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Old 11-17-2004, 11:03 AM   #1
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Question Batteries

I need to replace all the batteries in my motorhome. When I purchased the AS a few months ago none of the batteries were the correct ones. So here is the problem how do I know which deep cycle batteries to get and which battery to get for starting the engine. If I go to Sears and tell them what kind of engine I have will they know what type battery I need. What are the best type of batteries to get? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:04 PM   #2
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you can get a chassis battery for the engine based on the 454's starting needs, they will know to look that up. The house battery (or batteries) should be the best quality deep cycle that you are comfortable with buying. I use the Optima yellow top as it is able to be fully discharged and then recharged to its normal strength over and over. This is handy for the inevitable drains that occur. Sears will have deep cycle units that are recommended for Rvs I would assume.
I suggest if you don't already have them, that a blade type disconnect be installed on the ground side of your batteries, or some similiar switch to completely cut them off whern the rig sits for awhile, it helps tremendously in extending battery life.
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:32 PM   #3
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I put two Optima yellow tops in my TT a couple of years ago. They are really great batteries, but expensive. I have a Optima red top in my Suburban tow vehicle & after three years it wouldn't hold a charge for more than a couple of days. When I contacted the firm that I bought it from, they replaced it at no cost to me. I had Delco deep cycles in the TT for almost ten years before they had to be replaced. I was really suprised they lasted that long. I understand that when replacing duel batteries in a vehicle, you should replace both at the same time with identical batteries.
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:36 PM   #4
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From what you are saying you recommend the Optima batteries for both the engine and the deep cycle. Can I get these Optima batteries anywhere or do I need to go to a RV place? Also Alan this disconnect thing you are talking about can you explain in greater detail or do you have a picture I can see to better understand.

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Brian
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Old 11-17-2004, 02:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85/345
From what you are saying you recommend the Optima batteries for both the engine and the deep cycle.......
Brian:

Consider the cost of the Optima's - yeah, they are great batteries, but price them as compared to a conventional deep cycle that you are comfortable with buying......just something to consider.......depending on your choice of conventional deep cycles you might be able to purchase TWO conventionals for the price of one Optima.


Quote:
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........Also Alan this disconnect thing you are talking about can you explain in greater detail or do you have a picture I can see to better understand.
Brian:

Look at the back wall of your battery drawer, just forward of the chassis battery - you may well have a cut-off switch for the house mounted there....I'm pretty sure that at least the 86's had them as standard equipment from the factory.
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Old 11-17-2004, 03:31 PM   #6
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Ok, 87MH looked for what you are talking about and didn't see anything. After looking at the batteries a little closer noticed that the person I bought the AS from over tightened the battery cable connections and they have cracked. I am assuming this happened because the batteries are just regular car batteries and the posts are smaller than a normal deep cycle battery. So now I have another thing I need to replace, the battery cables. Should I replace the entire battery cable or can I just cut off the the connectors or should I replace the entire cable. If I need to replace the entire battery cable where can I find this at.

Now back to the batteries. The maximum number of trips I will make in a year is probably 5-6. Based on this do I need to spend the extra bucks for an Optima battery or would a lower cost battery suffice. Did some research on the Optima batteries and noticed there are different types of the Yellow top deep cycle batteries. Which one should I choose? If I decide to go with a less expensive battery what is a good brand. Does Die Hard make a deep cycle battery?

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Brian
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:53 AM   #7
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Optima Batteries

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Originally Posted by ALANSD
...... I use the Optima yellow top as it is able to be fully discharged and then recharged to its normal strength over and over.....
I was unaware of how many different types of batteries that Optima offered. Follow below to see the various types of red, yellow, and blue.......curious that Optima recommends the Blue (Marine Deep Cycle - several models from which to choose) for RV coach use.......

http://www.optimabatteries.com/publi...duct_info.html

You might want to compare the constant amp draw vs time curves for conventional and Optima batteries - due to their design Optimas have less volume to store electrolyte......

Not dissing Optimas - it's just that they are difficult to compare to conventionals without digging into a BUNCH of different specs and performance curves......

