Best Lithium Leisure Battery UK (For Motorhome, Campervan, Caravan)

Today we turn our expert eye to the Best Lithium Leisure Battery UK. This is going to be be a good one.

The advent of the LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) type of Lithium batteries, as well as high-quality BMS’s, has changed the game. They have all the advantages of previous versions of Lithium but they’re extremely safe too.

As you’ll read in this Guide, the performance differences between Lithium leisure batteries and lead-acid leisure batteries are absolutely massive. We don’t exaggerate.

In just the last few months, there was a big change in this market.

The change we speak of means that, suddenly, Lithium batteries have been catapulted into the territory of being a no-brainer for use in motorhomes, campervans and caravans.

Why? Because, as well as having numerous significant advantages, they now also work out much cheaper than lead-acid batteries.

What’s the big change? That’ll be the Lithium battery price. It’s just dropped. A big drop. From October 2021.

We’ll go in depth, and explain everything you need to know, and we’ll review the best Lithium batteries for the leisure market. 

Best Lithium Leisure Battery

Best Lithium Leisure Battery UK List

RANKING
BATTERYEco WorthyRenogyKepworth
BATTERY CAPACITY100Ah100Ah100AH
VOLTAGE12V12V12V
WEIGHT10.4kg11.8kg9.3kg
DIMENSIONS25.9 x 16.8 x 20.8cm (10.2 x 6.6 x 8.2inch)28.9 x 17.2 x 18.7cm (11.4 x 6.8 x 7.4 in)35.2 x 17.4 x 19cm (13.9 x 6.9 x 7.5
LIFE CYCLES3000 (10 years)4000 (at 80% DoD)Up to 7000 (10 years)
GUARANTEE5 Years5-year Prorated Warranty5 Years
BMS QUALITY5/55/54/5
OUR RATING5/55/54/5

Lithium Leisure Batteries Reviews

Now we’ll take an in-depth look at the best Lithium batteries for motorhomes, caravans, campervans.

Here are our pros and cons from testing each model of LiFePO4 battery, and our overall verdict on which one meets which user needs.

Eco Worthy 100Ah Lithium battery

This is the best Lithium leisure battery in the UK.

It’s the best value by far – it has the best combination of top quality BMS and price.

Here are our likes and dislikes in our testing.

What We Liked
  • More power delivered on each charge (since higher usable capacity than lead-acid batteries)
  • Faster to charge – quick to fully charge when driving, or when using high-Amp charger – as fast as 2-3 hours.
  • Very low discharge in storage – approximately 3% discharge per month and it doesn’t harm the battery (lead-acid batteries are damaged the longer the discharge period)
  • Very light, only 11kg. This can save fuel costs, in the long run.
  • Super safe – LiFePO4 technology means safer than lead-acid, and the Eco Worthy BMS is a high quality one, with over temperature protection, over-discharge protection, over current protection, over charge protection.
  • More freedom, more time – easy and so much faster to charge from driving or mains charging, lasts much longer per charge. No stressing about power fading often, or about when the battery will permanently die.
What We Didn’t Like
  • The Eco Worthy battery doesn’t have an inbuilt self-heating function, so you wouldn’t be able to charge it in extremely cold temperatures. You shouldn’t charge it below 0C. The BMS does have a safety function though, preventing charging below -10C.

Analysis: If the Renogy battery was the breakthrough battery in terms of being the first high quality LiFePO4 battery with advanced BMS and lower price (a price point where it works out much cheaper than lead-acid), then this Eco Worthy 100Ah battery is the breakthrough for being exceptionally low price, but still having quality internal Lithium cells and BMS.

Price is really low for a Lithium battery. Maybe only 3 times the price of a lead-acid battery but you could get as much as 20 times the cycles (one cycle means one charge and discharge).

At 3000 life cycles, it’s a very long-lasting battery. That means as much as 15-20 times longer lasting than a lead-acid battery. 3000 life cycles is very likely to be at 50% DoD – that means the battery should achieve 3000 cycles if you consistently discharge only to 50% each time and then recharge.

