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Topic: Walmart Battery Comparison

Posted By: Eric212 on 03/06/15 08:29pm

Roughly 5 years ago I installed three 12V Marine batteries that I purchased from Walmart. I can fit a maximum of 3 batteries on board, so I decided to go with 3 12V batteries instead of 2 6V batteries. Each was rated at 125 Amp Hours and I was very happy with their performance, especially for the low price.

I got a good 5 years out of them (with some winter use too) and now it is looking like it's time to replace.

Back at Wally World, I see they have 2 different batteries in the category I'm looking for. One of them is priced at $86.83 and is rated at 122 Amp Hours (1Amp @ 12V) Part #29DC

The other is the same basic dimensions, but the case looks slightly different. Priced at $99.97 and rated at 114 Amp Hours (1 amp @ 12V) Part # MAXX-29DC

So I would think that the more expensive "MAXX" ones are "better", but I also like the fact that the other ones have MORE amp hours for LESS money. I suppose the MAXX ones must be a little heavier duty, they are both Marine batteries, not "real" deep cycles. The cheaper ones would be a total of $260.49 for 366 AH, whereas the heavier duty ones would be $299.91 for 342 AH. That's basically an additional $40 for 24 FEWER AH. They are both made by Johnson Controls.

I have a good 4 stage charger which is always maintaining them when the camper is not in use, or when camping near shore power. But most of my camping is away from shore power so I like to have as much battery reserve on board as possible.

Which ones would you buy? I have decided on buying either one of these, so please don't turn this into a sales pitch for Trojans or Lifelines. I do realize they are better, but they are also a lot more expensive. for the purposes of this post I am only comparing the 2 batteries I have referenced.

Thanks for reading!

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Posted By: Ed_Gee on 03/06/15 08:43pm

I can't offer you any opinion on which you should get, but I want to point out the rather devious marketing ploy they are using by providing Amp Hour specs at a measly 1amp draw. The Industry standard specification is a 20A draw. I suspect that for a 20A draw neither of these batteries would be rated at even 100 AH. Also makes it hard to compare to the other quality vendors who do rate their batteries at the 20A spec.


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Posted By: robsouth on 03/06/15 08:53pm

I think either would do the job you want. I have multiple Everstart batteries and have used them over the years with good results. May not be the best on the market, but I'm not using them industrially and for my purposes, ie: camper, boat, they have performed well. My last three are now 3 years old and going strong.


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Posted By: Eric212 on 03/06/15 08:53pm

Ed_Gee wrote:

I can't offer you any opinion on which you should get, but I want to point out the rather devious marketing ploy they are using by providing Amp Hour specs at a measly 1amp draw. The Industry standard specification is a 20A draw. I suspect that for a 20A draw neither of these batteries would be rated at even 100 AH. Also makes it hard to compare to the other quality vendors who do rate their batteries at the 20A spec.

1 Amp draw for 1 hour = 1AH no?


Posted By: time2roll on 03/06/15 09:10pm

I would choose less money, higher rating. What's to lose?


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Posted By: pianotuna on 03/06/15 09:20pm

Hi,

See if Walmart has a battery intended for trolling motors.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.


Posted By: Ed_Gee on 03/06/15 09:25pm

Eric212 wrote:

Ed_Gee wrote:

I can't offer you any opinion on which you should get, but I want to point out the rather devious marketing ploy they are using by providing Amp Hour specs at a measly 1amp draw. The Industry standard specification is a 20A draw. I suspect that for a 20A draw neither of these batteries would be rated at even 100 AH. Also makes it hard to compare to the other quality vendors who do rate their batteries at the 20A spec.

1 Amp draw for 1 hour = 1AH no?


Yes, Eric. But my point is the capacity of a battery is not linear. You may be able to draw 1 amp for 114 hours on that battery but you cannot expect to draw 10 amps for 11.4 hours. It won't last that long. The more current you pull from a battery, the faster it depletes....and as I said, it is not a linear rate. That is why most batteries are rated at a standard 20 amp draw, which is much more realistic in motor homes and trailers.


Posted By: bcbigfoot on 03/06/15 09:26pm

I would grab a scale from housewares, check the weights, and see if the premium one has 10% more lead for the money.


