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Old 06-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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jevering's Avatar
2013 23' International
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 8
2012 International 19' Battery Upgrade?

I have a 2012 19' International Signature. I am doing mostly dry camping and was wondering if it is possible to upgrade the batteries. I was thinking either better batteries or expanding somehow to four batteries. Any thoughts anyone?

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Old 06-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Cary , North Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 793
AGMs and Optima

I just replaced the OEM batteries in our 2006. I got way more life out of them than I expected. They were conventional lead-acid so I will assume Airstream is still using them in the 2012's.

I have been a long convinced user of Optima batteries in our cars and boats. The are excellent. Never a failure. They work in all conditions and can sit uncharged. I even replaced the dual batteries in our old diesel with a single Optima Redtop.

However the price has gone sky high (almost $200) so I put in 2 Duracell AGM batteries from Sam's Club that were only $80 apiece. The Duracell and Optima are both AGM. The optima batteries put the glass mats in a "jelly roll" which holds up much better to vibration (like in a boat). But there is not much abuse in the Airstream. So we will see.

Take careful measurements of your battery box and you may be able to go to a larger battery. The reserve capacity is what you are interested in, not cranking amps.

AGM batteries like the Optima have no liquid acid and can be used inside the car/trailer. Car audio enthusiasts routinely mount them in the trunk and cabin. They also can be mounted sideways or even upside down so if you want to add more to your Airstream, look around under a bunk or closet if the outside battery box does not lend itself to expansion.

A car Audio shop (there must be thousands around San Jose ) would probably be willing to add an AGM battery or two if you are not comfortable with the task yourself. Pick one installing in $50,000+ trucks and cars, not beatup Hondas

2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:02 AM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,570
Your 19 came with group 24s. You might be able to shoehorn 27s in the spot, maybe, if youmare determined and creative. Take careful measurements. AGM may not give you more reserve, though they will most likely give you longer life. Again, read labels carefully.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Ivins , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 261
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I just replaced the Group 24 wet cells with group 27 AGM's in my 27FB. They're a better match for my solar array, and I anticipate 15-20% more capacity as well. It required some minor mods to the battery box to accommodate the slightly longer length of the new batteries, but was an easy Saturday morning project.

Seacliff, by the way, in your neighborhood, is one of our favorite weekend getaways!

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