Many users will discharge the battery over 50% many times over the course of the battery, to 60%, 70%, 80% and up. That’s no problem with LiFePO4 batteries, it won’t damage it. But it does reduce your likelihood of reaching the maximum possible cycle life.

Most people will get as much as 10-15 years usage out of this battery.

Verdict:

We don’t call this battery a breakthrough in the Lithium leisure battery market for no reason. It’s a quality battery at a low price.

When you see the many advantages compared to lead-acid batteries, it becomes a much more simple decision than even a year or two ago, when it just wasn’t possible to get a quality LiFePO4 battery below £1000.

If you’re interested…

Check it out here, on Amazon.

Renogy Lithium Battery

This is the second best Lithium leisure battery on the market.

Here are our likes and dislikes in our testing.

What We Liked
  • Great ability to deal with high discharge – even up to 90% DoD (Depth of Discharge) is fine, this battery will cope and won’t be damaged.
  • High quality BMS – this is the best BMS on the market, the safety features are excellent, and lead to a long-lasting, healthy power-producing battery. Renogy are well known for the quality of their technology and this BMS is no exception.
  • Fast charging – this 100Ah LiFePO4 battery can be charged in just 3 hours, if you’re doing so with high enough charge.
  • Renogy are a highly renowned manufacturer – they use high quality materials in their batteries, and their production processes are sound. They also have a good reputation for after-sales care.
  • Copes well with imperfect charging – if you can’t always charge it fully, and you sometimes let it go too long without charging, the Renogy Lithium battery will maintain good health. That’s unlike lead-acid batteries, which die much more quickly if they aren’t regularly charged well.
  • Maintains power even when charge is low – when you reach a high level of discharge, well beyond 80%, this battery will keep producing consistent power, you won’t experience those annoying voltage drops you get with poorer quality batteries.
  • Shelf mode (energy saving mode) means just 3% self-discharge per YEAR. So it’ll hold charge incredibly well even if unused for a long time.
What We Didn’t Like
  • It’s quite expensive
  • Can’t connect these batteries in series, at all (though up to 8 can be connected in parallel).

Analysis: This 12V Renogy battery has been very popular, and garnered plenty of excellent online reviews.

Why?

Because it was the first LiFePO4 battery, with top quality BMS, bringing more safety, longevity and sustained power delivery than any Lithium battery before it.

It also came in at a lower price than Lithium batteries had been available for at that time.

Verdict: We believe it still has the best BMS on the market, and the best quality battery all round. The reason it’s no.2 on our list is that the Eco Worthy battery is very good quality also, at a much cheaper price.

If this Renogy battery is the one you like…

Here’s your lowest priced place to get it on Amazon.

Why would you choose the Renogy battery?

Two breakthrough batteries, then, but which one to choose?

Here’s why you may prefer the Renogy battery.

  • 5 year warranty – as mentioned, Renogy’s after-care is good, so it’s valuable to have this warranty just in case. They’re an American company, and do have a UK website as well, they’re contactable. Eco Worthy are a Chinese company. They do respond to customers, but just be aware that it might be a little more difficult to put through a warranty claim.
  • Activation switch – basically this means your Renogy battery will never have any over-discharge problems. You can store it for literally years and it’ll be fine. The Eco Worthy battery doesn’t have this switch – however, remember that Lithium batteries have low discharge anyway, so even without this switch you’d be able to store the battery for extended periods of time.
  • Better BMS – both batteries have high-quality BMS’s but Renogy’s is better. It’s super precise and safe.
  • Better Lithium cells – higher quality cells within the battery makes it better equipped to deal with all scenarios you throw at it, in terms of charging etc.
  • Likely to have longer lifespan – for the above named reasons. With better BMS and Lithium cells, the Renogy battery is likely to last longer (Eco Worthy is listed as 3000 cycle life and Renogy is listed as 4000 cycle life.)

If this is your choice, here’s the best place to get the Renogy battery.

An important note about cycle life: the Eco Worthy battery lists cycle life as 3000 cycles and it’s cheaper than the Renogy battery, which says 4000 cycles.

There’s a simple explanation:

Renogy’s is at 80% DoD (Depth of Discharge), while Eco Worthy’s battery is probably 50% DoD. We need to compare apples with apples and pears with pears.

