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Old 04-07-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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Optima battery question?

Hello all,
I have an opportunity to "upgrade" my battery in my 5vr. I have a choice of an optima AGM Yellow top or a Red top battery. I have now an 85ah battery from a diesel truck. It still works with no issues, and I mostly use the camper on shore power. But I do use the camper while traveling on the road, without being plugged in. Does anyone use these types of batteries? I know most boondockers use two 6v for amp hours and capacity but I was just curious as I came upon the choice of either as my friend is going out of buisness in his speed shop.
Thanks
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
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Yellow top...it's a deep cycle battery while red top is a starting battery. There is a difference between the two; if you want to understand that difference you can google it...too much to type. :-)
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Thank you I didn't know if they do well in the Rv setting that's why I was asking. I had a yellow top years ago before marriage and kids when I had the BOOM BOOM stereo in a vehicle.... It did well there. Thank god those days are over...lol
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Thank you I didn't know if they do well in the Rv setting that's why I was asking. I had a yellow top years ago before marriage and kids when I had the BOOM BOOM stereo in a vehicle.... It did well there. Thank god those days are over...lol
Lol...Got the yellow in my fiver and working great so far.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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re: "if you want to understand that difference you can google it...too much to type. :-)" -- and most of what you find repeats things that might have true 50+ years ago but not so much today. Critical thinking and empirical reasoning is very very necessary on anything you read about batteries.

The Optima is an AGM battery which means more expensive with some of that expense compensated by longer life expectancy. All lead acid batteries have about the same energy capacity density (about 12 watt hours per pound usable) with AGM's on the low end of the distribution and Optima's on the low end of the AGM's.

Where Optimas shine is in the Peukert coefficient. (look that one up!) That means they will handle inverters better than most more than anything else.

Go by warranty, price, and specifications and then buy from a reputable retailer who will stand behind what he sells. All else is minor stuff including brand, type, voltage or the other things people get all hot about in these discussions. You will have to judge just how much value there is in the 'reputable retailer' part if you buy from someone who is going out of business.

Also keep in mind that best battery satisfaction comes from proper use and care. Keep out of temperature extremes, don't discharge more than 12.0v as measured after a half hour or more of no significant charging or discharging, recharge promptly with a 3 stage charger, use a battery maintainer that keeps a full charge and applies a desulfation technique during storage, ... things like that.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #6
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re: "if you want to understand that difference you can google it...too much to type. :-)" -- and most of what you find repeats things that might have true 50+ years ago but not so much today. Critical thinking and empirical reasoning is very very necessary on anything you read about batteries.

The Optima is an AGM battery which means more expensive with some of that expense compensated by longer life expectancy. All lead acid batteries have about the same energy capacity density (about 12 watt hours per pound usable) with AGM's on the low end of the distribution and Optima's on the low end of the AGM's.

Where Optimas shine is in the Peukert coefficient. (look that one up!) That means they will handle inverters better than most more than anything else.

Go by warranty, price, and specifications and then buy from a reputable retailer who will stand behind what he sells. All else is minor stuff including brand, type, voltage or the other things people get all hot about in these discussions. You will have to judge just how much value there is in the 'reputable retailer' part if you buy from someone who is going out of business.

Also keep in mind that best battery satisfaction comes from proper use and care. Keep out of temperature extremes, don't discharge more than 12.0v as measured after a half hour or more of no significant charging or discharging, recharge promptly with a 3 stage charger, use a battery maintainer that keeps a full charge and applies a desulfation technique during storage, ... things like that.
I was referencing the difference between yellow and red top batteries...you are comparing AGM and lead acid batteries. But thanks.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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AN optima battery will ***NOT*** be an upgrade, it will be a downgrade.

here is why, and you can verify this by going to your local auto battery store.

Pick up the dummy battery (it only weighs a pound or so so it's easy to pick up) and look at it from the bottom. Seel all that area that is NOT BATTERY (air space)

If you have a "Traditional" battery (You know, where it's all battery, no air space between the cells) then switching to an OPTIMA will cost you roughly 1/3 of your capacity, and cost you more money as well.

I will discuss 4 battery types.

Flooded wet cell (The kind you need to water from time to time) best bang for your buck, but alas, can be a problem if they are hard to get at)

Maintenance free (Like above they are liquid, but sealed and valve regulated) Low gassing, low maintenance, A good choice if access is an issue or if you have other "Enviormental" issues.

AGM. (Including optima) A very rugged battery which is good for rough service and service wher e"This side up" is .. a problem. Like Maintenace free (Which it is) it is low gasing, you don't water it and such, SOME AGM's can take super fast recharge IF YOU HAVE THE CHARGER for it.

Optima, Slightly more rugged than an AGM but if this is a consideration, then batteries for your RV are not going to be a concern,, Picking up the pieces will be.

They are 60 percent of an AGM.


One other split. Deep cycle v/s starting (Including Marine/Deep Cycle)

Deep cycle batteries are more forgiving of being discharged to ,or below 50 percent, Starting types like to be quite a bit "Fuller" than that.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:23 PM   #8
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re: "I was referencing the difference between yellow and red top batteries...you are comparing AGM and lead acid batteries. But thanks."

Sorry you missed the intent of my post. As John notes, check the weight. But don't swallow the "Deep cycle v/s starting (Including Marine/Deep Cycle)" myths, All lead acid batteries have similar curves for depth of charge vs cycle life (and cycle life isn't an issue in typical RV use, anyway.)

