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Old 01-19-2011, 09:22 AM   #15
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I learned to change out batteries after 3 years. Anything after that time is a crap shoot. Yes, I know of people who claim longer life but I don't like getting caught in the middle of no-where with a dead battery.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:55 AM   #16
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Thanks Peeps!
I will be just running with the 1 battery for a bit as you said Jammer.
Will leave the dead one on the 2A desulfating charge for a bit and see if it would work a miricle!
I might even try the old drain, flush and Epsom salt cleanse for a laugh!
As Samb says... the price is right!

I am not driving the M/H for a couple more months, so I can just use the one battery.
Anyone care to comment on how Aluminum Diamond plate would do as a tray bottom?
I think I will drop the drawer bottom by about 2", to give me enough height for 6V Golf Cart Batteries(11" tall) if I decide thats the best option later.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:48 PM   #17
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If you ran down your batteries to zilch, they are suspect and should be replaced unless you like to take risks of low battery at unexpected times. Often times you can get away with a few accidental deep discharges but if you have a battery showing indications of a bad cell, replace it.

The only recovery for a bad cell is to rebuild the battery and that is not practical for any battery you'd find in a typical RV. In the whole scheme of things, batteries are really not that expensive these days.

re: "the new one will get pulled down to the older battery's level?" -- If there is a bad battery with a cell failure, this is true as the voltages of all batteries in parallel are held to the same level. But in most cases (80%) or so, batteries fail by sulfation and paralleling a new battery with an old one of the same type and chemistry won't harm the new one. The only caveat is that it will be doing most of the work and that might age it a bit faster.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:42 PM   #18
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Ok, absorbing all this info slightly better than my bad battery absorbs charge!

So, here is a question...

I have about $300 in Costco credits.
Marine Deep Cycles cost $68 each.
Golf Cart 6V are $78 each.
I cant find the specs on either online and didnt write them down...

What is the best way to go?
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:17 PM   #19
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I personally would stick with the "marine deep cycle" batteries and the $68.00 dollar price sounds really good.

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:32 PM   #20
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Hi, my batteries lasted about three years, each time. I have replaced my batteries twice with Costco group 24 deep cycles. So from my experiences, you have one bad battery, and the other one will soon follow. One time, I knew I wasn't going anywhere for several months, so I waited before buying new ones. No use burning up warranty time while just sitting in storage.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:34 PM   #21
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Battery

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Ok, absorbing all this info slightly better than my bad battery absorbs charge!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post

So, here is a question...

I have about $300 in Costco credits.
Marine Deep Cycles cost $68 each.
Golf Cart 6V are $78 each.
I cant find the specs on either online and didnt write them down...

What is the best way to go?

Are these batteries a gel type, or lead acid????

Dave
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:35 AM   #22
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If you use 2 - 12 volt and 1 goes bad you can carry on. If you use 2 - 6 volts and 1 goes bad you are stuck till you get a replacement.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:28 AM   #23
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Are these batteries a gel type, or lead acid????

Dave
FYI, there are no more 'gel type' batteries. There are liquid lead acid, sealed lead acid 'maintenance free' and AGM (absorbed glass mat). Gels were the first attempt at getting away from liquid acid and they had many problems like their charging and vibration sensitivity and dead spots on the plates from the gel detaching. AGMs, while the most expensive, are also the premium battery currently on the market.

Lifeline AGM batteries have a factory 5 year warranty, and I have many customers with Lifelines at 5 and 6 years that are running strong in large motor homes. Proper charging and usage patterns are key to battery longevity for any type of deep cycle battery installation. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:34 AM   #24
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There are two major types of battery failures: "open" and "short". "Open" is also called "interwall open" because of of the internal connections to that cell is no longer conducting properly. "Shorted" is not really an absolute short, if it was, you'd catch your motor home on fire. An "open" will not be able to carry a significant load, and a "short" will carry a very low load, but the voltage will slowly rise slightly while under load. The "shorted" cell will bubble under load, the "open" cell will just sit there looking at you.
Now, I would replace the bottom of the battery compartment as it is, you really don't want anything hanging down further than it has to be. I'd also stay with the group 24's. If you remove the cover to the storage compartment in the rear of the battery compartment, you will have just enough room for two more group 24 batteries in that area, doubling your capacity without losing space, or making major modifications. Obviously, if budget is a consideration, that can be down the road. The main reason I would recommend sticking with 12 volt batteries is, as has been stated above, you lose a single battery, and it's a 6v in series, you're done until you get a replacement. Most Big Box stores, and most auto parts stores as well, don't carry golf cart batteries. They do carry 12 volt marine/deep cycle batteries. If you have a failure with 12 volt batteries, you can go to the store, get replacements, and get back to camping. With 6 volt, you pack up and go home.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:37 AM   #25
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Good point Shacksman.
I was tired when I posted that last night, so I didn't clarify.
I was thinking 4 X 6V's, =$312 plus tax and core.
Or 5 x 12V = $340 plus Tax and core.
From my measurements, I can fit 6 X 6V in no problem, but as you must add in pairs thats $160 more.
6 X 12V might be tight space wise as they have a larger footprint, which is why I thought 5.
I think Costco charges a $9 core on each Battery.

