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Post Info TOPIC: Need new coach batteries


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Need new coach batteries


Needing to replace my coach batteries ( 1st time and newbie ). It now has 2 6 volt agm golf cart batteries, they are duracell gc2 type. Question is, is this the type I need to replace with or are there better for the buck out there? 

 



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Are you sure they are AGM type batteries? I googled Duracell GC2 and the description says they are "flooded cell" (regular/conventional) style batteries. AGM batteries are going to cost A LOT more than your current batteries. I bought two Lifeline GPL-4DL (12V 210 amp each) and they cost $495 each. They are ZERO maintenance and since they don't off gas, they don't need to be in a vented compartment and can be mounted in any orientation. There are many advantages to owning AGM batteries, but they are very expensive compared to traditional lead acid flooded cell batteries.

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Good question. I first thought they were wet cell but when I googled duracell gc2 I thought I got a gel battery. Ido believe they are conventional since they have the 3 cap top on them.

 



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One thing to be aware is if they are "Flooded" and you change to "AGM"......Make sure your charger is configured for the proper battery type or you can hurt the batteries too.

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Not to be picky but all the batteries are "coach" batteries. Some are house batteries and some are chassis (starting) batteries.
The only advantages to AGM are that the batteries can be put into a closed complement and they do not need regular watering. The down side is that they cost more. Other than that there is no major performance advantage to either.
Generally, two 6 volt in series will provide more amp hours than two 12 volt in parellel and do so at less cost.
So, if you don't mind the maintenance get flooded cell 6 volt. If regular maintenance might be a problem then get AGM.

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Selah is correct. Changed to AGM and love it. Got them 2 years ago at Camping World (not the best place to buy batteries) and I think they were under $150. (Exides) Asked Camping World about the converter as I had heard comments like trailerking but CW said nothing changes with converter going to AGM from flooded. I took their word for that and have been fine for over 2 years. Maybe I was just lucky?

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The Duracell GC2 come in either AGM or "regular" flooded wet cells.  The simple answer is to confirm which you have and replace with the exact same battery.

The more complicated answer is it depends on how much you want to spend, how long you want the batteries to last, how much "boondocking" you want to do, and how much space you have for batteries should you decide to change.

Many RV manufacturers are installing "marine" batteries or "dual purpose" batteries as RV "house" batteries.  Marine or dual purpose batteries are hybrids in that they provide both cranking amps to start boat motors and have a deep cycle component.  They are less expensive (a big reason RV manufacturers use them), but you won't get near the number of discharge cycles out of them as you would a "true deep cycle" battery that is not a hybrid.

If you never park without an electrical hook-up, you probably won't notice.  But if you do a lot of boondocking and discharge the hybrid/dual purpose batteries deeply over and over, you will likely only get about half the life that you would get out of true deep cycle batteries.

So, to compare apples to apples, we need to make sure we are comparing hybrids to hybrids or true deep cycle to true deep cycle.  And it's not always easy to determine the difference unless the terms "marine" or "dual purpose" are being used.  Many sales people and even Camping world will say "yes" when asked if a battery is "deep cycle" because the hybrids have a deep cycle component, so it takes digging further to be absolutely sure.  True deep cycle batteries will be discussed in terms of "Amp Hours" of capacity, while hybrid/marine/dual purpose batteries will talk about "cold cranking amps" which refers to engine starting.  The Exide batteries at Camping World appear to be hybrids.

"Golf Cart batteries" is RV lingo for 6-volt batteries.  Most RV battery "experts" will recommend 6-volt batteries wired in series like you currently have over a single 12-volt battery, but for most RVers it will make very little difference.

AGM batteries vs "regular" flooded wet cell.  The AGMs are sealed, maintenance free batteries that don't have to be vented and can be installed on their side if space is an issue.  They take vibration better and take a charge better.  However, they will not last any longer than a properly cared for and maintained "regular" flooded wet cell battery of the same size/capacity, as Selah said.  And the "regular" flooded wet cell, true deep cycle batteries are much cheaper than AGM true deep cycle batteries.  The key is "properly cared for and maintained" which, quite frankly, most RVers don't do very well.  It's not always the RV owner's fault because much depends on the quality of the battery charger or converter in the RV - the charger/converter should be a "regulated" or "three-stage" charger, and the better chargers/converters are not always installed by the manufacturer.

And as TRAILERKING said, if you change the "type of battery" (regular flooded wet cell vs. AGM vs. Lithium) the charger or converter needs to be re-programmed because the different types of batteries take charging at different rates.  You can destroy the batteries if this isn't done or if it's not at least verified that the new batteries are to be charged exactly the same as the old batteries. 

There are lots of choices (6-volt wired in series vs 12-volt, marine/dual purpose/hybrid vs true deep cycle, regular flooded wet cell vs AGM vs lithium) and you can find batteries in all combinations.  It can certainly be very confusing, in which case I refer you back to the first paragraph and the simple answer.  :)



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Has anyone tried using lithium battery with their RV what brand are you guys using?

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Thanks Howard. It's clear as mud now lol, no really that clears a lot up. I currently have 2 6 volt wet cells and I will just replace with the same. Like you said most rv'rs don't maintain batteries as well as they should so I don't see any since in spending more than I should. Thanks.

 



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crossroad wrote:

Has anyone tried using lithium battery with their RV what brand are you guys using?


 Many have, but many do it wrong.  We are included since we were an early install and messed up placement of the batteries and not installing a battery management system.  For an installation done correctly, try http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/24/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-i-why/ (part 1 of 4, read them all).  Lithium need to be installed in a protected location, especially from hot and cold (our mistake), all chargers need to be programmable and set very differently than wet cell or AGM charging values and a battery management system made for your particular batteries is essential.  

We will be moving back to AGMs in a couple months since we do not have a good protected place to install lithium batteries.  Our battery bank is trashed, mostly from getting too hot and too cold in an exposed area.



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swindall wrote:

Thanks Howard. It's clear as mud now lol, no really that clears a lot up. I currently have 2 6 volt wet cells and I will just replace with the same. Like you said most rv'rs don't maintain batteries as well as they should so I don't see any since in spending more than I should. Thanks.

 


 Actually you just outlined the reason why you should go with AGMs.  They don't need to be attended to every month.   More expensive, yes.  Is it worth it - maybe not when you are young and all joints work well.  But as you get older .....



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bjoyce wrote:
crossroad wrote:

Has anyone tried using lithium battery with their RV what brand are you guys using?


 Many have, but many do it wrong.  We are included since we were an early install and messed up placement of the batteries and not installing a battery management system.  For an installation done correctly, try http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/24/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-i-why/ (part 1 of 4, read them all).  Lithium need to be installed in a protected location, especially from hot and cold (our mistake), all chargers need to be programmable and set very differently than wet cell or AGM charging values and a battery management system made for your particular batteries is essential.  

We will be moving back to AGMs in a couple months since we do not have a good protected place to install lithium batteries.  Our battery bank is trashed, mostly from getting too hot and too cold in an exposed area.


 Thanks for the respond. The reason why I was asking is because I was planning of getting some truck parts and a pair of lithium battery for my vehicle. I was thinking it may work and may save me some cash doing it.



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