Taking Charge of Your Motorhome Batteries

Motorhome batteries generally have much more pressure on them than your standard car battery, which just has to operate the engine and the lights. If you’re not hooking up your motorhome to the mains supply when you arrive at the camp site, your motorhome battery is going to have to cope with running your fridge, cooker, lighting, television and everything else. There are several options for buying additional batteries or more powerful batteries, and of course the correct solution will depend on the type of motorhome you have and what demands you make on power. Here we’ll run you through the most common options to consider.

Starter Batteries

Most car batteries, including those in motorhomes, are designed to provide a large surge of power to get the engine started. This power is then recharged as the engine runs. They aren’t really designed to provide power over a prolonged period of time. If you want to upgrade your standard starter battery for one which will keep charged for longer and allow you to draw power, you will have to look for one marketed as a leisure battery. These are designed in a different way and have plates inside the batteries which are thicker, and that allows them to charge more quickly without being overloaded. Leisure batteries cost anything from £75 right up to £1,000 or thereabouts, depending on the brand and type, compared with around £40 for a standard starter battery.

More than One Starter Battery

Another option is to link several standard starter batteries together to provide the charge you need to run your motorhome. This is a popular way of getting power as it’s cheaper than buying a special leisure battery, and it’s not complicated to link two or more batteries together. The downside to this is that you’ll need to remove the batteries each time you want to move the motorhome, and that you’ll need a way of recharging the batteries other than constantly switching which of the batteries is connected to the engine.

Charging Your Batteries

For very short overnight trips away in your motorhome, it’s possible to leave the chargers at home and just worry about the recharging once you return home. For longer trips though, you’re going to need another option for recharging batteries. A mains battery charger fitted to your motorhome can be a huge benefit. This type of charger is fitted to your motorhome, and recharges the batteries when you’re hooked up to a mains electricity supply, whether that’s at home, or when you book into a site where mains electricity is supplied. If you are away for longer trips with a mains battery charger, it’s worth planning your journey to include nights at organised sites to allow you to recharge batteries along the way.

Solar and Renewables

Adding a solar panel to your motorhome can also be a way of recharging your batteries. Costs of solar panels vary, so do the sums about the cost of the panel versus the additional costs of using electric hook-ups in sites to work out whether it’s worth the investment.

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