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Old 11-16-2016, 04:38 PM   #21
Raz
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Buying batteries these days it's hard to be sure you're getting the quality you expect or want. Brands don't mean as much as they used to and it seems a lot of them are made in the same factory and just have different labels. For instance, Johnson Controls is the largest manufacturer of automotive batteries. The trend for quite a while now is for a new manufacturer to come out with a fine battery and build their reputation. Then let the quality gradually slip until some other brand comes along and beats them. Exide, Motorcraft and Die Hard are good examples of this. Now Interstate seems to be going the same way. I have some 20 year old Delcos that are still hanging on, but I've also had them fail in less than a year.

So, reputation is good, but certainly not everything. Warrantees are good, so Costco and Walmart seem like good bets. Even better might be to simply buy the heaviest battery in a given class you are looking for (more lead).

Or buy a Trojan. Expensive, but very likely to be good.

Whatever you get, keep them on a battery tender or smart charger, when not in use.

Eventually we'll all be using lithium ion batteries and be much better off because of it.
Actually, I bought a Lifeline AGM. So far, so good
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:51 PM   #22
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Raz,

That could be a very good choice. Optima had a problem with a bunch of them, but they seem to be OK now. I have one in my Samurai and one in my Jeep.

Is there an advantage to them in trailers?
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:33 PM   #23
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Raz,

That could be a very good choice. Optima had a problem with a bunch of them, but they seem to be OK now. I have one in my Samurai and one in my Jeep.

Is there an advantage to them in trailers?
They are very pricey, $250 for a group 24! But they claim up to 1000 charge/discharge cycles. I got 8 years from my first one. The 3 way fridge got put on DC for a very long time. I blame the dog.

Safety was my concern. They are the only lead acid that UPS will deliver. Our trailers are always on which means connect/disconnect causes a spark. One way to avoid a big boom.

Finally, they are very low maintenance. My battery will sit in the basement all winter. In February I'll put it on the charger for a day. It will be down from 12.9 to about 12.7 volts.

Since I plan on keeping my trailer for a while........
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Old 11-16-2016, 06:10 PM   #24
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Raz,

That could be a very good choice. Optima had a problem with a bunch of them, but they seem to be OK now. I have one in my Samurai and one in my Jeep.

Is there an advantage to them in trailers?

FYI - Optima is made by Johnson Controls.
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Old 11-16-2016, 06:37 PM   #25
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I have had good results from Odyssey. We use a small one (PC680) for aircraft and two of them for UPS in industrial l/O cabinets.
Pricey though.


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Old 11-18-2016, 12:57 PM   #26
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Fascinating. So, high voltage is not enough for anti-sulfating, we need the amps too?
...
Can you tell I'm well-practiced in the art of extended analysis and immediate inaction?
Different purposes. Pushing the voltage up above 'full charge' and holding it there for a bit equalizes the cells. That's a good thing to do, and even a BT Junior will manage it on any battery over time as long as the voltage leakdown rate (self discharge plus any parasitic loads) is less than the charge rate.

Pushing current through a full battery also causes it to hydrolyze the electrolyte into hydrogen and oxygen. More current = more bubbles per unit time. Too much of this is definitely a bad thing, and is why an old-school trickle/float charger can't be left running unattended on a battery for weeks or months - you have to stop putting current through the battery at some point. Knowing when to stop is what differentiates a battery maintainer from a trickle charger.

Flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries also need some kind of agitation to keep the electrolyte from stratifying in bad ways. You get this for free in any kind of a vehicle that's moving. The bad news is that trailer batteries generally don't move around during winter storage. Overcharging the battery for a few hours at a high enough current will generate some gas and stir the electrolyte. This is something that people with stationary battery banks on solar systems do regularly to maintain battery health. As long as you check your electrolyte levels periodically and top up as needed to replace the electrolyzed water you'll be fine.

My SOP is to turn the converter off (I have it on its own circuit breaker) when the trailer is pickled unless I anticipate using a lot of 12V (say, running the MaxxFan for a while). I then hook up a battery maintainer to the battery and let it do its thing. I find myself messing with the trailer periodically through the winter, so it's not a big deal to flip the switch on the Schauer over to manual for a while to let it stir the electrolyte after a month or two - I do have to remember to turn it back off, though...
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Old 11-18-2016, 02:25 PM   #27
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I quit fretting a while back...

NOCO 12-24V 7200mA Battery Charger G7200

on to other problems/solutions
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