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Posted By: Ed_Gee on 03/06/15 09:32pm

bcbigfoot wrote:

I would grab a scale from housewares, check the weights, and see if the premium one has 10% more lead for the money.

That is a good idea. The heavier battery should theoretically last longer if it has more lead. This could leave Eric with the choice of capacity vs. longetivity. He must decide how his camping lifestyle is impacted by the small increase in capacity.


Posted By: byronlj on 03/06/15 10:19pm

When I bought mine for my boat I noticed the same thing you did. I looked at the number stamped at the base of the cases and they were the same number. Same battery, different marketing. I bought the cheaper one.
Dave


byronlj
2013 Dynamax Trilogy 3800RL



Posted By: JackG on 03/06/15 11:58pm

Appears the real difference is the MAXX has a two year replacement warranty and the regular one is only one year.

The weight difference is small the regular 29DC is 58.7 lbs. and the MAXX is 61.7 lbs.

Basically paying for an additional year of replacement warranty.


Jack
2008 Dodge CTD 3500 DRW
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Posted By: sabconsulting on 03/07/15 01:48am

Both seem a much better price than I would get on my side of the Atlantic.

Steve.


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Posted By: FrankShore on 03/07/15 04:00am

You get what you pay for.


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Posted By: Triker33 on 03/07/15 07:11am

True Deep Cycle 12V batteries don't give Cranking Amps on them.

Trojan 12V specs HERE


Posted By: jmckelvy on 03/07/15 07:46am

Given no additional information, get the one that weighs the most.


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Posted By: KD4UPL on 03/07/15 09:36am

The heaviest one has more lead and thus should have more capacity. I also seriously question the capacity of those batteries. Rating them at a 1 amp draw is down right dishonest given that everyone else uses a much higher rate.
Most quality deep cycle battery manufacturers will publish a chart that lists the AH at various withdraw rates. The 20 hour rate is pretty standard. So if that's a 120 Ah battery it should have delivered 6 amps for 20 hours under test. I bet it won't.


Posted By: joeshmoe on 03/07/15 09:54am

I've used quite few Everstarts and Everstart MAXX. IMO, the MAXX's last longer--about twice as long if maintained. I've had a GRP29 MAXX for going 8 years and just recently, developed a bad cell. Not bad. Have MAXX's in all my trucks and cars and they've lasted anywhere from 48-60 months. The wifes Honda has an Everstart and she beats the******out it. Has discharged it deeply quite a few times. It's right at 3 years old (I expect it to kick the bucket soon)
The MAXX batteries in my diesel only lasted less than 2 years. But that's not a fair assessment since diesels absolutely destroy batteries in short order.

Bottom line, I'd go with the MAXX's and expect 4-5 years if maintained properly. Just try not to deeply discharge them often. That's what makes solar so awesome.

There's also the Costco batteries which are apparently better than Walmart batteries. Boaters seem to rave about them due their replacement policy.


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Posted By: joeshmoe on 03/07/15 10:23am

Just wanted to add...I also question the actual Ah's of the Everstart. Definitely something to consider when comparing to other brands.
You're not really getting what you pay for as advertised. But, then again, we've both had these batteries with satisfactory results.

6V - Why not give them a try this time around? I have Interstate GC2-XHD-UT batt's and I am thoroughly happy. You can't beat the discharge and cycling capability of 6V's. The particular batts I have aren't all that more expensive either. If you shop around, they can be had for less than $300. Even less if you find an online deal with free shipping, no sales tax and a coupon code.

Since you have the room for 3, you could buy two 6V's and a 12V. Keep the 12 as a back-up in case one of the 6V's die. I realize that's more money and probably not what you want to do. Just an option--an option I would like to have.


Posted By: wa8yxm on 03/07/15 01:14pm

Eric212 wrote:

Roughly 5 years ago I installed three 12V Marine batteries that I purchased from Walmart. I can fit a maximum of 3 batteries on board, so I decided to go with 3 12V batteries instead of 2 6V batteries. Each was rated at 125 Amp Hours and I was very happy with their performance, especially for the low price.


First: Wal*mart cheats on their battery ratings, they rate them at the 1 amp rate, so your 125 amp hour batteries means they can provide 1 amp for 125 hours.

