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Old 10-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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Battery Recommendations


Well I bought a 1999 National Sea View 8340 a couple of weeks ago and I am pretty sure all of the batteries need to be replaced.

Right now I have two “Interstate U2200” and one “Interstate Mt-34”

I do about 95% of camping in what I think you guys call “boondocks” No hook ups, just camping in the middle of the desert with nothing around.

I am looking for some recommnedations on what to replace the batteries with or if I should just buy the same ones again.

I would like to try to keep these on the cheaper side if possible. I don’t mind if they do not last as long as the more expensive ones. I just purchased the RV and my offroading season is just starting so right now\this year money is a little tight and if I need to purchase new batteries in the near future because I did not get the higher quality ones this time, I am ok with that.

Thank you again for your help.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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Good to start with

The batteries that you have are good brand and model, many may replace with Sam's, Wally world or Costco products which are fine for the money.

Before you invest any money check out what you have.

The house batteries are often boiled dry by old converter, starting battery sometimes sulfates due to standing.

You should get an inexpensive charger and charge each 12 volt block for a few days and retest.

Make sure they all are properly watered, check the date codes etc.

The maintenance free batteries still require water, the tops can be poped off and water added.

The starter battery needs to be top notch as it will leave you stuck, so if in doubt swap it out.

Check the specs on the replacement, not all batteries are the same.

There will be large differences in actual capacity in the same package, so check first.

Back to the battery charger, there are some cheap ones that can output upto 50 amps or so, they are about the size of a shoebox and cost about $50.00 or less.

If you have a generator make sure you carry the charger, with the generator you can charge your starting battery to get underway.

If you boondock way off road look at generator starting, can it be started without a battery (pull cord) or can a small lawnmower battery start it.

Does your RV have a boost function that connects starting and house batteries together, that would allow possible generator start from starting battery.

We are not brand loyal for batteries, our suggestion is properly test and evaluate what you have.

Confirm your needs and do you homework before purchasing the replacements so you know what to expect.

The others here will provide an abundance of information for you to consider.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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You'll get plenty of help deciding on this forum but you need to give us a little more info:
1) How many day's will you be camping before plugging in?
2) Do you have any solar cell on top the coach, wattage?
3) Do you plan to run your generator regularly?
4) What will the batteries be running? I.e. lighting, TV, coffee pot, microwave etc.

The most AmpHours per buck would be to replace what you have with similar flooded cell batteries. You can find them cheap at Sam's or Costco. But AGM batteries have a higher AH rating, take a charge faster, last longer and are maintenance free but cost double or triple$.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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I will second the batteries you have as good.. They are close to what I have (House batteries on this house are now 7 year old U-2200's) The MegaTron 34 is, I think, your starting battery but not sure.

If you boondock a lot, and have the room consider upgrading to two pair of GC-2 size batteires, SUCH as the U-2200 These Golf Car batteries are deep cycle six volt, put 2 in serries (As the two are now) and they make one BIG 12 volt battery (About an 8-D)

You can stick with Interstate, or go to Sam's Club for GC-2s there.. Good chance they are the same nanufacturer by the way.

If the MT-34 is in fact your starting battery.. Any good quality starting battery in that same footprint will do. (It is a starting type unlike the U-2200's which are deep cycle, Googled it to be sure)
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardy View Post
You'll get plenty of help deciding on this forum but you need to give us a little more info:
1) How many day's will you be camping before plugging in?
2) Do you have any solar cell on top the coach, wattage?
3) Do you plan to run your generator regularly?
4) What will the batteries be running? I.e. lighting, TV, coffee pot, microwave etc.

The most AmpHours per buck would be to replace what you have with similar flooded cell batteries. You can find them cheap at Sam's or Costco. But AGM batteries have a higher AH rating, take a charge faster, last longer and are maintenance free but cost double or triple$.

1) How many day's will you be camping before plugging in? 3 - 5days mostly 3days
2) Do you have any solar cell on top the coach, wattage? No
3) Do you plan to run your generator regularly? I dont know to be honest. I have never owned an RV and have my first trip planned in a couple weeks. We go out to the desert to offroad and I am big on not hanging out in the camper when we are camping, kinda defeats the purpose to me.
4) What will the batteries be running? I.e. lighting, TV, coffee pot, microwave etc.? it will mainly be used for sleeping, cooking and showering , not to mush leisure or hanging out.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
The batteries that you have are good brand and model, many may replace with Sam's, Wally world or Costco products which are fine for the money.

Before you invest any money check out what you have.

The house batteries are often boiled dry by old converter, starting battery sometimes sulfates due to standing.

You should get an inexpensive charger and charge each 12 volt block for a few days and retest.

Make sure they all are properly watered, check the date codes etc.

The maintenance free batteries still require water, the tops can be poped off and water added.

The starter battery needs to be top notch as it will leave you stuck, so if in doubt swap it out.

Check the specs on the replacement, not all batteries are the same.

There will be large differences in actual capacity in the same package, so check first.

Back to the battery charger, there are some cheap ones that can output upto 50 amps or so, they are about the size of a shoebox and cost about $50.00 or less.

If you have a generator make sure you carry the charger, with the generator you can charge your starting battery to get underway.

If you boondock way off road look at generator starting, can it be started without a battery (pull cord) or can a small lawnmower battery start it.

