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Old 01-31-2013, 04:45 PM   #1
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Battery Options (2) 6V or else

Looking at a few options on my batterys this year. I have now planned a few boondocking trips planned this year and am debating a battery change. The Group 24 interstate that came with the rig I let go dead last year by leaving a light on in the storage lot. It charged up but really does not seem to be the same. Have since installed a disconnect switch.
I am looking at 2 6v units from costco.... However there is a bit more cost in the boxes, additional cables and such. Also entertaining the idea of replacing the lights with LED's or possible just a few of them to reduce the strain.
Any opinions on this?
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:41 PM   #2
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Any opinions on this?
Two 6-volts along with the LED change is a great combo for extending your dry camping.

Personally, my Trojan T-145s wired in series provide 260Ah. This lasts us about 4-5 days when we are judicious in our power consumption, which doesn't always happen with our three kids. 3-4 days is more like it. The LEDs really help quite a lot.

A few considerations are to make sure your battery tray/compartment can fit the 6-volts and to verify that your converter can adequately charge the 6-volt batteries.

You can compare the charging requirements for the batteries you are looking at with the converter manual. Many deep cycle batteries need a higher voltage than my converter (WFCO8955) can provide. For example, the WFCO output in absorption mode is 13.6Vdc while the Trojan charging instructions in absorption mode is 7.4Vdc per battery (14.8 for 12V). The converter is fine when camping, but then I charge with a better portable when at home. I attached the data sheet for my batteries so you can see what I mean.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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I agree completely. The 6v Trojans or other similar have more capacity bigger plates and will last more cycles than the Interstates. Also, as stated, they will not ( or the interstates for that matter) ever reach a full charge at an absorption charge of 13.6 volt. The WFCO chargers are essentially junk, but work ok if you are plugging in every night. If you are dry camping and using a generator to charge your batteries, then you need a good quality temperature compensated high capacity charger to avoid spending all day with the generator running.

However running your batteries all the way down is no good for any of them. Use a battery disconnect switch if you can and use it.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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Just some food for thought I used to run two six volt battery's too.

6 volt batt are great tell one goes bad and nothing works in your rig , they seam to charge slower and boil out easy to
two six volt batts.with 260 Ah = 260 Ah

12 volt AGM batts. will charge about 20% faster and never need water they can't leak and can be mounted in any position. If one ever went down you could run your rig still.

one Life line 12 volt 31xl = 125 Ah and two = 250
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
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one Life line 12 volt 31xl = 125 Ah and two = 250
These are very nice, but pricey (400 bucks ea), large (GRP 31), and obviously heavy.
They may not fit everyone's available space.

2 group 31s will increase my pin load quite a bit. I don't have much wiggle room there with my 3/4 ton diesel's available payload.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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Good thoughts, John.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McClain View Post
Just some food for thought I used to run two six volt battery's too.

6 volt batt are great tell one goes bad and nothing works in your rig , they seam to charge slower and boil out easy to
two six volt batts.with 260 Ah = 260 Ah
Its true that if one 6-volt goes bad then you're SOL. But, how often does this happen? My thought is that a quality 6-volt will last many years without problems as long as they are well-maintained (as any battery should be).

My battery bank does charge slowly if charged through the converter because the plates are thick and solid - of course, that's what makes them deep-cycle. That's why I recommend a good portable charger for deep-cycle batteries.

I've never had them boil over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McClain View Post
12 volt AGM batts. will charge about 20% faster and never need water they can't leak and can be mounted in any position. If one ever went down you could run your rig still.

one Life line 12 volt 31xl = 125 Ah and two = 250
AGM batteries are nice but do have some drawbacks and not everyone can benefit from their main advantages, which are: No maintenance, completely sealed against fumes, Hydrogen, and leakage, they are non-spilling if they are broken, and can survive most freezes. But, these features come at a cost.

Their obvious drawbacks are price and size as Lou pointed out. I looked at them a few years ago but the Trojan T-145s were a much more economical choice for me. Besides, my batteries are outside the trailer so venting is not an issue and the AGMs were too long for my battery tray by about 6 inches total.

I agree that AGMs can be nice for the right setup.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #7
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I can buy AMG for around $315.00 and the weight is about 64.00 pounds on a 31 . The Trojan T-145's cost about $180.00 and the weight is about 71.00 pounds about 7 pounds more. lol

Herk the 6 volts weigh more so your wiggle be a little less !!
I think if you took good care of your 6 volts you might get 4-6 years life out of them . The AMG should give you 8-10 years

I have almost nine years on a life line 27 batt. on a offroad trailer and its still going strong and talk about boon docks try the Rubicon trail 3 times.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #8
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Well cared for 6 volt Trojans will last longer than any AGM. AGM's do have advantages in enclosed and unventilated spaces but that is all. They are not really designed as deep discharge although they are sold as such. I like to see the data claiming the AGM's last 8-10 year in deep cycle off grid use. There is lots of data on the Trojans that confirm that.

Just saying.
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