Look after your motorhome’s leisure battery

Published in Caravan Guard News, Guides on   - 22 Comments

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  1. Midge says:

    My campervan has a 350w solar panel on the roof run through a MPPT controller. It has 3x 130ah batteries which are also charged via the 40amp VSR. Whenever I plug the camper into the EHU I have hardwired into the van a 10A automatic multi-stage mains battery charger. The other thing that I have installed is a Nasa battery BM1 monitor and 200amp stunt as the unit continuously monitors voltage, current (charge or discharge), number of amp/hours (charge or discharge), the batteries state of charge and the time to charge or discharge.

  2. Richard says:

    I check the voltage on both my batteries regularly and keep them charged using the onboard charger in the charge controller. I can’t use my solar panel in winter as the vehicle is kept under cover!

    I have found that if I switch the motorhome supply to the vehicle battery on the charge controller and then switch on the charger in the charge controller it then charges the vehicle battery. Am I ok doing this?

  3. Mike Bassett says:

    We have recently suffered a fire in our motorhome apparently started by one of the leisure batteries – has anyone else had experience of this happening and were you able to identify a cause? We have a 2004 A-class Burstner with 2 115Ah batteries (Halfords 3 years old) charged via the original equipment EBL charger. The fire started while the vehicle was being driven, so charging from the alternator and no hook-up connected. Many thanks.

  4. Dave says:

    I understand that the Varta LFD range and their Bosch equivalent are superior to standard lead acid and AGM batteries both for leisure and starting,

    Can you confirm this? Thanks.

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      A leisure battery and a starter battery have to perform different functions and therefore operate in different ways.
      We don’t believe there’s a battery that is good for both starting an engine and running appliances.

  5. Andrew Hughes says:

    Hi what great help and advice you have answered many of my questions regarding my motor home batteries . I like others intend to put an extra solar panel onto my auto trail as soon as I get a mild day .

  6. Michael & Allan says:

    Useful. Our two leisure batteries are be in replaced today along with the 12v fridge for a 3 way.
    Trust this ends our lack of evening power for lights, Tv etc.

  7. RV Neal says:

    Since I started using a solar panel 4 motorhomes (and 20 years) ago I have never experienced a flat battery. The first one I purchased was a 50W panel that I fitted to the roof of the RV and simply wired it to a 2-way switch, the outputs being connected to the engine battery and the house batteries. Due to the low power of the solar panel, and the reduced presence of strong sunlight in the UK, it didn’t need a charge controller.

    Our next RV already had a 120W solar panel fitted to the roof and wired to the house batteries via a Fox solar charge controller. I fitted a Battery-master and this provided excess charge to the engine batteries. Our subsequent RV had a 180W solar panel installed at point of purchase with a US version of the Battery-master and was regulated via a proprietary solar charge controller. When we replaced that RV with our current one I fitted two 100W solar panels to the roof regulated by a top-end MPPT solar charge controller. The vehicle came equipped with a Battery-master.

    As I said I have never experienced a flat battery scenario in twenty years. I totally believe in solar panels as we spend a lot of time “dry” camping in fields at Steam rallies and Vintage Transport shows. Also, I do check the electrolyte levels regularly and top up with de-ionised water as necessary.

  8. Andrew Schofield says:

    I too had a problem Yuasa battery on my Elddis Accordo 125 and had to change it, Halfords had an offer on their leisure battery. I lay my motorhome up for 6 months of the winter and installed a flexible 100w solar panel which I stuck flat to the roof. It keeps the leisure battery topped up and I run a lead from the charge controller to the engine battery in the passenger footwell to keep the electronics and tracker working.

  9. IAN TAYLOR says:

    I USE A LED VOLTAGE METER IN EITHER OF THE CIGARETTE LIGHTERS IN MY MOTOROME
    IT TELLS ME VOLTAGE ON LEISURE BATTERY OR VOLTAGE ON THE CRANKING BATTERY COST £5 <

    MY LEISURE BATTERY IS UNDER PASSENGER SEAT SO I HAVE A SET OF TORX BITS AND A 1/2 INCH TO 1/4 INCH DRIVE COST £20 < TO REMOVE SEAT FOR ACCESS

    THIS WAS LESS THAN QUOTE FOR DEALER TO PERFORM TASK!

  10. Ralph Brunjes says:

    Great little bit on batteries for motorhomesale, many thanks.

  11. Barry Sprules says:

    I had many problems with the Yuasa battery and charging system on my new Elddis Accordo 125. On one occasion the battery overheated and bubbled when connected to the mains and the internal charger unit failed. I took advice and went for a superior Banner battery which has been fine but the vendor of this advised that a battery needs to be used even during the winter when the van is laid up and so I do this from time to time.
    When the van is not in use I use Ctek smart chargers for the leisure battery when I disconnect it from the van’s system and also use one on the engine battery which I simply plug into the permanently connected wired which an AA man kindly installed and which tucks under the seat when not in use. He said it was vital to trickle charge the Peugeot battery when laid up.

  12. Alan Marchant says:

    Good article. I usually declare SORN on my camper from Nov to March to save some road tax and have the van on timed power connection for 4 hours a day from my garage socket. The van is parked in my driveway. It is enough to keep the leisure battery fully charged and is ready and healthy for the new season of camping.

  13. Wayne Pontin says:

    Hi I am new to the joys of motor homes – if I leave my vehicle hooked up to mains electricity for the winter will this help the leisure battery?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Wayne, it will help charge the battery. A typical motorhome set up is designed to prevent overcharging.

  14. Martin whittaker says:

    By good article on leisure batteries


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