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Batteries again again
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userCidered
Posted: 6 February 2019 7:34 PM
Subject: Batteries again again
 
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Location: Hertfordshire. La strada Avanti 2019


We are looking to add an extra habitation battery to our new PVC. It comes with a gel habitation battery (100 ah) and having read the information from aandacaravan, I asked the dealer to replace with two Yuasa batteries. I am now being told that we need to stick with gel because of charging regime. Is this correct? Is it not possible to swap gel for lead acid?
userDickybeau
Posted: 6 February 2019 8:03 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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I guess it depends on how your electrical system is set up. I use a Schaudt Electroblok that allows me to change the charging from lead acid to AGM or vice versa. It would help to know yours
userCidered
Posted: 6 February 2019 8:16 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Location: Hertfordshire. La strada Avanti 2019


Still haven’t got van yet. It’s a La Scala Avanti but not sure which charger it has.
userarthur49
Posted: 6 February 2019 9:08 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Cidered - 2019-02-06 8:16 PM

Still haven’t got van yet. It’s a La Scala Avanti but not sure which charger it has.


Is that meant to be La Strada Avanti? You need to establish what make/model the power/charger unit is and then Allan (aandncaravanservices) might be able to help
useraandncaravan
Posted: 6 February 2019 9:39 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Cidered - 2019-02-06 7:34 PM

We are looking to add an extra habitation battery to our new PVC. It comes with a gel habitation battery (100 ah) and having read the information from aandacaravan, I asked the dealer to replace with two Yuasa batteries. I am now being told that we need to stick with gel because of charging regime. Is this correct? Is it not possible to swap gel for lead acid?


This is a puzzle because we don't know any motorhome charger that supports Gel that doesn't also support a Wet/Flooded battery?

If you can find out the charger make and model and we can then tell you what it supports.
On the newer Schaudt Elektroblock models there is confusion over what it supports as the Gel/Lead profile supports both wet and gel batteries, maybe it is one of these?
.

I wonder if the Gel battery is in a place where there is no external venting and they don't want to go to the trouble of providing venting for two flooded Yuasa batteries?

If that is the case then 2 x Varta LFD90's lose less fluid or gas than a Gel battery so they should be able to go into a location where a Gel is fitted and actually be safer than the Gel, which contrary to myth do gas and lose fluid. .

All the above still applies if the battery is an AGM battery, not Gel.


Edited by aandncaravan 2019-02-06 9:56 PM
userMike88
Posted: 6 February 2019 10:01 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Location: South Devon M/H 2010 Swift Mondial (Comfortmatic)


Isn't the leisure battery on its side in your pvc? If that is the case how can you have a lead/acid battery on its side as they are normally fitted in the limited space under the front seat.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 7 February 2019 8:42 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


A 2018/2019 La Strada price/sprcification list can be downloaded from here

http://www.lastrada-mobile.de/?app=download&mod=getfile&pdl=1&language=2

For the Avanti model, in the “COMFORT PACKAGE 1” section (on Page 5 of the file) there’s a reference to a "Leisure battery 100Ah gel instead of acid”, but - although it’s apparently possible (Page 7) to opt for a 150Ah gel battery and 22A charger, or a 90Ah or 160Ah lithium battery, I suspect that the standard leisure battery for an Avanti is a 100Ah gel type (possibly with a 16A charger).

The following advert relates to a recent Avanti

http://www.harbourcreek.co.uk/listings/new-2018-la-strada-avanti-540m-motorhome-white-130hp-euro6-new-to-the-uk/

and the 11th thumbnail photo shows a CBE PC180 control-panel, which almost certainly means that the related electrical equipment (distribution-box and battery chasrger) will also be CBE-manufactured.

If the Avanti Cidered is buying has a similar CBE-based electrical specification, its battery charger will (as Allan has mentioned) have been designed to be (easily) switchable to provide a charging regimen appropriate to either a gel leisure-battery or a wet-acid leisure-battery.

Although it seems unlikely that replacing an Avanti’s gel leisure-battery with a wet-acid one would present ’technical’ problems (though I expect the La Strada handbook advises that this change should not be done) fitting a pair of batteries in place of the single original battery might not be a simple matter. As has been touched on above, it depends on where the standard single gel battery is installed (under a cab seat?) and whether two similar-dimensions wet-acid batteries can straightforwardly be shoehorned into the available space - and that would depend on what La Strada has done when the Fiat Ducato base-vehicle was converted.

