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Old 02-20-2008, 06:55 AM   #1
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Are sealed batteries advisable? I need four on my Alpenlite and the task of adding water is a tough one due to wiring and location.

Also, is there a brand recommended?

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:55 AM   #2
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Are sealed batteries advisable? I need four on my Alpenlite and the task of adding water is a tough one due to wiring and location.

Also, is there a brand recommended?

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:08 AM   #3
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Bill,

I'll link your post down to the RV Systems & Appliances forum where some of the battery experts have a better chance of seeing it.

Rusty
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:47 AM   #4
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Bill, look at Optima Blue top Gell-Cell. We've been using them for years. No mess-no hassel! Be prepared for sticker shock when you price them however, around $180 each in our neck of the woods. Still they are a bargan, you should get 4-5 years of hard use out of them.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:09 AM   #5
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We have 4 MK AGM batteries. Cost us around $150 each. Lifeline AGM batteries are very popular, but they're quite a bit more expensive. Only time will tell whether or not our less expensive MK batteries will last as long as the Lifeline are supposed to.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:16 AM   #6
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For the coach, deep cycle batteries, I purchased Discover AGM batteries. Nemar is now putting these battereis in their high line coaches as standard equipment. Go here for the Discover website.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:42 PM   #7
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We have been using 2 Optima Blue tops for 5 years without any trouble and no maintenance.

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Old 02-21-2008, 01:13 AM   #8
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Bill, not knowing what charging system you have, you will need to determine if yours is programable for different types of batteries. If so you will want to b sure to set the correct parameters for recharging. Here are some links to battery info:
http://www.usbattery.com/care.htm
http://www.dcbattery.com/faq.html#1
http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Bat...ery%20Charging
http://www.rvsolarelectric.com/sources.htm
Good luck and keep us informed on what you decide and how you like what you installed.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:01 AM   #9
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If I recall correctly Gell Cell type batteries don't require water to be added, but they need different charging voltage than flooded cell types and also some Gell Cell types are pretty limited to what charge rate they can accept without damage.

AGM type, however, will charge fine at the same voltage and rate as flooded cell. Optimas are a spiral wound AGM type. Trojan and several other brands also make AGM deep cycles. They don't require water, don't off gas as much during charging, resist freezing better than flooded batteries, resist vibration damage better than flooded batteries, and don't spill if the case is broken. They also last longer. The only negative I can see is price.

If I had a battery compartment that was hard to access, I think I'd visit Trojan's web page (or one of their big venders) and figure out which is the largest capacity AGM that would work in the compartment...

Link to Trojan's RV Battery Specs
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:17 AM   #10
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You can get wet cell lead acid batteries that are "sealed" as well as gel cells and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries.

At battery university:
"Driven by diverse applications, two sealed lead-acid types have emerged. They are the sealed lead acid (SLA), and the valve regulated lead acid (VRLA). Technically, both batteries are the same. Engineers may argue that the word 'sealed lead acid' is a misnomer because no lead acid battery can be totally sealed."

Gel Cel's are generally not recommended for RV's anymore

AGM's like the Optima or Lifeline are nice but pricey.

Personally, I think it better to first put the money into your charger and battery maintainer. If you have a good converter like the PD+Chargewizard or the WFCO, battery maintenance should be minimal even if you have a traditional wet cell. You can also get a device that will allow you to easily assure proper electrolyte level on all of the batteries in your bank at one time.

AGM's may have a bit longer life than wet cells but your battery life is going to be more dependent upon your use and maintenance than anything else.
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Old 02-23-2008, 05:41 PM   #11
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Yeah, I think when you look at cost, expected life cycles, and capacity, a good flooded cell still provides the most amp hours stored for the money over the life of the battery.

A Progressive Dynamic converter with charge wizard would be a good investment, but I'd still feel like I'd need to inspect water level a couple times a year.

If battery access was really difficult (or if I was wealthy) AGM's would make sense to me, though I think I might go with one less expensive than the optima... just my humble opinion.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:35 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jeff_in_The_Dalles:
A Progressive Dynamic converter with charge wizard would be a good investment, but I'd still feel like I'd need to inspect water level a couple times a year. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The PD & Charge Wizard is a very good package. I installed one last year after the original charger/converter cooked my batteries. I check the water level each month and have not had to add water in 12 months.
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