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Old 12-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #71
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Same with our Interstate flooded wet cell batteries and compartment. They also lasted 10 years, 8 of which were after I put 4 oz of mineral oil in each cell.
To me AGM's only make sense in very specific conditions, none of which we have. My new Interstate GC-2's cost me about $150 each and I plan to get 10 years out of them.
to the mineral oil. Why 4 oz in each cell? How did you come up with that number?
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:30 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by PDXDisco View Post
The thread is "input on AGM batteries", not "why I love my AGM batteries, and ways I can extol their virtues". If discussion of why they might not be the best choice for some people, in some situations, is off limits, then what's the point of discussing AGM batteries? Why not just delete the whole topic?
"Imput on AGM batteries". Is it not quite specific? I would think that would be the limiting factor of the thread.
I am quite sure the OP is capable of asking about other types on his own if he wants to do so.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:14 PM   #73
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"Imput on AGM batteries". Is it not quite specific? I would think that would be the limiting factor of the thread.
I am quite sure the OP is capable of asking about other types on his own if he wants to do so.
Nice use of emojis, AZ. I give. You're right. Input on AGM batteries is clearly limited to ONLY which AGM batteries are the best, which chargers are the best for them, etc. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY to interpret this topic as "are AGM batteries the best choice for me?", or "what are the good and bad traits of AGM batteries, such as price, etc". No, none of this is allowed here.

Oh, wait...the original post was from someone who was thinking about (operative word, thinking) replacing his flooded cell batteries with AGM, and looking for people's experiences with this decision. So....yeah. Just sayin'

You know, there are plenty of sites I can go to and get trolls crawling all over me for almost anything I say. I've tried, and put real effort, into sharing my experiences with both flooded cell and AGM batteries, and making what I believe are some valid and important distinctions about why the OP might or might not want to go AGM. This, I believe, is the kind of input the OP was looking for. But, if I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will set me straight. You may now to me, AZ Bound.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:15 AM   #74
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The last several posts are a bit red faced in my opinion. We are simply all being enthusiastic. No need to get huffy.

AGM's are fantastic and give a much better power/time curve over flooded cell batteries. And there are the deep cycle and deep cycle/start variety available. The huge problem with AGM's is charging voltage limits. This is ranged among the manufactures but this site is a good example: Lifeline AGM Batteries Charging Procedure

Charging currant is not a problem and need not be limited. The batteries will take all the charger can deliver. But topping 14.4 volts for a 12V battery will be the doom of it. There is no maintenance on these things. I have never seen corrosion on the terminals. They work till they don't.

That is as simple as one can get. Flooded cell batteries need to be maintained, even the "maintenance free" kind. (You pry the cap off with a screwdriver.) The terminals on the flooded cell type will often corrode.

I hope this brings us back to smiles again.

Rick Y
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:28 AM   #75
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Looking at replacing my 5 year old interstate 6v flooded house batteries with AGM's. does anyone have any experience with this or battery recommendations? Thank you

mque
I have 17 years of experience using AGMs. I do not believe there is much (arguably) difference in quality of the top manufacturers. There are el cheapos available, so be ware.
Contrary to popular belief AGMs do not require a special charger, but have special requirements for desulfating/equalization. Some manufacturers do not recommend doing so at all.
Their cycle life is not as great as flooded batteries so that is a trade off, but to me it is one I can live with for less maintenance, no corrosion issues, no need for maitainer/charge, (if stored after a full float charge and disconnected) for over a full year. Their self discharge rate is 1-3% per month as opposed to 10-30% for flooded cells.
No concern about freezing as they are electrolite starved.
Batteries are one of those necessary evils that we all have to live with and its up to each to decide whether or not to use flooded, AGM, gel or lithium-ion.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:11 PM   #76
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The last several posts are a bit red faced in my opinion. We are simply all being enthusiastic. No need to get huffy.

I hope this brings us back to smiles again.

Rick Y
I totally agree with you on this. There is no reason for telling someone that their post doesn't belong on this forum, especially when it is an appropriate answer to the OP.

I apologize for my sarcasm in response to being repeatedly told I'm off topic. Perhaps a more judicious use of emojis should be considered by all posters. My overuse was designed to show the potential for this. Perhaps the joke was too obscure?