You pays your money and you takes your chances......
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:14 AM   #8
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from the Yellow top page---- "OPTIMA is also ideal for seasonal use because of its very low self-discharge rate. That means you can store your seasonal vehicles all winter without regular charging and still spring out of the starting block when winter is over"
I believe the blue is more expensive than the yellow if I recall correctly. But either would be a good choice for a long term.
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:26 AM   #9
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I look at the Deep Cycle battery as a one per year purchase, my box only holds one. I plan to replace it once a year, so I get the least expensive one that will fit.

One other thing to consider when looking at Optima, AGM, or Gel cell is that the basic battery charger for the house batteries may not be able to be adjusted to give you the best possible charge for the type of battery you install. That is unless you go with a good old wet cell. This could lead to burning up a set of expensive batteries, or having them wear out due to under charging.
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:48 AM   #10
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Battery Acid and Aluminum

I have been using 2 optima's for 2 years as my coach batteries and have nothing but praise for them.
Due to the odd storage location in the 79 MH's (in a compartment left to the drivers seat), I could see damage to the aluminum caused by gasing and the occasional nono, when conventional batteries were serviced.
Along with the Intellicharger with charge wizard, I can leave the coach connected for month at a time.
Checking the Batteries for low fluid also became a thing of the past.
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Should I replace the entire battery cable or can I just cut off the the connectors or should I replace the entire cable. If I need to replace the entire battery cable where can I find this at.
Brian, I just replaced the coach batteries and the cables in my 345. I had one bad coach battery and a bad chassis battery so I moved the good coach battery (it was a combo deep cycle/starting battery from DuraLast) into the chassis position and then bought two new deep cycle RV batteries from Sams Club. I'm a cheapskate and didn't go for the Optima's instead they are both StowAway Deep Cycle Marine Batteries 205/115. I think I spent about $70 each. I might regret this later but I figured I could buy a second set in a four years if I needed to and still be in a good place.

On the battery cables - this is a little tricky. Turns out you can't just call in a part number on these. The best thing to do is to remove the old cables and take them to a truck supply or truck repair place. They will have the cable, terminals and a crimping machine/soldering tools required to make up a new set of cables. You should spend under $35 for everything.

And to echo Dennis' (87MH) comment on a disconnect switch. (see pic) I cannot recommend enough installing at least one of these for the house batteries and ideally a second for the coach. These old birds have a lot of little voltage drains on them while they are parked. Things like digital clocks, radio clocks, etc no to mention if you park it and forget to turn off something. I also like the additional theft protection cutting all all power to the coach in a keyed locker provides. You can purchase these at any auto or marine supply store (or online from Jegs). I'll try and take a pic of my battery locker so you can see where the mounting locations of these switches are for the 86 and older 345's
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:00 AM   #12
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I have made some progress in educating myself on the different types of batteries, conventional vs. dry cell. I went to a couple of different places last night and asked a few questions. I got mixed messages from everyone I talked to. The conventional batteries are somewhat cheaper but the dry cells seem to be better. So I guess it all boils down to what my personal preference is. So I have decided to go with the conventional battery. Main reason is I just bought the AS and the cost are starting to add up and I haven't even taken a trip yet.

Now back to my second question, battery cables. Is it better to replace the whole battery cable or can I just put on new connectors.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:03 AM   #13
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Gell Cell Charge Wizard

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-79MH
Along with the Intellicharger with charge wizard, I can leave the coach connected for month at a time.
Are you using the gell cell charge wizard? I found out when I first installed my two blue top optima's that the normal charge wizard is only for wet batteries. Progressive Dynamaics will trade out your normal wizard if you give them a call. They are very helpfull and friendly. The difference to my understanding is that the charge rate is droped an additional .6 volts through the different settings.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:18 AM   #14
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Now back to my second question, battery cables. Is it better to replace the whole battery cable or can I just put on new connectors.

Thanks for the help.
If the cables are not corroded or cracked I wouldn't replace them, just attach the new ends.
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