What leisure battery do you suggest

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Leaveyfreya, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Leaveyfreya

    Leaveyfreya Read Only Funster

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    Hi all
    Bieng a newbie wondered if you can suggest what size of Battery we will need, we think ours is goosed, (does not hold charge) at the moment the we have a acid 160 am battery on,
    do we need one that big?
    is gel bettery than acid?
    any other help would be greatly recieved
    yours
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Hi welcome to the fun. Sorry to hear of your problem, the size battery you need depends on how you use the van, always on hookup, always wildcamp, or a mixture. Lots of TV or computer or just lights and waterpump. First thing you need to do is calculate your usage what items do you use and for how long. then you have to work out what charge oprions you have, engine when running, Hookup, solar, genny in that order. the difference between the ampount you use and the rate of charge should help you decide how many and what size batteries.
    So do your power management assesment then let us know how you charge and how you use the van then maybe we can help you come to the right combination.:thumb::thumb:
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  3. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    My thought on batteries is as large as will fit in, never know when you will need to rely on it.
    As to which type not sure but have always used acid types.

    If you use hook up all the time it does not matter so much, but there are times when hook up is not available, then a large battery is essential, for peace of mind knowing you have plenty in reserve.



    Dave:thumb::thumb:
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  4. Leaveyfreya

    Leaveyfreya Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the prompt reply,To be honest we dont know our usage as we have only just got this van, and only been away in a motorhome twice before (borrowed it loved it) we will be mainly Hook up on sites, I know it charges when on hook up we will have a 12v tv and will probably have a lap top with us. The battery can be charged as we drive along.
    Sorry for being vague but really not got a clue (will learn fast though)
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    The bigger the better.
    Wet is good, you can examine the acid level and top it up.
     
  6. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Using a motorhome gives you freedom from sites if you wild camp or even CL's cheap 5 van sites mainly without hookup. In those cases you are dependant on battery power. I personally would never have less than a pair of 110 amp/hr batteries. You then have at least a couple of days worth of power. I trust you have topped up the existing battery with Distilled water and cleaned the terminals before condemning it. It would also pay to check nothing is drawing power. Does the battery hold a charge when disconnected?
     
  7. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    As to the type of battery, ie wet or gel, This has been a much disgust topic and in my opinion You get more for you money if you use bog standard wet acid batterys, the type as fitted to a wagon, its true that the gel batterys last longer that the wet type but they work out more expensive in the end.

    Doug...
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    your battery may well be cabbaged but digging a little deeper, it may also be your charger isnt a true charger!!!!!!

    it may be a 12v power supply which will be limited to around 13v /12amps to 15amps and will take an age to charge a 160ah battery.

    a battery needs 14.4v + to fully charge (100%) so you may only be getting 80% to 85% charge.
    if you then discharge it too low the plates can be damaged (which is probably whats happened in the past) which makes charging even less effective.

    as others have said, better to fit two 110ah batteries and link them together giving you 220ah.
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi lead acid every time :thumb::thumb: cheap & cheerful
    If you need a new charger check out the one below, very good value for money
    Product Details
    terry
     
  10. Leaveyfreya

    Leaveyfreya Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the info not tried it disconnected so will try as you say some thing may be drawing on it but we did notice the plates are bent
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    as i explained in another thread......i dont think the plates will be bent/warped.

    this will be an uneven coating of lead oxide caused by repeatedly over discharging the battery which is what i meant in my earlier post on this thread.

    "if you then discharge it too low the plates can be damaged (which is probably whats happened in the past) which makes charging even less effective."

    by charging at a higher voltage....ie 14.4v and above, it breaks down the oxide and allows the electrolyte to come into contact with the plates and allows it to charge again.

    it does sound like yours is beyond recovery though.:Sad:


     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  12. Frankia

    Frankia Read Only Funster

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    I agree with the posts above - lead acid and, if you have the space, 2 of them. That way if you get one going duff (and they always do just when you need them) you will still have one to tide you over.

    The only benefit I can see with Gel batteries is that they don't spill. We use the original battery which is a normal lead acid 120ah and have added two SFL (sealed for life) 120Ah batteries to that - the combo works well and gives us plenty of storage for the power from the 2 x 120w solar panels and gives us a good few days of fairly heavy usage in inclement weather.
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    the other advantage is the electolyte is in permenant contact with the plates so oxidizing is less of a problem.

    the problem with lead acid is the acid and distilled water can seperate at low voltages (the acid sinking and water floating on top) and cause oxidation where there is no acid.

    thats how a hydrometer works.....the better mixed, the higher the specific gravity...the higher the charge.

    regular charging and vigorous gassing keeps it mixed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
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