Renogy have chosen to list their cycle life at 80% DoD. This is a high discharge rate which would shorten battery life. 4000 cycles at 80% DoD is exceptional, and it shows that Renogy Lithium batteries are perfectly equipped cope with high discharge – far, far better than lead-acid batteries – which hate high discharge.

Eco Worthy’s cycle life is likely to be at 50% DoD, which is an ideal scenario, with the user only discharging the battery to 50% each time.

Since Renogy’s cycle life is 4000 cycles at 80% DoD, we can assume that their cycle life at 50% DoD, is much higher, it may be 7000 or possibly as high as 8000 or 9000 cycles.

Why Would You Choose the Eco Worthy battery?

  • It’s lower cost. You’re still getting a quality Lithium battery which has the up-to-date BMS technology and is LiFePO4, just at a lower cost.
  • Despite lower cost, similar lifespan. Our money is on the Renogy battery lasting longer but we couldn’t be certain – the Eco Worthy battery will last you a really long time as well.
  • Similar BMS – it has all the safety functions you need from a BMS for a Lithium battery. Renogy battery has self-heating option, but this is certainly not essential.

If this Eco Worthy battery is your choice, here’s the best place to get it.

That’s it for our discussion of the best Lithium leisure batteries on the market in the UK in 2022.

Now we’ll look at Lithium leisure batteries in general, and we’ll discuss some of their advantages over other battery types, for motorhomes, campervans and caravans.


Advantages of Lithium Leisure Batteries for Motorhomes, Campervans and Caravans

Advantages of Lithium Leisure Batteries for Motorhomes, Campervans & Caravans

Massive Energy Capacity

Lithium batteries’ huge energy capacity means they last longer for each charge and are capable of easily 10 times more cycles (number of times they can be charged and discharged) than lead-acid batteries.

Our lives are now so jammed full of technology of all kinds, and modern equipment and appliances are so power-hungry, Lithium batteries are the solution.

Amp Hours (Ah)

The Ah number shows how much energy can be delivered by the battery over a period of time.

So a 100Ah battery could deliver 100 Amps for 1 hour, or 20 Amps for 5 hours, or 1 Amp for 100 hours… you get the idea.

But! The reason we said could like that is because even though the battery is, in theory, capable of that Amperage over that time period, you wouldn’t actually be able to do that. Actually, you can only get half that amount from of energy from the battery.

Why?

What size to get? Well, if it’s 300Ah, here are the best 300Ah Lithium batteries on the UK market.

100Ah? The best 24V 100Ah Lithium Battery UK will tell you all you need to know.

Depth of Discharge (DoD)

Depth of Discharge refers to the % you can discharge your battery. When you reach that % you must you must recharge.

For lead-acid batteries, you can discharge your battery to 50%. Use the battery beyond that level and you’ll damage the battery. And then you’re on a slippery slope where the battery’s power output drops and drops each time you use it, until it fails.

It’s not like lead-acid batteries work perfectly until you reach 50% discharge. Voltage falls with each % of battery capacity you consume, and by the time you reach 50% the battery is really struggling to provide the voltage required.

And with some lead-acid batteries, they’ll reach the point of struggle even before 50% discharge. So the maximum capacity you can actually use with a 100Ah battery is 50Ah at most.

With lead-acid batteries, then, the higher the DoD you take the battery to, the shorter its lifespan. If it’s a good quality lead-acid battery (such as the Superbatt leisure battery) and it’s listed as being capable of 400 cycles, be aware that that only applies if you are diligent in taking it to only 50% discharge every time.

If you take it down to 70-80% DoD too many times, then your battery will probably only last you as few as 100-120 cycles, and your battery capacity will be substantially reduced, maybe down to 50% capacity.

Lithium batteries, on the other hand, can be discharged to 80-90%, even up to 100%. The usable battery capacity, then, of an LiFePO4 battery is much higher, even if the nominal capacity is the same.

This is the first reason why a 100Ah Lithium battery is so different to a 100Ah lead-acid battery.

To state this most clearly – a 100Ah Lithium battery gives you up to 100Ah of energy with each cycle, whereas a 100Ah lead-acid battery can only give you 50Ah.

