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Old 01-11-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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2015 19' International
Carmel , California
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Best Replacement Battery

It looks like my battery died. I have a single battery on a 22' Safari.
Any recommendations on a replacement?

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:50 AM   #2

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Welcome aboard....

IMHO....Lifeline AGM.

You will get some agreement and a lot of opinions....good luck'

Stream Safe

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:25 PM   #3
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2005 19' Safari
Phoenix , Arizona
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We switched to Optima Blue Tops when our original batteries died in the first year, mainly because they will hold a charge for a long time (reportedly up to a year or more), provided they are disconnected from EVERYTHING.

So far, they have worked much better that the original batteries, and they are still going strong after four years.

However, please note that we have a marine battery isolator switch that COMPLETELY disconnects the batteries from the trailer when it is not being used.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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2006 19' Safari SE
Nawthin' , Hemisphere
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Yes, lot's has written here about this subject too....

Our batteries were getting tired and I gave in this winter and replaced them before our Holiday trip on our '06. Seems 3 years or so is about all ya get unless you futz about and nurse them along.

I reckon big boondockers and solar guys will have different needs, but I decided not to beat this up too bad and used the Interstates that Airstream sends out in their new trailers today. Our old ones always did everything we asked of them.

I would have guessed you had 2 batteries ?

T & K

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:59 PM   #5
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There is no debate AGM is the answer if you can cover the up-front investment before they pay you back. I'm not as big on Lifeline as I used to be because our Universals have performed perfect and cost less for the same technology. You pay more for the Lifeline name but I have not had any indication the warranty or name have made a difference. AGM is the future for sure reguardless.
FWIW, I also like Optima but they just don't have the capacity.
Randy 208-514-8950
Converters, Inverters, Monitors, EMS, Zamp Solar
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:47 PM   #6
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2000 31' Excella
montgomery , Alabama
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When my first batterys died i replaced them with yellow top 31 optimas.They lasted 6 &1/2 years. See if they will fit,a little tall in mine, but fit. The blue tops won't because of the stud. The 27 or 34 fit but have less capacity.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:50 PM   #7
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I guess you have to decide if it's worth the high initial cost of sealed, AGM, Deep Cycle batteries - they cost at the least, TWICE the cost of flooded cell batteries - they won't last TWICE as long in service life as flooded cell batteries - They will perform best (and live longer) if you have charging equipment compatible with AGM type batteries...

I'm not anti-AGM's, they have their place in many applications, I just feel they aren't cost effective in many RV's that don't see a lot of actual use...

For me it's all about the AMP HOURS (and the cost) - and flooded cell batteries lead the pack! Sure you have to check the fluid level - but hey, it gives you an excuse to wash off the tops, check the cables for tightness and corrosion, etc...

Here's some comparative AH ratings for several popular Deep Cycle batteries...ratings are typical for these popular sizes:

Brand/type.......Group 24(10").....Group 27(12").....Group 31(13")

Optima AGM..........55 AH.................66 AH................75 AH
Lifeline AGM...........80 AH................100 AH..............105 AH
MK AGM................78 AH.................92 AH...............104 AH
Deka AGM.............79 AH.................92 AH...............105 AH

Flooded Cell...........85 AH................105 AH..............130 AH
typical types

I never recommend Optima's for RV Deep Cycle use - the're AH ratings are just to low due to their circular plate construction - if you must have AGM's, choose one of the other brands that have the same case sizes but up to 45% more AH capacity!

Don't forget, it you use your rig 'off the grid' for any amount of time, you'll need the most amp hours you can get to run all your stuff between charging cycles...

Ray near Lodi, Battery sales guy...
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:12 PM   #8
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Hi, I just [last year] bought batteries from Costco and I'm fine with my decission. But if you boondock all the time, have a three stage charger, and a solar system, You might want to spend the big bucks for your next battery.

2005 Safari 25-B
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for your input one and all.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:15 PM   #10
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Mexray--I am a bit confused. When you say flooded cell batteries are you talking about (ex. Sears Diehard Deep Cycle)? I use 3 in my 65 Safari. 1 for the trailer. 1 for the satelite and flat panel tv. 1 for the power jack (it can also be a back up for the trailer). I find that the sat. and tv eat up power faster than the electrics in the trailer. I've had a good experience with this set-up. Can go about 4 days before needing to fire up the gen. Thats during summer. In late fall (cold weather) the furnace fan eats up a bunch of power and requires charging sooner. Is there better batteries? ....Tim

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Old 01-14-2010, 04:33 PM   #11
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Choices, choices.

With only one battery, GC-2 batteries cannot be used, which would otherwise be my recommendation.

In general my recommendation would be to obtain a flooded (wet), true deep cycle battery in the largest readily available size that will fit. In most cases that will be a Group 29 battery.

I would not recommend the more expensive AGM batteries in most cases because they are more susceptible to damage from overcharging, which can be a problem with the stock converter.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:19 PM   #12
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Thanx for the post Mexray..... your response and information made me feel better about my decision ! Happy Trails !


T & K

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Old 01-14-2010, 08:02 PM   #13
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I went through two Optima Blue Tops in about as many years....never again.
1971 Sovereign International - SOLD

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Old 01-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #14
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'Flooded cell' batteries are lead-acid batteries that are filled with liquid electrolyte (battery acid)...

This type of battery construction can have removable vent caps in the top cover for replenishing the fluid - OR - can be of the so-called 'maintenance free' type that doesn't have vent caps, but vents gasses from small openings in the ends or sides of the top battery cover...both of these types of batteries will 'leak' electrolyte if turned on their sides......a BIG no-no!

Most all batteries manufactured domestically today, have plates that are alloyed with Calcium to make the soft lead plates stronger for long life - an advantage is that this type of plate 'gasses' at a higher voltage, allowing for less water loss during the battery's life, which accounts for those 'maintenance free' type covers where you can't add fluid - but - if you overcharge them and evaporate enough fluid to uncover the plates, the battery will fail prematurely....

Older flooded cell batteries were alloyed with Antimony and emitted gasses at lower voltages, not allowing the non-vent-cap type of 'maintenance free' construction that's prevalent in most auto batteries seen today...

Most flooded cell Deep Cycle batteries have vent caps that allow you to add fluid (distilled water) during their life if you use them often...the more often you charge/discharge, the harder the batteries are 'working', and can cause some fluid evaporation - which needs to be replaced to keep the battery in working order during it's life...

In usage on golf courses, for example, the cart batteries 'work' very hard as they discharge them every day and recharge them every night - this kind of service requires that the batteries have vent caps to replace the evaporated fluid on regular schedules...

By contrast, the AGM or GEL type sealed batteries contain the electrolyte against the plates in a unmovable form with special 'mats' or 'separators'...these batteries won't leak any of the electrolyte and are safe to operate in any position - they do have safety valve 'vents' in the event the battery is overcharged - this allows the additional gas to vent before the case is ruptured, but most often results in permanent damage to the battery - NOT a warranty situation, so make sure your charging equipment is compatible with this type of battery...

In summary...
1. deep cycle flooded cell batteries that are used heavily need vent caps to provide a means to replace lost fluid.
2. ALWAYS use distilled water when replacing fluid in flooded cell batteries - you are just replacing the water vapor lost from the battery during accumulated charging 'cycles'...don't use tap or 'purified' water that contains dissolved minerals harmful to battery plates.
3. flooded cell batteries have higher Amp Hour ratings and cost about one half less (initial purchase price) than their the AGM type 'cousins'.
4. Most 'maintenance free' type flooded cell batteries are used in 'starting' type applications, and have different plates and plate separators than Deep Cycle types.


Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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