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 > Batteries - simple question

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MKirkland

Washington state

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Posted: 04/11/20 04:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you found the no maintenance (12 volt) batteries worth the price that you pay extra for them? Our RV shop doesn't even carry them, but they came on our 2011 trailer and probably are due to be replaced. I would have to go to a special battery store to get them.

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 04/11/20 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you talking about maintenance free flooded batteries or AGM batteries? Personally I wouldn't get maintenance free flooded batteries as I would want to be able to check and add water when needed. I think I could get a few more years of life out of them being able to do that.
AGM batteries are another matter. If you really use your batteries hard, particularly in cold weather then AGMs are probably worth the expense. If you basically never camp without plugging in then there's no reason to buy expensive batteries.

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 04/11/20 06:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MKirkland wrote:

Have you found the no maintenance (12 volt) batteries worth the price that you pay extra for them?


AGM, YES!

The batteries in my truck camper were extremely difficult to check / add water to because they sit so high when the camper is on the truck. When I replaced them in 2015 I went AGM and will NEVER use wet call batteries again.

Look for a DEKA battery dealer.


2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2009 Arctic Fox 811 (bought new 11/9/09)
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2008 Haulmark 8.5x20 toy box trailer

La Gasser

Louisiana

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Posted: 04/11/20 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X2 on AGM batteries - my 1st experience with them was on a 2008 camper with Lifeline brand. Traded the camper in 9 years later and still had the original batteries. New trailer going on 3 years with Interstate AGM batteries with no problems. In most cases the batteries on rv's are hard to access to check and water levels plus some build up acid on the posts. With AGM, no water to check and no acid to clean. I wouldn't have any other type of battery on an rv even though they costs more. AGM batteries can be shipped by UPS unlike flooded batteries.

Lwiddis

Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area

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Posted: 04/11/20 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since I enjoy maintaining my TT I don’t mind checking my batteries. Wet is fine for me.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 04/11/20 08:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have had only standard batteries in our 2007 5er ever since we bought it new and have never had a problem with them. Currently on our third battery in 13 years, about 5 yrs life each. And even at that I replace them before they begin to get weak. We are always hooked up to electric when traveling and when in storage. Never any problem with build up on the terminals at all. Adding water is only slightly difficult to the back cells, but not bad enough to warrant getting maintenance free. I just use a turkey baster to add water to the cells.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 04/11/20 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

La Gasser wrote:

X2 on AGM batteries - my 1st experience with them was on a 2008 camper with Lifeline brand. Traded the camper in 9 years later and still had the original batteries. New trailer going on 3 years with Interstate AGM batteries with no problems. In most cases the batteries on rv's are hard to access to check and water levels plus some build up acid on the posts. With AGM, no water to check and no acid to clean. I wouldn't have any other type of battery on an rv even though they costs more. AGM batteries can be shipped by UPS unlike flooded batteries.


[emoticon]

Hate to tell you, with VERY LITTLE "maintenance", wet cells CAN easily last 11 to 12 yrs with very little loss of capacity.

My current TT, I just changed my set of 6V wet cell GC2s, that set was 10 yrs old.

The ONLY reason I changed them was I DEPEND on that pair to run my home fridge conversion while driving and overnighting and the old set had lost about 10%-15% of it's new capacity.

I have easily had flooded auto starting batteries go 15 yrs before they lost enough capacity to start in zero degree weather.

Folks who PUSH AGMs as the ONLY solution are doing folks a disfavor.

Not everyone will benefit using AGMs.

Depending on your camping style, the cheapest no maintenance group24 RV/marine battery for $50 will be fine and give 8-10 yrs of use with proper good converter/charger.

AGMs by their nature have nearly 10%-20% LESS capacity for the same size. You WILL pay 20%-50% HIGHER PRICE.

I have never had to "clean up" acid with my wet GC batteries and pretty much no other automotive batteries. If you having to clean up Acid you HAVE a problem with that battery, either the terminal seals, over charging or too much electrolyte.

I should take a photo of my 6V GC battery terminals and post it some time, they are clean enough to eat off.. No corrosion, no acid, no grease, no dirt... And I have done NOTHING to them, no cleaning, no nothing.

As far as watering goes, as wet cells age, you will need to add some, but if you have a GOOD converter/charger it will be minimal. when my last set was 8 or nine yrs old, typically only needed 20 oz of water for all 6 cells per yr. Not a big deal like most folks here would have folks believe.

And if you have an absolute hate for watering or they are in a difficult place to get to, then buy a self watering kit, it can be reused on the next set of GC batts.

My wet GC2s are in a bay and are tucked back in that bay, they sit in a plastic bin, they are hard to slide in an out so I only check the water level once a year..

I am pleased with the performance and life of my wet GC2s and I spent less money and have 20% more capacity, they capacity is what I need. With AGMs I would have to have 2 pairs of GC2 size to get the capacity my fridge needs..

Believe it or not folks, you REALLY do not have to buy "designer" or "exotic" batteries to camp..

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 04/11/20 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

if your just a easy going week end ,week or too a summer camper wet cell from wal mart will do just fine ,wal mart deep cycle marine will handle the job.and mine are four years old still in good shape.

freetime58

Winnipeg

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Posted: 04/11/20 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Northstar Pure Lead AGM batteries are some of the best you can buy. 4 year free replacement warranty, not prorated, absolutely free replacement. They sure stand behind their product. I run 4 group 31's in my boat and have one grp 31 on my trailer, been flawless for me. AGM batteries self discharge at a far slower rate than Flooded Lead Acid batteries, charge twice as quick and can sustain many more charge/discharge cycles! Expensive but worth every penny, no brainer for me!

https://www.northstarbattery.com/product/nsb-agm31

freetime58

Winnipeg

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Posted: 04/11/20 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

AGMs by their nature have nearly 10%-20% LESS capacity for the same size.


What????? Not true at all. A quick check of group 31 specs from Northstar AGM, Exide, Interstate and Trojan for Flooded Lead Acid proves you completely wrong! LOL Northstar AGM had better specs than all but one example, that one example was tough as they used a different discharge rate in their testing than all the others.....which is something to watch for when comparing specs....some manufacturers use a lower discharge rate to get better numbers.

Now if you're talking Opitma........ Spiral cell AGM battery, they are terrible with some of the lowest capacities in the industry. Stay away from Optima!!!!

* This post was edited 04/11/20 02:48pm by freetime58 *

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