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Old 10-27-2019, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default RT 190 setup 3 12v AGM in parallel?

2004 RT 190P - I've currently got two 12v coach batteries in parallel. I'm thinking it is time to replace the existing batteries, and am thinking of adding another one, making 3 in parallel, all new AGMs. Any reason not to do this?
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:34 AM   #2
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2004 RT 190P - I've currently got two 12v coach batteries in parallel. I'm thinking it is time to replace the existing batteries, and am thinking of adding another one, making 3 in parallel, all new AGMs. Any reason not to do this?

You will probably find the biggest issue to be packaging it and finding a good place for the third battery without having mismatched length cable runs. The cables will be long on the original batteries which are on the opposite side of the van from the charger so if you put the third battery closer to the charger it likely will have shorter cables. Cable mismatch and cause charge and discharge mismatches, so getting the same resistance is of benefit if possible. If all are the same gauge, length is the issue, but you can get closer to balance by making the longer runs larger gauge.


Other than that, about it should be of no issue unless the extra batteries take more charge from the alternator and start to trip the auto reset circuit breakers in the line from the engine. You would have an isolator that drops the voltage so might not happen on yours like it would with a full voltage separator. If it does do it, you will hear the breakers clicking and could see the voltage at the batteries go up and down with a meter.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:24 PM   #3
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Hi Booster, There is a great spot for this battery aft of the electrical panel and below the bed. I figured I'd buy more of the same cable I used for the second battery install, and match the length of the other 2. Now I just have to cough up the $$ to make this happen.

Once again, thanks for your feedback!
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:15 PM   #4
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Hi Booster, There is a great spot for this battery aft of the electrical panel and below the bed. I figured I'd buy more of the same cable I used for the second battery install, and match the length of the other 2. Now I just have to cough up the $$ to make this happen.

Once again, thanks for your feedback!
So you will have 3 group 27 agm batteries?

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Old 10-28-2019, 02:10 AM   #5
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Hi Bud, That would be the plan - 3 new 12v group 27 AGM batteries - probably Lifeline GPL-27T.
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:49 PM   #6
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Hi Bud, That would be the plan - 3 new 12v group 27 AGM batteries - probably Lifeline GPL-27T.
rauscs, with my 05/04 Roadtrek 190P those won't fit - too long at 13.09 inches. They will fit your 04 190P?
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:01 PM   #7
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rauscs, with my 05/04 Roadtrek 190P those won't fit - too long at 13.09 inches. They will fit your 04 190P?

Hey Bud, what size came in your 190? Our 2007 190P came with two gp27 wet cells. I tired to fit gp31, but they wouldn't fit. Is the Lifeline a bit oversize?
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:03 PM   #8
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Hey Bud, what size came in your 190? Our 2007 190P came with two gp27 wet cells. I tired to fit gp31, but they wouldn't fit. Is the Lifeline a bit oversize?
I purchased after the van was put in service, 22 months. The battery (1) looked original and don't recall but am pretty sure it was a group 27 deep cycle. Both battery locations behind and in front of the passenger back wheel will not hold some of the agm 27's much less any kind of 31's.

My memory is not worth much here as it has been quite awhile since I considered agm's, but that day is coming again. As I recall maybe most? of the 27 agm's won't fit, but some will. Same with the lithium batteries when I considered those. There is a lithium, 100 amps, that will fit though.

I spent some time with the 3.5 year old Walmart batteries Saturday in my driveway, about a 12 hour power loss. The darn things still seem very happy, per the voltage meters And my guess about how much I used them. For my application, the ancient electrical stuff is a bargain with the batteries really satisfied with the dumb charger, mismatched cabling, and me! Still, they could be down 20% in amp hours, and I might not know it. They might give up this year. Then what? So easy to just remove, drive to Walmart, .......... Still, I could use a project, or maybe another b. 12 years ago I had to have the third seat but that application ended 6 years ago, thus some more spaciness would be nice.

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Old 10-28-2019, 03:26 PM   #9
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...

I spent some time with the 3.5 year old Walmart batteries Saturday in my driveway, about a 12 hour power loss. The darn things still seem very happy, per the voltage meters And my guess about how much I used them. For my application, the ancient electrical stuff is a bargain with the batteries really satisfied with the dumb charger, mismatched cabling, and me! Still, they could be down 20% in amp hours, and I might not know it. They might give up this year. Then what? So easy to just remove, drive to Walmart, .......... Still, I could use a project, or maybe another b. 12 years ago I had to have the third seat but that application ended 6 years ago, thus some more spaciness would be nice.

Bud
I don't think that there is one battery solution that fits everyone's situation.

I'm in the cheap Walmart camp. I'm currently running a single group 27 "maintenance free" "deep cycle" battery, Group 27DC Everstart Maxx with a two year guarantee. It was less than $100, is easy to deal with replacing on the road, and I don't have to worry so much about making a mistake and ruining an expensive battery(ies). We use very little power unless it's quite cold out, normally about 10-20 AH per day. The current battery is about a year and a half old and still performs well. Nice to hear that they can last longer. By far, most solo travelling involves extended, up to two weeks per location, boondocking for about three months. When two up camping, about 40% boondocking.

