First, why choose a 200ah battery?
If you’re considering a 200AH deep-cycle battery for your off-grid, campervan, or boating setup, you’re generally looking to power larger items for longer, right? Perhaps.
Generally, 100ah 12V batteries seem to be the most commonly-used deep-cycle batteries– providing enough power day-to-day for electrical accessories like lights, small appliances, and more.
BUT, there are a few scenarios in which your scenario might warrant a larger (and more expensive) 200 amp hour battery. Maybe you like the peace of mind of having more power than you need, or maybe you’re in an area where strong sun exposure isn’t very frequent (like the Pacific Northwest?).
Can’t I just link two 100ah batteries in parallel?
You can always string two 100ah batteries together in parallel to achieve the same 200 ah capacity, yes. The benefit to this option is, if one battery craps out, you always still have the other. Also, a 200ah agm battery is pretty darn heavy, to be honest. So if you’re a smaller-frame person on their own, two separate batteries might be a more realistic approach.
However, you can generally save up to $100 by opting for a single 200 amp hour battery as opposed to two 100ah models. You’ll also save yourself the hassle of not needing to link them together with heavy-gauge connecting wires. Still with us? Great!
Let’s dive in..
Charging a 200ah battery with Solar Panels
If you’re planning to be drawing large amounts of power on a frequent basis, it’s important to make sure your solar setup is up to the task (if you’re using one). To be clear, any sized solar setup will charge them, its just a matter of how long it takes.
Let’s do some quick math: Since 12V x 200Ah works out to 2400WHr or 2.4KWHr, a 50% depleted battery means you’d need to charge 1200WHR, or 1.2KWHr. (Note: I’m using 50% because it is very important to not let your battery levels drop below 50%, otherwise you’ll experience a much shorter lifespan out of your battery).
Assuming there are roughly 6 peak sunlight hours, 1200WHr/6h = 200W. And lastly, it’s important to factor in losses/variances in temperature, battery heat, etc. With this in mind, 250-280W of Solar Panel power will recharge a 50% depleted, 12V 200AH battery, back to 100% in roughly 6 hours under optimal conditions. In other words, you’ll need 3 x 100W solar panels in your setup to reach this speed.
If you are like many in the vanlife world, and maybe only have 1 or 2 100W solar panels, you’re *roughly* looking at:
• 1x100W Panel = ~14 hours to recharge a 12v 200ah deep cycle battery from 50%
• 2x100W Panels = ~10 hours
The Best 12V 200ah Battery Options to Choose From
Now that you know that your solar setup (if you have one) is up to the task, let’s dive into which 200AH battery is going to give you the best bang for your buck, based on a few different factors– quality, lifespan, performance and cost.
The following have proven to be consistent, reliable, safe, and backed by reputable companies:
Price: $350 – 360
Key feature: High charge cycle count, used with solar often
1. Renogy Deep Cycle Agm Battery 12 Volt 200AH
Renogy is a top name in the solar panel industry, so if you happen to have a Renogy solar kit, you might enjoy keeping everything “in the family” with this 200ah AGM battery. But there are other reasons we put this at the #1 spot.
The Renogy 200ah battery is the most affordable on the list, coming in around $350, and is backed by consistently-glowing customer service. It’s specifically-designed to be used in solar applications, and requires no maintenance for a relatively long (600 cycle) lifespan. Renogy also offers a 2-year material warranty on this model.
It’s a heavy beast at 129 lbs., but hopefully once you set it, you won’t need to move it for a longg time.
A note on Button Terminals: This Renogy battery (and all of the others on this list) utilizes button terminals, which feature threaded female openings for 8mm metric/1 inch bolts. Under these bolts you can hook up your connecting cables, which can then lead to your fuse block. If your battery does not come with these bolts for whatever reason, they are quick/cheap to pick up at any hardware store for a couple bucks.
Price: $370 – 375
Key feature: Affordable, no-frills
2. Mighty Max Battery 12V 200Ah 4D SLA AGM
The MightyMax is a Sealed Lead Acid AGM battery, and much like the others, requires no maintenance for continued performance. It’s a 12v 200ah AGM deep cycle battery, and a little lighter in weight at 114 lbs, but still packs a punch. They utilize what they consider a state-of-the-art calcium-alloy grid inside, which is said to provide both improved performance and longer lifespan. We’re not sure about all that, but what we DO know is that it stands up to the same discharge conditions and stays consistent in all temperature conditions. Plus, pretty darn affordable at around $370.
Mighty Max has a pretty forgiving 1-year warranty, which might add some peace of mind to your purchase, although there are other companies on here that offer longer warranties, so keep reading before you make a decision.
Price: $470 – 475
Key feature: Operates in a wide range of temperatures
3. Vmaxtanks VMAX 12 Volt 200AH
We’ve all heard the phrase “you get what you pay for”. And it’s no exception for the Vmax batteries as a whole. It’s significantly more expensive at $470, but is said to last 8-10 years easily.
At a manageable 107 lbs, one of the Vmax features that is said to contribute to this longevity is the suspended electrolyte system (AGM), that has a higher porosity, causing the electrolyte to be completely absorbed and utilized to the fullest. This chemical and physical structure of its internal plates is what the Vmax company stands behind as its defining feature. And both the reviews and performance metrics confirm that reputation.
If there’s anything that might be a negative about this battery, it’s that the terminals are on the long axis (instead of both being on the same “end”). Consider where you’re placing this battery in your rig, and if having both terminals on one end would be more accessible.
Price: $260 – 270
Key feature: Top-tier quality and performance
4. NPP 200ah Deep Cycle Battery
“NPP, yea you know me!” Actually, you probably do not know NPP. But that’s ok.
NPP has a smaller range of battery products than the other manufacturers mentioned, but this NPP 200ah battery that they offer is actually a quality item. It’s designed for shallower discharge cycles, which is something to keep in mind. But assuming that you’re not discharging too much (no more than 50%), you should expect 700+ cycles out of this 12V battery, which is a little more than the Renogy (#1)!
So why isn’t this at the top of the list? Well, all of these batteries are really well-made, so we had to draw the line somewhere. If anything, there are less reports of customer service interactions, so we can’t confirm or deny how flexible/accommodating NPP is. They do, however, offer a 1-year warranty (just like the Mighty Max, but not as good as Renogy).
It’s also not the best deal at ~$390, but also not breaking the bank. Simply put, this is a 12V 200ah battery that just works– no frills, no fuss. It’s also the heaviest on the list, at 133lbs, so lift with your legs!
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