Is a Deep Cycle Battery Good for a Winch

Is a Deep Cycle Battery Good for a Winch | 9 Factors Covered

Last Updated on August 3, 2022

RV winches are helpful for many uses, but batteries are required to power the motors. There is a common misconception among RV owners that they can use any battery to power their winches. But there is one question that every RV enthusiast has: is a deep cycle battery good for a winch in an RV?

A deep-cycle battery is designed to be discharged and recharged repeatedly without deterioration. So, you ought to use a deep cycle battery for winches. This will ensure that the battery does not get damaged or run out of power and will provide enough power for the motor.

As a result, the batteries are ideal for winch motors, which are usually required to work for extended periods. The following discussion will elaborate on this point:

Is a Deep Cycle Battery Good for a Winch? A Careful Approach

starter battery

RV winches are mechanical devices used to wind or unwind ropes or cables. It is essential for many applications, such as pulling a boat onto a trailer or lifting heavy objects. However, you need to power the winch motor, where a deep cycle battery comes in.

An RV or trailer winch should be powered by a deep cycle battery or perhaps two deep cycle batteries (like a yellow top Optima battery or similar) since these batteries are intended for repeated discharge and recharge.

Unlike a car starting battery, which is only designed to provide a burst of power for starting the engine, a deep cycle battery can provide a steady power supply over a long period.

This makes it ideal for operating an RV winch, which can require sustained power to wind in the cable. Deep cycle batteries are also less likely to be damaged by extended periods of use, making them a more durable option for an RV winch.

Types of Deep Cycle Batteries Use in RV Winch

car battery

If you have an RV with a winch, you need to be aware of the different kinds of deep cycle batteries that can be used to power it. Some of the most popular include:

Lead Acid Battery:

A lead-acid battery is a type of deep-cycle battery that is commonly used in RV winch systems. Lead-acid batteries are typically made up of six cells, each containing a lead electrode and a sulfuric acid electrolyte.

When the battery is discharged, the lead electrodes undergo a chemical reaction with the electrolyte, releasing electrons that flow through the external circuit and into the RV winch.

Once the battery is fully discharged, the lead electrodes are “recharged” by reversing the flow of electrons back into the battery. This chemical reaction between the lead electrodes and electrolyte gives lead-acid batteries their deep cycling ability and makes them well-suited for use in RV & ATV winch systems.

Lithium-ion Battery:

Typically, lithium-ion batteries are the most suitable battery for RV winches. Lithium-ion batteries have several advantages over other types of batteries. They are lighter, have a higher energy density, and can be charged and discharged more times than the conventional battery.

Also, Lithium-ion batteries have a lower self-discharge rate, meaning they will retain their charge longer when not used. As a result, they are an ideal choice for powering an RV winch.

Find Out: Can lithium batteries be used in RVs?

AGM Battery (Absorbed Glass Mat):

AGM batteries are the popular type used in RV winch. This battery uses a particular glass mat separator between the positive and negative electrodes. The mat absorbs electrolytes, which helps to prevent spillage and leakage.

They are also maintenance-free, meaning you don’t have to check the water level, and are spill-proof. They also have a higher discharge/recharge efficiency than flooded lead-acid batteries and can be mounted in any position.

These batteries are also shock- and vibration-resistant, making them ideal for RVs. The main downside to AGM batteries is their higher cost compared to other batteries.

Gel Cell Battery:

Gel cell batteries are typically more expensive than their flooded counterparts, but they offer many advantages. One benefit of gel cell batteries is that they are sealed, meaning that there is no need to add water to the cells.

Also, gel cell batteries tend to be more resistant to vibration and shock, making them ideal for use in RVs. Plus, the gel battery typically has a longer lifespan than deep-cycle batteries.

Flooded (FLA) Battery:

For years, the only type of deep cycle battery available for RVs was the flooded lead-acid (FLA) battery. These batteries are still widely used today, but their design has remained unchanged for decades.

Flooded lead-acid batteries are filled with a mixture of water and sulfuric acid, and they require regular maintenance to prevent the buildup of sulfate crystals on the lead plates.

