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Old 01-04-2015, 05:52 AM   #15
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I pulled my two Interstate Grp 27 and they both showed 12.63v. I decided to purchase a hydrometer to check each cell. The first battery checked OK but the second seems to have to bad cells. Guess I'll be replacing the batteries. The date tags on these batteries 3/13.

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Old 01-04-2015, 07:54 AM   #16
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Are you going with 12 volt or 6 volt?



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Old 01-04-2015, 10:52 AM   #17
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I'll probably go 12v. You can get grp 27 batteries with 100ah capacity and when paralleled are close enough to the typical 6v 220ah. I'm researching whether to go AGM. Im researching to see if my PD4655 converter is suitable for AGMs.

I'm not sure I'm capable to modify the battery compartment lid for the extra height of 6v batteries and im concerned if one battery fails I won't have 12v redundancy.

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Old 01-04-2015, 11:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I'll probably go 12v. You can get grp 27 batteries with 100ah capacity and when paralleled are close enough to the typical 6v 220ah. I'm researching whether to go AGM. Im researching to see if my PD4655 converter is suitable for AGMs.

I'm not sure I'm capable to modify the battery compartment lid for the extra height of 6v batteries and im concerned if one battery fails I won't have 12v redundancy.

Kelvin
To me that is the most significant reason to avoid 2 6v batteries.

When I had my Bigfoot, I sipped of the 6 volt kool aid and replaced one 12 volt battery with 2 six volt batteries. I wished later that I had done 2 12 volts, although I never had any trouble with the 6 volt ones either. It just makes more sense to have the redundancy. I think the most important thing is to fully research convertors and get the best you can afford. That will pay off in the long run by lengthening the life of the batteries. There is a lot of good advice here about converters, but also some not so good. I'm not going to say one is better than the other, but both Randy at Best Converters and Lewster here, know way more than I ever hope too. I would talk to both of them before I bought another convertor.

Ken
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:18 AM   #19
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I'm researching whether to go AGM. Im researching to see if my PD4655 converter is suitable for AGMs.

Kelvin
Kelvin: I have the PD4655 converter/charger and 12 volt AGMs. They seem to work very well together.

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Old 01-04-2015, 04:06 PM   #20
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LifeLine charging requirements is 14.2v to 14.4v bulk/absorption and float 13.2v to 13.4v and equalization 15.5v for 8 hr. Lifeline doesn't mention when you should equalize but I guess you'd do it if you noticed lost capacity.

PD4655 shows Boost mode 14.4v to 90% then Normal mode 13.6v to finish of charge to Storage mode of 13.2. Every 21hrs it's supposed to raise to 14.4v for 15 minutes. This is what is stated on BestConverter. I don't see the last mode mentioned in the user PD user manual but is mentioned in other PD chargers that use the Charge Wizard feature.

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:13 PM   #21
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When Lifelines are properly charged and not abused (drawn below 50% on a regular basis), there is no need to 'equalize'. Gas generated from the charging process are re-combined back into the battery to prevent any moisture loss.

Raising the voltage to 15.5 on a VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) battery like a Lifeline without necessity or the proper charging equipment specific to that purpose will definitely cause the one way valve to open, initiating the release of moisture from within the battery THAT CAN NOT BE REPLACED!! You will effectively ruin the battery doing this.

In all of the Lifeline battery systems that I have installed in the last 10 years, NOT ONE has shown any abnormal loss of battery capacity and NONE have required equalizing. I have 4 systems that are 10 years old and still show 92-95% charge retention.

And with respect to the paranoia about using 2 6VDC golf cart batteries and losing one, leaving you with no 12VDC, I have NEVER had a 6VDC lifeline of any size short or go bad. A 6VDC battery is essentially half of a 12VDC battery in the same footprint, which allows for plates that are twice the size of a comparably sized 12VDC battery, and thus twice as robust.

Why do you think they are used in golf carts over any 12VDC battery? Another important point that many RV manufacturers neglect is the size of the series cable connecting the 2 - 6VDC batteries. As this cable should essentially be equal to the solid bus bars that are used internally in the batteries that connect the cells, this should always be kept in mind when sizing a series connector. I never use anything smaller than 2/0 for a series connector in a 6VDC battery system and often use 4/0 for 6VDC systems with 4 or more batteries, or 300 amp/hour batteries or larger.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:14 PM   #22
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When Lifelines are properly charged and not abused (drawn below 50% on a regular basis), there is no need to 'equalize'. Gas generated from the charging process are re-combined back into the battery to prevent any moisture loss.

Raising the voltage to 15.5 on a VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) battery like a Lifeline without necessity or the proper charging equipment specific to that purpose will definitely cause the one way valve to open, initiating the release of moisture from within the battery THAT CAN NOT BE REPLACED!! You will effectively ruin the battery doing this.

In all of the Lifeline battery systems that I have installed in the last 10 years, NOT ONE has shown any abnormal loss of battery capacity and NONE have required equalizing. I have 4 systems that are 10 years old and still show 92-95% charge retention.

And with respect to the paranoia about using 2 6VDC golf cart batteries and losing one, leaving you with no 12VDC, I have NEVER had a 6VDC lifeline of any size short or go bad. A 6VDC battery is essentially half of a 12VDC battery in the same footprint, which allows for plates that are twice the size of a comparably sized 12VDC battery, and thus twice as robust.

