New Battery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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New Battery

I've got to get a new battery for my 13' Scamp. It currently has a Marine 24 AG(?) battery. When replacing what should I get? Is a sealed battery better than a non sealed? Should I go higher than a 24? How much higher? Did look at Gel batteries, whooh!! One person said they are great, another said they weren't. Can they be bought at places like Wal-Mart, Sears, etc?
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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A gel battery does not need to be vented, but they are expensive.

I'd get the biggest battery that fits in your allotted space. You can look up the dimensions on line and compare to your battery box. Walmart and Costco are good places to buy a battery.

Interstate Batteries
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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If you currntly have the usual Group 24 box and battery on the tongue, a 27 or 29 battery usually won't fit, but a replacement box is less than $15 in the size you need.

A larger battery will add a bit of tongue weight, but the added capacity is worth it.

I always upgrade 24's to at least a Group 27.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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I've used my Group 74 amp hour batteries for over 7 years. I thought about going bigger, but I doubt it's worth it. The single best thing I've done is to replace all interior and porch lights with LED lights.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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Gel are nice but probably not worth the expense if it is mounted outside.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Gel are nice but probably not worth the expense if it is mounted outside.
Gel Cell batteries have a different preferred charge rate than flooded cell batteries. In my case I suspect that a Gel Cell if connected to my tow would explode from too high a charge rate.
Example of how fast the charge rate is. The battery in my second vehicle was completely discharged (5.5 volts). It took it out of and jumped to the tow battery, started in engine and with 15 minutes it was up to a full charge. I don't know what the charge current was, but I doubt the a Gel Cell could have handled it.
I blew up an SLA flooded cell with a 10 amp charge rate a couple years ago.

Be careful.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:24 PM   #7
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For dollar value a gel would not be the best choice.
They are maintenance free though no need to check the level.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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Since I only have one battery in my Scamp 13', I wanted the maximum amp hours, and the ability to replace it under the warranty if I was traveling. There's always a Walmart around with long hours--sometimes 24hrs. So I went to my local Walmart and I bought the largest battery that would fit into the box. For me it was the EverStart Group 29 for under $100. Sometimes they're on sale though if you can wait. So far, I'm happy with it. I went with measurements and a tape measure in hand.
EverStart Maxx Group Size 29 Marine Battery: Automotive : Walmart.com
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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I have no idea why anyone would buy a gel battery for RV use today (decades ago, maybe). The modern sealed battery is an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) design. That's what's in all those portable booster/power packs, power wheelchairs, etc.

Having said that, there is little reason for an AGM battery in an RV; the liquid level doesn't need to be checked or corrected very often in a conventional flooded battery, and AGM's ability to operate while tilted at extreme angles is not an issue for normal travel trailers.

AGM batteries - in a very restricted selection of sizes - are available from the usual retail sources (WalMart, Costco, automotive stores, RV stores...) if desired. A better selection of sizes (and different brands) are available from speciality battery stores.

A flooded battery with no readily removable caps is called "maintenance free", which mostly means that you can't do the maintenance which it should have (checking liquid level in a fully charged state, and correcting with distilled water only if necessary). To make this more acceptable, "maintenance free" batteries might have extra electrolyte, as a reserve. This type of battery is not sealed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I blew up an SLA flooded cell with a 10 amp charge rate a couple years ago.
"SLA" means "Sealed Lead Acid". What's a SLA flooded cell/battery? While a gel or AGM design works with only a pressure relief valve (so they are called Valve-Regulated Lead Acid batteries), a flooded cell needs venting, right?
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I have no idea why anyone would buy a gel battery for RV use today (decades ago, maybe). The modern sealed battery is an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) design. That's what's in all those portable booster/power packs, power wheelchairs, etc.

Having said that, there is little reason for an AGM battery in an RV; the liquid level doesn't need to be checked or corrected very often in a conventional flooded battery, and AGM's ability to operate while tilted at extreme angles is not an issue for normal travel trailers.

AGM batteries - in a very restricted selection of sizes - are available from the usual retail sources (WalMart, Costco, automotive stores, RV stores...) if desired. A better selection of sizes (and different brands) are available from speciality battery stores.

A flooded battery with no readily removable caps is called "maintenance free", which mostly means that you can't do the maintenance which it should have (checking liquid level in a fully charged state, and correcting with distilled water only if necessary). To make this more acceptable, "maintenance free" batteries might have extra electrolyte, as a reserve. This type of battery is not sealed.


"SLA" means "Sealed Lead Acid". What's a SLA flooded cell/battery? While a gel or AGM design works with only a pressure relief valve (so they are called Valve-Regulated Lead Acid batteries), a flooded cell needs venting, right?

Call it Maintenance Free if you like, the point is still the same. Word smith and find fault if you have nothing better to do.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Call it Maintenance Free if you like, the point is still the same. Word smith and find fault if you have nothing better to do.
I think this means that Byron blew up a flooded battery without removable caps, not a gel or AGM.

I'm not trying to find fault - I'm just trying to help the member who will get the wrong type of battery if he asks for the wrong thing.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:56 PM   #12
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Your explanation helped me Brian. I was thoroughly confused when shopping. They told me the EverStart Max was maintenance free and that adding water would actually void the warranty. I wondered though if I should have gone with a gel or AGM instead. I feel better after reading the differences. The EverStart seems to be very adequate for my needs...but only time will really tell.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post

Having said that, there is little reason for an AGM battery in an RV; the liquid level doesn't need to be checked or corrected very often in a conventional flooded battery, and AGM's ability to operate while tilted at extreme angles is not an issue for normal travel trailers.
I bought an AGM battery for three reasons.

1- Since my trailer is always on (parasitic current), I like to disconnect the battery when not in use. I notice there is always a small spark. The sealed nature makes them safer.

2- they have a very slow rate of self discharge. I charged the battery last October. I measured the voltage this morning. It's down to 12.45 V. No off season charging needed.

3- the typical marine battery has a charge-discharge cycle life of about 100 - 300 cycles. LifeLine, the brand I purchased, claims up to a 1000 cycles. Time will tell on that. This will be my sixth season.

I paid $230 for the battery, delivered. That's the cost of 3 marine batteries. To me the safety and convenience is worth the cost. If I break even so much the better. Raz
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