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Old 08-24-2010, 06:46 PM   #15
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STARTING batteries are built with many, thin plates, with more porous separators that are conducive to providing a large, quick discharge that's needed by a starter motor to spin the engine...

DEEP CYCLE batteries, on the other hand, have thicker battery plates, with separators that are less porous and keep the plates in place better during the expansion and contraction that takes place during long periods of use and recharging 'cycles'...

STARTING batteries need lots of plate 'area' to provide their quick burst of energy, and their thinner type plates can break down easier if used in DEEP CYCLE battery applications...

You should ALWAYS select a DEEP CYCLE battery for an RV's 'coach' use (lights, pumps, etc)...and I'd always get the largest battery (in size and Amp Hour rating) that will fit in the battery box, larger battery means more plates, and longer running time for all your 12 volt stuff...

Ray
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:00 PM   #16
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Hi, Mike!

Are you saying that is the size that would fit the "custom" compartment in my '74 as well? It has formed plastic "fillers" that I guess hold the battery in place.

A size 27 will go in there, though?

That would make me much happier to know.
Hi Aage,
A Size 27 will fit in mine and I'm pretty sure it will fit in your '74. Here's a handy chart of battery measurements just to be sure:

BCI Battery Group Size Chart
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:26 PM   #17
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Thanks, Mike, great info, and just what I wanted to hear!
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:16 AM   #18
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re: "Whereas I was constantly replacing the Marine style Deep Cycle Batteries (we boondock a lot and they get abused a bit) the Trojans are still going strong"

The questions involve what else might have changed and sample size. The only 'data' I have seen to date (the NAWS FAQ and personal observations) does not support such a difference.

I suggest that folks need to be very careful about anecdotal stories and give a lot more weight to what can actually be measured like warranties and published specifications and cost.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:59 PM   #19
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re: "Whereas I was constantly replacing the Marine style Deep Cycle Batteries (we boondock a lot and they get abused a bit) the Trojans are still going strong"

The questions involve what else might have changed and sample size. The only 'data' I have seen to date (the NAWS FAQ and personal observations) does not support such a difference.

I suggest that folks need to be very careful about anecdotal stories and give a lot more weight to what can actually be measured like warranties and published specifications and cost.
I like to read folks anecdotal stories. That is why I am a member of this forum. If I want specs, warranties etc......well the internet is full of that. Let me hear how things actually worked out in a real world situation, such as I related in my oh so terrible "anecdotal" story. Many warranties and published specifications cannot be trusted anyway. I feel the Trojans were well worth the money I paid for them. They can take the abuse I hand them, whereas the marine deep cycle batteries, under similar circumstances, went to an early grave. Can marine deep cycles last a number of years, yes if you mollycoddle them. If you want to do that, great! I say be careful of putting all of your faith in the info produced by some corporation trying to sell a product, they lie to us on a daily basis.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:45 PM   #20
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I like to read folks anecdotal stories. That is why I am a member of this forum. If I want specs, warranties etc......well the internet is full of that. Let me hear how things actually worked out in a real world situation, such as I related in my oh so terrible "anecdotal" story. Many warranties and published specifications cannot be trusted anyway. I feel the Trojans were well worth the money I paid for them. They can take the abuse I hand them, whereas the marine deep cycle batteries, under similar circumstances, went to an early grave. Can marine deep cycles last a number of years, yes if you mollycoddle them. If you want to do that, great! I say be careful of putting all of your faith in the info produced by some corporation trying to sell a product, they lie to us on a daily basis.
Hi Soyboy,
If you like anecdotes, here's one for you. For eight years I, too, believed that 6v Golf Cart Batteries were the best batteries to use for boondocking (more amp hours and more robust with heavier plates). They worked great for me for eight years until last April when one of the battery posts separated on one of my two 6v batteries, leaving me no 12v power on the last day of my trip. It really sucked. So, from now on if I have room for only two batteries I go with Size 27 12v batteries. The 6v batteries are superior, IMHO, for RVs but I would only use them If I had room for 4 or more batteries (if one pair fails you still have two more to get you by).
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mello mike View Post
Hi Soyboy,
If you like anecdotes, here's one for you. For eight years I, too, believed that 6v Golf Cart Batteries were the best batteries to use for boondocking (more amp hours and more robust with heavier plates). They worked great for me for eight years until last April when one of the battery posts separated on one of my two 6v batteries, leaving me no 12v power on the last day of my trip. It really sucked. So, from now on if I have room for only two batteries I go with Size 27 12v batteries. The 6v batteries are superior, IMHO, for RVs but I would only use them If I had room for 4 or more batteries (if one pair fails you still have two more to get you by).
I have thought about that also, as I start year 8 on my 6 volt batteries. I finally decided that if that happens I can run off the truck until I can get to the battery store. Actually since the truck has 2 batteries I could probably get away with borrowing one for a day or two
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:58 PM   #22
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Have you guys noticed that stuff never breaks on your AS when it's in storage back home...it's always when you're out using it like it's designed...

I'd say eight years on a set of GC type 6 volt's is ahead of the 'curve', so to speak! Those critters are built stout inside, and usually they finally need replacement when the capacity gets so low that they just won't run you 12 volt stuff very long anymore - rarely do they suffer from internal cell failure.

On older 6 volt batteries, check out the ends of the battery case - if the ends become 'bulged out' and 'hard' when tapped with your hand - it's time to think about replacements...that 'bulging' is a result of the internal sulfateion process of the plates as they expand sideways as the deposits built up - this 'ageing' process makes most batteries fail due to the plates rubbing a hole through the separator, and touching each other - the 6 volt's are fairly immune due to the thick waffle-type rubber separator that's used in their construction...

That 'post failure' is really rare - perhaps there was a stress crack in the lead that was aggravated over the years by the cable connector...or it could be a small 'crack' was formed when the posts were 'burned' on, at the factory - or guy doing the 'burning' made a 'cold' joint on one part of the post that finally allowed a crack to form with age...I have seen post failures when the post has been abused, such as using a hammer to pound on the cable connector when installing - a BIG no-no in battery guy circles...

I know, more info that you probably needed...

Ray
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:16 PM   #23
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Mike I hear ya, but think about it, a lot of folks out there are running their RVs on 1 12V battery and would be in the same spot if a post broke etc. While anything can and will happen (and I am not saying you didn't do this), I try to maintain my batteries and would hopefully notice if a post was coming loose. Of course one would could just go dead too. My point wasn't so much use 6V batteries, but rather by good, commercial, heavy duty deep cycle batteries that can take abuse both physical and electrical. Trojan does make group 27 batteries, but I don't know how they compare to the traditional brands. I just know that I had no luck with those and have had very good luck with the Trojans. Now I have jinxed myself and will loose a battery this weekend while camping at Cunningham Falls SP. I will come back and cry on your shoulder if that happens! Of course there are also always AGMs and gelled styles.

Mexray, I will heed your advice and keep an I on them.

You know I read once that if you could take a lead acid battery apart and clean it, the lifetime would be extended multiple times. Don't know if that is true, but it seems to make sense.

For the OP or anyone else that is not familiar with it, I would highly recommend visiting the 12 Volt Side Of Life Website: http://http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm It has been around for years and was a great resource when I started RVing years ago. I still visit it for a refresh from time to time.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:09 AM   #24
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There really isn't much mystery here, if you poke past the marketing hype. Yes, you can use a car battery in an Airstream. You will be happier with a deep cycle battery *because* it will provide more capacity in low current use, and more charge/discharge cycles before it doesn't hold enough charge. The difference is in how the battery maker uses up the given volume inside the case. A starting battery has thick inter-cell jumpers and maximum plate area, so it can produce the most current for starting. In a deep cycle battery, the plates can be a little smaller so more space is left at the bottom of the battery case for the deposits that form when the battery is just sitting there (and every time there is a deep discharge). If you use a starting battery in deep cycle service, the bottom of the battery soon fills with deposits and shorts out one or more cells. If you use a deep cycle battery in starting service, you might not get enough amps to crank your engine on a cold day. It's not a matter of better or worse, but a different set of design compromises.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:11 PM   #25
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re: "A starting battery has thick inter-cell jumpers and maximum plate area, so it can produce the most current for starting" -- not so much any more in modern batteries. There are differences which one can see in any manufacturer's line card where cost, life, and capacity are traded off to round out the line. The fact is, though, that the differences tend to get lost in the way RV batteries are used and in the inherent variances in available battery capacity due to use profile, temperature, age, cycle to cycle variance, and so on.

Quote:
It's not a matter of better or worse, but a different set of design compromises.
and it is a mature technology where those differences are not really that significant in typical RV applications. Look at the line cards and you'll see this.

re: "If you use a starting battery in deep cycle service, the bottom of the battery soon fills with deposits and shorts out one or more cells." -- no lead acid battery last very long if put into 'deep cycle service' and the issue isn't shedding but rather sulfation. The biggest shedding problem is over charging in float service. As one paper I saw concluded, shedding in properly used and maintained batteries is more an indicator of battery life being exceeded than anything else.

re: "I like to read folks anecdotal stories." -- the problem is that many looking for advice are not after entertainment but rather effective and reliable advice. Many times, anecdotal stories do not offer that and, especially when it comes to batteries it seems, leads people away from good cost effective solutions to their problems.
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