Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-14-2014, 06:20 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2002 31' Classic
Caledon , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Lifeline batteries

I have a 2002 31' Classic and am due to replace my Interstate SRM-27 deep cycle batteries. I'm wondering if it would be a wise investment to change to the Lifeline battery. They're certainly much more expensive.

I have a pair of 75 watt solar panels using the Solteck SPS 20 charge controller and a MagneTek 7400 series converter.

My typical use of the trailer is to take it to Florida for the winter where it's connected to shore power. Except for 3 or 4 weekends in the summer when we travel locally to rallies it sits in my driveway running off the solar and the batteries.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated.
Duncan
__________________

__________________
sieve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 07:07 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Bruce B's Avatar

 
2012 16' International
Jamestown , Rhode Island
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,386
Images: 1
I read lots of opinions here on the "value" of Lifeline batteries. I can only add this. In my experience (more than 20 years of sailing and now just a few years Airstreaming) Lifeline batteries have a couple "important to me" attributes:
First the voltage available at any point of charge is higher than basic lead acid or even gell batteries. Second, they accept a much higher rate of charge (think faster recharging).Finally one of the most important considerations is that they survive abuse in a way no previous batteries I have tried (gell, lead acid) do. I have inadvertently discharged Lifeline batteries to Zero volts a number of times only to find that they recover again perfectly! For the record, I run a capacity test on our sail boat annually and after 5 seasons my batteries still provide 95% of rated capacity with great voltage. That bank has been "zeroed" several times now and it is in perfect shape...

Are they worth the price? It depends on what you are looking for.... You clearly already have the charging infrastructure you need...

Good luck,
Bruce
__________________

__________________
Bruce B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 08:02 AM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
2002 31' Classic
Caledon , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Overcook the batteries?

Thanks, Bruce. Some very useful points.

I guess one of my concerns is that I might inadvertently 'overcook' the Lifelines with the system/usage I have. Thought I might have to upgrade my controllers.
__________________
sieve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
TinShack's Avatar

 
2005 28' Safari S/O
Paradise , California
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,438
Images: 28
I switched from Interstate lead-acid to Group 27 Lifelines over 5 years ago. I got almost 3 years out of the Interstates. The Lifelines are still working but will no longer hold a charge above 70%, and the charge drops off quickly with use. I just purchased new replacement Lifelines and they are due to arrive via fedex today.

I went back and forth on whether to replace them with lead-acid batteries due to the lower cost. The Lifelines are about twice the price of an Interstate G27 battery, but i justified this, in addition to what Bruce stated above, in the amount of useful life I got out of them. If I can go nearly twice as long without replacing the batteries, that is a good thing. Additionally, they are non-spillable and maintenance free, so can be shipped by any means. Also the build quality is excellent.

I bought mine through bestconverter.com and they also sell a cheaper AGM made by Universal, but I believe they are made in China. I cannot attest to the quality of the Universals, but the were about $75 cheaper per battery than the Lifelines. You want to do a search on the forum to see if anyone has experience with them.

My problem is the battery box that came with my Airstream. It is designed to hold two G24 batteries. In order to fit the G27 Lifelines I had to cut out a section of the steel lip on the box, just beneath the lid and next to the latch. I also have to cut the plastic handles off the batteries for them to fit.
__________________
Steve
"THE OLDER I GET, THE BETTER I WAS"
TinShack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
2002 31' Classic
Caledon , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Thanks, Steve, for your info. I'm leaning towards the Lifelines but have been told that I should upgrade my converter/charger to a 3-stage one given my two 75-watt solar panels.
I'll continue to investigate.
Duncan
__________________
sieve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 10:03 AM   #6
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,279
Mind if I join the party?

I use Lifelines exclusively in all of my solar installations. There are many reasons for this, including their superior construction (durability), minimal internal resistance (extremely low self-discharge rate) ability to accept very large amperages during charging (quicker charge times) and an elevated number of charge cycles (longer life) and their ability to be installed inside the trailers (under very specific circumstances).

One thing that was not mentioned is proper charging. If you decide to use Lifelines, then you must upgrade your converter, as your Magnatek will not provide the 3-stage charging that is essential for obtaining the maximum life (number of charge cycles) from. A good unit is the Progressive Dynamics PD-9200 series or the 4600 series, which is a direct replacement for the Parallax unit (and probably your Magnatek) presently used on Airstreams. Lifeline have a very specific charging voltage requirement of 14.2-14.3 VDC for the bulk and absorption phases and 13.2 VDC for the float phase. Your Magnatek (and the present Parallax units) are single stage chargers with a constant output of 13.6VDC. Not at all in the same ballpark.

The enemy of longevity if repeated deep discharge (regular use below 50% depth of discharge, or 12.2VDC) and or drawing the batteries to a very low state without a quick and complete re-charge. This practice will ruin any battery.

