The best leisure batteries for caravans or motorhomes are those that can withstand heat, cold, and vibration. We all love our summer holidays at the beach, but if your battery doesn't work in extreme temperatures, then you're not going anywhere. So when you decide to buy a new battery for your caravan or motorhome, it's essential to do your research on what type of battery will suit these conditions.
As the leisure battery market continues to grow, new products are constantly being released onto the market. This can make it challenging for people to know which they should purchase, and there is a lot of confusion about what makes one better than another.
Table of Contents
- The Best Leisure Batteries Available for Caravans and Motorhomes
- Types of Leisure Batteries
- How to choose the perfect fit of battery for a caravan?
- Are there specific chargers for the caravan's battery?
- What is the standard weight of a caravan's battery?
- What are some common brands for leisure batteries?
- Is it okay to overcharge a leisure battery?
- How does the temperature affect the performance of the leisure battery?
- What are the suitable leisure batteries for caravan who uses solar panels?
The Best Leisure Batteries Available for Caravans and Motorhomes
A leisure battery is a type of rechargeable battery typically found in cars and boats. They are used to powerboat motors, car stereos, and other accessories. If you're looking for one, make sure to choose the suitable model for your needs as they come in various shapes and sizes.
You may consider the questions below to help you choose the correct leisure battery for your needs. Leisure batteries can be costly, so it's essential that you get the best deal possible.
- How often do you use the battery of your caravan or motorhome?
- Do you have a motor mover installed?
- Do you use your motorhome or caravan in cold climates or extreme climates?
- How many people will be using the battery at any one time?
- What type of battery brand do you currently have?
Types of Leisure Batteries
There are different types of leisure batteries depending on your needs. You'll want to make sure that the battery lasts for as long as possible before needing a recharge, so consider these types:
Sealed Lead Acid Leisure Batteries
Sealed Lead Acid Leisure Batteries are typically less expensive than other models and can be found in all shapes and sizes.
With sealed lead-acid batteries, you will never have to worry about leakage and corrosion. However, if the battery is discharged below 50%, permanent damage can happen. For this reason, these are usually more expensive than flooded ones but still worth it considering that they're maintenance-free.
The great thing about sealed batteries is that they're designed to operate for a number of cycles before dying. Unlike an open lead-acid battery, closed ones can last longer with proper maintenance and care.
Open Lead Acid Leisure Batteries
The first batteries were lead-acid and are still around today. The term ‘flooded battery’ is also used to describe them, which refers to the electrolyte solution flooding over the plates in a liquid state when they're being charged or discharged at high rates. Removable caps allow topping up the fluid with distilled water as needed so that performance isn't affected by low levels of residual sulphuric acid during charging cycles.
These batteries are known for their durability and resistance to extreme temperatures. They have longer life span when compared with sealed leisure batteries, which is excellent considering the price tag.
However, they're not maintenance-free like closed lead-acid models. You'll need to stay on top of them to prevent corrosion or leakage from happening prematurely.
AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) Leisure Batteries
AGM Leisure batteries are designed to withstand extreme temperatures. These batteries are also a popular choice for caravans and motorhomes due to their ability to cope with vibration. This means that they can easily survive the rough roads and driveways that are typical of touring.
However, AGM leisure batteries can be a little more expensive than other types, and leaks may not always be detectable until it's too late. They also have to deal with the added weight from the glass mat separators, which sit on top of them when charging or discharging; this extra weight can strain the battery and cause a shorter life cycle.
Gel Leisure Batteries
Gel Leisure batteries are the newest technology in power storage. They can last up to 3 times longer than a traditional battery and do not leak or have any maintenance. This is because gel leisure batteries use VRLA (valves regulated lead acid), which controls pressure, prevents leaks from occurring, and makes it very easy to maintain without having to constantly fill with water like most other types of batteries require you to.
