Caravan battery - how long do they stay charged

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:04
ThreadID: 67062 Views:4564 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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Sorry - this is probably a really dumb question - we can't get a powered site for our caravan over Easter so have decided to go unpowered for four days. How long would you guys think our battery will last, if we use things sparingly? The fridge will be on gas, so we think the battery will only be used for lights as far as we can tell. We won't need to heat water.

Thanks for any ideas.

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Reply By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:08

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:08
It usually works on the amperage per hour of things that will be using the power and the size of the battery you have !
AnswerID: 355435

Reply By: Tenpounder - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:21

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:21
Hi there. Some caravans have an inbuilt radio which is basically a car radio, powered by the van's 12v circuit. This would have to be used sparingly, especially if, say, playing tapes (remember those things?) Otherwise, as you say, it should be just lights.
The standard 12v incandescent globes in caravan light fittings are not very efficient, and you would get sa much longer run out of a given battery if you used LED or flouro lights, but you would have to install these, which may be a problem for you. You can buy LED 'globes' that fit in the normal bayonet fitting for 12v circuits, that is, a thingy that looks like a normal globe base, but with a cluster of LEDs instead of the glass bit. Jaycar stock these.
You should also consider making sure your battery is fully charged before you start!
My own solution is to make sure you have a Dolphin or two, spare batteries for these, plus a torch or three. That way, you'll not be plunged into darkness if the van battery becomes flat. Buy the kids (if any) a headlight torch each (cheap ones).
And just remember the value of living by sun time, instead of clock time.
You'll be fine.
Chris (SA)
AnswerID: 355437

Follow Up By: Bunny - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:59

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:59
Thanks. We have a number of fluros which we can use when needed, and will steer away from the others. Good suggestions about the radio too. Will make sure that's off.

FollowupID: 623473

Reply By: ozjohn0 - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 15:11

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 15:11
If the van has a one Fluoro light and it's used sparingly (one only) you'll probably get 3 - 4 nights from a 100AH battery.
We have a 110 ah and can usually stretch it to 4 - 5 nights.
In the meantime get down to K-mart and buy a small LPG cylinder and small gas lamp to suit. Don't forget a spare packet of mantels.
Good emergency standby and the cylinder can also be used for other purposes in the future.
AnswerID: 355460

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 20:05

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 20:05
I can get about 5 days out of the 90 amp battery in my van and run just lights, rangehood and occasional DVD! I use the 12 Volt items mentioned sparingly and am normally asleep by 9-00pm!

The better way that I do it is when i utilise the second battery in the vehicle and isolate the caravan battery. What I basically have is a 12 volt extension lead that runs from the car to the van and draws from the second battery (ie not the starter) and a switch in the van the isolates the van battery. By doing this, I can last endlessly as everytime I drive the car I am putting a bit back into the second battery. It may not be all but that depends on how far I travel each or every second day.

Also you will probably be able to charge your van battery up if you take a charger with you at the van parks workshop. We normally camp every easter holidays without 240v and do it easy by doing any or a combination of the above.
AnswerID: 355503

Reply By: Ozboc - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 20:38

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 20:38
HI there - i have a deep cycle in my Jayco - to power the lights and the water pump - if used sparingly you should get 4 days easily -- ie only one light on at a time and during the day unhook the battery to stop any minor drain... i have a 100 ah deep cycle

i usually go away for 3 days at a a time and still have plenty of power left - but if in doubt - buy another battery and keep it spare our just cycle your batteries around

AnswerID: 355514

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