Auto Service Tip: Buying a New Battery

4 Mistakes That Cause Lead-Acid Leisure Batteries to Fail Prematurely

Some caravan owners spend a lot of money replacing the leisure batteries (batteries that power comfort features, such as the lights and radio) in their caravans. Such high costs can be avoided if caravan owners avoid making several mistakes that shorten the life of those lead-acid batteries. This article discusses some of those costly mistakes that inexperienced caravan owners should avoid.

Over-Discharging the Battery

It is not good to use your battery until it is completely discharged. This is because the lead plates in such a battery are likely to become less reactive when the battery keeps being used until it is almost fully discharged. Switch off the gadgets that are powered by that battery when you notice that the charge level has gone below half the capacity of the battery.

Delaying to Charge a Discharged Battery

You should develop a habit of charging your leisure battery as soon as you notice that it has lost most of its charge. Any delay in charging the battery will have a detrimental effect on the longevity of that lead-acid battery. This is because lead sulphate crystals are likely to form on the lead plates of the battery. Those crystals will react to form lead oxide and lead on the plates once you recharge the battery. Consequently, the battery will lose its capacity to produce power for your electronics. Don't exceed a day or two without charging your battery once its charge level goes down.

Improper Storage

Assess where you installed or stored your leisure battery. Does that location become very hot periodically? Such high temperatures can shorten the lifespan of lead-acid batteries. This is because high temperatures affect the rate at which reactions take place within the battery. This could also be the reason why many car batteries fail during the hot months of the year. Car batteries are similar to lead-acid leisure batteries in caravans. Install or store your leisure battery in a cool place to protect that battery from the damaging effects of high temperatures.

Topping with Ordinary Water

It is never advisable to top up your leisure battery with ordinary (tap) water. Ordinary water contains dissolved minerals that can interfere with the reactions inside the lead-acid battery. Some of those minerals can also cause the battery to corrode. Always use distilled water to top up the battery when you notice that the fluid level has gone below the recommended level.

The leisure battery in your caravan will last for a long time if you avoid the mistakes discussed above. Contact a caravan service professional for advice in case your leisure batteries keep failing for an unclear reason. That expert will inspect your caravan and advise you on the best course of action to take in order to reverse that trend.