Which battery? (1 Viewer)

Nik

Oct 29, 2014
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I have done a bit of research on this site looking at previous entries but am still not really any wiser so your opinions would be useful.
I have 2 x 100 Watt solar panels on the roof + 1 x 100 Watt portable.
The van is in storage with NO hookup so sits outside on it's own with no obstruction of the 2 roof panels when not in use.
I have 2 x 115AH lead Acid batteries that now need replacing.

I can't afford to go for LiOn and was advised by my local MoHo dealer to consider AGM instead of Lead/Acid. Gels might be a stretch too but might be a consideration.

Question. What would you fit and why?

We are not heavy electric users but will be doing quite alot of off grid camping, sur le continent and beyond and don't need the worry of running out .

Thanks in advance.
Best regards and Happy Christmas.
Nik.
 

pappajohn

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Is the solar controller capable of charging AGM batteries..... Ditto the vans onboard charger.
Ie: are they switchable between FLA and AGM.

I doubt the split charge system will be anyway.

AGM batteries need a higher voltage (14.8v) and a much longer absorption (8hrs) stage than regular lead acid batteries and if not charged properly and fully won't last very long at all.

AGMs are getting a reputation for early failure and Gel batteries are more favourable.
 
Aug 17, 2011
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I have recently purchased 2 x varta LFD 90 that have replaced my Bosch s5 batteries after 4.5 years. Too early to say how good they will be but they are considerably less than gel!
 

Lenny HB

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Forget about AGM, they don't last very long as a leisure battery particularly if you don't have the right charger for them.
My preferanceis for Gels the Sonnenschein gels are not much more expensive than good flooded cells but I doubt if your AT has a charger that will support Gels.
A good flooded cell at a reasonable price are the Varta LDF range available in 60 a/h, 75 a/h, 90 a/h, 140 a/h, 180 a/h & 230 a/h. Price wise not much difference between 2 x 90 a/h and a single 180 a/h.

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Neckender

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These are considered to be one of the best lead acid batteries.
https://www.alpha-batteries.co.uk/12v-90ah-varta-lfd-90-professional-leisure-battery-930090080/

Don’t fit AGM if your charger system is not set up for it, as your AGMs will be short lived and can damage your charger.
Have a look at Aacaravans site.
John.

These are considered to be one of the best lead acid batteries.
https://www.alpha-batteries.co.uk/12v-90ah-varta-lfd-90-professional-leisure-battery-930090080/

Don’t fit AGM if your charger system is not set up for it, as your AGMs will be short lived and can damage your charger.
Have a look at Aacaravans site.
John.
That should have been aandncaravanservices.

John.
 
Feb 9, 2008
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I would stick with Lead Acid batteries as there are now concerns being raised about AGM batteries damaging charging units and major German car manufacturers no longer using them in new cars. Also, your charging regime is probably well set up to maintain Lead Acid batteries and with the amount of solar power you have you should be able to keep your battery bank reasonably well charged depending on your usage. As for batteries, I would suggest you give serious consideration to the Exide ET 650 Lead Acid battery. Made by Exide themselves and not some mysterious Chinese factory then labelled as an all singing and dancing something else (as is currently happening). The ET 650 is a big chunk of lead 27 KG and rated at over 350 cycles @ 50 % D.O.D. Your going to get all sorts of recommendations on this site and may regret asking for recommendations. Best of Luck.
 

Cheshirecat57

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Forget about AGM, they don't last very long as a leisure battery particularly if you don't have the right charger for them.
My preferanceis for Gels the Sonnenschein gels are not much more expensive than good flooded cells but I doubt if your AT has a charger that will support Gels.
A good flooded cell at a reasonable price are the Varta LDF range available in 60 a/h, 75 a/h, 90 a/h, 140 a/h, 180 a/h & 230 a/h. Price wise not much difference between 2 x 90 a/h and a single 180 a/h.
Lenny
Apologies if a daft question, is a 180 a/h lighter than 2x90s?
 

JFD

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Another thing to consider, perhaps: Where are your leisure batteries sited?

Our previous motorhome had a lead acid leisure battery under the passenger seat, with a tube leading to the underside of the vehicle, to route the gas generated in use outside the vehicle. That slipped off once, and the stink of rotten eggs was awful!

