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Old 12-01-2018, 04:31 PM   #1
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Battery life of original Group 27 and what to buy?

My original batteries which I believe to be un-branded Exide are over 3 years old. They seem to be holding up well being charged 24/7 at home and used down to 60% at the most while dry camping and quickly recharged the next day. But the last few times, it doesn't seem to take the charging a quickly. Curious, what life have you all been experiencing of the original battery? I had very poor luck with Interstate batteries in my previous Winnebago Minnie class C only lasting about 2 years. I would like as much ah as possible and ruled out most brands of flooded and also AGM's because of lower ah. The only one that seems to fit my needs would be the Trojan SCS200 with 115ah each. Comes with a hefty $175 price each. They say it's a real deep cell. I don't know if the Trojan 6 volts will fit in my step well battery compartment, I think they may be too high!
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:33 PM   #2
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My two Interstate Marine 27 series batteries last on average 4.5 years. Less than $100 a piece. And I abuse them regularly while boondocking.

Just got back from a trip with 20 degree nights and the heater ran fine all night, recharge batteries with generator the next day.
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:21 PM   #3
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Still using original Group 27s in our 2012 Solera. Seventh season on these batteries. Just returned from a trip to Washington State, one night without hookups - batteries did fine. I do have a 100 watt solar panel (Renogy with their PWM controller) which is continuously charging as needed, so they stay nicely charged in storage. Also, here in central CA the batteries are not subjected to severe temperatures when we’re at home.
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:34 PM   #4
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Interesting NMWildcat, my group 24 Interestates only lasted 24-30 months and I took good care of them. I wonder if they are the same batteries or could yours be a step up? I hope I can get another 2 years out of the Exides. Anyone out there using the Trojan 12volt not the 2 6volt?
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:54 PM   #5
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Interesting NMWildcat, my group 24 Interestates only lasted 24-30 months and I took good care of them. I wonder if they are the same batteries or could yours be a step up? I hope I can get another 2 years out of the Exides. Anyone out there using the Trojan 12volt not the 2 6volt?
These are the ones I buy. Not the best, but for the $$$ they work fine for our RV. https://www.interstatebatteries.com/...ies/deep-cycle
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:11 PM   #6
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I use Walmart starting batteries and beat them to death often running them flat because I refuse to be held hostage by expensive battery technology. Only once did I turn in a battery before the 3 year replacement warranty (5 yr prorated). However, I do understand the desire to mess with state of the art battery/charging systems.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:30 PM   #7
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I always wonder when people say their batteries last N years, how much battery capacity is actually left at that point.

I have one of those interstate batteries as a house battery in a boat. Hardly ever gets discharged much. After 5 years, it has about half it's capacity left. If it was in an RV, it would have needed replacing a few years ago.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:38 PM   #8
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I use Walmart starting batteries and beat them to death often running them flat because I refuse to be held hostage by expensive battery technology. Only once did I turn in a battery before the 3 year replacement warranty (5 yr prorated). However, I do understand the desire to mess with state of the art battery/charging systems.
I always laugh when you post this. Of course you used to say you were returning them to Walmart after you abused them in application they weren't designed for. You would even brag that you would return them before 3 years to get a new battery if you were going on a trip!
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:24 PM   #9
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Stagecoachdriver, have you ever pried off the plastic cover and checked the water level? If you haven’t done it, it would be a good idea. If the plates are exposed,new batteries time. To do better and save $, the best thing would step up to a group 31. More power but not a lot of cash and they will fit (barley) in a group 27 battery box. Our Sams club has them for $99. Jay
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:27 PM   #10
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Has anyone been able to get 2 Group 31's into the battery compartment in the step-well of a Forester or Sunseeker?
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:49 PM   #11
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Looks like my 27's are not holding up well, also interested in the 31's.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:25 PM   #12
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My 27's are Sept 2010 and still in good shape. I ran a truck maintenance shop for 10 years so know better than to contribute to Interstates bottom line.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:38 PM   #13
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I have a Sunseeker and last spring purchased 2 Group 31 batteries. They fit with a "little" room to spare.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:50 PM   #14
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I have a Sunseeker and last spring purchased 2 Group 31 batteries. They fit with a "little" room to spare.
Wondering if they will fit with my Xantrex Battery monitor shunt mounted inside the compartment at the end. How much longer is a group 31 than a group 27? Will have to check.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:25 PM   #15
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I have 2 group 31s in my step in a SunSeeker.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:42 PM   #16
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Wondering if they will fit with my Xantrex Battery monitor shunt mounted inside the compartment at the end. How much longer is a group 31 than a group 27? Will have to check.
According to a BCI spec the Grp 31 is 1" longer than a group 27.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:42 PM   #17
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Battery life of original Group 27 and what to buy?

