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Old 04-12-2016, 09:46 AM   #29
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The AGM battery does not require maintenance...meaning...you do not have to monitor fluid levels in each cell and add distilled water when they are low.
The AGM is sealed and you never have to add water. The acid in this class of battery is contained in fiberglass Matt's between the heavy lead plates.
AGM stands for Asorbed. Glass. Matt.

All batteries discharge when in storage. If you remove your battery from the Travel trailer for security reasons and store it in your garage you should put it on a quality "Battery Tender" this device will keep it charged but not overcharge it.
Battery Tenders use a regulated voltage to maintain charge level.
A regular battery charger will "cook" your battery at a high charge level.

Most travel trailers are supplied from the manufacturer with a 3 phase charger/ converter that regulates the charge level, maintains the battery's charge without destroying it.

A complete Internet study of the 12 volt deep cycle battery will educate you on the subject of "storage batteries"... Their use, care and maintenance.
The basic automotive battery has remained pretty much unchanged since the days of Henry Ford's original cars after they installed a self-starter...replacing the old hand crank.

Your choices today are...original old technology liquid acid battery....the newer
AGM type ( discussed above)....and the controversial "Lithium" batteries.
The Lithium batteries are very expensive and can cause fires...for now I'd avoid this class of battery.

Good Luck and Happy Camping.
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:31 PM   #30
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My Wal-Mart group 27 battery is on it's third season and is still good. The one before it did about the same. If I need another on I will probably get it from Wal-Mart. Dry camping it would usually last about as long as the other batteries mentioned here, 3-4 days, but usually 3 before needing a charge.

I agree with what has been said about sealed batteries and have one in each of my bikes. I dropped one of them a few years ago with a lead acid battery and some of the paint and chrome took a hit. They are also much easier to maintain and seem to last significantly longer than lead acid. Of course, they also cost more.

Steve
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:24 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Boomster View Post
...snip....and the controversial "Lithium" batteries.
The Lithium batteries are very expensive and can cause fires...for now I'd avoid this class of battery.

Good Luck and Happy Camping.
I'm afraid this is no longer true. Lithium batteries being sold by custom solar/off-grid builders today such as these here: RV Lithium Battery are made with different chemistry and they can not catch fire. In fact, they are safer than lead acid batteries in pretty much all ways. They are smaller and weigh a lot less than lead/acid. There are many advantages to lithium you can read about in plain language here: Lithium Ion Batteries for RV House Systems / LiFePO4 | Technomadia

Also, on a "power over lifetime" basis, lithium are actually cheaper as you can see here: Cost Analysis of Lithium Ion Battery Systems for RVs | Technomadia Remember that you can discharge Lithium down to 20% of capacity for a "cycle", not just 50% like lead/acid.

Just thought I'd throw that in there....
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:42 AM   #32
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After seeing the price for a 100 AH Lithium Battery set up (north of $1,200) I now know why my AGM 100 AH battery was my choice @ $149 from Amazon.

Happy Camping !
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:45 AM   #33
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After seeing the price for a 100 AH Lithium Battery set up (north of $1,200) I now know why my AGM 100 AH battery was my choice @ $149 from Amazon.

Happy Camping !
I understand up front price is a consideration... although you can do better than the $1200 quoted on the Starlight link above. If you plan on using your trailer more than a couple times in 10 years though, it's still a sound investment.

Just remember, you have to buy TWO of your lead batteries to get the same amount of stored energy as 1 of the LiFePo.... and you will get 5 times (easily) as many "cycles" from the lithium before needing to replace. Plus, your lead battery will be providing lower and lower voltage as it discharges.. not a problem in most cases, but can be with certain items.

Add that to no maintenance (therefore no dangerous gas fumes), lighter weight (less gas hauling the trailer) and the ability to "bulk" charge to 98% instead of dealing the extended "soak time" needed to fill the lead after it gets to 80%.... thus less time running an annoying generator...

Here, I'll say it this way: If you can afford it up front, lithium is the way to go
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:21 AM   #34
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Juggler....you may be juggling your facts...your example battery was 100AH same as AGM.
AGM batteries are sealed units....no fumes...no maintenance.
AGM batteries have impressive recharge life cycles.
Reading: the 12 volt side of life on the Internet and understanding the cost benefit comparisons between what is available helped me understand the issue.
Many folks buy batteries labeled RV/Marine Deep Cycle at places like Walmart
and are satisfied in the short term. A fact to note is these so called deep cycle units show CCA ratings not found on true deep cycle batteries. The stuff Walmart sells are dual purpose batteries...neither fish nor fowl and not real deep cycle batteries and the last time I looked did not list any Amp Hour ratings.

