Preferred Deep Cycle Battery Brands? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:23 PM   #1
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What brands of deep cycle batteries are people using with these small campers? Are there certain brands that are recognized as better quality in general? Are certain brands better for use with solar panels as opposed to different recharging methods? I'm just curious.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:12 AM   #2
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WalMart Because when you boil out all the water with a cheep converter you can take it back to any Walmart and get a totally free replacement provided you purchased the 3 year total replacement one.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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Darwin

That's the smartest thing I've read on this site in over a year. It solves the problem of when you ruin a battery by charging dry, etc and you can get a replacement for free all over the nation.

Thanks for your continued great suggestions as I appreciate each and every one of them. It seams that you are always a straight shooter and right on with your advice.

Art
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:31 PM   #4
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You can’t go wrong with the Trojan deep cycle batteries. I get satisfaction from having good products that will last, and I take care of and watch my equipment, so purchasing a superior battery like the Trojan makes sense.

All batteries deserve a good 3 to 4 stage charger. This component, along with keeping water levels up, and not discharging the battery beyond 50% of its rated capacity, are three things that maximize battery life. Solar panels are a source of EMF just like shore power. Each will go through a controller that ideally provides the 3 to 4 stages of charging. During the bulk stage of charging, the max current is limited by the size of the converter or the size of the solar panels. Smaller solar panels, like those found on most campers, limit the current by their size during the bulk stage of charging. This would be the only reason to purchase a more efficient battery like an AGM.

Whichever battery brand you choose, I found it best to buy a true deep cycle battery.

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Old 04-03-2009, 07:14 PM   #5
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The answer depends somewhat on how you use your trailer and your battery.

For cheap batteries, you can't go wrong with Walmart deep cycle because they provide a full replacement when you kill your battery, there are Walmart stores almost everywhere, and there are lots of ways to kill a cheap battery. (Fully discharging it, over charging it, forgetting to add water.)

If you rely on your house battery for several days of power per charge and want something more reliable, consider a Trojan AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery. AGM batteries are more resistant to the sulphation process that rapidly kills standard lead-acid batteries when you discharge them below 50% of their fully charged capacity, so they last twice or even three times as long as a cheap deep cycle battery and hold more charge as they age than the cheaper alternative.

In other words, a year or two down the line a Walmart battery might test "good" according to the store (and therefore not be accepted as a candidate for warranty replacement) but not hold anywhere near as much charge as it did when it was new, while an AGM battery will retain allmost all its charge capacity.

A word to the wise on AGM batteries is that you have to be careful not to overcharge them. AGM batteries are more subject to damage by charging them at too high a voltage than standard lead-acid batteries are, and you can really screw them up if your "float charge" setting is too high. Their other disadvantage of AGM batteries is they cost twice as much as a Walmart special.

The last option is a hybrid battery called a "spiral cell" battery. Sold under the Optima brand name and some third-party labels, Optima batteries are a variation on the AGM design and benefit or suffer from all the advantages listed above for AGM cells, but their "spiral cell" design has two advantages over the traditional AGM design. First, they are very resistant to damage due to shaking and vibration, so you find them a lot in off-road vehicles and the like. That's not very valuable to an RV owner, but if you're an RV owner who depends on solar panels for your electricity, the spiral cell design stores and releases your solar panel's electrical output more efficiently than the other two designs mentioned here. The trade-off is that, dollar-for-dollar, Optima batteries cost more than twice as much as an AGM battery on a per amp-hour total capacity, so if your plans don't include solar panels, they probably aren't worth the extra money.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:51 PM   #6
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I like the Kirkland from Costco. Cheap and you know they are made by a larger company anyway.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:31 PM   #7
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I'd think you would also want to take into consideration the future replacement. If you're a traveler and if Murphy's Law is always around, you may want to purchase a battery where you know you can return it if needed. Nothing worse than buying a product and then finding yourself miles from the point of purchase. In other words if I was traveling coast-to-coast I'd probably buy it from a national chain than a local battery manufacturer. Just an idea.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:45 AM   #8
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After careful consideration, It seemed to make more economic sense for me to go the cheaper route. so, I went with the group 29 from Walmart. It cost $84 total, making it's yearly cost $42/year if it craps out in 2 years and just $28/year if it makes it to three years. And when it does go, there are Walmarts everywhere to haggle over it's replacement. If I later learn I am wrong, I'll upgrade then if I feel its needed. But it will take some convincing, and I have a three-stage converter.
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:05 AM   #9
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The problem I have with buying cheaper, even with the comfort of knowing you have a nation wide warranty by buying somewhere like Walmart, is that sure you can replace it for free if it does go, but if you factor in a cost for your time having to deal with it, it then is often not worth it. If it takes a 2 or 3 hours of your time to remove it, take it in for replacement, then reinstall reinstall it, you could have probably covered the cost of your time with upgrading to a better quality battery in the first place.

