Motorhome guides

Ultimate guide to leisure batteries for campervans and motorhomes

Campervan electric

No matter where you are headed on your campervan, may it be a campsite, or somewhere off the grid, you should never compromise when it comes to leisure batteries. To have a good trip, there are some necessary things that you need to keep the best with you, batteries surely come under that list. Camping is fun when you’ve got a good electrical connection with you. TV, music players, fridge, gadgets, and many other applications rely on batteries that you’ll be equipped with on your journey. Here’s the ultimate guide to leisure batteries for campervans and motorhomes.

What is a leisure battery?

A leisure battery or you may call it a house battery is designed to discharge slowly as it gives out low current which can run over a long period.

Unlike a starter battery, it doesn’t provide a big surge of power to run your engine, but it is tasked to take the load of numerous appliances such as TV, gadgets, and much more.

They can get repeatedly charged and discharged throughout their lifetime

Some efficient leisure batteries of deep cycle batteries have a depth of discharge (DOD) of more than 80 per cent, making them highly efficient.

Leisure batteries can be charged through several methods, such as with the engine while the vehicle is being driven, or through solar power and electric hook-up.

However, you need to keep a good check on the health of this battery or you’ll experience leisure battery draining.

Types of leisure batteries

When it comes to leisure batteries, you’ve got a variety of options on board, it’s up to you to choose the best one for your motorhome.

However, if you are looking for a new or used model of motorhomes for sale, you need to check the type and health of the battery as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the main types of leisure batteries to choose from.

Lead-acid batteries

It is one of the most common types of leisure batteries you’ll find in the market, as well as it is the most traditional one too.

The reason behind their popularity is their performance. However, there are further two types of lead-acid batteries.

Open lead acid or you may call them flooded battery is where a lead plate is surrounded by a solution of liquid sulphuric acid mixed with water.

This mixture is added to foster the chemical reaction needed for charging and discharging the battery.

These batteries are comparatively heavy and you need to fill them with distilled water after a certain time to keep their performance up to the mark.

The amount of refill depends on your usage, just make sure that the electrolytes are enough to cover the lead plates.

Other than open lead acid batteries, there are seal lead acid batteries which typically demand less maintenance but have a shorter life as you can’t refill them once drained out.

Make sure you keep the charging of this battery above 50% or it will be damaged permanently.

If you are one of the campers set to pitch-up for longer this summer, this battery is for you.

Gel Batteries

In this battery, valve-regulated lead acid (VLRA) is used to control the pressure but the electrolytes are in the shape of thick paste gel.

The good part about these batteries is that they leak free and it’s easy to maintain them.

Moreover, the discharge level is pretty low, it can be as little as 80% too.

If they are used over 25 degrees Celsius, their service life improves a lot.

If you are planning your trip somewhere with a warmer climate, this battery will work perfectly for you.

Yet, a major drawback is the price factor, as gel batteries can be pretty expensive to buy.

Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM)
These batteries are typically the same as others but have one slightly different where the electrolyte is within a fiberglass mat which stops the pressure from building the battery.

When it comes to motorhomes and campervans, they are some of the most preferred batteries as they can handle vibrations pretty well.

The next time you are on bumpy roads with these batteries, you won’t have to stress about the health of your battery.

Another benefit of the absorbed glass matt battery is that it’s leakproof and you can mount them on their side without the stress of any leakage.

This feature allows you to store more than one battery in your motorhome.

It is one of the few batteries which can be discharged below 50% without permanent damage.

Yet, these batteries have a low lifespan and can be expensive too.

Lead crystal batteries

Lead crystal batteries are also more like AGM batteries but the main difference is the electrolyte as it’s different from the others.

However, the main advantage of having these batteries with you on the trips is that they can be completely discharged and charged again, you don’t need to worry about permanent damage.

These batteries are compatible with all temperatures and there’s nothing to stress about regarding the life span as well. It will give you three times more periods than other batteries.

The more benefits of this battery, the higher the price.

It can be highly costly, and you might need to search more for these batteries.

Yet, they are equipped with numerous benefits for your campervan or motorhome.

Lithium leisure batteries

You look at any electronic gadget around and you’ll find lithium batteries in them.

May it be a smart tablet, mobile phone, laptop, or even hybrid car, they all have such kinds of batteries for functioning.

These batteries have greater energy density along with lighter weight.

Lithium batteries can also last much longer than other batteries in the market, but they are expensive as well.

TOP TIP: If you are planning to buy a battery that is eco-friendly, durable, and powerful. You will need to create a checklist and consider factors such as usage, and do you go on trips regularly or occasionally. The energy that your campervan or motorhome will be needed as well as the size you can accommodate. You need to consider such significant factors before buying a leisure battery.

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