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Battery Brand Recommendations


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#1 2summers

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:00 PM

I have a 40' Monaco Windsor and need new house batteries.

The batteries that are in the motor coach now are 6 volt Interstate Battery U2200's. What brand would everyone recommend for performance and reliability? The batteries that are in now have what looks like a bulge on top where the positive anode post is but the negative looks flat on the top of the battery.

Does anyone know if this is normal? Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Mark
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#2 wolfe10

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:22 PM

Mark,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

NO, a bulging battery is not normal. It is a sign of either a bad battery or bad (or more likely if a newer coach) of an improperly programmed inverter/charger.

Either a bad cell in a battery and/or too high a voltage will cause this. Normally, this is accompanied by higher use of water. How low were the cells and have the plates ever been exposed? If you have a smart charger or inverter/charger, have you programmed it (see your inverter charger manual).

You don't say how old they are, but with wet cell batteries, it is easy to check them with a hydrometer (inexpensive and available at any auto parts house). Be sure the batteries are fully charged when you test them.

"Best" will bring quite a lot of responses. To me best is Lifeline AGM batteries-- been using them for decades in our off shore sail boats as well as motorhome. They are expensive, but maintenance free, accept a charge faster than wet cell batteries (lower internal resistance) and do not out-gas under normal conditions.

Brett
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#3 Shields

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:30 PM

Mark,

Welcome to the FMCA forum.

You raised two issues; i.e. bulging and recommendations. Let's deal with the bulging first.

In most cases bulging of a battery case results from gassing. When wet cell batteries are charged, gas bubbles form. If a battery is overcharged or charged too long, the gassing and the accompanying heat can cause the battery case to bulge. That is a likely cause of the condition you described. There could be other causes, but gassing would be a first guess.

As to choosing replacement batteries, there are lots of good brands and alternatives. First off, consider your usage. Do you dry-camp a lot, or do you usually have 120V power available. The proposed usage will help you determine the type and capacity to purchase. Also, how old is your coach and what kind of inverter/charger do you have. You'll want to make sure that your inverter/charger can be set to the charging voltage you new batteries require.

I have a 1997 Monaco Dynasty, and recently replaced the wet-cell house batteries with LifeLine AGM batteries. I'm very happy with their storage capacity and performance. However, my inverter/charger doesn't have a setting to exactly match the manufacturer's suggested charging protocols. You'll want to avoid that error if possible.

Good luck and happy RVing,

Tin
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#4 chuckles

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:13 AM

No question...Lifeline AGM's. Sealed, no maintence, no hassle. Order on line, shipped from California, UPS! Cost a little more but worth every penny.
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#5 kingfr

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:18 AM

+1 for the Lifelines
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#6 RVerOnTheMove

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:07 PM

You are going to need more than +1 to afford the Lifeline batteries! :blink: $$$$
With that said, I have Lifeline's and they are the best. I have also been able to justify the cost as I have had the same bank of house batteries for many years. They will be 10 years old this January. Other batteries I have tried were much lower cost but required a regimented dedication to routine maintenance or there life would be dramatically shortened. I have not touched these batteries since installation other than occasionally wiping off some dust! No gasses causing rusting or other damage and no possibility of sulfuric acid splash or spill.
My time is about up on these batteries, however, as they are starting to show shorter periods without recharging. My only concern in replacing them is whether I think I will keep this coach long enough now to justify the expense.
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#7 kingfr

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:56 PM

You are going to need more than +1 to afford the Lifeline batteries! :blink: $$$$
With that said, I have Lifeline's and they are the best. I have also been able to justify the cost as I have had the same bank of house batteries for many years. They will be 10 years old this January. Other batteries I have tried were much lower cost but required a regimented dedication to routine maintenance or there life would be dramatically shortened. I have not touched these batteries since installation other than occasionally wiping off some dust! No gasses causing rusting or other damage and no possibility of sulfuric acid splash or spill.
My time is about up on these batteries, however, as they are starting to show shorter periods without recharging. My only concern in replacing them is whether I think I will keep this coach long enough now to justify the expense.


I have 6 of the 300 amp hour Lifelines installed, I know what they cost. They are worth it.
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Frank
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"It's never too late to have a happy childhood!"


#8 RVerOnTheMove

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:33 PM

That, of course, depends upon your needs and how long you will be keeping your coach. "Worth it" to you may not equate to "worth it" to another RV owner. I love my Lifelines but I doubt I am going to pay $2400 to replace them in my 25 year old coach.
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Bill

#9 guymaster

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:29 PM

We also need 4 batteries. I am not sure how long we will have the coach so lifelines are out. I am looking at golf cart batteries and Monaco says we can use them.

Also have a genset that will not start.

Need to solve both by 11-1-2012
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#10 RVerOnTheMove

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:52 PM

The Genset likely needs a starting battery and not a deep cycle if it a separate battery just for that purpose. If Lifelines are out I would be looking for a good sealed deep cycle battery that will provide the amp hours necessary to meet your demands.
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Bill

#11 John_Harris

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:02 PM

So, what would someone expect to pay for 4 - 6 volt 300 amp hr lifelines and would would be life expectancy on properly maintained (charged) house batteries used for dry camping 5 to 6 days at a time 5 or 6 times a year?

My U2200 lasted 5 years but I had issues with the inverter the first year or so that allowed batteries to discharge to 8-9 volts or less on several occasions. Those issues are now resolved.
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#12 RVerOnTheMove

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:24 PM

I don't know about the batteries you selected but my AGM Lifeline batteries will be 10 years old this coming January.
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Bill

#13 wolfe10

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:12 PM

I installed mine (2 8D Lifeline AGM's) in April 2005. They are still going strong.
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