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Old 03-11-2010, 01:02 PM   #57
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To chime in on the AM Solar package deals - if you think of that $300 premium to get the top package as a dollar a day when using the trailer over the next three or five seasons it is cheap to have the tailored package with built in support - there are other battery minders, I have two Trace TM-500s that lack a few good options the HPV Solar Monitor includes for not much more money.

One point of reference to toss into this dog fight... ...6 volt golf cart batteries are superior in most every way in our deep-cycle applications but they are designed for usage where charging energy is a non-issue...

On the average Golf Course a loathsome 17-year-old will plug them into the Club's Mr. Fusion reactor charger and boil them back to life somewhere the clouds of sulfuric acid fumes won't bother the clients.

That will not happen on 5 hours of peak daily solar input so electrolyte specific-gravity (SP) history recording should be monitored to know when they need supplement charging to get the cells back in balance.

To keep the battery healthy providing the last 10% of the charge takes more energy than to refresh it from 40 to 80% SOC. Limited solar can get it back to 80 or 90% but when the individual cell SP tallies get wide you need to equalize even if you are on the road in the middle of a four-week tour of sunless some-state.

Overall on a daily basis they need 110 to 120% of removed ampacity back in not including equalization or electric losses in the lines and charge equipment.

AGM's are easily justifiable expenses if you don't WANT to get technical with weeping misting hands dirty smelly boat anchor batteries. Just make sure you have the correct charger...
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:50 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Xbob2 View Post
...My opinion doesn't mean anything ... facts and data points do. We need real information to further our RV power systems and not emotional buzz words or pr hype...
we agree on this xbob'...

but asking the "best" question typically can NOT be answered 1 way...

even with facts and data.

because 'best' for one user/trailer isn't best 4 the next one...

still the answer to YOUR question is here already in one of these 24 threads (or several of them)

Airstream Forums

i LIKE 12v for anything LESS than 4 batteries...

and because adding a 3rd or 4th in parallel doesn't alter the universe INSIDE the stream much.

with 6 or more batteries 6v seems BESTer...

and at 4+ 6v is probably best'r when space and payload allow their use.
_______

many who are using 6v systems really haven't a clue about their OWN set ups, only that some1 said it was the BEST, yadda yadda.

others who go 6v, have highly customized or personalized arrangements that are the BEST for the application.

the keys are always buying fresh/well constructed batteries and using and caring for them properly.

like trailer tires, most batteries die from abuse, neglect or LACk of action.

all of these lead acid arrangements are based on OLD technology.

the flux capacitor or bloom box will solve every woe...

till the debate about series or parallel hits.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #59
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Being in the battery sales biz for many years, just a few notes come to mind here - I've probably mentioned them several times on other threads:

1. when's the last time any RV user of 6 volt GC batt's out there has had one of their batteries fail?

Come on gang, fess up the truth...the ONLY failed GC batt's I see in my business is maybe after 6 years or more of service - unless the batteries have been grossly neglected, which is then the actual cause!...let's face it, most run of the mill RV'ers don't know 'squat' about their 12 volt battery systems - I see it all the time...and we're happy to sell you some nice shiny new batteries for your rig!

GC batteries have different separators between the plates than the 12 volt DC battereis - they are made of a rubber waffle-like compound and keep the plates (much thicker than 12 volt types) secure during their use on a golf course, bouncing around, deep discharging and recharging each night till they've lost capacity to the point they won't haul the golfers all the way around the course any more - they still haven't 'failed' but aren't usable on the GC...

2. I believe Airstream's never offered the (2) 6volt GC batt's due to their greater weight - AS trying to keep there 'lightweight' image and all...

Open up the battery compartment on a big buck class A or large 5th wheel and you'll see many, many installations with multiple 6 volt, GC battereis - why - greater AH capacity and heavier duty construction!

3. arguments about failure of one 6 volt in a battery bank are highly overrated - UNLESS, caution here, UNLESS you don't maintain your batteries properly, in which case you're going to have problems with any batteries you might decide to use...these chemical 'electron boxes' aren't magic, but they do have to be looked after to get the most out of them.

Most battery neglect/failures are due to so many RV's being stored for long periods of time, without any maintenance, pure and simple...use em' or lose em', is my motto...

I've been using banks of 6 volt GC batteries for many years in my boat and a shack on a beach in Baja...for the $, I wouldn't use anything else! I usually get in excess of 7 years from my GC batteries - could probably have gotten more it they didn't suffer from periods of inactivity...

I'd use 6 volt GC batt's in a minute on our AS, but their size just won't permit it without some major revamping - I use (3) GP-27 DC's - two in the original locations, and the 3rd in a box behind the propane tanks...

Hope that helps...RAy
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:41 PM   #60
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We put our AGMs in the 2004 when we picked it up two weeks ago. The Airstream has the OEM Parallex converter, 2 stage presumeably. Is that going to be bad for the batteries? What can we do to protect them before we install a three stage if we need to? Whats the quietest fan/motor unit swap out for the existing set up? We swapped out the other AS's converter but that variable fan drove me bonkers. I ended up having to turn on another light or turn one off or it would start whirl stop start whirl stop, ARGH!
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:46 PM   #61
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Call Randy at Bestconverter.com I've picked up several goodies from him, and he will give you the straight scoop - his prices are great as well...Ray
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:02 PM   #62
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We put our AGMs in the 2004 when we picked it up two weeks ago. The Airstream has the OEM Parallex converter, 2 stage presumeably. Is that going to be bad for the batteries? ...
in a word NO the p-lax won't be bad for the agms...

my 5 year old agms are still going strong and the first 4 years was with the p-lax plugged in 24/7 when not on the road...

the p-lax died last winter after a week of chronic LOW voltage via shore line.

however IF u are concerned about this based on the MISleading info posted about the dangers of the p-lax...

use a TIMER on the shore line or simply UNPLUG the thing occasionally and use the battery power a day or 2.

how simple is that when it's parked in the yard?

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:25 PM   #63
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I am very glad to hear that the converter and the AGMs did fine together. While it wasn't super difficult for Brad to install the converter and monitor, it comes as good news to know we can forego that expenditure and effort without ill effects. I certainly can handle unplugging the AS for a day or two of battery power and save him some trouble. Thanks for sharing your experience with your AGMs and the Parallex.

Just happen to be out in the drive in the AS now...
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