Leisure batteries are highly recommended in any camper van. They are an affordable option for powering all of your appliances, including phones, laptops, and refrigerators. Furthermore, they offer regulated current flow – that won’t damage your electronics – and they are fairly efficient, compared to other types of batteries.
Here’s everything you need to know about them, including their pros and cons:
What is a Leisure Battery?
A leisure battery or backup battery refers to a power source for any 12V equipment and appliances in a motorhome or a caravan.
These batteries are customized to provide you with a steady level power supply for a prolonged period of time in your trip and they can be used to charge or power T.V, oven, kettle, lights, and similar electronics in some outfits.
Normally, they are the extension that makes your motorhome into habitable and comfortable accommodation, rather than a random vehicle.
If you wish or intend to buy a new caravan/motorhome, bear in mind or into your buying budget that leisure batteries are part of the whole trip, although you will normally get one included in your new caravan.
Try to check with the manufacturer or the dealership when arranging the whole buying process to ensure you have time to add or source a good leisure battery before you plan or organize your first trip if one is not due to be provided in your new caravan.
Types of Leisure Batteries
Most of the leisure batteries in the market are lead-acid batteries, in this guide, we will provide information on some choices that are compatible and affordable. In the lead-acid category you can find the following options:
1. A standard starter
Also known as cranking or calcium batteries.
2. Standard leisure
Also called deep-cycling or auxiliary batteries
3. Traction and semi traction batteries
Also known as deep cycle batteries.
4. Gel batteries
Are designed and customized to be used in motorhomes such as quad bikes and jet skis, or any other equipment that has a higher risk of crushing. The application of gel help to minimize the risk of damages when the vehicle is being tipped over thus reducing the risk of corrosion and injury.
5. Maintenance-free batteries
While normal or convectional batteries have additional caps to allow the acid or electrolyte checked or topped with deionized electrolyte, some designers are now coming up with an option that can conduct this on its own.
This is a sealed or a confined unit that doesn’t need extra topping, customized due to the fact that normal batteries don’t give an extra 14.6V and require a regular check of the acid levels in the battery. This can be used as a leisure battery to supplement the power requirements in your new caravan.
As it offers clean, safer, and enough power for your caravan charging and power supply.
Do You Need a Leisure Battery?
You will need this backup power plan in order to charge or power all of your 12V appliance and electronics in your motorhome, though many people consider using a normal car battery this end up ruining the car battery performance.
So, there is a good reason as to why you should consider buying a caravan leisure battery to power all of your appliances rather than using your car battery.
The second function of this battery, aside from charging and powering electronics, is to correct any power shortages and irregularities in the whole system, keeping you and your electronics safe.
Pros of Having a Leisure Battery in Your Camper Van
Apart from giving your car a full supply of power and charging all of your 12V appliances these batteries have a lot of advantages to add to your new camp van.
So, if you are wondering or still comparing your options of buying or sticking with your car battery instead, here are some advantages you will get by just buying and installing a leisure battery.
1. Regulated energy flow
A normal car battery is designed and customized to produce high peak power to turn the system. This depends on the engine ambient temperature and design, in normal conditions the battery requires some cranking current of 100 amps then this power is transmitted to the alternator for the engine operations.
Leisure batteries, on the other hand, provide a much smaller/lower current something like 5 amps over along period without a recharge. This is because the plate doesn’t need a larger area like a normal car battery.
So charging or powering your appliance with the leisure battery is a sure bet of safety because all its current is regulated.
2. More efficient
Charging and discharge are some of the things that ruin batteries, with a leisure battery there is less charging since the battery utilizes all the power on a monitored scale. A typically 50% discharge will link the system to refill it back thus reduce the charging cycle giving your car a longer life span.
Most leisure batteries are cheap when compared with car batteries, on a random assessment in the market a leisure battery was found to be half the price of a car battery.
Adding this to your budget means you will save half the price of your car battery each year since you won’t need to replace your car battery because of excess working in your caravan.
Cons of Having a Leisure Battery in Your Camper Van
Like any other addition or extension in your caravan car, there are some disadvantages this leisure bring along to your cam van. Some of the limitations of leisure batteries are:
1. Can overheat
The charging and discharging of the battery leads to an increase in temperature and this heat is released to the outside and some of the outsides are the inside of your caravan. Most caravans with leisure batteries experience an increase in temperature by 10 degrees Celsius, which forces the owners to add a ceiling fan to remedy the problem.
2. Take up space
You can agree with me that a motorhome is moving home and when it comes to moving home there is a problem with space a small extension means a lot to the total space in the van.
Depending on the size of the battery the size of the installation can be used to store other things, in addition to this, these batteries are heavy since they use lead as their plates adding the total weight of the car can interfere with the functioning of your car or maneuvering different terrains.