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New Leisure Batteries: 115AH Banner ,Energy Bull

Frank McAuley

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After study of previous postings on the subject of Leisure Batteries ( told I need 2) I had decided to purchase 2 Banner , Energy Bull rated @115 AH but it has since been put to me that Platinum ( all the details available at this time) might be a better buy!


At the risk of causing uproar may I please have your opinions/advice please?


My mhome ( A'trail Delaware) is equipped with a SARGENT "Intelligent Charger"; does this system have parameters that would restrict the max AH rated battery?

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Details of Sargent's PX-300 Intelligent Battery Charger are here




Assuming this is what's fitted to your Delaware, you'll note that "...the recommended battery capacity is 85 to 220Ah".


I would not expect two 115Ah batteries (= 230Ah) presenting a problem, but the sensible thing would be for you to check with Sargent. (Alternatively, opt for 2 x 100Ah Energy Bull batteries.)


It might be interesting to know who suggested to you that Platinum batteries might be a 'better buy' than Banner Energy Bull ones (or, more to the point, what credibility your advisor has). It's certainly true, though, that you could buy a couple of similar-dimension Platinum 110Ah 'leisure' batteries for a good deal less than the Banners.


It's your choice, but you may wish to note the final posting in this 2011 forum thread



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From previous posts I picked up it was an EC500, and without looking further I jumped straight to the specs and it appears to have the ability to be set from 50 to 250Ah. So two 115A/h batteries is not an issue. (edit - Doubt they are 115 each anyway). If going for the Banner you set in the actual rating specified for the Banner batteries you purchase.

If going for the Platinum I would set about 10% less to be nearer to the true capacity.


The last posting referred to by Derek is still valid. Why cheaper dual purpose? Well there is a couple of trade offs with the Banner to achieve long cyce life and it results in higher water consumption and increased self discharge meaning if layed up then you will need to recharge the battrey every 2 to 3 months to achieve max life. This is no different to other deep cycle batteries such as some of the Exide and Trojan deep cycle batteries.....cost a lot more than the Banner though.


However you have a solar panel so self discharge should not be a problem. If you are a heavy user then you may have to top up the water periodically.


What are your present batteries and how long have they lasted?


edit - a few typos

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Really appreciate the comments/advice- thankyou. The charger is indeed the EC 500 ( apologies for omitting this detail) .

It was suggested that I purchase the Platinum batteries "because everybody else does" and " the Banner Energy Bull are too expensive"! I shall be having a final check with Sargent ( to establish AH rating) tomorrow and hopefully ordering the Banner batteries.

Any pointers on setting the appropiate rates (where & how) would be appreciated! Thankyou again.



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Sorry Brambles I forgot to mention the batteries ( as far as I'm aware) will be 3 years old in May 2014. I had ordered the home with 2 batteries but on collection discovered there was only one fitted so when I objected they fitted another one before I departed.

I only discovered recently ( before winter lay-up) that the batteries were not matching and the charging had not been set to take account of the second battery.

I know the batteries are of different manufacture but I'm not sure of the details- I'll check and report back ASAP.

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Comprehensive instructions for the EC500 system are downloadable from the Sargent website




Although it's best practice that parallel-connected batteries be identical (including their age) and the Sargent instructions say


"Some vehicle installations can cater for two leisure batteries connected in parallel. In these cases it is recommended that two identical batteries are used."


identicality isn't essential.


Despite your batteries not having the same manufacturer, it's near certain that they will both be the same type (ie. 'wet-acid' rather than AGM or gel) and likely that they have much the same Ampere-hour capacity. I'd also guess that your batteries are roughly the same age on the basis that whoever added the 2nd battery you demanded back in 2011 would have been pretty unkind to have fitted an elderly one rather than a new one.


So the question is "Why have you decided to replace the batteries?" I could understand you doing so if the batteries were showing signs of failure, but 3 years usage isn't long and, if they have been performing OK during that period, there seems to be little incentive to replace the batteries merely because you have realised they are not identical.

