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Old 10-12-2011, 08:59 AM   #1
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optima batteries...difference between yellow top and blue top

Can anyone tell me the difference between the yellow top and blue top optima batteries? I need to replace my coach batteries and I have a friend who can get me optima batteries but he can only get the yellow top. I was on their website and the blue top is listed as a marine/rv battery, but the yellow top is listed as a deep cycle/starting battery. I don't want to put the wrong batteries in
Any suggestions /comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacevette View Post
Can anyone tell me the difference between the yellow top and blue top optima batteries? I need to replace my coach batteries and I have a friend who can get me optima batteries but he can only get the yellow top. I was on their website and the blue top is listed as a marine/rv battery, but the yellow top is listed as a deep cycle/starting battery. I don't want to put the wrong batteries in
Any suggestions /comments would be greatly appreciated.
In my experience if it's got the word Optima on the battery then I've got the WRONG battery... I've had 3 of those "paper weights" and none lasted over 6 months. They were in one of my vettes and I learned that Optima battries (if ever it loses its charge) will NOT take a charge very well.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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I have a Yellow Top in my F150. Over the past three years it has performed flawlessly. That being said I have heard from others with more experience that the optimas are not good for the coach batteries. I would look at 6v GC batteries for the best deep cycle performance.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Here's a link to the Optima product site. Just click on the color option.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:12 PM   #5
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re: "I would look at 6v GC batteries for the best deep cycle performance." --- oh my, this idea is as persistent as it is without foundation ...

The Optima batteries are an AGM type that tend to be rather space inefficient. AGM batteries tend to be on the low side of the energy density by weight curve anyway. The cylindrical construction of the Optima batteries tends to be space inefficient so you can't get that much weight in the volume. They do have a very good Peukert coefficient, though, which can be nice if you know what it is and have an application that takes advantage of it.

As sealed batteries, they do need appropriate attention to proper charging and maintenance protocol to avoid electrolyte loss and other problems.

re: "I've had 3 of those "paper weights" and none lasted over 6 months." -- this sort of thing is indicative of a mismatch between the charging and maintenance equipment and the battery. Either that or abuse such as heat or excessive discharging.

As for the difference between Optima battery color - that is how the manufacturer indicates the intended market. The differences in the batteries themselves is not really significant for most RV needs but differences in warranty may be.

For your coach batteries, I think the best approach is to get them from a retailer who sells a lot to folks who use them like you do and stands behind what he sells. Use specifications, warranty, and cost as your guide.

When it comes to all the talk about brand, type (AGM vs wet cell), focus (e.g. the infamous 6v GC, true deep cycle), and whatnot, look for clear objective definitions supported by measures someone will put their money on. I think you'll find that most of the assertions made in this line just don't hold much water.

If you can't get a decent measure, you're buying on emotion and not reason. That's OK by me as long as you know where your money is going.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacevette View Post
Can anyone tell me the difference between the yellow top and blue top optima batteries? I need to replace my coach batteries and I have a friend who can get me optima batteries but he can only get the yellow top. I was on their website and the blue top is listed as a marine/rv battery, but the yellow top is listed as a deep cycle/starting battery. I don't want to put the wrong batteries in
Any suggestions /comments would be greatly appreciated.
In answer to your question without getting into the quality of the brand

Yellow = automotive terminals only
Blue = both automotive and "marine" i.e. threaded terminals

Otherwise they are both deep cycle/starting combination batteries.

Jeepers and others who use winches a lot like the blue for the easy winch cable hookup on the threaded top terminals.

Now to quality, folks on the various Jeep forums have complained about a marked increase of failures in Optima products over the last few years. That being said I've had a blue top in my built TJ for over 3 years, it sits for long periods and gets it butt worked off when winching which is almost every time I'm out, with no issues yet.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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Generally speaking the Optima batteries contain less lead. Lead = storage capacity. (laymans terms)

Think about how you "camp" on the road. Then decide.

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Old 10-12-2011, 12:34 PM   #8
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I had a Red Top last 9 years in my sand rail. They do take a beating.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #9
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Great replies everybody! A lot to take into consideration. The only reason I looked into optima in the first place is the fact that my friend works for johnson controls. He can get them for less than cost. ( not being cheap...just raking advantage or a good situation.) I looked into lifeline...agm.etc. Does anyone have any recommendations on a battery than I can buy locally from a parts store?
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:02 PM   #10
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I've loved Interstate Batteries for a long time- They perform well, and there are distributors everywhere. When any problems came up, I have never been prorated, and have even had them Delivered to the Truck Stop I got stuck in once.
You know what they say- Service sells! Just my opinion, though, since I haven't tried anything else (on purpose) in over 10 years.
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:02 PM   #11
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Most parts stores have Optima or others like it.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb5300 View Post
In my experience if it's got the word Optima on the battery then I've got the WRONG battery... I've had 3 of those "paper weights" and none lasted over 6 months. They were in one of my vettes and I learned that Optima battries (if ever it loses its charge) will NOT take a charge very well.
I will second that save that it is "per my research"

In another thread a poster actually contacted "the Optima battery folks" and was told that a Group 31 Optima had 75 amp hours.

If you get most any other battery, 75 amp hours is a Group 24.

Think of how much more that Optima costs than a traditional rectangular maintenance free and how little you are getting for that money (Roughly 60 percent the capacity) and you find that CB has it right,,,, If it says OPTIMA.. leave it where it belongs... On the shelf in the store.

They are good for "rough service" like 4-runners and wave runners and other vehicles that slam over ruts and waves and rocks and stuff... But if you drive your RV like that the battery will not be a problem.. It will be lying on the ground next to the other pieces of your house.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:02 PM   #13
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Johnson Controls is a major battery manufacturer now - they supply a lot of brand name batteries, so maybe your friend can get other brands as well. I'm pretty sure the Interstate 6v golf cart batteries come from Johnson Controls, for example.

But if you want an AGM, the Optima is an ok choice. I would choose Lifeline or Trojan ahead of them, but if the Optima price is really good...
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:11 PM   #14
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From my understanding the only difference is the type of posts.

I have used the red for 4 yrs in a 7 second dragster(no suspension, pounds on battery and driver each run..not to mention the G force positive and negative it sees on each run)...no charging system....it has worked flawlessly. Now mine is 4 yrs old...maybe new product has gotten bad..I can not say..just relaying my experience with the 1 I have
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