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Old 08-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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AGM battery replacement

On to the next project: replacing the Univolt with an Iota DLS 55, and replacing the battery with an AGM type. We don't have great separation between the battery compartment and the coach, and I want something that doesn't off gas and is stable, no possibility of leaking acid etc. My big question is this: what size should I get? We have a stock standard 1964 Globetrotter, electric start for the fridge, 12 lighting and that's about it. We use the old gravity furnace and will be replacing the water heater with, I guess, an electric start model, although I like the idea of the simpler pilot version. Any help would be great thanks
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #2
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btw, I'm having someone replace the Univolt, not tackling it myself.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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You don't say what Group number the present wet-cell battery is, so it's hard to guess about an AGM replacement. You should be able to go with the same group number (Group 24, or Group 27, or whatever) since batteries in the same Group tend to have similar dimensions.

However, it might be better to simply take the dimensions of the battery compartment, and get the largest Group number batteries that will fit (don't forgert to check height, too). But check the available amp-hours as well. My memory is telling me that larger Group numbers usually have higher amp-hours, but my memory has lied to me before. You always want the greatest number of amp-hours you can get.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:42 PM   #4
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The higher the Group number, the more ampere hours from a specific brand. You can check battery dimensions on the manufacturer's website and see if it fits in your battery box. Make sure there's enough room for the cables and they aren't rubbing against any metal—eventually the insulation will wear and cause a short.

I'd get the one with the most ampere hours that will fit. New Airstreams come with Group 24—smaller and cheaper. We upgraded to Lifeline Group 27 and had to make some modifications to the box.

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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AGM's breath also. They are vented like flooded cell batteries.
I had AGM's and went back to flooded cell. My last two sets of agms didn't last any longer than the flooded cell and were double the price.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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These came with our trailer.. IIRC it is because we have the factory solar option.

Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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I don't know what was stock, I think it's a 27 now.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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I looked over the Airstream website for all but Sport models and all it says about batteries are "lead acid". Nothing about Group. I would assume they are still using Group 24 because they are cheaper. If the solar option is to go to AGM's and Group 27, that is the exception.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:25 PM   #9
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AGM's breath also. They are vented like flooded cell batteries.
I had AGM's and went back to flooded cell. My last two sets of agms didn't last any longer than the flooded cell and were double the price.
Curious what you have for a charger/converter?
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:33 PM   #10
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AGM's breath also. They are vented like flooded cell batteries.
I had AGM's and went back to flooded cell. My last two sets of agms didn't last any longer than the flooded cell and were double the price.
AGMs don't last longer. Their main benefits as house batteries is that you can discharge them more slowly, and discharge them more deeply without hurting them, than typical wet-cell batteries.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:06 PM   #11
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I purchased an Optima Blue top because their warranty is longer than the other ones I looked at. I've only had it since June. So far , so good.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #12
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Actually, AGMs do not breathe just like flooded cell batteries, and can last much longer. The differences are significant. Battery performance and life depends upon many factors - depth of discharge, recharge rates, temperature, self-discharge during storage, maintenance, etc. It's worth some research before making a replacement decision. The Lifeline site Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries provides good information. I've just replaced my original Interstate group 24s. (failed at 16 months!) with GP 24 AGMs. I've used Lifeline & Rolls AGM's on my cruising sailboat, but chose XPower AGM's from Batteries Plus for the same specs as Lifelines but a much better warranty (full replacement to 4 years - many retail outlets across the USA). For the seasonal usage of our cruising boat and Airstream, I've found that the difference in initial cost of AGM's to be good value in the long run.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #13
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Thanks Jamu. I've been reading and have come to the conclusion that the AGM is the way to go for our application. Even though AGMs breathe, it's a small amount by comparison to more conventional lead acid batteries, and they're suitable for use in enclosed, ie habitable, spaces (like ours) Thanks for the info on the Xs battery, and Batteries Plus.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:13 PM   #14
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Curious what you have for a charger/converter?
I had a the ever popular, battery killing Paralax 7355. I upgraded to a three stage bolt in converter charger and went from agm's to flooded cell group 24's because I got tired of paying up for batteries that didn't last. We will see how long the new ones last.
I don't think agms last any longer than flooded cells and the flooded cell
batteries cost less than half.
My old agms had little vents on the top. Aren't the vents for breathing?
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