If you go back to the beginning of this thread, you will see clearly that the OP was asking for feedback from people who have switched from wet to AGM batteries. I gave my feedback, including my experience with switching to AGM without upgrading the charger capability, the lessons I learned from this, and offered my opinion on why one might not want to make the upgrade, based on cost/benefit for different types of RV campers.

I absolutely appreciate the information and experience others have provided in this thread concerning the proper setup for AGM batteries. In fact, it is this information that confirmed for me that without upgrading my charger/inverter, I am better off sticking with wet batteries (flooded cell), especially since the vast majority of my time is spent plugged in to power at state parks and RV parks.

The original poster has not, to my knowledge, further refined his situation in terms of age of his coach, charger/inverter age or capability, or style of camping. Without this information, none of us can tell them what is the best choice with any validity, so we can't assume that AGM is the best choice for them.

The setup that I or you choose or have is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. Everybody has their priorities, and the house battery/inverter system is just one example.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:52 AM   #77
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My "red faced" comment was not directed at any one individual but at the attitude that was creeping into this discussion. Off topic can be attitude also.

Back to AGM's.

Back several years ago I did read up on them but have forgotten much of the detail. I don't recall seeing where they have a shorter useful life expectancy than the flooded. I do know cold will slow them all down. My six 12V Napa AGM's are snug in a compartment under the basement slide tray floor.

My son is into Lithium-ion batteries and has a pickup conversion to all electric. He has run some sort of heater wire among the batteries. Again, I don't understand this stuff but it works great and his batteries are happy in the WA winters near Seattle.

I have not read much on this topic for RV's. Would the OP mind if we went that way for a while?
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:27 AM   #78
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As one of the OP. I have made the decision to go with AGM batteries for several reasons. Some of which have been in the posts to the original question. I believe the out gassing of the flooded batteries and following corrosion of my battery compartment is what lead me to the original question. This topic has more sub-topics to it than I expected. I have continued to follow the information with great interest. I believe that the topic should take whatever form it would like at this point. The more information that people have the better decisions they can make. The commentary may help others make better decisions. I believe that your personal situation with your coach and the equipment that you have will dictate what you can do with your particular budget. Since my coach had the required hardware to support AGM batteries it made the choice a little easier. Only time will tell if I made the correct choice for my situation. Thank you all for your support.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:45 AM   #79
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(Dont mind the caps. I'm not yelling, its just for emphasis)
AGM batteries do NOT require a special charger
However,LIKE ANY OTHER BATTERY, they will benefit from the ministrations of a quality "smart" charger.
A reqular ol' conatant charger, such as sold at auto parts stores, feeds out power at around 12.7v (some are 12.6, and some are 12,8), thats it. Current flows through the battery until the battery gets to whatever voltage the charger is putting out, and then the voltage is equal on both ends of the wire and no power flows.
The problem with that, is at 12.7v the battery is no ttotally, completely, "full to the brim". More like 90% full. Close enough for governmeny work, but not as god as it can be.
Why does it matter??
All lead-acid batteries have this problem called "sulfation". Over time, sulfur crystals attach themselves to the lead plates and harden up. This reduces the overall area exposed to the electrolyte, and thus reduces the overall area of lead exposed to the electrolyte, reducing the overall capacity of the battery. Take a 100ah battery,and get a few spots of sulfur crystals here and there, and now its a 99ah battery. Repeat enough times and eventually, that 100ah battery might only be a 50ah battery. It still works fine, but for only 1/2 the time it did when new.
And of course, if there is enough buildup to deform the plates to where they actually touch..well, thats that. The battery is internally shorted and ready for the recycle bin.
Sulfation ALWAYS happens-its just the nature of the lead-acid beast-but certain conditions can allow it to happen faster. Leaving a battery sitting around at less than full charge is one of them. Draining it to far i.e., taking a cranking battery below 80% full, or a deep cycle below 50% full) is another.
Sulfation can happen pretty damned fast. Take a battery down 50% and leave it there even a couple of days, and there can be enough sulfation to have a measurable effect. Of course to actually measure it, you have to go through the hassleof doing a full capacity test,which is generally only something lab rats are goingto do.
So the absolute best thing to do to slow sulfation and extend the useful life, is to return that battery to fully charged "to the brim" every time, and of course never dran it down too far.
People often confuse AGM and GEL.
Lead-acid batteries that have the electrolyte absorbed into a fiberglass mat (AGM) take generallt the same charge voltages and charging schemes as regular ol' sloshy flooded (FLA) battery.
HOWEVER- batteries which have the electrolyte gelled with an additive usually DO require a special charger, because (A) require a bit lower charge voltage, and (B) are much more sensitive to overcharging than FLA or AGM.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:08 AM   #80
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As a follow on to Harold's post.

