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Old 08-23-2010, 07:15 AM   #1
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Trying Super Start AGM Batteries

Well, I'm in need for new batteries. My unit has solar and was originally equipped with Lifeline group 24's. Since I'm the second owner, my best guess is these batteries are a little over 6 years old based on the PO's purchase date. I don't know if the PO ever removed them during winter like I've been doing.

Boondocking recently, my solar charging can get the batteries up 13+ volts, but found running 1 Fantastic Fan on medium speed and the fridge, the batteries were at 11.9 volts in the morning - drastic difference from a year ago.

I've read a lot of threads here which has been very helpful. Feel reasonably comfortable understanding the pros and cons of wet cell versus AGM. My logical side is telling me to go with the Lifeline's again, but my wallet is telling me to go wet cell.

I don't know if this is still true, but I read the Super Starts are made by Deka - a supposedly reputable battery manufacturer seeming to have a presence in the solar segment. Wanted the AGM27 $147 (similar specs to the Lifeline GPL-24) but can't seem to even get it ordered at O'Reilly. It was showing a substitute model AGM34M which is a group 24 size and cost less $129, but the tradeoff was 20 min. less capacity with a bit more cranking power.

Right or wrong, I'm getting them tomorrow. Probably spending $120 more than wet cells, and spending about $180 to $220 less than Lifeline, Trojan or Sears. Based on what I'm reading, I'm inferring it's preferable to go with AGMs for solar applications due to their properties in recovering a little faster, so I'd like to stick with that technology.

I can serve as the guinea pig for the rest and can report back on how they do over time. Most of the time you get what you pay for, so we'll see.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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The name, "Super Starts" sounds like it is a starting battery, not a deep cycle one. Are you sure this is the right type for use as house batteries?

Pat
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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Yeah, these are categorized as deep cycle. Once I see them tomorrrow I'll confirm.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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Jeff - I know it's been a while since you installed the Super Start AGM - how did it work out?
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Has anyone considered large computer backup sealed batteries? I have used them on motorcycles and found them superior to the vented lead acid batteries.

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Old 01-30-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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Jeff - I know it's been a while since you installed the Super Start AGM - how did it work out?

So far so good. I haven't been in a situation yet to really put them to the test though, like furnace overnight. Referencing my solar charging readout, they seem to maintain fine with 2 fans and TV going (fans going overnight).

They've been stored in my basement for a couple months now. Just took a voltage reading this past weekend coincidentally and they were both still north of 12.7v.

Still, I subscribe to "you get what you pay for", but we'll see how they do this summer coming where I expect to do some dry camping in the Adirondacks.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:26 AM   #7
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In October 2011 I acquired my '87 Excella which came with 3 solar panels, 4 AGM batteries and a Xantrex inverter. Last month while boondocking in the Lake MeNRA, my batteries failed to hold their charge. So I bit the bullet and bought 4 new AGM batteries from Interstate. As I understand it, AGM batteries have the same lifespan and wet cells that are properly charged and maintained, namely 5 years. Because 2 of the batteries are inside the trailer (behind the gaucho), they must be sealed gel-type, as wet cells normally will vent hydrogen gas. Oh, yes, the 4 batteries installed cost me $1,265.00
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