Again, everybody's needs/wants do vary, not meant to be argumentative.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:10 PM   #10
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We have seen some posts on here that state that if you remove the OEM battery trays and slideouts, you can put in as large as some of the GP31 batteries. I think the rear one is the tightest.


With AGM, you don't need to service anymore so the slide is really not needed, but you would have to move or make a hold down.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:24 PM   #11
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We have seen some posts on here that state that if you remove the OEM battery trays and slideouts, you can put in as large as some of the GP31 batteries. I think the rear one is the tightest.


With AGM, you don't need to service anymore so the slide is really not needed, but you would have to move or make a hold down.
Thanks booster. The front battery location is tapered toward the back, it would be close. The back battery location measures 13 inches exactly, but height limited with both.

I will need to kind of start over when these batteries give up. If I can figure out how to install 2 group 31's with say 120-125 amp hours, I'll change out the charger and maybe go with a compressor refer also. Nice that folks have one heck of a lot of choices with B's today.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:56 AM   #12
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Doublecheck the specs on the Lifeline. I wanted to put a 27T into the battery box on my 1997 PW but the length was too long since the PW battery box is exactly 13" inside. The Lifeline dealer pointed out that the 13.09" dimension was with the outside ears that secure the battery lift/handle. The case is actually around 12". I sawed the ears off mine, removed the strap, and used a battery carry strap to lower the battery in. Fits fine.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:03 PM   #13
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Success! I was able to install three new Lifeline GPL-31XT batteries, 125 Amp Hours each. Had to remove the slides from the existing battery compartments on the passenger side. Third battery went in the cabinet on the drivers side under the bed. I'm sure that not all 190 Populars have that cabinet, so your mileage may vary.

Battery in the aft battery compartment (behind the rear wheel) was really tight for width, but it worked. I put a wood spacer at the bottom to both help hold the battery in, and to give something for the bumper on the removable body panel to push against. Without it, the panel was loose and would rattle.

Fitting the new battery in the side middle compartment was no issue, but the cabinet does taper down at the rear, and I was worried that the new one wouldn't fit.

The under-the-bed cabinet was easy as well - the width of the battery was a perfect fit, and the cables only have to go to the next cabinet over, with space already there to run it through. I took a plastic bin that I was already using in that space and cut it down to both allow for the cabinet door opening and to have 1-2 inches that slides around the battery. I screwed down a wood cleat to hold the battery and plastic bin. This space is now the dirty clothes bin.

This is the second and hopefully last battery update. The first one was to add a second battery Trimetric battery monitor, and solar. I installed all new battery cables for that mod, running everything to the electric compartment with equal length cables. I got more of the exact same welding cable that I used for the first install, same length, which is why there is a coil of cable on top of the new battery.

Photos attached. I'm not sure why the one shot is upside down, but if you stand on your head it looks good. I attached a shot of my "Control Center" just for kicks, containing panels for Trimetric, SeeLevel, Progressive Dynamics, Progressive Industries, and a custom switch panel with indicator lights.

Thanks to everyone here who chimed in and helped out!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RearBatt31.jpg (152.5 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg MidBatt31.jpg (154.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg UnderBedBatt31.jpg (116.1 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg ElectricCab.jpg (195.6 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg ControlCenter.jpg (201.1 KB, 13 views)
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:11 PM   #14
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Success! I was able to install three new Lifeline GPL-31XT batteries, 125 Amp Hours each. Had to remove the slides from the existing battery compartments on the passenger side. Third battery went in the cabinet on the drivers side under the bed. I'm sure that not all 190 Populars have that cabinet, so your mileage may vary.

Battery in the aft battery compartment (behind the rear wheel) was really tight for width, but it worked. I put a wood spacer at the bottom to both help hold the battery in, and to give something for the bumper on the removable body panel to push against. Without it, the panel was loose and would rattle.

Fitting the new battery in the side middle compartment was no issue, but the cabinet does taper down at the rear, and I was worried that the new one wouldn't fit.

The under-the-bed cabinet was easy as well - the width of the battery was a perfect fit, and the cables only have to go to the next cabinet over, with space already there to run it through. I took a plastic bin that I was already using in that space and cut it down to both allow for the cabinet door opening and to have 1-2 inches that slides around the battery. I screwed down a wood cleat to hold the battery and plastic bin. This space is now the dirty clothes bin.

This is the second and hopefully last battery update. The first one was to add a second battery Trimetric battery monitor, and solar. I installed all new battery cables for that mod, running everything to the electric compartment with equal length cables. I got more of the exact same welding cable that I used for the first install, same length, which is why there is a coil of cable on top of the new battery.

Photos attached. I'm not sure why the one shot is upside down, but if you stand on your head it looks good. I attached a shot of my "Control Center" just for kicks, containing panels for Trimetric, SeeLevel, Progressive Dynamics, Progressive Industries, and a custom switch panel with indicator lights.

Thanks to everyone here who chimed in and helped out!

Very nice, good job!
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