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Old 10-11-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
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Changing to AGM

Can I replace my two wet 12volt batteries in our 2004 25' Classic with two AGM (looking at optima Blue Top D31M) type without additional equipment/accessories??.....is this a "plug and play" transition if they fit in the boxes or more to it??

Money not the deal....maintenance is.......

Thanks........
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:37 AM   #2
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My experience with Optima has been good. I have used a pair of Optima blue tops for about 5 years. They are very good batteries. The manufacturer date needs to be very close on both batteries. Always charging to full charge will extend the life of the batteries. My 5 year old batteries still perform very well.

The only additional equipment I purchased was a good quality portable charger. The onboard charging system does not seem to have the intelligence to properly maintain the batteries for extended life.

There are several good articles on the internet about maintaining Optima and other AGM batteries.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:42 AM   #3
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IMHO.....Optima is not the the best choice, because of the "silo" design very sensitive to plate failure from high charge rates. Plus very low AH rating.

If you are still using the OEM P-lax converter that would be a serious concern. (it ruined our batt's on the drlr lot)

I changed ours to an IOTA DLS IQ4 55a, and at the same time got 2 Lifeline 100ah grp 27 AGM's.

Like an overcharged battery, this thread will get hot....

Bob
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:24 AM   #4
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I used an Optima in the B190, and I'm in the process of putting Optimas in our trailer. I was able to get them much cheaper than the other brands, and I've already had a good experience with one, so I went with the Optimas. (I went with D27s, but they're a bit small. A group 29 battery barely fit in the compartment...not sure how a D31 would do. But your battery compartments might be different than mine, too.)

If your converter does not do 3 stage charging, you will almost certainly kill any AGM battery quickly. I wouldn't spend the money on any AGM battery if you don't have a good three stage converter (Intellipower is what I used in the B190 and am installing in the trailer, but there are other good brands too).
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
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dumber than a box of rocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
IMHO.....Optima is not the the best choice, because of the "silo" design very sensitive to plate failure from high charge rates. Plus very low AH rating.

If you are still using the OEM P-lax converter that would be a serious concern. (it ruined our batt's on the drlr lot)

I changed ours to an IOTA DLS IQ4 55a, and at the same time got 2 Lifeline 100ah grp 27 AGM's.

Like an overcharged battery, this thread will get hot....

Bob
but i am learning......two years ago i added 190 watts of solar ....and TWO 8D LIFELINE AGM batteries....mated with my OEM Parallax 7355 controller.charger..... which by all accounts is a NO NO NO......my Parrallax just crapped out..( and as a matter of convince replaced it with the same)..but from all indications my batteries are still in Good, if not excellent condition...(despite my lack of knowledge.)..... mostly due to )1 my solar...and )2 I move a lot..and the alternator on my truck(.where most of my charging apparently originates )and the solar tops them off....

.it seems that the problem arises with charger./controllers like the parallax...that if one is constantly plugged in and the thing just sits there and charges and charges....it is not good for any battery...... I am seriously now cramming my brain to rework my entire electrical system...

so i am not now totally ignorant.....but it is a fight every day
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:16 AM   #6
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Optima batteries are inexpensive when compared to most other AGM batteries of standard configuration. Do they work.....yes. Do they work well....no. Are you getting what you pay for....yes. Can you get many more amp/hours from a normally configured battery....YES!

I install only Lifeline AGM batteries in the solar installations and battery replacements that I do for several reasons. First, they work. Second, they last. I have been installing them for 5 years and have yet to have a replacement claim on any of the installations. They provide more amp/hours than Optimas. While an Optima might give you 55 amp/hours in a battery with the footprint of a standard group 24 battery, the same size Lifeline will give you 80 amp/hours and the slightly larger group 27......100 amp/hours. 6 VDC golf cart batteries can provide even more amp/hours. Sort of depends on what you want out of your batteries.

Lifelines are also the best built AGM with better insulation and stronger materials between the plates, not to mention thicker, heavier plate material. We use them because they work, they last and the company stands behind them 100%. More expensive....yes. Worth it......from my perspective and that of my clients......DEFINITELY!

And let me add this. Over the last 5 years, I have installed over 70 sets of Lifeline batteries as either replacements (usually for Interstates or other liquid cells) or in new solar installations, not a set or two for personal use.

