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Old 01-19-2010, 01:59 PM   #43
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I've had two Optima blue tops (AGMs) in service (in parallel) for the past four years with no problems. They work fine for me...
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #44
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I boondock over 165 days a year.I use two Autozone Duralast Marine battery group 27 battery's with a rating of 115AH. I use a Honda EU2000i generator and in the winter boondocking in Quarzsite 45 watts of solar to keep them charged.I give them tuff use like running the heater,12V TV and all off of them.Mine last 2 to 3 years.
To me this is the BEST and CHEAPEST way to power your unit when your boondocking.The BIG $$$ spent on AGM, solar power and inverters up front will by a lot of gas for the generator and many new battery's.
NOW if you are addicted to power this may not work for you.BUT I do ok.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:21 AM   #45
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I don't have any 'axe' to grind regarding Optima batteries - they have their place, I just wouldn't recommend them in any RV deep cycle installations due to their low Amp Hour ratings - vs- 'normal' rectangular shaped batteries...

Look at the bottom of an Optima battery, and you can see the 'voids' outside the cylindrical cells, where there are no battery plates - with normal batteries with flat plates stacked next to each other, there are no 'voids', hence your have more plate 'area' for additional Amp Hours of performance...

When the Optima line was originally offered by it's manufacturers, there were problems with the internal lead connectors that hooked the circular-wound plates together...As one can imagine, it's a bit more difficult to hook (lead burn) plates in this manner with the angles involved, and making consistent, wound plates in the same position...These early Optimas got off to a bad start, so to speak...

They later got their production under tighter control to eliminate these problems, for the most part...within the last few years, Optima was bought out by Johnson Controls, a huge battery manufacturer, which has helped Optima's distribution a great deal!

The Optima Red tops, due to their vibration resistant design (as well as being completely sealed) are used by many off-road vehicles and racers...I use one in my VW buggy!

AS66 - I'm surprised the Gp31 is twice the price of the Gp27 deep cycle...50% more would seem to be in the ball park...

Gp31's aren't produced in the numbers that the Gp27's are, and there are more plates included, that account for the additional cost...is it worth it? Thats up to you, of course - you get about 25% more Amp Hours capacity with the Gp31, and if you're only installing one battery, I'd be inclined to go with the higher AH rating to run your 12 volt stuff a bit longer...

Regards,
Ray
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:31 AM   #46
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Sting...

It occurred to me that if you didn't want to remove the vent opening cover in your pics, you might want to consider running a vent tube from your new 'sealed' battery box down the side and through the floor...

Many autos with batteries mounted under the back seat or in the truck use a vent tube through the floor in this manner - the tube usually fits snugly through a rubber grommet or with some silicon sealant, etc...

The main thing to consider is that the battery needs to be mounted 'firmly' inside the box, so it can't slide or bounce around!

You're experience is proof that even 'sealed' batteries need to be mounted inside a box that's vented to the outside - or mounted outside altogether...

Regards,
Ray
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:32 AM   #47
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Important question. How attentive to maintenance are you? AGM requires a lot of specialized charging equipment and doesn't stand up well to abuse. Abuse of batteries; I'm a bit of an expert. Gel cells hold up really well and are tolerant of abuse. Optimal, no. If I used the trailer daily then AGM or NiCad would be the way to go. Park and forget, Gelcell gets my vote. Yeah, you're going to kill/shorten the life of gel cel bateries through abuse and conventional flooded batteries might do a little better but in my "extensive" abuse testing Gel cells are the price performance leader.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:10 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
Sting...

It occurred to me that if you didn't want to remove the vent opening cover in your pics, you might want to consider running a vent tube from your new 'sealed' battery box down the side and through the floor...

Many autos with batteries mounted under the back seat or in the truck use a vent tube through the floor in this manner - the tube usually fits snugly through a rubber grommet or with some silicon sealant, etc...

The main thing to consider is that the battery needs to be mounted 'firmly' inside the box, so it can't slide or bounce around!

You're experience is proof that even 'sealed' batteries need to be mounted inside a box that's vented to the outside - or mounted outside altogether...

Regards,
Ray
Ray,

Our BMW 740iL is vented the same way you describe. I'm going to spend some time thinking about how I want to tackle this problem. Hopefully my helicopter crewchief ingenuity will kick in, and I'll be able to solve it. Right now, I'm just too damn tired to even think about it; this head cold is getting the better of me.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:44 PM   #49
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How to replace one battery

I would replace the battery holder and put two 6 volt golf cart batteries in place of the one. One was never a good idea for the 22. Our first Airstream was a 22, and we replace the one battery with an AGM Lifeline Concorde (I think I got the name right). It was very heavy and had a great amp-hours rating. But very expensive.

We are full-timing, starting our third year, in our 2005 International Airstream trailer with a PDI Intellipower 9260 converter/charger (one year old). We've had the trailer since new and ditched the Parallax converter/charger last year -- great decision.

