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Old 12-24-2015, 09:24 AM   #15
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My half assed solution is 2 group 24 hooked to 1 gr. 27 hooked to 1 gr 30. Lots of power and in 17 years only 3 batteries replaced.
Shacksman,

Even though BoldAdventure referred to the mixing approach as half a$$ed he went on to provide information from LifeLine that indicates mixing sizes of batteries does not seem to create a problem.

Is there a particular reason you take this approach? Space is a limitation in most trailers so it's useful to select battery sizes based on where they fit.

Are you using flooded, AGM or something else?

Do you ever mix battery types? What about mixing brands?

I know you have lots of experience with trailers. When you say you've only replaced 3 batteries in 17 years - was that a set of 3? or, 1 battery in 3 different trailers. I'm curious how your approach works with old and new batteries or if that scenario has created problems.

Thanks
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:49 AM   #16
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I mix them because that's what I have. All flooded batteries and different ages and brands. I never worried about them as they really don't cost that much when compared to all the other stuff you need repaired.
I keep 3 in the back of the truck with solar on the truck cap to keep them charged and a heavy #4 wire to hook to the trailer big battery when close to it. All seems to work fine as we boondock in the winter in Florida and have lots of power available.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:20 AM   #17
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I called that because Lewster on here previously has stated that you want batteries of similar capacities for charging/discharging and keeping track of amp hours. I can't find the original post, but it's in this section.

Mixing group 27 and 24 lead acid probably isn't the problem. But mixing AGM and Lead Acid would be a problem since they both require different charging parms. Hence calling it what I did.

But I'm not trying to upsell you. So you could just mix them and blast them. Sure.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:38 AM   #18
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I wish Lewster would chime in here.

I'm not convinced that mixing batteries of different sizes won't result in some charging issues. Sure it might work, in fact we have at least one proponent with some real world experience in mixing battery sizes on this thread, but it seems logical to me that when you try to charge batteries with different profiles together (size, age, manufacturer which is a surrogate for internal structure/composition), some will get fully charged while others might not. So in the aggregate everything may seem to work but in reality you are not getting all the amps you may think you are.
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Old 12-24-2015, 04:29 PM   #19
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Please don't forget to consider the new weight, too. Anything forward will affect your tongue weight, and anything that is not centered will load up a side or possibly a single tire.

We put in four Lifelines in our 28' 2010 International when new--two in the tongue mounted box (slightly modified for height) and two on the port side forward under the short side of the L gaucho. We've had two tire failures, all on the port side forward (the service side) and I attribute this to the extra 140 lbs on what is most likely our heavier side (wardrobe/oven cooktop/reefer/hot water heater/pots and pans and all kitchen dishes and utensils plus cleaning supplies).

We will be replacing with lithiums this year, taking 280 pounds down to 84, but only removing an effective 55 lbs from the port side since we need the center forward accessible storage and all the electrical devices/connections are on the port side, too.

But It should take about 175 off our overloaded trailer tongue. And we've already upgraded to Sendel 16's and Michelin XPS Ribs.

If I were designing from scratch, no question that I'd out the batter bank as close to the axles as possible. With heavy tongue weight from the factory and our rear bed configuration, that would probably be centered under the foot of the bed (but we would Lise that valuable storage without gaining it elsewhere. But Lewster assures me that with the fuse/circuit breaker panel/charger/inverter/BlueSky and all connections forward, it would be cost prohibited to rebuild that way with the long, heavy expensive wiring required to spam the distance.
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Old 12-24-2015, 04:44 PM   #20
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My take,

With all of the battery experience that I have and considering what Justin @ Lifeline said in the boat article, I'm not convinced that different sized batteries (assuming all are Lifeline and of the same manufacture date) in a single bank will not draw at differing rates.

I sent Justin a message requesting this info based on his statements in the referenced article. We'll see what he comes back with (if at all).

Until I have empirical evidence of even draw and depth of discharge across all differing batteries in a mixed grouping, I'll continue to use identical batteries in my battery banks.

Remember, you still can't group different chemistries (AGM with gel or flooded cells) as their charging parameters vary widely.

The jury is still out!!!!!!


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Old 12-24-2015, 05:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
My take,

With all of the battery experience that I have and considering what Justin @ Lifeline said in the boat article, I'm not convinced that different sized batteries (assuming all are Lifeline and of the same manufacture date) in a single bank will not draw at differing rates.

I sent Justin a message requesting this info based on his statements in the referenced article. We'll see what he comes back with (if at all).

Until I have empirical evidence of even draw and depth of discharge across all differing batteries in a mixed grouping, I'll continue to use identical batteries in my battery banks.

Remember, you still can't group different chemistries (AGM with gel or flooded cells) as their charging parameters vary widely.

The jury is still out!!!!!!


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Thanks, Lew. Not that I have a dog in this fight, as you know, but I'm curious about the mixing of battery sizes for purposes of general knowledge.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:13 PM   #22
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For what its worth, In my GM Duramax diesel are 2 OEM flooded cranking batteries. When my first battery failed while under warranty, GM replaced both batteries for the above compatibility reasons. Then about two years later one of those failed. They said it was now considered OK to replace the bad battery with a new battery without replacing the other if it tested OK. The warranty had expired so the cost to GM was not a factor. It has been three years and both batteries are still good. In the past year I was starting on 8 degree mornings with no difficulty. I was appalled at that advice and fix, but GM must have research the problem to make that determination. It will be interesting to see how long the odd combination lasts.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:29 PM   #23
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Even C & D cell flashlight batteries do not recommend different types be mixed, meaning chemical composition or extended live vs regular life.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:24 PM   #24
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The charger in my boat is 3 separate banks, 15 amp each. The starting battery is group 27, trolling motor batteries are group 31. All are Deka flooded cell.