Weight wise, I think my 500lb drawer slides would be ok.
I am using 70lb per battery as a reference.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:56 AM   #26
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AGM Batteries

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FYI, there are no more 'gel type' batteries. There are liquid lead acid, sealed lead acid 'maintenance free' and AGM (absorbed glass mat). Gels were the first attempt at getting away from liquid acid and they had many problems like their charging and vibration sensitivity and dead spots on the plates from the gel detaching. AGMs, while the most expensive, are also the premium battery currently on the market.
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post

Lifeline AGM batteries have a factory 5 year warranty, and I have many customers with Lifelines at 5 and 6 years that are running strong in large motor homes. Proper charging and usage patterns are key to battery longevity for any type of deep cycle battery installation. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Lew:
Thanks for all the wisdom you have shared with us on this site.

I am, no doubt, behind the curve here on batteries. When I say "GEL" I meant AGM.

My unit has lots of room and carrying capacity, so I went with the 4 X T105"s in 2009, similar to those that had been installed by the PO. From the date on those, it appeared they had six years use, and one cell on one battery was low and slow to charge.
It was my understanding, at that time, that the alternator setting would have to be increased to properly charge AGM batteries, and I was resistant to do that, because of bulb life, electronics vulnerability, etc.
Servicing the lead acid is not a problem as I keep close watch on all systems.
Question is:
Does the Alternator setting have to be increased to properly charge AGM.
I have 3 battery banks, all lead acid. What happens when you mix AGM in the house bank, and lead acid in the other banks, when, in our case, we have a travelling unit that is not on shore power for weeks at a time. (284W solar) Also, we are pulling a toad, so that is another battery you are charging.
Dave

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:03 AM   #27
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Mmmm, looks like I was writing my reply while you guys were too!!

Lewster:
I fully understand that you get what you pay for, its just that right now I don't have $1000 for a set of batteries. I have the Costco gift card, and can add a bit to that.

Overlander:
The added tray depth is not a problem. The chassis rail is higher than the current tray bottom by an inch or so, but the engine exhaust headers are 4 to 5" below the chassis rail in the same area, and on the other side of the M/H the propane tank is lower than the rail too. Right behind the battery tray the step and its mechanism is lower also. I am not concenered about contact with the ground or high centering, but the tray would have a beefy tube below it to avoid problems.
Here is te best photo I can find, and you can see how bad the tray is!




I just looked at the dead battery in my garage... I think its a Group 27.
Today I will try to get back to Costco and take some measurements and specs for the 2 batteries I am looking at.

Since I live in SoCal, and most of my travels will be in the South West States.
My thought was to get as much battery capacity as I could now, and later this year add Solar panels.
My storage has no 110V, and to run the genset to charge the batteries is not a good way to go. By adding a minimum of 200 or 300 watts of Solar, the batteries will always be ready, and I dont have to run the genset unless I want the A/C on.
Does that make sense?
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:13 PM   #28
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Mmmm, looks like I was writing my reply while you guys were too!!

Overlander:
The added tray depth is not a problem. The chassis rail is higher than the current tray bottom by an inch or so, but the engine exhaust headers are 4 to 5" below the chassis rail in the same area, and on the other side of the M/H the propane tank is lower than the rail too. Right behind the battery tray the step and its mechanism is lower also. I am not concenered about contact with the ground or high centering, but the tray would have a beefy tube below it to avoid problems.
Here is te best photo I can find, and you can see how bad the tray is!



Keyalr:
Looks like you have room to drop the tray down.
On my CLIPPER, I have a pull out tray only for the chassis batteries, with the 4 X 6V sitting on the solid tray bottom. I do have room to use a mirror to check the water level while on the road, and, now, once a year I pull them and clean and rotate them front to back.(used to do it twice a year but found that not needed)
I painted inside my battery box with cream rock guard, and it makes it nicer to see without a flashlight.
Heat is also a killer of batteries. My exhaust also runs below and inside of battery tray. I added a manual vent as can be seen on left rear cargo door. I open it when running in hotter weather.
Dave
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