On our current home, a 25', we replaced the two dead Interstate's with a pair of 6-volt Interstate U2200 batteries. They are two years old, doing wonderfully, and we have only to check terminal connections and water level once monthly. We add water every fourth or fifth month as needed. Not much trouble, and sure is worth the performance for the price.

Very very deep cycle batteries, similar to or same as golf cart batteries -- golfers run these all the way down and the golf shop recharges overnight and they go again all the next day. Can't kill them.

Jim
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:34 PM   #50
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Back a page - nowhere did I say "Starting" battery; I wrote "Starter" as in "beginners" and that's the way the OP interpreted it.

AGM designs vary considerably depending on the intended market - in truth they should be called hybrid AGMs if they claim to be compatible with multi-stage charging, true AGMs demand voltage limited charging where voltage is held within a few hundredths of a specific voltage throughout the whole charge cycle (and then it should be voltage compensated) versus current limiting charging with variable voltages that 95% of transportation applications provide for.

Big business follows the money and changes their design to deflect possible dealer warranty issues, ie: looser glass mat, thinner gelled electrolyte, wider plate gaps and additional reservoir of electrolyte on hand to help heal possible damage from over voltage or high temperature conditions, etc. and believe that the consumer pays for that engineering to fit a warranty!

True AGMs enjoy boosted charge rate at C/4 or higher (batt capacity amp / 4) versus a general rule of C/10 rate for flooded lead acid. The high current helps force the entire volume of electrolyte to circulate over time; limiting an AGM to C/10 or lower can/will eventually shorten its life span.

I have tele-comm backup batteries here & I lucked out the Inteli-Power 9100 normal output is exactly the flat specified voltage for between 70 and 80 degrees F!
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:12 AM   #51
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Had to replace my 24, it was dated 2006. Thank you folks, your opinions made my choice easy. I went with a group 27 deep cycle Interstate. All my batteries seem to last 4 years.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:38 PM   #52
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Sorry fellas but some of you guys are simply wrong about AGM's...

The advantages are light years ahead of wet cell...

here are a few...

They will discaharge deeper without damage... the typical wetty will take damage at 10.5 volts as it gases up causes terminal corrosionsomething that simply does not happen with AGM's... AGM batteries are nearly bullet proof to vibration damage a leading killer of wetties... they recharge at more than 5 times the typical rate... the life of these AGM batteries is 5 to 10 times as long as Wet cells.

There is simply no arguement that a wet cell battery wins over an AGM... NONE.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:49 PM   #53
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Lead acid batteries were invented in 1859. AGM batteries were invented by Concorde Aircraft Battery in the late 80s, for use in fighter planes.

If we called them "military grade batteries" people wouldn't question which was better
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:35 PM   #54
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kejorg - While it's true that AGM batteries have many attributes when compared to flooded cell batteries -

"the life of these AGM batteries is 5 to 10 times as long as Wet cells"

just isn't accurate...check out my post #30 above where I've copied some data from MK Battery's site, listing advantages, etc...no where do they claim such increased 'life' of their AGM batteries - and they make em', and I'm sure would love to make such claims, if true...

I get old battery cores returned to my battery shop as a regular course of business - and I see many AGM cores with installed 'life' comparable to flooded cell batteries all the time - some MAY be 10-15% longer in service, but not many...

AGM batteries CAN live longer than flooded cell batteries in environments with charging systems strictly catered to the battery bank size and usage requirements - unfortunately, the typical RV installation/usage/recharging situations aren't usually conducive to LONGER lived batteries, unless you've got a Mega-buck Moho with an engineered battery/charging installation...

Yes - AGM's have advantages in RV's when compared with flooded cell types - usable, extended longer life is not one of them.

Yes - I'd install AGM's in my AS, all other things being equal - however, the 'over twice cost' factor comes into play, and is a big consideration for many in an RV that sits on a storage lot much of the time...

If the additional cost is 'justifiable' to your particular situation, by all means install AGM's for their other advantages - but please, don't fool yourself thinking your going to get "5 to 10" times the life of flooded cell batteries...it just ain't true in the typical RV world...

...may your Amps be large, and your Sparks small...
Ray
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:38 PM   #55
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If that is the case, simply buy the cheapo AGMs at Wally World and when they fail, get your free replacements under the warranty
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:44 PM   #56
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I had a distributor, who sells both AGMs and wet cells, spend quite a bit of time with me on this subject. He stated AGM will last about 1.5 X as long as a PROPERLY charged and maintained wet cell. Their cost was 2X the wet cells.

AGMs certainly have their place, but for my type of use where I rarely discharge more than 50% and don't boondock extensively, it wasn't even close to cost effective to go AGM.

There may come a day when I do boondock for longer periods where a DEEP cycle is required...then I will re-evaluate. That's likely to be 2 sets of batteries down the road.

I bought 2 group 29 (yes 29s do exist) wet cells.
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