If the dealer selling the Avanti to Cidered is only concerned about the battery type, rather than the number of batteries, if the dealer would be prepared (or able) to install a 2nd 100Ah gel leisure-battery in the motorhome, he (probably) should be able to install a pair of similar-dimensions wet-acid batteries instead. Having said that, venting the wet-acid batteries would need to be consided and, if the batteries were to go beneath a cab-seat fitted with a swivel mechanism, they will essentially be non-maintaiinable.

As the Avanti will come with a gel battery, if the dealer is happy/prepared/able to fit a 2nd identical gel battery, wouldn’t it be simpler (and quite possibly less expensive) just to stay with gel batteries?
useraandncaravan
Posted: 7 February 2019 10:03 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Derek Uzzell - 2019-02-07 8:42 AM


As the Avanti will come with a gel battery, if the dealer is happy/prepared/able to fit a 2nd identical gel battery, wouldn’t it be simpler (and quite possibly less expensive) just to stay with gel batteries?



Derek, that is good info.

I think it might be simpler to stay with Gel's in the short term, but the disadvantages in the longer term would out way the effort required now because of the limitations of Gel batteries versus modern Flooded types.

Gel batteries can deep cycle more effectively, but they draw half the current and take twice as long to charge as a modern Flooded battery. That might mean a short journey to recharge the batteries leaves them at lower capacity than might be the case with a modern EFB, etc so there is half the capacity to then be drawn later. That defeats the object of deep cycling if an 80Ah battery now only has 50 Ah to draw from.
On a large Solar setup they may not charge as fast or as fully either.
Gels's don't like high current discharge and modern motorhomes have more demands on the 12v than ever before..
They are significantly lower capacity for the same physical size, Exide 900 at 80Ah vs Yuasa at 100Ah or 160ah vs 200Ah for twin batteries.
Gels are very sensitive to overcharging and higher temperatures, both reducing lifetime, one of the issues emerging with Solar Power, is overcharging.
You can collect two Yuasa L36-EFB's from Alpha batteries for less than the cost of a single 100Ah Gel.
Yuasa claim the L36-EFB has gas emmisions at lower levels than Gel/AGM, so like the Varta LFD90, venting should not present any more of an issue than it does with Gel.
Yuasa also recently released that the L36-EFB will happily take 14.7v (I think that was the figure, but is in another thread on here) so even under abnormal charging situations it will be safer than a Gel which is likely to explode under the same conditions..


Longer term, Gel batteries are becoming less popular and are already close to twice as expensive as better performing wet/flooded batteries. Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) is where all the Battery R&D seems to be going at the moment.

15 years ago, a Gel Exide G80 had few peers, but with the advances in modern Wet/flooded batteries there is now a huge gulf between the two.


If it was me, I would go to a lot of trouble to ensure my vehicle wasn't sold as a 'Gel only' solution, not just because of the above, but because it isn't going to be attractive at resale time when the gulf might have widened even further.



Edited by aandncaravan 2019-02-07 10:26 AM
userageingandrew
Posted: 7 February 2019 10:48 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Location: Hampshire. Hymer B544, 3.0 Auto


Hello Cidered,

What were the reasons you selected EFB over Gel batteries for your new van, in particular a 2nd EFB rather than a 2nd GEL.
On the Yuasa website it clearly shows that intended purpose for EFB (L36-EFB) is for use with electric hookup with minimal off-grid habitation usage. Do you expect to be on EHU most of the time, if so, why do you need a 2nd battery?
If you are off grid a lot you will end up replacing EFB far more frequently than GELs.

