Leisure Battery - How Long Should It Last? (1 Viewer)

Tasng4

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Aug 14, 2016
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April 2016
The first answer has to be "it depends"!! But let me expand. We always seemed to have battery issues related to how long they remain useful after a full charge. Our previous MH was a 1983 Ford Transit Pilote bought to test the lifestyle to see if we liked it - we did and have now bought a new Burstner Lyseo but we still have question. I asked the salesman how much autonomy we'd have with this van, he replied 'for ever' as there's the solar panel to recharge the battery. We just spent our first two nights in the MH and the solar panel never seemed to fully charge the battery. We went back to the dealer to report the 'fault' and he now says we should plug the MH into the mains for about 3 days to ensure the battery is FULLY charged and it will then last about 3 days. The solar panel will take about 3-4 days to fully charge the battery.

It feels as though we've been lied to, yes I know he's a salesman and now he has our money!

So I'll ask here, how long would a fully charged battery last with moderate use (evening lights, 3 hours tv, water pump on, heating fan on minimum).

I realise it's a vague question and answers will be equally vague but how do others manage? We tend not to use sites so rarely use EHU.
 
Jan 26, 2017
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I can only speak for myself, but with 100w solar and 100ah Lead Acid battery, using similar 12v stuff, we can last almost indefinitely.

The longest we have actually gone is seven days with no problems.
 
Feb 14, 2021
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19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
What kind of lights? Modem LED's consum littl power. Older 'normal' lights will use a lot - probably the highest power consumption of all you mention.
 
Dec 24, 2014
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Not enough info.

a). It depends upon what items and for how long you are running them off the 12v.
(Ah, I see you've added some details (y) ).

b). Much depends on the season, i.e. the amount of daytime sunshine/brightness.
 
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Tasng4

Tasng4

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What kind of lights? Modem LED's consum littl power. Older 'normal' lights will use a lot - probably the highest power consumption of all you mention.
Modern LEDs, there're a lot in the MH but we only have 3 or 4 on most of the time as the give a lot of light.

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Tasng4

Tasng4

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Not enough info.

a). It depends upon what items and for how long you are running them off the 12v.

b). Much depends on the season, i.e. the amount of daytime sunshine/brightness.
I really can't be more specific as I don't know what the consumption of the individual items I listed is. I would expect Burstner to have calculated what an average consumer would use and allow for that level of consumption. As for the weather it was bright sunshine and warm, we were parked under leafy trees but the sun wasn't obscured.
 
Dec 24, 2014
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Ever since lighting was by Calor gas.
I really can't be more specific as I don't know what the consumption of the individual items I listed is. I would expect Burstner to have calculated what an average consumer would use and allow for that level of consumption. As for the weather it was bright sunshine and warm, we were parked under leafy trees but the sun wasn't obscured.
Even so, at least giving the size of the solar panel and the capacity of the leisure battery would enable a stab at giving a more meaningful opinion, regardless of what the salesman said.
I doubt that there is an 'average consumer' or location. Perhaps Burstner would say you're an 'above average' consumer. :unsure:
 
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Oct 9, 2019
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Where are you using the van? If you are in the North of UK then solar power will weak at this time of year until April /May next so will not put much juice into battery. If you are on the south coast or planning to head south to Portugal or Spain you will have no issues with Solar.
Most people tend to use combination of Solar and charging from alternator when travelling to top the battery up if your van has the right set up.
You need to confirm what kit you have installed, b2b, mains charger, solar controller etc.
 
Jan 19, 2014
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So I'll ask here, how long would a fully charged battery last with moderate use (evening lights, 3 hours tv, water pump on, heating fan on minimum).
If the battery is in new condition, without solar, I'd guess.. Roughly 3 days. But with a 100w panel in sunshine indefinitely... except deepest winter... Unless the panel is propped up south. There are so many variables šŸ˜
 

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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Your usage is probably around 25 ah a day so a 100ah standard lead battery discharged to 50% which is the max recommended will last 2 days without charging.
I see from your avata you are in France at the moment but you don't say where.

If you only have a 100 watt panel unless you are a long way south it will do sod all in October.
We are in the Dordogne at the moment and have 300 Watts of solar on a clear bright sunny day we get 6-7 amps for a couple of hours around midday, mid morning/mid afternoon only 3-4 amps.

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Tasng4

Tasng4

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Aug 14, 2016
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Even so, at least giving the size of the solar panel and the capacity of the leisure battery would enable a stab at giving a more meaningful opinion, regardless of what the salesman said.
I doubt that there is an 'average consumer' or location. Perhaps Burstner would say you're an 'above average' consumer. :unsure:
I can't find anything about the solar panel but 100watts sounds familiar, the battery says 95ah(C20) or 85ah(C5) if that helps.
 