After a fishing trip I plug up the charger and each bank monitors the charge on each battery. The ignition battery will reach full charge in about 15 minutes, the trolling motor batteries will take several hours, same one always reaches full charge first.

I like the independent charging because one of the deep cycles always reaches full charge first, even when they are new (although the difference when new is maybe 5 minutes, over the years it grows to about 15 minutes.) If it charged the deep cycle batteries as a single charger it would cut off before one of them reached full charge. This seems like a good system to me, many of the on-board chargers are built this way now. I wonder why they don't do this for RV chargers.
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Old 12-25-2015, 08:49 AM   #25
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The charger in my boat is 3 separate banks, 15 amp each. The starting battery is group 27, trolling motor batteries are group 31. All are Deka flooded cell.

After a fishing trip I plug up the charger and each bank monitors the charge on each battery. The ignition battery will reach full charge in about 15 minutes, the trolling motor batteries will take several hours, same one always reaches full charge first.

I like the independent charging because one of the deep cycles always reaches full charge first, even when they are new (although the difference when new is maybe 5 minutes, over the years it grows to about 15 minutes.) If it charged the deep cycle batteries as a single charger it would cut off before one of them reached full charge. This seems like a good system to me, many of the on-board chargers are built this way now. I wonder why they don't do this for RV chargers.
Multi-bank marine chargers have been around for some time. I'm working on a project for a client that has a 48VDC golf cart where the original batteries were replaced with 4 Lifeline GPL-30XT batteries at 12VDC wired in series. Due to the constant voltage nature of a traditional golf cart battery (which has been used to charge the golf cart bank), one of the batteries was getting overly hot and degrading the performance. A local golf cart shop replaced that single Lifeline with a cheapo LIQUID CELL wired in it's place.

The cart still runs, but not for anywhere near the operating time it used to. Nor do the batteries get evenly charged now. My solution, after several conversations with one of the engineers at Pro Charging Systems was to use one of their 4-bank chargers and wire the golf cart for individual battery charging rather than use a 48VDC charger for charging all of the batteries at one time.

This system and it's draw pattern is different than those found in RV use. Golf carts use the full 48VDC for the drive motor but split off either 12VDC or sometimes 24VDC for use in lights, horns, accessories like stereo systems or other add-on items. This one uses a 12VDC Danfoss ref rig. to keep the beer cold!!! (Since RVs use the full capacity of a house battery bank evenly, there is no reason to use individual chargers for the job. Quality, while bank chargers like Magnum inverter/chargers or solar charge controllers like Blue Sky or Morningstar work exceptionally well when the system parameters are properly set.)

That arrangement means that one or 2 of the batteries in the bank get more use and draw than the others. This system then requires additional charge time for those cells that are also being used for aux. power purposes. A standard 48VDC charger will not allow the more heavily serviced battery to attain full charge and leads to premature failure, as they have seen. Ultimately, the more heavily used battery will be rotated (probably on an annual basis) from aux. service to allow all of the batteries in the bank to be fully utilized over the life of the bank.

4 new Lifeline GPL-30XT batteries and a new 4 bank marine charger should solve this problem, along with a few new wiring upgrades and a few combiner/disconnect switches. Time will tell!!!
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:57 PM   #26
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My solution, after several conversations with one of the engineers at Pro Charging Systems was to use one of their 4-bank chargers and wire the golf cart for individual battery charging rather than use a 48VDC charger for charging all of the batteries at one time.
I've had my 3-bank Pro Charger since about 1997, never had a problem. It's an excellent product and I think they have a lifetime warranty.

I normally pull from both batteries (24 volt) when using the trolling motor and after a full day of fishing the batteries are in need of a charge. If they were charged by the same supply, one would always charge up first, and this can be seen by the charge lights on the Pro Charger. With independent charging the variance between the battery construction is overcome. This may not be necessary for AGMs, not sure., but works great with the flooded cells. The Deka batteries last a long time. My son installed Lifelines for his trolling motor, I'll see if he gets any better service, enough to justify the cost difference.

In any event, I think the golf cart solution you have is exactly what is needed. Sounds like a very nice cart with some great accessories.

I'm not sure if a Pro Charger could be adapted for RV use. Mine weighs 20 lbs. (considerably heavier than the PD I installed) and 2 of the 15 amp connections could be used for the Lifelines. Would the other 15 amp connection work for the AS? I don't know and I wouldn't know how to hook it in anyway. The PD is doing just fine. My beer is cold and the lights are on.
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Old 12-25-2015, 01:11 PM   #27
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' The PD is doing just fine. My beer is cold and the lights are on.'

When all is said and done..that's all that really counts!!!!!!
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:33 AM   #28
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Same as in an EV (electric vehicles) a single battery or a bank of batteries will supply charge or receive charge at the rate based on their internal Thevenin Equivalent Circuits (TEC). When the battery sizes changes in a bank of batteries the charging current for each size battery will be based on that battery's (TEC).

The same could be said for each cell in one battery.

Keep you draw rate low and charge rate low and the heat effects will be minimized and you should be able to handle some variability.

A final point: AGM and Gell are still lead acid batteries, therefore they use the same chemistry. The way AGM and Gell are assembled make them more efficient then the flood batteries. Efficiency differences effects the way they are charged and also their discharge curve. Hooking up a flood battery would just cause them to transfer charge to the flood battery to help it maintain the same Specific Gravity. To some degree this happens in all battery banks.

Good times,,,

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