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Leisure batteries


Globetrotter

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Hi All My van has two 85ah leisure batteries wired parallel. Before I bought it last month, the dealer replaced one which was apparently dead with a new Fuller one. At this point, they hadnt even realised that it had two batteries (!!!) until I noticed myself. As a consequence, the other is an older one (Uncertain how old). I know from previous articles/discussions that this is not an ideal situation-indeed, it seems that already the old battery is dragging the new one down quite quickly. (Both at 10.7V when I checked today.) I intend to replace the old one, but is it crucial that both batteries are EXACTLY the same age and make, or will any make of new one do the job when wired to the Fuller? Incidentally, the dealer's lack of awareness of the basics of the van they were selling was typical of the service we got from them-really poor. That was unexpected, because it is a dealer that has won customer service awards and specialises in second hand vehicles. It seems no one can be trusted these days..... Thanks for any advice!
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Go on, you can name names! Anyway, no it isn't vital that you get the same make of battery at all. As long as you have two decent, 85ah, reasonably similarly aged batteries then all will be well. And do it soon so that the other dud battery doesn't damage the newer one! Jimmy
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any help please.. i have a talbot express 2.o ltr petrol 1300. motorhome. there is the battery for starting etc, and a lesuire battery under the spare wheel with a split charge system. the main battery is only half the size of the battery tray and the lesuire battery is no better and not holding charge very well.. so.... please can you give me any recomondations on what batteries to get to replace both? i only really want to do this once and should i get the biggest i can fit in the tray or is there a more scientific way to do it...many thanks.....
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If you dont rely heavily on your leisure battery then the cheapest alternative is to go to a commercial motor factors and buy a couple of lorry batteries, they are cheaper than going to a caravan center etc, Ihave just bought 2 new ones for my lorry for £50 plus the vat. the one I use for leisure (again a lorry battery) has lasted 4 years with no problems.
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Globetrotter, yes it is important that leisure batteries wired in parallel are the same size, type and age. This is easiest to achieve with two batteries from the same manufacturer, but is not absolutely essential. The problem is that older batteries neither absorb as much charge, nor do they give up as much charge, so you are unlikely to have a 'matched pair'. As you have discovered, the older one is pinching charge from the newer one.
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Hi again just to keep you updated..... went to my local motor factors today and asked for a nice big battery.....usual question "whats it for ?" so said it was for me motorhome and i wasnt interested in all the crap about which one i need,,,just want a nice big one.... Reply came.....we have a 100 AH tractor battery you can have and it'll cost you £60. + vat....and as you dont really want us to give you any advice....we wont tell you that we have a new 110AH leisure battery that we stock for motorhomes and is fully charged and ready to go and thats only £48.55 + vat..... well guess who looked stupid, said sorry and thanked the guy for saving me a bit of dosh....so now the old girls all fired up with new power and ready to go...... if anyones looking and lives anywere near nottingham the place is. Belvior Motor Components,13 Moorbridge Rd,Bingham,Notts,NG13 8GG. tel01949 839654.
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  • 3 months later...
Hi Ventoux, I'm not sure what you want to know but if it's 'How do I measure the battery voltage?' then the easiest and most accurate way is to connect a digital multimeter across the battery terminals. The multimeter needs to be set to DC Volts on about the 20v range. A charged battery should read at least 12.6v and a battery on charge should read between 13.8 and 14.4 v depending on its state of charge. Phil.
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  • 2 weeks later...
I have a leisure battery removed from previous camper because it did not like running the diesel heater for too long. After say 6 weeks without charge the battery reads 12.4 volts but only accepts 2 amps from the charger. Checking again after 30 minutes with charger still connected there is 14.6 volts. Do you think there may be a little life left yet. I only propose to use it as a battery back up for one of my house 12 volt alarm systems.
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Hi Icelander, I would leave it on charge for say 24 hours, switch off charger and disconnect. Then measure terminal voltage after 12 hours if voltage is over 12.6 then there's a good chance the battery still has some useful life left. Before charging did you check that the electrolyte level was up to the correct level? If not stop charging, top it up and then restart charging. Phil.
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