bbl batteries

A guide on which battery technology is most suitable for your Camper Van Conversion

A guide on which battery technology is most suitable for your Camper Van Conversion

Standard Lead Acid, AGM or Lithium? Some Pros and Cons…

When it comes to choosing which battery to use in your van conversion there is a choice of different battery technologies to consider. Below is a quick guide covering the three most popular choices that are widely available today.

Economical choice: Flooded / Standard lead acid.

This is by far the most original of the options available today. Still a solid all round performer, they are still by a long way the most affordable option, from a purchasing point of view, generally costing less than the equivalent AGM and Lithium options. The ongoing maintenance is generally more involved with the open vent, unsealed batteries (less so with sealed options) and they must be managed carefully due to ventilation and the electrolyte inside (these batteries gas).

Less Maintenance: AGM (Advanced Glass Mat) Deep Cycle.

An AGM battery will typically cycle 400 – 500 times and will be ‘happier’ regularly reaching a lower depth of discharge (50%) than the standard lead acid equivalent. AGM batteries are all fully sealed and therefore less maintenance is required than open vent lead acid batteries. Any electrolyte that is turned to vapour during use is collected using a specialist system in the lid of the battery and returned to the electrolyte reservoir ensuring minimal electrolyte depletion. The upfront cost is less than Lithium however the Lithium option will be able to cycle many more times to a much lower depth of discharge. AGM batteries are widely available and a good starting point for most amateur installers.

Premium choice: Lithium LiFePO4.

These batteries are the ultimate choice for van conversions as they are much lighter, have a dramatically increased reserve capacity and therefore cycle life. And in the case of the BBL Batteries Lifos brand, include an internal communication / reporting system that will talk directly to your smart device via a Bluetooth App. This ensures the user has all the key data, such as state of charge, output / input etc. to hand all the time when out on the open road. This is especially useful when solar kits form part of the power system, harvesting and feeding energy into the battery. The only minor downside is the higher upfront cost, however when the increased cycle life is taken into account over the long term there is a considerable cost saving. When Lifos is discharged to 50% it will produce in the region of 5000 cycles. The equivalent AGM battery when discharged to 50% will produce in the region of 400 – 500 cycles, less than ten times the amount. Lifos is happy to reach much a much lower depth of discharge than 50% if required and is the only battery out of all three options to do so.

BBL Batteries stock and supply premium quality batteries covering all three technologies. We source our batteries globally from all the leading battery manufacturers ensuring quality, availability, range and of course value. BBL Batteries were instrumental in the theory, design and bringing to market of their Lifos range. Having been a key player in the battery market for nearly 50 years, BBL can also offer the very best advice based on a wealth of experience collected by our battery experts.


Bristol - 0117 955 0535 -

Exeter - 01392 254 418 -

Plymouth - 01752 338 501 -

Swindon - 01793 616 646 -

Truro - 01872 270 011 -

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Tina 07 January, 2020 Reply

Amazing help and service from the Swindon Branch this morning after my car wouldn’t start and taking a recommendation to bring it to BBL. Matt and the team were really friendly, helpful and efficient from my initial phone call to fitting, which was done immediately!  I am very thankful and will certainly be recommending this place to everyone. Thanks again highly recommended!


Gerald Lawrence 21 December, 2019 Reply

DONT GO ANYWHERE ELSE.BBLbatteries recommended by Breakdown chap saying batteries cheaper than anywhere else so went along.
yup batteries cheaper than elsewhere by £20 including fitting!!!!

Great service from the staff including walking out with a mug torch and a smile!!


Kerry 07 December, 2019 Reply

I have to leave a great review here.  on approach Matt that worked behind the counter was amazing he just seems to have a customer approach that would make u want to come back. I’m sure I won’t need to. But he’s an absolute asset to the business. Thanks for your help. Kerry.


George Paterson 06 December, 2019 Reply

Visited the Truro Branch today and was most impressed by the two lads behind the counter. I am somewhat deaf and cannot see particularly well and explained the problem I had with a small compact tractor battery which had limited space in the engine compartment. They talked me through the size and capacity I needed and even helped unload the old battery from my friends car and found a replacement model in the store which should do the trick they said. Upon reaching my home the new battery did the trick - fitted into the compartment perfectly and I am a very happy ole boy. Thank them very much please for their patience and guidance. Very much appreciated.


Jacek Pelc 06 December, 2019 Reply

Top service. Guys were really helpful. Order came on time.  I visit a few shops around estate and they had the best prices. Definitely I will recommend BBL Batteries to my frends. Very pleased. Thanks.


barbara brown 03 December, 2019 Reply

Very friendly, helpful quick service and a reasonable price for a new battery. Thanks


joanna wiggans 22 August, 2019 Reply

Went in today for new leisure battery.  What fabulous service offered, so helpful and knowledgable. Fitted and very good value.  put me in a good mood for the rest of the day

fabulous customer service


Debbie cantin 15 July, 2019 Reply

Lee in the Plympton branch helped me today. I was in a bit of a stress as my battery was flat and the RAC signposted me to your store.
Lee was really professional and helpful , he changed my battery for me and I would definitely recommend BBL to friends and family. Thanks Lee!


Paul Compton 09 July, 2019 Reply

Excellent and friendly service. Matched the price of a competitor. Very helpful. Knowledge staff. Would definitely come again.


Martin Collenette 21 June, 2019 Reply

Mike in Truro is a battery hero!! He managed to get my wife’s old electric bike’s battery repacked and rejuvenated via Bristol battery repacking department. The alternative was a new one at twice the price and a possible 3 to 4 months delay. Fantastic, thanks to all concerned. Regards Martin Collenette



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