There is no legal standard but when we talk of batteries here we use the C/20 rate,, and a Group 29 is aroudn 100-105 amp hours at the C/20 rate

A pair of GC-2 Six volt wired in series would cost roughly the same a a pair of G-29s (Well the MAXX at lest) and would deliver 215 to 230 amp hours, that is more power for the same price,, AND, the Interstates my coach came with celebrated 8 birthdays, possibly 9 depending on exactly when they were installed,, before failing.

Another advantage, the Wal*Mart batteries are MARINE/Deep cycle (less you find a trolling battery) which means they do not really care for a 50 percent state of charge, they are Starting batteries first and foremost and only give lip service to "Deep cycle" considerations.

The Golf Car - 2 (GC-2) is a TRUE deep cycle, 50% soc is no problem, just recharge soon,

Advantage the Wal*mart 29s.. Maintenance free, means low gas, no adding water, and so on,, but you know.. I can put in a lot of distilled for the difffernce in cost per watt of storage.


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Posted By: pianotuna on 03/07/15 01:27pm

Last time I checked 3 group 29 batteries have more capacity than 2 six volt batteries.


Posted By: MickD on 03/07/15 03:48pm

I suspect that you are paying for the different warranty. One being 12 months and the MAXX 24 months.


Posted By: Oldme on 03/07/15 05:44pm

A link to Battery manufacturers:
http://www.jgdarden.com/batteryfaq/batbrand.htm#e

Per the link:
Walmart, (US)
Champion, please see Exide
EverStart [MF Starting], please see Delphi
EverStart, please see Exide
EverStart, please see Johnson Controls
EverStart MAXX [Starting], please see Johnson Controls


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/07/15 07:10pm

It is hard to argue with prior success. The battery industry is consolidating and subletting production to contractors so frequently that it is impossible to determine who makes what battery and to what standards that battery is made for. So it is best to rely on prior experience or mass recommendations by a lot of people rather than by specification labels pasted on the side of a battery. A general rule when comparing cyclable batteries is to find out the amp hour rating then divide that by the weight of the battery a true deep cycle battery will have less cranking amps less ampere hours yet weigh heavier than a light duty or marine battery. this is a question of the thickness of the positive plates Thicker plates have less surface area and the smaller the surface area the less the cranking amps and the less the amp hour capacity of the battery will have.


Posted By: landyacht318 on 03/07/15 08:06pm

The JGdarden site linked to 2 posts above updates their site at least every two months. I've no idea how accurate it is, and of course the battery on the shelves does not necessarily represent who made the battery 2 months prior, much less two years prior.

I've never had good luck cycling any Wal mart battery, but then again I knew less about properly charging batteries back then. One Wally World marine battery which was cycled shallowly for a year then got transferred to engine starting duties only, lasted 7 years, but the batteries I cycled shorted cells quickly.

I am not a 'kill it before the warranty expires' type of person. I don't want anything for nothing. I'll pay for what I believe is a better built battery, and make sure I can recharge it properly. The battery manufacturer recommendations are a good starting point.

Try and get a definitive answer from Johnson Controls as to recommended initial bulk current and Absorption voltage or float voltage, just don't hold your breath waiting for a response.

I might buy a Wally world starting battery, but am unlikely to buy their batteries which will be cycled unless they have a good weight to them.

But I try not to enter Wally worlds in the first place. Too many things in this world ignite the fires of my considerable misanthropic tendencies, and Walmart has that ability in excess.


Posted By: Canadian Rainbirds on 03/07/15 08:19pm

Ed_Gee wrote:

I can't offer you any opinion on which you should get, but I want to point out the rather devious marketing ploy they are using by providing Amp Hour specs at a measly 1amp draw. The Industry standard specification is a 20A draw. I suspect that for a 20A draw neither of these batteries would be rated at even 100 AH. Also makes it hard to compare to the other quality vendors who do rate their batteries at the 20A spec.


I believe the standard is the 20 hour rate, not 20 Amp rate.


