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Old 10-29-2022, 12:08 PM   #1
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2018 26' Flying Cloud
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Battery Recommendations

I have a 2018 26' Flying Cloud. It came with factory solar and AGM batteries. The AGMs are Concorde brand and 80ah each. The AGMs are starting to go downhill and I started looking for replacements. I haven't found a dealer which handles Concorde batteries, so I looked to see what might be recommended. The web site "support.airstream.com" has a banner that says "Recommended batteries for your travel trailer." Then the only batteries listed are Lithiums. No other types are shown at all. The site "airstream.com" says (quote) "If you don't have solar power in your RV, you're likely using AGM batteries" and (quote) "If you do have solar power, you're likely using flooded or wet cell batteries which contain can electrolyte solution". This seemed to me to be backwards from the equipment they sold me. When I bought the trailer I thought the AGM batteries were being used because they were the proper type for solar power. Am I reading them wrong? I don't want to change to Lithium due to high cost of replacing multiple components. Anyway, are there any specific recommendations from the forum on good AGM batteries?
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Old 10-29-2022, 12:34 PM   #2
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AGM batteries are lead acid batteries, with the difference being that the liquid acid is contained in absorbent glass matts (hence the AGM name).

If you simply want to replace what you have with a similar product there are many options. From the parts book for your trailer it came originally with size 24M batteries, with traditional lead acid being standard and AGM for those trailers equipped with factory solar. You should be able to go to any battery store and buy a pair of 24M AGM batteries to replace what you have. Best plan is to bring what you have with you, both to ensure the new ones will fit and to get the core deposit from your old batteries and have them do the recycling on them.
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Old 10-29-2022, 08:58 PM   #3
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You're trailer is a 2018 and the batteries are going? Concord make good batteries. So you have issues somewhere else. Most likely the charge controller as it's most likely factory. Take the charge controller and chuck it. Find one that can equalize your batteries. In fact I would try to equalize you existing batteries after you replace the controller as they may come back to life.

My batteries are Lifelines and I installed them in 2016. The previous ones lasted from 2007 to 2015. My trailer is never connected to shore power to charge the batteries as I've disconnected the that. I only charge via solar. The batteries still function as new.

Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2022, 04:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
You're trailer is a 2018 and the batteries are going? Concord make good batteries. So you have issues somewhere else. Most likely the charge controller as it's most likely factory. Take the charge controller and chuck it. Find one that can equalize your batteries. In fact I would try to equalize you existing batteries after you replace the controller as they may come back to life.

My batteries are Lifelines and I installed them in 2016. The previous ones lasted from 2007 to 2015. My trailer is never connected to shore power to charge the batteries as I've disconnected the that. I only charge via solar. The batteries still function as new.

Good luck.
Battery life can vary depending on how they are used and charged. Discharge a perfectly-good battery too deeply a few times and its life will be shortened - nothing to do with the quality/condition of the converter/charger.

A 2018 trailer can have batteries from 2017, meaning they are potentially from 4-6 years old right now. If you're lucky the batteries will be marked on the top so you can confirm the date they were put in service.

Before throwing anything away and before replacing the batteries you just have to do some simple testing with a multimeter to confirm proper voltage output from your converter/charger. Instructions for doing this are in multiple threads.
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Old 10-30-2022, 06:08 AM   #5
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Download Concorde’s 25 page white paper about charging specs for their batts. You will find the factory inverter and solar charge controller don’t meet the batt’s charging specs. I replaced 3 year old AGM’S and had the same issues with poor battery performance. Replaced the factory solar charge controller with a Victron unit - problems solved.

The batt’s want to see +/- 14.4 volts for bulk charging. Factory dumb solar charger wasn’t going above 12.7 volts. The victron unit is fully programmable for ambient temps, etc…
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Old 10-30-2022, 06:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
You're trailer is a 2018 and the batteries are going? Concord make good batteries. So you have issues somewhere else. Most likely the charge controller as it's most likely factory. Take the charge controller and chuck it. Find one that can equalize your batteries. In fact I would try to equalize you existing batteries after you replace the controller as they may come back to life.

My batteries are Lifelines and I installed them in 2016. The previous ones lasted from 2007 to 2015. My trailer is never connected to shore power to charge the batteries as I've disconnected the that. I only charge via solar. The batteries still function as new.

Good luck.
Of course, one should always follow their particular battery manufacturer's recommendations...but Lifeline, in particular says NOT to routinely condition, or equalize their AGMs. This from their technical manual:

"5.5 Conditioning
Conditioning should only be done when the battery is showing symptoms of capacity loss due to
extended time in a partial or low state of charge condition. This could be caused, for example,
by low charging voltage for an extended number of charge cycles, or by repeatedly charging to
only 90% state of charge. "

I also, used to only use solar for maintaining my AGMs, but I became concerned with the Victron (maybe all) solar controllers going through an absorption phase EVERY DAY when it is triggered on by sunrise. This with a battery which has not seen any real measurable depletion overnight. Over time this all counts toward life cycles of the battery. Significant??? Maybe not.

