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'resting' 12 V Batteries


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I am a rallier who uses EHU only when abroad. I always carry two 110 amp batteries when rallying, one connected in van and other as reserve in car and have a 66 watt solar panel keeping the one in the van up to scratch. I regularly rally for 4 weeks at a time using TV etc and LED lights and have never had a battery go flat on me. At the end of a lengthy rally I swap the batteries over and, once home charge it up on a smart charger. Both my batteries are over 6 years old and both used extensively. Am I right to keep swapping them every month or so or should I just use one until it dies the death? I ask because I have been given conflicting advice about battery use and life. Thank you in anticipation of getting the definitive answer. (I hope)

CARPE DIEM

 

While we're talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future.

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Batteries do die of old age, even when not in use and will deteriorate due to the number of charge/discharge cycles - most are capable of 200 c/d cycles whereas others can tolerate up to 1000. The cycle life is also affected by the depth of discharge, so the deeper the discharge the fewer cycles you can get from a battery. So by using two batteries alternately you will prolong the life of both of them by halving the number of charge/discharge cycles that each gets. Leaving one on a shelf for several months without charging it will finish it off faster than using it.

 

Don't discharge a battery below 50% and make sure you recharge it as soon as possible after use with a decent multistage charger ideally rated at about 5-10% of the battery capacity (5 -10amp charger for a 100a/h battery). Check the electrolyte level and keep it topped up if it's a flooded type with vent caps.

Edited by matelodave

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Yes rotate them. ....I do.

 

Geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Good - I thought of doing just that and swapping regularly seems the right thing to do.

Nice to have confirmation.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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I would agree alternate. Once one adds electrolite to a battery the clock starts ticking to the point where it will fail. With lead acid the battery needs storing fully charged. Nickle Iron work the other way around you store discharged so with nickle iron taking a battery out of service is easy just run it flat and forget but lead acid needs to be kept charged. I have in the past tried to store lead acid batteries fully charging and emptying washing out and draining. But there is always some mosture left behind so although theroy is OK in practice on refilling a few years latter it often fails.

 

So it's a case of use it or lose it.

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When was the last time you saw a Ni-Fe battery on a caravan :unsure:

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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