A Lithium battery, then, is effectively almost doubling your battery bank.

Don’t know how many Ah you need for your battery? Here’s what size leisure battery do I need?.

Battery Lifespan

Battery lifespan can be measure in cycles – that is discharge/charge cycles a battery is capable before it’s ability to deliver power diminishes and it drops below 80% of the battery’s rated capacity.

A lead-acid battery is normally capable of 400-500 cycles (though the best Gel leisure batteries can last much longer than that, albeit they’re more expensive and heavier), but a Lithium battery of the same capacity can delivery 7000 cycles at 50% DoD. Even if you fully discharge Lithium batteries, you’ll still get a massive 2000 cycles. Fully discharging a lead-acid battery even a couple of times is to give the battery a slow death.

So we’re talking about being able to use the equivalent Lithium battery 14 times more than the equivalent lead-acid battery.

When you consider that the price is now only 3-4 times more than the lead-acid battery, you start to see how Lithium batteries are becoming almost a no-brainer.

From the above you can see:

The usage you’ll get out of a Lithium battery is not just better, it’s orders of magnitude better.

We’ve discussed in-depth “How Long Does A Leisure Battery Last?” for Lead-acid batteries. It require lots of effort and vigilance and it’s still impossible to get close to Lithium batteries lifespan.

A Lithium battery can comfortably last for 10-12 years, if you use it every single day, 365 days per year, with normal usage. So with the huge cycle life – if you only used it for 6 months per year, it’s highly likely you’d get at least 20 years from your battery.

This sounds wrong, somehow, that a vehicle battery can last so long. But that’s because we’re so used to lead-acid batteries that suffer from sulfation. No matter how well you treat a lead-acid battery – having a perfect charge and discharge cycle every time, and always keeping it at a reasonable temperature – it will naturally degrade over time due to the natural chemistry of lead-acid batteries.

LiFePO4 batteries don’t get sulfation and are significantly less affected by any less than perfect charging-discharging cycles.

Generally, you want your battery capacity to be double what you’ll use in one day.

Much Cheaper in the Long Term

Lithium batteries extremely long lifespan and capability for a huge number of cycles means that it works out much cheaper than lead-acid batteries.

Lithium batteries have so many more cycles than lead-acid batteries because their energy density is far better than lead acid batteries

One cycle means one discharge and recharge of the battery.

Cost Comparison Table

Lithium Leisure BatteryLead-acid Leisure Battery
CostApprox. £500Approx. £150
No. CyclesApprox. 7000Approx. 400
Cost per cycle£0.07/cycle£0.38/cycle

Lithium batteries, then, are ideal for renewables like solar; and off-grid systems because their price per charge or price kWh is so low.

Weight

The best Lithium leisure batteries weigh half that of lead-acid batteries.

For smaller vehicles, that weight saving of 12-15 kg can make a big difference. And in any vehicle, that weight19 saving is going to reduce your fuel consumption.

Little by little, day by day – that fuel consumption saving is going to add up and it’ll end up being a nice big reduction in your fuel costs, when all’s said and done.

Much better ability to deal with low temperatures

You can still discharge a Lithium battery as low as -20C.

And also responds better to high temperatures (high temperatures kills lead-acid batteries – in Arizona, you’ll get a year or two out of your battery.

Keeps working as well as ever until almost flat

Lead-acid delivery less and less voltage with every minute that passes. When voltage drops too low, even if there’s still plenty of capacity left in the battery, it will stop sufficiently powering your appliances. Then when it reaches around 10.6V, it stops completely.

Lithium batteries, however, will work almost as well as ever (the discharge curve is extremely flat) well past 10.6V and until the battery capacity is almost empty (at this point, at around 95%, the BMS will shut the battery down.)

Ability to hold voltage in use

Lithium batteries hold their voltage as they discharge much better than lead-acid batteries, especially in cold weather. That means that while you use your electronics appliances, a lead-acid battery voltage would drop down considerably faster than a Lithium battery would.

Lead-acid batteries really struggle in cold weather.

