Swollen Caravan Battery

Why is my caravan battery swollen and out of shape? If you have a swollen caravan battery, perhaps we can help answer that question for you.

Swollen Caravan Battery 1

AGM and Gel batteries are the most common found in caravans today. The lithium batteries are slowly gaining in popularity, but are still out numbered by the older generation of batteries.

These batteries can swell for a couple of reasons, firstly, rapid over charging, and secondly, slow over charging.

Rapid over charging will cause excessive heat and a pressure build up to the point where the vent will relieve the pressure and you will see the swelling and misshapen look of the battery at this point.

Slow overcharging will generally cause positive plate oxidation and flaking, which will expand the cell.

Is this a dodgy battery? Most likely no. More often the culprit for the overcharging of the battery will be your charger, or solar regulator. A quality charge controller is required to avoid over charging, and the controller should terminate the charging at the proper voltage.

You need to know what style of battery you have, be it gel or AGM. The controller will be different dependant on the battery.

There are several other causes for swollen batteries that we have come across;

  • Solar regulators, running 2 or none at all.
  • Portable solar panels, which often have a regulator built in (giving you 2 regulators if you have a panel on the roof).
  • Running two batteries with a different rating or age.
  • Not having a voltage cut out, allowing the battery to drain too low.
Swollen caravan battery 2

If you notice you have a swollen battery in your caravan, it is important that you have an expert look at your charging system to work out what is causing this problem. Your batteries life span will drop dramatically through incorrect charging, and you don’t want it to fail you midway through your holiday.

Our teams have seen many examples of this in our time. Often the customer isn’t even aware they have this problem. As part of your regular maintenance, we suggest visually checking over your van, including batteries, hot water systems and other parts you wouldn’t normally look at. You might find a potential problem before it creates further issues.

If you have concerns about your battery, or any other part of your caravan,  you can call our team for advice. We may need to see your van, or be able to quickly point you in the right direction so you can keep on travelling.

You can contact us here.