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Leisure Batteries
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userNinian
Posted: 18 July 2022 10:59 AM
Subject: Leisure Batteries
 
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Location: NI. Auto-trail Dakota. 2014


Hi, Without going to the expense of Lithium, what make are the best for OFF grid usage. My motorhome dealer fitted two Platinum batteries that are totally useless they'll only last a few hours before the voltage disappears. If you have good usage OFF grid I would be grateful for help.

Thanks.
userBruceM
Posted: 18 July 2022 11:41 AM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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Location: Kent - Dethleffs 5830 Esprit - LHD


It would probably help if you described your currently installed system, ie how much solar, which regulator, what you use electric for etc.

In our case we can stay off-grid until mid November or a bit beyond in the south of the UK / Northern France. We have 200W of solar, an mppt regulator and two,at the time best of class, 95Ah lead acid batteries. We don’t use an inverter as there’s no need, all our lighting is led, we don’t watch TV preferring to stream instead via our laptops, and our hot water, cooker, fridge run on gas so our electrical usage only becomes significant when the heating is turned on.

Edited by BruceM 2022-07-18 11:42 AM
userNinian
Posted: 18 July 2022 12:06 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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Location: NI. Auto-trail Dakota. 2014


Hi, My solar panel is 100W, I don't know what the controller is as it was factory fitted and must be part of my distribution panel. I use the batteries for everything really, TV, LED lighting, Water Pump although they are occasionally used.

Thanks.
usermtravel
Posted: 18 July 2022 12:24 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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I have always had slow discharge batteries or (much better) those for traction (golf-kart, forklift, etcetera).

Of course, you can't find them at a motorhome and related accessories dealer but you have to go to specialized suppliers.

As for technology, excellent quality AGMs (not those sold as miraculous in accessory stores) is a good choice.
But for fifteen years now I have preferred GEL ones (the charger must provide the correct setting).
Sure, they cost a lot but they are the best, I have had a parallel pair that lasted 13 years with a lot of winter travels and diesel heating.
And now I have a couple of them as factory supply on my new van.

Max
userBruceM
Posted: 18 July 2022 2:45 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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Ninian - 2022-07-18 12:06 PM

Hi, My solar panel is 100W, I don't know what the controller is as it was factory fitted and must be part of my distribution panel. I use the batteries for everything really, TV, LED lighting, Water Pump although they are occasionally used.
.


At this time of year I’d have expected your solar to provide all your daytime power needs with the batteries only kicking in when the late afternoon/early evening arrives.

Are you able to establish which Platinum Batteries where installed (perhaps a label on the batteries or on the dealer invoice?).

When you mention that you use the batteries for everything I take it that does not include a compressor fridge?

If your batteries are in good condition and you’re not an inadvertent heavy energy user (ie the 12v TV consumes a lot more power than expected) then it might be necessary to check that the solar is working efficiently – which might be as fundamental as giving the solar panel a wash down (I wash mine when off grid every two weeks).

Also, an additional question, is the solar panel flexible (and if so how old) or ridgid?
userNinian
Posted: 18 July 2022 4:38 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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The batteries that were installed are class "C" which I didn't discover at the time and now they won't replace them with a suitable battery. My solar panel is a fixed rigid one 100w. At the weekend I was using the TV for about three hours and the battery voltage dropped to 10.2v barely enough power to flush the loo. The batteries recovered the following day back to normal but I haven't used them again so I don't know if I've destroyed them.
userBruceM
Posted: 18 July 2022 5:26 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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Location: Kent - Dethleffs 5830 Esprit - LHD


Well I pulled up a random 12v 21” TV and it stated a max of 36W power consumption which by my amateur maths indicates 3 amps at 12v ie four hours usage would only only be equivalent to about 12Ah out of your battery bank which from what you’ve indicated probably holds about 200Ah of power (100Ah usable).

Something sounds amiss. What make and model of 12v TV do you have?

Also, from what you’ve indicated I assume that these are new batteries, ie just fitted recently?
userNinian
Posted: 18 July 2022 5:54 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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Posts: 397
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Location: NI. Auto-trail Dakota. 2014


The TV is a 21" Avtex that also operates the Dish. I wasn't concerned about the Ah usage it was the depletion of the voltage down to 10.2v. The batteries are relatively new hardly used due to the pandemic, I know I need to replace them I just want to buy the right ones this time. I called over to Halfords this afternoon and they offered me the YUASA AGM batteries (Class A) or their own branded EFB which is a YUASA (Class B) which would you recommend.

Thanks.
userKeithl
Posted: 18 July 2022 6:54 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 


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You will probably find the same batteries for less money at Tayna batteries... https://www.tayna.co.uk/

I personally would not use an AGM as I have had far too much experience with them dying unexpectedly with cars at work. My personal preference is still the Varta LFD90 which the late Allan Evans used to favour but it is out of stack at Tayna and this is their recommended alternative... https://www.tayna.co.uk/leisure-batteries/varta/led95/

Keith.
userbobalobs
Posted: 18 July 2022 7:54 PM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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We also have had great results with the Varta LFD90. We are on our third set in our 12 year old Murvi. We are off hookup other than the colder months of winter and they have never failed us and we change them every four years rather than squeeze them to the last minute following advice from a regular but no long contributor to MMM. My brother in law then uses them to power his flock of " Classic Cars".
The last set from Tayna cost £85 each which was well below the price of the marketed "latest technology" batteries so we are sad to see the price of the replacement battery they are now marketing. Perhaps Varta realised they were too much of a good thing!
userspirou
Posted: 19 July 2022 4:58 AM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 


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Varta LFD range has been replaced by LED. We've had ours for a year, they work about the same as LFD before them. OK for the price, nothing outstanding either way.

Absolute best lead batteries...probably victron lead-carbon range if you can find them https://www.victronenergy.com/batteries/lead-carbon-battery
userTracker
Posted: 19 July 2022 11:12 AM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 


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Location: Vanless in Evesham.


Like many others, my experience over the years gave me no faith in so called 'leisure batteries' and long ago I found that a decent 'ordinary' car battery from a respected maker worked just as well and cost a lot less.
Even better were large truck batteries that seemed to have huge amounts of reserve power and, when bought s/h from a truck breaker, were very cost effective.
I remain unconvinced by modern technology which rarely seems to deliver anything like it's theoretical promises.
Actual use is very different from controlled laboratory use where charge and discharge rates can be carefully controlled to get the best results so before paying silly prices for a promise much research and question asking is fully justified.
Call me old fashioned, and many do, but to me a battery is a battery is a battery and the maker's experience and reputation are more important than the promises of unproven technology.

Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware!


Edited by Tracker 2022-07-19 11:13 AM
userpkc
Posted: 29 July 2022 8:26 AM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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Yes Tracker, you are old fashioned.
usermalc d
Posted: 29 July 2022 9:14 AM
Subject: RE: Leisure Batteries
 
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pkc - 2022-07-29 8:26 AM

Yes Tracker, you are old fashioned.


Good batteries are becoming essential.

We are at the beginning of the " battery generation " - and before too long it will be impossible to buy anything or go anywhere without relying on good batteries, and a reliable power supply to keep them charged.

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