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Old 11-25-2017, 08:00 AM   #1
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Replacement Battery Recommendations?

The batteries on our 2004 Safari are on their last legs. But since the date mark shows that they were installed in May of 2005 I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. They were Interstates. I’ve looked around to find replacement batteries but don’t see Interstate mentioned too much among the possibilities. Is there a reason for this? Is there a better battery? Maybe this seems like an elementary request, but can anyone make any recommendations?
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:44 AM   #2
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If your interstates lasted you 12 years based on your usage needs and care you should get another pair.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:51 AM   #3
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12 years on flooded lead-acid batteries is great. So, as noted in post #2, why change horses? There certainly are upgrades available but all will cost you more and unless you are going to change how you use the trailer, I can't imagine what benefit there would be to the added expense.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:59 AM   #4
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Hi

You will find a *lot* of posts here on the forum stating that it is utterly impossible for any stock battery setup to exist for more than a single season. Obviously yours didn't get that memo

Anything over six years is doing pretty well. The Interstates have a couple of advantages. The first is that they are relatively low cost. They have a large dealer network so finding them is pretty easy. They also back up the warranty pretty well. That same dealer network is handy if you get a dud. All batteries are a bit of a crap shoot. Being able to get them replaced easily is a plus. Since they are the stock battery, if you sell the trailer, that's what the buyer would expect to see.

About the only significant question would be - do you think your needs will change in the future? If you suddenly are going to do a lot of off grid camping and need more capacity, this is the time to put in AGM's (or something else). I'm guessing that you don't use battery power a lot ....

Your converter / charger should be good for 20 years or so. I'm guessing you have the stock multistage unit. They don't get much love around here. "Guaranteed to boil your batteries in a month" is a pretty common statement. Since yours *appears* to be working ok, you certainly could leave it in place.

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Old 11-25-2017, 01:43 PM   #5
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We’ve only had the trailer for two years but we keep electric usage to a minimum. There are also two solar panels on top and two Honda 2000 generators (which we only use if we would bake otherwise).
I had the same feeling about the longevity of the old batteries, so I think Interstates it will be.
Thanks all!
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Old 11-25-2017, 02:02 PM   #6
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We’ve only had the trailer for two years but we keep electric usage to a minimum. There are also two solar panels on top and two Honda 2000 generators (which we only use if we would bake otherwise).
I had the same feeling about the longevity of the old batteries, so I think Interstates it will be.
Thanks all!
Hi

If you have gotten years 10 and 11 out of the batteries, that's still doing very well. The dates on the battery don't lie. Your batteries are quite old. Sitting on the shelf for 10 years would not have done them any good, even if that's what happened. People rarely buy an AS and then just let it sit

While you have the batteries out, do a good wire brush job on the inside of the battery box. Then invest in a can of spray paint and put a few coats of black paint on the inside of the box weather it needs it or not. Of course, if there are other thin spots in the paint, feel free to spray them as well

When putting the new batteries in, be careful about grit and gravel. Getting a rock under the battery is amazingly easy. It's also pretty much guaranteed to ruin your day a few thousand miles down the road

Scrub all the cable connectors down well once they are off the batteries. Soap, water, and a soft scrub brush are fine. If any of them look marginal, get them replaced. Again, much easier to do now than after the disaster ...

One thought:

If the trailer is going into storage, wait on getting new batteries. Let it sit over the winter empty. Get the new ones in April (or whenever you pull out of storage). Let the Interstate guy sore them. Get another few months worth of warranty ....

Bob
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Old 11-25-2017, 02:41 PM   #7
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You must have done something (or lots of things) right for those batteries to last you so long! Care to share how you use them. Perhaps we all could learn something from you.

In regards to replacements, not many or made as high quality as they were back in the day, with less lead and more "optimizations" that make them less hardy.

You can go with just about any group 24, and they will drop right in, Should easily get 6 years out of just about any brand battery. You can pay a premium to more longevity, but it's debatable whether that is money well spent.

If you want a tad more capacity, without much more cost and a little effort, group 27s can be made to fit. Incrementally more cost ($10 more/batt) for 20% more capacity. Just a little trim/grinding of a lip will help them get in there.
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Old 11-25-2017, 02:51 PM   #8
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We got 7 years out of our first Interstates. No complaint with that! Our current set may not last that long as I was pretty mean to them once or twice.
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:14 PM   #9
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I think I'm also in the market for new batteries. Flooded cell Interstates vs AGM vs 6V golf cart batteries are the choices.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:13 AM   #10
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I think I'm also in the market for new batteries. Flooded cell Interstates vs AGM vs 6V golf cart batteries are the choices.
Hi

The list of choices goes on and on, that's only the first few items on the list. The 10% capacity differences you see at the top of the list are not as big as the 2:1 or 10:1 differences you see as you head down the list.

In this case, the choice is pretty obvious. There isn't a lot of difference between the battery you get today and what you got ten years ago. The big changes to batteries happened back in the 80's and 90's as far as "cheaper / lighter / higher capacity" nonsense. They calmed down after people stopped going crazy over this and that. The big market is automobiles. Modern cars are not as tough on batteries as the old monsters were.

Bob
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi



The list of choices goes on and on, that's only the first few items on the list. The 10% capacity differences you see at the top of the list are not as big as the 2:1 or 10:1 differences you see as you head down the list.



In this case, the choice is pretty obvious. There isn't a lot of difference between the battery you get today and what you got ten years ago. The big changes to batteries happened back in the 80's and 90's as far as "cheaper / lighter / higher capacity" nonsense. They calmed down after people stopped going crazy over this and that. The big market is automobiles. Modern cars are not as tough on batteries as the old monsters were.



Bob


Batteries are usually good unless they are excessively discharged or fried by overcharging, in my eye its better to accidentally destroy a cheap flooded cell battery as an expensive alternative. Just my take, I would replace those Interstates with something that is proven to last over ten years in that specific application, new Interstate flooded cells.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:34 AM   #12
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Thanks again, everybody. I've located a nearby Interstate dealer and I'll get the new batteries ASAP.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:39 AM   #13
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Well, I got the new batteries and they are installed. The fellow at the Interstate dealer said that the old batteries were indeed installed in 2015 and not 2005 (he could tell by the battery cases). He said that a two and a half year life span was “not bad.” Anyway, at least we’re good for another two and a half years! It’s good to see the battery charge indicator showing a full charge!
But one question: What is the loose thin, coiled gray wire at the top of the pic for? It wasn’t hooked up to the old configuration. Does anyone know what it is/does?
Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:43 AM   #14
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Possibly a battery temperature sensor from the convertor or a solar charge controller?

If it is, tuck the shrink-tubing end of it it neatly into the center of the battery box between the batteries near the hold-down threaded rod is a good spot..that is the sensor. Don't crush it--some are made of glass.

Don't let it fall out and drag for a couple hundred miles--you will be left with a couple bare wires, and the sensor quits working. Don't ask how I know this...
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:33 PM   #15
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Not sure what the gray wire is. But, I would suggest you look into installing a "kill switch" for your battery power installed by your batteries and also check if your "converter" is a multi-stage" or not, so you can maximize the life of your new batteries...many current threads on the problems associated with batteries, single stage converters, etc... Good luck!
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