A good caravan battery is one of the most important accessories you can buy.
Now we use more electronic devices than ever before. That’s why you need a decent leisure battery that can handle all your equipment and appliances. There are different types of batteries, such as lithium or gel batteries, that provide different levels of performance.
Without the right knowledge, you can easily be intimidated by all the terminology and technical details. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you choose the RV battery that best suits your needs.
Types of Batteries
As we saw above, there are several types of batteries. All of these come with different pros and cons. Let’s check these out now.
Firstly, let’s look at lithium batteries for caravans.
Lithium batteries have many advantages.
First of all, they are significantly lighter than other types of batteries. This makes them easier to handle and reduces the burden of the payload. If you buy Enerdrive, you will immediately save 18kg compared to Sonic.
Another huge benefit is that they can discharge to a lower level without causing any damage to a single battery. This means they can work longer before they need to be recharged.
There are several shortcomings, starting with the most obvious.
Lithium batteries used in caravans are expensive. You can see that the prices of both Enerdrive and Baintech are close to $1000. For some users, this may be out of reach or not worth it at all.
Technically, they should not be charged at a voltage above 13.8V. Otherwise, the battery will be damaged.
Lead acid battery.
Lead-acid batteries are traditionally the most common type. However, with the development of technology, we expect lithium to replace lithium.
These batteries are reliable and work well. However there are several factors that make them less impressive than lithium alternatives.
One of the biggest problems is their weight.
There is no denying that they are huge beasts that occupy the precious space of your caravan. If you have multiple batteries, this will only increase. If you think about it, a pair of Camec lead-acid batteries will weigh more than 50 kilograms before you pack anything else.
Another key problem is that discharging lead-acid batteries below 40% is not a good idea. Otherwise, you may face problems, which is not good! This means that a 100Ah lead-acid battery has less useful power than a 100Ah lithium battery.
On the plus side, they are still much cheaper than lithium batteries. If you choose Camec over Enerdrive, you will save about $750. This is a huge difference and is the decisive reason why many people still like them.
Absorbing glass mat batteries have been in existence since the 1970s. Aircraft manufacturers use them first before entering mainstream production.
Like other batteries, they have positive and negative electrodes. Let’s start with the good side because there are many good things.
AGM batteries can withstand deeper discharges than standard lead-acid batteries. They have less self-discharge and faster charging speed. If the charge reaches the maximum, they will retain at least 60% of the fee for a year.
But this comes at a price because AGM batteries usually have a shorter life than lead-acid or lithium batteries. Usually, they are not heat-resistant and should be stored in a cool place. Even the upper sphere can not be used at more than 40 degrees Celsius.
These batteries also have weight problems. Forget about lithium batteries for a while, because they are usually heavier than lead-acid batteries.
Despite these problems, many RV owners prefer AGM batteries because they are spatter-proof and shockproof. This makes them very safe.
Finally, let’s look at gel batteries.
On the face of it, they are quite similar to AGM batteries. They’re both spill-proof and vibration-resistant. Meanwhile, they also have low self-discharge and deep-cycle capabilities.
Gel batteries use a type of silica glass to hold electrolytes together. This gel allows electrons to flow from the plates.
Their depth of discharge tends to be more efficient than the AGM process. But if you don’t recharge it properly, it will damage the battery. Typically, they’re also less durable but this isn’t always the case as we see with the Power-Sonic.
In the end, GEL batteries suffer because they’re more expensive and don’t offer a lot more in performance output. The Power-Sonic is over $100 more than the Sphere AGM battery but it’s not necessarily better.