Does your RV have a boost function that connects starting and house batteries together, that would allow possible generator start from starting battery.

We are not brand loyal for batteries, our suggestion is properly test and evaluate what you have.

Confirm your needs and do you homework before purchasing the replacements so you know what to expect.

The others here will provide an abundance of information for you to consider.
Very Good information, Thank you. I will check the water on the batteries today when I get home. I dont know why I did not do this first

I have a charger so I am good as far as that.

If I do need to replace them, I think I will go with a costco battery, I have heard good reviews. I have not checked the price on them yet.

Also I do have a battery boost switch so that helps relive some of the worry of starting the thing after being parked for a couple days.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I will second the batteries you have as good.. They are close to what I have (House batteries on this house are now 7 year old U-2200's) The MegaTron 34 is, I think, your starting battery but not sure.

If you boondock a lot, and have the room consider upgrading to two pair of GC-2 size batteires, SUCH as the U-2200 These Golf Car batteries are deep cycle six volt, put 2 in serries (As the two are now) and they make one BIG 12 volt battery (About an 8-D)

You can stick with Interstate, or go to Sam's Club for GC-2s there.. Good chance they are the same nanufacturer by the way.

If the MT-34 is in fact your starting battery.. Any good quality starting battery in that same footprint will do. (It is a starting type unlike the U-2200's which are deep cycle, Googled it to be sure)
Yes you are correct about which one is my starting battery.


And sorry to everyone I just relized this website has a "multi quote" feature. I will use it in the future.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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We recently replaced our 4 U2200's with Interstate GC2's from Costco at a cost of $89 each plus tax and old battery core. If you will be doing a lot of boondocking I would highly recommend you consider installing a 100+ watt solar panel on your coach along with a Blue-Sky 2000E 25amp controller.

Good luck with your battery choice and safe travels...
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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We recently replaced our 4 U2200's with Interstate GC2's from Costco at a cost of $89 each plus tax and old battery core. If you will be doing a lot of boondocking I would highly recommend you consider installing a 100+ watt solar panel on your coach along with a Blue-Sky 2000E 25amp controller.

Good luck with your battery choice and safe travels...
A solar panel is actually one f the first upgrades I would like to do. First is the necessities, then the extras.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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Twitch: You'll likely continue to get ideas from others. So here's mine, just replace what you have that way you keep it inexpensive as you wish for now. Then head out for a weekend or so and see how you do. I would bring along an inexpensive volt/ohm (VOM) meter, jumper cables (so you can use your ATV's as a recharge source, or coach motor, generator etc.) and download and print out a depth of discharge table. Monitor your batteries and try not to let them get below 50% discharge, about 6.1 volts for the coach batteries before recharging. Your starting battery should not be used for anything other than starting.

After you get an idea of your needs you can adapt/add or change from there. You could replace your most-used lighting to LED's etc. Add a solar cell(s), more batteries etc.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #11
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Twitch: You'll likely continue to get ideas from others. So here's mine, just replace what you have that way you keep it inexpensive as you wish for now. Then head out for a weekend or so and see how you do. I would bring along an inexpensive volt/ohm (VOM) meter, jumper cables (so you can use your ATV's as a recharge source, or coach motor, generator etc.) and download and print out a depth of discharge table. Monitor your batteries and try not to let them get below 50% discharge, about 6.1 volts for the coach batteries before recharging. Your starting battery should not be used for anything other than starting.

After you get an idea of your needs you can adapt/add or change from there. You could replace your most-used lighting to LED's etc. Add a solar cell(s), more batteries etc.

Again sorry if its a dumb questions this is my first RV and I havent used it yet so it is all still foreign to me.

I have all the items you listed (meters, jump cables) and I tow out a Toyota truck so I have a back up power source. But my RV has a generator, so when I run the generator it should charge the batteries, right?

And great ideas on the LEDs for most used lights.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by -twitch- View Post
Again sorry if its a dumb questions this is my first RV and I havent used it yet so it is all still foreign to me.

I have all the items you listed (meters, jump cables) and I tow out a Toyota truck so I have a back up power source. But my RV has a generator, so when I run the generator it should charge the batteries, right?

And great ideas on the LEDs for most used lights.
Yes, you have an on-board converter that will charge your batteries when plugged in or running the generator. Really you seem like you'll have plenty of ways to charge your batteries so you will not be "stuck". You can just adjust to what makes best sense after you do this a few times.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #13
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Our Interstate U-2200's lasted a month short of 10 years and I regularly took them down below 11.0 volts. In fact the only reason I changed them when I did was that we were headed out for a two week trip and I didn't want trouble on the road.
Replaced them with more of the same although I could have gone with Costco's and saved some $$.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by LVJ58 View Post
We recently replaced our 4 U2200's with Interstate GC2's from Costco at a cost of $89 each plus tax and old battery core. If you will be doing a lot of boondocking I would highly recommend you consider installing a 100+ watt solar panel on your coach along with a Blue-Sky 2000E 25amp controller.
Hi LVJ58, you brought up an interesting topic, actually i have been thinking about solar panels... do you recommend to connect two panels in parallel or serial? does it need blocking diodes? also the battery connections - do you connect house batteries to controller or all three batteries to controller?

(i didn't mean to hijack the thread, just wanted to know a little more)...
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