Jump to content

Don't mention the ..............


Recommended Posts

Guest pelmetman

Tried to buy a Varta for my current bargain banger (Rover 600) the other day from battery mega store ;-) .............


Out of stock :-| ..........



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 111
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Pelmetman, I liked the Rover 600, with mostly Honda engineering, it was actually a good reliable car. But don't you think you are maybe being a bit too optimistic in buying a battery with a 5 year warranty? :D



Thank you all, especially for the offer of funding to help progress this. It is appreciated and something I will consider.



One of the things that had concerned me is that the NCC text on the Verified battery website is open to interpretation. It says, "Battery verification comes via a comprehensive, industry leading, testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test houses" .


While it is clearly designed to make readers believe that the scheme tests every battery, etc. they might be able to argue in Court a different meaning.


However, the recent article in MMM makes a statement that the Haze battery, "delivered a healthy 600 life cycles when tested by the NCC".


So even an "industry publication with relevant expert staff" believes that the NCC do actually test these batteries.


According to the meeting this morning, that is a major step forward and the MMM has just become an expert witness.


So good progress today.



It was discussed how the two battery articles in MMM show that those with influence have used it in a negative way in uniting over the scheme rather than addressing the much needed change.

Especially of note is how cosy Ecobat/Manbat, one of the biggest UK battery wholesalers, have become.

You will notice they 'sponsor' the Clive Mott article on batteries.


We think a very clear demonstration that if change is going to happen, it won't be driven by the Camping Club, Motorhome & Caravan Club or the Magazines.



The Trading Standards team we are in contact with specialise in Leisure battery 'mis-selling'. They have already shut down one Internet based company and seized Pallets of batteries at the docks and are keen to do more to protect the consumer.


So we think it might be best to give Trading Standards the batteries we currently have on test at the UK battery test facility.

They will then own the results and can prosecute the battery manufacturer, Wholesaler, the NCC, etc.



The other batteries that have been sent to Germany for testing may also be donated to Trading standards, we will see.

But if the Trading Standards don't get the hoped for results then we will use those 6 batteries as the basis for private prosecutions



I was emailed recently asking what right I had to challenge the NCC. I said the right of any person.

When you are battling stage 3 Colon Cancer, something like this helps you fight every day.


It also brings things into focus. Threats of legal action, of which there have been a few, just don't rate on the 'concern' scale. If only because I probably won't be around when they get their day in Court.



But it does mean I can get a bit 'over excited', sorry when that happens.


Thanks again for those that have supported all this.



If anybody has any time and are good at 'Graphics', something I am rubbish at, would they consider. creating a battery label, like the one on the Yuasa L36-EFB battery but with Food Labelling Standard Traffic Light colour?


Along the lines of the labelling idea at the bottom of this page : http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/campaign-for-battery-change.php in the section called 'Campaign for Better Battery Labelling'.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was doing a caravan service this morning and the battery was expired, so went to a local Llandudno store to get another.

Bit of a queue in front, but when the turn of the man in front of me came, he put his old battery on the counter and said,

"Another one of those please".

"Sorry they have recently changed they are now smaller" .

"You mean a better battery in a smaller casing?" says the man.

"No", says the man in the overall, " the same sized battery as before, but smaller, they have all just been downgraded". "110Ah down to 100Ah, 85Ah down to 75Ah and so on".

I was getting confused, not hard though eh?


"But I don't want less power, I want the same physical size with the same AH".


"We can't do them, the wholesaler has downgraded all their batteries, they are exactly the same battery as before, your old battery wasn't 85Ah, it was 75Ah".


"You mean, eh, that, err, this old battery didn't have 85Ah before, even though the label said it did?". "It was only a 75Ah all along?".


"Yes, the new battery is the same battery, except now the label is being more honest about what you get".



Lots of swearing and an upset man. But I was overjoyed.


When the man in overall asks me what I want, there are so many thoughts going through my brain, I am unable to answer properly.

He, looks at me and asks again, "Yes?"


I say,"You mean ALL the batteries from the wholesaler now have a more accurate label describing the battery. All saying it has less capacity?".


Clearly the man in the overall is getting tired of this Monty Python sketch which has probably been repeated all morning, "yesss, all downgraded by 5 to 10Ah", he says, "and about B&*%$y time too if you ask me".


I wanted to ask more questions, but could see now wasn't the time, so I speak up, "an 85Ah Caravan battery please, and I don't mind if it's smaller".



I would love to be able to say that our battery testing program with plans to expose all those telling fibs has prompted a new attack. An attack aimed at de-railing our "Name and Shame", with statements like "we are already addressing the issues raised by Allan, his claims are already old news and out of date, etc.".

