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Old 06-08-2015, 01:14 PM   #1
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AGM or low maintence

Right now I have what appear to be four low maintenance batteries for engine.
They are the DEKA OEM 925 CCA and are sealed and have the CC label on them.
They are getting to the point of needing replacement.
The Exide AGM are $223 each but I can get wet cells for $76 each. I don't mind checking them and adding distilled water as needed, it's not that big a job.

I know the AGM's are probably better, but are they worth three times as much for the occasional use we'll give them?
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:59 PM   #2
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For starting batteries you can use whatever you want.. Maintenance Free is just fine..AGM is not normally needed.

For house batteries some folks recommend AGM over "Maintnance free" non-agm,,And as it happens I agree with their logic.

Flooded wet are best though.

Recommendation:

IF the batteries are easy to get to so you can check and add distilled water as needed.. Best Bang for your buck is flooded wet cells.. Likely from Sam's or Costco but you can get good ones anywhere.

As for DEKA.. that is what I replaced my Interstates with and so far I'm happy.. but it's only been a year.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
For starting batteries you can use whatever you want.. Maintenance Free is just fine..AGM is not normally needed.

For house batteries some folks recommend AGM over "Maintnance free" non-agm,,And as it happens I agree with their logic.

Flooded wet are best though.

Recommendation:

IF the batteries are easy to get to so you can check and add distilled water as needed.. Best Bang for your buck is flooded wet cells.. Likely from Sam's or Costco but you can get good ones anywhere.

As for DEKA.. that is what I replaced my Interstates with and so far I'm happy.. but it's only been a year.
Reading through the CD owners manual it says we have 2 8d AGM's for the chassis batteries but we have the 4 group 31's. I'm not sure if the existing ones are AGM or low maintenance sealed though.
On our previous Dutch Star I went with Interstate GC-2's for house batteries again as the OEM ones went 10 years. And adding mineral oil to each cell almost totally eliminated the distilled water replacing.
Our four house batteries also need replacing but they're 8D AGM's. Even thinking of replacing them with eight GC-2's a they're also on a slide out tray as are the starting batteries.
I'm not convinced that AGM's are worth the extra cost for our use. Maybe CC used them as they figured the owners didn't want to fool with wet cells?
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:33 PM   #4
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When we bought our '02, it came with 3 8D Champion wet cells. Back then, I had to park the coach with no hookups and within a month, the house batteries would be at 75%. When the chassis battery croaked in Jan of '04, I changed all of them to Lifeline AGMs and have been a happy camper ever since. When the coach was stored for a month, the AGMs were still showing 95-97% charge which to me was great.

I have no desire to go to wet cell again and will drink cheaper booze so I can afford Lifelines again.

My question is why do you think your batteries need replacing? Have you "conditioned" them or had a load test done on them?

I think CC used them for a number of reasons. One would be a clean battery compartment. Also they recharge at a much faster rate than a wet cell because of their low internal resistance and a very low rate of self discharge.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
When we bought our '02, it came with 3 8D Champion wet cells. Back then, I had to park the coach with no hookups and within a month, the house batteries would be at 75%. When the chassis battery croaked in Jan of '04, I changed all of them to Lifeline AGMs and have been a happy camper ever since. When the coach was stored for a month, the AGMs were still showing 95-97% charge which to me was great.

I have no desire to go to wet cell again and will drink cheaper booze so I can afford Lifelines again.

My question is why do you think your batteries need replacing? Have you "conditioned" them or had a load test done on them?

I think CC used them for a number of reasons. One would be a clean battery compartment. Also they recharge at a much faster rate than a wet cell because of their low internal resistance and a very low rate of self discharge.
Can't "condition" AGM's or low maintenance batteries, only wet cells.
My battery compartment on the '02 DSDP was very clean, in fact cleaner than the one in the '00 Dutch Star without mineral oil.
The engine doesn't seem to kick over very well, even with the 4 925 CCA batteries and the 8D's are bulging and one is warm to the touch.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:46 PM   #6
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They are likely toast.

If looking like they are going to give birth then they are done.

One heating indicates too much current.

Float charge should be less than 1/2 amp which should not generate heat.

A shorted cell or high voltage will cause heat.

Look closely at the top of the battery for 6 circles where the caps normally go.