Posted By: Devocamper on 03/07/15 08:32pm

If you go to the interstate battery site which are also made by Johnson Control they call the interstate version of the maxx the pro line. Same group 29 which only Johnson makes anything in this group and the maxx and Pro lines have larger plates and better recharge cycles for what that is worth. I have been looking for new batteries all winter and decided to also go with the group 29 Wal-Mart maxx , I was going to go AGM but for the cost of those I can get two set of these .


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Posted By: Wanderin fool on 03/07/15 09:24pm

I agree with many products, you get what you pay for. But myself included, many people have voiced good luck with Everlast. I would probably go with the cheaper one since ratings appear very similar. If one is sturdier, does it really matter in a truck camper?


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Posted By: Huntindog on 03/07/15 11:59pm

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

It is hard to argue with prior success. The battery industry is consolidating and subletting production to contractors so frequently that it is impossible to determine who makes what battery and to what standards that battery is made for. So it is best to rely on prior experience or mass recommendations by a lot of people rather than by specification labels pasted on the side of a battery. A general rule when comparing cyclable batteries is to find out the amp hour rating then divide that by the weight of the battery a true deep cycle battery will have less cranking amps less ampere hours yet weigh heavier than a light duty or marine battery. this is a question of the thickness of the positive plates Thicker plates have less surface area and the smaller the surface area the less the cranking amps and the less the amp hour capacity of the battery will have.
If what you are saying is true... Then some one looking to replace batteries they have had for 5 plus years, would have no useful prior experience.... As the batteries they presently have are likely not going to be found under the same nameplate.

That would pretty much make it a crapshoot of whether to believe people on the net, or ones own prior experience.
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Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/08/15 01:34am

That's exactly what I am implying. I would tend to favor DEKA if they still make all their own batteries. A phone call to Pennsylvania would resolve that. On average the construction therefore the life-span of car jar batteries has tumbled the last 10-years. But then again 30-years ago I found through trial-and-error RAMCAR batteries which were manfactured in the Philippines to best by far the best of made-in-USA starting batteries. This is exactly why I presently have very deep suspicion about the integrity of using recycled lead. The Ramcar Philippines battery used pure virgin lead and just beat the heck out of made in USA Ramcar batteries for number of warranty rejects. This involves thousands of batteries.

Deka is the sole USA OEM that has their own lead refinery. They may or may not use processes to render their recycled lead to a higher level of purity. If you want to yank on a battery manufacturer's family jewels than to stick your nose into the degree of purity of base stock lead. It costs a lot of money to recycle lead and a frightening amount of money to render it more pure than ninety eight and high points percent pure. To me this is a voodoo area and OEM engineers like nothing better than to ignore or divert questions away from the subject. Mexico recycles very little lead because the country is overflowing with lead mines. The LTH battery has had an excellent reputation warranty wise. It is curious that Optima batteries are made in Mexico and that ALL AGM manufacturers make a big deal out of their guaranteeing of using 100% virgin lead. None of this is coincidence. Most curious...


Posted By: Tom_M on 03/08/15 03:16am

byronlj wrote:

When I bought mine for my boat I noticed the same thing you did. I looked at the number stamped at the base of the cases and they were the same number. Same battery, different marketing. I bought the cheaper one.
Dave
Typically the number stamped on the battery is a date code indicating year and month of manufacture.

I would buy the one that weighed the most. It may be lower amp/hours but most likely would last longer.


Tom
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Posted By: jplante4 on 03/08/15 07:21am

dupe


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Posted By: red31 on 03/08/15 07:38am

Additional info that I got from JCI when asking the specs of an EverReady 24DC

[image]


Posted By: BFL13 on 03/08/15 08:40am

Interesting charging profile! The usual one has "bulk" end and "absorption" start when amps begin to taper when Vabs is reached.
Some chargers do 'trip' to tapering amps with battery voltage still rising though.

"SG Lag" is mentioned in a different way too. They note that the battery may become stratified during bulk. Would that be a fast vs slow charge issue? Then they say that the absorption stage (their constant current method--who has a charger that does that?) "completes the charge" as the electrolyte is mixed.

Makes you think that the final mixing (de-stratification) is what brings the battery to 100% SOC where usually the idea is that happens with the completion of the chemical changes on the plates vs electrolyte (de-sulfation)


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Posted By: NMDriver on 03/08/15 11:22am

In spite of all the info provided, this long time Wal Mart battery user likes the MAXX better, for me they do seem to last longer. PLUS they say MAXX on them [emoticon]

Useless point of info: my two 6V golf cart batteries did not outlast my MAXX marine batteries.