I have 2 group 31 batteries in my 3170 step well. Place the first one in on the right and push it all of the way left. You will have about 1/4" clearance at the lip to drop in #2, than slide them both back to center. Be advised, the tie down strap will no be used. Not enough room to get the strap in the D-ring. I used a small sheet of styrofoam between the batteries and split pool noodles for the perimeter to prevent them from sliding. After connection, I split a pool noodle and placed them on top of the batteries to prevent the batteries from jumping up and down.
I am using Duracell deep cycle group 31 due mainly to price and I did not want to kill expensive batteries learning. I also swapped my 3 stage charger for a 4 stage Progressive Dynamics converter/battery charger. My setup is now 3-1/2 years old and are doing well. While at home, I leave in plugged in 24/7 and only overnight occasionally at a business which I have plenty of power for lights, TV, fridge and a little heat.
My group 27's that came with started to fail at 2-1/2 years. I think it was due to the 3 stage WIFCO OEM converters/charger.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:22 PM   #18
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I will have to move my Xantrex Battery monitor shunt from inside the right wall of the battery compartment to the outside. Means re-routing all the negative cables and making a new longer jumper from the shunt to the negative battery post. I have the main chassis negative cable, the power for the shunt, negative from the solar controller and the negative cable from the BIM. Tghat takes up a good 2" of the compartment. I suppose I could install a buse bar on the frame and run just I cabler to the shunt's new position and a new longer cable to the negative battery post. Can of worms here!
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:36 PM   #19
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My original batteries which I believe to be un-branded Exide are over 3 years old. ...
...
Your topic often invites a diverse gamut of opinion to the subject regarding what you ought to use or replace your battery scheme with. But the truthful fact is that the simple 12-volt battery scheme, such as you have, is a very practical, good, and economical stored energy reserve for your Mobile Palace. As already noted by several folks – flooded wet-cell batteries are pretty tough, very economical, and if properly maintained – provide a good life. However flooded batteries like being used and recharged, and their cells need to be full of electrolyte. The symptom you describe suggest your batteries are becoming sulfated. A good source of information for taking care of your batteries might be found at https://batteryuniversity.com: specifically, the topic "BU-403: Charging Lead Acid." There are also a few unorthodox extend-end-of-life methods not covered by the University which might help recover or extend life of a dying battery: 1) Fully charge the battery. Then shake the battery in all directions, then drain all of the electrolyte into a plastic container. You may notice that it looks a little like your black-water. Let is settle. Decant to another container leaving the gunk & chucks behind. Refill battery with decanted electrolyte – add distilled water to top-off. Recharge fully with a dumb charger. This method helps clean the sediment that forms in the bottom of a battery and often removes obstruction that short cells. 2) Google: "Replace electrolyte with Epsom salts". This method changes the chemistry of a stone-dead battery reviving its life, sometimes for an additional two years. There are many opinions regarding this method so you need to search & decide for yourself. I've used it to restore life into an old battery ... it works, but after this, the battery is finished.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:12 AM   #20
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FollowTheSun, in reading your reply, I realized that I have not tested my batteries with a hydrometer and done a good equalization since last spring. Perhaps that's all it really needs so I will do that tomorrow. I use my Renogy 100 watt solar suitcase and change the parameters to it's equalization mode setting it to high voltage for 1 hour on each battery. Hopefully, it will be sunny tomorrow. Thanks!
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