Are 2 batteries better than 1?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Baycott, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

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    This may sound a stupid question but can anybody tell me if it is worth getting a second leisure battery if we are to wild camp for a few weeks? Will it double my battery life? If so should I wire them in parallel? How will effect the charging from the alternator?

    :thanks:

    John
     
  2. jb0371

    jb0371 Read Only Funster

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    TRACTION BATTERIES.

    Do not waste your money on another leisure battery. traction batteries are designed to deep discharge, lots of threads on here about them. they are not much more money either.

    I have 2 130ah taction batteries, along with a sterling battery to battery charging system, as we wild camp 99% of the time, never have to go onto hook up.

    Swapped laptops so cant find a link from where i gotr mine, will have a little trawl throught the internet to find it.

    Found it

    http://www.easystartbatteries.co.uk/documents/30XHS.pdf
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
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  3. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    We do a fair bit of wild camping and have 2 110 amp leisure batteries,twinned with a couple of solar panels.Never ran out of power yet,summer or winter.We have led hab lights and a 12v telly/ dvd All our cooking and heating is done with gas when off site.
    If your geared up to live off 12 v two batteries will last longer than you'd think.
    If you add a panel to charge during daylight ,unless your using an inverter for high drain items,you should have no probs lasting weeks in the wilderness.:Wink:




    Vlad
     
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  4. dogman

    dogman Read Only Funster

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  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I've never used traction batteries I've heard they are very good. I always buy dirt cheap batteries. Look after them and they last for years.
     
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  6. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    I wonder how many people that have traction batteries actually deep discharge them,other than our power hungry Funsters that go on the piste together !:Rofl1:
    If so how many are buying the must have batteries,when the good old leisure battery would be better suited to their needs and their wallet!




    Vlad
     
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  7. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    You need to see a doctor if you suffer discharges Vlad!:BigGrin:
     
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  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Yes.

    Think of fitting and extra fuel tank. You can drive twice as far but it takes twice as long to fill up.

    If you had to drive for 2 hours to charge one battery, you would have to drive 4 hours to charge two.

    The secret to happy motorhoming is learn to live with the limitations. Fit LED lights, use a modern low consumption TV. Be realistic with computer use. Say no to hair dryers.

    Consider solar if you want a lot of wild camping.
     
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  9. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    When leisure batteries first came out, I fitted four to our narrowboat. Within 12 months they were U/S. It seems that leisure batteries are not designed to accept a charge greater then 10amps, and my 90amp alternator buckled the plates. Is this still the case????
     
  10. Peter_n_Margaret

    Peter_n_Margaret Read Only Funster

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    Not quite. Only if you recharge half as often.
    You have to put in what you took out. Adding an extra battery should not affect what you took out, so should not affect the re-charge time.

    The fuel tank is a good analogy.
    Battery life can be looked at a bit like a fuel tank.
    A battery (if looked after) can deliver so much energy in its life. Then it will die.
    If you have 2 instead of one, they will deliver a bit more than double the energy of one before they both die.

    If you only use it a little bit (but keep it charged in between uses) it will last a long time. If you use it a lot, it will die in a shorter time.

    A 100Ah AGM battery might deliver (say) 90,000Ah over its whole life.
    Two used together might deliver (say) 200,000Ah over their whole lives (100,000Ah each).
    The down side is you have to spend more up front to have 2 and you have to carry double the weight.

    If you look like running one battery right down on a regular basis, you should add another one (or change your usage habits). They don't like being taken too low.

    Another thing....
    The capacity of LA batteries is badly affected by low temperatures. It won't hurt them, but you won't get as much out of a fully charged cold battery as you can get out of the same battery in a warmer condition.

    Choices, choices.

    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  11. WAG2CRU

    WAG2CRU Read Only Funster

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but, as the regulator controls the charge and reduces the charge as resistance increases in the battery bank progressively as the bank becomes charged, the possibility that more charge is required at any given time does not mean that it will take twice as long, it simply increases the load on the alternator for a longer period.
     
  12. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Yes, and no!

    In theory you are perfectly correct, BUT most motorhomes have a leisure battery wiring loom which is made of cable too thin for the job.
    If the battery is flat, with low resistance, the cable to it is incapable of conducting the current required due to resistance in the cable. This results in low charging voltage at the battery and even lower charging rates plus an incomplete charge.

    This is the reason many folks bypass the original split charge system and either beef up the cabling, or even better, fit a battery to battery or alternator to battery charger.:thumb:
     
  13. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Unlikely, what is more likely is that you had 4 starter batteries labeled as leisure batteries.
    A few deep discharges and the plate material would have all been lost from the thin starter battery plates!!
    Our 115 Ah traction monoblocs get about 30-40 amps each during charging, they are 4 1/2 years old and still have full capacity.:thumb:
     
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