I much prefer the Victron converter routine of going into a lower storage (temp comp) voltage after a period of inactivity, with a once-a-week absorption phase.
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Old 10-30-2022, 07:08 AM   #7
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Four or five year old batteries? From my experience it is probably time to replace them. Especially if they have been drawn down several times. The use history matters. We do not know what happened on the dealer lot. I would look to see if larger batteries would fit in the battery boxes. On my older 25' I have group 31 in it now. 105 amp hours. Yes, the tongue weight is a little higher. Having said all that, I think you should give serious thought to just going to lithium if you do a good bit of boon docking. You probably know your use pattern by now. For us, lithium would have been great 10 or 15 years ago but now we are addicted to electric sites and do carry a generator.
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Old 10-30-2022, 07:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Of course, one should always follow their particular battery manufacturer's recommendations...but Lifeline, in particular says NOT to routinely condition, or equalize their AGMs. This from their technical manual:
Good advice, but wouldn’t that depend more on usage? For example the battery on my Honda generator recently died. I run it every month or so but went through a period where I was less than stellar in my diligence. Next time it was the pull starter, and after charging the battery back up it still wouldn’t kick the engine, so had to buy an new one (motorcycle battery basically). So I got a battery minder on it. In this case Honda recommends a minder (and even has their own version) so and I got the same battery as original (expensive Japanese battery of course).

Seems like no matter the battery, if its AGM or any lead acid that gets intermittent use a conditioner would be a good idea. I replaced my big-ass UPS batteries recently after 10 years. They have built in conditioning and testing and kept the batteries going that long.
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Old 10-30-2022, 07:13 AM   #9
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Good advice, but wouldn’t that depend more on usage? For example the battery on my Honda generator recently died. I run it every month or so but went through a period where I was less than stellar in my diligence. Next time it was the pull starter, and after charging the battery back up it still wouldn’t kick the engine, so had to buy an new one (motorcycle battery basically). So I got a battery minder on it. In this case Honda recommends a minder (and even has their own version) so and I got the same battery as original (expensive Japanese battery of course).

Seems like no matter the battery, if its AGM or any lead acid that gets intermittent use a conditioner would be a good idea.
Yes, but the victron converter is a very good "conditioner" as well. I do run batteryminders on my FLA lawn tractor, scooter and an AGM unit on my Chevy Volt for winter storage.

I do use a batteryminder desulphater intergated into my AS system as well.
This is NOT a charger.

https://www.batterymart.com/p-obd-12...caAoftEALw_wcB
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Old 10-30-2022, 08:06 AM   #10
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I ran interstate wet cells for 4 years. I went to interstate AGMs. Cost about 450, and very easy to drop in. (Caution: Your connectors may need to be resized. I had to on mine). The cost is significantly less than a lithium package, because not only will you spend a lot of money on the batteries you will most likely need to change the inverter. Talking thousands. I guess you have to figure if your AGMs served you well in the past or if your camping style warrants the high cost. The fact is the life cycle of these batteries is about 4 to 5 years. I don’t have solar, but keep my batteries on a battery maintainer throughout the year when not camping. I have heard that some get more life out of an AGM. But I figure I will replace them in 5 years. But I don’t boondock. And if I did I have a generator to use for charging purposes.

Here is a web site explaining AGMs
https://www.greenway-battery.com/new...king-1359.html

Quote from the article:
On average, an AGM battery is known to last between three and five years. An extension for up to 6-10 years can be considered if the battery is properly maintained.

Interesting point of the article is that “overcharging” can be just as bad.

I think Lithiums are great if you really need them for boondocking etc. And they do weigh less. And if I was a rabid boondocker I would go lithium.
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Old 10-30-2022, 11:12 AM   #11
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Download Concorde’s 25 page white paper about charging specs for their batts. You will find the factory inverter and solar charge controller don’t meet the batt’s charging specs. I replaced 3 year old AGM’S and had the same issues with poor battery performance. Replaced the factory solar charge controller with a Victron unit - problems solved.

The batt’s want to see +/- 14.4 volts for bulk charging. Factory dumb solar charger wasn’t going above 12.7 volts. The victron unit is fully programmable for ambient temps, etc…
If your factory charger wasn't going above 12.7v it was defective. Even for a 'dumb' converter/charger used on flooded lead acid batteries that's too low.
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Old 10-30-2022, 03:36 PM   #12
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It's always a good idea to follow the manufacturer's specifications. But I was equalizing my batteries before Lifeline said it was ok. You have to remember that many of these companies are in business to sell products. Equalization or conditioning should only be done when the battery performance drops as mentioned. That's why I can get 9 plus years out of a set. In fact I still have one of the original batteries from 2007 in my work shop as a 12v power supply. Just goes to show the longevity of these batteries if you take care of them.
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Old 10-30-2022, 03:57 PM   #13
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Not everyone uses their batteries in the same way. Someone that boondocks extensively and runs their batteries down to 50% on a daily basis is going to get a shorter lifespan than someone who us often plugged in or running solar on the rooftop and rarely discharges the batteries much.

Both can be doing everything exactly like the book instructs, but one situation will result in a longer battery lifespan than the other. Neither is more right than the other, nor more wrong. They're just different. Taking care of batteries is only part of the equation - what type of use they see is just as important.
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Old 10-31-2022, 07:29 PM   #14
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Update on my original post---The trailer was in enclosed storage with power hooked up for several weeks. The battery seemed to be at 12.6 to 12.8. I moved the trailer outside for a few days in preparation for a camping trip and the voltage has moved to about 13.4 with solar only. Maybe I need to check the charging voltage while under power. We'll keep an eye on things and see what is working out. Thanks to all who responded to my original post. Happy Camping to all!
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