But sadly I can't claim anything as I have no idea where this has come from.


But what fantastic news, a massive step in the right direction.


It has always been thought that the budgets manufactured in the Far East used fictional numbers.

I don't care where it has come from, anyone, anywhere for any reason that is more honest about battery labelling is doing great in my book.

I can't stop smiling, when have we ever seen anything like that before.


I need to go back next week and get more info from Mark when he gets back from hols.



By the way our meeting with the 'big battery boys' of Trading Standards has been delayed until the 10th August, because they want to come from the South East to Conwy to see us.

That is a long way for a delegation, so hopefully indicates some serious intent.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that Allan is doing a great Job and the leisure battery market place needs sorting so consumers are being protected and are not miss-sold batteries. I have just purchased and now returning 2 x Exide ET650 Leisure batteries which were supplied directly from the manufacturer via Tanya Batteries. Both weighed 26.1 KG instead of 27 KG. Both had labels on them stating 100 AH when their technical specification stated 90 AH. One was discharged to 12.26 V with no date of manufacture on the label and the other which had an updated label on stated 2017. I wanted a matched pair dated 2018.

So, obviously these two were being held in stock for quite a while with one allowed to discharge quite a bit. I have emailed Exide Customer Services for an explanation as to the weight and AH rating and still waiting for a response. An anomaly that I am unable to get my head round is that the ET650 claims to provide 650 Watt Hours of energy but 650/12 =54 AH ????? I don't get that, especially with a battery weighing 27 KG or 26.1 KG in practice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil, thank you.

Could you possibly be thinking that Exide know their battery products better than the NCC Verified team?

I am sure that if the NCC list the ET650 as a 100Ah battery, then Exide must have it wrong saying it is only 90Ah, surely?

Phil, if the NCC say it's right, it must be. :D



On the subject of where to buy some new Exide ET650's that actually are new, may I be so bold as to suggest you consider reading the email below that I received today?


It would be very easy to write the email off as 'just marketing', but I think there is a real will to be different and better. They are the only retailer we have seen that prominently highlight AGM batteries unsuitability in Caravans and Motorhomes. And now have retrained the staff to that effect, so they are at least interested in the consumer.



" Dear Allan, My name is John Gabbott MD of family run Alpha Batteries. My Father Chris, the founder of the company, has suffered a few strokes over the last couple of years and the reins have been passed to me to move the company into the future. I would firstly like to acknowledge the excellent work you have done and continue to do in creating better battery awareness and knowledge. I mainly came across your site by your followers pointing me in your direction. I have found your knowledge both enlightening and inspiring and I would go as far to say has changed my complete outlook on how battery retailing can and should be.

I am aware that the issues you have highlighted, mainly with the NCC scheme that affects some brands we sell on behalf of those manufacturers and wholesalers.

I have rolled out a training programme here to all my staff to create better point of contact advice when it comes to AGM batteries. We have always tried to dig deeper into customers exact needs and advised that AGM batteries should only be used on correct charge settings. I have also, as you have kindly pointed out on your site, made efforts to warn potential customers of not using AGM batteries on non-AGM chargers on our site. There was a sense of pride in myself and 'little' Alpha Batteries that we are trying to do the right thing.

Will we lose sales? Yes, but I see it as part of the journey into the future for both us and the industry.

We advise that budget batteries, for example, are not suited for off hookup use and to consider semi traction, AGM and GEL should charging permit.

We have also recently added the Varta LFD90 and Exide ET650 to our site. We have listed them at competitive prices including delivery. The ET650 would appear to have the highest cycle life available in that 353 x 175 x 190mm box.

The main point of my contact is that we are currently rolling out a knowledge base on our website. This is much needed as some of the guides we have are dated. I would like to ask you for your help with me on these things. My Dad taught me all I know and I'm now looking at experts like yourself to get the message across on the front line. We have also been approached by Sterling and Victron to launch battery related products such as inverters and onboard chargers. I would find your knowledge and opinion on such products extremely valuable.

I would like to take your knowledge and shape the future for battery retailing. I know you're a busy man and I also wish you our very best regards and strength in your battle against your illness.

Best Regards -- John Gabbott Sales Director Alpha Batteries Ltd




Phil's experience with Tayna supplying very old Exide's plus our experiences we have reported before on their aggressive marketing policy that is deliberately designed to mis-sell batteries, will certainly alter our opinion of Tayna. So maybe Alpha Batteries are stepping up at the right time?



They will offer a small discount to anyone who mentions us in relation to Varta LFD90 purchases and we would be grateful if those that take up that offer would kindly report back on the experience?



Maybe this is a chance for a retailer we can trust, and the buying public to forge a 'new battery alliance'.

