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Old 06-05-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
DKO
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Time to Change House Batteries

I have eight 4D Lifeline AGM sealed batteries in my coach that are way overdue for changing.

I have a price of $482 each from Batteries Plus and $250 total shipping.

I have an RV guy that's a friend who says his cost on Interstate AGM 4Ds is $502 each.

An Interstate dealer that also sells Interstate under his own badge said his cost is $306 each. He has helped me before on chassis batteries and he offered to sell me these at his cost if I bring him the old ones.

My RV friend suggested changing to wet cells at about $140 each and adjusting my inverters accordingly. I am reluctant to do that.

Questions...
1. Would you buy the Interstate under another brand and save $200 each?? Any problems with that? It seems right to me but I really want your input.

2. Is the wet cell battery idea viable? Should I consider that at all?

3. When I do the change are there any suggestions?
-I will take pictures, draw diagrams, number, label and tape everything and use dielectric grease.
-I ask have an inverter bypass switch for each inverter as well. I know that when it is switched to Utility is does Not charge the batteries.

Anything Else?

Thanks
DKO
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKO
I have eight 4D Lifeline AGM sealed batteries in my coach that are way overdue for changing.

I have a price of $482 each from Batteries Plus and $250 total shipping.

I have an RV guy that's a friend who says his cost on Interstate AGM 4Ds is $502 each.

An Interstate dealer that also sells Interstate under his own badge said his cost is $306 each. He has helped me before on chassis batteries and he offered to sell me these at his cost if I bring him the old ones.

My RV friend suggested changing to wet cells at about $140 each and adjusting my inverters accordingly. I am reluctant to do that.

Questions...
1. Would you buy the Interstate under another brand and save $200 each?? Any problems with that? It seems right to me but I really want your input.

2. Is the wet cell battery idea viable? Should I consider that at all?

3. When I do the change are there any suggestions?
-I will take pictures, draw diagrams, number, label and tape everything and use dielectric grease.
-I ask have an inverter bypass switch for each inverter as well. I know that when it is switched to Utility is does Not charge the batteries.

Anything Else?

Thanks
DKO
My interstate only lasted a few years. I put in the larger capacity Trojan battery and they work much better than the Interstates did when new. I have used Trojan batteries in my boat inverters for years and very pleased. You can get the Trojans online from a company bases in Tucson, Az.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:02 PM   #3
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How do you know "they are way overdue for replacing"? Have you had a proper load test done on them?

I would not go on time alone to determine they need replacing. Read up on how to do a load test. (they need to be fully charged, a rest period, then load test). Charging them up to 95%, and then testing them is not a good test. they have to be brought up to 100%, a rest period and then a load test.

Your batteries might be ripe for conditioning which can be done by following the Lifeline manual.

If you were close, I'd take them off your hands if you still want to get rid of them.

FYI I have some 8D Lifelines that I installed in Jan '04 and they are still performing more than 95%.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:43 AM   #4
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Trojan Batteries

The new Interstate batteries were installed when I purchased the coach. I experienced the time and use they provided and how they performed. I put the new Trojans in last summer and moved the Interstates to my boat. The new Trojans provide a level of use over twice the time of the Interstate batteries provided when new. Over a year later the Trojans will stay charged twice as long as the Interstate batteries did with similar use. After one year of use the Trojans work better than the Interstates were when new.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346
How do you know "they are way overdue for replacing"? Have you had a proper load test done on them?.
Thanks for the info.

I know because they are 10 years old and haven't held a charge since I bought the coach. No doubt about it, overdue for a change.

DKO
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:04 AM   #6
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I would go with the Trojan T-105s. Price is right, the prefered for most experienced RVers, comparitable AH rating and will last 8-10 years with proper maintenance.

Your 4Ds are 12v wired in parallel. The T-105s are 6v, so you would have to wire 2 pairs of those in series, then those two pairs in parallel to maintain 12v. So you would need a few extra short batt cables.

Since the 4Ds are a bit larger, it's *possible* you could get 6 T-105s in your battery space, adding 33% more capacity.

I'm not clear on your charging system except it's probably 10 years old, which means it is more likely a single stage. If so, with money saved on batteries, you could upgrade to a 4 stage system which will greatly increase battery life.

Since you have friend with access to Interstate, the U2200 is a fine substitute for the Trojans.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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I have two large Trace/Xantrex inverters. I think I will stay with the eight 4Ds. If the 6v batteries were better for these applications I think the high end converters and builders would be using them.

It is interesting though. I definitely need to know more about it. Thank you for all the good input.

DKO
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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Interstate doesn't make batteries either, so it is quite possible that Interstate and your friend's brand X are both buying from the same factory. There aren't all that many manufacturers of the 4D size. On the other hand, you would be moving from one of the best AGM deep cycle batteries made (Lifeline/Concord) to an unknown brand flooded cell. You didn't even say whether the brand x is spec'ed as a deep cycle (there are starting batteries in that size made for tractors).

There is nothing wrong with a flooded cell deep cycle, but you have to be willing to check the water in the cells regularly. If you have trouble remembering to do that, or the location makes it difficult, it would be smarter to stick with an AGM battery.

You could, however, change from the 4D size to multiple 12v AGMs - sometimes that is less expensive, even after paying for the extra connection wires.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
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Read this. http://bestbatterytips.com/tags/who-...ate-batteries/
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for your input. I would imagine you are correct about the same manufacture producing both brands.

The Interstate/local brand batteries I am considering are sealed gel batteries not wet cell. I ask about wet cells in the original post as an additional question. I am not considering wet cells.

Thanks again.

DKO
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