Further, while Lifelines can accept very high amperages, they do have specific charging voltage requirements. Specifically, they must not have a voltage above 15.5VDC (we set that limit at 14.8VDC) at any time. This extreme voltage will cause the battery to outgas and will activate the one way valve in the batteries, which will cause permanent and irreversible moisture loss and ruination of the batteries.

Let me know if you have any specific questions pertaining to Lifelines.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 10:27 AM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
2002 31' Classic
Caledon , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Hi Lewster,

I appreciate all the advice I can get (and I know this is an area that you're very familiar with so I appreciate it even more).
If I go with the Progressive Dynamics PD 9200 or 4600, does it automatically prevent a voltage over 15.5 or do I have to have it set at something lower?

Thanks.

Duncan
__________________
sieve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 10:50 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
2002 31' Classic
Caledon , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Lewster,
One other question. Do you think I'd be better off with the 9200 series over the 4600?

Duncan
__________________
sieve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
TinShack's Avatar

 
2005 28' Safari S/O
Paradise , California
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,438
Images: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sieve View Post
Thanks, Steve, for your info. I'm leaning towards the Lifelines but have been told that I should upgrade my converter/charger to a 3-stage one given my two 75-watt solar panels.
I'll continue to investigate.
Duncan
Yes. As Lew said, you should upgrade your converter. I upgraded mine several years ago from the Parallax 7155 to the PD 4655, also available through Bestconverter. It's a direct replacement and took me about an hour to do the work. It has Boost mode(14.4v) Normal mode(13.6v) and Storage mode(13.2v), and automatically switches between modes. It also has a manual override. Probably just a typo on his part, but Lew stated above that the bulk/absorption charge rate at 14.2-14.3v . It is actually 14.2-14.4v according to Lifeline.
__________________
Steve
"THE OLDER I GET, THE BETTER I WAS"
TinShack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 02:09 PM   #10
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,279
Yep, a typo. We typically set the first two stages at 14.2 VDC as the great majority of installations that I do either have adjustable solar controllers or Magnum inverters.

Usually, the 4600 series fits directly under your existing breaker panel. The 9200 series is a deck mount unit but is easily modified to fit that same space.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 05:26 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
switz's Avatar

 
2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,799
Images: 8
We installed four Lifeline 6Vdc 300 amp-hour batteries wired in series and parallel to create a 12Vdc 600 amp hour battery bank. Each battery weighs around 92 pounds. They reside in a custom stainless steel battery box that is above the original battery box which now houses the Titan BrakeRite II SD disc brake hydraulic pump and it's separate electronics module. The eight AM Solar 100 watt panels flow through a TriStar 60 MPPT solar charge controller. The batteries are attached to a Magnum MS-2812 converter that can invert 2800 watts of 120Vac that powers every AC power duplex in the trailer and can even power the rear bed room air conditioner for a brief period of time.

Chat with a knowledgable person when setting up any solar array and battery array to ensure that all components are sized properly for the anticipated loads and will properly charge the selected batteries.

If you talk to the AM Solar folks, ask for their recommended installer list as those installers have experience in installing their systems. We selected Paul Mayeux at A&P Vintage Trailer Works to install our solar system and do the disc brake conversion.
__________________
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
switz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 09:50 PM   #12
1 Rivet Member
 
2002 31' Classic
Caledon , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Thanks Lew, Steve, and switz for your suggestions. I'm convinced and will go for the Lifelines and converter replacement to the PD 4655. I'll let you know how it works out.

Duncan
__________________
sieve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 04:05 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Currently Looking...
Madison , South Dakota
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 30
Send a message via AIM to cooney Send a message via Yahoo to cooney
Just the thread I was looking for. We have a 2008 27fb with factory installed solar, and have had very good luck with the package. At this point we plan to expand the wattage.
My question: How do you tell when the original AGM batteries need replacement? Ours are 7 years old, but treated well; however, they may not be holding the charge quite as well, but still never go below 60%, and are back to 100% by mid morning, then usually after dark they hover around 80% with normal usage. Do they fail all at once, or just degrade gradually?

Thanks for all ideas, and good luck to you all.... Jeffrey
__________________
cooney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 05:40 PM   #14
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,279
Give the good folks at Lifeline call and they will give the best way to load test your batteries to determine their capacity. 1-909-599-7816
__________________

__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How I changed my Lifeline AGM batteries SilverGate Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 7 03-14-2016 07:24 PM
additional post for Lifeline batteries bluegrass Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 22 04-30-2012 08:17 PM
Lifeline batteries (Storage)? subfan1 Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 1 06-29-2010 10:18 PM
Lifeline Batteries? 2Tex4Fun Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 5 03-26-2009 07:04 AM
New Lifeline 6 Volt Batteries lewster Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 0 04-22-2007 07:24 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.