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Old 02-08-2013, 10:37 PM   #1
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Who makes the battery? Costco, Interstate, etc

Doing a little research on batteries and decided to add to the mountain of posts regarding batteries. Did a search who makes interstate batteries.
Who makes Interstate batteries Batteries | Compare Reviews and Trusted Advice from Battery Experts came up. According to that link Johnson controls makes--Interstate, diehard, duralast, kirkland(costco), everstart and prostart.

Anyone know how Trojan T105's stack up against the Johnson Controls 6 volt golf cart batteries. Costco sell theirs for $80. Big difference from Trojans.

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Old 02-08-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
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It can be said that just because they make all of these brands does not necessarily mean that they are all of the same quality. That can vary based on what the brand required. If it is just a house brand (Costco) they are likely going with whatever spec an existing battery brand has chosen and the Costco sticker is added. I seriously doubt that costco has any engineers on staff. Just sharp buyers. If that spec is good, it's a good battery. That can change though. Costco may in the future want to shave a few bucks off of the acquisition price to improve margins. Their buyer pressures the supplier and the supplier responds with a less expensive option. The consumer is left with a battery which may have a lower spec than in the past.

Interstate batteries for example are more expensive. Is it just marketing or do they have a more vested interest in selling a good battery due to this being their primary business? The chance that interstate has engineers on staff is far higher.

These are just examples and not any indication of brand preference.

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Old 02-09-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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I used Interstate s for years in my boats with success. When I had a need for higher capacity batteries I went with Deka AGM deep cycles. So far I'm totally impressed with them.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:59 AM   #4
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One of the largest battery manufacturing plants in the US-East Penn Manufacturing, DEKA Batteries- is in Lyons, PA, which is just east of Reading. If you're ever in the area, they have a large factory store where they sell new and "seconds". They produce for a number of different brand names. This plant is huge!

I've been using their seconds for years in my autos, trucks, farm equipment and RV. "Second" is usually a cosmetic defect of the case. The sale price of the seconds is about 1/2 of the normal price. The last time I bought 6 V coach batteries, about 15 months ago, I recall they were about $55 each for the heavy duty, deep cycle golf cart rated ones.

If you're close in eastern PA and need batteries, this is the place to go.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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I bought 4 costco batteries last year since several members have had good luck w/ them. They work good so far.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
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Wanderso is correct about different quality from the same manufacturer. Years ago Sears Silvertone TV's were made by RCA. My brother in law was a TV repairman. He loved RCA but would not work on a Silvertone. RCA made the TV's but they were made to Sears spec's. The same thing applies to the batteries.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #7
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There is quality, which is a matter of construction methods and controlled mostly by the manufacturer, and specs. which the retail marketing company sets as part of establishing a product price point. A quality manufacturer can and will still build a battery with mediocre specs if the battery marketing outlet orders it from the manufacturer that way.

Somewhere in the middle is the quality of the materials used and the design. If the retail marketing company wants a battery they can sell cheap (or at a high profit margin), the manufacturer may be willing to build it of lesser materials or a simpler but less reliable design. In that case you can end up with an inferior battery at a lower price. It might be a weaker battery case, or less pure lead inside or a weaker post design, but at some point in the price scale quality will suffer a bit.

Specialty battery manufacturers like Trojan and Concorde (Lifeline) build and sell under their own brand name. They control the quality from start to finish, and can't afford a bad rep for quality, but they also cannot achieve the price economy of scale that the major battery manufacturers can achieve.

Golf cart (GC2) batteries are a rugged design to begin with, so even a low-priced 6V GC2 battery is probably going to be very reliable. I think the ones that Sam's and Costco sell are a good product at an excellent price, but maybe aren't quite as good as what Trojan offers. However, the major difference in price makes that a ok tradeoff.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:18 AM   #8
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Much depends upon how you need your coach batteries to support you. If you are a RV Park to RV Park (abailable power to available power). Then the Costco/Sams Club Golf Cart 6V will do you well, and save you money.

If you do mostly Boondocking, then extra capacity of the coach batteries can make difference. You asked about Trojan, and they have a good reputation. If you are a Boondocker, or want the comfort of extra capacity, look to see if the battery compartment has enough head room to slide in Trojan T125 or T145.

If you take care of the coach batteries, you can go from 5 out to 10 years (many report 8-10 years usage of their Trojans, if well taken care of). If you spread the extra costs out over 5, 6 7 years usage, it is not that much of a hit spread over that life cycle.

We recently repalced both coach and chassis battery. Had Qty 1 PowerStride 8D for chassis, and Qty 2 Deka 8D AGM for coach. The coach were about 5 years old, and I do not know the age of the chassis. I do not think the previous owner knew (or cared) about battery care - he was a get in and drive owner. So, the 5 years of life out of he Deka's was probably due to improper charge maintenance.

We wanted more capacity, so ended up with: 1) Qty 1 CAT 8D chassis (highest CCA 8D chassis I could locate), 2) Qty 4 Lifeline GPL-L16 AGM's.

I looked at Trojan AGM's, Deka AGM's, Interstate AGM's, etc. Went with the Lifeline's due to higher Amp Hour rating, and warranty.

No right or wrong choice on battery, as long as you consider your needs, and buy accordingly.

One thing we did on our first RV, with Qty 2 6V - is go with with new Trojan T125's (The T145's were too tall for our compartment.). I added one of the many watering aids, to simplify water battery maintenance, mostly due to access problems due to the higher profile of the T125's.

Best of luck on your decision, have fun!

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