What battery is best for starting RV/Caravan Gasoline Engines?
The starting batteries for gasoline engines must consistently deliver high cold cranking amps (CCA), operate in high and low temps and withstand vibration. With the engine off, High Cycle Reserve Capacity (RC) is required to support added electronic equipment such as GPS, depth finders, radios, navigation lights, bilge pumps, live wells, etc. The engine alternator is the sole charging source for the starting batteries. Maintenance-free spill-proof batteries are highly desirable in marine applications.
Lead-acid battery failure is most commonly caused by acid stratification, extreme temperatures and destructive vibration. Acid stratification naturally occurs in flooded lead-acid batteries and leads to a decline in capacity and charge acceptance. AGM technology and acid mixing technology for flooded lead-acid starting batteries will mitigate acid stratification.
Starter battery specifications: Cold Cranking Amps (CCA); the amps a 12V battery can discharge for 30 seconds at -18°C / 0°F while maintaining its voltage above 7.2 volts. Because lead-acid batteries produce more energy at higher temperatures, we also rate marine batteries in Cranking Amps (CA), similar to CCA but measured at 0°C / 32°F and Marine Cranking Amps (MCA), similar to CCA but measured at 27°C / 80°F
Higher cranking power is required for cold temperatures, diesel engines, or high-compression gas engines where high cranking voltage must be maintained for the fuel ignition systems to function. This requires maximum Amp Hours (AH) or Reserve Capacity (RC): Minutes a battery can maintain a load of 25 amps before it drops to 10.5 volts (at 27°C / 80°F).
Dual-purpose batteries must consistently deliver reasonable cold cranking amps (CCA), operate in high and low temps and withstand vibration. With the engine off, Reserve Capacity (RC) is required to support moderate electric loads such as electronic equipment, radios, house lights, small inverters, etc. From low to high, dual-purpose batteries can be designed with micro-cycle (17.5% Depth of Discharge - DoD) or high cycle (30%Depth of Discharge - DoD) life characteristics. Typically, the higher the cycle life ability, the lower the CCA rating will be in a dual-purpose battery. A battery with high CCA, High Reserve Capacity “and” long life should be viewed with suspicion.
Start-Stop technology helps to reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption by turning off your engine every time the vehicle comes to a stop. This puts severe micro-cycle demands on the battery as it is required to support all of the vehicle's electrical systems during engine-off periods. Start-Stop Batteries must support more starts per year than they used to be required to in a lifetime. EFB Start-Stop batteries are not designed for regular discharges of more than 3% to 17.5%
While Start-Stop technology helps to reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption, Anti-Idle legislation mandates that vehicles not idle engines during a pick-up, drop-off or rest periods putting severe high-cycle demands on the battery as it is required to support additional house loads as well as the vehicle original electrical systems. Like Start-Stop, Anti-idle batteries must support more starts per year than a battery used to be required to in a lifetime. High-Cycle Start-Stop Anti-Idle batteries are not designed for regular discharges of more than 17.5% to 30%.