5er/2500Duramax/18ftBoat


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/08/15 12:20pm

Battery acid tends to stratify - a little - During heavy recharging but that does not have any negative consequences to either the battery or the recharge. The total time of the battery being stratified is limited to a half an hour or hour or so. Big deal. for a long time on this forum I have been harping about charging the batteries until slight bubbling in the cells is noted this is for a reason. The bubbling is an indicator that the electrolyte is mixed and is stopping and reversing any stratification that may have formed.

creating a charging profile that allows the electrolyte to bubble before stopping the absorbtion charge is desirable. In fact it is mandatory for optimum battery life. Most battery smart chargers have inflexible charge profiles. This point is precisely why I am so adamant about performing periodic Top Charging cycles. Letting a smart charger undercharge a battery to the point of unequal specific gravity readings between cells is a sorry way to maintain a battery. You will pay the price.

And please keep in mind a battery that is deeply cycled many times is a different animal from a battery that is infrequently cycled to 60 or 70 percent level of charge.

I have come across many wacky suggestions for charge profiles in various forums columns articles and websites. Most of them feed the ego of the author and ignore the reality of proper electro-chemical battery management.

The day that a plug n play battery charger has arrived is the same day somone will announce they have figured out a plug and play automatic algorithm for raising a child.

Spending 10-minutes per month managing a bank of batteries is a patherically small amount of time to ask for. Sort of like asking a driver to please periodically divert his eyes from texting to watching the road.


Posted By: Eric212 on 03/08/15 01:05pm

bcbigfoot wrote:

I would grab a scale from housewares, check the weights, and see if the premium one has 10% more lead for the money.


GREAT idea!! [emoticon]


Posted By: Eric212 on 03/08/15 01:06pm

pianotuna wrote:

Hi,

See if Walmart has a battery intended for trolling motors.


Both of those batteries say "For trolling and RV applications" on them.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/08/15 01:22pm

.090" positive plates means a deep cycle battery.

Thinner than .060" means a lamb in wolf drag...


Posted By: Eric212 on 03/08/15 01:25pm

Thank you for all the replies, I believe I will go with the MAXX version of the battery, provided that I find the actual weight to be greater than the regular ones.

Another good point that was brought up is that my previous Everstart batteries may have not been made by Johnson Controls as these are. I still have my old batteries and will check on that.

I like having the warranty through WalMart too, as they are all over the country and handle replacement batteries pretty easily. (The person behind the customer service counter isn't likely to be an expert on battery failure, and will just take it back no questions asked)

Thanks again!


Posted By: joeshmoe on 03/08/15 02:10pm

They will put a simple no-load tester on it and if reads at least 12.5V, they won't replace it. If it's less, they'll put it on a charger, then "load" test. If it holds up, they won't replace it. I tried to warranty one once, but since I just pulled it out of the car, it still had a surface charge, but wouldn't hold a charge for more than a couple days. So they denied replacing it.


Posted By: mobeewan on 03/09/15 12:08am

I use the Walmart Everstart deep cycle batteries and have no issues with them since learning to properly charge and fill batteries. I talked with a rep at Johnson Controls a couple years ago. Any of the Walmart Everstart "deep cycle" batteries that have DC in the number (i.e. 24DC, 27DC, 29DC, 31DC) are supposed to be true deep cycle batteries and not "marine starting" (deep cycle/starting) batteries. Those that have MS in the number (i.e. 24MS, 27MS, 29MS, 31MS) are supposed to be "marine starting" (deep cycle/starting) batteries.

* This post was edited 03/09/15 12:14am by mobeewan *


Posted By: BFL13 on 03/09/15 07:03am

mobeewan wrote:

I use the Walmart Everstart deep cycle batteries and have no issues with them since learning to properly charge and fill batteries. I talked with a rep at Johnson Controls a couple years ago. Any of the Walmart Everstart "deep cycle" batteries that have DC in the number (i.e. 24DC, 27DC, 29DC, 31DC) are supposed to be true deep cycle batteries and not "marine starting" (deep cycle/starting) batteries. Those that have MS in the number (i.e. 24MS, 27MS, 29MS, 31MS) are supposed to be "marine starting" (deep cycle/starting) batteries.


