Energy for a motorhome trip – it’s worth knowing

Motorhomes are an excellent alternative to traditional recreation in holiday homes or hotels, offering holidaymakers independence, comfort and freedom of travel. How do you correctly calculate the energy requirement in our motorhome and choose the right battery for a successful holiday trip? – this is the question users ask most often.

Calculating the energy balance is much easier when, for example, like Exide, the battery manufacturer gives the specification in Wh (watt-hours) instead of Ah (ampere-hours). This allows users to easily calculate the average daily energy consumption of the on-board equipment. The list should include all power consuming devices, such as: refrigerator, water pump, TV, navigation equipment and emergency systems, as well as additional electronic equipment that you take with you on a trip, such as laptops, mobile phones, cameras or drones.

Energy balance

To calculate the energy requirement of your motorhome, you need to multiply the energy consumption of all on-board units on our list by their estimated operating time (h/day). The results of these actions give us the sum of the required energy, expressed in Watt-hours. By adding up the watt-hours consumed by all devices between successive charges and adding a safety margin, we get a result that makes it easier to select one or more batteries.

Examples of energy consumption between charges:


Formula: B × h = Wh

• Water pump: 35 W x 2 h = 70 Wh

• Incandescent lamp: 25 W x 4 h = 100 Wh

• Coffee machine: 300 W x 1 hour = 300 Wh

• Television: 40 W x 3 h = 120 Wh

• Fridge: 80 W x 6 hours = 480 Wh

Total: 1,070 Wh

Exide advises

To avoid unpleasant surprises during the trip, it is worth multiplying the sum by the so-called safety factor, namely: 1.2. In this way we get the so-called safety margin.


1.070 Wh (required energy) x 1.2 (safety factor) = 1.284 Wh. The margin of safety is 214.

RV battery – what to remember?

Motorhomes are supported by two types of batteries: the starter battery, which is necessary to start the engine, when selecting we must follow the recommendations of the car manufacturer, and the built-in battery, which is used to power all devices in the living space . The choice of a utility battery depends on the motorhome equipment used by the user and not on the parameters of the vehicle.

A well-prepared energy balance helps us to choose the right on-board battery. But not only these parameters are worth considering before buying. Considering the battery model we want to buy and the mounting options, we need to consider whether the structure of our vehicle allows the battery to be installed in a horizontal or side position, and then select the appropriate device model for it.

If we want a short battery charging time, choose the one with the “fast charge” option, which cuts the time in half, such as the completely maintenance-free Exide Equipment AGM from the Marine & Leisure range, made in the absorption glass matt technology, characterized by high resistance to deep discharge. We should also remember that choosing a maintenance-free battery will make you forget about the need to top up the electrolyte in it. But not only that – these models are also less likely to self-discharge.

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Users who want to minimize battery space in the motorhome can opt for the Equipment Gel model, saving up to 30% of the space in their recreational vehicle. By the way, they get a completely maintenance-free battery, suitable for long storage periods, characterized by excellent cycling performance and high resistance to vibrations and tilting.

When you start your adventure with motorhome tourism, remember that a well-calculated electricity demand and the right choice of battery form the basis for a successful holiday in a mobile home. During our travels, we will not forget the routine, uncomplicated, but necessary check of the motorhome’s power system, and it will be an unforgettable holiday.

Photo Exide

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