Caravan leisure batteries are essential assets if you own a caravan or plan to purchase a motorhome to make the most of the holidays!
Snappy Start has compiled this guide to explain how to charge leisure batteries for caravans, what size of caravan leisure battery you need, and all the basic features and components.
Leisure batteries for caravans power your equipment and appliances, including all the 12V devices inside your caravan or motorhome.
For example, you'll need a leisure battery caravan installation to run your lights, watch TV, or use cooking equipment.
Caravan leisure battery models are designed to produce steady, prolonged power over time rather than a quick, heavy burst of energy like a car battery.
Buying a caravan leisure battery for the first time can be confusing, as multiple products are on the market.
One of the quick ways to differentiate between lead-acid batteries is to look at how each caravan leisure battery works - and understand the different terminology!
As a quick cheat sheet:
Some alternative leisure batteries for caravans are made with a different construction.
Gel caravan leisure batteries are more likely to be found in a caravan you have imported - they're also used in jet skis and quad bikes because the gel is less of a hazard in the event of a crash than leaking acid.
Don't worry if you're new to camper life - it's all quite straightforward!
You'll need a battery charger to power up your caravan leisure battery, and you will find one already fitted within your vehicle.
However, the onboard charger is there to help keep all your equipment running, and it isn't enough to keep your leisure battery for caravan appliances fully charged.
The best way to choose a charger for your caravan leisure battery is to look at the battery capacity and pick a charger that meets at least 10% of the output.
A quick example would be choosing a nine Amp charger for a 90 Ah caravan leisure battery.
Ideally, you want your caravan leisure battery to stay reasonably charged and power it up removed from the vehicle.
The general rule of thumb is that you should aim to have used around 50% of the max discharge power before recharging a leisure battery for a caravan - recharging too often could impact the unit's longevity.
The Voltmeter reading is helpful because you can see how much of the power in your caravan leisure batteries you've used and keep an eye on the level to know when you recharge.
Voltmeter readings of 12 V or less mean the caravan leisure battery has been discharged.
Absolutely, if you see a caravan leisure battery advertised, it's the same model as you'd use in a motorhome.
Charging times for caravan leisure batteries are relatively long because a slower charge is important for a battery built to deliver a low currency level over a prolonged period.
Short, faster charges aren't ideal for a caravan leisure battery.
The exact recharging time will depend on how much power remains and what type of battery you have, but it can take a day or two.
Keeping your leisure battery at an optimal charge and addressing dust or grime build-up will help keep your leisure battery caravan in good working order.
Leisure battery caravan models tend to run down over time and often last around five years or so - our caravan leisure battery range all comes with a four-year warranty.
There are a few things you can do to prolong the life-cycle of caravan leisure batteries:
Another tip, if you don't have any plans to use your caravan, is to buy a trickle charger that stops it from losing all charge.
There are three categories of leisure batteries. The right size depends on your requirements, such as how often you use an electrical hook-up or rely on the battery as your sole power source and how many appliances you use inside your caravan.
The three caravan leisure batteries categories are:
Theoretically, you could use a car battery instead of a leisure battery, but only for a very short space of time.
Car batteries run at full capacity and deliver short, fast bursts of power.
Caravans need a steady, slower power supply, so a car battery wouldn't last long.
Snappy Start caravan leisure batteries are built specifically for caravans and motorhomes and provide reliable power during repeated cycles.
If you pick a high-performance leisure battery, it will last for years and keep your lights and appliances running wherever your trips take you.
Our caravan leisure batteries are built to provide optimal power and reliability, with a full professional warranty and fit guarantee.
We stock leisure batteries in three sizes, with a 25% improved performance, vibration resistance, and an advanced active material formulated for Ca-Ca alloy grid technology.
Snappy Start leisure batteries are sealed, maintenance-free models, so you don't need to check on the liquid level, top them up, or protect against acid leakage.
The best way to look after leisure batteries for caravan vehicles is to avoid leaving them to run down to 0% charge, but also try not to recharge until the power levels have dropped to around 50%.
Fitting a caravan leisure battery and forgetting about it for a few months over the winter will usually mean it will deteriorate and need replacing much sooner than necessary.
Each leisure battery has a different specification and technological design, so the best option is to work out your total power demands from your appliances before you buy.
You can also contact the Snappy Start team if you need any help. There are four main factors to look out for.
The size of your leisure battery needs to be suitable for the locker and tray in your motorhome - measure up before you order!
Watt-hours dictate the amount of power your leisure battery supplies when it is fully charged. You can add up the ratings of each appliance and estimate how long you're likely to use each one to get a good idea.
For example, if you have an 80 Watt TV you use for about five hours, five light bulbs run for four hours each at 20 Watts and a 50 Watt water pump you use for an hour, that's 770 Watt-hours in total.
Add a 20% buffer just in case, and look for a leisure battery rated for 924 Watt-hours.
The cyclic life shows you have many times you can discharge your leisure batteries to 50% and then recharge them.
Finally, the Ah rating shows how much power each leisure battery can provide - the higher the Ah, the longer it will run.