And yes, talking batteries is like starting another thread on engine oil preferences. Each to their own I say. If you like Optimas.....fine, but there are better solutions to the battery question.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:22 AM   #7
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"And yes, talking batteries is like starting another thread on engine oil preferences. Each to their own I say. If you like Optimas.....fine, but there are better solutions to the battery question. "

YEah, but if I use synthetic oil in my AGMs, can I go 2000 AH before recharging????
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:31 AM   #8
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Lifeline is a very good brand. I would avoid optima due to the low power density.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:43 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

Lew speaks with more than a little authority.

We bitch about quality, and stuff being made overseas and yet refuse to bite the bullet and buy the "good stuff".

He recommended/sold me Lifeline's three Seasons ago and I have no regrets.

Bob
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:28 PM   #10
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For best battery performance, put your focus on the equipment you use to charge and maintain them. All else is way down the list as far as impact for the costs.

AGM batteries are nice but generally run about twice the price for a 50% improvement in life (re NAWS FAQ). They also, as sealed batteries, tend to put more emphasis on the need to avoid overcharging. You still should use a properly constructed and vented battery compartment for AGM's if you like to follow the construction codes.

Watch out for myths such as "6 VDC golf cart batteries can provide even more amp/hours" -- what you want from a battery bank is watt hours, not amp hours. The energy density of all lead acid batteries is about the same - you should plan on about 12 usable watt hours per pound of battery no matter what lead acid battery you have.

AGM batteries tend to be on the low side of the energy density by weight curve but the differences are not significant compared to other factors. (many factors can influence battery capacity by 10% or more like temperature, age, use profile)

Battery hype is rampant and the myth mongering is atrocious. Take care. If you can't get it in a price, specification, or warranty, be aware you aren't buying on reason but rather on emotion.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
For best battery performance, put your focus on the equipment you use to charge and maintain them. All else is way down the list as far as impact for the costs.

AGM batteries are nice but generally run about twice the price for a 50% improvement in life (re NAWS FAQ). They also, as sealed batteries, tend to put more emphasis on the need to avoid overcharging. You still should use a properly constructed and vented battery compartment for AGM's if you like to follow the construction codes.

Watch out for myths such as "6 VDC golf cart batteries can provide even more amp/hours" -- what you want from a battery bank is watt hours, not amp hours. The energy density of all lead acid batteries is about the same - you should plan on about 12 usable watt hours per pound of battery no matter what lead acid battery you have.

AGM batteries tend to be on the low side of the energy density by weight curve but the differences are not significant compared to other factors. (many factors can influence battery capacity by 10% or more like temperature, age, use profile)

Battery hype is rampant and the myth mongering is atrocious. Take care. If you can't get it in a price, specification, or warranty, be aware you aren't buying on reason but rather on emotion.
Mr. Leipper,

I would definitely appreciate your NOT taking my comments out of context! There are much higher amp/hour 6VDC golf cart batteries available than standard 12VDC units for RV use. 300 and 400 amp/hour capacities are readily available.....NOT HYPE OR MYTH!!......JUST FACT! IN contrast, the massive 8-D 12VDC battery has a capacity of 255 amp/hours.

And I'm sure that the folks on this forum would be VERY INTERESTED in your qualifications as a battery 'expert'. And BTW, I'm sure that you know that watt/hours are simply amp/hours times volts per Ohms law (P=IE) so there is no mystery in their calculation. Plus, it is also interesting that virtually every major battery manufacturer lists their batteries in amp/hour capacities per the industry standard 20 hour test...NOT watt/hours.

You are the only poster on these forums on my 'ignore' list. You have just re-inforced my decision.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:29 PM   #12
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It seems some like to start flame wars over this issue.

I went with the Optimas because (a) I could get them much cheaper than the Lifelines, and (b) we don't boondock very often so long life isn't as big an issue for us.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:09 PM   #13
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Fried Two Optima

I recently replaced two 4 year old blue tops with D27's. My feeling is my Powermax 7455 converter fried them. Does anyone know if the Powermax 7455 is a 3 stage charger?

Also, as the D27 is a wet cell I'll have to vent the battery compartment. I planed to cut about a 3"x 4" hole in each battery compartment door and install a stainless steel grill over the hole. I have not been able to find a grill here in SE Texas. Does anyone know where I might find one?
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:12 PM   #14
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Also, as the D27 is a wet cell I'll have to vent the battery compartment. I planed to cut about a 3"x 4" hole in each battery compartment door and install a stainless steel grill over the hole. I have not been able to find a grill here in SE Texas. Does anyone know where I might find one?
The original battery boxes on the Airstreams are vented well enough for wet cell batteries... or so I thought...
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