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Old 01-11-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
Robert Mayberry
 
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Gel cell batteries

Am going to put new batteries in soon. We put gel cells in our boat last year and I really like not having to ck the water and filling the cells every three months.

Any recommendations out there for gel cell brands, etc.?

Thank you.

Bob
2011 Solera
San Francisco
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:23 PM   #2
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I bought mine at Sam's Club (coach bat.) After one year great, only way to go. Cot me less than 300 for 2
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:28 PM   #3
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I have a group 27 Centennial jell, it works well as far as I can tell.
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:12 PM   #4
Robert Mayberry
 
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Gel cell battery

Hi there,

Do you have a model number or code or something?

Do they fit in that space under the steps?

Do you sew the same coach charger?

Thank you so much!

Bob
San Francisco
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:20 PM   #5
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they'll fit. nothing else changes.
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:21 PM   #6
Robert Mayberry
 
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Oops.

Do you "use" the same coach charger?
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:22 PM   #7
Robert Mayberry
 
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Cool. Thank you.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:26 PM   #8
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I thought I read in here that battery guru types, did some in-depth research and had said the wet cell was more versital if your going to dry camp. They seem to hold up better, take a charge more readily, if your running days between shore power, thats assuming you stay above 50%. lets face it, if all you do in RV parks, then its moot.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
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No, i dry camped at Hershey for 7 days no problems
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:08 PM   #10
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OK...let' dispense with the GEL CELL name. Gel cells do exist but they are almost never used in RV's and will be DESTROYED by the charging parameters in most RV charger/converters.
That leaves us with TWO other types of batteries that are available in DEEP CYCLE configuration...WET cells which need water and AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries which are sealed. NOT all sealed batteries are AGM...most are DUAL PURPOSE wet cells with a built in water reservoir that should not be used in deep cycle applications.

So first to answer the OP's direct question. There are several brands of AGM's which are widely used and get good reviews. Lifeline has a lot of proponents and is quite pricey. Full River is a chinese battery and gives good value per dollar spent. My own preference would be for the Trojans or Deka Marine Intimidator batteries are in the middle, are built well and are widely available.
I would note that AGMS's are available in both standard 12V sizes and 6V configs.

Advantages of AGMS...and disadvantages first:
-High Cost...2-3 times the cost of comparable wet cells.
- LESS lifespan cycles to 50% than comparable built, well cared for wet cells. (about 10% less).
-REALLY don't like to be left on charge full time
- REALLY need to be charged back up to 100% almost always if you don't want to lose capacity eventually.

So why do people pay more for them?
- No maintenance & water filling.
- Can be charged fully at LEAST twice as fast as a comparable wet cell IF you have a charger that is at least 1/2 of the rated amp hours.
-Can as a result, pay for themselves in generator gas and maintenance savings in a FULL TIME boondocking situation.
- Can supply at least 2x the current of a comparable wet cell for short periods.
- MUCH more resistant to freezing when fully charged.
- May be stored unattended for many months since self discharge is 1/10th that of wet cells.
-May be installed at any angle where they fit....even upside down.

Except in a full time boondocking situation...with a big charger...AGM's are never a good economic decision compared to wet cells. BUT given the care most wet cells ACTUALLY get....they typically last longer in real life! And they have lots of other benefits which may be of importance to some.

Hope this helps with the decision making.
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