Kingham batteries

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Kingham batteries

Post by smithy26 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:52 pm

Just bought a brand new Kingham van conversion and found that the battery fitted is only 90Ah compared to the brochure advertised 105Ah.
Phoned Auto-sleeper and they say it is a new EU reg where battery capacities have been downgraded or some such nonsense. to my mind 90 is 90 and 105 is 105, the service centre say that the 90Ah battery that is fitted will give the same performance as the previous 105Ah battery that used to be fitted, I cant see it myself and am running some consumption tests and worry that the battery may not last a whole night even with sensible usage when not hooked up. Any one out there have any experience with the kingham off grid
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by -mojo- on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:12 pm

As I understand it, the aim was to try to make the descriptions of battery capacity more consistent (rather like in the world of personal loans, where APR became the "standard" way to state interest rates).

It doesn't actually mean that you get less capacity - just that the way it is measured has been more accurately standardised. I don't believe it's anything that you need to worry about.

It's not something you can do anything about anyway, because A/S (in common with all other motorhome makers) state that they reserve the right to vary the specification of the vehicle without notice.
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by smithy26 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:13 pm

Thanks for your reply, but
If I have a fully charged 90Ah battery and use 1 amp on say lighting then that should last 45 hrs until it is down to 50% capacity and ready for recharging, with a 105 Ah battery it should last 52.5 hrs, that is in an ideal world and even in the real world it is a big difference, regardless of the disclaimer they should give you what the brochure says or inform you before purchase about the change in specification otherwise what is the point of the brochure, they may as well have a lottery for the spec each time someone buys
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Machloop on Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:05 pm

smithy26 wrote:Just bought a brand new Kingham van conversion and found that the battery fitted is only 90Ah compared to the brochure advertised 105Ah..................... Any one out there have any experience with the kingham off grid
Ours has let us down a couple of times this winter after leaving it standing for a couple of weeks but it has been cold here and little sun for the solar panel and I think that just the odd trip to the shops wasn't enough to keep it topped it up.  Obviously, plugging it into the house would have prevented this.  Not sure which battery we have but its fine in the good weather and in use.
Just missed your last post - are you by chance talking about your leisure battery ?

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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Wargenwolf on Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:11 pm

I visited my dealer yesterday to have a look around my Kingham, but I never thought to check the battery to see whether it has been downgraded since ordering.

That's now on my list for hand over day, but I'll just be checking out of curiosity, because as Mojo stated earlier, AS can change the brochure specs anytime they wish.

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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:13 pm

smithy26 wrote:Thanks for your reply, but
If I have a fully charged 90Ah battery and use 1 amp on say lighting then that should last 45 hrs until it is down to 50% capacity and ready for recharging, with a 105 Ah battery it should last 52.5 hrs, that is in an ideal world and even in the real world it is a big difference, regardless of the disclaimer they should give you what the brochure says or inform you before purchase about the change in specification otherwise what is the point of the brochure, they may as well have a lottery for the spec each time someone buys

As Mojo says, you have nothing to worry about and the explanation he gave you is perfectly correct.

The capacity quoted is based on the battery being at 25°C, any temperature higher or lower and it will be less. You will never get the battery charged to full capacity with either the onboard charger or the alternator. If you want to do some test, don't expect in practice to get much better than 70Ah with the battery you have in perfect conditions.

There are a lot more serious errors in the sales brochures than the one you have found.

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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Liam on Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:35 pm

Hi smithy and welcome to the forum.
If its any consolation I have experienced the same issue - and I am as confused as you!
I had a second leisure battery fitted recently and asked for one to match my existing Alphaline XV27 MF 105ah - what was fitted was a Hankook XV27 MF with no ah rating figure on the battery. 
Like you, my inquiries revealed that it had an actual 90ah rating and was told that under the new regulations it was the equivalent to the old 105ah rating!
I was concerned that there might be an in balance between the two batteries but was assured that all would be OK. 
I got confirmation that they would honor the warranty if anything went wrong - so I just gave up!!
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by smithy26 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:37 pm

thanks for the reply Liam, I would be interested in who fitted your 2nd battery and at what cost, as I feel I may need one if I am going to be doing a lot of wildcamping
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by brodco on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:52 pm

Hi wave

smithy26 wrote: to my mind 90 is 90 and 105 is 105

Yes but!

Peter Brown wrote:The capacity quoted is based on the battery being at 25°C, any temperature higher or lower and it will be less.  You will never get the battery charged to full capacity with either the onboard charger or the alternator.  If you want to do some test, don't expect in practice to get much better than 70Ah with the battery you have in perfect conditions.

I agree with all of that but would add that it also depends on what current you take. There is a rough analogy (OK I know it’s not perfect) with trying to quote MPG for a vehicle e.g.:

Put your foot down = higher speed = lower MPG
Light foot  = slower speed = more MPG

High current draw = lower available AH
Low current draw  = higher available AH

Looking at the way most batteries are specified you’ll find the “standard” spec is 20 hr rate from full charge to 10.5V so a 100AH battery would provide  5 Amps for 20 hours (to 10.5V). Problem is that if another manufacturer measures their battery at say 2 amps they can claim a higher AH.

If you are going to do some testing I’d advise not going to 10.5V because it has an effect on battery life. The more you discharge the battery the less charge / discharge cycles you get.

smithy26 wrote:a new EU reg where battery capacities have been downgraded or some such nonsense.

