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MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 11/12/20 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Find an alternative brand to my 23 year old 2 volt cells? Or my 10-year old 31XT Lifeline that last capacity tested in the high eighties percentile?

I run into floods of obstinate "opinions" that argue my maintenance practices for instance holding a Lifeline at 14.4 volts for 8-hours when regaining access after an extended tour of heavy cycling. Then the same people remark they "only got six years service out of their Lifeline. Others wouldn't lower themselves to test a single weak sister cell very occasionally with a hydrometer and yet that is exactly how to double the life of a true premium flooded battery. Then they go on to say there is no difference.

Occasionally on the forum I encounter 12 year Lifeline owners but sadly few actual premium flooded owners who maintain their batteries correctly and flourish in their amazing lifespan.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Joined: 01/05/2007

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Posted: 11/12/20 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

Find an alternative brand to my 23 year old 2 volt cells? Or my 10-year old 31XT Lifeline that last capacity tested in the high eighties percentile?

I run into floods of obstinate "opinions" that argue my maintenance practices for instance holding a Lifeline at 14.4 volts for 8-hours when regaining access after an extended tour of heavy cycling. Then the same people remark they "only got six years service out of their Lifeline. Others wouldn't lower themselves to test a single weak sister cell very occasionally with a hydrometer and yet that is exactly how to double the life of a true premium flooded battery. Then they go on to say there is no difference.

Occasionally on the forum I encounter 12 year Lifeline owners but sadly few actual premium flooded owners who maintain their batteries correctly and flourish in their amazing lifespan.


Camping in a "RV" is typically no where near "life or death" if a battery runs out of charge or gets less than 10 yrs service from heavy abuse.

Most RVs you have a "house" battery for the camping part and then you have the "starting battery in the vehicle or chassis. NEVER use your "starting" battery or your Chassis battery for the camping part and you have some means of starting the vehicle and recharging the "house" battery.. You CAN limp along that way if needed.. Or just break camp for a few hrs to get a replacement battery.

Inconvenient? Sure. But hardly life threatening. Certainly not worth spending $300+ for a battery!

If you are camping and your life doesn't depend on it so much, go with a battery which fits your wallet comfortably. To me, the Sam's GC2s really fit my budget, the first set gave me 9 yrs of service (I could have gotten 10-12 yrs as they did have some useful capacity, but they were using twice as much water and had less capacity and I depend on them to power my home fridge conversion).

It also makes me cringe when folks suggest using Rolls or any high dollar brand name when many folks have KILLED their low cost batteries in one or two yrs..

Do you think a Rolls is going to survive that treatment any better?

I don't think so.

Fail to charge them quickly and properly after being discharged along with checking water level often enough can easily render a Rolls just as dead and just as quick as a $50 no name brand battery. You just simply flush more money down the toilet in the same amount of time.

Now if you were on a boat and totally stranded with no fuel for engine, broken engine and no solar or means to recharge, heck yeah it MIGHT be well worth having a robust battery for at min some communications, lights, GPS..

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 11/12/20 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you think a Rolls is going to survive that treatment any better?

I proved it irrefutably in white paper test studies.

But people *refuse* to learn how to recover a battery. They are too lazy to read the free Rolls battery manual download. My crankiness suggests these are the same people who blame schools for not raising their children right.

The batteries from DEKA are not the batteries from west coast US Battery yet both slap Sam's Club labels on GC220 batteries.

And out west is not the patchwork East Coast. It can easily be a four hundred mile (read destroyed vacation) to warranty Sam's Club batteries. I got caught with my drawers down on a hundred eighteen dollar Wal-Mart yellow battery. Six months old and SIX HUNDRED MILES from the nearest outlet. No they don't warrant USA batteries in Mexico. This is the bitterest of lessons.

My customers about fell over when I informed them my service calls were regularly priced at their campsite in Yosemite National Park. The consensus was I prevented a vacation from becoming destroyed. The same in Mexico.

If a person does not mind spending a hundred dollars on fuel, plus losing a campsite and a day or two of vacation, shoot, go for it.

Just to remind some of a story that I posted on this site maybe 15 years ago under MEXBUNGALOWS.

A skipper of a sailboat approached me and told me a tale of woe. The alternator on his sloop full-fielded and before it burned out, it gassed and blew up all 8 L-16 batteries on his vessel. Rolls & Surrette L16's.

Blew up means blowing football sized holes, tossing case material all inside the lazarette. It took him 20 lbs of baking soda to neutralize the corrosive acid.

I had brought down 5-gallon buckets of resin used for repairing polyethylene battery cases. I began a 5-day odyssey of Chinese puzzle reassembling eight battery cases from the plates upward. He had to rig a bimini above me to keep me from getting fried. He was convinced all was lost. I told him, if things did not work out he only owed me for materials. I must have purchased every square inch of fiberglass cloth in the large city of Manzanillo.

I had his help and that of his crew to fit the jigsaw puzzle of pieces back together. Some small pieces were gone, so I had to patch fiberglass cloth and resin to fill the holes. Three days cure time then back to the city to buy five, three-gallon boxes of electrolyte. I had to settle for R/O water. I rigged up a low pressure air tubing that fit a couple of feet into the cells to mix the electrolyte. I performed a tropical blend to 1.260 while the cell caps were curing.

I then had to do another 392 mile drive to repair his nine hundred dollar alternator. Oh lucky me. I had a 180 amp big frame ford stator at home. And 50 amp 1/2" diodes. All 12 of them.

Back north I went. The 1.1 star hotel had saved my room. The belts were changed, the Yanmar 6-cyl engine was started and I found that the Ample Power regulator had been wired wrong. I swapped terminals, the regulator ramped up after 30 seconds and settled at 14.2 volts bulk charge. A couple of hours later voltage dropped to 13.2 volts (the tropics). Jubilant wasn't the word for the skipper.

