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Author Topic: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c  (Read 5029 times)

thebrits

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Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« on: June 04, 2015, 01:29:30 PM »
our RV came with 3 Interstate RV coach and 1 chassis battery. These are located under the entry steps which doesn't give a lot of space.

The batteries run down very fast, although only about 7 months old.  Has anyone found a better option. There is not room for 4 6 volt batteries which we had on our former coach.
Dennis & Peggy
"The Brits"
Las Vegas, NV
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37C
Escapees

Kevin Means

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 03:09:09 PM »
I don't have the same motorhome, so I don't know how much room you have to install larger batteries - batteries with more AH capacity. I'd recommend measuring your battery storage compartment, then searching online for the largest Group battery that will fit.  You're looking for as many AHs as you can get. You may also be able to find batteries of the same Group you already have, but which are of higher quality (I.e. more expensive), that have greater AH capacity.

If you don't have a good three stage charger, your batteries may not be getting charged properly, which will affect their longevity. Are you checking their water levels at least monthly? That's important. Gary Brinck wrote an article about RV batteries that you may find helpful. You can find it in the Forum's Library.

Kev
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 03:11:38 PM by Kevin Means »
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thebrits

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 03:24:46 PM »
Thanks. Gary's file is very helpful. We do like to boondock and we are planning to add a couple of solar panels to help out, but I think better batteries are also in our future.
Dennis & Peggy
"The Brits"
Las Vegas, NV
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37C
Escapees

John Canfield

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 04:51:11 PM »
Ditto what Kev said about a three-stage charger.  The very best battery in my opinion is the Lifeline AGM, Google that.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 08:11:20 PM »
Lifeline (Concorde) makes an excellent quality battery, but it doesn't have any more AH than others of the same physical size. If The Brits problem is high amp consumption, buying Lifeline instead of brand x isn't going to make much difference.

Without some yardstick to measure consumption and details on the battery type and size, it is impossible to guess whether their problem is small battery AH capacity, excessive power usage, or maybe some unknown & excessive background power draw in the RV.
Gary
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John Canfield

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2015, 09:12:35 PM »
Lifeline (Concorde) makes an excellent quality battery, but it doesn't have any more AH than others of the same physical size...
If you are comparing battery ratings across different manufacturers,  you need to be darn sure they are using the same rating schema.  In many cases the manufacturers will pull out a rating that portrays their battery as having more capacity than a competitor so be very careful when comparison shopping.

To state that the Lifelines don't have more capacity than other manufacturers, I would have to see the data to believe that.  I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, I'm a data collection guy.  For example Lifeline sold a Group 31 12V AGM battery a few years ago that I installed in our then brand new Horizon - its capacity was 105 amp hours for a 20 hour discharge rate. Two years ago Lifeline introduced an improved Group 31 battery with a 20 hour discharge rate of 125 amp hours - I installed three of these in our Horizon replacing the seven year old Lifelines (that were still going strong, I just thought it was time for replacement.)

Amp hour rating aside, absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery chemistry is the latest and best battery evolution for deep cycle batteries and generally speaking they will significantly outlive the typical flooded (wet) cell battery. 
--John
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 08:38:23 AM »
You can only pack so much lead and acid into a Size 27 or Size 31 case, and the physics of a lead acid battery are the same whether made by Lifeline, Trojan, or Excide. You can make a battery cheaper by leaving out some lead plates, but once you fill it to max capacity there isn't much else to improve upon.

AGM batteries have long useful lives, especially when compared to flooded cells that do not receive adequate care, but they don't yield any more AH per lb of lead than another type.

As John says, read the spec sheet when comparing batteries. Use the 20 hour rate for AH, or the RC (Reserve Capacity) minutes value to compare. Those are standardized measurements you can rely on. Forget the sometimes exaggerated claims on the ads.
Gary
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BigSkyTrailerGuy

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2015, 09:24:19 AM »
OP Brits didn't say if they were powering their fridge and an inverter with these batts 24/7 (as Gary said).  Besides Lifeline and Trojan, I didn't think we could get too much better battery than Interstate.

PJ Stough

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2015, 10:37:54 AM »
our RV came with 3 Interstate RV coach and 1 chassis battery. These are located under the entry steps which doesn't give a lot of space.

The batteries run down very fast, although only about 7 months old.  Has anyone found a better option. There is not room for 4 6 volt batteries which we had on our former coach.

So your battery compartment does have four batteries?  Are your coach batteries true "deep cycle" batteries, or are they "marine" batteries?  If "marine" batteries you could upgrade to the biggest true "deep cycle" batteries that will fit in the compartment.

On our 2005 Voyage, I moved the starting battery to the compartment behind the step compartment and added four Trojan T-105s six volt batteries.  I have also read where someone on this forum had room for four six volt Trojans, and a narrow and long starter battery, but I am not sure which model Winnebago they had.

