If you are a traveling or camping enthusiast and your choice of travel comes in the form of a motorhome, you already know the perks of having power at your fingertips no matter where you are located on the planet. Did you know that the power supply inside your motorhome is coming from a leisure battery, not the same battery as the motor home itself?
Using a leisure battery makes camping and traveling much more accessible to so many people, offering them a source of power no matter where they are in the world. That’s why it is so essential to make sure you have the best leisure battery possible. In this article, we will provide you with 6 of the top leisure batteries for motorhomes on the market today.
What Does a Leisure Battery Do?
A leisure battery is the main power source for your equipment inside of the motor home. It provides a steady source of power over long periods of time without needing assistance from your main battery.
These types of batteries are designed to keep your motor home comfortable when you are not around another source of power.
How Is a Leisure Battery Used In a Motorhome?
A leisure battery can be used in a motorhome for many different reasons. This battery offers enough power to light up your camper or help you out when you find yourself in a jam. Here are a few ways a leisure battery can be used in a motorhome.
Jumpstart Your Motorhome
A leisure battery is not the same as a car battery. A car battery is designed to produce a huge burst of power as soon as it is activated when the key is turned. A motorhome battery releases power in a slow and steady fashion.
However, if you were to find yourself in a situation where you needed a jump, a leisure battery should have enough power to give you a boost.
Provides Power to Your Electronics
If you are a big camper or vacationer and your means of traveling via motorhome and your preference of “roughing it” is more “glamping” than camping, then you know how important it is to have plenty of electric power accessible inside and out.
Using a leisure battery provides plenty of power to all of your 12-volt appliances. That is how you are able to turn on lights, charge your devices, and keep your food nice and cold in the small, convenient built-in fridge.
Recharge Your Motorhomes Battery After it Starts Up
Powering a motorhome is a huge job for your battery; it is a large vehicle that requires a lot of juice to get up and running. Having a leisure battery is great for helping the main battery recharge after the initial start-up.
Back-Up Battery in Emergencies
As mentioned, leisure batteries are not the same as regular car batteries. They are created to provide power in different ways. However, if you find yourself in a desperate situation, you can temporarily use a leisure battery in place of a car battery.
These batteries will not power your vehicle for long and should be replaced with the proper battery ASAP.
What Should You Look For In A Leisure Battery For A Motorhome
Now that you know what a leisure battery is used for and how it can be highly beneficial to anyone who drives a motorhome, let us discuss what you should look for when purchasing your leisure battery.
The most common type of battery used in a motorhome is a 12-volt, deep cycle that will provide a nice steady amount of power to your motorhome and the equipment inside. They also need to have the ability to be drained and recharged many times without killing the battery’s cells.
If you have a lot of appliances or items that need to be powered at one time, you can opt for purchasing two 12-volt deep cycle batteries, and connecting and parallel wiring them.
There are four main types of leisure batteries that can be commonly found in motorhomes and RV’s.
- Lead-acid batteries (wet batteries): This is the most popular battery used and is proven to work very well while being extremely easy to maintain. They are very affordable and simple to install.
- Gel batteries: Though they are more expensive than lead-acid batteries, these batteries are powered through gel, not acid, which makes them safer to use and prevents dangerous acid leaks. They are also more flexible when it comes to driving on a dirt road.
- Absorbed Glass Mat batteries (AGM): The AGM batteries are known for being much more eco-friendly and easy to install, safely being able to be installed on its side without creating any spills or leaks. This type of battery can be considerably more expensive than other options and can also be destroyed if charged too much.
- Enhanced Flooded Battery: The Enhanced Flooded Batteries were designed to be used excessively without dieing or ruining the battery. These batteries were made to be strong and able to endure a lot of wear and tear.
Now that you know about the different types of leisure batteries for motorhomes, let’s move on to what warranties you should look for in them.
It is extremely important that you are being given a good warranty on whichever battery you choose to purchase for your motorhome. The most common warranty is 2 to 3 years.
The reason the warranty is so important is because it helps ensure you are being sold a battery that was designed to last at least a few years. If a company is willing to offer a warranty, that means they are not likely to give you a product that will need to be replaced for free.
The size battery you will need is going to depend heavily on how much power you are planning on using. If you have a lot of appliances, lights, and equipment on board, then you will want a bigger battery.
A helpful tip to figuring out which size battery would be most beneficial for you is as follows:
Total watts used by all devices onboard / voltage = Watts needed
Example of battery sizes:
- 86Ah Battery: This battery can last up to 35 hours at 30 watts or up to an hour with extreme usages (1000 watts)
- 96Ah Battery: This battery can last up to 38 ½ hours at 30 watts or up to an hour and 15 min at maximum usage(1000 watts)
- 105Ah Battery: This battery can last for 43 hours at 30 watts or up to an hour and a half at maximum usage (1000 watts)
- 110Ah Battery: This battery can last for 44 hours at 30 watts or up to 1 ½ hours at maxim usage (1000 watts)
- 120Ah Battery: This battery can last up to 48 hours at 30 watts or up to 1 hour and 45 min at maximum usage of 1000 watts.
Now that you know the different sizes for leisure batteries, let’s move on to their classes.
There are three classes of leisure batteries that give you an idea of which batteries are better for each situation.
- Class A: This is the highest capacity battery designed for people who do not plan on recharging often on their trips.
- Class B: This is for those who will be relying on their motorhome frequently to provide power even though they will be able to hook up and recharge often.
- Class C: This is the best battery for people who do not plan on relying on the battery itself for power and can hook their motorhomes up to other power sources often.
Now that you know everything there is to know about leisure batteries for mobile homes, let’s move on to the best ones you can buy.
6 Best Leisure Battery For Motorhomes
You now know everything there is to know about leisure batteries, how to use them, and which ones are right for each type of situation.
Now we want to provide you with a list of the top 6 leisure batteries for motorhomes that will give you the power you need at a price you can afford.
Weize 12 Volt Deep Cycle
The Weize 12 volt Deep CYcle battery is a great option for just about any motorhome that spends a lot of time camping. It is a sealed lead acid, rechargeable battery that is made from heavy-duty AGM technology, offering a reliable, safe, and long-lasting battery.
Because this battery uses lead-acid, it is important to remember to keep it in a safe and secure place where there is no chance of it tipping and spilling out.
The Weize battery has on average a 10-hour life without plugging in or recharging, so using it for a smaller motorhome or in shorter increments is the best situation for this brand.
Universal Power Group
This Leisure battery is an AGM spill-proof design. This battery can be mounted in almost any place and position without worrying about leaking or mess. It is a shock-absorbent and vibration-resistant battery that makes it the perfect choice for those who plan to take their motorhomes off-road.
The battery can hold its charge for quite a long time, making your experience more enjoyable.
Chine Deep Cycle Battery
This Lithium battery offers a 2000~5000 cycle life, which is much longer than the cycle life of a basic Lead-acid battery. That means better performance and longer battery life. This Particular battery comes with an 8-year warranty, proving the confidence in the company that this battery can last that long.
The battery has a built-in BMS helping to ensure that it will never overcharge while at the same time making it maintenance-free, so you never have to worry about refilling the cells or clearing built-up minerals and rust.
If you have a large amount of power to source, this Deep cycle battery can be connected to a second Chine battery to double your energy supply.
Ampere Time-Life PO4
Ampere had designed a Time-LifePO4 Deep Cycle Battery that is ideal for any off-grid travels. It is a P65 level water-proof battery guaranteeing no rusting or damage will come to it whether it is hooked up to a boat, or accidentally placed near a leaking air-conditioner.
Ampere offers its customers a 5-year warranty with a 10-year guarantee of battery life. This is five times as long as that of a standard lead-acid battery.
With the professional BMS, you will get the assurance you will never have to deal with overcharging, over-discharging, over-current, or short-circuiting.
