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Old 02-07-2016, 04:15 PM   #1
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Solar House Batteries Great! Chassis Battery Dead?

Well, hope to get some sound advice here. No sooner have I got my solar working on my motorhome, with new golf cart batteries working perfectly, then my chassis batteries took a nosedive.

I have two Duralast 12v Marine batteries for the chassis. These were in the coach when I bought it, and I knew they were old and I should probably replace them. Now, I have to replace them.

My question is what do you folks think of replacing the two 12v batteries, with four 6v golf cart batteries matching my new bank of solar house batteries?

Now, I understand the issue with CCA and so forth, but I have had to use my boost switch to start the coach for several weeks now, and it seems to start fine with the deep cycle batteries doing the cranking. (engine starts immediately)

I know they will cost more, but doing this would have several advantages for me.

1) I can double my solar storage battery capacity.
2) I can isolate and use/charge each group of 4 batteries.
3) When needed, I can combine the power of all eight batteries using the boost switch to start the coach. (I would think this would more than overcome the CCA issues of using deep cycle rather than “Starting” batteries)

I of coarse understand that I may run the risk of running one battery bank below what might be required to start the engine, but I can allow for that.

So, could this be feasible?

Just for reference, I have a 2002 Diplomat with Cummins 330 engine.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:04 PM   #2
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Although I'm talking about my boat, I have been doing what you are proposing.

My start battery failed on my 165 hp diesel engine. I took the cable off the dead battery and hooked it to my 8 piece, 6 volt deep cycle bank.

Just this morning I noticed my bank was at about 50% capacity due to a few days of lack of sun and to much TV last few nights.

Even at 50% it started right up. I did hear the inverter low voltage alarm, for a second, while cranking but it didn't shut down.

Research I'v done on deep cycle batteries tells me that the heavy draw of starting an engine is not detrimental to them.

With a large bank I'm sure the required cranking amps are there.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:06 PM   #3
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Automotive bateries and truck batteries in particular, are designed to be capable of supplying extremely high current for a short period to start the engine. Deep cycles are designed for a lower current level load for extended periods and are not generally capable of providing sustained cranking amps that auto batteries can. Will they work - yes. I wouldn't count on them as they will not give the service of the correct automotive batteries and you won't be left with no usable power source for your coach if they fail. Auto batteries are also cheaper than deep cycles. You will get lots of opinions on this but they wouldn't be making as many battery types if one type worked everywhere.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:32 PM   #4
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I found this information,

6V Deep Cycle Flooded Marine Battery, 230 Amp Hours, Group GC2

Amperage Hours per Day230Battery TypeDeep CycleBest UseDeep CycleBCI GroupGC2Cold Cranking Amps780Dimensions10 1/4" Length x 7 1/8" Width x 10 7/8" HeightReserve Minutes448Marine Cranking Amps975TypeTapered Stud and Wing NutsVoltage6 Volts

And then this on an AGM battery,

Specifications:

2 Year WarrantyVoltage: 6 voltCapacity: 210AhMaintenance FreeAbsorbed Glass Mat TechnologyCCA: 710A, CA: 855AReserve Capacity at 25A: 475 MinutesReserve Capacity at 75A: 124 MinutesTerminal: Dual SAE and

They both have a CCA of over 700 Amps.

2 series sets should be well over your engines requirement for CCA.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:23 PM   #5
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Thank you all. You have given me enough confidence to try this. I will be off to buy 4 more identical golf cart batteries tomorrow. This will give me a total 920 ah of storage for my solar panels to feed. I have 945 watts of them, and they will be very happy with more hungry batteries.

I will try to report back on how it works out. I tow a trailer with me, and I was planning to add extra batteries there anyway. So if this doesn't work out, I'll move the new batteries to the trailer, and then get two starting batteries for the coach.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:28 PM   #6
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UPDATE

Well, change of plans. I was just about to buy, and add, the new golf cart batteries, but I decided to completely test tha 2 12 volt chassis batteries.

They tested fine, and were in good shape. The problem was not my batteries at all, but rather the positive cable. It had failed about two inches under the sheathing from the battery post. I found it by accident when testing the batteries.

New cable, no problem starting in 5 months.

But, when these batteries do need replacing, I am going to try the golf cart batteries for sure.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:40 PM   #7
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Folks here have successfully exchanged starting batteries for additional house battery capacity, creating just one battery bank doing double duty. I am considering to do the same, as there is space where the two starting batteries are located to maybe have four additional house batteries - making a single battery bank of 10 deep cycle batteries.

My one consternation is that my house and starting batteries are not collocated making a long run of heavy gauge wiring to interconnect. This impacts battery temp compensation and voltage sense. However a previous couch had split location house batteries and it worked ok.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:27 PM   #8
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The higher the CCA, the thinner the plates. You want thick lead plates for durability as they tend to warp.

The absolute BEST battery for house are batteries designed for solar applications. You can discharge them more than any other battery without damaging them. You also get more usable power.

I love the VMAX Charge Tanks but they are pricey. I had one when I only had place for one battery in my camper. If I had to get some for my MH, I would go with Crown or equivalent. Golf cart batteries are also a good choice.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Folks here have successfully exchanged starting batteries for additional house battery capacity, creating just one battery bank doing double duty. I am considering to do the same, as there is space where the two starting batteries are located to maybe have four additional house batteries - making a single battery bank of 10 deep cycle batteries.

My one consternation is that my house and starting batteries are not collocated making a long run of heavy gauge wiring to interconnect. This impacts battery temp compensation and voltage sense. However a previous couch had split location house batteries and it worked ok.
I'm not sure I would do that. Starting and house batteries have different characteristics, although I will concede that cold cranking amps is not usually a requirement in summer MHs.

My one concern would be accidentally running down the batteries and not being able to start the engine.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Skripo View Post
I'm not sure I would do that. Starting and house batteries have different characteristics, although I will concede that cold cranking amps is not usually a requirement in summer MHs.



My one concern would be accidentally running down the batteries and not being able to start the engine.

Agree, may not be for everyone. As with most anything there are pros and cons.

I am not much concerned about the differing battery characteristics given MH usage scenario. And should the battery bank be discharged to the point of not starting (unlikely with battery SOC management and large solar system) it can be brought back up with external charging enablement (I carry portable generator) or even jump started from my toad or ERS.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:19 PM   #11
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My one concern would be accidentally running down the batteries and not being able to start the engine.
Put a single 12v battery up in the front, sole purpose to start the generator. If you ever run down your huge single battery bank, you fire up the generator and let the converter charge the battery bank for a while.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:22 AM   #12
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Why not use the correct battery for its designed purpose? Purchase two start batteries and two deep cycle like you have. Connect the start normally and add the two new deep cycle to your existing bank, 50% increase in house storage. If you still have a problem with the start you have to start looking for a problem.

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Old 07-26-2016, 09:08 AM   #13
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Deep cycle are not the greatest. Get a solar or golf cart.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:25 AM   #14
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Deep cycle are not the greatest. Get a solar or golf cart.

Your statement is confusing. Do you mean "marine/deep cycle" are not the greatest ? As golf cart batteries ARE deep cycle batteries. Some batteries are given the name "deep cycle" as a marketing ploy when they are actually hybrid batteries which are NOT true deep cycle.

Confusing I know 😕
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