He rode with me to the hotel. Paid my bill then we went to Banamex. He wire transferred six thousand four hundred dollars into my account and slapped thirteen one hundred dollar bills into my hand. Oh yeah the vessel was a 72' Nautor Swan.

His wife took dozens and dozens of images during the work. At the 1993 Los Vegas battery convention I wandered over to the Rolls booth. I slapped the pouch on their desk and said "I'd like to relate a story" It took them a few hours to digest it all. Then I presented the final Telegram. It was from the Aegean Sea.

The vessel was on its final leg of a circumnavigation. Problem free.

And don't ask where my battery bank came from.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 11/12/20 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sam's Club is a fine battery at a good value.

Actually I don't think you can really find a significantly inferior GC2.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 11/12/20 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

Do you think a Rolls is going to survive that treatment any better?

I proved it irrefutably in white paper test studies.

But people *refuse* to learn how to recover a battery. They are too lazy to read the free Rolls battery manual download. My crankiness suggests these are the same people who blame schools for not raising their children right.



Paper "studies" often lie, they are often based on theory or flawed/skewed data.

Not saying you are lying, just saying in real life practice, most if not all of those studies are null and void the mere second the rubber hits the road in real life use.

As a reminder, RVs are land based, inconvenience happens but death is much more rare when a RV loses power.

While one can "recover" batteries, over the years I have found that it will never be what it once was once you do something stupid with it.

There are points in time when you have to realize that trying to revive a damaged, dead or dying battery becomes nothing more than traveling down the rabbit hole and the BEST way IS to prevent the need to "recover" a battery is to TAKE BETTER CARE OF THE BATTERY UP FRONT.

There is NO brand name battery which will 100% survive total abuse and recover to 100% of new capacity.. Even if you do recover it, it IS going to have significant loss in capacity.. At that time you just have top pull the plug on life support, regroup with fresh then don't repeat the same process that lead you to that rabbit hole.

Better to TEACH good battery habits on a lower cost battery than to encourage one to buy the most expensive than they destroy that battery in the same time as the previous battery they had.

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 11/12/20 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think maintenance trumps battery brand any day. When I first bought my MH folks on here told me Trojans were the best 6 v GC batteries to buy. They lasted 4 years and people said that's about right because you only dry camp. The next set were Sam's Club batteries that I bought in 2007 and paid $74 a piece about 1/2 the price of Trojans. I think they were Duracell batteries. They are still working fine after 13 years. Do I believe they are better than Trojans, no I just figured out how to maintain them better. I don't keep them on a charger 24/7, when the get to 80% or so I recharge them, only once got below 50% SOC, equalize them several times per year and never go to FHU CG's. Having said that there have been a number of posts about Costco batteries failing prematurely because they have changed brands and I'm sure Sam's Club batteries have changed since I bought mine. I also noticed as a previous poster pointed out there may be different brands at Costco or Sam's based on the region of the US you are in. My Walmart starting battery lasted 9 years in the MH because I charged it when I charged my chassis batteries. I never had a starting battery last that long in my cars only being charged from a alternator.

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

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Posted: 11/12/20 06:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

I think maintenance trumps battery brand any day. When I first bought my MH folks on here told me Trojans were the best 6 v GC batteries to buy. They lasted 4 years and people said that's about right because you only dry camp. The next set were Sam's Club batteries that I bought in 2007 and paid $74 a piece about 1/2 the price of Trojans. I think they were Duracell batteries. They are still working fine after 13 years. Do I believe they are better than Trojans, no I just figured out how to maintain them better. I don't keep them on a charger 24/7, when the get to 80% or so I recharge them, only once got below 50% SOC, equalize them several times per year and never go to FHU CG's. Having said that there have been a number of posts about Costco batteries failing prematurely because they have changed brands and I'm sure Sam's Club batteries have changed since I bought mine. I also noticed as a previous poster pointed out there may be different brands at Costco or Sam's based on the region of the US you are in. My Walmart starting battery lasted 9 years in the MH because I charged it when I charged my chassis batteries. I never had a starting battery last that long in my cars only being charged from a alternator.


I'm going with everything said here. I smoked my first batteries with lack of maintenance and flattening them a couple times Now I have Duracell/Deka's and they are lasting nice and performing well.....because I know better now!


V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax Denali. 2015 CreekSide 20fq w/450 watts solar and 465 amp/hour of batteries. Retiring in 2021, then look-out road, here we come!

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 11/13/20 05:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The subject reminds me of a needless death of a friend. He had type I diabetes. He ignored diet and insulin but concentrated on body building workouts every day. He passed away with failed kidneys.
The only way to quantify battery life is to compare time to total quantitive amp hour transactions accumulated.

If you are satisfied with your experiences with a brand of battery then that's the sole thing that matters.

But the fact remains that batteries that undergo cycling tests and use hard numbers offer irrefutable proof. I used to program various intensity discharge and recharge tests then disappear for months. For 11-years. The survivors were never off label specials. And maintenance was key. Armando, not only watered batteries he recorded ML of water added. Some tests were utterly destructive. Five amps discharge until 00.00 volts then recharged to 14.7 volts 5 amps amplitude.

When you find a battery brand that works for you Great. But don't tout the brand as an equal or superior to a proven high quality tested battery. Anyone can abuse and mistreat a battery just like they can render a Rolls Royce into scrap faster than you'd ever believe. My 11 year old Lifeline BTW tests at 92% capacity. Jesús did a brutal overcharge on my weak sister 2 volt cell and brought specific gravity back to 1.259
The key is satisfaction. Nothing sways a satisfied customer. But listen to campfire discussions and their arguments. Everyone is convinced only they are correct.

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