Caravan 12V Leisure Battery Independent Test - Very Revealing!Back
The following illustrates a test carried out in February of 2013, as a result of concern from several eminent people in the caravan industry about the suitability of a number of batteries labelled leisure, or deep cycle.
These batteries were being sold mainly by caravan and motor home dealers in the genuine belief that they were retailing genuine 12 volt deep cycle batteries to their customers.
The performance of many of these leisure batteries was suspect and the test were intended to check the accuracy of the performance claimed and the suitability of the construction
It was expected in 2012 when EU an directive was issued on the performance labelling of starter batteries that leisure products would be included but at the last minute they were excluded on the grounds of difficulty in categorising them, so no specific legislation exists, except perhaps the Trades Description Act?
The test was at the request of caravan journalist and TV presenter John Wickersham and carried out by myself.
The test was witnessed in part (some of the tests took 24 hours) by the following: Bailey Caravans, The Caravan Club, The Camping & Caravan Club, The Motor Caravanner's Club, Andrew Harris of the Motorhome Channel, and John Wickersham of Haynes Publishing and the Caravan Channel.
The tests were first to fully charge the batteries to 100% then check CCA (starting ability), weight followed by a discharge test (for true capacity).
They were then all cut open to reveal the internal construction which shows whether the battery is a purpose built unit or a starter battery labelled as a deep cycle or leisure battery.
A proper cyclic battery has its plates lined with fibre-glass. This type will achieve around 400 cycles (a discharge from 100% down to 50%).
The starter battery type will give usually around 80 cycles. I fully expected at least 3 of the brands to be genuine. I was in for a shock as eight of the 9 in the test were starter batteries labelled as a leisure or cyclic battery!
|CCA Test||Discharge Ah||Discharge
|1||90||24.60kg||24.20kg||12.90v||12.90v||791cca||92.30Ah||22hr.59min||Capacity ok, thin plates, no glass matt,
it is a starter battery
|2||100||19.60kg||15.40kg||13.20v||13.20v||398cca||39.70Ah||9hr.54min||No capacity, small thin plates,
this is worst of all
|3||110||25.20kg||20.30kg||13.00v||13.00v||529cca||50.60Ah||12hr.36min||Again no capacity, small plates, diabolical!|
|4||90||24.5kg||23.50kg||12.90v||12.90v||581cca||65.30Ah||16hr.16min||Poor capacity, small plates, no glass matt,
it's a starter battery
|5||100||22.50kg||22.40kg||12.90v||12.90v||760cca||102.10Ah||25hr.26min||Good capacity, good cca, no glass matt,
good starter battery
|6||110||25.00kg||20.90kg||12.90v||12.90v||763cca||64.70Ah||16hr.07min||Poor capacity. small plates, no glass matt,
it's a starter battery
|7||90||21.50kg||20.60kg||12.90v||12.90v||631cca||66.40Ah||16hr.32min||Poor capacity, poor cca, poor starter battery|
|8||90||22.60kg||20.60kg||12.90v||12.90v||653cca||84.50Ah||21hr.02min||Same supplier as 7, better capacity,
still poor starter battery
|9||100||24.19kg||24.10kg||12.90v||12.90v||608cca||98.30Ah||24hr.28min||Good capacity, thick plates lined with glass matt,
hoe it should be
In Row labelled 9, you can see the results for the Banner Energy Battery, which was the only battery to comply with its own labelling.