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 > Chassis?Starter Grp 31 AGM. CROWN1 AGM?

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Smitty77

OnDRoad

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Posted: 01/12/18 10:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 - Cool (Pun intended[emoticon]!), that you bring up cold weather's impact to batteries.

I have for us, at only 800AH's, and oversize system of House batteries. We live on the top 22-28% of the battery bank. I had two times in last years travels, boon docking, where the Magnum's LBCO cut in and turned off our Inverter. This had never happened in the previous 3-4 years of using this bank of batteries. When I researched why, I came o the concussion that: 1) My X's 4 L16 Lifeline's were OK; 2) That my LBCO Magnum setting required adjustment; 3) That the below 30 temperatures, with a battery compartment that was opened to the bottom with egg crate flooring grill - did appropriately impact my house battery/Magnum system.

(I've since adjusted a few settings via the Magnum MS2812, but feel it did what it was supposed to do, via the setting parameters of the Tech that helped me install it, and myself... ).

And of course, this is 'House' - not 'Chassis' - which is what I was focusing on with this thread[emoticon]!

LY's comments here, and on other threads too - talk about how his Northstar battery is supporting him. He does use them for House duties too... Which is making me also go back (While I'm not in a mode of needing to immediately replace out Chassis unit.), and look at costs vs performance of Marine/Dual Purpose batteries for Chassis duty.

I will share from 5-6 years ago as we were setting our coach up for the long run ahead, that I researched and came very close to not buying a stand alone Chassis CAT 8D Maintenance Free battery. In it's footprint, I easily could have added two more Lifeline L16's for 1,200 AH's of Bank combined Chassis/House battery. Had actually priced what two/three Lithium Based Emergency Start battery into the total mix.

https://www.amazon.com/CAT-CJ3000-Professional-Starter-Built/dp/B00IJB51WY/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1515820870&sr=8-6&keywords=emergency+battery+jump+starter

IMO. I would have been fine with X's6 Lifeline L16', set up for dual House and Chassis duty. I would have modified my Alternator feed to not freak out if the bank went too low. And, I would have carried the above, or similar emergency battery bank. (Full disclosure. I bought such a unit for my Daughter, to have in case of emergency. Her's is plugged into her garage outlet, and maintained to be available in case of emergency at all times...).

1200 AH's of combined House/Chassis batteries, with our 1200 Watts of Solar, would have probably served us well[emoticon]!. I went with the CAT 8D MF for Chassis, and the smaller X's4 L16 Lifeline's for House duty, because it was more 'traditional'. It also added the Boost House connection, as redundant safety edge...

Really no right or wrong approach to this. I have friend with RV's and boats, that feel the least expensive Costco/SAM's GC2 Wet batteries are the way to go for battles. I have other friends with rather robust Lithium based House battery banks... They pay 2-4 time higher for these banks of batteries. All but one, have separate approaches to Chassis duty...

Options is what it is all about[emoticon]!

Best to all,
Smitty

(And note: I received an email from a Crown1 AGM battery user... He has both a House bank, and separate Starter bank in his boat. (Major electronic remodel on his boat, including adding Solar and Wind charging at the sometime. He was upfront that he'd not had enough time with is Crown AGM's to get a feel for them yet... ) So I look forward to his feedback ahead. I tease my Boating community friends (Many I sailed against in Prindle Catamaran races, that have since moved into Power Boat/Trawlers/Cruisers... (They consider me to be the 'outsider', having abandoned sailing to go RV'ing[emoticon]!) about how expensive their hobby is[emoticon]! )).

And LY, I do have one of these friends that says he has some Northstar Grp 31 experiences - he's going to drop by before we head out in mid February. Said he'll share his mostly positive experiences with Northstar batteries then...

Best to all,
Smitty

landyacht318

Near a large body of salty water

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Posted: 01/12/18 11:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of my issues with having a starter battery, and the house battery, was that I basically never cycled the engine battery. The dedicated starter battery for engine starting seems like 52 or 68 Lbs of dead weight destined to be killed by engine heat and age, rather than actually cycling.

While my system allows me to use either battery as house or for engine by turning a few switches, when the screwy31 was compromised enough I removed it from my rig, I had only the Northstar for both duties and all switches have remained at battery 2 since june 2015. I was modifying a spot to fit a T-1275, but once I saw the Northstar could easily fullfill all my needs on its own, that project was put on the backburners

I've not required more house battery capacity, and as much as I remove from it, it can still start my engine.

Seems the Northstar cycleability and the high CCA are a good match for me. It seemed a waste to have the very capable Northstar being cycled only when I needed to equalize my 'dedicated' house battery.

A while back I considered carrying a small 12 or 18AH AGM just for the jumper battery factor, should it be required, but put that off too. I was considering a small Odyssey Agm as they have no issues with very high recharge rates, but had I plunked down the ~100$ for it, it so far would have been unused.

I'm all for warm and fuzzies. A dedicated starting battery would remove all worries. My Northstar is well used and aged and one day there will be the inconvenient 'click' when i turn the key. I guess my goalpost is to have another battery ready for the day I hear that click, but not two days before.

