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Old 08-21-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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Battery Type

Can you use a car battery in a 1970 sovereign? Or infact, in any airstream? Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
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A car battery would work but for a very sort time. Car batteries are designed for fast discharges at very high amperage, that is what is needed to start a car. They are not designed to be deeply discharged and charged over and over. A deep cycle or RV battery is designed for long slow discharge as is seen running lights in an RV or running a trolling motor on a bass boat. That is the quick answer, tons have been written about battery selection here on the forms and you can search them.
Also here is a link for more info on battery selection and types: The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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Some folks are quite happy using SLI (starting, lights, ignition) batteries in their RV. The differences are matters of degree and not kind for the kinds of modern batteries commonly found in RV's.

There are several reasons for this. One is that most RV's are not in continuous use. Another is that RV batteries are seldom discharged very far - deep cycling shortens any battery's life and RVers usually need sufficient reserves to avoid deep cycling as a regular thing, anyway.

Also keep in mind that there are only 250 weekends in a typical 5 year battery life. Even an SLI battery will handle that cycle rate if discharged as typical RV batteries usually are.

The key for battery life is mostly in your charging and maintenance equipment and in your use and management.

Do get a battery designed for your intended use. Buy from a retailer who sells a lot to folks that use batteries like you do, offers a good warranty, and will stand behind what he sells.

Don't get hornswoggled by all the battery myths being promulgated with vigor in forums and elsewhere. Look for actual objective measure that a manufacturer or retailer will stand behind.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
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Buy a 12v deep cycle or marine/rv battery. You'll be much happier with a deep cycle battery rather than a standard car battery.

If you intend on using the battery compartment in your Sovereign, the largest battery for that compartment would be a Size 27.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:17 AM   #5
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re: "You'll be much happier with a deep cycle battery" -- could you define the terms here in some way that we can all measure?

Just what is a "deep cycle battery" in some measure we can find in a spec sheet or warranty or actually measure ourselves?

Just what you mean by "much happier"? How can this be measured?
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
re: "You'll be much happier with a deep cycle battery" -- could you define the terms here in some way that we can all measure?

Just what is a "deep cycle battery" in some measure we can find in a spec sheet or warranty or actually measure ourselves?

Just what you mean by "much happier"? How can this be measured?
Wow, Bryan. Are you saying you'd rather use a 12v car battery than a RV/Marine Deep Cycle battery for regular RV travel trailer use?
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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I would suggest that if you already have the battery sitting around go ahead and use it.
If you have to spend money, buy a deep cycle battery
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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re: "Wow, Bryan. Are you saying you'd rather use ..." -- no. I am saying that we should not jump to conclusions about other people's happiness and we need to be very careful about extrapolating and exaggerating differences between things, especially when the terms are ambiguous or undefined.

If you read my previous post, you'd see that my opinion was that folks ought to by a battery intended for how they plan to use it, from a retailer who sells a lot to folks that use them like that, offers a good warranty, and stands behind what he sells.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:32 AM   #9
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Can you use a car battery in a 1970 sovereign? Or infact, in any airstream? Thanks.
Yes. They will work OK, and most automotive batteries will fit.

The main problem is that it is not possible to top off the electrolyte with distilled water, which will limit the battery life in many cases. The lack of a deep cycle design will also limit the battery life.

But, if you have an automotive battery sitting around unused, or can get a cheap one somewhere, it will work OK for a year or two, in most cases.

If you are buying a new battery than seeking out a deep cycle battery and paying, possibly, a little more, will provide a battery that performs better and lasts longer.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:10 AM   #10
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Walmart sells deep cycle/marine batteries in 24 and 27 sizes for under $70. They are manufactured by DEKA. They cost the same as equivalent sized car batteries and have a 3 year warranty.

This is a no-brainer.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:22 AM   #11
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Just FWIW, I would recommend at minimum using a marine style deep cycle battery. That said, few years ago I switched to Trojan ( Trojan Battery Company ) T 105 6V golf cart batteries and have not looked back. 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. BTW they make a variety of sizes of true deep cycle batteries.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:00 PM   #12
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I have Marine Batteries Group 27 in the Overlander. I think(without consulting the receipt) they are on thier 3rd season. I slide them out and check the water once a month. My batteries came from AUTO ZONE. I think at the time they had the biggest bang for the buck. I do however take them out over winter and store them with a trickle charger . Completely happy with the service so far. IF you have automotive batterys available,use em for the remainder of the season and see how they work for you. But I would seriously consider investing in Deep Cycle Marine batteries and the brand don't really matter,they are about all the same. Go for warranty. Make sure what ever brand you buy,that they are service type batteries. The one's you can take the caps off and visually check the water, keeping the water above the plates is a must and always use distilled water.
GOOD LUCK with what ever you decide.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
re: "Wow, Bryan. Are you saying you'd rather use ..." -- no. I am saying that we should not jump to conclusions about other people's happiness and we need to be very careful about extrapolating and exaggerating differences between things, especially when the terms are ambiguous or undefined.

If you read my previous post, you'd see that my opinion was that folks ought to by a battery intended for how they plan to use it, from a retailer who sells a lot to folks that use them like that, offers a good warranty, and stands behind what he sells.
Fair enough, Bryan. Sorry for the misunderstanding on my part.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:00 PM   #14
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Buy a 12v deep cycle or marine/rv battery. You'll be much happier with a deep cycle battery rather than a standard car battery.

If you intend on using the battery compartment in your Sovereign, the largest battery for that compartment would be a Size 27.
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.
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