Campervan owners will often wonder about the length of a campervan’s battery life and just how secure they will be when using it for long periods of time.
Batteries are crucial for keeping you in a comfortable state when traveling in your campervan, so picking the right battery and knowing how to maintain it is key.
If you are curious about what you can do and which battery you should buy, we’ve outlined some great information for you!
Here’s an Idea of How Long Your Campervan Battery will Last:
Most campervan batteries can last between 2 and 7 years long. To reach 7 years of use, users should not overwork their batteries, should keep it at regular temperatures, make sure that there aren’t too many electronics or appliances using its energy, and keep it safe and secure.
Here’s How Long A Campervan Battery Will Last You:
On average most variants of campervan batteries will last you between 2 and 7 years.
This will largely depend on how the battery is cared for.
It will also depend on the batteries’ exposure to factors that can cause it to deteriorate over time.
How Long Do Campervan Leisure Batteries Last?
When considering how long campervan leisure batteries will last, it’s important to note that there are various types of campervan batteries on the market.
However, most of these different kinds of campervan batteries will have an average lifespan of 5 to 7 years.
In terms of cycles, a leisure battery is likely to last you 2000 cycles if you use the battery frequently. A cycle is when the battery is allowed to charge and then fully discharge.
Below we’re going to look at the different types of leisure batteries available and how long they generally last:
1. Open Lead-Acid Leisure Campervan Battery
The open lead-acid campervan battery is possibly the most popular choice of campervan battery because it is cheaper.
Besides this, open lead-acid leisure batteries were one of the first types of campervan batteries available.
These batteries have a lifespan of closure to 2 to 5 years due to the maintenance required. Additionally, discharging this battery type below 50% will lead to irreparable damage.
This battery type has lead plates that reside in a sulphuric acid liquid solution. With an open lead-acid battery, you can remove the cap to top up the electrolyte solution.
This solution is essential to maintaining the battery’s performance.
How much electrolyte solution you use will depend on how frequently you use the battery.
2. Sealed Lead-Acid Leisure Campervan Battery
Sealed lead-acid leisure batteries are the direct counterpart to open lead-acid campervan batteries.
This type of campervan battery is often referred to as maintenance-free. This is because you don’t need to top it up with an electrolyte solution constantly. However, note that discharging it below 50% will lead to permanent damage.
With sealed lead acid batteries when proper maintenance is conducted, this battery type lasts longer than open lead-acid batteries.
Often sealed lead acid batteries will last five years if not longer.
This is partially due to them being valve-regulated, where the battery will let gasses escape during a charging cycle.
3. Gel Leisure Campervan Battery
Gel Leisure campervan batteries haven’t been on the market as long as a few other types of leisure batteries, but they are considered a safer alternative.
These batteries tend to last longer as they require no maintenance and are leak-free.
Interestingly these batteries can go as low as 80% discharged before resulting in any permanent damage.
If you are a frequent off-grid campervan enthusiast, then a gel battery could be a better option. This is due to gel batteries having the capability to have an extended lifespan in temperatures over 25 degrees celsius.
Most gel leisure campervan batteries will last you closer to the 7-year mark. However, they are often pricier.
4. AMG Leisure Campervan Battery
With the AGM leisure battery type, lead and an electrolyte are used as in lead acid-based batteries.
There is a difference, though, as the electrolyte solution is contained within a fiberglass material mat. AGM batteries are also valve-regulated, but the key difference, when compared to other battery types, is their ability to withstand heavy vibration.
Consequently, you can discharge an AGM battery slightly below 50% without risking too much damage.
These batteries are generally not as long-lasting and will have a lifespan of anywhere between 2 to 6 years.
5. Lithium Leisure Campervan Battery
Perhaps somewhat unknown is the lithium leisure campervan battery.
Otherwise known as LifePO4, this battery is far more long-lasting and usually provides more energy density than lead-acid batteries.
This energy density is amazingly provided at almost half the weight of other campervan batteries.
Lithium batteries have thousands of charging cycles and will last you potentially longer than the average 5 to 7 years.