I used these for a few years. They were marked as "deepcycle/starting" right on them but had a different brand name ISTR Energizer, not sure now. Walmart here recently changed them all to Everstart. They have the same exact spec label on top but now say "deep cycle" on the battery but still show "deep cycle/starting" here in their description.

The spec label on top says 675 CCA, 850 MCA, 180RC, and 120AH. I think that is a real AH number from what I got using them as shown on the Trimetric.

http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/everstart-marine-battery-27dc-850n/6000016951063

They worked for camping off-grid, but were very difficult to "recover" to 100% at home after doing several 50-90s in a row. Way too difficult.

Now I use 6s for that and they "recover" easily without all that agony. I would only use these 27DCs again for shallow cycles as when on solar, but never again for 50-90s. I also have T-1275 ("real" deep cycle 12s) and they also "recover" easily same as the 6s.

So based on all that, IMO these 27DCs are not "real" deep cyclers like the T-1275 is, and are meant to be for boat trolling use.


Posted By: BFL13 on 03/09/15 07:22am

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

Battery acid tends to stratify - a little - During heavy recharging but that does not have any negative consequences to either the battery or the recharge. The total time of the battery being stratified is limited to a half an hour or hour or so. Big deal. for a long time on this forum I have been harping about charging the batteries until slight bubbling in the cells is noted this is for a reason. The bubbling is an indicator that the electrolyte is mixed and is stopping and reversing any stratification that may have formed.

creating a charging profile that allows the electrolyte to bubble before stopping the absorbtion charge is desirable. In fact it is mandatory for optimum battery life. Most battery smart chargers have inflexible charge profiles. This point is precisely why I am so adamant about performing periodic Top Charging cycles. Letting a smart charger undercharge a battery to the point of unequal specific gravity readings between cells is a sorry way to maintain a battery. You will pay the price.

And please keep in mind a battery that is deeply cycled many times is a different animal from a battery that is infrequently cycled to 60 or 70 percent level of charge.

I have come across many wacky suggestions for charge profiles in various forums columns articles and websites. Most of them feed the ego of the author and ignore the reality of proper electro-chemical battery management.

The day that a plug n play battery charger has arrived is the same day somone will announce they have figured out a plug and play automatic algorithm for raising a child.

Spending 10-minutes per month managing a bank of batteries is a patherically small amount of time to ask for. Sort of like asking a driver to please periodically divert his eyes from texting to watching the road.


I wonder if that stratification during bulk is part of the explanation for the severe "progressive capacity loss" I got doing several 50-90s in a row. Not only is a 50-90 an "incomplete recharge" it stops before SG catches up at the end.

As noted in the previous post about the 27DCs, I had a hard time getting them back to 100% after some 50-90s. (Remember all that tipping up on end and so on I posted about back then?) There was much speculation at the time if the progressive losses were from stratification or sulfation. Progressive capacity loss also happened doing 50-90s with 6s, not just 27DCs, but the 6s were easy to "recover" since they gas so much and the 27DCs hardly showed any bubbles. Now we have the "Screwy 31" story on "recovery" which shows what the 27DCs would also need.


Posted By: NinerBikes on 03/09/15 09:31am

The first year I owned my travel trailer, I did 10 extended trips. Being it's only just me in it, I was able to manage my electrical power consumption. The 21 foot trailer got a Group 24DC Walmart battery, evidently the manufacture thinks you'll camp on the grid at a RV park all the time, however, what's the point of having a little trailer if you aren't going to dry camp with it off the grid?

That Group 24 battery had no business on my trailer. It could not make it 1 day with the original incandescent lights dropping that battery below 50% and burning up 37 amp hours out of the 75 the battery made, when brand new. It lost capacity like crazy in 5 or 6 days. The stock WFCO 8955 was woefully inadequate to recharge the battery properly.

First thing I did was get a proper deep cycle battery with double the capacity of my walmart battery. A true deep cycle. I picked up a Trojan T-1275, but a pair of T-105's or going to Costco or Sam's for a pair of GC-2's would have served me just as well, if not better.

