What kind of Battery to buy. . . Marine Deep Cycle okay? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-15-2008, 10:34 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1994 Bigfoot 21 ft
Posts: 6
Quote:
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

how come you didn't go with the blue-top optima?*


__________________

__________________
Simon B Astin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 11:14 AM   #16
Member
 
Maggie S.'s Avatar
 
Name: Maggie
Trailer: 1990 16 ft Scamp Deluxe
California
Posts: 52
Pete--

What is Wally? Is it Wal-mart?

Thanks for the coding -- it seems we got a hybrid.
***
The Optima battery sounds like a good ($) battery esp if we want to put in solar later on. The website says the blue top is for RV's, so wondering about the yellow top usage for trailer? Is the yellow top better for the solar usage?
***
Glad this posting has helped some other battery shoppers.
I don't feel quite so confused, or alone in my confussion, now!

Maggie

__________________

__________________
Maggie S. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 01:15 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Former Casita 17 ft owner
Posts: 1,498
Just a note on AGM (page way down). AGM (absorbed glass mat) and gel-cell are not the same battery chemistry.

Optima's starting batteries are gel-cel; they call them SPIRALCELL because of the way they are constructed.
__________________
Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 03:04 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Indeed, Wally is WalMart. Deals on batteries can be found at big box auto stores, Costco, Sam's, KMart, etc. If one intends to travel out of local region, then nation-wide sources of tires, batteries, etc. should be considered.

Here are some thoughts to consider before spending extra $$ on AGM. It's your money and your choice:

1. AGMs are effectively just a lead-acid battery with the acid in a sponge instead of a puddle.

2. Most (all?) batteries are composed of smaller cells, but the cells may have different construction, like designed for starting or deep cycle or something between. That's why it's not good to mix battery types in a string. AGMs seem to be dual purpose because starting is mentioned on specs and description, but that may be less of a drawback than with a flooded dual purpose battery.

3. Although they outgas H2 less than the flooded batteries, they still outgas. Post from another RV group:

"The NEC made no exceptions for the battery venting requirements in RV's.

The AGM battery manufacturers are careful to state the batteries must be vented.

If you can find an AGM battey manufacturer that has an exemption for venting, please post a link. You'll be the first - no one in the past has found a manufacturer with an exemption."

That said, I know of many folks who have mounted AGMs inside van campers, etc., even on their sides (but not upside down). I also know of folks who have mounted flooded batteries inside, as they used to do in some vehicles like VW. I would do the former, but not the latter.

4. AGM's come in smaller Amp-Hour capacities than typical flooded battery of same nominal size. OP was looking for more power, not less.

5. AGM's reportedly last longer than flooded, but not as long as they used to. They were having troubles with improper charging systems damaging them; reportedly they were redesigned to tolerate a greater voltage range but in the process, they lost some expected life. I believe they also fixed the thermal runaway problem that was happening with the early AGMS.

6. AGM's will tolerate a lot faster recharge rate than flooded batteries.

7. As to economics, I don't believe an AGM compared to a series of flooded batteries is going to prove in. It would be more convenient, however, not having to replace battery for longer number of years. Add to the equation that the warranty on the AGM will expire much sooner than a series of warranties on flooded batteries.

8. Having had a battery stolen from the tongue of my Scamp, I was darned glad it wasn't an AGM -- That would really affect the life-cycle economics... If one's battery is mounted inside, it would be safer and of less concern on this score.

When the AGMs start dropping in price and start replacing the flooded cells, then I will consider them again, but for now I will continue to use flooded cells. YMMV!
__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 04:27 PM   #19
Member
 
Maggie S.'s Avatar
 
Name: Maggie
Trailer: 1990 16 ft Scamp Deluxe
California
Posts: 52

Thanks for all the input . . . now I know what I really want is a "true" Marine Deep Cycle Battery as I can discharge that down 80%. . . that Wal-mart, and other big boxes, sell those inexpensively with a warranty. (I know now that this kind of battery says DC on the Wally label & will look for that). The battery dosen't have to be purchased from a RV speciality shop.

I also know now to look on the label of a Marine Battery to make sure it doesn’t say CA or MCAA as then it is not a true Deep Cell, but a hybrid, and it should not be discharged more than 50%. Although, it still could be used for this purpose.

Considering expense, the $50 - $70 "true" Marine Deep Cycle Battery sounds like it will do the job, without breaking the bank. We mostly go out for just weekends, so this should be enough power.

Thanks again,
Maggie
__________________
Maggie S. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:45 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 2002 13 ft Casita
Posts: 114
Post

Pete, you were right. I did purchase an AGM battery. Obviously not an informed purchase, but it's done now and it sounds like this battery will work fine.
__________________
Kathy Davisson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:59 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,519
Registry
Quote:
how come you didn't go with the blue-top optima?
The blue-top battery can deliver more cranking amps (more power over a shorter period of time) than the yellow top. I may be quite wrong about his, but my understanding is that the more amps a battery can deliver under duress, the less efficient it is in absorbing and storing new power.

Quote:
Just a note on AGM (page way down). AGM (absorbed glass mat) and gel-cell are not the same battery chemistry.

Optima's starting batteries are gel-cel; they call them SPIRALCELL because of the way they are constructed.
I believe they are AGM batteries assembled in a spiral pattern. See their diagram.