If you look at car batteries, (which are lead-acid), the reason so many people struggle to start their cars if it gets very cold in winter is that the cold temperature causes lead-acid batteries voltage to drop down too low. That means the battery voltage is too low, and it cannot deliver enough power to start the engine.

In the case of leisure batteries, you don’t need the starting power like a car does, but you still want your battery voltage to drop down as slowly as possible, you want to deliver power at a higher voltage for longer.

Why is this significant?

Many caravanners, motorhomers, campervannerrs will have experienced the situation where you’re using an appliance and the power dips for no apparent reason. Perhaps the TV picture will disappear for a few moments and then come back on, or you lose sound.

This is the reality of using lead-acid batteries for power. A lead-acid battery can still have plenty of charge left but the more you use it, the more sharply the voltage will dip, and that’s when your usage of appliances can have inconsistent results. This is the result of the way lead-acid battery chemistry works and is unavoidable.

With Lithium batteries, however, voltage remains consistently high, even as discharge gets to around 95%, and you won’t experience any of these power issues until you get beyond that level.

Consistent power performance is exactly what you’ll get, and that’s exactly what your appliances crave to work properly.

No need for float charging

With Lithium batteries, there’s simply no need to keep the battery on charge as you sometimes would with a lead-acid battery to prevent it discharging. This saves energy costs and is better for the environment.

Safety

LiPO4 technology is super safe. Even after thousands of cycles and even if you discharge 100%, safety is excellent.

Safety concerns from a few years about Lithium batteries can be dismissed. The Lithium battery technology has advanced considerably.

Almost all Lithium batteries on the market have automatic over-current, over-temperature, over-charge, over-discharge protection

Can be wired in series (up to 41.2V) and 2 batteries can be wired in parallel.

We’ll mention a couple of things you can’t do with some older Lithium battery models, but even then doing those things doesn’t create any danger, these actions would just harm the batter.

LiFePO4 technology has developed to the extent that it’s now safer than lead-acid batteries. BMSs are more than reliable, it’s almost unheard of for them to fail in any way, and they’re hugely unlikely to ever catch fire. They are an invaluable safety feature, it’s BMSs that elevate Lithium batteries – if they detect anything that may harm the battery, the BMS will shut the battery down immediately (you’d then connect to a Lithium charger to turn it back on).

Lead-acid batteries have several aspects that make them much more dangerous than Lithium.

Lead is a harmful material, it’s poisonous, and hazardous to human health. And the better (and bigger) the battery, the more lead is in it. The less lead is around, the better for humanity and our health.

They contain sulphuric acid – another material that can cause serious burns if it were ever to leak.

With Lithium batteries, there is no toxic liquid that can spill, no dangerous gasses and there’s no risk of fire in normal use.

Lithium batteries don’t emit any gas, they have no acid and are completely recyclable.

However, if you have an LiFEPO4 battery without an in-built heating system, then you must make sure you don’t charge your battery below 0 degrees, your BMS may not be working at this temperature. You’d never want to operate any Lithium battery without a BMS.

As with any product in the world, there are normal modes of operation for using it that you must follow to be safe. The BMS is a fantastic piece of technology but it can’t do everything.

Ideally, then, you’d want the LiFePO4 stored inside the living environment of your motorhome, caravan, campervan, if possible.

Mount the Lithium leisure battery any way up you need

You can place Lithium batteries in any orientation, on any side. Not the case for lead-acid batteries, which must not be oriented any other way.

Can be charged much faster than lead-acid

Lithium batteries can be charged very fast, it’ll take a much shorter time to get a full charge than lead-acid batteries.

Lithium batteries get a far, far better charge from the vehicle engine than Lead-acid batteries.

Here are the best Lithium leisure battery chargers in the UK, two of which are for Lithium batteries.

Potentially no need for a Fuel Cell or Generator

Lithium batteries can charge much more quickly by the vehicle’s engine (via the alternator charging) means that the need for a a fuel cell or generator can be reduced or even eliminated entirely.

So consider these 2 facts:

  1. With an LiFePO4 battery, driving your motorhome or campervan can quickly fully charge it.
  2. Each full charge provides much more power than lead-acid batteries

These 2 factors combined can mean that you don’t ever need to use mains hook-up charging Obviously, that depends on the ratio of your time spent on the campsite compared to your time driving the vehicle.

