If you're lucky enough to have a motorhome, a campervan or caravan, the world is your oyster. You can go almost anywhere where there's a road. Some people prefer to use full-service campsites with lots of facilities but if you like the idea of being independent and with no need of an orange hook-up cable, this guide will help you to work out what equipment you need to set yourself free.
If you're planning to use your motorhome, campervan or caravan off-grid, it's essential that you know how much battery capacity you'll need to run your electrical appliances, Our Energy Calculator is a simple way to do this: just fill in the fields.
The Typical Watt rating fields show what an average appliance of that type will use. If you know the exact Watt rating of your appliance, you can enter that into the field. Otherwise, just leave the average figure as it is. The Minutes usage per day fields can be filled in with your estimate of the time you will use each appliance on a daily basis. You can clear all the fields by clicking the Clear Inputs button at the bottom of the calculator. Refresh the page to restore the "typical" values.
Bear in mind that a typical lead-acid battery will only be able to provide approximately 50% of its rated capacity at a useful voltage. So, if you're using a 100Ah lead-acid battery to power all your appliances, including an inverter, don't expect things to run normally once you've discharged the battery by more than 50Ah. A good lithium battery will continue to hold its voltage even when it's been discharged to as low as 10% (although we don't recommend doing this on a regular basis).
Some people think that installing a lithium battery system in a motorhome, campervan or caravan is simple: just take out the lead-acid battery and drop in the lithium. In some circumstances you can do that but, if you do, don't expect to get the best possible performance or useful life from it. Take a look at our easy-to-understand guide, showing what we at RoadPro install to get motorhomes and campervans "off-grid ready". The products shown are not necessarily the actual ones we would use but are representative of what we would recommend and will vary according to the vehicle and how it will be used. For caravans, the products we would recommend will usually differ.
Lithium batteries are one of the most significant developments in vehicle technology for many years. For motorhomers and others who rely on 12V power for their appliances, a lithium battery can, quite literally, change the way they use their vehicles.
LiFePO4 batteries (a special type of lithium battery) are ideal for use as leisure batteries and auxiliary batteries in specialist vehicles. They can also be used in boats as their unique properties include a high level of safety.
Leisure batteries are perhaps the most important single
piece of equipment in a motorhome or caravan. Yet often, they're neglected and ignored - until they stop working!