Considering that the electrical will be built from scratch, as there are no components already installed and or available to build on, I decided to start from the Batteries.
While I’m not discussing the chosen voltage here, as that’s decision is still in the air, because it won’t be below 12 Volts anyway, we can comfortably chose/look what kind of batteries to use.
The popular wisdom on-line, suggest that the most logical batteries bank is the one build in series and NOT in parallel! While I’m not sure about that, this little bit of information alone, gives us a kind of direction as far as batteries voltage choice. One note of information that I always like to see, when making choices for a tools or a product that I’m about to purchase, is that fact that it is mass produced. Mass produced product have a tendency to give you:
- Better price or value for money as they are built in large quantities
- Better quality as the product has been heavily tested by the masses
- Better design as it has to work for several application instead of just a few
Another advantage of mass produce product that in this case I think is extremely important is the fact that their availability tend to be constant regardless of where you are or live.
By keeping all this factors in mind, I started to look around for what it is already out there, and that didn’t came with the costly names “caravan or camping” words attached to it.
One battery choice that kept popping up is the L16 battery (standard fitments on most golf cart). If you think about, it does make sense as they tick all the boxes above. But we need to compare some numbers here to make a more informed decision…
The L 16 battery is 6 volts, so to get to at least 24 volts we need a bank of 4 battery in series. Then we need to look at the AH (Amp-Hours) capacity of such batteries.
Another choice of battery that also kept popping up was the standard Forklift battery… well, standard here it is a bit of a loose term, as a quick search on Ebay reveal that you can actually buy 24,36 or 48 volts forklift batteries. While not been nowhere near as popular as the L16 (it seem that there are more people playing golf that people with forklift licence 😁), I did find one 24 volt 875 ah, with a dimension of 60cm high x 33cm wide x 80cm long. No mention of the weight but considering that it is delivered on a industrial pallet 😗 , I would think that the battery in a forklift also works as ballast.
After some consideration, and because I didn’t wanted to give up so easily, I did look for a new Hawker 24 volts battery model 12-85-5, 170ah (the smallest one I could find) and it still came in at 500 lbs (225+ Kg) 🙄
Personally I don’t think that the Forklift battery would work in an Motorhome environment based on size and weight alone. In my case I just don’t have a spare forklift to actually lift the battery from the floor for installation…
So we are back to the L16 or the standard 12 volt battery that it is sold with most DIY installation kits.
Next I will try to compare the two to see if we can come up with a winner…