If you previously used a fuel cell or generator to charge your battery or for 230 volt appliances, then getting a Lithium battery can mean that you just don’t need these.

Generators and fuel cells add extra weight to your vehicle, which means poorer fuel efficiency for the campervan or motorhome.

If you use them, you’ll know that fuel cells are also highly expensive. And the cost of buying the fuel is also high, it’s not that easy to get and it loads further weight onto your vehicle.

You’re also saving yourself from that annoying noise of the generator!

Using Lithium batteries removes the need for a Fuel cell or Generator. It can be charged much faster than any Fuel cell. An inverter will power your 230V appliances just as well as a generator, only without the loud noise and inconvenience.

You don’t need to worry so much about discharging it too much

With lead-acid batteries, if you let it discharge over 50% you’re damaging the battery, which shortens its lifespan.

If you let it get even close to 80-90%, it’s causing serious harm to the battery, from which its not certain to recover. Essentially, they just really don’t like being discharged too much.

The best Lithium leisure battery’s in-built BMSs will automatically shut down the battery when discharge gets too high, normally approximately 95% discharge.

That said, you still wouldn’t actually want to continually let it discharge that much,you’d certainly be reducing the lifespan of your battery.

It’s the case for Lithium batteries, just as with any battery, that you’ll maximise the battery’s lifespan the less you let it get into high states of discharge.

But it’s good to know that it wouldn’t cause serious harm if you let it discharge a bit too much sometimes. It’s a far, far more serious cause of harm for lead-acid batteries.

So discharge to around 90% you’re not seriously compromising the LiFePO4 battery’s life, it’s just not best practice.

Extremely Fast Recharge

Another major advantage of Lithium leisure batteries is that they can be charged really fast, you can get a full charge in less than 3 hours, in some cases.

If you want it to be that fast, you’ll need to use a high enough Amperage of charging current.

As we said earlier, chargers with a specific AGM Mode have high enough voltage to charge your Lithium battery (though you’re still best to get a Lithium-specific charger).

As for charging current, if the charger can only deliver 1-5A, it can take quite a long time to charge. If you want to take advantage of Lithium batteries ability to charge very quickly, you’re best with a minimum 10A charger. To be clear, you’re absolutely fine to charge with lower Amp chargers, it’ll just take longer.

Lead-acid batteries can be damaged if they’re charged too quickly, the nature of battery chemistry just doesn’t allow for this. It can take many hours to fully charge a 100Ah lead-acid battery.

Lithium batteries, however, can take a very high amperage charge without any problems, even as high as 90-100A.

Even at close to full discharge, Lithium batteries are ready to take a full, high amperage charge without issues.

Lead-acid batteries are extremely moody when they get highly discharged and require careful treatment with particular charge cycles in a particular sequence if they’re ever to start charging again. And that’s before we discuss sulfation.

For even faster recharge, as well as more efficient use of input charge, consider getting a battery to battery charger, also called a DC DC charger or b2b charger. This CTEK DC DC charger is the best of its kind. We’ve also deep dived into what is a DC to DC charger.

They don’t sulfate

Sulfation is by far the no.1 killer of lead-acid batteries, estimated by Battery Council International to be the cause of death of 84% of all batteries.

Sulfation is the accumulation of lead sulfate on the battery plates. It reduces the connection between the electrolyte (sulpuric acid and water mixture) and the lead plates inside the battery.

As more and more sulfate develops on the plates, it hardens, sprouts, and the battery delivers less and less power. Unless resolved it’ll subsume the battery plates in a lead crystal mesh, and the battery will die.

Sulfation, then, ain’t no joke.

What causes sulfation?

Pretty much everything and nothing. Undercharge, overcharge, too highly discharged. Why did we say nothing? Because sulfation is a natural process and is impossible to completely eliminate, no matter what you do (though you can take steps to minimise sulfation and thus maximise the length of your battery life). It’s just inherent to the way lead-acid batteries work. They have lead plates in a solution of sulphuric acid. Therefore over time, lead sulfate will build up on the plates. It’s chemistry in action.

