General

Leisure batteries

Total Posts: 4
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Posted: 5 years ago
I have recently bought a bailey ranger, a which has no battery fitted, my question is, as the van will stay on a seasonal pitch for 99% of the time, is there any point in my fitting a leisure battery?

Bill
Total Posts: 228
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Posted: 5 years ago
Possibly not, if the pitch has hookups and is permanently switched on then no, because then the alarm system will be catered for, thats provided your van has an alarm, worth getting along with a pro active tracker so that should someone try to steal it you will be alerted by the monitoring station associated with the tracker.If the hookup is permanently switched on ask the site wardens to keep an eye on it so that it does not trip out.If you do not want the hookup to be permanently switched on then yes but remember that the battery will gradually discharge and will have to be recharged to maintain the alarm, or you could fit a small solar panel to the roof of your van to trickle charge the battery when you are not on site the size of panel for that would be 11% of the capacity of the battery installed and that is the golden rule for panels that do not need a solar controller, a few percent either side does not matter to match a solar panel.
If you have or intend to get a mover then if you move the van from the site you will have to connect a battery so it will work. I hope this has answered you query
Total Posts: 72
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Posted: 5 years ago
Bill I'm glad you have posted this question/comment I purchased a caravan just about 2 years ago now and it didn't have a leisure battery so we bought one (not cheap) and up until now rarely needed it from long than a few mins. I'm not even sure how long it would last if we lost the mains.... so I would say don't bother unless you have an alarm/tracker or something that would need the battery.
Total Posts: 228
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Posted: 5 years ago
I did some testing on my van to see just how much power things consumed, some things that rely on a battery cannot be turned off unless you break into the circuit and fit a switch, some things you just don't turn off. I found out that my van which is a new Lunar had a design fault, what was happening was the awning light even though it was supposed to be turned off in fact was glowing 24 - 7 a letter to lunar and they sent me a little harness modification wiring loom, fixed,I fitted a tyre pressure monitoring unit and that was consuming power no switch in the kit so had to retro fit one again , fixed, so now the only things that constanly consume power is the alarm and the tracker, oh and the battery monitor on my solar controller, these only consume a small amount of power and if my panels were not fixed up would pull the battery down in a few weeks.
Total Posts: 127
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Posted: 5 years ago
Yes it is recommend that you use a battery on your caravan even if you are a seasonal pitch as the battery will work as a buffer for the 12volt supply for the pump and 12volt light etc. If there is not a battery fitted the 12volt supply can give you readings of up to 15 volts and this may damage the 12volt equipment on the caravan. If you are going to use the caravan for seasonal pitch I would recommend a 75 amp battery to work as a buffer and as stand by for mains failure etc.
Total Posts: 228
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Posted: 5 years ago
Yep the 12v charging circuit can give you spikes (not good for led tv's either) but a fully charged battery can give you 12 to 13 volts, before I bought a LED tv that had the power transformer inside it I had a tv that was 12v with a power transformer that could be plugged into the mains so the tv would work on 240v to prevent it from being spiked I bought an amperor 12v to 12v stabiliser, worked a treat. Also beware of using a LED tv when you have a generator connected unless it is one of those pure sine wave inverter generators.
Total Posts: 72
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Posted: 5 years ago
So how long would a battery last if no mains? any ball park figures...
Total Posts: 228
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Posted: 5 years ago
If you are using sensitive equipment in your van then you should connect a battery as the chargers in caravans (unless you buy a very good after market one) do not produce a ripple free dc voltage, it in fact goes from 0 to the maximum output of the charger this is detrimental to all electronic equipment, the battery of course smooths that out, that is why I mentioned the amperor stabiliser it's a good back up.
Total Posts: 228
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Posted: 5 years ago
The answer to your question how long would the battery last with no hook up, I presume that is when you are not resident, first of all you will have to find out what is actually pulling power from the battery, then the answer depends on the size of the battery, if the only things in the van are the alarm and tracker (thats if an alarm and tracker are fitted) then if the battery were 110a/h it would last aprox 3 months. If you can find the technical specs for the alarm and the tracker then use the formula I = W/V where I is the amps used, W is the wattage of the alarm and tracker, and V is the voltage which would be 12 the answer for "I" is then divided into the battery capacity and that will give you the number of hours the battery would last, that is theoretical in real life it would last a little bit short of that.
My last post about the charger, I would ask the manufacturer if the charger in your model of caravan is a dual purpose one ie it provides power for the 12v system if it does then the output will no doubt be regulated and you can in fact omit the battery, if it just a charger then you cannot omit the battery, most touring caravans these days do have a dual purpose charger in them.
Total Posts: 228
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Posted: 5 years ago
Forgot to mention in the last post that the figures you work out are a best case scenario, in fact you should not discharge a leisure battery to less than 50% of its rated capacity unless you want to cream cracker it so the result should be divided by 2.
I have just read an article in the Caravan Club magazine (not that I am a member I get them to read from a friend) they have climbed down on the subject of leisure batteries and revised their advice on them what they said was they had seen evidence that car batteries were being rebadged as leisure batteries and sold on, the main difference between the two is the plates inside, the leisure batteries should have thicker plates to cope with repeated discharging and recharging but how many of us actually take the time to take the tops off the cells and look inside when buying one.
One of the give away's is sometimes on the top of the battery, if it say's it has so many cold cranking amps then it is a starter battery for a vehicle, how , cold cranking amps are the amps the battery can provide at 0 degrees to start an engine so why would a caravan require that. However if you are just wanting to supply an alarm and tracker then a less expensive car battery will do the trick but don't rely on it to power a mover or supply you with power on a weekend rally with no hookup