Second thing I did was read as much as I could on here about My Screwy 31, and BFL13's adventures with batteries, as well as mexwanderers post, as he was in the consulting business for batteries being proprerly used, not abused, and proper recharging.

Then I bought a solar panel that put out almost 7 amps, and bought a separate, good charge controller that I could adjust the bulk charge voltage setting to 15.0V, so that the battery would at least get very close, if not completely top charged, daily. I am talking 97 to 98% charged daily, seeing Specific gravity making 1.265 to 1.270 on a daily basis, and at the end of camping trips, bringing it back up to a full 1.275 to 1.280, never letting them sag to 1.250 at the end of the afternoon.

I also, concurrently, bought a Mega Watt switchable Power Supply Unit, the 30 amp version, and set it up to charge at 15.0V also, for those days where the voltage was low, and cloud cover for the day was going to interfere with solar being able to top things off for the day. Mega Watt also makes a 36 amp version.

The point I am making is that you'll have to read a LOT, test your Specific Gravity a LOT, in the beginning, and figure out what works for you. There are no short cuts with batteries for dry camping, or charging them... It's solely up to you to stay on top of the monitoring of them, and setting your charging system up correctly to get the job done.

I find Wal Mart Deep Cycle batteries a royal PIA to keep top charged and get them up where they belong after a week of camping. YMMV, there are a lot better batteries out there for that kind of money, that are true deep cycle batteries by design, not deep cycle batteries masking as car batteries in poor shape configurations for the job that really needs to be done. Get GC-2's and save the time and grief that taking the easy way out and just going to Wal Mart will cost you when you are out in the sticks camping.

* This post was edited 03/14/15 02:56pm by NinerBikes *


Posted By: retiredtoo on 03/11/15 11:31am

I'm pretty sure that Wally is simply putting on a different sticker and playing word games. You'll replace the lower cost or higher cost battery in another 5 years window anyway. And the difference in rating is lost in the noise of how well you keep them serviced and on a good intelligent charger.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/11/15 12:17pm

Read my long post about the reaction between the permeability of plate surfaces. This reaction has to occur on both positive and negative plates.

Now take a moment and dwell on the following...

ACID STARVATION

Why o why o why o why do TRUE deep cycle batteries have a lot more acid capacity than car jar batteries? No true deep cycle battery on the face of the earth has so little acid for so much plate surface active area as do car jar RV batteries.

Think about this point.

Do the true deep cycle batteries have an excess of acid or do the car jar batteries have an insufficient amount of acid?

Which battery type gets preferential design treatment from the battery manufacturer?

Then muse over the electrical EFFECTS that acid starvation has on the PERFORMANCE both discharge and recharging of the car jar battery.

What happens when a plate surface whose potential is READY to release sulfates into solution is inhibited by already saturated electrolyte? This is PART of the reason why cold temperatures cause the need for higher charging voltages.

ACID STARVATION. The bane of car jar cyclable batteries. Customers DEMAND more amperage capacity. Cells get more tightly packed with plates. The acid volume relationship gets poorer and poorer.

So does the ability of a charger to finish the last ten percent recharging the battery.

Why o why do true deep cycle batteries have "so much" acid? Golf car batteries? Scrubber batteries? Submarine batteries?

Why o why doesn't truly engineering oriented companies like Rolls & Surrette make car jar batteries?

There are no free lunches in this business.

Some jars are WORSE for starvation than others. Provide cells with the correct electrolyte / plate surface area relationship then see how that affects charging discharging electrical characteristics.

It would be LOVELY to have enough storage room to contain true deep cycle batteries that are not overly tall. But no one has the room to contain batteries that are not overly tall. Tall batteries generally do not move around to help agitate the electrolyte and help avoid stratification - the bane of tall batteries.

No free lunches. Mother nature sometimes is a cruel taskmaster.

This posting contains a lot of concepts and ideas. Please re-read until you absorb most of the permutations of design in relationship to what you experience with battery performance and recharging.


Posted By: landyacht318 on 03/11/15 01:39pm

I don't believe any claims about wal mart batteries being true deep cycle. A bathroom scale would show they weigh no more than the marine battery of the same size and only a smidge more than the starting battery of the same size.

Deep cycle internals stuffed into standard car jar sizes is a compromise, and even the few 12v jars available that were designed for deep cycle duty, as deep cycle batteries, are compromised, requiring higher absorption voltages applied for longer to shoehorn the amps to reach full charge.

But as most people know nothing about the states of charge of their batteries, they work 'just fine' until they don't at which point they get all flustered and start looking at somewhere to point their fingers. The battery depleter either seeks out a reason for the early demise, or just replaces the battery(s) to repeat the cycle.

The something for nothing crowd will seek to get an abused battery replaced under warranty, when the warranty should apply only to those batteries with manufacturing defects, not those that fail from overdischarge and insufficient recharge and complete owner ignorance about the proper charging requirements of a battery.

Without the ability of a charging source which can do higher voltages and durations these compromised 'deep cycle' batteries are simply doomed when heavily cycled night after night for weeks on end.

My Screwy 31's requirements are a bit ridiculous. If I could not adjust absorption voltage and durations and perform regular EQ charges, this battery would have been launched through the doors at USbattery with a hate note attached on the second month of cycling.

Only by force feeding it at rather ridiculous voltages has it lasted as long as it has, and I can now hear it ticking as the cycles approach 400, water usage has increased and voltages under load have fallen.

A drycamper's needs are quite different from the pedestal crowd. If heavily cycling a battery then most 12v jars are a serious compromise and require special charging treatment. They are the 'Special' battery, when 'special' is a politically correct term used not to offend.

The person who drives from pedestal to pedestal and only occasionally camps without hookups might be well served by a 12v dual purpose battery, but those cycling their batteries hard and heavy are wasting their time and money on buying a battery that is so compromised for the task for which it is being employed.

And even the true 12v deep cycles need special treatment when employed in a heavy cycling situation, and arguably, even when not.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/11/15 02:05pm

I am left grumpy from a different thread........so excuse me in advance...

We used to have a federal agency that could receive requests for consumer protection. Now that agency deals only with outright fraud not mere deception.

Shady battery manufacturers and resellers like Interstate REFUSE to answer customer requests regarding positive plate thickness. They DO NOT want the customer to know. Why is it reputable OEM like Crown, Rolls, and Fullriver BRAG about positive plate thickness?

This is not a question of being forced to put plate thickness specs on the label. It is the question of the manufacturer REFUSING to respond to a demand for this specification.

I don't give a damn WHO it is - if they refuse to answer an inquiry about plate thickness THAT IS A FLAKY MANUFACTURER or RESELLER.

So - GO TO IT GENTS.

Start emailing the car jar industry and ask them....

WHAT IS THE THICKNESS OF THIS BATTERY'S positive plates? Nothing but a decimal answer will do.

"Proprietary Information" is a CON ARTIST'S answer. Trust me in this. The proof of this lays before you wide open.


Posted By: joeshmoe on 03/14/15 12:48pm

Went to Costco yesterday. They Interstate GC-2 6V's and deep cycle marines for $89.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/14/15 05:29pm

You can bet the house those batteries are U.S. Batteries.


Posted By: BFL13 on 03/14/15 07:20pm

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

You can bet the house those batteries are U.S. Batteries.


Mex, since 2010, Interstate GC2 XHDs have been made in Mexico (for JC?) with "pure lead" instead of before, by US Battery re-branded U-2200s.

Your recent post about Mexican lead explains the "pure lead" mystery, since the 6s do have antimony in the mix based on the way they act.

Mine are now 4 yrs old and doing well as my second set of 6s after the "learner set" that I sort of wrecked [emoticon]


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 03/14/15 07:40pm

Yeah the big game now is the NAFTA pin the tail on the donkey for taxes. But Outerstate does not buy direect from LTH. They use an intermediary broker like GNB, US BATTERY or OXIDE. Mexico has lots of lead and what could be nicer than selling contaminated recycled lead to the Chinese?

LTH is near mad-dog psychotic about acid starvation. LTH batteries have fewer but same thickness place aa their USA counterparts. But I guess they will build to spec anything the customer wants.

Crazy freakin' world!

Thanks for the heads-up.


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