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Old 09-21-2009, 07:30 AM   #1
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Sick and tired of battling batteries!!

For more than 10 years I've been fighting with the ^&^$%% battery compartments on Airstreams. Did it again over weekend. Has anybody switch to 6-v batts and found it easier to get them IN and OUT of those absurdly small compartments?? I've never SEEN a golf cart battery so I have a lot to learn about this subject!
But I'd like to get my hands around the throat of the imbecile who designed the battery compartments on A'Screams!!! Ha!
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
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Golf cart batteries are even taller than the ones typically found in the battery compartments.
If you do zero boondocking, or using the battery a lot when not hooked up to shore power, you can get a group 34 battery to put in your coach. It is the same footprint as the one usually found in the compartment (like a group 24), but is almost an inch shorter in height. They are not available in deep cycle, though. Our Sovereign came with a 34 in the battery compartment because the PO got tired of hassling with the 24's.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:40 AM   #3
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Golf Cart batteries are typically a bit taller than a 12 volt deep cycle battery. There is no way I could ever fit even one of them into the small battery compartment on our trailer. We plan on installing them on the tongue behind the propane tanks, and I'll need to build a special box for them.

Chris
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:22 AM   #4
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I use an OPTIMA yellow top battery with a blade disconnect switch. The battery only gets charged when the blade is down. I use a small condition meter attached to it to read the charge state, and the battery is always ready to go, no issues with it dying.
With an Optima if you screw up and forget to charge it , the battery wills till come back to full charge from below 10v, which usually kills a "normal" battery.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:31 AM   #5
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AGM batteries are maintainance free and you can intall them in any position. But you should have a 3 phase converter that is compatable with the battery.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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I have a battery question - I read Alan's post above - can someone enlighten me as to what the blade disconnect switch is and why and when to use it? Also, where can I buy a battery condition meter to attach to battery? Alan's set up sounds pretty nifty.

I have a '76 21' Globe Trotter. Any suggestions on what battery size? The existing battery seems to be dead and it was always hard closing the door (read that this is just the nature of the "poor" design. Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentuvman View Post
I have a battery question - I read Alan's post above - can someone enlighten me as to what the blade disconnect switch is and why and when to use it? Also, where can I buy a battery condition meter to attach to battery? Alan's set up sounds pretty nifty.

I have a '76 21' Globe Trotter. Any suggestions on what battery size? The existing battery seems to be dead and it was always hard closing the door (read that this is just the nature of the "poor" design. Thanks!
A "battery condition meter" is nothing more than a volt meter.

It has no idea what the real condition of the battery might be.

The battery could be 50 to 60 percent down, and that meter would say "fair".

That offers little to no help.

Andy
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anniedog View Post
For more than 10 years I've been fighting with the ^&^$%% battery compartments on Airstreams. Did it again over weekend. Has anybody switch to 6-v batts and found it easier to get them IN and OUT of those absurdly small compartments?? I've never SEEN a golf cart battery so I have a lot to learn about this subject!
But I'd like to get my hands around the throat of the imbecile who designed the battery compartments on A'Screams!!! Ha!
Do your batts have handles?

This is not the brand or style battery I use...(best picture though). I struggled with the same problem til I fastened a pull strap attached to the end of the battery where the handle is attached.
Lift up and slide out, it still ain't easy with a heavy AGM but it is doable..

Batt disconnect...
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:22 PM   #9
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If you liken electricity in your battery to water in your tank, voltage is the temperature and amperage is the volume or capacity. Any volt meter will give you the "temperature" of your battery, but I know of no meter that will give you the "volume", or in other words, just how much "work" your battery has left. As the voltage drops, the amount of "work" left does diminish on a progressive scale. The higher amperage capacity battery or batteries you use, the more volume you have in your tank.

Work is done by amperage.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kentuvman View Post
I have a battery question - I read Alan's post above - can someone enlighten me as to what the blade disconnect switch is and why and when to use it? Also, where can I buy a battery condition meter to attach to battery? Alan's set up sounds pretty nifty.

I have a '76 21' Globe Trotter. Any suggestions on what battery size? The existing battery seems to be dead and it was always hard closing the door (read that this is just the nature of the "poor" design. Thanks!
You can get a digital battery voltage meter and blade disconnect switch from most RV parts sources, such as Camping World or your Airstream dealer.
Your battery should be a BCI group 27, though the slightly shorter length group 24 would be easier to get in the battery compartment.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:27 PM   #11
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Volt meters do have little value unless you are measuring a "rested" battery. The Voltminder we carry does have a programmable alarm however so its very popular for boondockers. In other words, while watching TV at night for instance, you can program it to alarm at 12.2 or so to notify when you are getting down to the magic 50% that you should not exceed. Since its a slow drain from an inverter or 12 volt TV, they are handy and pretty accurate but not perfect.
If you really want to know the actual amp hours remaing in your batteries, you need a shunt and a meter that measures amp hours used from the battery and replenished through your charger, solar or any charge source. They give you an exact number all of the time. The Trimetric 2025 RV is our most popular.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:01 PM   #12
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voltmeter not so useless

Quote:
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. . ., but I know of no meter that will give you the "volume", or in other words, just how much "work" your battery has left.
How about the Trimetric 2020 -- it provides information on the battery "volume" as amp hours? You get amp hours used, amp hours remaining for your battery bank. Not a portable meter, but a useful meter nonetheless.

We use a voltmeter. Despite what some may say about voltmeters uselessness regarding battery condition, we get a read on our batteries' relative power. This has worked sufficiently for us for the past two years and we expect to continue successfully awhile longer.

I'd love to have the smart meter like on many solar charge controllers and also on the Trimetric 2020. But the voltmeter has served us sufficiently well (e.g., boondocking up to ten days (in 18 - 35 degree F nights) just this past October). I can't justify paying $130 for a meter to get to know my battery that much better.

We use a pair of Interstate 2200 6-volt (golf cart) batteries. They have much more umph than the original ones. But they won't fit in the battery recesses you have. These batteries are almost two inches taller than our 12 volt batteries were.

We're fortunate to have already the battery box between the propane cylinders and the trailer, so the 6v batteries fit therein. Now I'd like to add another pair of them on top, but that's for another thread another time.

Good luck,
Jim
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:55 AM   #13
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Boy - did I ever meet a bunch of intelligent folks at Airforums!

Thanks - a lot of good stuff to chew on. Now, where to find a good source and brand of battery. The Yellow Top by Optima looks really cool but nobody will be able to ooh and aah while it's hidden in the battery compartment. How about a Sears deep cycle or Interstate?
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:55 AM   #14
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Boy - did I ever meet a bunch of intelligent folks at Airforums!

Thanks - a lot of good stuff to chew on. Now, where to find a good source and brand of battery. The Yellow Top by Optima looks really cool but nobody will be able to ooh and aah while it's hidden in the battery compartment. How about a Sears deep cycle or Interstate?
Unless it's changed, both the Die Hard and Interstate are manufactured by the same company (Johnson Controls). I've had both brands, and they've both worked and lasted about the same.
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