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Subject Topic: Leisure battery Post Reply Post New Topic
22/5/2020 at 7:37pm
 Location: Scotland
 Outfit: Coachman Amara
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Iíve just bought a second hand 2 berth caravan (my first) which doesnít have a leisure battery. I generally holiday in France, though that doesnít look likely this year, and it would be nice to have a cup of tea etc en route or holidaying in the UK this year. Can anyone give me advice on what sort of leisure battery to buy? It would really only be to keep the fridge going abroad and tea making here as I usually go to sites with EHU.
Thank you.


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Poppy Daisy & Me


22/5/2020 at 7:59pm
 Location: Ilkeston. Derbyshire
 Outfit: Disco 4 Unicorn Barcelona 4
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Hi.
Making Tea boil a kettle on cooker, and Fridge should also run on gas.

Battery will then just need to run lights, water pump, blow air heating, am sure the Amara as all of that.
I used to have a Coachman Genius with a 100 amp Battery in, and that did the job easy for a few days.









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Cheers
Ray

Discovery 4 & Bailey Barcelona 4







22/5/2020 at 8:46pm
 Location: North Essex
 Outfit: Caravelair Alba 400
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If fridge is the original fitted from new then it is the usual 3 way caravan fridge. While you drive it runs from car battery. If you want to stop for tea then you will have to turn on gas & use cooker. On site fridge runs from ehu. At no time does fridge run on leisure battery in caravan. If you are sited without ehu then you can run fridge on gas.

Leisure battery will just run 12v side of caravan electrics lights etc & mover if one is fitted. If you have mover & or will be sited without ehu go for 110amp leisure battery otherwise cheaper 70amp will do. Tayna Batteries is reasonably priced online supplier. Look on their website. Before ordering check dimensions of battery to ensure it will fit in your battery compartment. 70amp should be ok but some 110amp might be too large.

Having said all that plenty of caravan transformer chargers will run ok with no battery & supply 12v while on ehu so if you have no mover & will always be sited with ehu you might not need a battery but most caravaners do fit them.

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Every day should be a holiday!


22/5/2020 at 9:25pm
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Basically get the largest battery that will fit into the battery box, Lead Acid are cheap as chips, I just recently bought a 120Ah LEOCH battery for £90 inc delivery, if you can up the budget and go for AGM or GEL battery, they will give you a longer service life, but will cost about £200 for 120Ah.

Remember with any battery apart from LiFeP04 donít discharge it below 50% capacity, as doing so will shorten itís life.

Also itís worth adding a battery monitor, I have ordered the Aili battery monitor from China itís a Victron rip of for under £30, the Victron is £150!, the monitor will give you info on the battery, like how much capacity is remaining, and will help you from over discharging the battery and ruining it.
Also for a caravan I would add a couple of 120 watt solar panels and a MPPT Controller, a fairly cheap option for keeping the batteries topped up whilst of grid.

The best drop in replacement batteries to to get are the Lithium Iron type, although a 100Ah is around £800 RELION RB100, but to be fair they will last longer than any Lead Acid battery, and you can safely run them down to 10% capacity, so in the long run run they work out cheaper, although at a much higher initial cost than Lead Acid.

If you want to use an electric kettle, you will need to add an inverter, 600 watt pure sine wave will be fine, but better still 1000 watt, but you will have to use a kettle that is just 500 watt like the Bestron or 600 watt VonChef, although using a kettle that can go on the gas hob is a better way of doing things in a caravan.

Post last edited on 22/05/2020 21:45:53


22/5/2020 at 9:43pm
 Location: Aberdeen
 Outfit: Coachman Pastiche 460 VW Tiguan Moti
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Having a brew on route use the gas or take a flask. Fridge runs off the car when towing, or most vans do. Choosing a battery here is a link hope this helps.


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Robert (BoB)


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22/5/2020 at 10:10pm
 Location: Scotland
 Outfit: Coachman Amara
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Thank you all so much. Thatís made things a lot clearer! I had a folding camper before and the fridge didnít run off the car so I didnít realise that was Ďa thingí! Not important here but with the temperatures in France, the contents would soon heat up, Iíd imagine! The previous owners didnít feel the need for a battery as they always holiday in this country.

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Poppy Daisy & Me


23/5/2020 at 8:06am
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Just a thought Poppy Daisy, the thermoelectric Type fridges found in just about all caravans can sometimes struggle in really hot climates, I would consider swopping the fridge out for a compressor model as they work just like a regular domestic fridge.

The downside is that a compressor fridge will only run on electric 12v or mains ac.

A built in replacement compressor fridge will be quite expensive, a good alternative would be the Mobicool FR40 which is a brilliant portable compressor fridge, SVB24 in Germany often have them on offer, and shipment to the U.K. only adds about £10 to the price.



23/5/2020 at 8:48am
 Location: Cambs
 Outfit: Tin tent diddy tent BIG tent
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Quote: Originally posted by Francais on 23/5/2020
Just a thought Poppy Daisy, the thermoelectric Type fridges found in just about all caravans can sometimes struggle in really hot climates, I would consider swopping the fridge out for a compressor model as they work just like a regular domestic fridge.

The downside is that a compressor fridge will only run on electric 12v or mains ac.