One of the reasons I over sized our AGM Battery Bank, besides having plenty of contingency battery power if needed, is that it does allow a much less discharge from 100% SOC during typical usage. When in travel mode, and when the SP's are not covered by snow, we usually see a swing of from 100% down overnight to 90-95% (Usually closer to 95%.) and then back up to 100% usually before 11:00AM. The SP output usually keeps us at 100% SOC during the days usage (computer, TV, Stereo, etc.) with some heavy demand possibly dipping it down for lunch time microwave usage, or my wife using her hair dryer.

When I visited with Lifeline AGM distributor in Southern California to pick up our X's 4 L16's, I talked for about 30 mins with two of the staff. One was the Manager, the other happened to be the gent they put on the line when calling for tech support. Their view was that batteries are made to be used, but felt that too often in RV applications, many have undersized their battery bank. This results in larger swings down to lower SOC, and then back up. The manager also mentioned he still recommends that older RV's swap out their chargers, or add a independent one, that are made to handle AGM's. And noted that Lifeline does have a higher charging recommendation then other AGM brands. He said he felt that many of the 'we're not happy with the performance' of the their batteries - was a result of rapid cycle usage by consistently dropping too low of SOC, but mostly by failure to bring the battery back to full 100% SOC as soon as practical.

I tried to explain this to my wife, by saying it's the opposite of Generator. Generators are happiest when being regularly exercised under load. AGM's, and other batteries, are happiest when resting at maintained at full charge. (Yes, and over simplification. And batteries are bought to be used. But it was my way of trying to get across why I had spent so much adding and replacing equipment at the time we did the battery and solar panel 're-do'.).

Best to all, and with much pun intended 'May the power be with you....',
Smitty
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:35 AM   #81
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...
I like the 6V battery explanation by wa8yxm. It's funny how people follow tradition over math. ...
Couldn't part of the reason also be weight to handle a single battery?
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:47 PM   #82
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As I understand it, deep cycle AGM batteries like to be charged quickly. The above charges at a rate of 2A. It sees the Lifeline battery rep told me this when I was having troubles with my batteries several years ago. Over voltage is a definite AGM killer and my Xantrex did just that.
To clarify the Batteryminder BM2012 AGM a little more, it is a maintainer type charger with 2 amp output, but the charge is modulated on off on, with the theory being to vibrate the plates, causing any buildup of sulfur to break loose from the plates and fall to the bottom.
It is my understanding that some of the Magnum Energy and Xantrex chargers have incorperated this technology for use with AGM batteries when in equalization/destratification/desulfation mode, whichever term the manufacturer chooses.
So, in theory, the BM 2012 AGM charger will work for such an application without having to upgrade to a new charger when switching to AGMs
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:25 PM   #83
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Smitty did you go to the factory? If so, did they install the batteries for you?

I am thinking about replacement but at 162 pounds each. I don't have the means to change them out myself/
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:10 AM   #84
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As one of the OP. I have made the decision to go with AGM batteries for several reasons. Some of which have been in the posts to the original question. I believe the out gassing of the flooded batteries and following corrosion of my battery compartment is what lead me to the original question. This topic has more sub-topics to it than I expected. I have continued to follow the information with great interest. I believe that the topic should take whatever form it would like at this point. The more information that people have the better decisions they can make. The commentary may help others make better decisions. I believe that your personal situation with your coach and the equipment that you have will dictate what you can do with your particular budget. Since my coach had the required hardware to support AGM batteries it made the choice a little easier. Only time will tell if I made the correct choice for my situation. Thank you all for your support.
Well stated. Thank you.
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