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Old 04-14-2008, 11:52 AM   #1
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I want to get a new battery for my Scamp. We are going out on Saturday.

My husband went and bought a "Marine Deep Cycle" from Costco yesterday (but we can return it if it's not the right kind). It dosen't say RV on it at all.

In the Scamp manual (page 9) it says they use a Marine starting battery and on the maintaince page it says to replace your battery with a RV Deep Cell battery. On the new web site they have a video that says to use the RV Deep Cell battery.

So, from what I can figure the Marine starting battery is not what to get but . . . .I'm confused -- is a Marine Deep Cycle the same as a RV Deep Cell?

Maggie
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:09 PM   #2
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. . .I'm confused -- is a Marine Deep Cycle the same as a RV Deep Cell?
Pretty much yes. Pretty much any type of deep cycle will do.

I stay away from starting batteries or combination batteries for trailer use.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:37 PM   #3
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In our Helpful links section, we have two very good tutorials on Batteries.

Battery Questions answered

A marine Deep cycle or an RV Deep cycle are what you want. The Marine ones are "Gooder" in that they address special needs for boats and marine environments, but they work fine for RVs as well.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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I have also found this 2 part article quite informative:

The 12 Volt Side of Life
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:02 PM   #5
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Thanks! For all your help.

We were going to keep the Marine Deep Cycle but turns out it was dead, so back it goes. Husband said it was the last one.

Maggie
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:35 PM   #6
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Very basically, the word Marine means the terminals are wingnut and the plates are designed differently to withstand shock/vibration.

There are three kinds of Marine batteries:

1. Starting batteries, usually labeled that. These are NFG for RV use. Will only have CCA spec.

2. Dual purpose batteries, a hybrid of starting and deep cycle. Will often have CCA and AmpHr spec. Wally labels these batts DP in the model number. Will say 'starting' in the label.

3. Deep Cycle, meant for many slow, deep discharge cycles. Will usually only have AmpHr spec. Wally labels these DC.

Number three above is better for RV use, but one could get by with number two. Number one wouldn't last long if used much. Will not have starting in label and usually says trolling.

Wise battery shopper looks at date code and buys freshest battery.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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Costco has some good prices on deep cycles too.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:01 PM   #8
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They say ignorance is bliss. I was very blissful until I read this. Im now much less blissful. I just paid $200 for a new battery at an rv repair shop. It is obvious from this article that I did not purchase the right kind. Ignorance is not bliss.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:38 PM   #9
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If they sold you a starting battery, consider going back and asking them to replace it or refund your money (less labor, maybe) because it isn't what you need. And, as an RV place, they should KNOW what you need!

A run-of-the-mill Group 24 (size that fits in your battery box on a Scamp 13') Deep Cycle from WalMart or auto parts store is less than $70. For $200, you should have received an AGM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:42 PM   #10
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I, too, am in the market for a new battery. I was in a shop today and told them I wanted "power", they told me if that's what I want I should get two 6V batteries. As long as I have the verical room, it would work and would close to triple my length of power. I was talking about a gel and they said not worth it, but even though the cost of two would be close to the same ($200ish) it would be far better.

Any feedback?
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:09 PM   #11
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Thanks Pete. I will go in tomorrow and ask more questions.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:33 PM   #12
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The BulgeMobile folks like to put in two 6V in place of two 12V. It's really not the voltage so much as it is that the 6V batteries are even better deep cycle batteries than those typically used for 12V, so it's sort of an apples and oranges kind of thing.

Typically, some one buys big RV, finds one 12V battery isn't enough and adds second one (in parallel to the first). If the two aren't closely matched and one has problems, it will drag the other one down early. Even if they are matched, they don't last long (a lot longer than starting batteries would, of course).

So, on advice of others, they get two 6V golf cart batteries, made for many more charge-discharge cycles than typical marine deep-cycle batteries. The batteries are new together, are connected in series (to produce 12V) and are slightly larger than the 12V batteries, so they have more total capacity. They perform well and last a long time. They are taller, so won't fit in standard box; they are a lot heavier because the plates are heavy and the battery is larger.

I don't have numbers handy, but doubling or tripling is way too high. More in ballpark of 20-40% more, maybe, if even that.

The BulgeMobile folks need lots of power because they are running home entertainment centers, microwaves, large fridges (and freezers), etc.

Personally, I would be inclined to just get good 12V trolling battery from someplace like Wally, with one-year warranty, and try that out for a while. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on gel or AGM, which likely have less amp-hours than the El Cheapo lead-acid battery from Wally, Costco or on sale at auto parts store.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:43 PM   #13
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I, too, am in the market for a new battery. I was in a shop today and told them I wanted "power", they told me if that's what I want I should get two 6V batteries. As long as I have the verical room, it would work and would close to triple my length of power. I was talking about a gel and they said not worth it, but even though the cost of two would be close to the same ($200ish) it would be far better.

Any feedback?
We have an Optima "Yellow Top" AGM gel-cell on our Scamp for three reasons . . . well four, if you count draining the one the trailer came with down to nothing so it wouldn't hold a charge ever again . . .

The first reason we went with an AGM battery is, if you do drain the battery down to nothing, you don't kill the poor thing. It'll survive multiple rounds of charging and complete discharge before loosing its ability to store power. Given how we killed the first one, this sounded wise. If, on the other hand, you buy a 24-month Walmart battery and kill it, you can take it back to them within that two-year period and they'll give you a full replacement at no charge.

The second reason is all batteries loose some energy as they store electricity, 10-15% for most deep cycle batteries. AGM batteries are 95+% efficient, which is very important if you depend on solar panels for your power.

The last reason is weight: they are slightly lighter than a regular lead-acid battery of the same capacity.

Two other reasons you might want an AGM battery:

First, AGM batteries don't out-gas explosive hydrogen as they charge, so you can install them inside your trailer for better towing balance or to prevent theft. (Regular lead-acid cells have to be installed outside.) Ours is installed outside anyway, so not a factor for us.

Second, AGM batteries are essentially made up of separate 2v gell-cells wired together. Connect three cells together and you have a 6V battery. Connect 6 togther and you get 12V. There is functionally no difference between two 6V AGM batteries and one 12V other than the two 6V have a wire that connects the two of them together and the two 6V cells take up a little more space than the one 12V.

If we didn't have the solar setup I'd probably go with the Walmart deep cycle marine battery. They're about $60; the Optima was $160.

--Peter
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:35 PM   #14
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+1 on the optima yellow-top... i've used the same one in my car for ~7 years with no problems, even in sub-zero temps... they are also a bit lighter than the non-gel batteries, so you save a bit of weight, which is good if you plan to have 2 batteries... you can also mount them sideways, if space is restricted... & in an accident, you won't have acid all over the place... i also think they come with a lifetime warranty, but i may be wrong about that...
when i saw this topic, i was going to ask if the optimas will work with a solar-charging system... i like the way it has worked in my car, so i wanted to be certain they will work for my trailer...
thanks peterh, for the info...
--- steven
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