It might be a big opportunity to use your buying power to get them to work with you.

They can make a strong ally in driving change.


If it's doesn't work out, you can always use your feet to walk away

If the buying public band together, you can drive huge change, money really talks much better than me.




I am sorry to report that my 'interferring' may be coming to an end in the not too distant future.

The results of my recent tests and full body scan were delivered today and it's not nice news.


I have secondary Cancers in the Lungs, Liver and Spleen.

Beyond cure and a pretty short time scale was the prognosis.



To all those who thought I had a hidden agenda - I didn't. I just wanted things to improve.

If I did have an agenda, it sure as heck isn't going to deliver in the time frame I have left.



Anyway, having a retailer to whom you give the power, that you control with your money and feet, might be a really good option to continue the work I have started.


I will do what I can with Alpha in the time I have left and then up to you.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

aandncaravan - 2018-07-27 7:49 PM


I am sorry to report that my 'interferring' may be coming to an end in the not too distant future.

The results of my recent tests and full body scan were delivered today and it's not nice news.


I have secondary Cancers in the Lungs, Liver and Spleen.

Beyond cure and a pretty short time scale was the prognosis.







I am so sorry to read this. You and I messaged each other some time ago on our battle with the big C. I do wish you and your family all the best for your future time together.


I also think this forum in particular and the whole leisure vehicle industry owes you a huge debt of gratitute for all you have done, and continue to do for our pastime. Alpha Batteries will get a shout if I need anything


Thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Allan, there are no words to express my sadness on your dreadful news.

Your input as a pragmatist with such a depth of hard won experience is a breath of fresh air in a world so full of bovine excrement and lies.

The ball you have set rolling is gathering speed and I only hope there is someone with appropriate knowledge to whom you can pass the baton in due course.


With very best wishes to yourself and your good lady,

Rich & Dot

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I am at a loss for words to express my feelings right now but all I can say is a huge THANKYOU from all MH'ers (and caravanners) for the work you have done so far and the plans you are putting in place, as you have said change is long overdue in this industry.


All my best wishes,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure that all of us who have known you and valued your commitment to honest information and advice on this forum will be distressed to hear of your news.  It is perhaps typical of your personal qualities that you will still try to keep going for the benefit of others. You are one of the exceptional few Allan and I wish you and your family all the very best.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alan so sorry to hear this news.

I am not a regular contributor to this forum, although have followed your thread with interest, but very little understanding of all the technical issues. (not your fault am thick) I always thought a battery was a battery, and a charger was a charger. The more you spent on battery the better longer lasting it would be.

Suffice it to say I have learnt something.

After reading your last post I took my dog for a walk, and was thinking of you, and it came into my head in the canine world you are a Rottweiler with the brains of a Spaniel. What determination you have shown.

Best wishes to you and your family at this difficult time.


Steve Kelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Allan, I too am extremely saddened at your news - for you, your family and friends.


In recent months you have provided me with much needed knowledge and advice on the subject of batteries and charging systems that has enhanced my enjoyment of my hobby. Despite over 20 years of motor homing experience I realised I knew very little about this subject. Should I need to replace any of the components of my system then I would certainly take your advice again and give Alpha Battaries a try based on your recommendations.


As to your future I can only hope that you continue to enjoy doing the things you enjoy doing with the people you enjoy doing them with for as long as possible. Thank you once again for all the help you have given me personally, to other motorcaravanners/caravanners you have helped along the way and to those who will undoubtedly benefit in the future from the work you have done.


Best regards


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sorry to hear your news Allan. Why does it happen to the good guys? :-(


Hopefully you have started the ball rolling on batteries and someone can take over and carry the baton on your behalf.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Allan. I am personally grateful for your advice which has saved me a lot of wasted money and grief with useless leisure batteries and charging systems. A huge thank you for it.

I echo the thoughts of everyone and I can't add much that will help but I will say this:

I don't think I have ever seen anyone as stoic as you in battling your illness and yet you still find the time to devote to the cause of improving the lot of the motorhomer and caravaner. I salute you.

I don't have a god to pray to, so I'll just say a prayer in your honour to the Gods of Peace and Good Fortune and then I'll make a wish for you.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm another that's very sorry to hear of your latest health update :-(


You've done so much good to help others, something you and your family should be so proud of. I do hope that John Gabbott and others will carry on with your fight to get honesty as a priority with batteries.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Allan, I've been aware of your health issues over the past few years. It always amazed me, that despite your periods of feeling pretty low, you still made the time to help others.


You are a true soldier in every sense of the word. Thank you for all the help you've given me and to the many others on this forum.