How about sulfation of Lithium batteries, then?

Well, that’s the good news. There isn’t any. At all. Zero. Nada. Zip.

Environment

Lithium leisure batteries have no gas emissions and are very recyclable.

So if using one Lithium battery replaces as many as 4 medium-sized lead-acid batteries, it’s saving the Earth as much as 100kg of lead-acid batteries from needing to be recycled.

Lithium is non-toxic and does not bioaccumulate like Lead does.

There’s also no need for float charging. Less time spent charging means a lot less energy consumption, which is good for the environment.

If you’re finished for the season you can store the battery for many months without even thinking about the need for a maintenance or “float” charge.

Can be discharged very quickly without harm

If you need a high discharge in a very short time for your power application, Lithium batteries can cope without problem.

That’s not the case for lead-acid batteries, which could be irreparably damaged by doing this.

Quickly discharging lead-acid batteries is even more harmful than charging them too quickly. The lead plates inside the battery can be warped (that’s not a good thing) and this is the beginning of the end of your battery.

Also, the faster you use up a lead-acid battery’s charge the less overall capacity you’ll actually get.

So if you use a 100Ah lead-acid battery, you’d be able to get 5A over 20 hours (though in reality, you wouldn’t want to fully discharge. But if you try to discharge a high current, say 20A, the battery would only be able to give you around 80Ah. If you tried a very high current of 100A you’d only actually get 50Ah in reality, across the one hour period, not the 100Ah that you should theoretically get.

Lead-acid batteries, then, simply do not like discharging too quickly.

That makes them quite unsuitable for using with an inverter, or for example a high power application, like an electric boat.

Power 230V appliances reliably without mains hook-up charge.

We said earlier that LiFePO4 batteries can maintain their voltage very well. When you combine this fact with the fact that quick discharge is no problem for Lithium batteries the following becomes very apparent:

Lithium batteries are perfect for using with inverters,which can require high, fast discharge for appliances that need a high current, like hairdryers and ovens. And their ability to maintain voltage very well, means you won’t get the same power issues that you can get with lead-acid batteries when voltage drops.

Extremely low self-discharge rate

Lead-acid batteries that are unused for as little as 2 weeks will go flat. Any time this happens, it’s severely damaging the battery. Sulfation loves batteries that have gone without charge for any length of time, so every time it goes flat, quite a lot of lead sulfate will have developed on the battery plates. This results in the battery cells weakening, and an irreversible fall in how much charge the battery can take.

Lithium batteries discharge far more slowly, a normal discharge rate is around 3% per month.

Therefore, a fully charged LiFePO4 battery can be left unused for several months and it wouldn’t even have lost much charge. It won’t even be close to flat, even after a year.

And they don’t get sulfation at all.

That said, even if long-term disuse won’t damage a Lithium battery in the same way as it would to lead-acid batteries, it can still reduce the battery’s lifespan somewhat so it’s not recommended if you want to maximise battery life. Again, it’s not reducing lifespan significantly, it’s just not best practice.

If you do store an LiFePO4 for a length of time, charge it to around the 50-80% range before you store it.

Entirely Maintenance-free

Just that. No maintenance is required for these batteries.

You’d want to occasionally check lead-acid batteries for their electrolyte level and for corrosion. But with the way Lithium batteries are constructed, you don’t need to do anything.

Use them in any situation that you’d use a lead-acid battery

Lithium batteries come in all kinds of sizes, whatever Ah capacity you need you can get it.

You can wire most LiFePO4 batteries in parallel to create a battery bank to power large systems, like air conditioning. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s advice for how to connect them in parallel correctly (their BMS’s may require a specific way to connect).

However, please note that most Lithium batteries cannot be connected in series, contact the manufacturer for their advice if this is what you need them for.

Lead-acid Batteries are Capricious (they’ll make you suffer at the slightest mistreatment), Lithium Leisure Batteries Are Not

At Car Battery Geek we’ve a ton of experience with lead-acid batteries and we know the reasons that problems can occur.

