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Old 10-01-2015, 05:34 AM   #1
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Default battery deep cycle alternatives

Just got a 2000 Dodge 3500 Okanagan with a vented battery box thru side of van. Box will Yardley fit a Group 27 battery. Question I have is are there any truly sealed battery choices so I could eliminate the small vented box and just use one or 2 in the same space which is under the dinette seat?
are AGM batteries or any other actually sealed to not vent H2 or other dangerous gases?
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:15 AM   #2
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Yes AGMs do not vent off and can be put in at any angle. You could still use lead acid under the dinette by making the compartment sealed and vented to the outside of the van. Much more bang for the buck..
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:25 PM   #3
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To quote from Wikipedia: "no acid fume is emitted during normal operation"

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VRLA_battery
Quote:
VRLA batteries offer several advantages compared with standard lead-acid batteries. The battery can be mounted in any position, since the valves only operate on overpressure faults. Since the battery system is designed to be recombinant and eliminate the emission of gases on overcharge, room ventilation requirements are reduced and no acid fume is emitted during normal operation. The volume of free electrolyte that could be released on damage to the case or venting is very small.
They can vent though so never put them in a sealed box. The valve in valve-regulated lead-acid battery is for venting to release pressure if needed.

If the area under your dinette seat is vented to the outside then that sounds like a great place for AGM's or enlarge the vented battery box itself and use wet cells.

Hopefully you have a good enough converter / charger in the van to at least periodically fully charge the battery(ies). If not, the batteries may not last long and need premature replacement. $100 for a wet cell every few years in one thing but $500 or $600 for a couple of AGM's that fail early due to inadequate care can put a dent in your wallet.

Post the make and model of the converter/charger and we might be able to lookup its capabilities.
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for all the inputs.
On the converter it is a Centurion CS2000 (made by Taiwan Youngyear?) which from nameplate and the manual show input a panel input rating of 20 amps (120V) and converter input of 120 V, 8 amps and converter output rating of 12VDC, 20 amps with comment "(converter output rating includes charging load)".
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:48 PM   #5
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Here's a copy / paste of something I posted previously:

Quote:
The old converter / chargers often have a steady 13.8v DC output. And, on the alternator side of things, there's often a voltage drop caused by the isolator and or the gauge of the wiring.

Typically, in a rig with an older converter / charger and an isolator and small-ish wiring, the battery never gets fully charged (14.4v dc). That chronic undercharging and partial state of charge cycling shortens the calendar life of the battery.
From the Centurion manuals I've seen, the max voltage output was limited to 13.5 to 13.6 volts.

It's not good enough to care for expensive batteries by itself. You'd need to supplement it at least occasionally with a charging source that will fully charge the batteries.

If you like the RV and don't mind spending a bit on some upgrades then replacing the Centurion is the way to go. Here's an option: Centurion CS 3000 Replacement

I think your Centurion was the power center for both the 120 volt AC and 12 volt DC loads in the RV. If so, it would be easiest to replace it with a similar sized all-in-one unit such as the one recommend by Best Converter.

This Centurion owner manual could be for newer units but the basic wiring layout might be similar.

CS OWNERS MANUAL .pdf
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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Yes the existing unit is both converter and AC breaker control. I'm going to think this through fully as I.'d like to get some more battery capacity but also keep maintenance lowish. I interpret your comments to mean AGM batteries need higher voltage recharge to maximize their life. Thanks for the link on replacement converters, I'm not opposed to spending some $ to upgrade so appreciate the links.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:00 PM   #7
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Lead acid batteries, both wet cells and AGMs, typically specify a charging voltage of around 14.4 volts.
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