If you own a motorhome, campervan, or other similar vehicle, then understanding what a large leisure battery is and how it functions is crucial. There are a variety of different leisure battery types on the market and finding the right one for your requirements is not always easy.

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Generally speaking, a large capacity leisure battery is needed for larger vehicles like motorhomes that double as a living space. A leisure battery is what provides a steady source of power to operate your vehicle’s internal lights, an oven, fridge, air-conditioning, and other basic yet essential home appliances. These, after all, are what ensures that your accommodation is comfortable and liveable-in, as well as being a mode of transportation.

Batteries for standard vehicles are very different from leisure batteries in terms of how they function. Regular vehicle batteries are designed to provide a high current surge to start the engine. Once the engine is started, the vehicle’s alternator takes over, replenishing any lost energy as you drive.

A leisure battery, on the other hand, needs to support the vehicle’s full power requirements on an ongoing basis. After all, leisure vehicles need a constant supply of current over a longer period of time to ensure they’re comfortable living spaces while you’re on the road.

A leisure battery isn’t recharged by the alternator; instead, it needs a compatible charger to do the job. Manufacturers recommend recharging a leisure battery whenever its power level drops to 50% or lower. Leaving the battery in a low state of charge for prolonged periods is not advisable, because this can permanently adversely affect its performance.

The majority of leisure batteries are of the lead-acid type, which then comes in several varieties. These include standard leisure batteries or auxiliary batteries, and traction or semi-traction batteries.

One of the main factors to bear in mind when deciding which is the best large leisure battery for your needs will be its frequency of use. Occasional weekends out on your boat, in your caravan, or in a motorhome count as light usage. Getting away with a light usage battery is also possible if there will be fixed power points available throughout your trip. If your leisure vehicle is only used on this occasional basis, then you can opt for a dual-purpose leisure battery.

Any trips more frequent than the occasional weekend, such as long vacations or holidays where you won’t have access to a fixed power supply, count as regular usage. In these situations, a semi-traction leisure battery is highly recommended. This type of battery is designed to provide your vehicle with a consistent power source over a longer period of time.

Unlike with a car, where the battery is supplied as standard, a leisure battery may or may not be included in your purchase when buying a new motorhome, campervan, or other type of leisure vehicle. It’s best to check with your dealership when you’re buying the vehicle whether a battery is included and if so, that it’s ready for its first trip.

Whether you need a new leisure battery for a recently purchased motorhome or just need a replacement because yours has ceased to operate, you need to make sure you find a reliable supplier to ensure quality and good performance.

For this, you can check out our online store right here at Orius Batteries. We offer a wide selection of high-quality vehicle batteries, chargers, and accessories at great prices so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. You can email us at info@oriusbatteries.com or call us on 01772 348317.

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What is the biggest leisure battery?

The typical 100Ah (ampere-hour) lead-acid leisure battery weighs around 25kg, while the biggest and heaviest leisure batteries with 330Ah can weigh a whopping 90 kg.

Lithium leisure batteries are also available. While more expensive, these are far lighter than conventional variants. A 100Ah battery typically only weighs 13 kg.

What battery size do I need for my motorhome?

If you own a large motorhome, you will need a suitably large battery to power the engine and another big leisure battery for the internal lights, fridge, TV, and so on – either one 12v deep-cycle battery or two 6v deep-cycle batteries. If you have a trailer or campervan, you only need a deep-cycle battery (or batteries).

How do you maintain a leisure battery?

Here’s how to maintain a large caravan battery or motorhome battery:

  1. Ensure it’s recharged once it drops to 50% power.
  2. Avoid allowing the battery to run flat as this can cause damage, reducing its lifespan.
  3. Consider using solar panels to recharge your battery.
  4. Regularly check the charge level.
  5. Keep the battery clean and secure.

What is the life expectancy of a leisure battery?

Leisure batteries usually last around five years, depending on the quality of battery you’ve purchased and how well you maintain it. Winter is a test of how good your battery is. To maximise your battery’s lifespan, use a specialised leisure battery charger instead of one meant for standard car batteries.

How long does it take to charge a leisure battery from flat?

Charging a battery from flat to 100 per cent will take approximately 28 hours. Bear in mind that the charger should not be left connected to a charged-up battery for any extended period beyond this unless it’s a maintenance charger.

Different Types Of Leisure Batteries

Here are a few different types of leisure batteries:

  • Traditional "wet-cell" lead-acid battery. This is one of the most popular and affordable batteries. Many users opt for these as they are easy to maintain.
  • Gel battery. These are liquid-free batteries, so you don’t need to worry about acid spillage. While they are much more expensive than wet-cell batteries, they are high quality and tend to last longer.
  • AGM battery. Short for absorbent glass mat, AGM batteries are the cream of the crop when it comes to leisure batteries. They are highly prized for their high level of performance, safety, longevity, and eco-friendliness.

How to Look After Your Leisure Batteries

When it comes to leisure batteries, one of the most important things to do is monitor their charge state. You must ensure that your battery maintains a healthy level of charge using a compatible charger.

If you’ve been on a long trip, always recharge the battery once you get home. Bear in mind that, unless you’re using a trickle charger, you shouldn’t leave the charger connected to the battery for too long, because too much charge can cause internal damage.

Most importantly, be aware that electrics in your vehicle, like the aerial booster, stereo, and alarms/trackers, can continue to drain the battery even when the vehicle isn’t being used.

Proper Ways To Handle A Lead-Acid Battery

Follow these safety measures when handling lead-acid batteries:

  • Make sure your big motorhome battery is mounted securely and there are no obstructions to the gas vent.
  • Wear gloves and goggles when inspecting batteries.
  • Ensure you use high-quality clamps and check electrolyte levels inside your large leisure battery box frequently.

If you’re looking for the best place to buy leisure batteries, look no further than Orius Batteries. We offer a wide range of large leisure batteries from the top brands in the industry. Visit our online store now.