How to choose the Best caravan battery

Looking for the best Caravan battery – What to think about?

There are two crucial factors you need to take into account when buying a new caravan & motorhome battery.
The first is the physical size of the battery, and make sure you have room for it. The second is how powerful a battery you need. With today’s technology, caravans draw significantly less power than 20 years ago. And at the same time, the batteries have improved, and can deliver power like never before. 
Later in the article, we go through the battery types we prefer, and how you can easily calculate how big a battery you need. But first we look at the models that fit perfectly as a battery for caravan & motorhome. 

What types of Caravan batteries are there? 

There are four types of caravan batteries that are suitable for caravans and mobile homes. Below we rank the varieties and descriptions.

  • Lithium
  • GEL
  • AGM
  • Traditional lead battery

Lithium batteries for caravan

Lithium batteries are the battery of the future, but are already used today in a variety of areas. Lithium batteries are used for mobile phones, cameras and electric & hybrid cars, among other things.

Lithium batteries charge much faster than other types of batteries. They are also much lighter in weight, while delivering even more. They also have a virtually non-existent self-discharge, which means that the battery lasts for a very long time when it is unused.

It is hugely appreciated among caravans and motorhome owners, as you are not always out camping. It is also said that the lifespan is about three times as high as with other types of batteries.  

Gel batteries for caravan

Gel batteries have fantastic consumption properties, and are often used in industries, alarms and various backup systems. Their uses are many, and in the caravan world they have been used for a long time.

They are completely maintenance-free, contain no liquid acid and can be mounted in any way. Two crucial qualities they possess are their ability to withstand deep discharges and their extremely low self-discharge. A GEL battery basically requires no maintenance charge over the winter at all. 

AGM batteries for caravan

AGM batteries (Absorbed Glass Mat) are a type of battery that has become increasingly popular in Australia in recent years.

But the main properties are they are maintenance-free, superb consumption properties, are shock-resistant, contain no liquid acid and have a longer service life. They are also cheaper than GEL and Lithium, which is also an advantage. Probably the most common variant used today as a caravan battery. 

Liquid-filled lead batteries for caravan

Liquid-filled lead batteries  are traditional batteries that have been on the market ever since the battery came into being. It is a reliable technology, and is still widely used today among starter batteries for cars. But when it comes to consumption, they are somewhat outdated.

Of course, there are good alternatives here as well, especially in the smaller sizes. If the caravan does not have a lot of electronics, a 75Ah maintenance-free ordinary lead-acid battery can go a long way. Common names for these standard batteries are EFB batteries and SMF batteries. 

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How big a battery do I need for the caravan? 

All electronic devices you use in the caravan control the size of the battery. Usually, there is an information sheet affixed to the product that states exactly what it draws in watts. These are the ones you need to look at. But to help you along the way, we have compiled a list below. 

Think like this: 
To find out what something pulls, there is a simple calculation to make. Divide the power by 12 volts. Then multiply the result by the hours you intend to use the device. Then you get the ampere hours needed. 

An example:
An electric whisk draws about 400 watts when used. Then we divide 400/12 and get 33A. This is what the electric whisk draws from the battery during use. If you then want to use the electric whisk for two hours, multiply 33 by two. Then you get 66, and that is the number of ampere-hours (Ah) required from the battery to power the electric whisk. 

Fridge Freezer150 – 250 W
Stove fan200 – 300 W
Electric mixer300 – 400 W
Mixer400 – 600 W
Food processor400-600 W
Coffee maker400 – 800 W
Toaster800 – 1000 W
Microwave oven900 – 1500 W
Laptop35 – 45 W
Dishwasher1500 – 2000 W
Kettle1500 – 2000 W
Stove (quick plate-frying plate)1500 – 2500 W
Oven1800 – 2500 W
Mobile phone charger5 W

Questions and answers about caravan batteries

What is the difference between a consumer battery and a car battery? 

A consumable battery, on the other hand, is designed for continuous power supply, and lacks the starting power that a car battery possesses. There are thus two completely different areas of use. When you talk about a battery for a caravan, it is consumer batteries you should choose. 

Can you use a regular car battery?

Absolutely, but the battery is not made for it and you will notice it pretty immediately. When a car battery is used for clean consumption, the battery is sulphated quickly, and loses its capacity quite quickly. Using a car battery is definitely not a long-term solution. 

What is meant by Deep Cycle? 

When the battery is described as a deep cycle, it means that it is designed to withstand deep discharges. Many batteries are quickly damaged by too many deep discharges, but Deep Cycle batteries handle these considerably better. 

Can you recharge a consumable battery?

It is very unusual to succeed in overcharging a consumable battery, but it is possible. Be sure to have a charger that switches to maintenance charging when the battery is almost full. If you use a solar cell, it is the solar cell regulator’s job to avoid overcharging. Today’s solar regulators have built-in functions for that, and there is nothing to worry about. 

Which type of battery fits best with solar panels? 

All battery types we have gone through fit together with a solar cell. Then some are better suited because of their properties, but all battery types can handle it. 

Is it possible to have two batteries at the same time? 

Absolutely, and it is very common in caravans and mobile homes. It is important to know that you should buy the batteries at the same time. It is a stupid idea to mix a new battery with an older one. The older battery has a tendency to reduce the capacity of the new one, and therefore the service life is negatively affected. 

Are batteries sensitive to temperatures?

All batteries, regardless of where they are used, are sensitive to temperatures. You have probably noticed that your mobile phone hung up at -20 in the middle of winter. It is not at all uncommon for batteries to deteriorate during extreme cold and heat. The best thing you can do to counteract this is to use batteries designed to cope with this. AGM, GEL and Lithium batteries all have good properties to counteract this.