The Leisure Battery
Leisure batteries are a must for anyone wanting to take their campervan off the beaten track and experience life on the move with all the comforts of home.
One of the first tasks when starting your conversion is to install ‘leisure’ electrics. When we think about leisure power, the leisure battery itself is at the heart of the installation.
Battery technology is moving at an incredible rate. There are now three types of leisure battery available to the campervan owner – the ‘wet’ i.e. lead acid battery; the Gel battery and most recently the AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery. All three have their pros and cons.
The traditional ‘wet’ battery is the best known. They are the cheapest and the most common type on the market and very simple to maintain. But they do have to be fixed securely in an upright position.
Gel batteries are liquid free and so you needn’t worry about acid spillage; though, like all sealed batteries, you must be aware of not overcharging them. They are, however, more expensive than ‘wet’ batteries.
AGM batteries are the new kids on the battery block in the leisure battery world. Overcharging can lead to battery failure and they are significantly more costly than ‘wet’ batteries. However, they are much safer and more environmentally friendly.
With price being the no.1 driver for the majority of customers vans we see for conversion here at Blue Sky, have a traditional ‘wet’ lead acid battery specified and fitted. For most, it is a matter of simple economics that is the deciding factor.
The demand for leisure power in the modern campervan lifestyle is increasing as we are all relying increasingly on appliances and electronics to support our busy lives. With space at a premium, a single efficient high performing leisure battery is most desirable compared with the multi battery installations that were popular in the past.
Leisure battery power is measured in amp hours (Ah). This simply means that the rating of the leisure battery in Ah’s is the rate at which the battery delivers (releases) its power. The maximum rating (or size) for a conventional ‘wet’ lead acid leisure battery is 110Ah’s. As an illustration, a fully charged 12 volt 80Ah battery will deliver a current of 80amps for 1 hour, or 40 amps for 2 hours, or 20 amps for 4 hours, etc, etc., In practice these are theoretical numbers and rarely will you see this sort of performance in the field. Ideally you want a battery that will ‘give up’ most of its stored reserve power whilst maintaining the 12 volts needed by your appliances and be able to capable of being fully charged (a discharge/charge cycle) over and over again without suffering permanent damage or deteriorating over time. Even the best batteries have a finite life and the more they are cycled, the more likely they are to wear out or even fail. The general rule is that the cheaper and less reputable the battery, the quick either, or both, of these outcomes will occur.
Blue Sky Conversions recommend and only fit, 110Ah leisure batteries made by Hankook. The popular XV110 model from Hankook is a consistent and reliable performer and in our opinion delivers great value with high levels of reliability and durability in the field. With its low height format and compact resulting length and depth dimensions, this is one of the few 110Ah leisure batteries that will fit comfortably upright in the base under a single driver or passenger T5/T6 front seat.
For more information and to request prices to supply and fit Hankook leisure batteries to your campervan, please email us at email@example.com