That said, if I did have a dedicated engine starting battery it would not be a top $$ high CCA cycleable Agm battery, but likely a wally world starter group 27. If I were to have a dedicated house battery, and since I can recharge properly, I would go for the top$$ cycleable AGM, and 125Ah Lifeline GPL-31XT or perhaps the 150AH GPL-30HT would fit that bill. But then again so could their 100Ah group 27.

But since I want one battery for both engine and house duties I will compromise some deep cycleability for high CCA, and the Northstar has proven itself to me in this task.

But then again I also occassionally enjoy dippng a hydrometer, so the flooded trojan T-1275 is still in the cards, but as far as cycling a 12v flooded marine battery again, well no, not gonna happen.

I view maintenance free flooded starting batteries as a No go too. I figure they were made/ marketed to those who, when asked when they last changed their engine oil, respond
"changed it to what?"

Smitty77

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Posted: 01/13/18 12:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LY - A neighbor with a Fiver was all set to install two T-1275's in his unit. When he got to the battery distributor, he offered him a good price on two T-145's instead. So 260A vs 300A that the X's 2 T-1275's would have provided.

He was replacing two GC2 6V's that were in the Fiver when he bought it, and he had done OK with their capacity so figured 260A would more then serve him... And the distributor saved him about $80 dollars off the best he could do for the T-1275's. (He said the T-145's were old new stock, and had been in the warehouse for 7 months. (A larger order for them had been cancelled, so he'd had more volume of T-145's to sprinkle out - and these were the last two from that batch, and he wanted to move them out[emoticon]! He'd bought sever batteries from this guy for trailers, RV's and boats over the years - so trusted the story.

Always, the T-1275's are a 'robust' 12V deep cell for sure[emoticon]!

And since this is my thread, I've permitted myself to dive a bit deeper into the Northstar... I know you're an obvious fan of them. Is my research correct that these are China made? And are recycled lead infused thin blade matts as robust as say Lifeline/Concorde and now Crown1 AGM's with pure lead infused matts of thicker build? (Speculate the thin mats provide more surface area for removing/putting in power, and thus probably the reason the CCA's are more robust(?).)

I also see they have a lower costing Northstar Elite Grp-31 series, that X's 2 CCA of 925 = 1850 combined CCA. Vs. The Northstar Ultra High Peformance's X's 2 CCA 1150 = 2300 combined CCA. (My CAT 8D Maintenance Free (Purchased not due to ease of maintenance, which is had relatively been, but because it was at the time I bought it - the highest CCA 8D Starting battery I could locate.) has alway more then supported my ISL engine. So Northstar Elite series would also more then support it too...).

Suppose my question to you, and others, is are Thin Blade Mats AGM a marketing gimmick, or do they provide functionality benefits over more conventional thickness Blade Mats AGM's? Opinions on recycled lead vs pure lead (And yes, recycled lead, if done properly, can provide good quality materials.)? And Elite at $300 vs Ultra High Performance at $380 (Quick searching prices, could be better prices available for both.) opinions?

TIA to you, and all,
Smitty

landyacht318

Near a large body of salty water

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Posted: 01/13/18 01:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Northstar NSB-AGM-31 Says proudly made in USA.
Full river is made in China.

The thin plate pure lead design is supposed to have less resistance, meaning higher CCA and charge acceptance.

Lifeline says their gpl-31Xt has 3.1 mOhms
Northstar says their NSB-31 has 2.2mOhms

http://lifelinebatteries.com/wp-content/........Circut_Current_of_Lifeline_Batteries.pdf

HOw quickly that resistance rises when deep cycling is another matter.

While thin plate and 'deep cycle' are not usually in the same sentence, all I can say is I have cycled the piss out of my Northstar and it is still an impressive battery.

Would a Lifeline AGM be healthier at this point in the same usage? Could certainly be.

But, would the Lifeline have enough grunt to start my engine when ~70% depleted at 4 years old and ~700 deep cycles?

I don't know.

I do know my Northstar can.

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 01/13/18 02:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With Mexico being next door virgin lead is about 150% of the price of recycled lead. Getting the last fraction of some metals out of recycled lead is expensive i.e. copper.

The only way that a thick plate battery will live up to it's lifespan potential is to treat it right. A thick plate $500 battery will sulfate and die just as dead as a hundred dollar battery.

Thick plates withstand intrinsic acid erosion longer than thin plates.

I used to start a Ford 427 engine with a standard group 27 tar-top battery. The engine had 12.5 to 1 compression. But temperatures never slumped much less than 25F.

Enough CCA for the starter motor or inverter is indeed "enough". If a Lifeline performs the CCA duty and longer cycle life is desired, then perhaps that is the best choice.

"Thin Plates And Superior Cycle Life" makes sense only if they battery is compared to competing thin plate batteries. Pound for pound, electrical activity equal, and more cycles while retaining >80% of it's ampere hour capacity.

It's not just plate "thickness". Cured paste DENSITY affects CCA and ampere hours. Porous "coral reef" plates are superior for activity, and inferior for lifespan.

