Monday, 2 April 2012

B is For Battery

A to Z Challenge 2012

B is for Battery.

As this blog is about our life in a caravan, I tend to write not only about the caravan, but also our day to day living and what we get upto. But here I will be talking specifically about our battery.

So getting on with it,  the battery, or to be more precise a Leisure Battery, different from a normal car battery.

But a word of advice about them.

A word of advice!
Take care to calculate all your 12 volt items and their requirements before the initial purchase as a lightly used battery will eventually be the most economic.
Leisure batteries are designed to give a steady low amp discharge rather than meet the sudden demand required from a car battery to start an engine.
The life of a leisure battery is largely determined by the depth of the discharge cycle. We will say as an example that a leisure battery that is discharged each time by 15% of it's capacity may last for ten years. The same battery discharged by 30% of it's capacity will last for 8 years, 50% for 5 years, 75% for 3 years and possibly being discharged by 100% lasting only 1 year.
A 100 amp hour battery delivers 100 amps for 1 hour. Or 10 amps for 10 hours etc.
Power is amp x volts, so 100amps at 12v = 1200 watts, or 1,2kW 1.2kW for 1 hour is 1.2kWh.
Any form of heating element will cause a rapid drain on a battery, an electric kettle for example, also remember that a non compressor type refridgerator relies on a heating element to function.
All batteries self discharge when not in use and leisure batteries will self discharge 7 to 10% monthly.
How to kill your battery dead!
1/. Uncontrolled Charging causes overheating and gassing.
2/. Used too little (memory effects, so cycle every 2 months)
3/. Stored discharged (sulphating, a flat battery will die in 3 months)
4/. Do not store on a cold surface as this rapidly increases the self discharge rate.
5/. Too much deep cycling

We run a 110amp battery which we bought brand new when we bought our caravan. As it has been run down completely flat a couple of times it does not hold it's charge as it used to.

So I suspect that at some stage in the not to distant future we will be sourcing a new one!

Well, hope that clears up any battery queries you may have, and has suitably bored you to death, normal nonsense may well be in my next post!

After reading this post B could also be for Bloody Boring! Batteries - what the hell was I thinking about!

Till later....................


  1. We went on the road for a year, and we learned very quickly that we didn't have enough battery power. We had to buy additional batteries while in transit.

  2. Not boring at all some timely information for me. Converting a van and the electrics is something I am still trying to get my head around. It is going to be running some heavy power usage equipment (office on wheels) so working out the requirements is a bit of a strain on my little brain.

  3. Thanks for the timely reminder. We need to charge our caravan battery in advance of our first outing since January, later this month. Our mover struggles to get the van up onto our front garden which really drains the battery. We need it to get the caravan down onto the road too so we'll hook it up to the house electrics for at least 24 hours to top up the charge otherwise we'll be going nowhere!
    Looking forward to the rest of your caravan A-Z.

  4. Hi, well the subject is new to me, since I don't know anything about caravans except the ones that go across a desert with camels, or the ones that contain a bunch of people traveling together in a lot of cars. But learning about new things is never boring. Thanks for the info.

  5. There's a really good article in the May edition of 'The Caravan Magazine' all about batteries. Basically what it say's is 'Buy cheap buy twice' which I believe in most cases (not all) is very true. Anybody seriously thinking about putting a strain on 12v whilst being off grid for a long time would be advised to read the article before buying as it recommends certain types and brands. Just a thought Jools (and I know,you will know,what I'm talking about). As a civvie I suppose I will have to buy batteries now! My kids are convinced that AA batteries only come in the colour green!

  6. Batteries are not boring, We'd be in the dark without them. See, a battery joke!

    Uh oh. I see your Word Verification (WV) is still on. I'm on a mission to rid the world of this unnecessary evil frustration! Please stop by my blog and select the How To Turn Off Your Word Verification tab and help make the world a better place one blog at a time.

  7. Reads like a horror novel! I'm hoping to visit all the blogs on the A-Z Challenge in April.

  8. I bought a head torch so I could still read in bed when our campervan's battery died!

  9. Je , can you sand me some of those tax payer batteries Im always need ing batteries :-)

    Not boring article at all jools , maybe slightly technical , but all very useful , and likely explains why i never have any power when i need it :-)


  10. B is definitely for batteries when it come to caravans. It's amazing to think that people are actually stealing caravan batteries from caravan sites!

  11. I feel a lot more people need to read this, very good info! . . . . . .
    caravan storage covers