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Here's some educational stuff to get your teeth into...







Magazine articles that have discussed testing of 'leisure' batteries have dealt with the performance and construction of NEW batteries. The battery is initially fully charged, then discharged using sophisticated test equipment until the voltage drops to 10.5V The test machine measures the time this process takes and calculates the battery's Ampere-hours capacity, and this figure can then be compared to the Ampere-hours capacity claimed by the battery's manufacturer.


Your batteries are (at least) 3 years old, so it would be reasonable to expect some drop off in performance to have taken place by now. You could carry out a similar test by fully charging each of your batteries separately, then applying a known Amperage load (using, say, a headlight bulb wired across the battery's terminals) and see how long it takes for the battery to discharge to a particular voltage-level (say 50% discharged). This procedure should provide a rough idea of each battery's present capability to cope with a continuous discharge. But there's really no compelling reason to test your batteries in this manner unless there are indications (or it's suspected) that they are beginning to falter.


In a November 2013 posting you said


"...I have been informed that I need two "New Leisure Batteries" compounded by the discovery that the dealer fitted two unmatched batteries!..."


Most of what I said in my last posting was conjecture not opinion. I don't know what batteries are fitted to your motorhome and I've no idea whether the person who told you that you needed two new batteries had valid grounds for that advice. It might be that there's a serious mismatch between the current batteries, or the technician was able to identify a fault with the batteries. I do know that, if someone told me that the batteries in my 3-year-old motorhome needed replacing (and there'd been no prior indication of anything wrong) I'd want to be told why.


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Thanks Derek. It's a long time since I studied but the price of two Banner Energy Bull batteries would appear to make it worthwhile .

Now, at least, I have something to talk to the technician about but I do accept that ,approaching 3 years - like most of us- the performance is probably not what it was!


Kind regards.


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FrankI I may be missing somthing, but what caused you to be , speaking to this technician in the first place? Was your van in for habitation checks, or have you found that the batteries are flat? Now that you have the charger properly set up, I would give it time, before lashing out on new batteries, after all if your not using the van, the new ones will just go flat as well!


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First ,thanks again Derek .Noted.

Hi Ian and tyou for input. The retracting step stopped operating during French trip and on return the step was being replaced ( after refusal by ATrail's insurer but eventual approval by AT) when the technician pointed out that the leisure batteries didn't match and the charger had not been correctly set!


Since purchasing this home the control panel never gave info that appeared correct to me, viz : indicated poor battery state in spite of absolutely no battery malfunction that I could detect. After a few calls to Sargent from France and a few trips unto the roof to either cover or uncover the solar panel Sargent 's advice was to ignore the control panel and contact them on return home.

On return home Sargent sent me a small electronic programmer to reset the charger and panel as both had been set for one battery instead of two. Sargent also advised me to leave the Motorhome on-charge during layup due to the MO of the charger- which I have done!

I think the motivation factors for changing the batteries are:-


the charging rate had still not been correctly set.

Now in light of Derek's info/advice and your opinion I shall endeavour to read-up and have a chat with the technician prior to heading for GreenSpain mid May! As you can probably tell "I'm belt and braces" !

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Thanks for the clarification, seems you have time to make your mind up! We are in Spain at present. Solar power is keeping our batteries happy. Hope you find your reset from sargent works, might suggest that after a couple of weeks on hook up that you unhook for a while and see how the charge is using a digital meter not the control panel. Whatever you decide have a great trip in May.

Cheers Iain

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  • 6 months later...

The "Direct Motorhome Services” company (based at Nuneaton, Warwickshire) was exhibiting at the Malvern Show




and the Banner batteries they were offering seemed very competitively priced.


I asked whether it was possible to confirm how old a Banner battery was without the bar-code information on it being provided to Banner and was told this was not possible. The salesman said that they obtained their batteries direct from Banner, with no middleman being involved, and the ones they were exhibiting had been obtained within the last fortnight.

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