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Old 05-11-2010, 01:44 PM   #1
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Battery suggestions

Our coach batteries are probably nearing the end of their life. We have 3 12 volt batteries that are the sealed type. What type and brand replacement should we be looking for? Can we buy this type of battery at our local farm supply store, or should we be shopping at an RV dealer? Thank you in advance. Jerry
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:34 PM   #2
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Hi Tubaguy,
Welcome to iRV2. If the batteries have served you well then purchase the same capacity you have now. If you are able to un-install the old and reinstall the new batteries, consider looking in the yellow pages for your nearest battery store. Batteries + is a chain of stores that comes to mind. What you are looking for is 12 VDC deep cycle batteries. Take one of the old batteries with you to the store. They will be able to provide you with choices.

The new batteries should be the same physical size and capacity as the old batteries. Sealed batteries is a good idea.

This is not mandatory, but consider a terminal cleaner and sealer (spray can). This would be good to purchase. Make sure the terminals are super clean. After installing spray the terminals with the spray coating.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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First, batteries, depepnding on brand, use and maintenance, usually last from one to over ten years.. If you treat them right... They last longer.. Page 2.

Now... You said you have 3, are these all your house batteries or is one the starting battery?

In the case of house batteries

G-24, about 73 amp hours each
G-27 and G-29 just under/over 100 amp hours each
G-31 about 120 amp hours each

GC-2 (Six volt golf car batteries) Wired in series pairs to get 12 volt 220 amp hours give or take a bit by brand.

Now, the GC-2 is NOT a Sealed Valve Regulated battery like your existing sealed batteries... (Means you have to water 'em down occasionally) I do mine ... Soon as I can since Mother's day is the target date but I need to go shopping Saturday.

The GC-2 is a very common battery, golf cars all across the country use 'em, this makes them less expensive due to the economy of scale. and I feel they are perhaps a bit better built for RV-House use.

I would not use them for engine starting though (you can but you need to de-rate them a bit if you do that... Which is why my "Emergency Start" is 220 amp hours and my "Normal Start" Chassis battery is under 100... Of course at that kind of de-rating the GC-2's don't mind the current of starting (less than my Inverter can pull)
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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Brand isn't really an issue. Don't get hornswaggled by the 'true deep cycle' or 'golf cart' or other such assertions that do not have clear objective definitions or no clear measures. If properly used and maintained, the typical wet cell lead acid battery will last 4 - 7 years (re NASW).

Use specifications and warranty the manufacturer and retailer will stand behind to guide you.

Find a retailer who sells a lot to folks who use batteries like you do and will stand behind what he sells. As Gary says, look for replacements that are the same size so they fit and are easily connected.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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Places like Costco, WalMart, Auto Zone all sell batteries with a 3 year replacement warranty. They usually have a total prorated warranty of 7 to 8 years. I have purchased from all 3 and have had good results and you can usually find all 3 stores in your travels, in case you do have a problem.

I changed my house batteries to 2 - 6 Volt Lifetime AGM batteries with 300 amp hours.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
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I replaced all the batteries in our coach about 3 months ago. A few things I found out are. 1. There are cranking batts to start you motor. IMHO the best ones are the AGM style batteries. 2. There are also house type batteries and again I think the AGM style are the best for motor homes. The gel batteries seem to be for yachts. That is what I used when I had a sailboat. The to older style batteries don't have the capacity and life of the AGMs.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubaguy View Post
Our coach batteries are probably nearing the end of their life. We have 3 12 volt batteries that are the sealed type. What type and brand replacement should we be looking for? Can we buy this type of battery at our local farm supply store, or should we be shopping at an RV dealer? Thank you in advance. Jerry
i switched to 2 lifeline agm 6v batteries hooked up in series. 300 ah.
here are some resources. happy reading.

Deep Cycle Battery FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - DC Battery Specialists

SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:08 AM   #8
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There is no need to buy your batteries at an RV store - probably just costs more there. But you do want a deep cycle 12v of the same specs you now have.

You said three batteries, but is that actually 2 for the house system and one to start the engine? If so, they are of two different types & specs. The house batteries should have a high AH (amp hour) or RC (Reserve Capacity) rating, while the engine staring battery needs a high CCA (Cold Cranking Amp) rating.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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Thanks to all of you for your replies. Our coach has 2 engine batteries and 3 coach batteries. The engine batteries are in good shape, but the coach batteries, even though they are in disconnect mode, won't hold a charge for very long. Some of you have mentioned AGM. What is that?
Jerry
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:10 PM   #10
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AGM is Activated (or something like that) glass mat. Basically they put glass mats in the batt cells so the fluid does not slop around. I think they use gel in the cells too. But before buying batteries a couple months ago I read all I could and in the end decided they were worth the price. They cost a bit more than traditional deep cycle batteries.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:21 PM   #11
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Hi Bob,
From an owner point of view, AGM batteries are maintenance free. They are sealed, no place to put water. Once installed, you can cross off your maintenance list checking for water in the batteries once a month. One should still clean the battery tops once a year. I got AGM technology batteries about 2 years ago, so far so good. I will purchase AGM technology batteries until something better comes along. While there may be no proof, being sealed, they should last longer.

Go to http://www.batterystuff.com/tutorial_battery.html to read about the different battery technologies. AGM is about 1/3 the way into the document.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #12
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AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are truly maintenance free and reliable, but they are also VERY expensive. Figure 3x the price of the same size flooded cell battery. If you can remind yourself to check the water level in a flooded battery every month or two, they are much more cost effective.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubaguy View Post
Thanks to all of you for your replies. Our coach has 2 engine batteries and 3 coach batteries. The engine batteries are in good shape, but the coach batteries, even though they are in disconnect mode, won't hold a charge for very long. Some of you have mentioned AGM. What is that?
Jerry
AGM Absorption Glass Mat or Absorbed Glass Mat

A fiberglass mat is put in between the plates and the electrolyte is soaked into the mat.. This means the battery need not be installed "This side up" like wet cells do.

However it also means they are way more expensive, And truthfully I do not believe the additional cost is worth it. They are maintenance free, but you can get good MF batteries for far less w/o the glass mat

Lifeline AGM's can be recharged very very fast.. IF YOU HAVE THE CONVERTER TO CHARGE 'EM WITH"

However most folks do not
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
AGM Absorption Glass Mat or Absorbed Glass Mat

A fiberglass mat is put in between the plates and the electrolyte is soaked into the mat.. This means the battery need not be installed "This side up" like wet cells do.

However it also means they are way more expensive, And truthfully I do not believe the additional cost is worth it. They are maintenance free, but you can get good MF batteries for far less w/o the glass mat

Lifeline AGM's can be recharged very very fast.. IF YOU HAVE THE CONVERTER TO CHARGE 'EM WITH"

However most folks do not
there was another advantage for me to install 2 gpl-6ct lifeline agm batteries. by laying them on their sides, i was able to get 300 ah batteries in the same space as the previous 190 ah batteries. that is a BIG increase in capacity. i don't think there was any other way to do that.
if i were to relocate the starting battery, i could actually fit 2 more gpl-6ct's on their sides in the battery box. at 90# each, i don't think my battery box would hold up very long.
winne's have a known issue with the folding stair/battery box mounts cracking.
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