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pollonbeeche

House Battery Replacement ... from Costco?

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My coach is a 2006 HR Vacationer diesel.

The house batteries on board are 2 INTERSTATE GC2-XHD-UTL. My first set of batteries (same brand and model) lasted 4 years and they died suddenly while we were in Charlotte N.C. I replaced them on 7/19/2010 with the ones I have, and they are now almost 5 years old. We are planing a trip and extended trip, so I am going to replace them next week. They are not showing any indication of failure, but I don't want to have a problem during our trip.

My questions is, I plan to replace them by installing 4 INTERSTATE GC2-RD-UTL from COSTCO, I have the room in my bay and they have a great price on them. The only difference that I can see on the Interstate website is as follows:

GC2-XHD-UTL has CAP-20: 232.00 ReserveCapacity -25: 475.00 (The 2 I have now)

GC2-RD-UTL has CAP-20: 208 ReserveCapacity-25: 415 (plan to purchase)

Should I purchase the same two I have now, or get the 4 at COSTCO and have more Amp capacity? Has anyone use the COSTCO battery? They are all the same size and have the same warranty.

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pollonbeeche,

You mentioned that you changed out 2 batteries 5 years ago and are considering replacing them with 4 new batteries.

1- Do you have a total of 2 batteries currently and are increasing the total number to 4? or you just replace 2 of the total batteries 5 years ago?

Regarding the batteries the only difference is the Amp Hr. rating with the same footprint - if you are going from 2 up to 4 batteries you will need to parallel the two sets by adding a positive jumper, an intermediate cable on the second set and a negative jumper cable to connect the sets together.

2- Do you check your water levels regularly and have you run a hydrometer reading on the current battery cells? You could also have them load tested.

This would give you a good indication of the battery condition.

Rich.

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Although more expensive I would recommend AGM golf cart batteries. There are some advantages in doing so. No corrosion or fumes, battery cables stay looking new, they run longer on a charge and recharge faster. We are currently camping in a state park on Mo without hookups and our solar is keeping the batteries up. We have 600 watts of solar and 6 AGMs. This morning in overcast and rain it was still charging at 6 amps.

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I agree with dd69, AGM is the way I would go also. Although I use 4 gel cells, only because I have a source for them. Not having to add water and no fumes is a bonus.

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I recently serviced our 4 golf cart syle wet cell batteries. I was not looking forward to the task, but it turned out to not be a big deal. I used a Home Depot five gallon bucket for a seat, a handheld mirror to check the electrolyte in the rear batteries, 3/4 of a gallon of distilled water. None of the plates were exposed to air before adding fluid. I did have to remove several cables because the caps were ganged together with a cumbersome gizmo, but I was careful to position the cables to be logically replaced. The two chassis batteries were quite a pain to get to, but the closest one needed no water at all so I made an arbitrary decision to assume the companion was OK? It was gonna be a bear to decable.

If I have the miles left in me to get to battery replacement time I will probably go with AGMs also.

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ObedB,

I am fortunate to have my batteries on slide trays. And I used the old squeeze bulb to fill my batteries until I made my self a simple, but effective, filler. I got a one gallon pump up sprayer. I took off the spray nozzle put a bend in the line, put in distilled water pump it up and fill away. Works like a charm for me.

Herman

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You guys that recommend AGM batteries should make sure the people that you are recommending them to have inverter charger that will support AGM 's.

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Our coach is a 2003 Phaeton. The inverter is labeled Freedom, but the control panel inside is a Xantrex. Guess we would be OK to change in the future?

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ObedB, The information on what batteries your Freedom unit will charge would be covered in the owners manual and if you do not have the Owners manual, you should be able to fine one on line. Xantrex control / monitor panels will interchange on a number of units, some of them offer more information in the form of digital meters rather then led bar scales, indicating only relative levels.

The other item that you can find information on is if the unit puts out a Modified or a Pure Sine wave signal.

The pure sine wave units are much better when powering equipment that is controlled using digital control boards.

Rich.

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ObedB, scroll through your settings in the Xantrex, if it is like ours it gives you have different options for house battery types. I took me a bit to get use to the setting functions you may have to consult the manual to figure it all out.

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Just replaced our eight battery house bank with AGMs. Got tired of cleaning corrosion and the long term effects of same on the compartment and surrounding structures and systems. Decided on Full River AGMs based on guarantee, price, dealer network and lack of negative reviews. The Magnum inverter/charger and remote were simple to change from flooded to AGM. Although a little expensive, I feel better not having eight batteries outgassing in a relatively confined space and particularly so when the coach is in its' garage with even less air circulating over the winter months.

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