Why do you think they are used in golf carts over any 12VDC battery? Another important point that many RV manufacturers neglect is the size of the series cable connecting the 2 - 6VDC batteries. As this cable should essentially be equal to the solid bus bars that are used internally in the batteries that connect the cells, this should always be kept in mind when sizing a series connector. I never use anything smaller than 2/0 for a series connector in a 6VDC battery system and often use 4/0 for 6VDC systems with 4 or more batteries, or 300 amp/hour batteries or larger.
I personally take offense at your choice of words. Paranoia to be specific.

Whether you personally have never seen a 6 volt battery fail certainly does not convince me that one won't. Just plain common sense says they will from time to time. You can't deny that if one does, essentially your non shore power camping is over without a generator, until you replace the battery.

While we are at it, 6 volt batteries are used in golf carts because golf carts are a high amperage application and the construction of 6 volt batteries that you mentioned is designed for and is better for high amperage applications. Most sensible battery powered camping is planned to draw as little current as possible.

So in my opinion (which I feel is not paranoia) is that 12 volt batteries are better suited to camping than are 6 volt batteries.

Your opinion is obviously different, but that does not make mine invalid or paranoid.

Just to let you know, that I have a bit of experience with batteries, I have been using them for emergency power for emergency communications since the late 1950's and at powers from a few milliwatts watts to a few hundred watts,.

Ken
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:59 PM   #23
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I personally take offense at your choice of words. Paranoia to be specific.

Whether you personally have never seen a 6 volt battery fail certainly does not convince me that one won't. Just plain common sense says they will from time to time. You can't deny that if one does, essentially your non shore power camping is over without a generator, until you replace the battery.

While we are at it, 6 volt batteries are used in golf carts because golf carts are a high amperage application and the construction of 6 volt batteries that you mentioned is designed for and is better for high amperage applications. Most sensible battery powered camping is planned to draw as little current as possible.

So in my opinion (which I feel is not paranoia) is that 12 volt batteries are better suited to camping than are 6 volt batteries.

Your opinion is obviously different, but that does not make mine invalid or paranoid.

Just to let you know, that I have a bit of experience with batteries, I have been using them for emergency power for emergency communications since the late 1950's and at powers from a few milliwatts watts to a few hundred watts,.

Ken
Slow down Cowboy!!

NOTHING was directed or intended as a personal slur towards ANYONE here!!! There are many popular misconceptions about many topics......like 'never place a battery on concrete' that get perpetuated on the web and are taken as gospel when they couldn't be further from the truth!

When I share my knowledge and experience on these forums, it is done to give users a look into the professional aspects of the topic being discussed from my perspective, encompassing my training and life/professional experience. It also includes many hours of manufacturer tech conversations to which most folks will never have access.

NO ONE is forcing you to follow ANYTHING anyone says here. Do as you will, and put me on your 'IGNORE LIST' if you wish. That's why it exists!!!

And BTW, one of the more important reasons that 6VDC 'GOLF CART' batteries are called that and utilized for that purpose is their extreme resistance to shock and vibration due to their much heavier construction and plate arrangement...... conditions just like you find in a trailer.

Live long and prosper!!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:40 AM   #24
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The main reason I'm not going to use 6v batteries is the modification of the battery box to allow the additional height of these batteries. If someone made a kit I would be more tempted to consider going this route. But, I'm still concerned about the lack of redundancy. I don't trust my Airstream, and if something can go wrong it, it will, so I don't want to take any chances.

I do have a question about the marine battery posts on the Lifeline and other AGM batteries. Will they allow me to use the automotive connectors found on my on the posts. Then do the parallel connectors bolt down on the top of the posts? The Interstates have the automotive post and a separate threaded post with a 9/16" nut for the parallel cables. I'm hoping, it I go with AGMS, I won't have to cut the automotive connectors off and attach eyelets to the positive and negative cables. If I have to perform this, do they just crimp on? Would I need a special crimping tool?

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Old 01-05-2015, 08:45 AM   #25
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Certain Lifelines do come with an automotive style connector that will accept the Airstream cable ends. Each of these also is threaded thru the post to allow for bolt-on additional cables, which are actually far superior to the automotive style as they can be properly torqued to minimize the resistance found at the terminal.

The auto-style posts can also be removed for direct bolt-on applications, as they have a threaded rod extending from the bottom.


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Old 01-05-2015, 09:41 AM   #26
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... I disconnect the charging line fuse on every solar charging installation that I do to prevent battery damage from alternator overcharging.....
Just picking up on one line of Lew's response earlier in this thread, which I hope I haven't taken out of context, but which seems to open up an opportunity.

My understanding from this is that the alternator voltage regulator (in general) is not providing a phased approach to charging - even to the chassis/vehicle battery, but the impact on the coach batteries is more profound (maybe because they are more sophisticated????) so why doesn't someone make a secondary voltage regulator that can sit on the charging line and give better control (or do they and I have just never come across them)?
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:07 PM   #27
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So the posts in this photo will allow me retain the stock Airstream battery connectors and bolt on the parallel cables with modifications?

Thanks

Kelvin
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Certain Lifelines do come with an automotive style connector that will accept the Airstream cable ends. Each of these also is threaded thru the post to allow for bolt-on additional cables, which are actually far superior to the automotive style as they can be properly torqued to minimize the resistance found at the terminal.

The auto-style posts can also be removed for direct bolt-on applications, as they have a threaded rod extending from the bottom.


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Old 01-05-2015, 12:41 PM   #28
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Definitely. And the top is threaded for eyelet cable ends.


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