What Battery?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Triple7, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Triple7

    Triple7 Funster

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    I recently bought a 1995 Hymer B594 and overall I'm very happy with the van.

    One small issue is the battery. It's fitted with a good quality fairly new car battery rather than a leisure one. Ordinarily I would leave it be for the present but I'm keen to have a pair as I need a fair amount of juice from time to time. I'm also intending to fit a solar panel or two.

    As the batteries need to be paired I'm not going to buy a second identical car battery so have been looking at a full replacement. I've been recommended gel type as they have a greater capacity than wet acid and can provide double the power output.

    My question is has anybody had recent experience of gel batteries and other than regulating the charge more carefully are their any issues I should be aware of? Also how suited are they to solar charging.

    While they are about 40% more expensive it would be worth it if I can squeeze more power into my battery compartment (under the floor on the off side of the cab.

    Many thanks.
     

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  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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  3. Peter A Forbes

    Peter A Forbes Funster

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    Not sure who gave you that information, a lead-acid battery is a lead-acid battery, whether it be wet, flooded mat, AGM or GEL.

    What you get out depends on the plate area per cell, nothing else. Bigger plates = more capacity.

    What does matter is how you treat them. Wet batteries in general will take more abuse than any of the sealed types.

    We have AGM, but only because they were free, otherwise I would probably have bought a couple of Varta wet 110AH.

    Peter
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hymer OEM is an 80 ah Gel G80 .. there are two in my van.. one under each seat.

    When I bought my b644 it still had the original G80s fitted and they were still holding a charge.. also have 160 watt of solar.. so it was doing it's job.

    In the past I have advocated not to 'waste money' on Gel .. buy cheap FLAS but the evidence was before my eyes.

    I decided to replace them with two Exide G80 Gels from Tanya .. not cheap but if they last as long as the previous Gels, they may well work out cheaper..

    Also, as they are in the Hab area, my opinion is that Gels are safer with no need to vent to outside the van..

    https://www.tayna.co.uk/Exide-G80-Gel-Battery-for-Hymer-Motorhomes-P7893.html

    you pays your money.. etc

    I await the nay sayers. ;)
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Label that person unreliable.

    Gel introduces charging problems for no benefit.

    >> I'm keen to have a pair as I need a fair amount of juice from time to time

    Now just what does that mean ? If you are talking 2000W of microwave or similar be aware you derate your battery considerably with those loads.
     
  6. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Three thoughts.
    1. Gel batteries do not have greater capacity than flooded lead-acid but they do have greater resilience to discharge. A flooded battery should ideally not be discharged below 50% capacity but a gel battery can be taken down to 20%.
    3. If you decide to change to Gel, remember to change the switch on the charger from lead-acid to gel (I assume it has been changed from the ex-factory gel setting to suit the battery you have currently).
    3. If considering Banner batteries be aware that the standard flooded lead-acid model is an 'open type' with caps for topping up the fluid. Your installation is internal and you should really be using a sealed variety (i.e. one without the facility to top it up. Having said that, it is still a good idea to vent them to the outside since a failing cell can 'gas' towards the end of the battery's life. I would not consider the Banner AGM that seems to be gaining in popularity as your on-board charger (1995) will not have a suitable charging program and could shorten its life considerably. Only the most modern chargers have programs designed for AGM batteries.
     
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  8. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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  9. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    No brainer. Half the price of the Gels and more capacity AND sealed. I now have 8 :LOL:
     
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  10. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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  11. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I read the blurb about the NCC battery scheme in the C&CC magazine and I have to say that I thought it was little more than of very general help. The three categories appear to offer only basic guidance as to capacity for those (and I accept there may be many) who find the concept of Ah supply and in-use consumption confusing. There is no advice given regarding flooded, sealed, gel or AGM so far as I can see and no consideration of whether a battery type matches a motorhome's charging regime.
     
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  12. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    They fit the gas locker perfect and link to two more in the Habitation
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Triple7

    Triple7 Funster

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    Many thanks for all your responses..... very helpful.
    Thanks Techno, neat setup! If you look at the pic on my post you will see I've a lot less space to play with unfortunately

    Also I hope you don't mind me mentioning that your wiring isn't ideal as your left hand battery is effectively working as a back up to the right. They will not age the same.
     
  14. Triple7

    Triple7 Funster

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    Really helpful many thanks!
     
  15. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Wrong.(but your thinking is corrrect) they are not the load but the link to the other two. The load negative has not been attached bottom left yet as I'm waiting for 2 metres of 25mm to arrive.

    SEE http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/this-week-i-bought.45103/page-150#post-1616443

    The left diagram is the option in this case
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  16. Triple7

    Triple7 Funster

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    I will leave it to your imagination but it's for a purpose which it very rewarding, exciting with just a little danger mixed in ;-)
     
  17. Triple7

    Triple7 Funster

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    This sounds like the same battery/supplier as I'm considering (not sure about same size) Great to have your feedback!
     
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  18. Triple7

    Triple7 Funster

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    Thanks Peter, I believe that gel batteries can squeeze in more plates for a given battery size which is the appeal in my case
     
  19. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    My garage set for the inverter
    [​IMG]
     
  20. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    My understanding is the test is to verify if the manufacturers claims are correct as recent independent testing of brand new leisure batteries found many of the manufacturers claims were false and many of the batteries were pretty much crap. Banner and Vatra came out well.
    The article is attached.
    http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/media/13871919/ccmnovtechnical.pdf?type=archive
     
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