I really don’t understand why so many people think that standardisation is bad. Standardisation is a good thing. It means that you can sensibly compare two batteries. If there is no standardisation one company can claim (for instance) 90AH and another 105 AH for the same battery because you don’t know how it was measured, where as if both are quoted to BS EN XXXX (lies accepted) the customer can realistically compare performance.

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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by smithy26 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:12 pm

I have no problem with standardisation, and understand the pros and cons of batteries having dealt with them in my old job and onboard my narrowboat, but as a newbie to camper vans, I am trying to gain as much knowledge as possible. I still think if the spec in the brochure says you get a 105Ah battery, then a 90Ah battery is no substitute regardless of standardisation or eu regs. As I have already had a few warranty issues with my one week old van, I want to have as much input from experienced campervanners as possible. I am so far very unimpressed with the quality control of the builders of the van and having been told by autosleepers that there warranty service department is extremely busy, does raise some doubts about the setup. I love the design and layout of the van and look forward to the time that the problems have been dealt with, but that may be sometime as I have been told I have to wait until June to get a new window frame fitted
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Liam on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:24 pm

smithy26 wrote:thanks for the reply Liam, I would be interested in who fitted your 2nd battery and at what cost, as I feel I may need one if I am going to be doing a lot of wildcamping
I had it done at the AS Service Centre,  Willersey - from an insurance and safety viewpoint I thought it best to use the experts - after all its not the sort of thing you would want to get wrong!
Can't recall the exact cost as I had some other work done at the same time but if you consider all of the component parts - Battery, secured & ventilated container, cabling, clamps and labour etc. - I think it was just over £200.
Also, don't forget that if you are a member of the ASOC (Auto Sleeper Owners Club) you can get a discount from most AS dealers for work done.
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by sylvester1954 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:58 pm

We had an additional 105 leisure battery fitted to our Kingham (and a 100w solar panel) by the dealer Somerset Motorhomes. I think the extra battery is good security especially if you wildcamp.
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by biffobear on Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:42 am

I agree with Mojo on this but the stated Ah's on batteries has always been an Aufer Daily dream and open to all sorts statements and quotes. Hurray for standardisation at last. I think some expect to much from these batteries. There's a chap on the AAA live forum who is really up on batteries for campers motorhomes and caravans. His name is Allen and I'm sure he would say pretty much what Mojo has already said. My old Montana has a quoted 85ah battery and it does about 1 1/2 hrs of LED lighting, an hour of TV and 5 mins for the water pump. That's all I need in a pop top camper. On the other hand I have a Hymer with 260Ah U.S. Trojan traction batteries. Which can take 50amps at 14.8v from a Battery to battery charger via the alternator or the same via a Stirling 12v 50amp charger via EHU or 280watts of solar panel on the roof on a good day. That's enough to run a small village. I would recommend you get at least 100 watt solar panel and a decent regulator if you are concerned about not having EHU available. I would concentrate A/S mind on the faults on the van and not on a problem/fault that doesn't exist. This has only become a a tiny inaccuracy due to standardisation in the brochure. The vehicle hasn't changed.
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Jaytee on Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:50 am

Hi Smithy, I think you will get more out if your battery than you think. If you are able, fully charge and then try it out off grid. With the very low current draw lighting, fridge etc it will surprise you just how long you have got. We camp off grid in winter and even with heating on all night and an Avtex telly on for several hours a night we get several nights away even with just a thirty odd mile drive each day. I did put a second matching battery in when we first bought the van and then discovered the original battery had been run flat at the stealers so was way down on capacity. After three and a half hard years of use the capacities on my two will be less than your one new one.
Am going to replace them this year and may drop to one, the largest capacity I can fit.
PS we only have the 30watt solar panel.
Warranty issues seem to be the norm with any new van, you should hear what a chum of mind says about Swift  Whistle1. Most of our niggles were equipment rather than AS and once all sorted it will be wonderful drinksallround.
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Paramedic on Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:36 pm

Hi Jaytee, with the possible outlay for replacing your leisure battery setup, would it be worthwhile to upgrade your solar panel if you can accommodate the space? Surprisingly we discovered our 2013 reg used van had the 80 watt panel fitted instead of the advertised 30 at the time. If indeed we only had the 30 watt as specified in the advertising literature, we would have replaced with at least a 100 watt to give much more battery charging. Regards

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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Jaytee on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:05 am

Hi Paramedic, funnily enough that is exactly what we were thinking of doing, up!  just replacing one of the knackered leisure battery's with the largest that will fit and put a 100w solar panel on instead of a second battery. A much better option.

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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by DRPH on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:40 pm

We have a second leisure battery fitted as part of the purchase deal. Well-worth while for use during winter where there isn't any EHU. 

Apparently, where there are two batteries in use these must be the same AH and type.
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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:50 pm

DRPH wrote:

Apparently, where there are two batteries in use these must be the same AH and type.

They need to be of the same type of construction, eg. lead acid but not from the same manufacturer, same dimensions or same capacity. An 80AH and 110AH will sit together happily.

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Re: Kingham batteries

Post by Gromit on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:52 pm

Jaytee wrote:Just replacing one of the knackered leisure battery's with the largest that will fit and put a 100w solar panel on instead of a second battery. A much better option.
Agreed.

If it's any help, the advice we were given was much the same. "Don't even bother with a second battery unless you do a lot of wild camping in winter, and even then the benefit could be marginal if the solar panel is producing next to no current."

The advice proved sound for us. The combination of an 80 watt panel and a 95ah battery sounds rather minimal, but we've gone for five days in summer with no sign of the battery going flat. Fitting LED lights throughout makes a huge difference if you don't have them already.

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