Whether you plan on using a site hook-up, or going fully off-grid - you’ll require a leisure battery for your motorhome.
Despite the utmost importance of leisure batteries, your motorhome won’t ever actually come supplied with one. Therefore it’s your responsibility to find a reliable power source for all of your 12v equipment - this is where lithium iron phosphate leisure batteries come in. These rectangular powerhouses are tasked with facilitating the charge of essential on-board electronics.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that a leisure battery is not the same as a car battery. Your motorhome leisure battery will be designed to give a smooth consistent flow of energy over a prolonged period, the opposite to a car battery which is designed to give an initial huge jolt of power. The only similarity is that they are both measured in ampere hours (ah) - that is where the similarities end.
What do you need from a motorhome leisure battery?
When shopping around for your ideal motorhome leisure battery you’ll need to consider a few factors;
- your overall budget
- how much power you will be using on your travels (total kilowatt hours)
- how much time you have to dedicate to maintenance of the battery
- how frequently you will be off-grid
- whether environmental factors play a part in your purchase decision and,
- if vehicle payload is also a consideration for you.
What type of motorhome leisure battery should I buy?
There are a variety of leisure batteries that could be considered for use in motorhomes, all with their own pros and cons. Researching ‘motorhome leisure batteries’ can turn up some rather confusing results for those just exploring the topic!
The two most popular varieties on the UK market are Lead Acid and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4). Lead Acid leisure batteries cost less up front but have a far shorter lifespan, lower depth of discharge, contain potentially hazardous chemicals and require a lot of maintenance.
Lithium Iron Phosphate leisure batteries may cost more up front but last substantially longer, require no maintenance, contain no harmful chemicals and have a much higher depth of discharge. You can read more about LiFePO4 Leisure Batteries Vs. Lead Acid in our blog here.
It's absolutely worth noting that Lithium leisure batteries are designed to repeatedly withstand the repeated deep discharge cycles required to keep your motorhome equipment powered-up.
How do I know what size leisure battery to use in my Motorhome?This is determined by two things - how much power you will be using, and how much time you will be off-grid.
A rough guide on how to work out your approximate usage is as follows;
- List your 12v appliances and the watts of each appliance (for example, your lights might work at 3.6 watts, your fridge at 65 watts, water pump at 12 watts...)
- List the estimated daily running time (in hours) and daily energy usage (in watt hours).
- Work out the overall watt-hours you will be using every day.
- Simply divide your watt-hours by 12 (if you are using a 12v battery) to give you your overall amp-hours (Ah). For example; 1,023.1wh/12v = 85.25ah. 85.25 is our daily energy usage.
When it comes to selecting your motorhome leisure battery, there are a few things to take into consideration. Take a look at the Fogstar Drift range of Leisure batteries and check out the specifications or speak to a member of our team - we are always happy to help.