YOUR BUYER'S GUIDE

Deep Cycle Batteries

Everything you Need to Know to Make an Informed Decision

Are you a fishing or hunting enthusiast? Do you need a battery for your boat’s electric engine and accessories? Want to take to the road with peace of mind? Our experts are here to help!

This buyer’s guide has been put together to help outdoor enthusiasts better understand deep cycle batteries (DC batteries) and how to look after them properly.

Psst! Don’t worry about memorizing everything:
you’ll find a summary table at the end of this guide!

This buyer’s guide primarily addresses outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and fishermen who use deep cycle batteries. But since this type of battery can also be used for renewable energy installations in RVs and cottages, we’ll create a separate buyer’s guide for this type of use.

Do you need to power up a fridge, an electric engine or any other applications in the great outdoors? A DC battery is just what you need!

Unlike a starter battery, which is designed to provide a boost of energy over a short period of time, a deep cycle battery is a specialized bank of energy that produces a stable and continuous flow of energy.

It allows you to use your electronic applications any time, anywhere!

A DC battery is a bit like a gas tank…

Gas
tank

DC
battery

The capacity of a tank is measured in litres.

The capacity of a battery is measured in ampere hours (Ah).

Your vehicle’s average consumption is measured in l/100km.

The amount consumed by applications powered by a battery is measured in amperes.

The tank empties when the motor consumes gas.

The battery discharges after each use.

You can calculate the number of kilometers you can travel on a full tank using the average consumption of your vehicle and the capacity of your tank.

You can calculate the number of hours that you can use your battery using the average consumption of your applications and the capacity of your battery.

You can fill a tank with gas.

You can recharge a battery with a charger or solar panels.

A chemical reaction:

The energy generated by a battery is essentially a chemical reaction that varies according to a number of factors: age of the battery, vibrations, temperature, use, discharge %, how the battery is charged, type of charger used, etc.

This is why it’s really important to choose a battery that meets your needs and to maintain it properly.

Difference between a gas tank and a battery:

Unlike a gas tank, a battery can only be charged/discharged a certain amount of times throughout its lifetime. In other words, you must replace your battery once it has completed a certain amount of charge/discharge cycles.

Factors to consider

Transport

Limited space?

Do you have enough space for your battery? If you have big needs, but not much space, you’ll have to adapt your energy consumption.

Vibrations?

Are you going to drive on off-road trails that generate a lot of vibration? Remember that certain batteries are specially designed for this level of impact!

Is mobility important for you?

Will you need to move your battery around? Do you struggle lifting heavy objects? Our light batteries are easy to lift and allow you to move around freely.

Usage

Required capacity and number of hours

What will your DC battery be used for (engine, light, radio, etc.)?

How many amperes do your applications require?

Will you use your battery for a few hours or several days?

Number of times you use the battery per year

How many times do you think you’ll go fishing this year? This will help you figure out the number of cycles you’ll need.

Charge and maintenance

Will you be able to charge it?

Will you be able to charge the battery at the end of the day or will you have to wait until the end of your 3-day trip?

Most DC batteries must be charged within 24 hours of using them.

Like to keep things simple?

Certain batteries require less maintenance than others. To find out more, take a look at the table at the end of this guide!

How many ampere hours
(Ah) do I need?

To figure out how many Ah you’ll need (by doing the below calculation), start by thinking about how long your fishing trips tend to last and how many amperes your applications require per hour.

Generally speaking, the latter can be found on the engine or the application itself.If not, take a look at the reference table to calculate your engine’s consumption – all you’ll need is the thrust (lbs) of your engine.

Ah = consumption
of your application
X hours
used
Example
Average hourly consumption of your electric engine
5 amperes (A)
Average duration
of your fishing trips
8 hours
Ampere hours required
40*

*We strongly suggest you leave room for unforeseen circumstances (wind, current, or even extra hours spent on the lake – if there’s a fish, make the most of it!).

Is it a good idea to alternate between two batteries?

Our customers often ask us if, for a two-day trip, they can use one battery on Saturday and another one on Sunday and recharge everything when they get back home on Monday.

It sure is a great idea, but don’t forget that the battery you use on Saturday must be charged within 24 hours of using it to avoid irreversible damage.

Will you be spending at least two days in the great outdoors?

Here are three practical solutions!

