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Subject Topic: Leisure Battery Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by Bad Penny on 29/5/2014 at 4:30pm
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Absolutely sick fed up of wasting money on batteries that last no time at all grrr ...

Can anyone recommend a particular leisure battery & a good supplier please ?   

Particularly would like to know if it is possible to get a battery that's been dry-stored then filled on arrival at shop.   I appreciate that the ones around 75-80 AH are normally (or even always) sealed but apparently there's 115AH ones that aren't sealed, however have had no luck finding a company willing to supply a dry one for the store to charge up & test.   


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Message posted by JTQU on 29/5/2014 at 4:43pm
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Nobody can be unlucky enough to keep buying batteries that don't last; so it begs the question why?
The basic ground rules for battery durability are don't deplete them by much, and always but always promptly recharge them. Buying a good one helps, but break the rules and good ones fail, just a bit slower than poor ones.

If your sure you and your kit are looking after the batteries properly then, if it is the habitation battery, buying a Banner Energy Bull will get you a good quality one. These were and probably still are maintainable, ie fitted with refilling plugs. In the wholesale chain they are all likely to be dry charged.
It is best by far to buy from a major battery specialist not a small retailer like a caravan accessory outlet.

Post last edited on 29/05/2014 17:03:20

Message posted by Bad Penny on 29/5/2014 at 6:27pm
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Actually somebody can be that unlucky - we were.

We've spoken to several major battery outlets & they were unable to answer questions such as how long the battery had been charged & how long they'd had it in storage. They were also unaware of the basic principles relating to battery charging & degradation.

Some were even unaware of the difference between starting batteries & deep cycle batteries - not just their physical construction , but also of the different ways they react with electrolyte.



Message posted by Westmorland on 29/5/2014 at 9:28pm
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I think you are missing the point that JTQU is making - if you are finding that your batteries are not lasting long, then unless you are really unlucky and have bought several dud batteries (unlikely),then it is most likely that your charging regime is at fault. Are you aware that you should not discharge a battery by more than 50%? Do you have a built in monitor which actually tells you what voltage your battery is at (50% discharged is around 12.1 volts)? Do you have a charger which is able to fully charge the battery, i.e. charging at around 14.6 volts?

As JTQU has said the Banner batteries get good reviews - and there is no reason whatsoever not to go for sealed batteries.

Cheers

John

Message posted by Bad Penny on 30/5/2014 at 11:33am
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Thanks or the replies - I did get JTQU's point but I think perhaps my own points were missed ?! We have discovered that a lot of people selling leisure batteries (indeed all batteries) really don't know their onions....

A few years ago when we very first bought one for a caravan, we to a local caravan place (well known) for advice & told them exactly what charger we had etc. They sold one that wasn't fully charged saying it was`normal' & told us what to do - but our charger actually wasn't capable of recovering it from that state - it was severely discharged. We didn't discover that out charger was unsuitable to recover the batter untill it was too late to complain.

After that battery totally expired (which unsurprisingly wasn't muich longer than the 1 year warranty period) we did some homework on leisure batteries & purchased a fully charged one elsewhere.   This one did better, & we maintained it as per advice from that dealer & also as per advice on forums such as this, but nevertheless it only lasted a couple of years - not very good imo.

Last year we stopped caravnning & bought a motorhome.We have now had the motorhome for a year & keep the battery topped up when off the road in the recommended way but last trip discovered the battery was totally discharged.

We have done quite a bit of homework & invested in a smartcharger. My husband after extensive research on the www found excellent information from someone who specialised in batteries (including massive things the size of a house !)

Consequently we learned that a fully charged battery if not put onto a smartchager will actually start to become sulphated after only 7 days.   After a month, depending on conditions & battery quality as much as 30% discharge can occur.   Hence my original post !

Been looking at the Banner Energy Bulls - looking good. I suspect this may be the best option as we're getting sick of spending money on leisure batteries whih don't last a reasonable (in our opinion) length of time for the money.   

By the way a couple of suppliers we spoke to said that leisure batteries were notoriously - well a bit pants. They don't last long compared to car starter batteries, partly due to the way caravan & motorhomes tend to be used ie not used for long periods of time. One supplier told us that a particular brand had proved to be very poor, another supplier said that he wasn't going to stick the smaller (80ha) leisure batteries anymore as they'd been nothing but trouble, lots of complaints from customers. He recommended 115ah ones.

Very hard to find anyone with batteries they've had for less than a month, & no batteries seem to be date stamped with original date of charging thses days so basically even if you buy one of the `newer ones' from you may be forking out for a battery that's already 30% sulphated. More if the supplier had it sitting longer.

Anyway thanks for the tip about Banner batteries !

Message posted by Bad Penny on 30/5/2014 at 11:38am
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Sorry should have added to above ^ that the above info from battery specialist indicate there is a very good reason not to buy a sealed battery if you can obtain a dry one, as of course it should then not be considerable sulphated before it's even left the shop !

Message posted by Westmorland on 30/5/2014 at 9:34pm
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I still think you're not looking after your batteries correctly and/or you have something discharging them. I have 2 Numax 110a batteries which are fully charged when the van is put away for winter. Generally I put them on charge (decent smart charger) when the battery monitor is showing 12.6v - which will be at least 3 months later, so very little self discharge. The batteries have been used for 5 years and are as good as when they were new. People on the Self Build Motorcaravaners Club generally don't report problems with batteries not lasting. Good battery suppliers are Tayna and Battery Megastore.

John

Message posted by stacetop on 31/5/2014 at 7:51am
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Have a read of this- makes for interesting reading
http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/battery-technology.php

If i didn't need a fully sealed one (ours are inside the van) I would of got a banner or trojan but we need fully sealed.

Message posted by Bad Penny on 13/6/2014 at 8:49pm
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Can you explain *why* you are so convinced we are `not looking after our batteries correctly &/or are have something discharging' please ?

Message posted by JTQU on 13/6/2014 at 9:09pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Bad Penny on 13/6/2014Can you explain *why* you are so convinced we are `not looking after our batteries correctly &/or are have something discharging' please ?



The first sentence of the first reply, mine, addressed that.
Statistically the probability is firmly that you can't be unlucky enough to be "wasting money on batteries that last no time at all". There is a clear pointer here to look for the reason why in your case, all the batteries you buy fail prematurely.


Message posted by Scotsbob on 13/6/2014 at 10:33pm
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Hi "Bad Penny" Sorry to hear about your battery prob. We have had our m/home for 5 yrs bought 'used' from a dealer and it came with the leisure battery and we have had no problem with it, although we have had a problem with the engine battery and had to replace that in Feb this year. Our leisure battery is quite well used as we dont use sites all the time. I see that your location is Aberdeen, up on the Lang Stracht next to the Liddls store is a very good veh electrical garage who are very good at 'sorting/detecting' battery problems.
Hope this is help.

Message posted by iggycamper on 13/6/2014 at 11:52pm
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Understand your frustration but do tend to agree with JTQU's comments. Shouldn't speak too soon I guess, but have never suffered from early battery failures over last 40 years!

When the 'leisure' battery on a new motorhome (Mobilvetta driver 52 bought in 2002) failed after 5 years ... it was only when I replaced it I discovered that it was actually a relatively cheap 100AH 'starter' battery fitted from new! So much for all the sensible advice about 'deep-cycling' etc!

Only thing I would say is that whatever the battery/charger combination in 5 different campervans/motorhomes I have never knowingly let the battery drop below about 12.2 volts.

Sorry can't be more helpful ... but better luck in the future!

-------------
The older I get the better I used to be.

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