Gel batteries are an excellent option for those who like to go off-grid and stay in the wilderness. They can discharge as low as 80% without permanent damage, making them perfect if you're constantly using your camper or caravan outside of grid power. Gel batteries also have an extended service life of over 25 degrees Celcius, so they will last longer than average car batteries, even when used extensively on warm days.
You'll need to make sure that the gel is still intact and remains so while you're driving or using them for other purposes. Batteries take different shapes and sizes. If you use high-load motor movers, gel batteries may not be ideal for your needs due to their higher cost compared with AGM leisure batteries.
Lead Crystal Leisure Batteries
Lead Crystal Leisure Batteries are a newer type of leisure battery. They are designed to be maintenance-free, but their lifespan is only rated for 18 months or less when compared with other kinds that last up to three years on average.
A lead crystal battery is typically about twice the cost of a standard sealed lead battery and has three times as many charge cycles. A significant downside, however, is that it’s difficult to find them for sale. They are often quite expensive when you do come across one available online or in stores.
Lithium (LiFePO4) Leisure Batteries
These batteries are a more recent development and are designed to be very lightweight. They have a typical lifespan of ten years or more, but this can vary depending on the model. The downside is that they're expensive compared with other types of batteries, costing an average price of $1000 (USD) for one battery alone.
Used 12V Lithium Batteries
Used 12V Lithium Batteries are an excellent option for those who are on a budget. They can be found second-hand at salvage yards and even online, often costing as little as $25 (USD) each.
The only downside for these batteries is that they have been previously used, which means there may not be any guarantee regarding how much charge the battery will hold or if it will last for any length of time.
How to choose the perfect fit of battery for a caravan?
You can’t forget about the size of your leisure battery, but it doesn't stop there. You also need to be sure that the amp-hour (Ah) rating is high enough for what you plan on using them for. With a minimum of 70AH, today's caravans will be able to keep you on the go. Those who are up for an extra boost in capacity and power can still purchase higher AH ratings than 100AH.
Are there specific chargers for the caravan's battery?
Portable battery chargers are life-saving devices for any caravan or motor owner. They allow you to power up even the most drained of batteries and keep going when your car won't start back up otherwise. Some tips to remember, to keep your leisure batteries alive, you should plug in to the mains at home or when camping. It will charge them while driving and if you have a towed caravan or motorhome with a working battery.
What is the standard weight of a caravan's battery?
The weight of leisure batteries can vary depending on the size and type. AGM leisure batteries are often around 20kg or less but maybe quite a bit heavier with gel, lead crystal, and lithium types.
What are some common brands for leisure batteries?
In regards to leisure batteries, there are many leading brands. I chose these two because they offer good quality at an affordable price and have been on the market for some time as well:
- Varta Blue Dynamic Caravan Leisure Battery (AGM) - $115 (USD)
- Exide Pulse 40/50 Leisure Battery (AGM) - $140
Is it okay to overcharge a leisure battery?
It is not recommended to overcharge a leisure battery as this can lead to damage. With AGM and Gel types, you should adhere to the guidelines that come with the instructions of each kind of risk damaging your battery's cells.
It is crucial to check before buying another leisure battery because if the charger on your caravan or motorhome doesn't work with it, overcharging can cause severe damage.
How does the temperature affect the performance of the leisure battery?
Leisure batteries can be affected by cold temperatures, just like car batteries. In colder climates, it is essential to store your leisure battery in a heated garage or shed so that they are not exposed to the elements and do not suffer from harsh punishment that may lead to freezing.
What are the suitable leisure batteries for caravan who uses solar panels?
You can use a leisure battery technology with a solar panel on your caravan. Gel and Lithium batteries are perfect for an irregular charge from the sun. Some basic lead-acid batteries have been used in off-grid applications for a long time now.
The best leisure battery for your caravan is one that will last. When traveling and camping, it's challenging to find a power supply when you need it most.
We hope that we’ve covered a lot of information about how to choose the best leisure battery for your caravan. Whether it was something as simple as what types of batteries are available or just some more insight into their differences, we want you to be able to make an informed decision when purchasing a battery.