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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > 100 watt Solar decision

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/29/20 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brettmm92 wrote:

After dedicating serious time looking around for batteries, I feel like out of accessibility interstate batteries might be the winner. Lots of people don't like shipping batteries, probably because they have heavy lead in them? Anyways, I live in a rural area and even I have a store that's an "interstate dealer" near me. But the terminals look a lil different than all of the other ones I've been looking at, surely they are still compatible with everything. Right?

Interstate 6v "Extreme Cycle" Battery


And Pianotuna, why are you so interested in getting those SiO2 Batteries?


Yup, that's a typical 6V golf car type battery of the size you want.
Make sure it fits. Most GC batteries wouldn't fit in my TC compartment due to being too tall. I found Mighty Max 6V that were a bit shorter, they're on Amazon too, bout $200/es


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/29/20 03:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DarkSkySeeker wrote:

Brettmm92 wrote:

I never thought of auto parts store having them

I problem I've had asking about batteries at an auto part store is, they ask you what make and model of vehicle you have. They are geared toward fitting the battery in a vehicle, not RV electrical storage.


Correct!

Most autoparts stores do not have experienced folks manning the store, instead they depend on their "computers" to look up parts..

Personally, for what it is worth, if you have a Sams or Costco near you, buy a one year BASIC membership, I know Sam's is around $45 for that membership and Costco is most likely the same.

Yes, that adds a little to the battery purchase but it does give you the option to purchase other things during that year of membership which helps to level out the cost.

For instance, my local Sam's club is currently selling 87 octane gas at $.20-$.30 LESS than all of the other gas stations.. For myself, I commute 500 miles per week so I am saving quite a bit monthly in fuel costs.

Last year, we upgraded to Sam's Plus membership, in nine months between buying a lot of bulk food and gas we have earned nearly $70 towards our next membership renewal! Basically we will be able to renew with another Plus Membership ($100 cost) for most likely not much more than $20 which is less than half of a regular membership..

I am not a big proponent for membership clubs but in this case you are going to have a tough time finding GC2 batteries for $90 each from other sources. Took me one call to a golfcart dealer to figure out paying for a membership for one year was a lower cost solution.. GC dealer wanted over $200 per GC2 battery and they were no-name batteries..

Other places to consider, I have a Rural King store near me, at times I have seen them stock their own house brand GC2 batteries for around $100 each.

You could check at Tractor Supply but you do need to be careful you do not get a 6V TRACTOR battery which is not the same as a GC2 (old tractors often used 6V starting battery).

Barring that, I found a Interstate Battery Dealer locator..

HERE

Found a US Battery dealer locator..

HERE

Not the cheapest place to buy, you can also check with BATTERIES PLUS..

Looks like they have around 10 stores in NC

Here is link to their GC2 battery..

BATTERIES PLUS

You can pay an arm and leg and go to a NAPA dealer.. Lots of those stores around should be easy to find one near you..

NAPA 6V GC2 battery for $150 each

Cat dealer?

Yep.. HERE you can check their dealer network to find a dealer near you..

Crown Battery.. HERE you can search the dealer network to find the nearest location to you.

I don't give up that easy, GC2 batteries are not all that hard to find.. You just need to be willing to do some work to find them.

Brettmm92

North Carolina

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Posted: 06/29/20 03:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh I thought it was a special "4 X" type of battery lol. Well from looking around slightly under 1000$ with free shipping of heavy batteries is probably a good deal for the right person.

And wow that's a lot of resources for batteries, thanks. You have a strong point about sams club. I've always wanted to buy one of those restaurant can's of tuna and mayonnaise from there and go to town!

I ended up going with interstate. If anyone reads this in the future and needs help finding a battery, there are a lot of stores that are also "interstate dealers" and they are everywhere if you look on their site.

I didn't think I'd end up spending so much but I'm looking at it as a months rv rent in california. I think I might end up getting a second 100 watt panel since it seems easy to install with adapters and I might as well spend my whole paycheck if I'm spending this much already lol.

I ordered two of these puppies, surprisingly only 10 miles from where I am

https://www.interstatebatteries.com/products/gc2-ecl-ut?productLine=golf-car&subcategoryKey=&ignorecategoryid=true

Brettmm92

North Carolina

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Posted: 06/29/20 03:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dang, I think I'm having buyers remorse. The NAPA one is actually rated higher

Napa- 235 AH 488 reserve capacity
$144.80+$27(core)= $171.8*2= $343.6 total before tax

Interstate-225 AH 447 reserve capacity
$161.95+$25(core)= $186.95*2= $ 373.9 total before tax

I only ordered the interstate battery to buy it in person in a few days. Would anyone recommend me cancel it and switch to a NAPA? There's better numbers price and ratings at NAPA But interstate has a 12 month warranty and they really did there marketing good at calling the highest level deep cell batteries "extreme cycle." Because I'm thinking that it might have something special about it.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/29/20 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you have got it worked out.

Sams does sell smaller versions of "bulk" items, no need to buy a single huge can of Tuna, instead many items they sell multiple smaller cans.

For instance, we like canned chicken to make homemade noodle soup, or Chicken Salad sandwiches, they sell that in smaller 12.5 oz cans. They however are bundled and sold in a "six pack". The good thing though is canned items have pretty long shelf life.

We buy all of our ground beef, steaks, pork ribs, boneless chicken, chicken quarters, porkloins at Sams, we divide up the meat and vacuum pack and freeze. Much cheaper than our retail grocery stores and the meat is fresher also.

Things like cheese we buy a large brick or package of slices, divide and vacuum seal and it will stay fresh for many months in the fridge.

Pretty much our go to place for green grapes, apples, oranges for fresh fruits, started buying stuff like salt, pepper and other seasonings at a far cheaper price than retail stores when comparing cost per ounce.

Granted, not everyone likes to stock up like a "restaurant" for season but for us it works great.

Quite a few yrs ago when Sears started going out of business and closed our nearest store I found that Sam's automotive batteries were a better deal and the quality is above par from the old Sears brands.

Never tried Sam's for tires but I suspect they are priced competitively also.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 06/29/20 04:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would stay with the Interstate. They are a more specialized store than Napa.

I would definitely recommend a 2nd panel.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Brettmm92

North Carolina

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Posted: 06/29/20 05:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like you got a good food system. About the freezing meats, I recommend checking out the "instant pot" or another brand of electric pressure cooker. Frozen chicken is a go to for me (I buy it frozen). I throw some chicken in the pot, let it cook for 10 or less minutes under pressure and its cooked. Very hands off, and maybe takes 20 minutes in total because it has to pressurize. I've never done other frozen meats though but I assume they have similar results.

Yeah you have a good point about interstate specializing in batteries. And the 12 month warranty makes me feel better. I'm sure 12 months from now I won't feel like I spent so much money on them.

Brettmm92

North Carolina

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Posted: 06/29/20 06:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is there anything I have to get like a fuse or breaker to protect the batteries? I was hoping that the charge controller would be the thing protecting them but I'm not sure.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 06/29/20 10:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Install a breaker between your controller and your battery bank.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 06/30/20 02:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brettmm92,

panel-->switch-->charge controller-->fuse-->Battery bank

The fuse should be as close to the battery bank as is humanly possible.

Order of connection is important.

Connect the controller to the battery bank.

Then turn on the switch.

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