Paul
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

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John Hilley

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2015, 10:54:31 AM »
A friend with a 2005 Adventurer on Workhorse chassis, moved the battery forward using one of these

Stainless Steel Drop Down Battery Box
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-Steel-Drop-Down-Battery-Box-For-Group-24-Batteries-/171081513751?hash=item27d540bb17&vxp=mtr

He was then able to put 4 6 volt GC2 batteries in the original location. I plan on doing that to my Ford F53 chassis this summer. I lack about 1/4" in width to mount on existing tray.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
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John Canfield

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2015, 12:30:58 PM »
You can only pack so much lead and acid into a Size 27 or Size 31 case, and the physics of a lead acid battery are the same whether made by Lifeline, Trojan, or Excide. You can make a battery cheaper by leaving out some lead plates, but once you fill it to max capacity there isn't much else to improve upon....
From Interstate battery, advantages of AGM vs. flooded cell:

"There are a few distinct advantages of an absorbed glass-mat battery versus a lead-acid battery:

    An AGM battery has a lower internal resistance than a flooded lead-acid battery, which allows faster recharge.
    The AGM battery doesn't produce nor expel hydrogen/oxygen gasses like the flooded lead-acid battery. Therefore, it doesn't have any electrolyte or water loss.
    When comparing the same group size battery, AGM batteries allow additional plate surface area. More plate surface area = high ratings in cold cranking amps (CCA) and/or reserve capacity (RC).
    AGM batteries do not exhibit terminal corrosion. No corrosion means less battery maintenance."

Okay - I'm finished  :D.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2015, 01:48:40 PM »
But did you compare the spec sheets, John? You might review this page at Lifeline and compare to most any other brand, AGM or flooded cell.

http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/rvdeepcyclebatteries.php

You will observe that AGMs generally have slightly fewer AH or RC than any comparable quality flooded cell.
Lifeline AGM #24: 80 AH
Lifeline AGM #27: 100 AH
Lifeline AGM #31: 105 AH
Lifeline AGM #31 XT: 125 AH

Compare to Trojan flooded (see Trojan data source: http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/TrojanBattery_MR_brochure.pdf)

Trojan #24 Flooded: 85 AH
Trojan #27 Flooded: 105AH
Trojan #27 XT Flooded:  115 AH
Trojan #30 XT Flooded:  130 AH

Trojan also makes AGMS, with about the same AH specs as Lifeline.


I might add that Interstate doesn't make batteries, so I would not rely on their brochures for good tech data. They are just a private label battery distributor, selling batteries in retail outlets everywhere. A well-known name, but hardly a battery authority. Last I knew, they were getting their AGMs from East Penn Manufacturing (Aka Deka brand), but they change sources from time to time or for different battery types or sizes.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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ennored

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2015, 02:09:12 PM »
So your battery compartment does have four batteries?  Are your coach batteries true "deep cycle" batteries, or are they "marine" batteries?  If "marine" batteries you could upgrade to the biggest true "deep cycle" batteries that will fit in the compartment.

On our 2005 Voyage, I moved the starting battery to the compartment behind the step compartment and added four Trojan T-105s six volt batteries.  I have also read where someone on this forum had room for four six volt Trojans, and a narrow and long starter battery, but I am not sure which model Winnebago they had.

Paul

Here's an thread with links to more (and more) links about 4/5 batteries in Winnebago steps:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f23/battery-additions-and-upgrade-217250.html#post2200941

I think your first step is finding out if the batteries you have are good or not. Just how fast (and with what loads) do they run down? Did they used to last better? Are they being properly charged? With the Winnebago supplied converter, it could take DAYS to completely charge 3 fully depleted batteries.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 02:16:39 PM by ennored »
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John Canfield

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2015, 05:03:03 PM »
But did you compare the spec sheets, John? You might review this page at Lifeline and compare to most any other brand, AGM or flooded cell...
I love data.  The flooded cells you cite are a just bit better than AGMs  according to manufacturer's specs.  Bottom line for me is the AGM chemistry has many advantages over flooded cell.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Kevin Means

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2015, 05:46:28 PM »
To thebrits... there's been a lot of talk here about AGM batteries. If you're considering them, you should also consider investing in a charger that has an AGM setting. Some folks charge their AGMs with standard lead-acid battery settings and have reported no ill effects. But AGM batteries do have a different charge profile - slightly different voltage settings. They're expensive batteries so taking care of them is important.

My opinion on AGMs - after running them for nearly two years (mostly boondocking) - is that they are the best overall battery for boondocking. They're tough, you can mount them upside down or sideways if you'd like (I don't), and I've always been impressed with how quickly they charge after they've been run down a bit. The only maintenance I perform on them is to visually inspect them and dust them off occasionally. They are trully maintenance-free.

Each of our AGMs are rated at 105 AHs. Some of the 6 volt golf cart batteries have higher AH capacities but they do require more attention than AGMs - not a big deal but after you've gotten used to doing nothing to your batteries, you notice it.

Kev 
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
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John Hilley

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2015, 10:21:45 PM »
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 10:25:27 PM by John Hilley »
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2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel AWD
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Best Battery Choice for Suncruiser 37c
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2015, 09:32:11 AM »
Quote
Bottom line for me is the AGM chemistry has many advantages over flooded cell.

Fully agree - I've been using AGMs since 2002.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL