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Old 11-09-2014, 06:31 PM   #1
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Input on AGM batteries

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
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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I recently replaced my coach house batteries with 6V AGM's. I used six of them and so far no issues. One of them is mounted sideways which is something you can do with AGM's. Also, I won't have to deal with out gassing and the usual issues with corrosion you get with standard wet cell batteries.

I do think you need to consider how important the benefits of AGM are to your particular needs since they are expensive. Also, make sure your charger (inverter/charger usually) can be programmed to properly charge and maintain AGM's.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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Why? 5 years from your 6 volt batteries is pretty good. I would replace them in kind. Go find you an Interstate dealer.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:38 PM   #4
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I also just upgraded to 6 six volt Lifeline AGM's after installing a res fridge. Hard on the checkbook, but otherwise very happy.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:24 PM   #5
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Hope it works. I'm sure I had a rare problem, but I had some new ones that set fire to the coach. I had a tech tell me that the organic charger can't tell when the AGM's are charged so they continue at full capacity possibly causing problems.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:32 PM   #6
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If you are going to spent that kind of money, it makes sense to upgrade to a 3 stage smart charger. Old converters are one size fits most.
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:17 PM   #7
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I replaced my Trojan batteries with Deka AGMs four years ago. About six months ago, I started noticing problems with them not taking a charge, nor holding a charge. After examining the batteries, I found that the top of each was bubbled up under the positive terminal by almost an inch, as if something was pushing up from underneath. A called Deka, and they said to take them out and recycle them immediately.

I have the older freedom/combi inverter/charger from a 2002 Fleetwood Discovery, which does have a setting for AGM batteries. However, I don't think it has the sophistication of newer chargers. Additionally, my house bank is directly exposed to a 380 degree surface temperature exhaust, as close as one inch away from one battery. I have no way of knowing if it was the charger, the excess heat, or just normal for an AGM, but mine only lasted three to three and a half years! At $1300, I feel pretty ripped off. I would have to switch out the inverter/charger before I felt comfortable buying new AGMs. I'm addressing the heat issue with a custom heat shield, but I'm putting my money in four new Trojan T-105s with their new HydroLink system, which is, as far as I can tell, an improved implementation the Flow-Rite system. It has a single cap for each battery with three floats, and an indicator that shows low water level.

Four Trojans with the HydroLink is costing me $710, almost half the cost of the AGMs. My last Trojans, even with the heat problem, lasted 10 years. The heat shield, consisting of a 2x4 sheet of 6061 aluminum and some self-adhesive heat reflective/insulative material, is costing me $120. I believe these batteries should last at least the 10 years the last set did, for half the price, and with a larger reserve capacity.
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:19 PM   #8
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Have new AGM in our coach. Last ones lasted 9 years. When I removed old ones they and the compartment looked brand new. All terminals looked new. Carpet on compartment floor looked new too. AGM the only way to go.
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Have new AGM in our coach. Last ones lasted 9 years. When I removed old ones they and the compartment looked brand new. All terminals looked new. Carpet on compartment floor looked new too. AGM the only way to go.
So your coach came with AGMs when it was new?
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:19 AM   #10
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It really did. I was amazed
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:10 AM   #11
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First: if your Interstates are five years old and failing something is wrong, Mine lasted 9 and I abused them..

During that time I put in a pair of AGM's. These I put on an independent "Loop" with my Inverter, they powered ONLY the inverter and a couple of ventelation fans.. They lasted only 5 years and had to be repalced.

But the Interstates (Flooded wet) lasted NINE.

Now which do you think I use today?

Yup, flooded wet, the new ones are DEKA, not Interstate, but it will be another five-10 years before I can rate them (Put 'em in this year).

I'm not sold at all on AGM's. I think that unless there is another reason to consider them (Example very hard to service the batteries or This side up is a problem) they are way too expensive for little in gain. Motor cycles and such .. AGM are leakproof if you lay it down,,, RV's.. I hope you never lay it down that way.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:03 AM   #12
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When our teardrop was being built I spected AGM and have a 12V 150AH Lifeline. I called Concord (which makes Lifeline) and asked which converter, and they liked the Progressive Dynamics. The reason for AGM is the battery is in the tongue box and enclosed. I feed it mostly with a 185W high voltage panel through a Morningstar MPPT controller which has settings for AGM. The trailer is set up for serious boondocking and we have spent nine days at a stretch in the woods.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:09 AM   #13
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AGMs are becomming more popular as the price comes down. On some RVs they are standard equipment, others offer them as an option.
Initial expense is about twice that of the same size wet cell, but they do have some advantages.
Pros:
No water maintenance.
Accept a charge faster due to less internal resistance.
No need for a maintainer charger while in storage and disconnected. Self discharge is 1-3 % per month where as wet cells are 10-20 %.
No concern about freezing.

Cons:
Initial cost.
Subject to thermal runaway if over charged.

Contrary to popular belief, the do not require a special charger.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:51 AM   #14
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Not sure about the 'special charger' need but my research on AGM's revealed they should be charged at a certain rate. I have a Magnum Energy inverter/charger and it has three AGM settings. A call to Magnum with my battery info and they told me which of the settings I should use.

I hesitated to spend the money but I really wanted the convenience of no maintenance. Time will tell. If mine don't last more than 5 years, I will likely go with wet cell next time. My coach came with Deka 8D AGM's.

I had not considered exhaust heat and will look into that. My DPF (muffler) is located just below the battery bay and I know it gets hot in there. I did install a high flow exhaust fan that pulls air out but perhaps a heat shield is something I should also consider.
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