The main reasons a battery doesn’t last as long as it should are as follows:

  1. Sulfation
  2. High temperature
  3. Poor charging practice, especially undercharging

When you allow a lead-acid battery to discharge too much, and it’s very easily done, it carries a memory of the experience.

It also carries a memory when you charge the battery but not with a high enough voltage. For example, if you charge an AGM battery with a voltage of, say,13.6V (which is normal for other lead-acid batteries), the AGM battery will remember. If you often charge at this too-low voltage, it won’t get a full charge, and it will start to treat that lowered level of charge as it’s full charge. And then, it will no longer ever reach the full charge level that it’s actually capable of.

Similarly if you store the battery over winter at 75% charge, that will become its new maximum capacity – it doesn’t matter how much you charge it thereafter.

Lead-acid batteries are capricious in that way, they’ll teach you harsh lessons at times.

And you’ll pay for it with reduced power in the future, and the battery ultimately dying faster than it should.

LiFePO4 batteries don’t have a memory, they just work in a different way.

That doesn’t mean you can treat a Lithium battery any old how and there will be no repercussions. You don’t want to let your Lithium battery completely discharge to 100%, for example.

It’s just that there’s much more leeway, and you don’t have to be so careful as you do with lead-acid batteries. You just don’t have to think about whether it’s at 50% DoD, whether you’re undercharging it and so on.

Freedom

The Car Battery Geek team knows of a campervanner who bought a 300Ah Lithium leisure battery, and his reality is the following:

He’s able to live in the van and travel all over Europe, watching TV, using the cooker, AC and all normal appliances. He very rarely has to use any campsite’s hook-up charging as he just doesn’t need it.

Almost all of the time, he gets enough power from the vehicle alternator charging the Lithium battery while he drives!

The size of battery system you need just depends on how much power you need and how long you plan to stay in one place.

Off-grid

When you consider that a Lithium battery lasts for literally thousands of cycles, charges quickly and can cope with much higher discharge, it’s very clear that Lithium batteries can genuinely provide you with a permanently off-grid lifestyle.

If you spend a lot of time camping or caravanning or motorhoming off-grid then Lithium batteries are now a must.

Value

It’s been the case for a while now that LiFePO4 batteries provide advantages that make them better than lead-acid batteries in every way.

It was just price that was the stumbling block.

But literally in the last couple of months things have changed – price has just dropped considerably.

We’d go so far as to say, a Lithium battery doesn’t just mean more power over a longer time. It means potentially a new lifestyle.

Or, at the very least, the same lifestyle with much reduced cost and a much simpler life (less inconvenience).

Why a new lifestyle?

The possiblity of completely off grid life.

More freedom, more time, less hassle

  • No worrying about discharging too much
  • Less hassle to replace the battery every few years, worrying about whether you’ll run out of power, whether it will fail soon, whether you need to replace it soon. It’s a very long time before you’ll need to think about replacing a LiFePO4 battery.
  • If you don’t need a generator or fuel cell, then there’s less noise, you don’t need to lug it around everywhere. You don’t need to think about getting fuel for it.
  • No need to set up the generator/fuel cell at the campsite.
  • Less worrying about when the battery will die
  • Less time spent hooking up to mains
  • Use the power for longer, without needing to recharge.

Cost savings

  • Huge battery cost savings in the long-term
  • Less fuel costs due to lower weight (much lighter battery and no generator or fuel cell)
  • No generator/fuel cell costs  
  • No fuel costs (for the fuel cell)

Could a 24V Lithium battery meet your needs better?

If so, here’s the best 24V 200Ah Lithium battery.

Best Lithium Leisure Battery UK Summary

Just make sure you get the charging right, with high enough voltage, and you’re looking at something that’s really an asset – giving you consistent value over the long-term. That’s what we’ve tried to convey in showing you the best Lithium leisure battery.

You’re getting so much more usable energy capacity, quicker charging, longer lasting, safer power.

When all’s said and done, there’s really a lot to like about Lithium leisure batteries for motorhomes, campervans and caravans.

There aren’t many opportunities in life to invest in something that can give you more freedom and more time. But a LiFePO4 battery is one of them.

Here’s the best batteries for leisure application, if you want to check them out: