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Old 07-05-2015, 12:51 PM   #1
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2004 28' International CCD
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Battery question

Hello fellow streamers!!
I hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July!!!
Can anyone recommend the best batteries for a trailer?? I have a 2004-28' international. We NEVER boondock, but I would like to have the best (and least expensive) battery in case we find ourselves out where birds don't fly. I should have gone to the trailer b-4 I posted this so I could tell you what I have in there now. I know there are 2 "interstate" batteries in there now. One, or both, do not keep a charge. They are 4-5-6 years old. My dad doesn't remember. I can drive for days and when I unhook, the power jack barely has enough juice to operate..
Thanks for all the help.
I love this forum. You all should get Boy Scout awards for all the help here.

Ben
2004-28' international
2000 Lincoln Navigator
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:24 PM   #2
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I would simply replace the batteries with a like battery from Walmart. They are probably group 24 size. If you want to be really $ savings, only one is absolutely necessary. The other can be left off/out. Since you never boondock but need the battery for operating the electric jack and break away brake switch, you could get away with one battery only.
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, best and least expensive are mutually exclusive. Least expensive is CHEAP!!!!!

BEST is generally MOST EXPENSIVE!!

Without tweaking your charging system to a 'smart' converter that will not cook your batteries while you are plugged in (unless you are diligent about keeping the battery disconnect to STORE), I would follow the advise above and get the cheapest batteries you can find.

Not how I would proceed, but it should work for you.


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Old 07-05-2015, 06:14 PM   #4
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Where as Lew is correct, best may not be the best value. I would go to Costco. They may not last quite as long, but they do the job.

Physically disconnect the batteries when you're not going to be using the trailer for a week or two.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:11 PM   #5
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I use Walmart, deep cycle marine.
They are cheap, but will last about 3 years if maintained and charged correctly.
I have tried other brands of wet cell and got the same length of service.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:42 PM   #6
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The important thing is that you get deep cycle batteries. I use Interstate or Walmart batteries and replace them every 2 or 3 years. I have the original battery frying converter but am somewhat careful how I use it. Can go about 3 days without power. Driving the TV does little to charge the batteries. My experience indicates yours are toast.
I am going to upgrade the converter but can get by like it is for a while longer.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:40 PM   #7
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Just be sure it's a deep cycle battery. Walmart ever maxx or something like that should be good for a good while. Unless you're going to specific high end brand like Trojan or interstate, most batteries from big box and auto part stores are the same.
Biggest thing is maintenance. The battery may say maintenance free, but it is NOT! They need maintenance. The caps on top will pop off with a screwdriver so you can check and add water. DISTILLED water only! Check it when you first get it too. On most batteries inside the holes there is a little tube that goes down toward the electrolyte, fluid should just tuch the bottom of that tube. That leaves enough room for temp expansion and gassing. Check regularly(monthly) until you get a good feel for how often it needs topping off based on your use. Keep the area around the fills clean don't want dirt getting in there.
You can use a clean dedicated turkey baster or plastic syringe to make it easier to add the water in fine quantities. I think I got the syringe I use from vintage trailer supply, they sell it for applying sealant, but it's really big and holds enough water for topping off the battery. Makes adding small amounts and getting it in the hole easier.
Wear safety glasses, and keep a little baking soda handy in the off chance a little electrolyte gets spilled, hard to do if you're careful, it'll neutralize the acid, like mixing with vinegar. Just not near the fill holes, a tiny bit there just wipe with clean rag or good paper towel, not cheap stuff that produces a lot of lint.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:10 AM   #8
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I think everyone would be better-served if everyone didn't keep telling everyone they needed a "better" converter.

Only if you have an "older" Airstream do you have a poorly-serving converter that may "cook" your batteries.

If you have a newer AS...or if your older converter has already been changed out to a more modern type.... you will not have the dreaded "battery-cooker" type converter (charger.)
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
I think everyone would be better-served if everyone didn't keep telling everyone they needed a "better" converter.

Only if you have an "older" Airstream do you have a poorly-serving converter that may "cook" your batteries.

If you have a newer AS...or if your older converter has already been changed out to a more modern type.... you will not have the dreaded "battery-cooker" type converter (charger.)
The vast majority of Airstreams, brand new ones included, only come with Parallax converter/chargers and they are single stage units, not the three stage units that are the ones available and recommended by most sources.

I understand that the 15' Airstream Sport does come with a WFCO three stage converter/charger. Possibly your 22' Sport also has one. But all others, including my 2014 FC 20' have a single stage Parallax converter/charger, which has the same issues that the old Univolts had.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:13 AM   #10
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I have done complete solar charging systems and inverter/charger installations on 6 new, 2015 Airstream trailers to date and EVERY ONE had a Parallax single stage constant voltage converter equipped from the factory.

I would suggest that when responding to threads, some folks do a bit of field research before posting opinions that have no basis in fact.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:51 AM   #11
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Thanks everybody, going to change them out at the end of the month.
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