Regards
Andrew
userCidered
Posted: 7 February 2019 10:55 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Location: Hertfordshire. La strada Avanti 2019


Thank you very much for all the comprehensive and informative replies. The van is of course a La Strada ( didn’t check the autocorrect) and Derek has correctly identified the actual vehicle and thus the CBE control panel. It has a box for the leisure battery next to the box for the gas cylinder in the rear compartment under the bed. The current provision is for a 100 ah gel battery and the dealer can fit two smaller batteries in the existing space without re-siting the batteries to the under seat position.
This will increase the capacity to 170ah. It also means the batteries remain accessible but I am not sure about the venting or whether the batteries will be on their sides.
I will share this thread with the dealer and welcom any further thoughts Allan has in the light of the above information.
Many thanks again; it is so helpful to have such expertise in an area which is difficult for the layman to comprehend. We’ve never needed extra power in our current Dethleffs but switching to a compressor fridge and planning more off grid sorties suggests that getting it right at this stage will be worth it. Many thanks to you all.
userCidered
Posted: 7 February 2019 11:06 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Location: Hertfordshire. La strada Avanti 2019


Hello Andrew
Just seen your reply when I was typing. I asked for the EFB replacement after reading Allan’s posts and his website entries. As I mentioned before we currently mainly use sites with EHU and thus have stuck with the original Dethleffs single habitation battery set up without issue (or indeed needing a replacement in 6 years). Moving to retirement and a smaller van with a compressor fridge we envisage much more time away from EHU. This is why I felt two butteries would be necessary.
Have I thus misinterpreted Allan’s information?
useraandncaravan
Posted: 7 February 2019 11:52 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Cidered, If the vehicle has a compressor fridge then I suggest you read our web page about this subject.:
http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/compressor-fridge-12v.php

You will really struggle to do much off grid with one as they use so much power, even with 2 x 100Ah Yuasa's. The Waeco manual for a Coolmatic 65 says it draws a massive 96Ah a day when it is on 100% of the time for 24 hours. Obviously the thermostat tries to ensure it's running time is much less than this and they quote 30Ah a day when the ambient temperature inside the vehicle is 20 degrees.

On that basis, along with about 15Ah a day of LED lights TV, heater fan, or whatever you use daily, would result in roughly one 100Ah battery being run down each day.
That would give you just two days off grid in summer before you need to find EHU, unless you have other power, like a 300W Solar array.
In Winter your 'other' 12v consumption will obviously go up due to heating, shorter days, etc


If the temperature inside the vehicle is the more usual 25 - 30 degrees of Summer, then the Fridge may use up to about 42Ah, or half a battery per day on it's own, about 57Ah total a day.
See the web page for more detail.

We don't think they are fit for purpose unless you EHU all the time, the converters fit them for their convenience, faster build time and much lower cost.


I would suggest if you want to 'off grid' all year that you investigate a gas fridge option?


We worked on a Swift Select 164 recently with a compressor fridge and he came to use to find a way to boost 12v because the 4 x 110Ah habitation batteries he had 'were not enough for off grid'.

Because he holidayed through Autumn/Winter/Spring more Solar wasn't an option, all we could suggest was his own portable EHU, a EU10i generator.

Almost everyone we have spoken to with a compressor fridge was told they don't use much power and has been surprised what a stressful balancing act it can be trying to keep the batteries above 50% Depth Of Discharge.

I might have suggested you should be looking at Victron Super Cycle 100% DOD batteries, but your CBE charger and Alternator probably won't support them?




Edited by aandncaravan 2019-02-07 12:08 PM
userageingandrew
Posted: 7 February 2019 1:33 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Hello Cidered - nice van.

Two batteries may well be necessary if you intend to wild camp regularly, but I doubt if EFBs are suitable.

There is a useful comparison of battery types at Link to Exide The document contains a rudimentary worksheet to help people choose a battery based on their real life needs. It might be worth you using it as a guide to help you work out what you really need for your chosen lifestyle, then speak to your dealer.

Too often people steered towards a technology without real analysis of their needs. The reason why your van comes with a GEL battery might well be because you have a compressor fridge and that the manufacturer/fitter deemed GEL the best technology to use.

Regards
Andrew
userstvekay
Posted: 7 February 2019 2:22 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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I had no idea that batteries were so different, in as much as requiring different ones for electric hook up or off grid.
We spend a lot of time off grid. I put 2 EXV110 Enduroline Calcium leisure batteries in. And an LFD90 Varta as the engine battery.. The LFD90 always quickly drops to 12.4 on the internal meter reading. Did this right from when I bought them.. I wrote to Tanya but got no reply.
When I come to change batteries again what should I be looking to buy.
We have a 2007 Rapido 9048.
I have bought a "silent" generator. (only used when no one around to hear it. (bought Honda EU10I at Alans recommendation)
Any advice appreciated.

