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Caravan Battery Buyer's Guide

As with anything caravan related, the better you can suit your battery to your application, the better performance you will achieve. But with so many caravan batteries on the market, how do you identify the one for your set up? Well we are here to help!

Our caravan battery guide lays out the information you need to keep your gadgets running while you’re off the grid – along with some information you never knew you needed.

The Best Caravan Battery?

 

Deep Cycle Batteries:

There are three main types of Deep Cycle Batteries used for running appliances in a caravan, RV or Camper Trailer. These are:  Gel, AGM and Lithium.


Lead Acid Batteries:

Gel and AGM are both Lead Acid caravan batteries. These are a traditional type of Deep cycle battery, with a typical size being around 100 to 120 amp hours.

Camec 120AH SLA AGM Battery

Camec 120AH SLA AGM Battery

 

A lead acid battery can be charged down to about 50% of its capacity before it needs to be recharged. This is referred to as “Depth of Discharge” So, a typical 200Amp hour lead acid battery bank contains 100 usable Amp Hours.

A 200 Amp Hour Lead Acid Battery bank weighs around 50Kg, which is quite heavy compared to the latest in Lithium.


Lithium Batteries:

Lithium Batteries are gaining serious popularity in modern caravan power system installations. A lithium battery has a Depth of Discharge of almost 80%. So, A 200 Amp Hour lithium battery provides 160 usable amp hours before it needs to be recharged.

Lithium batteries are half the weight of Lead Acid Caravan Batteries and take up a much smaller foot print.

The range of ePower B-TEC lithium batteries from Enerdrive all come with a built in Smart Phone monitoring system.

By Downloading the app, you can monitor the critical status of your battery in real time. You can monitor the following:

  • Battery Capacity
  • Battery Voltage
  • Individual Cell Voltage
  • Battery Current (Amps)
  • Battery Event Information
  • The Battery Status
  • Battery Cycles
  • Battery Alarms
  • Temperature of the Battery
  • Battery State of Charge (SOC)
  • Battery State of Health (SOH)
Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC Smart Phone Battery Monitoring System

Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC Smart Phone Battery Monitoring System 
 

The Btec range also comes with an internal Battery Management System or BMS. The BMS will monitor each cell within the battery and is designed to protect the battery from over charge, over discharge, over temperature and short circuit.

Due to the internal BMS, the Lithium Batteries are unable to be connected in Parallel to increase overall capacity.

 

Enerdrive eTIPS – Internal BMS Lithium Batteries

 

The main reason to choose a Lead Acid caravan battery is price. They are extremely affordable. A good quality, sealed, 100 Amp Camec AGM batteries will cost under $300 each. If weight and space are not an issue, you can keep connecting batteries in parallel to increase the overall battery capacity.

Anyone towing a Caravan, Camper Trailer or Boat is going to want to minimize battery weight and size as much as possible. So that is why so many people are pulling out 3 or 4 lead acid batteries and upgrading to one 200Amp ePower Btec Lithium Battery from Enerdrive.

At My Generator, we provide a wide of smart chargers available to charge AGM or Gel batteries.

Lithium Caravan Batteries will require a special lithium charging profile. So to make life easier, the right size charger has been bundled up with the right size battery. Check out our Lithium battery packs here.

Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC 200Ah Lithium Battery Pack

Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC 200Ah Lithium Battery Pack


What Will My Caravan & Camping Battery Run?

When choosing a caravan battery that is right for you, you not only need to understand the difference between Gel, AGM and Lithium batteries, but you will also want to understand what your battery will run:

 

 

There are a few basic principles behind working out your run time and power requirements of your off-grid camping set up. You’ll need to answer the following questions:


 

If this all seems overwhelming, don't worry; we are here to help! Firstly, you will need to understand how many amps per hour your fridge draws. Let’s look at a typical example of a 40L portable fridge that draws an average of 1 Amp per hour, over 24 hours. Which means that in one day the fridge draws 24Amp hours. We have now calculated our load, which is 24 Amp Hours. 

 

Dometic Waeco CFX-40W Portable Fridge / Freezer

Dometic Waeco CFX-40W Portable Fridge / Freezer

  

Now, let’s say that our camping battery is a 135 Amp hour AGM battery. An AGM battery has a 50% Depth of Discharge which means there are 67 usable Amp Hours (135/2 = 67.5). So if our 40L fridge is pulling out 24 Amps per day, my battery will run it for just under 3 days straight without any solar input!

Now this brings us to our Solar input. You could use either a Solar Panel or Solar Blanket to help run your camping fridge. A typical 160W portable Solar Panel that is in direct sunlight will provide an input charge current of nearly 9 Amps per hour. If the solar panel works off 6 hours of available sunlight, we have a total input of 54Amps per day. 

Evakool Solar Panels

  

We now have 24 amps coming out, and 54 amps going in. This means that if the sun is available, our camping battery is going to stay charged up and we are given power indefinitely. This is how we are able to stay off-grid while camping!

With these products, we have more than enough power left over to charge mobile phones, laptops, led lights and 24V inverters. However, if the weather does decide to close in, and we lose sun all together, we will still get nearly three days of running our fridge.

 

Need help choosing a caravan battery for your setup? Give one of our experts a call on 1300 400 122.

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