Battery: Service life, capacity & strength

Battery: Before you go camping, the most important thing is power. It is not always possible to have a power pole nearby, especially on longer journeys. The starter battery is just enough for the most necessary functions in the driver’s cab. The TV in the caravan or mobile home would overload them too much. This is why it is important to learn about the different models in advance.

Article overview

1. Gel, AGM & liquid batteries: which battery do I need?

2. Starter battery vs. onboard battery: When do I need what?

3. Service life: You have to pay attention to this!

4. Battery capacity: Utilize the maximum

5. reading tips! Electricity at outdoor camping

Gel, AGM & liquid batteries: which battery do I need?

Another model is the onboard battery. In principle, a model designed for cyclic loads is recommended as an onboard battery. A distinction is made between the two types. On the one hand, there are batteries with bound electrolytes in gel or AGM versions. These are leak-proof and maintenance-free throughout their entire service life.

On the other hand, classic liquid/acid batteries can achieve high cycle stability under the required charging conditions. In comparison, gel batteries achieve the same rapid discharge provided they are subsequently charged directly. AGM batteries have higher performance despite higher charge/discharge currents with the same box size.

The type of battery you need depends on the specific application and your requirements for the battery.

Gel batteries are sealed, lead-acid batteries that use a gel-like substance as the electrolyte instead of a liquid. They are typically more resistant to vibration and temperature changes than traditional liquid batteries, and they are also less likely to leak. However, they may not be as efficient in high-temperature environments.

AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are also sealed, lead-acid batteries that use a fiberglass mat to absorb the electrolyte. They are similar to gel batteries in terms of their resistance to vibration and temperature changes, and they are also less likely to leak. They are more efficient in high-temperature environments and have a higher energy density than gel batteries.

Liquid batteries are traditional lead-acid batteries that use liquid electrolyte. They are less expensive than gel and AGM batteries, but they may not be as resistant to vibration and temperature changes. They are also more likely to leak.

Lithium RV batteries are a newer type of battery that can be used in recreational vehicles (RVs) and other similar applications. They offer several advantages over traditional lead-acid batteries, such as:

  • Much higher energy density, which means they can store more energy in a smaller space.
  • Much longer lifespan, typically lasting up to 10 years or more.
  • Much lighter weight, which can help reduce the overall weight of the RV.
  • Low self-discharge rate, which means they can hold a charge for much longer.
  • Can be discharged to a much lower depth than lead-acid batteries, which means they can be used more efficiently.
  • Tolerance to extreme temperatures and high temperatures

However, lithium RV batteries are also more expensive than lead-acid batteries and require specific chargers and safety precautions. Additionally, you need to make sure that your RV’s electrical system is compatible with a lithium RV battery, as they have different charge and discharge characteristics than lead-acid batteries.

In conclusion, lithium RV batteries are a more advanced and efficient alternative to lead-acid batteries, but they are more expensive, and require specific chargers and safety precautions. It is important to weigh the benefits against the cost and ensure compatibility before making a decision.

Starter battery vs. onboard battery: When do I need what?

The starter and onboard battery have different functions, but both are present in almost every mobile home. While the driver’s cab can be supplied with electricity using the starter battery, the onboard battery serves as the energy source for all other consumers.

The starter battery, located in the engine compartment, supplies all consumers in the driver’s cab, such as lights, radio, starter, and accessories, with power. When starting, a high current is drawn from the battery for a very short time. As soon as the engine is running, everything is supplied by the alternator, and no more current is drawn. The battery is designed to deliver hundreds of amps in seconds. Its flat cycle ensures a maximum discharge of 10-20 percent of its capacity.

Everything else in the camper body, such as light, water pump, television, and satellite system, is supplied with electricity from an off grid solar system. This is required when no power connection is nearby and you need power for longer. Their job is to deliver a few amps for many hours. Accordingly, these batteries have a deep cycle and discharge 50 to 80 percent of their capacity.

Lifetime: You have to pay attention to this!

Who doesn’t know? Batteries are the first to give up the ghost after prolonged or excessive/incorrect use. Whether mobile phone, car, or the remote control. Here, too, the battery capacity is not tight. The problem can be solved by connecting several batteries in parallel, thus increasing its capacity. You need to have some understanding of series vs parallel of batteries. These must be all of the same type (gel, AGM, etc.) and have the same capacity. In addition, no new battery should be connected to an old battery!

Battery capacity: use the maximum

In the beginning, we noticed the higher cycle stability of the maintenance-free gel and AGM batteries. Nevertheless, certain loading and operating conditions must be met to gain the advantage.

These prerequisites get the benefit:

  • The chargers used must be designed for the battery type
  • Desulfator guarantees optimal operational safety/Lifetime
  • Aim for low discharge if possible
  • Avoid deep discharge (protection by under voltage protection)

The chargers, charge boosters, and solar regulators must be designed for the respective battery type to achieve full charging and avoid a partially charged battery condition and the associated sulphation. In addition, a desulfator guarantees optimum operational reliability and long service life. In addition, one should note that regardless of the battery type, the battery’s lifespan is shortened many times if it is not used carefully. So it would help if you avoided deep discharge with the help of Undervoltage protection. On the other hand, this should be kept as low as possible when discharging.

Electricity at outdoor camping

Alternatively, you can find other interesting articles on the subject of a power supply when camping here, which you can read through for helpful tips and information worth knowing.

CEE plug: electricity connection on the campsite

In the meantime, people usually travel with a little more luxury, which also requires electricity. However, it needs the right connection to get electricity on the campsite. The plugs and power connections on campsites have been standardized throughout Europe and are usually immediately noticeable because of their blue color. You should ensure that you have such a connection or an appropriate adapter.

Cable drum: advantages & regulations at the campsite

If you have a cord reel, you don’t have to worry about the nearest outlet, as you can easily plug in your devices from your cart when you need them. Especially if you are traveling with children, a cable drum makes it much easier for you when you want to blow up the mattresses as quickly as possible after a long day at the campsite in the evening or need to charge your mobile phone.

Extension cord: Power connection for multiple devices

You don’t have a socket in your camper, or do you want to charge several devices simultaneously? The car battery is usually too weak to keep several devices running. To avoid being left with an engine that won’t start, get an extension cord to easily reach the available outlet at the campsite and use all your electronic devices.