Thanks
Steve
PS I guess its obvious I know nothing!!
userCidered
Posted: 7 February 2019 3:06 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Location: Hertfordshire. La strada Avanti 2019


Hi all. I guess I’m going to stick with gel rather than twist. Replacing the compressor fridge is not an option so I’ll start with the two gel batteries and add solar later if they are insufficient on their own. I’ll let you know how I get on. Thanks again all.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 7 February 2019 3:15 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Is your dealership prepared to fit a 2nd gel battery? If so, you might ask whether La Strada will authorise that work and that the work will be covered by the La Strada conversion warranty.
usermonique.hubrechts@gm
Posted: 7 February 2019 3:31 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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There are a lot of remote controls today to read out what is happening in there. On your batteries you can load by i-phone in a smart way by a IP 65 loader ( algorithm). And read out the voltage. Victron connect app.
userageingandrew
Posted: 7 February 2019 3:41 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Hi Cidered, I think you have made the right choice sticking with GEL. Now stop reading all those scare stories on the interweb and go and enjoy your van.

Regards
Andrew
userCidered
Posted: 7 February 2019 3:55 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Location: Hertfordshire. La strada Avanti 2019


Indeed yes. Why open Pandora’s box when you can have the open road.
userstvekay
Posted: 7 February 2019 9:00 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Am still puzzled by why different batteries needed for hook up or off Grid?

Steve
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 8 February 2019 9:19 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


I think your ‘problem’ is due to the word “need”.

If a motorhome’s sole usage involves driving from campsite to campsite and connecting to the campsite’s 230V hook-up (EHU) on arrival, there’s really no imperative for a leisure-battery at all. In fact, 20 years ago, some new UK-built motorhomes were still being marketed with a leisure-battery as an optional extra.

Since then motorcaravannewrs have become more ‘adventurous’ and motorhomes’ onboard electrical equipment has increased in quantity and sophistication. Nowadays many people want to ‘wild camp’ (occasionally or regularly) where no EHU is available, but still wish to exploit their motorhome’s onboard electrically-powered features.

My three motorhomes have had a single leisure-battery (100Ah maximum) and that’s it - no solar-panels, no battery-to-battery charger, no generator. But the ‘load' placed on our motorhomes electrical equipment has always been light (no TV, no really-cold-weather usage and not staying long in one place) and, although we used to ‘wild camp’ a fair amount, today we prefer to stay where there is an EHU. So all I need is a single reliable reasonable-capacity ‘run of the mill’ leisure-battery.

Other people may use their motorhome very differently and, for them, it may be much more important that their motorhome’s leisure-battery (or batteries) are optimised for that usage. In some cases (as mentioned in MMM magazine) experienced motorcaravanners have chosen to opt for (expensive) lithium batteries.

If a motorcaravanner plans a usage-pattern that is predominantly off-grid, it becomes more important that the motorhome’s battery should best support that usage. Allan (aandncaravan) has always attempted to emphasise this and point people towards which types of battery would (or would not) be best for a given usage-pattern and to recommend makes/models of battery that experience has shown to be suitable.

It’s not which batteries are needed for hook-up or off-grid usage - it’s which batteries would be most suitable for hook-up or off-grid usage.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 8 February 2019 11:26 AM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Derek, well said. If I had tried to write the same it would be 4 pages long!!
userstvekay
Posted: 8 February 2019 12:47 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Thanks for your reply.

Regards

Steve

userRayjsj
Posted: 8 February 2019 3:53 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 


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Cidered - 2019-02-06 8:16 PM

Still haven’t got van yet. It’s a La Scala Avanti but not sure which charger it has.


Those La Scala's have a terrific sound system.

Edited by Rayjsj 2019-02-08 3:54 PM
userCidered
Posted: 14 February 2019 2:24 PM
Subject: RE: Batteries again again
 
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Location: Hertfordshire. La strada Avanti 2019


Depends how you opera te it


Good name tho
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