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Old 10-24-2018, 04:13 AM   #1
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Default Who makes the best Flooded 6v for the money?

Like a freaking noob(which I am) I may have wiped out my batteries leaving them connected and discharging... They're only 2 years old too... Shame.

Anywho, I don't have the cash for nice AGMs right now, but don't want bottom of the barrel either.

Existing batteries are 6v Duracell 220ah. Not high end by any means. My grandfather didn't boondock much so they were just back ups.

I'm considering the Duracell Ultra Pro 235ah or the Deka 230ah. I can get a pair of either for under $300. That's doable.

Looked at Trojan 105s but can't find any locally around Raleigh NC and shipping is stupid.

Anything I'm missing or other options? Anyone know a place in my area with good prices?
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:40 AM   #2
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I'm also looking for a way to add a couple more batteries at some point to upgrade my boondocking ability... Not much room in my old SS Agile...
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:01 PM   #3
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The Trojans seem to still be GC style battery of choice for golf courses, but availability for you leaves that out, it appears. The other one that looks to compare well to Trojan would be Crown so you could check that out and see if you can get them locally. I have not heard enough about the two you mention to have a good idea on them.


I think nearly all new owners manage to kill off or at least injure a set of batteries, and experienced RV users certainly aren't perfect, either. Add to it that the charging equipment in most of the vans is not particularly great, and the case can be be made for using lower cost batteries, especially in GC six volt styles which are nearly all true deep cycle designs. If your batteries are likely going to get shortened life because of an OOPS or because is poor charging control, the high end batteries tend to lose some of their life advantages. Golf courses know that high end batteries give them the most life per dollar, but they also take very good care of them and have very good charging equipment.


In general, I have found that the Costco batteries are very good batteries for the money, although I have never personally had the GC batteries. They also have a very good warranty. Other folks have said they got good life out of Walmart batteries. If you catch sale pricing, they might be 1/2-2/3 the price of Trojans or Crowns, so worth considering.


My standard statement concerning batteries is that unless you have a good battery monitor (like a Trimetric), set up properly, you don't even know if you are abusing your batteries. With this in mind, longer term especially, saving some money on batteries, and using it to get a good battery monitor, would likely put you money ahead in the big picture.


Be sure to get to the scales to get weighed before you add more batteries to confirm you have enough load capacity for another 150# of batteries and mountings
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Old 10-24-2018, 01:53 PM   #4
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The Trojans seem to still be GC style battery of choice for golf courses, but availability for you leaves that out, it appears. The other one that looks to compare well to Trojan would be Crown so you could check that out and see if you can get them locally. I have not heard enough about the two you mention to have a good idea on them.


I think nearly all new owners manage to kill off or at least injure a set of batteries, and experienced RV users certainly aren't perfect, either. Add to it that the charging equipment in most of the vans is not particularly great, and the case can be be made for using lower cost batteries, especially in GC six volt styles which are nearly all true deep cycle designs. If your batteries are likely going to get shortened life because of an OOPS or because is poor charging control, the high end batteries tend to lose some of their life advantages. Golf courses know that high end batteries give them the most life per dollar, but they also take very good care of them and have very good charging equipment.


In general, I have found that the Costco batteries are very good batteries for the money, although I have never personally had the GC batteries. They also have a very good warranty. Other folks have said they got good life out of Walmart batteries. If you catch sale pricing, they might be 1/2-2/3 the price of Trojans or Crowns, so worth considering.


My standard statement concerning batteries is that unless you have a good battery monitor (like a Trimetric), set up properly, you don't even know if you are abusing your batteries. With this in mind, longer term especially, saving some money on batteries, and using it to get a good battery monitor, would likely put you money ahead in the big picture.


Be sure to get to the scales to get weighed before you add more batteries to confirm you have enough load capacity for another 150# of batteries and mountings
Thanks. I'll look into Crown. Never heard of it. I have a 3-stage Tripp Lite charger. And my solar system has a monitor. I just boneheaded it and left it parked in the shade with the inverter on and batteries connected for a week after getting home from a late night drive. The converter cuts out at 10v but the remaining parasitic draw brought the charge down to 6v before I saw it... Costly error I won't make again... I hope.
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Old 10-24-2018, 02:40 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'll look into Crown. Never heard of it. I have a 3-stage Tripp Lite charger. And my solar system has a monitor. I just boneheaded it and left it parked in the shade with the inverter on and batteries connected for a week after getting home from a late night drive. The converter cuts out at 10v but the remaining parasitic draw brought the charge down to 6v before I saw it... Costly error I won't make again... I hope.