LifePO4 Batteries fare better with frequent battery discharge and often won’t suffer damage until passing the 80% discharge mark. It would be beneficial to note that discharging a lithium leisure battery completely can cause severe damage.
The one downside is that these batteries are the most expensive when compared to other battery types.
6. Lead Crystal Leisure Campervan Battery
The most important aspect of a lead crystal leisure battery that makes it last many years and averages out at 7 to 15 years is that you can discharge it to 0% without any damage.
If we compare it to lead-acid batteries, a lead crystal battery will last us three times longer on average.
These batteries work well in most temperatures, but they are pricier and harder to find.
4 Factors That Impact How Long Your Campervan Battery Will Last:
When considering how long your campervan battery will last you, there are four key factors to keep in mind.
If not appropriately examined, these factors can cause your campervan battery to last significantly less than the average lifespan.
1. Varying Temperature Exposure
Depending on the type of leisure battery that you have, temperature could be a huge deciding factor in how long your campervan battery will last.
With most campervan batteries, colder temperatures will cause your battery to perform poorly.
Remember that every degree lower than 25 degrees celsius will cause your battery to discharge at a rate of 1% loss in performance.
Consistent exposure to high temperatures will also cause your battery not to last as long.
If a battery gets too hot too often, it will cause the battery’s integrity to depreciate.
However, this will also depend on the type of battery you have.
2. Rates Of Consumption
Should you be running a large number of appliances in your campervan, you could be consuming more of your batteries charge than you think.
Many appliances running at once off your campervan battery will cause your battery to discharge faster and therefore have to be recharged more often.
The continued frequent discharging and recharging will degrade your battery faster, and its lifespan will decrease.
3. The Size Of Your Battery
If you have a battery in your campervan that is not big enough to handle the number of appliances consuming the batteries energy, your battery will not last you long.
Additionally, you should consider if you have the right size battery when traveling in winter. Should you have many appliances to run during a winter season spent traveling, you will need a bigger battery to compensate.
As we mentioned earlier, a battery loses its charge faster in winter. If you are using a smaller battery, it may not last the course of its estimated lifespan.
4. How Frequently The Battery Is Discharged
It is essential to remember that most batteries cannot be discharged more than 50% before damage occurs.
The more appliances you have will cause your battery to discharge faster.
If you have a smaller battery, overloading it will damage the battery’s lifespan.
The general rule is to try and keep your campervan battery charged to above 50%. Most campervan batteries will discharge within a 20 hour period.
If you have a 105AH battery capacity, you can expect the battery to discharge within 100 hours.
How Do You Know If Your Battery Needs Replacement?
The easiest way to know if your campervan battery needs to be replaced is to monitor it.
If you notice that the battery is discharging faster and frequently, it could be time for you to get a new battery.
Remember that if you expose your battery to varying temperatures or overload it, these are all factors that could affect how quickly you have to replace the battery.
You can also check to see if your battery needs replacing by doing frequent voltage tests. Testing your leisure battery will accurately tell you how frequently and how fast your battery is discharging.
It will also give you a reliable idea of if you have to replace your leisure battery.
How Often Should You Replace The Battery In A Campervan?
With most leisure batteries maintaining it and monitoring, it will help the battery meet or surpass its lifespan.
By following proper battery guidelines and maintaining and caring for your battery, you won’t need to replace it that frequently.
Depending on the type of leisure battery, you will usually have to replace it every 2 to 7 years. Should you notice any smells, fumes, or leakages from the battery, you should consider replacing it immediately.
If your battery isn’t holding a charge or is discharging too quickly, then it is most likely that damage has occurred, and you will need to replace the battery.
How Do You Prolong The Life Of Your Campervan Battery?
When it comes to prolonging the lifespan of your campervan battery, there are some things you can do:
- Conduct routine maintenance and check for crystalized sulfation.
- If you charge the battery above 12.4 volts consistently, you can avoid sulfation from occurring.
- Don’t let your battery discharge below 12 volts.
- Keep your battery discharge level to roughly 50% every day but be careful not to overcharge it.
- With lead-acid batteries, always ensure there is enough electrolyte solution.
- Try to charge your battery in stages as this will most times ensure a proper charge occurs.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.