Battery Advise Please

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 17:52
ThreadID: 56514 Views:1752 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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Howdy Folks, We have just purchased a van that has a compartment under one of the beds for a battery.
In the past when on trips we mostly stayed in caravan parks with the odd roadside overnight stop.
Our "new" van has a few more creature comforts so we intend to get a bit more use out of it by finding a few spots to stay for a couple of nights close to home & away from caravan parks.
We were told by the dealer to stick a 100 AMP hour Gel sealed battery in the compartment.
Alls we need to run off this battery is the van lights, there's only about 8 or 10 bulbs total @ 15 W each & a water pump.
If we put such a battery in how long could you run the lights for before discharging the battery. Any help would be appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:18

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:18
Barry,

We have an 80 Amp/Hr battery in our van and it has 14 x 12V lights (5 x halogen and 9 x flouro), 1 x CD Player, 1 x 12V Sureflow pump and 1 x 12V exhaust fan (with a 12V halogen in it) plus 1 x 12V TV outlet.

We have been camped in the one place for 5 days/4 nights (and had not run car or solar panel or generator to recharge) and in that time we used the TV for about 3 hrs per night and the battery still had enough stored power to run the lights etc (not all at one mind you) on the 4th night.

I have a volt metre attached to the battery and after that time and use it still read 11.2V

Hope this helps

Cheers,

Cruiser
AnswerID: 297816

Follow Up By: Member - Tony W (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:27

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:27
I strongly advise that you don't run it below about 11.8 or 11.9v as that is about 50% capacity which is the lowest you should run a battery for long life.

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FollowupID: 563875

Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:28

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:28
Thanks for that Cruiser, So heaps of power for the lights, pump, exhaust fan etc.
We had not considered the TV as I am ignorant as to how you do that or what you need in order to run it off the battery. A bit more info please & my wife will be your friend for life!!
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FollowupID: 563878

Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 19:00

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 19:00
Tony,

You are correct, but it was a one off. Not something I would normally do. As a matter of fact, I rarely stay in the one place more than 3 nights when off 240V mains power.

Barry,

We have a 240/12V TV.

Cheers,

Cruiser
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FollowupID: 563887

Follow Up By: Member - Mark H (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 21:16

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 21:16
I bought a Commander gel battery from Battery World and the owner told me they can be taken below 50% discharge without fear of damage, as opossed to other batteries. I can't remember the exact voltage he said should be minimum and I'm fully aware of what's stated above but does it still hold for gel batteries?

Mark.
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FollowupID: 563925

Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:27

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:27
Our 100 AH gel cell lasts at least a week, but even then it was still sitting on 12.6 volts.
AnswerID: 297821

Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:30

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 18:30
Thanks for that, but what were you running off it?
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FollowupID: 563879

Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 19:21

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 19:21
12 volt TV,water pump, inside lights, external lights. All lights are incandescent, not LEDs Radio CD Player. Probaly watch TV average 2 hours/day. Listen to radio 3 or 4 hours/day

The thing is you can light up your van like a christmas tree if you like or conserve energy if you need to.

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FollowupID: 563890

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 19:06

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 19:06
Just make sure its a SEALED battery or one day you may not wake up in the morning.
I believe its illegal to use a non sealed batter in the passenger area of any vehicle unless its sealed off and vented to the outside
AnswerID: 297836

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