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Old 03-16-2015, 06:39 AM   #29
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OK,

Some under seat shots with the rear lounge removed. All are in-progress and none show a final, finished version of the installation. The 'rat's nest' of wiring that Airstream leaves behind the seats gets totally cleaned up and loomed, and the placement of the components allows for easier access.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:03 AM   #30
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Confusing info

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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Peter,

Nope, as a good friend from 'Nawlins' always says "it don't make no matta" what type of box you have.

The external vent gets sealed so no water can enter they it. Not required with Lifelines and the new Lithiums are incapable of gassing.

New Velcro tabs on batteries to hold the carpet. All positive terminals (2) are covered and insulated with red silicone boots.

I typically don't run more than 1 wire to the positive output terminal, preferring to use remote terminal blocks.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


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I am confused about something. From Lifeline website:

These batteries off gas only 2% by volume under normal operating conditions

So do Lifeline AGM's off-gas or not? Looking to add a 12 volt battery to my vintage Flying Cloud and wondering if there is a way around building in an externally vented battery box...
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:38 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BambiTex View Post
I am confused about something. From Lifeline website:

These batteries off gas only 2% by volume under normal operating conditions

So do Lifeline AGM's off-gas or not? Looking to add a 12 volt battery to my vintage Flying Cloud and wondering if there is a way around building in an externally vented battery box...
The typical AGM battery off-gasses 5% by volume. Only off-gassing 2% by volume is a major improvement.

There are two important concepts to bear in mind here. Lower explosive limit and upper explosive limit. Which for hydrogen are 4% and 75.6% respectively. Which means that when the amount of hydrogen in a given volume is between those two percentages, even the slightest spark can cause an explosion.

Now, in the typical battery box, the volume of air in the box is very small because the batteries almost completely fill the box. So even off-gassing 2% of the battery's volume means that the box has to be vented to keep the air in the box below the lower explosive limit.

BUT, and this is an important BUT, when the batteries are NOT in a battery box and they're in a big Sprinter van't interior, off-gassing 2% of the battery's volume by month will never get the concentration of hydrogen in your van up to the lower explosive limit. The batteries are just so small and the van is so big. So there will never be a hydrogen explosion in your van even if you light the stove, let alone have a spark.

This principle is also why pre-2008 Airstream Interstates could safely have a house battery under the passenger-side front seat that wasn't vented to outside. So you could say that Lewster, by getting rid of the battery box in back, is just reinventing the way Airstream used to do it.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:32 AM   #32
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So the consensus is it would be safe to mount an AGM battery under the bed in my FC with no battery box and no external venting?
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:31 PM   #33
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I can only vouch for Lifeline AGM batteries, as I don't sell or install any other brand of AGM battery. I have never had any gassing, smell or any other type of issues in over 10 years and over 100 AGM battery banks.

If you have any concern at all, you should either place them in a sealed, vented box or go with a new lithium phosphate battery which does not gas when charged.


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Old 03-17-2015, 02:34 PM   #34
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go with a new lithium phosphate battery which does not gas when charged.

Maybe when the price drops a bit.
AGM are expensive enough.
If I have to vent, I may be better off with SLA.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:48 AM   #35
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Just checked prices on LiFePO4 batteries. Ouch!

Best I saw was about $11-$12 per AH.

I hope Elon Musk is going to bring the price down with his new Giga-factory.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:09 PM   #36
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You have to be very careful when buying the new lithium batteries. Most are not designed specifically for RV use and don't have the suitable electronics for RV- specific charging.

Prices should drop with wider acceptance of the new technology, but even at present pricing, their 15 year projected life span more than justifies the cost.


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Old 03-18-2015, 01:53 PM   #37
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their 15 year projected life span more than justifies the cost.

Not so sure this is true:
SLA: Sears DieHard DC 62AH, $120, 4 yr life = $0.48/AH/yr
AGM: Exide MC-31 100AH, $230, 8 yr life = $0.29/AH/yr
LiFe: SmartBattery SB50 50AH, $690, 15 yr life = $0.92/AH/yr
Even if we divide by 1.6 for deeper discharge rate, cost is $0.58/AH/yr
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:33 PM   #38
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Interstate GPL 31-T

The local Batteries Plus store suggested I replace my Batteries with the Interstate GPL 31-T model. They are rated at 105AH versus 80AH for the GPL 24-T and cost about $40 more. Sounds too good to be true. So I called AirStream service to see if they know of any issues or conflicts that would be caused by this change. The 31-T is about 1 5/8 inches longer than the 24-T and the other dimensions are the same.
After checking the specs. on the battery box for the 2010 Interstate 3500 the tech rep I talked to said they would fit with a little room to spare for cabling and my TrippLite charger/inverter would be compatible with the new batteries. I have yet to pull the seat out and measure the box myself but this sounds like a good solution for replacing the batteries and I get an additional 50AH capacity in the bargain.
Has anyone had experience with these larger batteries? Comments, suggestions?
The Prairie Schooner
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:55 PM   #39
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After checking the specs. on the battery box for the 2010 Interstate 3500 the tech rep I talked to said they would fit with a little room to spare for cabling and my TrippLite charger/inverter would be compatible with the new batteries.
While you're checking clearances, don't forget that you have a wooden shelf between the top battery and the bottom battery. That wooden shelf is supported by metal flanges.

Will the bottom Group 31 battery slide in past those flanges? Or is the clearance at the flanges too tight for it to fit?
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:33 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie View Post
The local Batteries Plus store suggested I replace my Batteries with the Interstate GPL 31-T model. They are rated at 105AH versus 80AH for the GPL 24-T and cost about $40 more. Sounds too good to be true. So I called AirStream service to see if they know of any issues or conflicts that would be caused by this change. The 31-T is about 1 5/8 inches longer than the 24-T and the other dimensions are the same.
After checking the specs. on the battery box for the 2010 Interstate 3500 the tech rep I talked to said they would fit with a little room to spare for cabling and my TrippLite charger/inverter would be compatible with the new batteries. I have yet to pull the seat out and measure the box myself but this sounds like a good solution for replacing the batteries and I get an additional 50AH capacity in the bargain.
Has anyone had experience with these larger batteries? Comments, suggestions?
The Prairie Schooner
If clearance is not an issue, also check out the GPL 31-XT. Same dimensions but extra capacity (125 AH).
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:16 PM   #41
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Question for Lewster regarding the recommendation to get quality 3-stage MPPT solar controller.
I called AM Solar and was told that a MPPT was not worthwhile with a 50W panel. Was told that it used more power doing the fancy controlling than it gained. Was told that it would be marginal even with 100W solar. I was told that a 4 stage PWM such as Bogart Engineering SC2030 would be ideal for me. Two (unrelated?) issues seem to be in play: How to get maximum power from the panel and how to match voltages to AGM charging desires. Your thoughts. Thanks
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:06 PM   #42
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I bought a new 28 ft. rear twin bed AS. I picked the AS up in August so it is only 8 months old. I took the two Interstate batteries that came with AS into O'Reily's today to be charged after storing the AS for the past four months. The trailer was not plugged in to shower power while stored however the switch to disconnected the house batteries was used. i was told by the employee at O'Reilly's that one of the batteries needs to be replaced. I'm not sure that I trust the guy who told me that the battery needs to be replaced; is there a way to check this out? If the battery does need to be replaced can you suggest what brand and specifications I should look for to replace the Interstate Battery?
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