Does your solar monitor give you battery SOC based off a shunt? That is the only accurate way to do it, and you also need to have the right settings in the monitor to get a decent measure of full based on the current to the batteries to determine full. The good thing about wet cells is you can check the specific gravity of them to compare to your monitor to confirm it's accuracy. What controller to you have?



We had the Tripplite 45amp in our Roadtrek as stock and did use it charge two wet cell Trojan 12v batteries for quite a while. I did find it to chronically undercharge them if the they were more than about 20% discharged. Hopefully your solar is set up well and makes up the difference for you. As a point of reference, once we got an accurate charger, we found that the wet cells could take up to 10 hours to get full if they were down to 50% SOC. The Tripplite was limited to a max of 4 hours of full charge by a timer, so that explained the chronic undercharging.
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:19 PM   #6
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If price is any consideration, the Duracell EGC2 are excellent batteries. Made by East Penn, they are available in NC. Sam's Club or Battery plus Bulbs. Crown are the best lead acid but harder to find and many more dollars.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:27 PM   #7
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I second the Costco batteries.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:00 AM   #8
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I have had my Deka batteries for 8 years with the Tripplite charger.
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:32 AM   #9
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I have had my Deka batteries for 8 years with the Tripplite charger.

I should have mentioned earlier that the Tripplite issue mentioned is for the Tripplite charger only, not for the entire system in the van. If there is a solar charger that is good at topping the batteries off at least periodically, and/or the driving patterns of the user hit a sweet spot for getting them topped off, the batteries will last well. For many owners the shore charger is really not the primary charging system as they rarely are on shore power.


The good news is that with a battery monitor you will know how well the system is working as a complete unit. Yours appears to be working pretty well to have the batteries last that long. It would be interesting to run a capacity test on them to see how well the capacity has held up over the years, as we rarely get a chance to see that kind of information on older batteries that still in use.
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Old 10-27-2018, 01:30 PM   #10
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I can go 2 days before the batteries get to about 12.1 volts. That is with basic use: lights, water pump, some inverter time. I do have a fridge fan that runs all the time. I should put a monitor in but haven't bothered yet. The van is my daily driver so the batteries get some charge frequently. The standing charge is typically about 12.7 volts, but when I check the specific gravity it shows fully charged.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:16 PM   #11
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I can go 2 days before the batteries get to about 12.1 volts. That is with basic use: lights, water pump, some inverter time. I do have a fridge fan that runs all the time. I should put a monitor in but haven't bothered yet. The van is my daily driver so the batteries get some charge frequently. The standing charge is typically about 12.7 volts, but when I check the specific gravity it shows fully charged.

The 12.7v and high specific gravity are good and you obviously know you don't have any weak cells. We had one of the original Exide "marine starting" 12v batteries in our Roadtrek that would charge to good voltage and specific gravity but had less the 30% of the rated capacity when I did a capacity test, apparently do to capacity walkdown from being left partially discharged and short charged from shore power at the dealer. I am not certain that true deep cycle can exhibit the good voltage and specific gravity but low capacity but I think so. Without a monitor a capacity test gets much tougher to accurately.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:54 PM   #12
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I have been using Interstate batteries for several years. They have an excellent warranty and are reasonably priced. There are also Interstate distributors nearly everywhere; and I would recommend using a distributor over a 2 step retailer like AutoZone, especially for any warranty issues.
My 210P came with new interstate Golf cat batteries when I bought it used in 2014. I also had an Interstate starting battery new at that time. Due to the well documented Chevrolet discharge issue, I toasted two starting batteries over 4 years and Interstate replaced them without question under full replacement warranty...you don't even need a receipt, they go by the stamped in battery manufacture date; another plus for dealing with the distributor, you get fresh batteries.