You have become the one and only source of reliable and unbiased information on motorhome electronics and electrics in general. Your website has probably been read worldwide. I don't know of a similar source of information, and I doubt there is one. I never use the word UNIQUE lightly, but in your case, it's thoroughly justified.


It's been a total shock to read about the devastating news. Hope you manage to make the most of your remaining time with your wife and young family. Our thoughts are with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pelmetman

Gutted for you mate........You've always struck me as a bloke who said it how it is...........


Dunno what else to say that wont sound crass.........



Link to comment
Share on other sites



I know that you are on a very worthy crusade and we are all behind you on it but I think you should walk away and spend every moment possible with your family. There will always be dodgy producers and dealers with certifying bodies in their back pocket and hopefully there will be other knowledgeable people to step forward and challenge them even though they will probably have only have half of your knowledge and moral fibre.


I hope you have a lot longer left than they are telling you. A good friend of ours was diagnosed in June 2017 with brain cancer and had radio therapy or something similar. They gave him 3 months to live and he is stilling playing bowls and bridge over a year later and seems well. i really hope that you have a long time left.


Good luck and thanks for all the knowledge and advice you have shared, I am shedding a tear and I don't even know you but I am pretty sure I know what you are about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An email from John Gabbott at Alpha batteries this morning saying -


"We have had a nice gentleman on this morning who reads your forum and has purchased two Varta LFD 75's. These are arriving to us tomorrow and we will be checking the stock and making sure they are of the same batch and age".



I don't know if this is all 'marketing' on their part, but for John to make the point about the same "batch and age" puts them ahead of the normal retailer.


I genuinely believe that they see the battery market is changing and the retailer who uses integrity as their driver rather than the god money, can achieve good things.


I am going to put some faith in their willingness to be different and better than the average retailer. If they benefit from sales as a result of that, then hopefully that will encourage them all the more.



I have agreed they can extract anything from our web pages they need for their web site guides/tutorials, so long as they credit the contents source.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting conversation with a battery shop! Recons he will be getting in soon a lithium battery 65 amp that will have its own Managment system so can be charged by a standard Motorhome charger or alternator not a specific one for lithium can be discharged to 90% weighs 12 kgs. Will retail around £740.

Hard hat on standing by.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welted, it has been shown time and again by many different people that when it comes to leisure batteries and motorhome's the skill and knowledge levels at a battery retailers is exceptional.

Their Integrity and lack of bias when it comes to selling batteries is also of the highest order.


So if the man in the coat on the sales desk of a battery retailers says it's a good thing, you can be sure it will be.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite why anyone would want to pay silly money for any unproven relatively new battery technology is beyond sensible comment when conventional flooded lead acid batteries are relatively inexpensive and do the job admirably if given a suitable charging regime, and that is the key, sound advice for the correct charging set up.


Poor Allan, too much sunshine I reckon has turned his natural cynicism about the well established integrity of the battery industry into irony and naughty Weldted should know better than to try and wind everyone up!


Do please do let us know how you get on with two batteries at £740 each as we will all want them if they are that good and so cheap!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's more chance of me finding the winning lottery ticket under a pile of rocking horse droppings than buying two of them. Having posted on this forum at length and recived much help and advice particularly fron aandncaravan. I only posted it as an example of what the unsuspecting buyer might be faced with. (Hence the hard hat). Hopefully my new Youasa L35- EFB batteries will be in today, mated to a Votronic 350 mttp regulator, battery shunt and controller should keep the light going at the end of the tunnel (tv) a bit longer.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alpha Batteries have just sent an update on more changes they are making :-



"Just another update on some changes we are rolling out on site and other developments:


Our web team have started to add visible charge voltages to products on the site. These voltages will be visible on the technical specifications.

We have a meeting today with our web development company.

The knowledge base is high on the agenda along with PDF care and maintenance sheets for buyers upon purchase.

Wet lead acid batteries are to be moved to the most prominent position on category landing pages.

Such things can't happen overnight but we are working as quick as we can to make the changes needed".



That might sound like an insignificant step, but Care and Maintenance sheets for buyers might be a major step forward to many who have limited battery knowledge.


Printing the minimum charging voltage the battery requires, is also a start.

I wonder if they will add the battery resting voltage to that?


As you know some high technology batteries have a higher resting voltage of 13.0v whereas a conventional battery may be as low as 12.6v when fully charged. That obviously affects the depth to which they can be discharged, for example a 13.0v battery is regarded as 50% discharged at 12.5v but a Conventional battery isn't 50% discharged until around 12.2v.

That info should be on the battery label, but the next best thing is on the advert's Tech spec at sale time.


Quite a big change as it is a lot of info to collate, but worth a try?




Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...