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Old 01-19-2009, 06:58 AM   #1
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New Replacement Batteries

I am replacing my 2 battereis. They are 3+ yrs old and don't seem to charge fully anymore. I have looked at the "Optima" and the "DieHard" batteries. I am leanning more toward the "DieHard", it has the most CC. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:25 AM   #2
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I would suggest the Optima batteries. I have 2 in my truck and 2 in the Airstream.
They cost more but last much longer. Mine are 6 years old and goin strong.

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Old 01-19-2009, 07:39 AM   #3
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Best AGM Battery?

Originally Posted by charlie g View Post
I am replacing my 2 battereis. I have looked at the "Optima" and the "DieHard" batteries.... Any thoughts?
Follow this link:

There have been many discussions here on the forums - I have a Lifeline in the '78 and am VERY happy with it - I know that the Airstream Factory was installing the Lifeline Group 27 in some of the high end MotorHomes a few years back.

The above mentioned thread contains several links to other discussions.

Batteries are pretty much a "You get what you pay for" purchase.

If you can delay your purchase for a couple of weeks the
is coming up soon in San Antonio - even if you could only make it for the open house on Saturday, February 7 you could ask questions in person of people who have renovated multiple systems.

The Vintage Rally is an excellent opportunity to network to people or groups who could help you in person with your future AS questions.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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Your biggest problem will be in trying to understand the hype with actual measure.

The best advice I have seen is to buy your batteries from a retailer you trust and who sells a lot to folks like you and will stand behind what he sells.

Keep in mind that the biggest problem with batteries is the use and maintenance - not the brand or type. The differences that everyone seems to like to argue about are minor compared to the impact of how you take care of what you have.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
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I have had nothing but great success with Die Hards in my cars, so I'm going to give one a try in my trailer.
Cameron & the Labradors
Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:55 AM   #6
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I assume you are getting deep cycle batteries.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:20 PM   #7
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AC Delco "Voyager" deep cycles are the best we've ever used.
"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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Thanks all for your in-put. I think for my purpos, a Travel Trailer, and the ocasional Boon docking, I am going to get the DieHard Batterys. They seem to have the better size, power, service avalability and price. The DiHard PM-2 with 68 AH rating, 2 for $555., and 3 yr replacement warrenty, installed ain't bad.
Thanks again,
charlie g
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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$555! Have I been on another planet? I haven't replaced a car battery in a long, long time—I can't remember when, but those last forever (they didn't used to a generation ago). I've never replaced a trailer battery since we've only owned the Safari for a bit more than a year. I thought maybe my batteries weren't too good, but have checked the cells under all sorts of conditions and they're fine. I was kind of hoping they're were going bad so I could get better ones than the cheap ones Airstream installs, but I'm starting to look at this differently.

After reading a bunch of threads, I see a tremendous difference in price between different batteries. It seems the cost/benefit for the most expensive batteries is not very good and there are reasonable arguments for going every sort of way. My present route is to replace bulbs, halogen and incandescent, with LED's. The cheap fixtures in parts of our trailer have incandescent bulbs—they have to go. The fancy ceiling fixtures that are too bright can have the halogens replaced with LED's and in total will be little more than one incandescent bulb in power usage and less blinding. Then we can actually use them.

The worst time for boondocking is the Fall—lights on longer, more furnace, less solar gain (natural and solar panels). That's when the batteries have lasted the shortest time and led me to think the batteries were failing early. One thing I can change now is the bulbs and I'm in the process of doing that. Maybe I can find a wind-up fan for the furnace—that would make a big difference (do not take this sentence seriously). I put a switch into the hot wire on the subwoofer—now I can turn it off and that's one less item drawing some current. My point is, use less power and spend less on batteries. It also helps to not park under trees when you have solar panels.

One thing I learned lately was that my trailer didn't come with a 3-stage charger. I was under the impression all modern converters came that way, but no, Airstream decided to save a few bucks and equip newer ones with chargers designed to overcharge the batteries. If you have a newer trailer, check the model # on your converter and then go to the converter company website and see which type you have. I have a dealer installed solar panel and that does have a 3-stage charger. So long as it's not covered by a lot of snow, it does trickle charge the batteries. If we get a lot of snow and the batteries do run down too much, I can plug it in for several hours to bring them up to a respectable charge. From what I understand, the batteries can be fully charged in less than half a day by plugging to shore power and any more than that wears them down faster.

Like everything else on the Forum, batteries do manage to generate a lot of heat sometimes (pun intended) and sorting this out is another intellectual challenge.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
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WHOW $555//// I put in two new Group 27's DP DL 1000 CCA Marine batteries from AUTO ZONE, I know they were not 1/3 of that price and I am confident they will last at least 5 yrs with proper maintaince. The thing is proper maintainence. I check fluid levels once a month and check battery condition weekly. MY batterys are in the basement on a trickle. DO U KNOW WHERE YOUR BATTRIES ARE????
Roger & MaryLou
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:02 PM   #11
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I got the biggest most expensive batteries that Walmart had. Cost about 100.00 each. I can go about 3 days in the fall on just one. I am happy with that.

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Old 01-19-2009, 05:37 PM   #12
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Let me toss some more stuff up against the wall to see if any of it will stick...

I've been in the retail/wholesale battery biz for many, many, here goes some info I hope will be helpful with your choice:

1. You of course need DEEP CYCLE batteries for use in RV's for the accessories...duh! we all know that, right?

2. Ignor, for the most part, the CCA (cold cranking amps @ 0 degrees f.), the CA (cranking amps @ 32 degrees f.), MCA (marine cranking amps - same as CA), etc., etc...we should be interested in the AMP HOUR rating, not the CRANKING rating...

3. The higher the AMP HOUR rating of your deep cycle batteries, the more available 'power' you'll have to run all your accessories while boondocking.

4. I don't recommend the Optima batteries for RV use, as the 10 inch size only has a 55 AMP HOUR rating, much lower than regular Group 24's of the same size...that's due to their circular plate construction.

5. Sealed, AGM batteries are great for RV use, virtually maintenance free, etc., but are more costly than FLOODED CELL types...if you can swing the cost, they are probably the best overall choice...

6. Get the HEAVIEST version of the deep cycle battery that will fit in your application, as a greater weight most often means more plates, and AMP HOURS...
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:46 PM   #13
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Mexray and any other experts,

There was a mention on another thread about "code" on batteries and I believe it referred to how big a battery in a confined space—my box has about an inch on all sides. It's on the tongue. Other boxes may be in a space in side of the trailer. Does this "code" refer to all boxes, or some? What is it protecting us from? And what does it say?

I am curious how big a set of batteries can fit in the box that comes with my trailer, of course and have little desire to have to change the box, something that seems very difficult.

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Old 01-19-2009, 10:44 PM   #14
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I guess your question is not clear to me... many batteries have a Mfg's 'code' stamped into them, to show mfg date and sometimes plate count, etc...but these codes are different for each Mfg, and they don't usually list their codes to anyone but their own dealers, etc.

As to what will fit in your battery box, can't help you much there...don't know the size of the box you have...I believe many later AS's have space for two Group-27 (12 inches long) batteries, either in two separate boxes, or together in one, side-by-side - I'm not a expert on all of AS's various battery configurations...

Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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