Interstate also make an AGM 6 volt battery which goes for $269.95, a lot lower than Lifelines, but I cannot make any claims as to the comparative reliability.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:23 AM   #13
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The 12.7v and high specific gravity are good and you obviously know you don't have any weak cells. We had one of the original Exide "marine starting" 12v batteries in our Roadtrek that would charge to good voltage and specific gravity but had less the 30% of the rated capacity when I did a capacity test, apparently do to capacity walkdown from being left partially discharged and short charged from shore power at the dealer. I am not certain that true deep cycle can exhibit the good voltage and specific gravity but low capacity but I think so. Without a monitor a capacity test gets much tougher to accurately.
How do I do a capacity test?
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:32 PM   #14
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How do I do a capacity test?

Without a monitor,



Check the battery specs for the 20hr amp hour rating


Divided the rating by 20 to get what the amps would be for the 20 hours


Try to find something that you have that will take that amount of amps or as close to it as you can find


Charge the batteries up in your normal way


Hook up only your load and let it run. Once it stabilizes note the exact amps with an ammeter


Check the amps periodically to see if it changed as it likely will and note so you can average when done


The normal test is until dead at 10.5v, but I don't like that if just checking for major capacity loss. If you get to where it still above 10.5v and has used even 70% of the rated capacity it is better for the battery to stop and call it good. Let the battery recover for a few hours with no load and check the voltage to approximate how much SOC is still left.


Much easier with a monitor as you just hook up your load and let the monitor do all the work.
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:59 PM   #15
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I use two of the wet cell Costco Marine/RV batteries. I would much prefer two of the 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries but they are too tall for my battery compartments.

I use the wet cell because they work well and they are cheap. If I see them fading itís pretty painless to just get a new set. I think I pay $80 or so for each. A group 27 AGM would be 3 times that.

I have a real monitor, a Trimetric. I think itís an essential piece of kit. You never really know where you are without it.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:01 PM   #16
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I'm a fan of Trojan's. About 10 years ago I bought a bunch of T-125's for an EV conversion (pickup truck). When the batteries started declining and I stopped driving that 5-6 years ago the batteries were repurposed. Both a friend and I have six each in our Electrak's (electric riding mower GE made in the '70's) and they still work fine.

AGM's are expensive but I have six Concorde 6V 220AH AGM's powering our household backup inverter system. They're about 15 years ago and still going strong. Sometimes paying a bit more pays off in the long run.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:46 PM   #17
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I'm a fan of Trojan's. About 10 years ago I bought a bunch of T-125's for an EV conversion (pickup truck). When the batteries started declining and I stopped driving that 5-6 years ago the batteries were repurposed. Both a friend and I have six each in our Electrak's (electric riding mower GE made in the '70's) and they still work fine.

AGM's are expensive but I have six Concorde 6V 220AH AGM's powering our household backup inverter system. They're about 15 years ago and still going strong. Sometimes paying a bit more pays off in the long run.
What chargers do you use? Any special charging or maintenance tips?
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:17 PM   #18
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What chargers do you use? Any special charging or maintenance tips?
Nothing fancy for the flooded batteries. Regular charging with the occasional equalization. The Concordes are hooked to a Xantrex inverter which manages any charging. The only thing I did a bit different (IIRC) was to lower the recommended Float voltage which may or may not have affected anything. It's set to 26.5 V (I'd have to try to find the original paperwork to see what they recommended) for a nominal 24 V system. The Xantrex uses temperature compensation which may have an influence as well i.e. slightly higher for cold batteries and slightly lower for warmer temps.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:09 PM   #19
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What chargers do you use? Any special charging or maintenance tips?
Zamp Solar keeps my batteries charged with the built in controller.... when I'm not using the system ...I just switch to the battery disconnect inside the coach...
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:44 PM   #20
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Trojan T-105ís are pretty-much the industry standard and are worth having shipped. Rolls Surrette might even be better so you might check into em. Weíre you plugged into shore power when your batts took a turn for the worse? If so, you need to get a proper converter-battery charger instead of that Tripplite. Intellipower Charge Wizard is the best on the market and incorporates an excellent charging algorithm that covers all the bases
perfectly.
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