--Peter
__________________
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #22
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
Other folks have different experience, but.. I will give you mine as well.

I have a group 24 Wally World RV Deep cycle battery. It has performed just as well as any of my Interstate batteries, and I have "OOPSED" and discharged it pretty deeply a couple of times.

I run around 60 watts of solar and find it charges the battery for "my" needs nicely every day, even overcast ones. With my furnace, 45 watts was not enough to get me through an evening with anything more than "get the chill off" heat" and lights. Now I can run the furnace more and watch a DVD or something too. (I have 30 more watts to add and I should be really stylin then)

Anyway, I trust when Peter says that AGMs can withstand a bigger discharge than a regular battery, but I find that I rarely, if ever, run my battery into the ground enough to worry about battery life being shortened.

I have quit paying the 120 bones for an Interstate, and even if I replace the Wally Battery every 3-4 years, I still come out ahead a few bucks. The Wally World one cost 49 bones.. but I am sure the price has gone up since last summer when I bought it.
__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:48 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Quote:
Pete, you were right. I did purchase an AGM battery. Obviously not an informed purchase, but it's done now and it sounds like this battery will work fine.
If you got an AGM, then you will be alright; treat it well and it will last a long time. Many informed people have chosen to go with AGM because they feel the benefits are justified, esp the one about no maintenance.

In this case, we are sort of picking hairs. Just don't let it get stolen...

The Optima batteries are quite popular with the 4x4 rock-climbing crowd because they can take a beating, even be turned upside down, and not be harmed.

I forgot to mention, I would expect that the lack of acid on the outside top would lead to less corrosion at the battery terminals, thereby making the system more reliable.
__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2008, 05:52 PM   #24
Member
 
Maggie S.'s Avatar
 
Name: Maggie
Trailer: 1990 16 ft Scamp Deluxe
California
Posts: 52
Thanks for all your expert advice.

I ended up getting the Costco group 24 Marine Deep Cycle battery for about $58. It has a 36 month warranty.

Maggie


__________________
Maggie S. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2008, 01:33 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Dan Meyer's Avatar
 
Name: Dan
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
Posts: 559
Here is another good reference about the 12 volt electrical system in your trailer; it contains a lot of information about batteries as well.

http://www.phrannie.org/battery.html

-- Dan Meyer
__________________
Dan Meyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2008, 01:52 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
Maggie,

I added two 6-volt deep-cycle golf cart batteries to my setup.

I plan to do a lot of camping without shore power and this is the way to go.

Presently, with my trailer parked in my yard, I just use the old battery that came with the trailer and connect a regular battery charger to it to power my lights, stereo etc.

This battery on its own will only last about an hour because it is worn out. However since I am plugged all the time this is not a concern to me. My good batteries are presently in warm storage hooked up to a smart charger and will be transferred to the trailer once I start camping.

Check out my post in modifications. Kevin61 1976 Boler restoration

Most of the photos are on Facebook and you may have to join to view them. I am in the process of transferring the photos to a site that is easier to access.

Hope this helps
__________________
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2010, 12:24 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Radar1's Avatar
 
Name: Dave (and/or John)
Trailer: Scamp 16 SD std layout 6
Georgia
Posts: 766
Registry
Anyone thinking of buying an Optima Blue top battery should note that there are 2 different blue tops, so make sure you get the right one! This is from Optima's website;

"BlueTop: The BlueTop starting battery (dark gray case) is to be used when a dedicated starting battery is required and it should never be used for cycling duty. The dual purpose BlueTop (light gray case) can be used for both starting and deep cycling; it is a true deep cycle battery with extremely high cranking power.

Trolling motors, marine applications with heavy electrical accessories and RVs should use a dual purpose BlueTop (which is both a starting and deep cycle battery)
Use a BlueTop starting battery for marine applications and RVs when the battery’s only function is engine starting
Note: The difference between BlueTop and YellowTop deep cycle batteries is that BlueTop batteries have both automotive (SAE) posts and threaded posts, while YellowTops (other than D31T) only have SAE posts.

If you ever get confused on the color tops just remember: if it has a dark gray case then it is a starting battery; if it has a light gray case then it is a deep cycle (dual purpose) battery."

They also confirm the battery needs to be vented if placed inside a passenger compartment, and that their batteries have ports for connecting a vent hose.

John
__________________
Radar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 09:30 PM   #28
Junior Member
 
TravelRN's Avatar
 
Name: Joey
Trailer: 1994 16' Casita
Florida
Posts: 23
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booker B. View Post
I have also found this 2 part article quite informative:

The 12 Volt Side of Life
I just read your post. WOW! You are good!!! Excellant information on 12 volt and things to do that make boondocking easier.
__________________

__________________
TravelRN is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Two 6 volt vs. 12 volt deep cycle kevin242 Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 15 05-13-2017 10:52 AM
Deep Cycle vs Marine Deep Cycle? Shelley Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 5 12-17-2016 06:23 AM
Help! New Dometic refer too deep... Robert Johans Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 03-15-2010 12:26 PM
Motor Cycle Rider and Little Girl Larry&Carrie Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 0 08-22-2009 07:44 PM
Preferred Deep Cycle Battery Brands? Pamela S. Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 28 04-12-2009 07:20 PM

» Trailer Showcase

Burro

Azurko

The Pebble

BCPaul
» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.