Besides, most of these things fail right after the warranty expires anyway.

I buy lots of cheap stuff where their usage and reliability is not critical, but in places like batteries, tires, any thing where safety is involved and so on, quality is most often worth paying for.

With batteries, I believe it ends up being a better value to buy quality over cheap in most cases, especially when they last longer, perform better, and can save you time.
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:45 AM   #10
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Pull into WalMart, get your oil changed and do the bad battery at the same time and let your spouse save even more $$ on the Wallyworld sales. If it got any easier than that, it would be a crime.

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Old 04-04-2009, 07:49 AM   #11
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On second thought, purchase one of those DEEEEP Cycle $150 batteries that really last, put on the front of your trailer, and see just how long it remains there. (They are some kind of coil technology and are one of the following colors Yellow, Red or Blue)
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:10 AM   #12
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After learning the hard way about how NOT to treat a wet cell battery my present group 27 Deep Cycle Marine Battery from WalMart is 3 years old and still going strong.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:12 AM   #13
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There is nothing wrong with the so called cheap batteries from WalMart. You don't actually think WalMart makes their own batteries do you? All that stuff (including Costco's KIRKLAND brand) are made by the big companies...like Energizer, Exide, ect. and then bought in bulk companies by the big box stores and marketed under their name....why pay for the name brand sticker on the side?
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:22 AM   #14
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Kurt is right, those companies don't make their own batteries. However, we can't be assured the batteries are built to the same standards if badged with different names. In fact you are almost guaranteed they're not. Isn't it nice to have choices based on need/want and budget!
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #15
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Donna is right, for example I know that Home Depots plumbing fixtures are not always equal to the same model that a plumber would get from a wholesale supplier.

A good AGM or L-16 deep cycle battery properly maintained and not overcharged should last up to 8 years.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with Walmart batteries, there are just better ones made out there.

I prefer to keep my batteries inside, and modified my current trailer to house them in a bench inside a sealed chamber. The new Escape I am getting has them inside too.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:08 PM   #16
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No votes for the AC Delco Voyager? I just installed one in mine a month ago and have only used it for the one week in Florida.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:49 PM   #17
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As most of the eggs come with inexpensive converters that do not have the smart charger capability and tend to boil the water out of the sealed tight battery that seems to indicate that one should either get the least expensive 3 year replacement battery, or invest in a more expensive converter and an AGM battery.

When the math is finalized, the 3 year total replacement battery from WalMart, BJ’s Wholesale, Costco or Sam’s Club will prove to be the most cost effective hands down over the up conversion of the converter and AGM.

Do the math and prove this theory wrong.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:21 PM   #18
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On second thought, purchase one of those DEEEEP Cycle $150 batteries that really last, put on the front of your trailer, and see just how long it remains there. (They are some kind of coil technology and are one of the following colors Yellow, Red or Blue)
Lest the Fairy Tale continue, as we have discussed on the Forum before, the Optima batteries are *NOT* DEEEEEP cycle, rather they are a hybrid of deep cycle and starting and don't have as many Amp-hours as a typical El Cheapo flooded lead-acid from many sources -- They may last twice as long, but typically cost in excess of twice as much...

Optima - Hybrid
Wally Trolling - Deep cycle
Trojan Deep Cycle - DEEEEP cycle

See PeterH's comments above in this thread for more info on the Optima and Trojan.

Batteries can be a fragile thing subject to failure from outside (Bad TV charging system, bad converter charging system) and can be stolen (been there), so I am personally reluctant to get anything but the El Cheapo -- YMMV!
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:56 PM   #19
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I go with the Walmart idea, when you stick with name brands and something goes bad on the road you have to find a dealer if you are stuck on the same brand the blew. Walmart, because there is one in every town you walk in as I did with or without a sales slip they look at how long you have owned it and your on your way in 15 minutes with a brand new one. Sometimes it doesn't matter how well you take care of stuff it still goes south.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:48 AM   #20
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No votes for the AC Delco Voyager? I just installed one in mine a month ago and have only used it for the one week in Florida.
In my last Boler i use 4 years a delco voyager size 24 and i dont have nothing problem and for fishing i use delco voyager size 27 since 3 year and it is perfect with my trooling motor
When i bought my scamp 16 4 years ago it come with a optima batterie and it work great again same if I l' have to empty complete several times and it was full of power again

For me delco voyager and optima are great battery and optima require no servicing
when i bought my scamp i have equiped it with an intlli-power converter and i love it , battery always full chage , no overchage a full power when i have 110 v acces and when i have a dry camping i run a 2000i honda when it require to chage battery for me it is a great set up
Alway same thing, escuse my english i speak it just a bit !!!
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