium battery bank generally occupies less space than an AGM battery, which means fewer batteries are required for the desired capacity. Therefore, lithium batteries can save quite a bit of weight and volume compared to the traditional AGM batteries.

Which battery type has a better performance of discharge?

In a charge cycle, a battery’s depth of discharge corresponds to how much of its capacity has been used according to its overall capacity. For example,  a 100Ah lithium battery will deliver 80Ah~90Ah, which means 80~90% discharge, meanwhile, an AGM battery delivers 50Ah, which means 50% discharge before it needs to be recharged. As a result of these factors, AGM batteries are the better option for those who only use their RV occasionally. Lithium batteries are better suited to those who are always off the grid.

what’s the difference between the AGM and lithium battery in maintenance?

AGM and lithium batteries are maintenance-free as both of them are sealed.


Although at first glance it may appear that lithium is a better option, AGMs are still a worthwhile consideration for some. There are some reasons as below:

  • AGMs can be used as starting batteries meanwhile most lithium batteries are not suitable for starting purposes
  • Performing better in cold weather
  • Well-proven technology
  • Designed to be wired in series while most lithium batteries only support being connected in 4 series.
  • Cost-effective in the beginning