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Old 10-20-2015, 12:42 AM   #99
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After I recently looked in my battery compartment, saw a lot of corrosion on two of my four house batteries terminals I realized this compartment might have to be a very regular maintenance place. While there I talked to a young man who now sells coaches but used to own the coach maintenance business at the coach storage building where we keep our coach. I asked him about the corrosion on my batteries. He said the wet cell batteries should be a monthly maintenance item or I could purchase AGM batteries and forget about them for five years! So I've started looking around at different batteries and for information about all of this electrical stuff. I've owned a fifth wheel trailer for the past 12 years. It came with one deep cycle battery and I added a second one for additional backup. I have two different desulfating chargers that I would use to desulfate my batteries with. I've used these chargers to save batteries in my sailboat, diesel trucks, and RVs that I normally would have traded for a new battery. I purchased my first desulfating charger at Northern Tool. It paid for itself on one of my deep cycle boat batteries. I think that charger was about $100.00 dollars then and maybe $150.00 now. I also found a desulfating charger at Lowes Lumber Center last spring. I believe the first charger I purchased was a patented technology then. If one desulfates his batteries every few months it may extend their lives quite a while. Just a thought.
Right now I'm in my first two days of thinking about AGM batteries and it seems that most of you say positive things about them. I know lots of aircraft owners and experimental aircraft owner/builders who use AGM batteries, specifically a small AGM Odyssey battery so they can be laid on their sides or ends to fit in small places. Some of my friends Odyssey batteries have been starting their aircraft for over ten years. In the aircraft world Concorde makes the best batteries for certified factory built aircraft that you can buy. I noticed in some of these writings someone mentioned Concorde making AGM batteries for Optima or someone.
Also on my fairly new to me coach I have a Magnum ME Series ME2012 inverter charger. I was looking through the Magnum manual this evening and noticed that Magnum recommends using AGM batteries with this charger and specially they recommend LifeLine AGM batteries. I'll have to admit that I've never heard of LifeLine batteries before reading that manual and now see several of you having them in your coaches. If any of you can give your battery model numbers that would be helpful and I'd appreciate it. I've got a lot more work/reading and searching to do before I make a move. I don't think I've found any 6 volt AGMs yet. Is there such a thing? What's best 4 agm 6 volt or 2 agm 12 volt?
Any help appreciated. Please give details.
Thanks
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:04 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Rambling Man View Post
There is also a more technical reason for the six volt battery popularity to store energy. Think about the individual cell size in a six volt battery and a 12 volt battery of the same physical size.
That is not really an issue because you need to double the size to get the six volt batteries to put out 12 volts (2 batteries) but in doubling the size you also double the weight and make it 4 times as hard to install (weight squared applies)

Check out a 12 volt size 4-D and you will see what I mean. Same as a pair of GC-2.

I have used 12 volt batteries that exceed the cargo carrying capacity of my RV.. They were loaded on a Trailer by a fork lift, and after use unloaded the same way.. Oh, one of them also powered the fork lift. This is why I always love the subject line "Which is better 2 Six Volt or 2 12 volt" Two of those Fork Lift 12 volt batteries and I could run on battery power all week without any problem. Two GC2-s overnight.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:02 PM   #101
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"I don't think I've found any 6 volt AGMs yet. Is there such a thing?"

Yes there is and they are the best AGM battery you can get.I installed the 8D batteries in Jan of '04 and still using them.

Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle AGM Batteries
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:17 PM   #102
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After I recently looked in my battery compartment, saw a lot of corrosion on two terminals

Right now I'm in my first two days of thinking about AGM batteries

Also on my fairly new to me coach I have a Magnum ME Series ME2012 inverter charger. I was looking through the Magnum manual this evening and noticed that Magnum recommends using AGM batteries with this charger and specially they recommend LifeLine AGM batteries. I'll have to admit that I've never heard of LifeLine batteries before reading that manual and now see several of you having them in your coaches. If any of you can give your battery model numbers that would be helpful and I'd appreciate it. I've got a lot more work/reading and searching to do before I make a move. I don't think I've found any 6 volt AGMs yet. Is there such a thing? What's best 4 agm 6 volt or 2 agm 12 volt?
Any help appreciated. Please give details.
Thanks
Today while at the office I started searching through the Internet for AGM Batteries. LifeLine is what I was primarily interested in. I talked to one guy at powerstridebattery.com about different brands of AGM batteries they had for sale. The (LifeLine GPL-4CT 6 volt Deep Cycle Battery) is the size comparable to the flooded Interstate 6 volt batteries if you want the LifeLine brand AGM batteries. This place is selling them for $299.00 with free shipping right now. He told me these LifeLine batteries are made in America by hand and are the Ferrari of batteries. They have a five year warranty. The first year is free replacement, the next four years are prorated. I do know Ferraris are expensive but I'm not aware of their quality!
This place also sells another brand for $200.00. These batteries are made Off shore and have only a one year warranty.
The gentleman I spoke to said most people that have trouble with AGM batteries don't keep the batteries fully charged. They leave their batteries sitting unattended too long after discharging them. I think it was him that said sitting, partially discharged batteries deteriate as though they were being discharged then recharged/cycling.
I'm not fully aware of what I should believe about all of this but what the gentleman said made perfect sense.
I've read that you shouldn't discharge these batteries below 50% capacity, especially on a regular basis or you can shorten their lives or permanently damage them.
Can someone tell me what we consider 50% of a pair of 6 volt batteries or two sets of 6 volt batteries like a lot of us have in our battery compartments? Would it be 12.5 volts - 12 volts, less or more?
Thanks
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:37 PM   #103
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Measure the area, actually the potential area, for Width/Length/Height. The reference the AGM info on RV AGM's, to see what will fit.

If you do not boon dock a lot, where maximum Amp Hours available is important - then get what will fit in your current layout. (Even it means adding a few cables between batteries.)

If you do boon dock a lot, or want to have emergency reserve capacity of Amp Hours available - then work with a shop to modify the available area to maximize what you can fit in.

We went from two 8d batteries, to four Lifeline AGM L16's. Very minor mods required, to secure these in our available area. We are also running one 8D Maintenance Free CAT battery (At the time, CAT 8D, had the highest CCA available that I could find. A tip from a fellow Country Coach owner.) Now, Maintenance Free is not an AGM - but I have see no signs of outgassing from this battery, and the post are still clean coming up on 3 1/2 years later.

IMO, Concord, Rolls, and Lifeline - are all three a bit better AGM's the the norm. Deka, and others, are good AGM's. And now Trojan is also selling an AGM too.

When you look at your Magnum settings, you should see a charging program for Lifeline's, and then 'All Other AGM's'. The Lifeline programing logic allows a bit higher levels on charging, especially on Bulk, the the balance of the batteries. This charges them faster, and still safely. So if charging via generator, it does not need to run as long.

One other factor is the number of Life/Charge Cycles of a battery. By spending perhaps 15-20% more at the time of replacement, for more Amp Hour capacity then you really need. This allows for lower discharge rates during an overriding usage period. Meaning the next charging cycle does not need to recover from a low of SOC level. This adds life months/years to the battery. (A battery that goes to 50% SOC frequently, will not have as long a life as a battery that only goes to 75% SOC in the same period. The 'number of Life Cycles' is spread out.)

Doing the math, and look at Don's as a real world example, Lifelines can last up to 10+ years.

Yes, wet 6V Golf Cart cells are less expensive. And with good maintenance, something you just talked about due to how your battery compartment looks now, they are the best bang for the buck from a our dollar an cents viewpoint. What they don't have, is as much reserve capacity, and ease of maintenance, as AGM's.

Do the math, and look at how you use the coach batteries, and the answer is one that only can determine. Are AGM's, Lifeline's, the right battery for you?

Best,
Smitty
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:40 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
"I don't think I've found any 6 volt AGMs yet. Is there such a thing?"

Yes there is and they are the best AGM battery you can get.I installed the 8D batteries in Jan of '04 and still using them.

Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle AGM Batteries
Hi Don,
What size are the 8d and how many are in your coach? I only have room for 3 starting batteries and four house batteries that are the golf cart size batteries.
Thank you
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:11 AM   #105
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I looked at these AGM's earlier this year, but decided to go with the Interstate 6V GC-2 from Costco for $86.00 each. Installed six of them, so far they are performing good, time will tell. I have them setup with Pro-Fill battery watering system.

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Old 10-21-2015, 12:21 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
Measure the area, actually the potential area, for Width/Length/Height. The reference the AGM info on RV AGM's, to see what will fit.

If you do not boon dock a lot, where maximum Amp Hours available is important - then get what will fit in your current layout. (Even it means adding a few cables between batteries.)

If you do boon dock a lot, or want to have emergency reserve capacity of Amp Hours available - then work with a shop to modify the available area to maximize what you can fit in.

We went from two 8d batteries, to four Lifeline AGM L16's. Very minor mods required, to secure these in our available area. We are also running one 8D Maintenance Free CAT battery (At the time, CAT 8D, had the highest CCA available that I could find. A tip from a fellow Country Coach owner.) Now, Maintenance Free is not an AGM - but I have see no signs of outgassing from this battery, and the post are still clean coming up on 3 1/2 years later.

IMO, Concord, Rolls, and Lifeline - are all three a bit better AGM's the the norm. Deka, and others, are good AGM's. And now Trojan is also selling an AGM too.

When you look at your Magnum settings, you should see a charging program for Lifeline's, and then 'All Other AGM's'. The Lifeline programing logic allows a bit higher levels on charging, especially on Bulk, the the balance of the batteries. This charges them faster, and still safely. So if charging via generator, it does not need to run as long.

One other factor is the number of Life/Charge Cycles of a battery. By spending perhaps 15-20% more at the time of replacement, for more Amp Hour capacity then you really need. This allows for lower discharge rates during an overriding usage period. Meaning the next charging cycle does not need to recover from a low of SOC level. This adds life months/years to the battery. (A battery that goes to 50% SOC frequently, will not have as long a life as a battery that only goes to 75% SOC in the same period. The 'number of Life Cycles' is spread out.)

Doing the math, and look at Don's as a real world example, Lifelines can last up to 10+ years.

Yes, wet 6V Golf Cart cells are less expensive. And with good maintenance, something you just talked about due to how your battery compartment looks now, they are the best bang for the buck from a our dollar an cents viewpoint. What they don't have, is as much reserve capacity, and ease of maintenance, as AGM's.

Do the math, and look at how you use the coach batteries, and the answer is one that only can determine. Are AGM's, Lifeline's, the right battery for you?

Best,
Smitty
Thank you Smitty
I appreciate your reply.
What is the physical size of 8d batteries? How many ah?

I have room for 4, 7.25 X 10" house batteries which right now are Interstate GC2-HD-UTL and one more 12 3/4 X 7" slot next to my two interstate 31-MHD start batteries.

So far, I only boondock two weeks at a time once a year. I usually run my Honda EU3000 most of every day to power others around me as well as myself. Up until this year that was in my fifth wheel.

So do you think I should add one 12 volt AGM house battery in my empty slot?
Thank You
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:11 AM   #107
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I chose a 150AH Lifeline (made by Concord) battery for our large teardrop trailer. The battery sits in the tongue box which was one of the main reasons for an AGM. Odisy does not make a true deep cycle battery and reportedly since moving to Mexico quality has deteriorated.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #108
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In a perfect world flooded batteries would do the job. However, human nature being what it is, lead acid batteries lose water and require constant maintenance. The peace of mind (what little is left) of knowing your batteries take care of themselves is worth the small difference. If you let a set of lead acid batteries boil dry and buckle the place, you will soon learn that AGM were the lowest cost realistic option.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:13 PM   #109
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Lifeline GPL-4CT Deep Cycle Battery

I started this thread about 8 months ago. Trying to fine out the same things. I finally went with the above Lifeline battery. There were several things I found important to consider.