Parallel connection

By joining your batteries in parallel, you’ll be able to use the ampere hours from both batteries at the same time. This is a great way to create a large bank of energy and make charging simpler.

Opt for a lithium DC battery

DC lithium batteries can be charged within a week of using them. What’s more, they are one of the best types of DC battery out there!

Solar energy

With solar energy, you can recharge your battery at your camp site. Simply charge the battery that you used on Saturday on Sunday. Our experts can help you find the best solar kit for your battery.

How to
maintain your battery

If you use and maintain your battery properly, it will last a lot longer and will provide maximum capacity during your fishing trips.

Design and technology

Certain batteries can provide more cycles because they have been designed to withstand poor maintenance.

How to get the most out of your DC battery

Before using
your battery

Inspect the battery to ensure it’s well charged

  • Verify the liquid level (batteries requiring watering maintenance)
  • Clean the terminals to improve the electrical connection
  • Visual inspection: is the battery leaking? Is it cracked or inflated?

Break period:
Each time you charge your battery, it’s important to wait around 6 hours before reusing it. Otherwise, you may wear the battery out prematurely.

While
using your battery

Keep an eye on how much you use your battery in one go

The amount of cycles a battery can provide varies according to the capacity % (Ah) you use. In other words, someone that tends to use 80% of their battery’s capacity won’t have as many cycles as someone who uses just 30%.

The table at the end of this guide will help you compare batteries with different technologies.

Within 24 hours
of using your battery

Charge the battery within
24 hours of using it

The longer you leave a battery discharged after a deep discharge, the more likely it will get damaged. Deposits will form on the surface of the plates, which will have a negative impact on the performance of the battery.

We strongly recommend you charge a DC battery within 24 hours of using it to avoid damage such as sulfation.

Once a month

Level of the electrolyte:

The plates inside conventional batteries must always be submerged in acid. It’s therefore important to check the level of acid once a month and to add distilled water, if necessary. **Only applies to batteries that require watering maintenance **

Keep your battery charged between each use:

Batteries lose charge, even when not used. Some batteries can even lose 30% of their capacity in just one month. What’s more, batteries that are left discharged get damaged up until a point that they stop working.

In addition to charging your battery after using it, we recommend that you charge it once a month with a suitable charger or by leaving it connected to a smart charger between each use.

Maintenance: your no. 1 priority!

The more you take care of your battery, the greater the capacity (Ah) it will provide per cycle. A poorly maintained battery may only last a few months and will barely provide enough power for your applications.

As you can see, maintaining your battery is an essential step to take to prevent premature wear and tear.

Criteria for
buying a charger

A charger is your battery’s best friend

Buying a DC battery without a charger would simply make no sense. Afterall, a charger ensures that your battery works properly.

Manual

A standard charger that allows you to chose different intensities according to the charging cycle you’re using.

Automatic

Automatic chargers are the next step up from manual chargers: they charge batteries sequentially with multiple intensities. The best thing about them? You don’t have to do anything!

Smart

Latest generation charger that can evaluate the state of your battery during the charging cycles to ensure that your battery is charged in the best way possible. These chargers often come with a “maintenance” mode, which automatically keeps the battery charged when you store it away.

Charging capacity

Ideally, you should use a charger that can charge at 10 % - 15 % of your battery’s capacity (Ah). A charger that is too strong, or not strong enough will affect the level of liquid inside the battery and cause problems in the long run. Some chargers come with different intensities of charge to make things simpler for you.

Depending on the type of technology your battery uses, a battery can be charged at more than 10 % of your battery’s capacity (Ah). This allows for faster charging.

Type of charger

There are three types of chargers available: manual, automatic and smart. Though smart chargers are as high-tech as you can get, automatic chargers are often less expensive.

We recommend you invest in a good smart charger. It will be of great service to you and will make your life simpler!

“Equalization” mode

To ensure that your battery performs at its very best, we advise you to opt for a charger with an “equalization” mode. This mode allows the charger to try to restore the battery after poor maintenance or after several intensive discharges.

Capacity maintenance

The “maintenance” mode allows the charger to manage the battery’s charge between each use. Generally speaking, the charger must be able to maintain at least 5% of your battery’s capacity (Ah). A smart charger with a “maintenance” mode and a charging capacity equal to 10 % of your battery’s capacity will enable you to enjoy the great outdoors, worry-free!

Types of customers

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