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Old 12-27-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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Anyone familiar with Optima batteries?

I am the proud new owner of a 1984 31ft Sovereign. In the search for the best battery option I'm leaning towards the Optima Brand. Anyone familiar with these, and if so, do you recommend the blue or yellow model?

Thanks,
Lisa
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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I use the Blue 34 series. Personally no problems and I use a new 9500 converter. Some folks have had problems with the Optimas since they started making them in Mexico.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:53 PM   #3
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There are some that are good. My father buys loads of batteries for generators and other equipment and has for many years. One of the things he has shared is that most Johnson Control batts are best. What is interesting is that they make batteries for many companies but their name is usually somewhere on the casing. They make some of the optimas also check out the AGM batts that Sams is now carrying.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:05 AM   #4
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Car forums report a number of problems with Optimas so they are not a perfect solution. The Optima specs say the blue is not warranted for deep cycle operation; the specs also indicate more capacity in the yellow.
Probably the best battery you can get is the Odyssey. I have heard that the Sears Platinum is the same battery.
Aside from all of that the Lifeline AGM that AS uses for the solar option is an excellent battery with a good reputation.
Larry
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:22 AM   #5
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I had Optima's in our 34' and they did not perform well for me. They only lasted two years before they wouldn't hold a charge. On had to be replaced before that time frame due to a cell failure (it was replaced under warranty) I still have them in my cars/truck, but have switched to Lifeline in the trailer. Yes, I do have a properly matched Iota charger in the trailer. They should not have failed as soon as they did.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:09 AM   #6
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I had three of the blue tops on my sailboat. I bought them before I did adequate battery research. The Optima Blue Top is a dual-purpose battery that has a place if you need one battery that will work as an engine start battery and a deep cycle battery. So if you are only after a power storage battery for a travel trailer, I don't think the Optima is your best buy. If you look at the specs on the Optima and compare with other non-dual purpose AGM batteries you will find that the Optima does not offer near the power storage capability of other AGM's with a similar price tag. My memory is that you get close to double the amp hour capacity for less money when buying one Universal AGM vs. buying one Optima Blue Top batteries. Take a look at Universal AGM Batteries and compare those specs to the Optima website.


I have Universal AGM batteries, from Best Converter, in the AS now. I have switched two the three batteries in my sailboat to the Universal AGM's. I am very happy with the Universal AGM's from Best Converter. I have no association with Best Converter… just a happy customer.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:34 AM   #7
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I followed Lewsters advise when it came time to up-grade....no regrets.



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Old 12-28-2013, 08:16 AM   #8
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A good comparison…maybe

On one Airstream I have a 34 series Optima. It is a replacement because of an acid leak from around the positive post. It was five years old. I replaced it with the new 34 series.
On another Airstream I have a Lifeline. six years old and going strong.
On another Airstream I went with a "racing Car" Odyessy …very small, but higher AMP hours than other AGM types. It is two years old and works perfectly.
I don't make a big deal out of batteries….they work or don't.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #9
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I have a couple of the yellow Optima's in our trailer and so far they have been fine. I've only had them maybe three years though.

We don't use our trailer a whole lot and so when we take our trailer to the storage yard I always remove the batteries and bring them home. I check the voltage now and then and put a charger on once in a while.

One of the advantages of them (and I think all AGM batts,) is that compared to conventional batteries the self-discharge rate is supposed to be very low. I think Optima claim they will hold their charge up to a year. I do check the voltage now and then with a digital meter when ours are at home in the garage and the voltage does hold up very well.

I did notice however that whereas I bought the Optimas at our local Costco, they no longer carry them, at least at our Costco store.

Wonder why. Maybe there were problems, or maybe due to the considerably higher cost, they just were not selling well compared to regular lead-acid batteries.

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Old 12-28-2013, 09:49 AM   #10
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Lisa, unless you are setting up a solar system; if just buying coach batteries, I would recommend a deep cycle marine battery. I replaced my coach batteries this summer. I shopped and got Walmart Deep Cycle label MAXX Marine 24(Johnson Controls) not the plain EVERSTART for about $95 each. They have a two year replacement guarantee and are essentially a die hard I believe gold. The only thing is you do have to add battery fluid check to your maintenance list- just make sure that the electrolyte is at the bottom of the level tab inside each cell every couple months or so. You can pay more and get an AGM battery technology but with a trailer you are interested not in crank power (CCA) but in amp hours- higher the better. Most batteries are about two years to dead or substantially spent at that point - some get a year or so more. AGM Last longer but you pay more and in our application for higher amp hours are VERY expensive.

As I mentioned, Johnson Controls is a good battery company; however, they are only one of five or so companies that make ALL batteries available. I would mention my father's woes with a contract they had and failure rate with a premium battery company out there in replacement batteries but no war today. Needless to say they work with just a few companies now and JC is one they have very low failure rate.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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Ditto on Johnson Controls batteries. I buy mine from NAPA. I was a fan of Optimas until they moved the production to Mexico and two in a row failed.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:15 AM   #12
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I'd consider something that has a wide network of support. Something along the AGM style would be best. Consider Sams Club, Sears, AutoZone....if you ever need to replace it under warranty it's easy to find a store.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:22 PM   #13
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Optima are OK but IMHO, are nothing special. One problem with Optimas is their relatively low amp/hour rating. They are essentially a group 24 size battery (typically 80 amp hour capacity) but are only rated at 55 Amp/hours. For a two battery system, this gives you a total of 110 amp/hours with the Optimas vs. 160 amp/hours for a standard group 24 battery bank.

As far as warranty issues, (you knew that a plug was coming!) Lifelines have a 5 year pro-rated replacement warranty and if properly charged, should last you at least 5-7 years. As I have previously stated, I have several clients that are entering their 9th and 10th years with their Lifelines, and they are still above 90% capacity. More expensive......yes! But over the long haul.......you get what you pay for!
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:34 PM   #14
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Lifelines have a 5 year pro-rated replacement warranty and if properly charged, should last you at least 5-7 years.
Absolutely. Lifelines are good but pricey. Consider this though- Almost 5x the cost $285/Class 24, 12 mth full replacement warranty, five year pro rated warranty, 80 AH.

JC Maxx (Walmart) $94, Two year full replacement guarantee, 92AH
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