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How Low Can You Discharge A Deep Cycle Battery?

how low can you discharge a deep cycle battery

Last updated on April 12th, 2023 at 02:17 pm

Deep cycle batteries are very handy and efficient units when it comes to storage and delivery of energy This type of battery requires recharging and discharging as part of their maintenance. However, proper precautions should be taken. 

Deep cycle batteries are designed to be discharged down to a maximum of 80% time after time. however, it is recommended to be discharged to no lower than 50%. If the battery is discharged to 50% of its capacity and not 100%, the battery works to produce an extra 40% more amperes over the life of the battery. 

This article digs deep into deep-cycle batteries, explaining the recommended depth of discharge among other recommendations. 

How Low Can You Discharge A Deep Cycle Battery?

how low can you discharge a deep cycle battery

Deep cycle batteries are typically lead-acid batteries. They are designed to be regularly discharged and then recharged for maintenance. In this type of battery, one discharge plus one recharge is equal to one cycle. They feature thicker plates and can therefore handle deeper discharges. 

The energy removed from the battery during discharging is referred to as the depth of discharge (DOD), usually expressed as a percentage. One important tip when handling deep cycle batteries is that you should never fully discharge them it as affects their lifespan and performance. So then, how low can it go? 

It is recommended to discharge a deep cycle battery to no lower than 50%, with the maximum being 80%. Deeply discharging the battery adversely affects the battery’s cycle life. Conversely, if you discharge it to 50% of its total capacity and not 100%, the battery tends to produce extra 40% more amperes over its life. 

Can I Use a Deep Cycle Battery for Camping?

Deep cycle batteries are great for camping, motorhomes, camper trailers, recreational vehicles, 4WDs, and much more. These types of batteries are excellent energy units that store and use power.

Deep cycle batteries, in particular, are designed to provide power at a steady state for an extended period of time. They are therefore reliable for outdoor use like boating, off-grid camping, and commercial applications. Furthermore, they are well suited for applications that require a fast recharge.  

Are Deep Cycle Agm Batteries Good for Camping?

AGM deep cycle batteries are an excellent choice for camping. They make the ideal reliable power source for a camping trip. They will help you power your RV’s appliances and electronics. 

AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries are basically lead-acid batteries with no liquid acid. This means that they will not spill when tipped. They are also available at economical prices. Furthermore, these batteries can withstand punishing use and rigorous conditions of the outdoors.  

Moreover, AGM batteries are vibration and shock-resistant, so you need not worry about damage when on the road. They can easily be installed in any orientation and produce minimal gassing. 

What Should I Consider When Looking for an RV Deep Cycle Battery?

There are several factors to be put into consideration before you can settle for any battery for your camping trip. Note that deep cycle batteries defer from ordinary vehicle batteries in that they can perform more discharging cycles.  


Usually, the durability of a deep cycle battery is lower than that of standard RV batteries since they have numerous and more sensitive internal mechanisms. Battery manufacturers have embraced the latest technology in the production of these batteries. For one, they use a battery cell cycling technology that works to minimize internal cycling from cell to cell when there is no demand for power. 

Moreover, to compensate for the additional complexity, the batteries are usually heavier with more protective casings. Ensure you go for one with such casings, considering that a battery acid leak is likely to cause serious damage. 


The capacity of the battery is an important determinant. It determines the period of time that you can power appliances from the battery power and is usually measured in ampere-hours.

If you are planning to use more appliances simultaneously, you will need a battery with higher capacity. However, if you just need to run the cooking stove and lighting, a smaller battery can suffice. 

Shelf life 

While AGM deep cycle batteries are good for camping and RVing, RVs are not good for batteries. They are known to ‘kill’ batteries in that they increase their self-discharge rates. If the battery has a high discharge rate, it means that it loses power even if it is not in use.

This explains the problem that many RV owners have had to face with their deep cycle batteries as they cannot hold charges between uses of the RV. The situation is made worse in hotter climates since higher temperatures increase self-discharge. 

With that in mind, the best deep-cycle batteries for camping will be those with a high shelf life, preferably more than 10 years before the battery starts to lose its maximum capacity. 


Typically, batteries are usually categorized according to their construction and application. The major applications are usually marine, automotive, and deep cycle. Deep cycle batteries include solar electric, backup power, RV, traction, and house batteries. In terms of construction, the major types are gelled, flooded, and AGM batteries. 

The deep cycle batteries, also marathon runners, are designed to produce sustained power with low current draw over an extended period of time. Starting batteries, also sprinters, are designed to start an engine, and running accessories, and work as voltage stabilizers when the engine is not running. 

The manufacturing costs tend to be higher, making the batteries more expensive. AGM batteries also tend to be sensitive to overcharging and high voltages and so are not suited for some applications. These batteries require a charger specifically for AGM batteries. 


Deep cycle batteries are saviors in many situations that require power on demand. They are dependable batteries often used in marine vehicles, RVs, and recreational vehicles. However, the proper procedure should be followed to enjoy long service use.

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