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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi fellow VW owners,

I am currently re-doing a camper I bought. Had all the units and bed etc but not much else so I am in the process of electrifying the back :) exciting stuff (pun intended ;) )
Anyway, I have been looking at leisure batteries (obviously) and I'm not entirely sure what I need to buy. I could buy a top quality class A but I don't want to go over board and waste money on a battery I won't use the full capacity of.
So my current plan is:
Van use:
I'm going to be using my T4 primarily for events that do not supply hook up. I have an inverter but I recently read they aren't efficient so I'll probably do away with that.
What I want to power:
-LED ceiling lighting (reduce the risk of flattening the starter batter)
-LED strip in side step
-Charge tablet
-Sink water pump
I think that is everything.
Oh, I'm thinking about connecting a live to my head unit (radio) as well but will I need a relay for that in case I forgot to switch it off before turning the ignition on?

I have been looking at Halfords batteries are these good value for money or should I go somewhere else?
I've been looking at the different battery classes on Halfords A, B and C was thinking a B would do the job but not sure.
Also does Ah matter that much? I was thinking going for a 110Ah but then the average for sale seems to be a 90Ah

Any advice or ideas would be much appreciated.
 

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Buy the best battery you can afford.
Don't forget you need a "proper" split charge system as well.....another 70 quid or so.

Both Hoovie and Upsex on here sell kits for this....PM Hoovie (I don't remember his shop name), or www.Travelvolts.net is Upspex's place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Buy the best battery you can afford.
Don't forget you need a "proper" split charge system as well.....another 70 quid or so.

Both Hoovie and Upsex on here sell kits for this....PM Hoovie (I don't remember his shop name), or www.Travelvolts.net is Upspex's place.
Thanks for the response. A nice simple answer :)
I've already have the "proper" spit charger sorted thanks. Just need a battery to connect to it.
 

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Halfords is not the best place to buy a "genuine" leisure battery though!
Many are simply re-labeled starter batteries that failed the cranking current tests!!!!!

I hope your split charger is a VSR type (with 100amp fuses each end), and NOT a Zig or PMS (Pre-Menstrual-Strain) one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Halfords is not the best place to buy a "genuine" leisure battery though!
Many are simply re-labeled starter batteries that failed the cranking current tests!!!!!

I hope your split charger is a VSR type (with 100amp fuses each end), and NOT a Zig or PMS (Pre-Menstrual-Strain) one.
Yeah, it's definitely the correct one. I like to have the right thing. That's why I posted this:) How do you know that about Halfords batteries?

NB this is the system I bought:
 

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Not "bad" as such....It's just half the price I would have expected to pay........
Looks like a cheap Chinese import!
Just look at Travelvolts.net website. (Renowned supplier)
Starter (quality) batteries are around 70 quid....a GOOD leisure battery will cost almost double that! (Also read his comments about charging them......)

I don't know about Halfords batteries as such, but I do know that NON battery specialists often sell the failed CSA tested batteries as "leisure" ones. (As do most caravan sales people!)....Just change the label :eek:
Easy to spot, they are CHEAPER than the same size starter battery, and should really be much more expensive (as they cost more to build if they are designed for the purpose!)
Starter batteries have a lot of THIN plates, to provide a large current for a short time....leisure batteries have thicker plates to supply a lower current for a LONG time.....opposite to what you may think, I know, but that is battery technology for you.
Discharge a starter slowly to 80%, and the plates start to buckle (fooked!).....at 80% a proper leisure battery is due to be charged....at 50%....well, then you need a REALLY good 5 stage mains charger to "recover" it.

Basically....IF you buy a 110A/h battery...expect to get less than 50A/h before it needs a "good" charge....and your alternator will NEVER do that!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To update this post.
I took advice from a college and went to a Clwyd caravan and leisure shop in Ruabon and bought myself a leisure batter from there 110Ah they were very helpful and the cost was only £95.99 and sounded good value for money so I went for that one rather than the cheaper lower Ah option as I plan to camp mainly offsite.

I didn't even know that place had a shop, I've driven passed it a few times and assumed it was just caravan sales but they surprising have a big accessories shop there so I recommend Clwyd Caravan and leisure if you live in the area or passing by. Very friendly helping bunch of people.

and also thanks Gaz for your input, much appreciated.
 

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Just remember that the split charger you got works both ways, if you charge the second battery as the voltage hits the required link voltage it will then start to back charge battery 1 start battery,
,The solid-state relay will open, allowing the current to flow between the two batteries, when one of the batteries is charging (above 13.7V) and it will disconnect the two batteries when the voltage drops below 12.8V.,,,
So if your start battery is below 12.8 but 2nd battery is at 13+ it sounds like it will level the two out until one is below 12.8v. Also good place to get leisure batteries are boat yards, full agm batteries can be used on thier side, dont forget a drop vent if fitted in side van, just incase it gases up, better safe than sorry, as for your inverter how often do you need 240v and if you do wire it in only turn it on when needed and maybe start van while using it,
 
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