The only way to quantify charge receptivity is to put competing batteries under test. Discharge both to 12.20 volts.

Apply saturation charge of 14.40 volts and see which battery accepts the high number. Don't forget, batteries are reactive. Their impedance changes under load.

The most important attribute a battery can have is to satisfy its owner...

Smitty77

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Posted: 01/23/18 10:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did get a bit sidetracked from my post. (During transmission maintenance, it was determined I had a cracked composite oil pan on the ISL. So have been coordinating parts, and repairs.). I did have the load test done on my 8D CAT MF 1500CCA battery, the tech said it tested on the bottom side of Good. Well, after a few starts and stops of the engine as they went from bay to bay on things in the shop, it needed the Boost to start. Got it home, and Specific Gravity revealed two cells much lower then the other four. This after two full cycles of equalizing this battery, as I tried to recover it.

I went back and read the lasts two posts a few times from LY and MW, enjoy and appreciate their posts!!! (Don't always fully understand them, but like to think I understand[emoticon]!).

So I did a final review of replacing my Chassis battery, and ended up getting a single Lifeline 8D, a Deep Cycle almost Marine battery - vs X's 2 of their Starting GPL 3100T battery. The 3100T would have been a better pure Starting battery choice, from the Lifeline family. And I was planning on altering our Battery baby to fit them where the current CAT 8D Chassis battery is. But since my long term plans on using this battery bay is to shift the House to Lithium when the X's4 L16's need replacement (And no rush on that!!!), I elected to not do the changes to the battery bay until then. Could be 3-5 years from now, and who knows what will develop in the LI battery options in that time. Thus the reason I went with the Lifeline 8D at this time.

It will be installed in the AM, after driving up San Dimas, CA today to pick it up from the Lifeline warehouse. (Fresh stock it be[emoticon]! While it's rated at 1350CCA, vs the last 6 years of 155CCA support - I have not doubt it will support the starting duty well in the temperatures I travel in the majority of the time. If ever needed, the Boost to the Bank of L16's is available.

Done deal now, other then going and enjoying the coach again soon[emoticon]!

And I final bit more on Crown AGM's. I misread my friends update on Crown in his boat. He has a Boating House battery bank of AGM's, he does not have a Starting Bank. He went out of his way to contact me and correct my post. he said his research determined the current Crown AGM's were not a good battery for Engine Starting duty. (Won't go into all the reasons why. But he said he'd recommend anyone considering these for this kind of duty, first review with Crown. And he confirmed he remains pleased with his decision for Crown AGM's for his Boat House duty.

Just wanted to close the loop on the Crown AGM's for Chassis, and share that I had decided to go with the Lifeline 8D. Full River 8D Deep Cycle would have cost less, and had a higher CCA rating. And their Full Throttle Starting batter would have cost more then the price I paid for the Lifeline - and may have been a better choice for Chassis Starter duty - but again for quite a bit more.

And finally, the SAM's 8D AGM battery would have saved quite a bit of money, and got the job done too. But I know Lifeline's have served me well so far in House Duty... And, I've no doubt I'll get 6-8 years of good support out this battery. So, costs should be a wash compared to the probability of two of the SAM's...

Always, done for now[emoticon]!

Thanks again for all of this info sharing and personal experiences,
Smitty

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/24/18 06:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smitty,

Thanks for taking us through your thought processes. I prefer large capacity batteries for house loads. For starting, doubling the number of cells (as was often done for diesels in the 1980ties) is worth consideration.

There is nothing wrong with your choice.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 01/24/18 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a question that you can answer for yourself...

Some AGM batteries cost substantially less than the Concorde Lifeline.

Then why does the GAO therefore military specify Lifeline batteries? In the case of military hardware, batteries have to meet exacting standards including hurdling the mil-spec obstacle course. Tracing materials origin and processing from mine to shipping dock.

When I built alternators for DOD, USAF, I had to fill out dozens of pages of traceability documents and list all components used in the product. I only built 18 units, but the profit made it worthwhile. One of the main points was I used FAA PMA rated rectifiers and high-altitude approved carbon brushes. None of the alternators "left the ground". They were used in motor vehicles.

In addition, Concorde builds batteries that meet FAA PMA specification.

This is not a statement meant to belittle other manufacturers but rather food for thought.

Smitty77

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Posted: 01/24/18 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MW - On top of that - let's face it, the Lifeline's are one of the sexiest looking AGM's on the market[emoticon]! (Of course, I say the same thing about myself when looking in the mirror. And for sure, opinions vary on my conclusion...

Smitty

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 01/24/18 08:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like most people my "year or two old" battery always turns out to be five plus...

A sure sign I hate to buy batteries. When one does not live up to expectations, I do not take it gracefully.

When I departed the industry, Trojan T-105's cost $43.00 And Lifeline batteries cost darn near the same as they do today.

The shaped-like-a-six-pack-of-Falstaff Optima battery was being hyped in Costco. They turned out to be less than expected. Like the Delco "Voyager" Voyaged almost direct from the plant to the recycle center.

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