Getting your leisure vehicle ready for the start of the season

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    In contrast to conventional vehicle batteries which are used all year round, leisure batteries are mostly in-use during spring and summer. For seasonal use, it is particularly important to take good care of the battery’s condition. If a battery is not used for a long period of time, it might deteriorate, and it may need to be replaced. In these cases, the battery has not failed due to a manufacturing or material defect, but due to a lack of care and maintenance. In this article, you will learn our tips & tricks and gain some useful knowledge that will get you through the season without a breakdown.

    Different technologies for different applications

    SLI (Starting, Lighting, Ignition) batteries deliver an extremely high current output for brief periods. This starting power is the primary requirement of an SLI battery which is measured in Cold Cranking Amperes (CCA). Marine Cranking Amperes (MCA) is the corresponding measurement in the marine industry. Starter batteries are not designed to withstand extensive discharge/charge cycles.

    Batteries for leisure applications deliver a constant current over a long period of time. Unlike an SLI battery, these batteries can be discharged and recharged repeatedly without these cycles causing damage or shortening the service life. They are well suited for powering numerous electronic, plug-in accessories and other applications that place high demands in boats, caravans, or motorhomes.

    The VARTA Professional range offers service batteries (also known as dual purpose) with both AGM and EFB technology. EFB batteries were introduced as a lower tier option to AGM batteries in terms of performance and cycle life. EFB technology is based on improvements to the existing flooded battery technology, e.g. by adding carbon additives during plate manufacture. AGM batteries have the advantage of unique design features not found in flooded batteries. They have a long service life, very good vibration resistance and are completely maintenance-free as they do not consume any water and are leak-proof. AGM batteries are ideally suited to meet the demands of high-end caravanning vehicles and boats.

    Maintenance tips & tricks

    When the battery is not in use, there are a few things to consider. Follow these tips prior, during and after the rest period to get the most out of your VARTA battery.

    Charge the battery completely, switch off all electrical devices and, if possible, disconnect the battery

    Store in a cool, dry place

    Store batteries fully charged; fully charged batteries can be stored even at temperatures well below zero

    Partially charged batteries can freeze

    Check the state of charge/voltage regularly

    Should the voltage drop below 12.4 V, recharge the battery completely by using a charger suitable for the battery in question

    Fully recharge the battery and, if applicable, reconnect the electrical devices

    Check that still everything works

    Sources of battery failure

    Understanding the factors contributing to battery failure is crucial for maintaining optimal battery performance. Here are some insights to help you safeguard your battery and ensure its longevity.

    • Lights, fans and other technical devices on standby mode can slowly drain the battery
    • Corroded terminals, cable connections and cables with a high electrical resistance can lower the charge current
    • A defective battery charger can lead to overcharging or partial charging
    • The charging capacity of a charger should not be exceeded by the capacity requirements of the electrical devices
    • Short circuits or defects in the boat’s or vehicle’s electrical system
    • Partially charging an empty battery
    • Long vehicle rest periods without disconnecting the battery
    • With applications that do not sufficiently mix the electrolyte (e.g. boats on inland waterways, caravans, solar or stationary applications), there is a risk of acid stratification, so we recommend a battery with AGM technology

    Choosing the right battery for your journey

    It may sound obvious, but choosing the right battery with the right specification and technology tailored to the specific requirements is crucial. Using the wrong battery will result in a short service life. To make the right battery choice even easier, we have created and developed the VARTA Leisure Battery Finder. With an intuitive graphical user interface, this handy tool will guide you step by step to the battery that is perfectly suited for your purposes – whether you are going camping or exploring the open seas.