Francis, I spend a fair bit of time in Texas where the daytime temps are often around 40C in the summer and absorption fridges (used in most caravans in the UK) work fine. However there are differing models depending on the climate and there they use the tropical version as they do in Australia.   The big difference is they are fitted correctly with the airflow over the cooling fins ducted to ensure there are no hot air pockets. In the UK most fridges are just fitted into a space with large spaces that trap the hot air and impede the efficient airflow. Have a look on some of the Australian or American websites about this. It is possible to overcome the poor installation design with cooling fans and somewhere on here there was some discussion regarding components to build your own fan system.

By the way the thermoelectic (also known as Peltier cooler) types you refer to are not generally installed in caravans and are mainly used for cool boxes etc as they can realistically only cool to about 15C below ambient. Caravan fridges are absorption type and this is the reason they have to be set level because the cooling chemicals return to the heater unit by gravity along sloping pipes and if the slope is not sufficient the effect of the gravity is inhibited.

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'A sure cure for sea-sickness is to sit under a tree'


23/5/2020 at 10:24am
 Location: Scotland
 Outfit: Coachman Amara
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Thank you Francais,
I have not had a problem with the fridge in my folding camper which is the same but smaller than the one in the caravan. It was really only for going from A-B to keep the freezer compartment frozen, as I tend to drive long distances between places!
Thanks for the information though! Iím totally clueless about caravans so all this help is very much appreciated. Once lockdown is over and I get finally take it out, Iíll no doubt be back with many more questions! 😊

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Poppy Daisy & Me


23/5/2020 at 11:07am
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Fair comment birder99, and probably explains why UK made caravans have a problem with there Absorption fridges, when they head of to Southern Europe during the hotter months.

Off course I would still argue, that a Compressor fridge is better to have, despite the fact that it can only be run of electric, although I am slightly biased as my camping fridges comprise of a Waeco CF25 and Mobicool C40.


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via mobile 23/5/2020 at 12:55pm
 Location: Shropshire
 Outfit: Bailey Unicorn Cadiz
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We hired motorhomes in Australia which came with the excellent Waeco 12v compressor fridges. The vans had a solar panel , big leisure battery and power management system.
We stayed on a couple of sites with no ehu but the fridge worked fine. The hire place said it should easily be ok for a couple of days.

Our caravan fridge struggled last year in France as it was very hot, we put a mains powered fan on a camp kitchen blowing air in, it helped a lot.
Might fit the fan cooling kit sometime.
Some french sites only Have a 6A hookup, if its hot the fridge can struggle, 10A better.

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DS-There's more to life than football!!!


23/5/2020 at 1:48pm
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Yep 664Dave, our little Waeco CF25 was our main camping fridge for five years, but it was a little to tiny for our fortnight or more campings, so in 2013 we got the a Mobicool C40.

Although we would continue to take the Waeco CF25 for in car use, that may change now as during this lockdown I have put together a portable 120Ah power pack With 600 watt pure sine wave inverter.

We got the Waeco CF25 back in 2008 for £150 new, and it still works as when new, great bit of kit it has to be said.

But now the Mobicool C40 can be powered whilst in the car for our four day journey down to Frejus and back, basically I have created a poor mans Mobicool FR40 lol.

I got given the inverter, and just had to buy a battery and battery box, some cables and fittings, the power pack works great and I mainly built it for powering my 600 watt kettle whilst on the road out at work.
Will be adding the Aili battery monitor next week, when it arrives from China, to help keep an eye on the battery status.


23/5/2020 at 1:49pm
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Aldi battery charger, keeping the leisure battery in tip top condition between usage, had to change the crocodile clips on the Aldi charger as they were to large.

Post last edited on 23/05/2020 14:09:42


31/5/2020 at 9:44am
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Portable power pack now completed, final touches were the ďBattery MonitorĒ and Anderson PowerPole 45 amp connectors panel mounted for Solar/Charge input and 12v 45 amp output port.

No more faffing around with crocodile clips for charging, my Aldi charger is now fitted with 30amp Anderson PowerPole connectors, which is fine as the charger only goes to 8 amp at full tilt on the 12v side.






31/5/2020 at 11:51am
 Location: East Herts
 Outfit: 1992 Elddis Wisp 450CT + X Trail
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We had a Waeco compressor fridge in our river boat and it was great, but then we did have 2 x 110ah leisure batteries to run it from. The only charging came from the engines when they were running as we didn't tend to use marinas with electricity supply. Far too expensive, so we just stayed overnight on the river-bank moorings where possible. We had electricity on our home moorings though.

We have a normal domestic fridge in our caravan, fitted by a previous owner, and this is not really a problem for us as we nearly always go for EHU on site unless we are only staying one or two nights, when we just put a few ice-packs in the fridge before we go. We don't go abroad though, and don't do really long journeys any more.


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Best Regards,
Colin


31/5/2020 at 12:36pm
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Yep Colin21, I probably over egged it a little by using a 120Ah Leisure Battery, but it fits very snugly into the Norco battery box, so every cm of spaced got used in the build.

The whole unit tips the scales at 26.4kg so is a bit of a lump, but works brilliantly it has to be said.

And as the old saying goes, ďwhat will do more, will do lessĒ.

Post last edited on 31/05/2020 13:01:42



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