For the average camper the AGM from Amazon @ $149 +$10 shipping sure leaves a lot of extra cash for fun activities.....if you are a full timer the extreme expense for lithium might be vindicated.
Meanwhile I'm a happy camper with my AGM/100AH battery.

Fact is no matter what you buy sooner or later you will have to replace it...all batteries have limited seevice life cycles...replacement every 4 to 8 years is a fact of life...you do the math and decide what to buy but read "the 12 volt side of life" before you buy another battery !

Happy Camping
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:01 AM   #35
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Juggler....you may be juggling your facts...your example battery was 100AH same as AGM.
AGM batteries are sealed units....no fumes...no maintenance.
AGM batteries have impressive recharge life cycles.
Reading: the 12 volt side of life on the Internet and understanding the cost benefit comparisons between what is available helped me understand the issue.
No fact juggling here, just basic mathematics

You may want to read this one also then (this was not written 15 years ago): Cost Analysis of Lithium Ion Battery Systems for RVs | Technomadia Because the cost/benefit isn't even close. Safety aside, the cost analysis is waaaaay on the side of lithium. You only get 50 Ah per cycle out of your AGM battery, you get at least 80 from the Lithium. You also get more cycles (a factor of 5 or more usually) from lithium. Once you do the arithmetic it's painfully obvious that there's no comparison. Add to that these factors:

You get no (virtually) voltage drop off with lithium as you do with AGM as the battery discharges.

Lithium can "bulk charge" to 98% unlike your AGM which will slow it's charge rate a lot after 80% so they re-charge faster.

The weight/stored energy ratio is MUCH better with lithium... less than half what you have to carry for equivalent AGM battery power.

Lithium cells are smaller and can be configured in odd shapes as needed for tight storage areas if you're a DIY kind of guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomster View Post
For the average camper the AGM from Amazon @ $149 +$10 shipping sure leaves a lot of extra cash for fun activities.....if you are a full timer the extreme expense for lithium might be vindicated.
Meanwhile I'm a happy camper with my AGM/100AH battery.

Fact is no matter what you buy sooner or later you will have to replace it...all batteries have limited seevice life cycles...replacement every 4 to 8 years is a fact of life...you do the math and decide what to buy but read "the 12 volt side of life" before you buy another battery !

Happy Camping
True enough... for the weekend warrior that's out twice a year, cheaper is better I'm sure. For anyone wanting to live like something more than a caveman "off the grid" for more than 24 hours, lithium is the only way to go.

You can easily get 12-15 years out of lithium given your weekend warrior scenario... and rarely will you get more than 5 out of a lead battery no matter what kind it is. The rated number of cycles is higher with a higher discharge at more consistent voltages... just not even in the same ballpark. The only drawback is cost up front and if that's your deciding factor than by all means, stick with lead
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:30 PM   #36
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Just a thought: you may want to try buying a couple of decent trade in 6v's from a battery store cheap. They may last a year or two.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:04 PM   #37
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Pros AND Cons of Lithium

Since the positive attributes of lithium has been covered more than adequately, the negative aspects need to at least be mentioned.

Cost: already covered

Cold Temperature:: Lithium batteries do not charge below freezing! Thus, if camping in cold weather, they must be located inside the coach with heaters going to maintain this ability.

Hot Temperature: Heat degrades the life span and overall capacity of lithium batteries. So again, if in extremely hot weather the batteries must be inside with AC keeping them cooler. Also, if you store your RV in hot weather, it will take a toll on those expensive batteries! Hey, I live in AZ so there will be NO lithium batteries in my RV's future.........

Over Discharging: If you discharge them below 2.5 volts, they die.... DEAD! Kaput! Then you get to go buy some new ones to replace the old ones. This can happen in storage too, unless you have the necessary electronics installed to cut them off. Then, it can still happen if it sits for period of time and the batteries normally discharge on their own. Not that anybody has ever let their batteries go completelly dead....

So..... If you are contemplating lithium batteries, just be aware of some of their limiting factors, and not just their strengths. For more information, read The “Big Beastly” Solar/Battery Upgrade Part III – Installation – Wheeling It

My apologize to the OP since lithium is not even on your radar. I just saw a lot of positive posts about lithium ion and needed to counter-balance them with some of the lithium limitations.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:38 PM   #38
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Since the positive attributes of lithium has been covered more than adequately, the negative aspects need to at least be mentioned.

