Interested in batteries

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Braunston, May 11, 2009.

  1. Braunston

    Braunston Read Only Funster

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  2. davetthedon

    davetthedon Read Only Funster

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    Well researched sir....

    A very interesting and informative piece, and in future years I will STILL be buying good old "lead/acid" batteries for my camper. :thumb:
    I did think there was something fishy about these so called "deep cycle" batteries. My mother-in-law has just gone off the deep-end to buy some of these new-fangled coiley type thingys, two of which have just cost her an arm and a leg, just so she can watch TV for a few hours longer when un-hitched. :Doh:
    I am on my third set of lead/acid now after 8 years. When I bought the van it had 2x85AH batteries, which I replaced when they died 3 years later (probably my own fault, I didn't look after them as well as I should have, ie top up occasionally, keep them charged etc). This time I have added another one, making 3 in series, because we now have CAMOS satellite, 2 inverters and all the add-ons.
    Why 85AH? because Autotrail didn't build a tall enough battery compartment for a bigger AH battery set!! But you could get about 5 in a row. :Angry:
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    cheap FLAs are the best bang for your buck .. I've been preaching this for years.. refreshing to see a manufacturer agree

     
  4. 45eEver

    45eEver Read Only Funster

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    If you try this site, you'll get a similar but different point of view.
    It has a very clear chart comparing battery types.

    Adverc BM - Technical Educational Data

    The general consensus of opinion in the trade is that semi-traction is probably the most costs effective buy.
    You need a specialist battery place.

    They are heavier than normal batteries, so it may pay you to support you battery compartment floor.
    I sorted one a while back where the owner had found out the hard way.
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I go by my own experience going back more than 20 years .. and cheap FLAs have never let me down. My present set of 4 x 85ah are almost five years old and three of these years have been full time.. and they often get a hammering, but still going strong... at a total cost of £120 they owe me nothing.
    Of course they are properly maintained and kept in tip top condition with a Victron Multi Plus 70A 1600watt charger/inverter.
    Spend cash on a decent charger and you won't need designer batteries..:Wink:
     
  6. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    This may sound like a dumb question but should I be regularly topping up my battery? I have had the MH a year now and it has a 110 AH standard battery which is quite well hidden. Never looked at it or done anything with it and we use it a lot. We had a new charger fitted recently but the chap that fitted it never mentioned anything, then again I never asked!
     
  7. 45eEver

    45eEver Read Only Funster

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    It's worth checking the acid level in your batteries every so often Barry.
    You may have a little sight doofer to tell you if you need to top up.
    In my experience however, those little sight doofers are not that reliable.
    About the only thing they tell you is if your battery is on the way out.

    I do a caps off check on mine every so often, but haven't needed to top up in two years.

    But only top up when your batteries are fully charged.
    If you top up a flat battery, you will end up with weak acid.

    If you use a hydrometer at the same time, you can tell the real state of charge.
    If one (or more) of the cells is down on it's hydrometer reading, it's probably time to change batteries.

    Many batteries you can't top up anyway.
    It's worth checking to see if you have screw caps on your batteries.

    H&SA reckon batteries can cause injuries, and you should wear chemical safety glasses and have a bucket of cold water around, plus lots of other tedious things I daresay.
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Saw a good tip the other day. Use a turkey baster to add the distilled water to your batteries whilst they are in situ, easy, no mess and you can add the precise amount. :Smile:
     
  9. Kon tiki

    Kon tiki Read Only Funster

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    My motorhome came with a 85 amp Exide gel battery, if I had to buy a battery I would go for a reasonably priced leisure battery. That said I have been impressed with how it performs but we would probably be classed as low power users. We have a suitcase type sat dish & only occasionally watch the tv, only have the heating on if it's cold, so our biggest use is probably lighting (have considered changing to LED but wonder if it would be worth the cost). We find that the battery is easily able to cope with what we use & I don't recall seeing the meter go much below 12.5 volts. We have a solar panel fitted (about 80/85 amp) & this has the battery charged up to 14.2 volts by mid morning or in dull conditions by the afternoon.
     
  10. 45eEver

    45eEver Read Only Funster

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    I don't know what size batteries your turkey baster man uses Jim.
    Or how often he tops up.

    A hyperdermic syringe with a bit of plastic tube instead of a needle does the business pretty well.
    Cheap enough to use a clean new one each time as well.
     
  11. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Thanks I will have a look. Vans in the garage at the moment having a service before our big trip. Just realised I had no idea when the Cam Belt was last changed so thats another £250 I didt think about!!!
     
  12. The Meerkat

    The Meerkat Deleted User

  13. chris v

    chris v Read Only Funster

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    Hi,
    Instead of buying a Turkey baster just buy a hydrometer and suck the water out of the jar and squirt (carefully) into cells as required, you can then check th SG when you've finished charging. I always fill and empty the hydrometer a few times to flush it out in case of spillage from it,
    Regards,
    Chris
     
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