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Tasng4

Tasng4

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Aug 14, 2016
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Where are you using the van? If you are in the North of UK then solar power will weak at this time of year until April /May next so will not put much juice into battery. If you are on the south coast or planning to head south to Portugal or Spain you will have no issues with Solar.
Most people tend to use combination of Solar and charging from alternator when travelling to top the battery up if your van has the right set up.
You need to confirm what kit you have installed, b2b, mains charger, solar controller etc.
We are just south of Grenoble (about latitude 45), we have mains charging, alternator while driving (I assume this is B2B) and solar.
 
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Tasng4

Tasng4

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If the battery is in new condition, without solar, I'd guess.. Roughly 3 days. But with a 100w panel in sunshine indefinitely... except deepest winter... Unless the panel is propped up south. There are so many variables šŸ˜
The van is brand new with solar and we were under bright sun but slightly shaded. I appreciate there are a lot of variables. Overall I'm hoping for an answer along the lines of "about n days" just to give us a guide.
 
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Tasng4

Tasng4

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Aug 14, 2016
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April 2016
I'm getting a lot of people replying, which I appreciate, saying more info is needed. I understand this but it's hard to know what the hourly consumption of the heater fan is or the LED lights. I knew a lot about our old Transit van but this new van is like comparing a Reliant Robin to the space shuttle. We bought this van to enable us to relax and not be constantly worried about the state of the battery.
 
Jan 8, 2013
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I can't find anything about the solar panel but 100watts sounds familiar, the battery says 95ah(C20) or 85ah(C5) if that helps.
Three hours watching TV plus heating plus ancillary is to much for a small battery.
100w solar is standard and you would probably manage with more batteries. Keep an eye on your panel voltmeter and never let it drop below 12volts

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Tasng4

Tasng4

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Three hours watching TV plus heating plus ancillary is to much for a small battery.
100w solar is standard and you would probably manage with more batteries. Keep an eye on your panel voltmeter and never let it drop below 12volts
Thanks, that's what I wanted to know, that confirms my suspicion that the salesman was full of it! We're at home now so our plan is to fully charge it, turn things on as we would if out and about and monitor the consumption from the panel.
 
Apr 6, 2019
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We used to survive 4 nights with 100watts solar, 110ah wet acid battery, cheap PMT controller, blown air gas heating and no alarms/immobilisers to provide a drain of power, most lights LED. At the end of day4 batteries are quite depleted.

Hence why I added a 2nd 110ah battery = more stored energy AND an extra 100watt solar with upgraded Victron MPPT controller = more energy harvest.
We didn't always replenish the wet acid batteries completely each day but felt comfortable we could last at least a week then.
 

Emmit

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Aug 14, 2009
8,079
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One battery is really insufficient for anything other that Late Spring to early Autumn.
Regard your battery as a bucket. You are taking stuff, (ie electricity) out of it and it
can only be replenished with a solar panel that relies on good light to top in up.

One only needs a few less than perfect days (Like what we have right now)!
and the battery won't be getting filled up.

My immediate response to your problem would be another battery of the same type
ie Wet Lead/Acid AGM etc and the same storage capacity ie 95amp/hr etc.
 
Jan 19, 2014
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bright sun but slightly shaded
This could be your problem. Any shade on the panel will drastically reduce it's output. Even the shadow of a lamp post or a few leaves and your down to 20% output.

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Tasng4

Tasng4

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April 2016
This could be your problem. Any shade on the panel will drastically reduce it's output. Even the shadow of a lamp post or a few leaves and your down to 20% output.


This could be your problem. Any shade on the panel will drastically reduce it's output. Even the shadow of a lamp post or a few leaves and your down to 20% output.
Mmm, OK. I thought/assumed/was told that solar panels would work even in reduced light. I.E. it didn't need to be blazing like a nuclear reactor. We'll have to note the weather as there's no indication of the level of charge.
 
Jan 19, 2014
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Mmm, OK. I thought/assumed/was told that solar panels would work even in reduced light. I.E. it didn't need to be blazing like a nuclear reactor. We'll have to note the weather as there's no indication of the level of charge.
I fitted a BM2 battery monitor, they are very good, one of my favourite gadgets and easy to fit. There are smaller ones and Bluetooth which are even easier to fit.
20210910_140335.jpg
 
Jan 19, 2014
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Mmm, OK. I thought/assumed/was told that solar panels would work even in reduced light. I.E. it didn't need to be blazing like a nuclear reactor. We'll have to note the weather as there's no indication of the level of charge.
They do work without direct sunlight but much reduced, next best thing is bright white clouds 20% down to virtually 0% with black cloud. Blue sky in shade is terrible same as black clouds.. Again very variable.
 

Vanman

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We have x2 leisure batteries and 150w Solar. With the van empty all day in whatever sun is going (alarm set) we need to top up with a generator on day 3. That is pretty well lights, water pump, heater fan if required (it and cooking on gas), radio and leccy fridge. That's the UK on an average weekend.
 
