What Battery Do I Need?

Leisure Batteries

Welcome to the home of UK Leisure Batteries. We stock the widest range of deep cycle leisure and caravan batteries in the UK; holding all major leisure battery brands such as Numax Leisure Batteries and Exide Leisure Batteries.

Leisure Battery Information

The leisure battery is effectively the brain of your caravan or motorhome electrical system. The battery powers all of your onboard equipment such as your fridge and lighting, and it is imperative that you have a high quality leisure battery powering your caravan. If you have a caravan motor mover it is more important than ever that you specify a deep cycle leisure battery.

Deep Cycle Leisure Batteries

A 'cycle' in terms of leisure batteries is a discharge/recharge cycle. A deep cycle leisure battery is designed to perform a high number of discharge/recharge cycles without loss of battery health. In cases of high drain applications such as a motor caravan mover it is essential to fit a deep cycle motor mover battery due to the high drain nature of the caravan mover.

How to Choose a Leisure Battery

The important rating of a leisure battery is the capacity which is measured in Ampere/hours(Ah). The capacity is the measure of how much energy can be stored by the battery. Essentially, the higher the Ah the longer it will last between charges. The higher the Ah figure, the physically larger the battery so you are restricted to the size of your caravan's leisure battery box. The two main capacities are the 85Ah leisure battery and the 110Ah leisure battery.

NCC Verified Leisure Battery Scheme

The NCC has created a scheme for leisure batterys designed to give consumers confidence in the quality of the battery they are purchasing. The scheme is called the Verified Leisure Battery Scheme and it rates leisure batterys in 3 classes:-

  • NCC Class A Batteries - Batteries capable of frequent use away from electrical hook-up sites with high storage capacity.
  • NCC Class B Batteries - Batteries that can be used frequently with an electrical hook up but do not have the required capacity to operate larger devices including motor movers.
  • NCC Class C Batteries - Batteries with a low capacity that are only able to operate away from hook-up units for a short period of time.

Some of the worlds largest battery manufacturers including Banner and Yuasa are involved in the scheme in an effort to make the leisure battery market more transparent.

What is a Leisure Battery?

Many people ask why they can't fit a car battery instead of a leisure battery to their caravan since they can be cheaper. There are two main types of lead acid batteries; starting batteries and axillary power batteries. The two battery types are constructed in completely different ways; having different plate thicknesses etc. A car battery is a starter battery designed to push out a burst of power over a short period of time. If you use a car battery to provide auxiliary power you are using the battery for a purpose for which it was not designed and you will not get the performance or life that you would expect from it.

A leisure battery is an auxiliary power battery designed to provide a steady rate of power over a period of time, and is the type that must be fitted to a caravan in order to achieve a healthy electrical system.

Some RVs and motorhomes use the same bank of batteries to provide the starting power and auxiliary power. This begs the question of which type of batteries to fit. The Numax brand has answered this in the form of the Numax Sealed leisure Batteries range. This state of the art range of batteries have been designed to have qualities of both starting and auxiliary power batteries, and are marketed as dual purpose deep cycle leisure batteries.

Leisure Battery Technology

The next thing to consider is flooded lead acid batteries versus gel leisure batteries versus AGM leisure batteries. The vast majority of leisure batteries are wet lead acid as they are cheaper to produce and extremely easy to look after.

You have to handle wet lead acid batteries carefully due to their acid content; you have to keep them upright for example. Gel batteries such as the Exide G80 80Ah Gel Leisure Battery have no liquid content so can be stored in any orientation and are safe to handle. Gel leisure batteries are extremely low gassing so can be safely installed inside the cabin of a motorhome. Downsides to gel are that they can be expensive and you have to be very careful not to overcharge them. AGM batteries are the latest technological development in leisure and caravan batteries. Instead of using gel, AGM batteries use a fibreglass type material to hold the electrolyte in place, making them spill-proof and extremely vibration resistant. Again, you must be careful not to overcharge AGM batteries.