Our present one has a gel battery under one of the internal seats, with no ventilation, and we have no issues with battery smells! As for charging, ours is a 2007 model Rapido, and there is a switch on the battery controller to accommodate a wet or gel leisure battery.

I am not sure I would want a wet battery inside the habitation area again!

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pappajohn

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Lenny
Apologies if a daft question, is a 180 a/h lighter than 2x90s?
It should ba a little lighter.... It only has two ends rather than four on two batteries. :xgrin:

Seriously though, if a 180ah fails you need to buy another or rely on hookup.
If you have a pair of 90ah there's a good chance only one has failed so you still have one to keep you going and depending how old it is you may only have to buy one 90ah to replace the dead one
 

Allanm

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Our new van came with an AGM leisure battery. The charger and solar controller could supply the required voltage to charge it but the alternator peaked at 14.4v. AGM needs 14.8v to charge correctly
Anyway, after advice from here from a few members, I swapped it for 2 VARTA LDF90’s. We had these in our old van too and I was impressed with their performance.
The new batteries fit nicely under the passenger seat with vent tubes fitted.
 

Blue Knight

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My new van came with a single Varta LA95 AGM but after reading Alan's advice from A&N Caravans I am now thinking of replacing this with 2 x Yuasa L36-EFB's, (instead of 2 x Varta LFD90's which was my original plan).

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Allanm

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My new van came with a single Varta LA95 AGM but after reading Alan's advice from A&N Caravans I am now thinking of replacing this with 2 x Yuasa L36-EFB's, (instead of 2 x Varta LFD90's which was my original plan).
I considered the Yuasa’s too but the lack of real peoples experience of using them put me off.
I did read A&N’s review but couldn’t find any owners reviews
 

Blue Knight

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I considered the Yuasa’s too but the lack of real peoples experience of using them put me off.
I did read A&N’s review but couldn’t find any owners reviews

I may just take a punt on it Allan. The Tanya site has it advertised for £15 more per battery so still good value.

I could then write a review :xgrin:
 

Blue Knight

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So could I and after my last experience with them would not touch them with a barge pole.

Ah, so the Varta LFD90s are much better than the Yuasa L36-EFBs from your experience.

I was under the impression that the L36-EFB was a new product but I must have misread.
 

Nasher

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My last van came with a Numax leisure battery & it lasted 7 years

My current van came with a Lion & has so far done 3 years

But, when buying batteries myself, for my motorbikes & a new starter battery for my current van, I aways go for Yuasa and have never been disappointed

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Feb 9, 2008
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Ah, so the Varta LFD90s are much better than the Yuasa L36-EFBs from your experience.

I was under the impression that the L36-EFB was a new product but I must have misread.
I didn't say that and I didn't mean that. I was talking about me experience with Tany batteries. However, if i was to make a guess at which of those two batteries (Varta V Yuasa) I would go for the Yuasa L36-EFB's as Varta's own website states the LFD 90 is for low to moderate use only and I think the Yuasa has a higher number of cycles. Neither match the Exide ET650.
 
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Further to my post above, I am wrong. Both rated at up to 200 cycles. Weight of the Yuasa 24 KG. While I'm at it! Please find below product description for the ET650.


12v Exide 100ah ET650 semi traction leisure battery

One of the best traditional wet lead acid batteries on the market. Ideal for Caravans. Boats and Motorhomes where only wet lead acid chargers are fitted. In this group size of battery box the ET650 gives the best performance in terms of life cycles and longevity.

650- watt-hours of power

EQUIPMENT battery range is designed to supply power for boats, caravans and motorhomes with dedicated battery banks for equipment such as navigation, emergency, safety and comfort (cases C&D). The batteries are partially or even deeply discharged during use. This means that the EQUIPMENT’s special design, together with a good recharging procedure, is the key to providing the most reliable result and service life duration. EQUIPMENT range, with Wh* performance from 290Wh to 2400Wh, is the choice to cover all equipment supply needs, from small electronics to emergency power

Technology: Standard flooded with glass mat separators and plug venting

Low maintenance › Slight inclination › Medium vibration & tilt resistant › Superior cycling - 360 cycles at 50% Depth of discharge.

