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Automotive batteries versus Leisure Batteries.

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    Automotive batteries versus Leisure Batteries.

    Hi Ant,
    Over the years, from around 1966, I have mostly used automotive batteries in my caravan.
    Initially Leisure Batteries were unheard of and car batteries were the norm. One very useful aspect was that a jump-start from the 'van battery was always a possibility if needed. I generally use a battery similar to the vehicle battery so that I can use it on the vehicle if necessary.
    A car battery can be discharged almost to its full capacity without damage when required, but leisure batteries are likely to suffer if discharged by more than half their rated capacity or by a heavy load. Ergo there really does not in my mind seem to be much to recommend them. Cost is also an issue.
    The couple of times I have used leisure batteries I found their life span to be less than car batteries, so I was paying out more money more often.
    There must be a better reason than I have found for using leisure batteries, which are not anyway true deep cycle batteries and are rather a "halfway house" between car and deep cycle batteries.
    Are we being conned by the battery manufacturers?
    Put me straight!
    Jim.
    Last edited by Twolitre; 16-04-2011, 20:56. Reason: Wrong date
    Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

    #2
    Hi Jim.
    The short answer is probably yes!
    The car battery is perfectly capable of being used as a leisure battery and on the face of it works just as well providing it is kept reasonably well charged. The leisure battery ( deep cycle ?) is designed to still give its output figures beyond the point where a car battery would drop away and then recharge to almost its original "Full charge" state. If you did the same with a car battery and allowed it to discharge and recharge continuously it would not recharge as fully as the leisure each time. eventually the car battery does not recharge well. Add to this the car battery tends to gas more when charging, under a bonnet this doesn't matter but under a seat inside it starts to. I know most batteries are housed and vented but a battery being charged hard will still give off enough gas for it to escape. I use the Numax XV24MF because it is an honestly marketed battery, it is not pretending to be a full blown deep cycling battery and has the added use, when fully charged of being able to start a vehicle if needs be. I think in the main most Motorhome/caravan users would be perfectly well served by one of these dual purpose batteries.
    Ant

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      #3
      jump start from leisure battery

      Just had an idea, i had to replace my van battery as it kept losing it's charge, one morning dead ! just realised i could have jump started from the leisure battery, is this possible ?

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        #4
        Hi Artc.
        A true deep cycling battery doesn't have much starting punch, if the vehicle was a good starter you'd get away with it. Many so called leisure batteries aren't really true deep cycling batteries so it's always worth a try, just make sure the jump leads are good and heavy( not a thin halfords car jump lead set) as you want all the power to go to the starter not just warm up the leads!
        Ant

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          #5
          Originally posted by artc View Post
          ... i could have jump started from the leisure battery, is this possible ?
          See also this post about the Metro 'Jump Start'. You can trickle-charge your main battery from the leisure battery (or another vehicle). Not as quick but often more convenient.

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            #6
            My post "Smart Charger" in "Caravan Chat" might produce food for thought on this topic where a car battery was preferred to a leisure battery with good results.
            Jim.
            Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

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