If you see any residue or white looking film they have gassed off.

They can be conditioned but the short answer is that is a waste of time.

If you place a charger on them for a few days and the voltage is good but it has issue starting the batteries are toast.

Converting to floaded should be fine but verify venting and charging voltages.

Starting batteries do not need to be agm and flooded ate a much better buy.

DO NOT use sams or costco or other chain for 8D batteries as they are not common to them and will be outdated and not best performance or price.

Get the phone book and call the local folks as they usually use a distribution warehouse.

We got units that had date code month after we got them and were 1700+CCA for much less than the 1200 CCA year old units at Sams that were 30 bucks more each.

Had to wait a day for them to arrive...big deal...
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:04 PM   #7
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I don't know about other AGM's, but Lifelines need to be conditioned and Lifeline recommends it.

My solar is set to do it every 21 days!
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:09 PM   #8
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What does lifeline mean when they state conditioning the battery?
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:14 PM   #9
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Our inverter won't even let you select it when set for AGM's like it is. Now I do know that we need to do an update to our VMS OS to get the latest setups that include the Lifeline settings so maybe that's one of the changes. Hopefully will get it done at the FMCA NW Regional rally later this month.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
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They are likely toast. Yep, I realize that

If looking like they are going to give birth then they are done. Yes, the cases are bulged.

One heating indicates too much current. Not sure about that as the inverter is set for AGM.

Float charge should be less than 1/2 amp which should not generate heat.

A shorted cell or high voltage will cause heat.

Look closely at the top of the battery for 6 circles where the caps normally go.

If you see any residue or white looking film they have gassed off. No, nothing there.

They can be conditioned but the short answer is that is a waste of time.

If you place a charger on them for a few days and the voltage is good but it has issue starting the batteries are toast.

Converting to flooded should be fine but verify venting and charging voltages. I know the venting is fine and going to flooded will require resetting the charging circuit. Besides, I'll add the mineral oil which will cut way down on offgassing.

Starting batteries do not need to be agm and flooded ate a much better buy. Yep, I'm not sure why CC used AGM's for starting although I'm not sure ours are AGM's, up through 2008 they used the 8D AGMS for starting too.

DO NOT use sams or costco or other chain for 8D batteries as they are not common to them and will be outdated and not best performance or price. Nope, in fact our local Costco doesn't even carry nor will they order 8D's.

Get the phone book and call the local folks as they usually use a distribution warehouse. I did some of that today, Baxter auto can get them in the same day but they're $25 more each for the group 31 AGM's. I found the $76 wet cells at a local Pepe Freightliner shop

We got units that had date code month after we got them and were 1700+CCA for much less than the 1200 CCA year old units at Sams that were 30 bucks more each. What batteries did you go with? I can get 8D AGM Lifelines for just under $500 each shipped to me from Texas. Local dealer wants over $100 more. And West Marine wants just under $800 each and they're not Lifelines.

Had to wait a day for them to arrive...big deal...
See notes above.
When you double click on the picture you can see the bulges on the lower right battery.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:57 AM   #11
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hes4all,

I read the Lifeline web site about conditioning and they say to do It, only when the batteries are showing signs of reduced capacity.

Maybe yours are different.

Not sure your 21 day schedule is the way to go.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:36 AM   #12
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Reading through the CD owners manual it says we have 2 8d AGM's for the chassis batteries but we have the 4 group 31's. I'm not sure if the existing ones are AGM or low maintenance sealed though.
4 Group 31s would be right close to 2 8-D in total capacity,, But would be about 4 times easier to get in and out of the motor home (Since each 31 is about half the weight of the 8D)

As to AGM or regular Maintenance free.. not sure it matters for that battery.

MOST of the advantages of AGM.. simply do not apply or do not exist in most installations.

In some few cases AGM's are better.. For house batteries were you often try to recharge at 30% C/20 or more..AGM's may have an advantage..

Where you need to ignore "This side up" AGM clearly has an advantage.

otherwise.. I do not think they are all that great.
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:48 PM   #13
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Went back to the FL dealer and bought the four low maintenance starting batteries. Took pictures, labeled the cables and bought new, correct size wingnuts for the larger posts. Need to drill out the cable ends to kit the new posts, didn't have time today to dive into it.
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