KUNMO 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery
WIth this KUNMO leisure battery, you will never have to guess how full your battery is ever again,thanks to its easy-to-read LCD screen.
The entire battery shell is made from waterproof, dust-proof, stainless steel materials guaranteeing you safety and long service life.
KUNMO’s built-in battery management system offers you the convenience of protection from overcharging, overloading, a deep discharge, short-circuiting, overheating, and a low self-discharge rate.
Ampere Time Lithium Iron LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
This Ampere Time leisure battery is designed with PO4 grade battery cells proving a high jolt of power with a stable performance. You will get more than 4000 cycles with this battery which is much more than that of a standard acid battery.
This battery can be placed in any position without having to worry about the possibility of leaks because it has no acid to spill.
This battery is waterproof meaning you will never have to worry about the weather outside.
If you are looking for a great battery that will give you plenty of power and last you a very long time, this is your best bet.
Here is a quick overview of each battery and its important features to help you quickly compare.
|Battery Brand||Size||Cycles||Wattage support||Cell type||Price|
|Weize||12V 100AH||2000+||1200W||Sealed Lead Acid||$174.99|
|Universal Power Group||12V 100AH||2000+||1200W||Leakproof Lead Acid||$179.99|
|CHINS||12.8 V 100Ah||2000-5000||1280W||Lithium||$479.99|
|Ampere Time||12V 100Ah with Built-in BMS||4000-8000||1280W||Lithium-ion||$499.99|
|Ampere Time-Lithium Iron LiFePO4||12V 200AH||4000+||2560W||Lithium-Iron||$799.99|
Now that you have a list of six very popular leisure batteries, let’s look into the difference between the makeup.
What is the Difference Between a Lithium and Lead Acid Battery?
As you can certainly see, lead-acid batteries are much cheaper than Lithium batteries. And the biggest reason for this is because of how fast the lithium battery can charge and the increased amounts of life cycles it can run.
Whereas a basic lead-acid battery can take up to 12 hours to fully charge, the Lithium batteries only take a fraction of that down to even minutes depending on the battery’s size.
Not only does it charge in much less time than an acid battery, but you will also notice that the lithium batteries are much smaller in size, giving you more room for storage and less worry about taking up space. (not to mention, the lithium doesn’t have acid to spill, so the battery can be hooked up in almost any position).
Although the lithium battery probably looks like the best choice at this point, that is not necessarily correct. Lead-acid batteries are still extremely beneficial and can provide the perfect amount of energy for your motorhome and at a fraction of the price.
If you were to look at the chart above, you could see that the lead-acid batteries are at least half the price of the smaller lithium batteries, and the saving increases as you look into larger batteries and power sources.
Both batteries are excellent choices, depending on what you need them for.
Things That Negatively Affect Your Battery Life
No matter which battery you choose, it is important that you understand how it works and what things can negatively affect its performance.
- Years Used: The average length of a basic leisure battery life in max performance is around five years. Because of the constant re-charging and draining, the battery’s life diminishes over time.
- Temperatures: The colder the temperature is around the battery, the poorer performance you will get from it.
- Sources connected: The more appliances and products connected to your battery draining its power, the harder it is on your battery. That is why it is extremely important to make sure you purchase the right battery for the size of your motorhome.
Now that you know about the things that will negatively affect your battery life, let’s dive deeper into how you can properly care for it to increase it.
How to Properly Care for Your Battery to Increase its Life
Although a lot of the wear and tear is out of your hands, there are a few different things you can do to extend your battery’s life.
- Keep the contact surfaces free from rust.
- Use high-quality clamps when charging the battery
- Keep a layer of vaseline on your batteries terminals to reduce rust or mineral build-up
- Make sure everything is connected and set up securely and properly
- Never let your battery run completely dead
- Charge once your battery is nearing the 50% mark
- Never let a dead battery sit for long periods of time
- Make sure your battery is designed to produce the power your motorhome needs
These are a few ways you can help maintain your battery’s life and get the proper amount of power you need from it each time it is being used.