Cost: already covered

Cold Temperature::

Hot Temperature:

Over Discharging: Not that anybody has ever let their batteries go completelly dead....
All very true, no doubt about it... but the temperature issue is easily solved keeping them in the cabin somewhere (remember that whole "flexible shape" thing?). And I have to note, anyone spending the money on lithium will assuredly have the proper components to keep their batteries from fully discharging In fact, in all the many hours of reading I've been doing on the subject, I don't know that I've seen that referenced by anyone who actually owned them... although the Technomadia folks shortened the life on theirs by cooking them :/ Not saying it doesn't happen, but it just seems unlikely


Quote:
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So..... If you are contemplating lithium batteries, just be aware of some of their limiting factors, and not just their strengths. For more information, read The “Big Beastly” Solar/Battery Upgrade Part III – Installation – Wheeling It
I read their blog, nicely done. I would point out that their batteries are in no fear from any of the limitations you noted above since "Marv" is extremely well versed. I've started talking to him about various aspects of what I'll have built and he seems to know all the tricks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Oil Guy View Post
My apologize to the OP since lithium is not even on your radar. I just saw a lot of positive posts about lithium ion and needed to counter-balance them with some of the lithium limitations.
Actually his question was: "So, is it really practical to carry a residential refrigerator when your goal is to boondock to the max without having to run the generator?". The answer of course is yes, and even though he had AGM batteries in his brainstorming component list, I'm guessing if he's willing to do all those calculations, he's someone that would be interested in a component change that might give him the advantage he wants in order to run that fridge without living like a caveman while he's doing it.... but I could be wrong

Am I a lithium "fanboi"?... you betcha, Ace
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:49 PM   #39
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The Juggler... I think you have this post confused with another one. The OP had several questions:
(quote)
1. what is a decent price to spend if I will
Dry camp 1-2 times per year? Budget maybe ($75-150)

2. Will this be needed to charge the battery? Or?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B019R3...+solar+charger &dpPl=1&dpID=51Skhcxb3ML&ref=plSrch

3. Will a battery last 3-4 days? I will only use lights and fridge. (He later clarified that the frig would be running on propane.

4. Do I need a hose just for filling the water tank or will the one I use for city water be ok?

5. What else should I know? (/end quote)

Note that there was no mention of running a residential refrigerator. So I suspect you had this thread confused with another one where I remember the OP did ask the question you quoted.

I wondered why you kept pushing the idea of lithium ion to someone who already said they would like to keep the budget at $75-$100, and also mentioned that he would only boondock 1-2 times/year IIRC.

It's pretty obvious that you are a big lithium ion fan, and I might be too if I was full time and boondocked all the time. Actually I do boondock most of the time when I take my RV out, but my needs are satisfied with 2 golf cart 6v batts with 255 watts of solar. Not ideal, but adequate for my meager needs with the TV and all lights converted to LED. Enjoy your lithium batteries, and treat them kindly!
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:47 AM   #40
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The Juggler... I think you have this post confused with another one. The OP had several questions:
(quote)

...>snip<...

It's pretty obvious that you are a big lithium ion fan, and I might be too if I was full time and boondocked all the time. Actually I do boondock most of the time when I take my RV out, but my needs are satisfied with 2 golf cart 6v batts with 255 watts of solar. Not ideal, but adequate for my meager needs with the TV and all lights converted to LED. Enjoy your lithium batteries, and treat them kindly!
sigh... you are exactly right of course... it's not surprising that I've gotten confused I suppose.... too many threads of interest bouncing around in this poor old brain at one time :/

My apologies for muddying the waters... I can see how my comments would be inappropriate for a shoe-string application

Luckily with lithium you don't have to "treat" them at all Set it up correctly to begin with and enjoy your expanded capacity, lighter weight, consistent voltages, faster charging and longevity
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:38 AM   #41
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I believe the original questions included a water supply hose. Do not use the common garden hose...purchase a drinking water hose (Walmart or RV store)
They are available in 10ft and 25 ft lengths.

For occasional camping use your 2. 6 Volt golf cart batteries will give you power for 3-4 days...same for an AGM battery....no need to spend big bucks for lithium.

If you want a quiet invert type generator I might suggest a 2400 watt unit from Harbor Frieght for $499..... Still cheaper than a lithium battery. It will run everything but your A/C.
Next step up would be a 3100 watt unit by Champion @ $750.
That will run everything and recharge your battery too !

Happy Camping !
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