The Red vs Yellow is how Optima indicates the target market for their batteries and the manufacturing emphasis in the cost, capacity, ruggedness trade-offs. If you look at the actual, measured, differences and compare those differences to normal variations in available energy capacity in batteries due to age, cycle to cycle variation, use profile, temperature, and such things, I think you'll find there's not much of any significance to worry about.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Bryan, you say the AGM's last longer.

Lifeline says they do not
East PEnn Battery says they do not.

Last year the newest batteries in my Rig were AGM's.
Today they have been replaced.

Because they DID NOT.

My OEM Flooded wet cells, still going strong.

Lots of myths about AGM batteries. There really is no advantage over maintenance free for MOST users.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:08 AM   #10
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re: "Lifeline says they do not
East PEnn Battery says they do not.
"

All I have really seen on this is the NAWS FAQ and warranties. Can you provide any link to where Lifeline and East Penn say that AGM's don't offer any calendar or cycle life that is longer compared to wet cells?

I have used AGM life as somewhat of a sop to the AGM uber alles ideology (people get so upset about batteries ...)

Another thread was wondering about the difference between RV and auto battery warranties. That difference is testimony to where the real issue lies: the life of your batteries has more to do with use and maintenance than anything else.

There is also the problem of deciding just when it is time to call it for a battery. They usually just degrade slowly and this is why some can brag about very long battery life as they don't consider it gone until its way below the 70% - 80% of peak performance usually used as an end of life referent.

The only real need for an AGM I have encountered was a friend who does a lot of boonie-bashing. The bouncing around on primitive Nevada roads destroyed a battery or two until he switched to AGM. He really didn't like getting stuck 50 or more miles from anywhere with a busted battery.

but AGM's usually are rather nice batteries and people seem happy with them -- just rather pricey for me.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:41 PM   #11
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The way this computer is acting up tonight, I'm going to be doing good if I can post this message.

I went to the Lifeline and East Penn corporate web pages, looked at the battery specifications and one of those is the number of charge/discharge cycles they expect the battery to last.

Did the same for Interstate and Trojan.

That is the best I can give you at this time. Been a long day and a couple things broke so it's going to be a long day tomorrow too (hardware non-electroinc, issues)
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:24 PM   #12
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Have you ever tried an Optima battery of any sort?

I may get flagged for this but all these folks who full-time it and spend all their time on the internet think they know everything there is to know and they don't.

Optimas are expensive but worth the money no matter which website or company tells you which battery is better than the other. I have seen both the red and yellow tops stand up to conditions almost no other battery would survive and still work strong. Battery life is on the user and how the battery is maintained. The better the battery, the more abuse the battery can take from the user and still be good. I buy Optimas because they are worth the money.

Having said that, I know automotive mechanics which is what ALL 12V systems in RVs are. Read all the websites you want but experience and knowledge with 12V systems is what really matters. If you don't know how to maintain a battery then it will fail. I am not a full timer but I know 12V systems and parts and my cheap deep cycle is going strong. Buy the yellow top, 07PSDCREW because it's worth it.

Since I may get flagged anyway, the only difference between most 2500 trucks and 3500 trucks (duallys excepted) is 1 leaf spring on the rear axle and the sticker on the door. LOOK IT UP!

Just my 2 cents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Bryan, you say the AGM's last longer.

Lifeline says they do not
East PEnn Battery says they do not.

Last year the newest batteries in my Rig were AGM's.
Today they have been replaced.

Because they DID NOT.

My OEM Flooded wet cells, still going strong.

Lots of myths about AGM batteries. There really is no advantage over maintenance free for MOST users.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:21 PM   #13
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Thanks Chiefw, I actually bought two with the same mfg date and use them in parallel in the battery compartment. So far so good... The lights in fver seem brighter too.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by chiefw
Have you ever tried an Optima battery of any sort?

I may get flagged for this but all these folks who full-time it and spend all their time on the internet think they know everything there is to know and they don't.

Optimas are expensive but worth the money no matter which website or company tells you which battery is better than the other. I have seen both the red and yellow tops stand up to conditions almost no other battery would survive and still work strong. Battery life is on the user and how the battery is maintained. The better the battery, the more abuse the battery can take from the user and still be good. I buy Optimas because they are worth the money.

Having said that, I know automotive mechanics which is what ALL 12V systems in RVs are. Read all the websites you want but experience and knowledge with 12V systems is what really matters. If you don't know how to maintain a battery then it will fail. I am not a full timer but I know 12V systems and parts and my cheap deep cycle is going strong. Buy the yellow top, 07PSDCREW because it's worth it.

Since I may get flagged anyway, the only difference between most 2500 trucks and 3500 trucks (duallys excepted) is 1 leaf spring on the rear axle and the sticker on the door. LOOK IT UP!

Just my 2 cents.
I have used the blue top (deep cycle) on both a motor home and 5th Wheel. I found them to be worth the money. I haven't tried the red top or yellow top as they aren't designed for the same use as the blue top. I just went from a 250 to a 350. There is a great difference between the two, at least in Fords. I can't comment on the Chevy or Mopower. I pull a 2011 40 foot 5th Wheel with a 2012 F-350 Ford, Reese 18k Signature Hitch (remove able).
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