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Old 06-28-2011, 10:52 AM   #15
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We put solar in our trailer in 06 and 4 Group 27 Lifeline AGM, (absorbed glass mat), battery's and thay are still in real good shape. they cost a lot more, but are worth the cost, if boondocking.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:26 PM   #16
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While AGMs are excellent batteries, I do not believe that their benefits justify the extremely high cost.

A flooded-cell deep cycle battery from a local dealer (they can't be shipped economically in small quantities) is your best bet.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:22 AM   #17
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:15 AM   #18
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And here I was afraid to ask. Thought it was an "ALABAMA" lingo thing.

Thanks for clarifying that.

Catch ya on the road sometime.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:24 AM   #19
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I have used a lot of Concord AGM's - mostly SunXtender - and had always wondered what the difference between LifeLine, Chairman, and SunXtender was. I ran across this on NAWS website

Quote:
Sun Xtender vs LifeLine batteries: Both are made by Concorde and are very similar in basic construction and technology. They carry a different warranty, and there are some slight differences internally. The LifeLine usually have the SAE or dual type marine terminals instead of the bolt only terminals that most of the SunExtenders have. In many applications, they are interchangable. You will not get the 5-year LifeLine warranty if you use SunExtender batteries in marine or RV applications, but the in general the SunExtender batteries are cheaper because you are not paying for that warranty.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:28 AM   #20
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Lucy came new from the dealer with a pair of Interstate Group 24's. They last almost five years to the day. I replaced them with two Group 24 marine/RV batteries from Wal-Mart at $55 each. We are usually plugged into shore power or the generators.

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Old 07-01-2011, 09:07 PM   #21
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I just replaced my Walmart deep cells with Interstates.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:06 PM   #22
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While I have the Intellipower, my trailer is running off 265 watts of AMSolar panels and a a group 27 Trojan 12 volt battery for the last 5 years. Next year I will probably go with dual Trojans and an external battery box behind the propane tanks between the frame rails. The Trojans are good batteries.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:08 PM   #23
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Bang for your $

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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I agree with Mexray. A deep cycle group 27 battery is what I use. The last one cost me $65.00 at Wal Mart. If I get 2 years out of it, I figure I'm ahead of the game.
I agree with TG Twinkie and Mexray. I have always used lead acid deep cycle, since they serve my needs. I acknowledge the AGM's and Gel batteries are a better product, but they cost too much.
It simple math - cost per year= cost of battery/years of service.
I have used Interstate, DEKA, NAPA, Delco, and Walmart.
Lead acid will always win in cost comparisons, but not in performance. If I get 3 to 4 years, at around $20 per year per battery, IMHO, that's bang for your buck.
And lead acid batteries are recycled, so they are green too.
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:20 AM   #24
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[QUOTE= AGM's and Gel batteries are a better product,[/QUOTE]

no mas on the gel's fo RV's.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:17 AM   #25
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no mas on the gel's fo RV's.
a battery with gel (thickened) electrolite. it is not as likely to spill.
they are used in marine and rv applications
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:20 PM   #26
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Talk about hijacking a thread!!!! SHEEESH!!

Anyway, gels are VERY tempermental in their charge voltages and the slightest bit of over voltage will cause the gel to strip from the plates...leaving a scar that doesn't heal and a marked decrease in capacity.

Go with a quality AGM like Lifeline. Built to mil spec and bomb-proof (and bomber proof as well, since they are found in all of our military aircraft)
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I'll stick with what others say......especially "the Lewster"
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:39 PM   #27
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It really does depend on what you do and what you can afford. Our trailer, like many, came with cheap series 24 wet batteries. Better batteries are series 27 and up; they will be larger. Ours started showing age last year when they weren't holding a charge very well. This year it was worse.

The battery box does not easily fit larger batteries. Since different companies make their batteries in slightly different dimensions, different modifications to the battery box will probably be necessary. You can golf cart batteries (use 2 6 volt batteries), but they are higher and the box lid has to be removed (just drill out 3 rivets, takes a few minutes) and a filler has to be added for the added height.

What you do also depends on the converter. Cheaper ones have a one stage charger and will cook the batteries if you keep it plugged in all the time—some of that is partially solved by checking regularly and adding water. Every month in winter, maybe sooner in summer. If you always have hookups, check batteries all the time, and buy cheap batteries, that can work. You do need batteries when you travel so you have some electricity when not plugged in.

But, the OP has an old converter and it would be best replaced. Lewster is an expert on things electrical and recommends Iota converters—they have a multistage charger and this will extend battery life. He told me it is the most trouble free converter he knows of. I installed one last week. The electronics in new converters are very sophisticated and charge batteries very carefully, extending battery life.

AGM's cost a lot more and are supposed to last a lot longer. If you boondock sometimes and have solar they help because they are better batteries and do better with solar charge than other batteries says Lew. Since he has a master's degree in electrical engineering and has been doing RV tech for a long time, I take his word for it. Having watched him work, I know he is thorough. With the OEM batteries, even after charging all day long via a 96 watt solar panel, at night when the furnace running, voltage would drop below 50%, not good for batteries. On cloudy days, or where the solar didn't get much gain because of short days, trees or canyon walls, it was worse. Better batteries with more capacity should solve that and that extends life.

We don't boondock a lot, but when we do we need electricity and prefer not to use the generator. If you boondock lots, superior batteries, an efficient converter and solar are the best way to go. We have upgraded our solar to 200 watts and for that 2 Lifelines, series 27, are good enough. Some people go to 300-800 watts and would need bigger batteries and to replace the battery wiring in the trailer. Lew and I discussed going with lower gauge (bigger) wires, but with 200 w. we didn't really need it and fishing them through would be very difficult in our floor plan and not cost effective. If you do the full monte (no photos if you are dancing it), you can go with more than 2 batteries—with AGM's you can install some of them inside because it is very unusual for them to offgas. If you seriously overcharge them, they can, but a good converter will prevent that. For a really big installation, people will also install an inverter to get 120 v. for major appliances, but that will run multi-thousands and is very cool. But not so cool the A/C will run a long time.

To install series 27 I had to cut back a lip 3/16" in the battery box and they fit, just barely. Lew estimated the Lifelines will last 7 years. By that age (mine) my nurse will have to lift the batteries out since they will be slippery from my drooling. Our converter and breakers/fuses are behind a face plate which is attached to the OEM converter—to install a new converter the front of the OEM converter has to be cut off and the new converter can be screwed down to the floor.

If you are restoring a trailer, that would be a good time to upgrade wiring since you may later decide to go solar. We always seem to need more electricity, so planning ahead it a good idea. Newer trailers have many drains on the batteries—furnace, fridge and water heater all use electric ignition, propane warning system is hard wired, subwoofer is always on (install switch to turn it off), for ex. Many came with lamps that use a lot—old fashioned light bulbs. LED's may be standard now, and we installed LED's a couple of years ago. The difference in power drain is remarkable.

There are many threads on all these questions and some searching will educate, confuse and overwhelm, but it is the process of evaluating what is best for you.

Gene
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:37 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by davidz71 View Post
While I have the Intellipower, my trailer is running off 265 watts of AMSolar panels and a a group 27 Trojan 12 volt battery for the last 5 years. Next year I will probably go with dual Trojans and an external battery box behind the propane tanks between the frame rails. The Trojans are good batteries.
I'm installing dual batteries end to end behind the propane tanks on the Bambi. Can anyone recommend a battery box for this setup?
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