A. My old 6v lead acid interstate batteries were corroding my battery compartment slides and trays. If it continued it was going to be very expensive to re-fabricate.

B. The new batteries were going to have to fit into the old trays otherwise it was going to be expensive to re-fabricate. I considered the 12v deep cycles but they are fairly new and they would not fit in my trays unless I (guess what) re-fabricated.

C. The cost of the AGM batteries was a huge issue. After researching I discovered that there are good AGMs and there are so-so AGMs. I also discovered that there are less than a handful of companies that actually make the AGMs. While there was a wide variety of opinions on most batteries. Lifeline makes there own battery and 90+% of the reviews were very favorable. I am sure that there may be other good brands out there though.

D. If battery maintenance; your slide tray arrangement and re-fabrication are not a big issue you may want to stay with the Lead Acid battery. Every motorhome is different and may have a different cost/benefit solution.

E. On the average most people get around 5 years out of a battery. Some a little less and a few a lot more. But I think I would plan around the average.

F. I also have a magnum inverter. If you switch to an AGMs. Don't forget to change from the lead acid mode to the AGM mode in your settings on the magnum. If you have a solar panel that charges your batteries. Look in the instruction. Mine had a different setting for lead acid vs AGM.

G. I stayed with the Interstate 12v lead acid no maintenance batteries for my starting batteries. They don't seem to corrode and are reasonable in cost. Since the charge cycle for the AGMs (according to Lifeline) is a softer charge it is ok to do that and I have experienced no issues.

H. Finally I have been very happy with the switch to the Lifeline AGM batteries. I cleaned up both of the battery compartment, repainted and No corrosion anywhere. The batteries have performed very well.

mjque
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:13 PM   #110
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Hi Don,
What size are the 8d and how many are in your coach? I only have room for 3 starting batteries and four house batteries that are the golf cart size batteries.
Thank you
The 8D measures 21"L x 11"W x 9"H Weight is 156 and they are 255 amphour

I have two for the house and one for start battery
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:03 AM   #111
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Thank you mjque and Don.
Don, those are some big a batteries. I'll swing by a dealer, throw one under each arm and just walk home with them like any real man would do! Just kidding folks.
I went into my local Costco today. The interstate GC2 are $83.00 each. I was tempted to buy new ones for my coach at that price but I am going to pull the trigger and order the LifeLines. I love made in America products! Plus I've cleaned the same battery terminals in less than two weeks, that's enough of that!
I am going to have to take all of my batteries ou, pull the tray completely out to clean the back side of the tray. I think I'm going to have Bedliner sprayed on all surfaces of my tray. I may have to just epoxy primer the part under the roller guides, tape off that area spray everything else with Bedliner. The thickness of the Berliner material may throw off the dimensions enough that the tray wouldn't fit back in if I sprayed under the guides. I have no idea how much play there is until the weight of the batteries are out. If I can purchase Bedliner in a spray can, I may put it in the rest of the compartment. Maybe it will hold up better than paint. I have no idea but this is what I am contemplating. Anyone have some experience with this?
Thanks

Does anyone see a problem with putting a 12 volt battery in the empty slot I have and connecting it with 4 LifeLine 6 volt AGM batteries? Also, is there an issue with connecting or charging a 12 volt lead acid battery with the AGM lifeline batteries?
Thank you all for your help
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:40 AM   #112
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laheze, the bottom line is that AGM batteries are a much better source of DC power than the traditional flooded battery. You MUST have a charger that will maintain the AGM correctly or they will soon become big, heavy paper weights. If the ME has the correct charging profile for the LifeLine batteries than you have a good system in the making.

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