Although they are relatively inexpensive, flooded lead-acid batteries typically have a shorter lifespan compared to other deep-cycle batteries. In recent years, new battery technologies have emerged that offer a more reliable and longer-lasting solution for RV power needs.

Relevant: What causes RV batteries to explode?

Considerations for Choosing a Deep Cycle Battery for an RV Winch

Considerations for Choosing a Deep Cycle Battery for an RV Winch

Choosing the correct type of battery is necessary if you plan to use an RV winch. When it comes to winching, having a reliable deep-cycle battery is essential. After all, the source will provide the power to operate the electric winch.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing batteries for a winch:


If you are thinking of buying a deep-cycle battery for your RV winch, it is crucial to consider compatibility. The size and type of battery you need will depend on the make and model of your RV. You will also need to consider the Amp Hour (AH) rating.

This measures how much current the battery can provide over some time when winching. Choosing a battery with a high AH rating is vital to ensure that it can power your RV winch for extended periods. Also, you should ensure that the battery you choose is compatible with the charging system in your RV.

Power Ratings:

The power ratings of deep cycle batteries should be considered when choosing a winch battery. The battery should provide enough power to run the winch motor. It should also provide enough ability to run the RV’s accessories, such as the lights and air conditioner.

As well, the battery should be able to operate the winch for an extended period of time without recharging. Also, the battery should be able to handle a high number of discharge/recharge cycles.

Recharge Time:

An RV winch battery should be chosen based on its recharge time. A faster recharge time means the battery can be used more frequently without compromising performance. The average RV deep cycle battery will take 10 hours to recharge.

Also, the number of charges and discharge cycles affect the recharge time. A battery with a higher number of charge and discharge cycles will take longer to recharge than one with fewer cycles.

Reserve Capacity:

Make sure you take into account the reserve capacity of the deep cycle battery when choosing one for an RV winch. The reserve battery capacity is the amount of time the battery can continue to provide energy in an outage.

This is an essential consideration because it will determine how long the RV can remain operational during a power outage. If the reserve capacity is too low, the RV may not be able to maintain power for long enough to complete its intended task.

Relevant: What are the different sizes of battery cables for RV?


Let’s take a look at some common questions that people have about deep cycle batteries for winch:

Q. Can a Deep Cycle Battery be Used for a Winch?

If you have a 12-volt deep cycle battery and a winch that is rated for 12 volts, you can use the deep cycle battery for your winch. A deep cycle battery is an excellent choice for a winch because it can handle being discharged and recharged multiple times without experiencing any degradation.

Q: What Size Battery Do I Need for a 3500 lb. Winch? 

What Size Battery Do I Need for a 3500 lb. Winch

To power a 3500-pound RV winch, you need a 12-volt battery rated at more than 55 amps. winch. The larger the battery, the longer it will last between charges. You may want to consider a lighter winch or a portable power bank that can provide the necessary amps rather than a battery of that size.

Q: Do You Need an Extra Battery for a Winch?

Many people think you need a dual battery system setup to use a winch, but that’s not the case. You can get away with just a single battery. The way it works is that when you’re using your winch, your alternator is recharging your battery at the same time. You shouldn’t have any problems if your battery is good.

Q: How Much AMPS Does a Winch Use?

It depends on the use of a winch. The amount of current draw or amps a winch will use varies depending on the size and power. In a 24-volt system, you will consume 30 to 35 amps per day. For a 12-volt system, you’ll need 50 to 55 amp-hours.

Q: Can I Use a Battery Charger to Run an RV Winch?

It is possible to charge a battery to drive a winch, but it is not recommended. The main reason is that a battery charger’s voltage and current output are not typically regulated, which could damage the winch. Also, using battery chargers to power a winch would likely result in significantly decreased run time from the battery.


Deep cycle batteries must be chosen to power the winch but must consider the reserve capacity to ensure that the RV can maintain power in the event of a power outage. Ultimately, a deep cycle battery is suitable to power a winch since it can provide the high amount of energy necessary to operate the winch.

It is also resistant to being damaged by the constant discharge and recharge cycles. However, deep-cycle batteries are more expensive than other types of batteries and require more maintenance. This article on “is a deep cycle battery good for a winch” is intended to help you grasp the idea better.

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