Tested and meets modern EN50342 battery standards
 

Blue Knight

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Further to my post above, I am wrong. Both rated at up to 200 cycles. Weight of the Yuasa 24 KG.

Cheers Phil, I've read the link on Alan's web site and the Yuasa seems to get the edge over the Varta.

I think I'll take that punt on the Yuasa choice.

Many thanks,

Andrew
 
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I rang alpha batteries told them wat type of camping I do a lot off the grid. Told them the van I have they said leaogh 130 amp agm can be charged at 14.2 . Well I can honestly tell you these batteries have been fabulous we go away in the van and treat me t like we are on hook up . Had no problems in 1yr that’s all I can tell you.
 
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Cheshirecat57

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It should ba a little lighter.... It only has two ends rather than four on two batteries. :xgrin:

Seriously though, if a 180ah fails you need to buy another or rely on hookup.
If you have a pair of 90ah there's a good chance only one has failed so you still have one to keep you going and depending how old it is you may only have to buy one 90ah to replace the dead one
Good point

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Feb 9, 2008
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I rang alpha batteries told them wat type of camping I do a lot off the grid. Told them the van I have they said leaogh 130 amp agm can be charged at 14.2 . Well I can honestly tell you these batteries have been fabulous we go away in the van and treat me t like we are on hook up . Had no problems in 1yr that’s all I can tell you.
I do not think they were being entirely honest with you I.M.O. Its 116 AH and requires a charging rate between 14.1 -14.6 V and float charge between 13.5 & 13.8. Hard to tell after 1 year how long it will last but they do state 600 cycles. Info below taken from there product and technical description pages.

NCC Approval is based on the median 20hr rate capacity at 116 AH
Ideal Charge Voltage 14.1V - 14.6V
Top Up Charge Voltage 13.5 - 13.8V
 
Apr 27, 2008
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You have plenty of solar and say you are a light user. I would just get flooded lead acid batteries which are cheaper and because of your solar should be kept pretty well fully charged all the time. Deep cycling is only useful if you need it. You don't say if you go away in the winter which might make a difference.
 
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Allanm

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Cheers Phil, I've read the link on Alan's web site and the Yuasa seems to get the edge over the Varta.

I think I'll take that punt on the Yuasa choice.

Many thanks,

Andrew
I’d be interested to see how you get on with the Yuasa’s

I know Varta state low to moderate use for their LDF90’s ( PhilandMena’s comment) but I had two in an old Swift, used throughout the year with one 120watt solar panel, and the batteries were fine, even with a TV and electric fan on the gas heater running on winter nights. I’m quite happy that they perform well enough for me.

With regards to Tanya, I had a bad experience too. I bought a Winnebago fitted with two new batteries a few years back. The batteries were from Tanya and fitted a month before we bought the RV. Luckily, the house batteries are stored in a steel box under the side steps.
We noticed a sulphur smell coming from the step area and took the cover off. One of the batteries had blown out the little battery state window and covered everywhere with electrolyte. The second battery was bulging so I disconnected them both and took them well away from the van.
I discovered that the vents on both sides of both batteries were blocked. I had taken the travel bungs out and fitted vent pipes, but it looked like a manufacturing fault. If the little glass window thing hadn’t blown out, both batteries could have exploded.
I rang Tanya, the batteries were 6 weeks old by then, but they weren’t interested because we weren’t the original purchaser. They didn’t seem bothered about the potentially dangerous batteries they were selling either.
Tanya and bargepole comes to mind here.
 
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Cheers Phil, I've read the link on Alan's web site and the Yuasa seems to get the edge over the Varta.

I think I'll take that punt on the Yuasa choice.

Many thanks,

Andrew

Same as me - I've fitted 2 x Yuasa L36-EFB. I'd offer a review, but as it's only been about 4 weeks so far, not a lot of point!

I did buy mine from Tayna (not Tanya!) batteries and had no issues - ordered at 3pm, arrived the next morning and they were very well packaged - they were the cheapest out there and I found an extra discount code on Facebook. But, of course, I've had no problems with the actual batteries to test their customer service.
 

Blue Knight

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Same as me - I've fitted 2 x Yuasa L36-EFB. I'd offer a review, but as it's only been about 4 weeks so far, not a lot of point!

That's good to hear. I appreciate that it has only been 4-weeks but are they doing everything you wanted from them.

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