Sep 29, 2019
289
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64,845
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Forte
Exp
10years
Solar is good when the light is hitting it at 90degrees(midday in summer) and there are long days. In winter it drops I think to 1/6 of it's potential peak due to angle of sun. Shorter and cloudier days also cause a drop in power. A big drop at anytime of the year is caused by direct partial shading of the solar panel. Not the right figure but assume 10% direct shade will cause 90% drop in potential power output.

With that out of the way you have 3 main variables that you need to think about. This is a rough guide and not getting into the nitty grittys.

Power In
Power Store
Power Out

Power In - Solar.

Lets assume you have 100W Solar with good MPPT. Perfect in summer for your stated needs. Not sufficient in winter. Solution - more solar unless you're moving every day.
Power In - Split charging. You're likely to have this and it will will put charge into your battery but given that your fridge will take a serious chump of this, you may have a smart alternator and you need to drive a long time on a regular basis - this is not a great way of charging your battery.
Power In - B2B. Best way of charging your battery if you move on a regular/semi regular basis in northern latitudes. If you get B2B you stop using split charging but can continue to use solar.

Power Store - Battery Chemistry
Lithium is typically best as can be discharged 90% without serious damage and will do so 1000s of times. Needs upgrading of lots of bits n bobs if you go down this route but ultimately the best for lots of reasons.(I want Lithium!!!)
Lead Acid is likely what you have and should only be discharged to 50% of stated capacity. Otherwise it will not give the life stated. There are other types of battery chemistry and if you post a picture of the battery we might be able to help you identify.
Power Store - Capacity. Sounds like you have around a 90Amp Hour battery so that gives you 45AmpHours to use. Buy another battery of the same type immediately(assuming your van is completely new) and you can double the time you get off grid. Most cost effective way by far. You just have to have a way of getting the power back in at some stage. Maybe you have EHU at home??

Power Out
You've mentioned your typical use which is not overly heavy but 2 things will help you greatly get a better understanding.
1 - Battery Monitor like a Victron BMV712 etc. This measure power in\power out of your battery and gives you a resonable indication of where your battery is. It talks in percentages but really it talks in amps so that leads to the next bit....
2 - Knowledge. To maximise your long term enjoyment I suggest getting down and dirty with Watts, Amps and Volts. It's all very simple Remember to always WAV Watts = Amps x Volts. Typically volts will aways be at 12 unless you are using an inverter. Also if you put time in on one side of the equation then put it in on the other as well. WattHours = AmpHours x Volts.



So for example if you have a 100W panel and the sun shines on it dirrectly for an hour you get 100/12=8.5Amp Hour out of it. On a summers day you'll easily get 30 to 50AmpHour from your 100W panel and therefore should be enough to replenish your maximum of 45AHr you've used. In Winter drop that to 1/6 and then half that due to shorter days. Then throw in rain and now you're only getting 2 to 4 AmpHours back into your battery. If you have a 30AmpB2B and you go for a 1 hour drive you've now got 30AmpHour back in your battery - almost a full days sun in the summer. If you drive for 2 hours then you'll not be getting the most out of your B2B and that's where your 2nd battery comes into play. Decide on your typical type of use, find out how much power you need and then decide on the solution. Most of all get out there and enjoy!!!

PS few white lies told to make explanation easier - apologies.

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Jan 8, 2013
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Thanks, that's what I wanted to know, that confirms my suspicion that the salesman was full of it! We're at home now so our plan is to fully charge it, turn things on as we would if out and about and monitor the consumption from the panel.
We watch TV every evening for three hours but we have 230ah of battery power.
Plus 200 watts of solar to recharge them through the day
 

brynric

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We have 100ah AGM battery, 140w solar, we have all LEDs and no tv, we use on average about 20amps daily. We had a week away at the end of Sept / start of Oct on 3 different sites all off grid ( the last one was the Malvern show). When we set off for home the battery was already back up to 100%.
Our most valuable buy was a Victron battery monitor. It tells how much in, how much out and voltage etc, taking the guesswork out of the equation. Ours isnā€™t a high capacity set up but through most of the year ā€œfor everā€ would be a fair estimate.
 

pappajohn

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The salesman, like the majority, is talking shite.
On hookup a flat battery should be near enough fully charged within 24 hours.
The solar panel will only give a usable charge if the sun is shining .....here yesterday it was like dusk at 9am and stayed dusk all day....overcast and grey....so solar would be of no use.
If you aren't on hookup and are a heavy user .....all the lights on, TV all day and night, heating on all day and night (the heater and fridge uses 12v even on gas and hookup) then a day may be about right.
You have to be frugal with 12v unless you have a few batteries but you probably only have one.
 
Jan 28, 2008
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7 years campers before that
one crucial bit of info everyone has not asked is what type of fridge you have if its a compressor you have no chance with the set up you have
 

Razamataz

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The van is brand new with solar and we were under bright sun but slightly shaded. I appreciate there are a lot of variables. Overall I'm hoping for an answer along the lines of "about n days" just to give us a guide.
3 days sounds about right

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