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Old 08-12-2016, 07:00 PM   #1
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New coach batteries

My batteries are toast.. I was wondering if anyone changed to a better battery or should I stick with the lifeline batteries??
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:26 PM   #2
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From what I've read, and observed, the Lifeline batteries are tops for AGM batteries. It's the cheap, Atkinson, shunt-type, charge controller that kills all batteries in sight.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
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FWIW, my original batteries were still doing a good job when I sold it. They weren't 100% but they could still run the frig overnight w/o any help.

I did have to replace the charge controller once.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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My batteries are toast.. I was wondering if anyone changed to a better battery or should I stick with the lifeline batteries??

The Lifelines are good batteries, but they are ruined by the poor solar controller and battery isolation module. Unless you keep your coach plugged in most of the time the batteries will slowly be destroyed. After replacing your batteries I'd recommend a better solar controller that will keep your batteries in good shape.


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Old 08-12-2016, 09:22 PM   #5
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My batteries are toast.. I was wondering if anyone changed to a better battery or should I stick with the lifeline batteries??
As long as you're buying new batteries, it's a good time to swap over to 6v. The Lifeline 4CT's will fit your coach and give you a bit more capacity (220A vs 160a for the existing 12v). I agree with the other posters that it would also be very beneficial to swap out your Solar Charge Controller for a decent one. Be sure to connect the 6v batteries in series instead of the parallel connection you have with your current 12v batteries.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:20 AM   #6
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What solar controller do you recommend?
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:11 PM   #7
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What solar controller do you recommend?


This may be a bit of a rabbit hole......

If you aren't plugged in and don't run your coach once a week or run your genny, the stock solar isn't enough to keep your batteries alive on their own regardless of your charge controller. Consensus seems to be 200W of solar AND a good controller (Morningstar, Renogy, etc) are needed if you are going to rely on solar alone. Based on my experience so far, I would totally agree with this consensus.
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:10 PM   #8
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Thanks FlyFishnRVr. I have a 2010 Airstream Interstate that I recently purchased from the original owner and he indicated that the solar had never worked. Since my multimeter showed 18v from the solar panel and 0v coming out of the controller with the battery voltage below 12v, I purchased a replacement from Atkinson. After I installed it I still get no output from the controller. Could the order I attached the wires have ruined the controller? Since I can't expect the factory installed solar to keep my batteries healthy, what will a working solar panel actually do for me?
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:33 PM   #9
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FWIW I have two 100w Renogy solar panels a Trimetric SC and battery monitor that I installed on mine. We just spent five days boondocking with night temps below 30 with the furnace running most of the night. Batteries, two Costco interstates, were down between 60-70% each morning. The solar system had them back to 100% if we had full sun. Took longer on overcast days but still had 100% before dark. I haven't used a generator since I installed the system and have been very happy not having to worry about power. We do a lot of boondocking and power was always an issue before and I never enjoyed breaking the serenity with the generator.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:20 PM   #10
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Thanks FlyFishnRVr. I have a 2010 Airstream Interstate that I recently purchased from the original owner and he indicated that the solar had never worked. Since my multimeter showed 18v from the solar panel and 0v coming out of the controller with the battery voltage below 12v, I purchased a replacement from Atkinson. After I installed it I still get no output from the controller. Could the order I attached the wires have ruined the controller? Since I can't expect the factory installed solar to keep my batteries healthy, what will a working solar panel actually do for me?
My 50W panel never supplied any power from new, even in the Arizona sun. Repeated attempts by the dealer to find the cause and he eventually found it was a faulty phone-type cable. Replaced that and now I get up to 3Amp; and with the fridge running it (just) manages to maintain my batteries to 100% in ideal conditions.
But I have plans to upgrade the solar and controller at some stage.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by proftjs33 View Post
Thanks FlyFishnRVr. I have a 2010 Airstream Interstate that I recently purchased from the original owner and he indicated that the solar had never worked. Since my multimeter showed 18v from the solar panel and 0v coming out of the controller with the battery voltage below 12v, I purchased a replacement from Atkinson. After I installed it I still get no output from the controller. Could the order I attached the wires have ruined the controller? Since I can't expect the factory installed solar to keep my batteries healthy, what will a working solar panel actually do for me?


It's possible the controller was damaged during install. Do you get anything on the remote display? Error codes, etc?

As far as your question re. what the 50W of solar will do for you, I think that's a loaded question. At best it will provide you with around 3A of juice mid-day. That's not enough to keep your batteries charged but it will reduce the time you have to run your genny so it's better than nothing. If you want more than that, you will need to upgrade. How much you upgrade to is totally dependent on what you're trying to achieve with it......
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:17 PM   #12
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Solar Charge Amps reads 'chr' and Solar Amp Hours shows 0. The PVCM25D only has 4 led lights with labels CHARGE, FULL, PARTIAL and LOW.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:44 PM   #13
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Solar Charge Amps reads 'chr' and Solar Amp Hours shows 0. The PVCM25D only has 4 led lights with labels CHARGE, FULL, PARTIAL and LOW.
'chr' means a charge rate of less than 0.2Amps. That is what mine was showing when I had the faulty phone cable. Check it out!
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:09 AM   #14
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That's peculiar. My owners manual says the Cat-5 cable is for the remote display, I assume this is the phone-like cable you referred to, and I assumed it had nothing to do with the operation of the controller. Any idea how to test it?
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