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Another Battery Question - Are my batteries OK?

Thermoguy
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have been reading all the posts about batteries on this forum and others trying to decide what is best for my situation. Any advice is welcome. I think the more I read the more I decide there is something wrong with my batteries…

Here is my situation, I have a 5th wheel with 2 group 24 batteries from Batteries Plus – looks like Duracell Ultra. I am not sure how old the batteries are as they were in the trailer when I bought it 4 years ago. I have taken good care of them, putting them on a trickle charger during the winter, checking fluid levels, etc. I do know that I ran them down a little too far on a couple boondocking trips the first couple summers but purchased a generator 2 years ago and have used that to top them off when dry camping. I have been watching my batteries and checking with a meter. Fully charged is 13.4v when plugged in (I think that number doesn’t matter) and drops to about 12.7v after an hour or so of no AC. When I came home from the last trip a couple weeks ago, I didn’t plug the trailer in. I checked the batteries a couple times just to see how quick the parasitic draw was on them. I was surprised they dropped to about 80% within a week then yesterday I checked, and they were down to 12.1 volts so I plugged it in. I have drawn the slides out and then back in and have ran the water pump but haven’t used lights or anything in the trailer for those 2 weeks.

So, here is my question. Knowing that I could need batteries in the near future. I am about to go on a long trip and will not have AC power for the first few nights. The first night is an overnight while driving, so the truck battery will keep them charged, then recharge on the 2nd day drive. Not worried about that. We have 3 days staying at a private spot, not a campground. I will need to run A/C so I will be running the generator for a few hours to 5 or 6 hours each day. This will also keep my batteries up to charge, but if they are depleting fast, that evening use of water, lights, etc., could run them down below a level that is considered proper maintenance.

So, assuming this does damage to my batteries that I already know are on their last leg, do I just not worry if I damage the batteries more? Is there anything else I could damage? I get it, if I run them too low, I could have issues with my fridge, but I think that is it. I do have a generator and plan to use it. Can I get away with using these batteries now and just replace with new ones next spring assuming I don’t have any other needs for dry camping.

Second set of questions. Replacement of the batteries. I could just go with the same group 24, or I could upgrade the box, and go with group 31 (I actually have a spare group 31 battery, so I would only need to buy 1 presumably). Or, do I go with 6v Golf cart batteries. If going to 6V, can I just change the existing wiring in the battery compartment, or do I need to get new wires? The batteries do not sit next to each other, one is mounted on the left and one on the right of the compartment. Do they need to be next to each other? That would require a new box, but my current battery box I think will fit a typical 6v GC battery.

Final question. Where to buy? What’s the thought on Costco vs Batteries plus? They are about the same price, but Costco has lots of bad reviews on the Interstate batteries. Batteries plus has Duracell for the most part. What about specialty batteries like Trojan or others that cost 2-3 times the price for what seems like the same battery. If I was a full timer or tried to dry camp for weeks, I can see the investment in better batteries. But, I am just a weekender for the most part. Not sure I need to spend the extra money on expensive batteries.

Sorry for the lengthy post and multiple questions but appreciate the feedback.
22 REPLIES 22

StirCrazy
Nomad III
Nomad III
Thermoguy wrote:
So, not to bring up an old thread but wanted to update and have a new question.

After the first night of our trip, batteries proved they were going to be an issue, and with the cold weather ended up running our furnace for just a little bit in the morning. So, to not have to worry, stopped and bought 2 6V GC batteries. Piece of mind is nice. Not sure if I could have gotten away without and just struggled, but didn't want to struggle especially with overnight lows in the 40's.

So, now my question. My battery boxes are too small for the 6V GC Battery, they are taller. I have a 5th wheel so the boxes are vented with a tube, not open like a travel trailer box. I have been searching a few websites and have not found the taller boxes. I went to a local RV supply and they can order them, but I gave up when the guy couldn't find how to order them or what the cost was. He admitted he wasn't the parts guy.

Any ideas where to find these? Also, is it better to buy the same 2 boxes like the original batteries or buy a single box that fits both batteries on the one side. If I go with the original setup I have to figure out a new battery cable as my original cables were for a 12v setup and don't have the correct connections to go straight from battery to battery. I would want to replace that wire with the correct size battery wire and new connections.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks


I took out the boxes in the front of my 5th wheen and fastened two boxes designed to hold 2 6v batteries in each one. as for the venting that whole front space is open to the outside in mine so it wasnt an issue we just left the top vent through the wall in place. if yours are in a sealed compartment just take the hose off the factory box and cut a hole in the 6v box lid and fasten it to that.

Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

MrWizard
Moderator
Moderator
Can't find new taller battery boxes ?
Strap the lids down
Will it make a world of difference if one inch ?
Of battery is exposed ?
I can explain it to you.
But I Can Not understand it for you !

....

Connected using T-Mobile Home internet and Visible Phone service
1997 F53 Bounder 36s

Thermoguy
Explorer II
Explorer II
So, not to bring up an old thread but wanted to update and have a new question.

After the first night of our trip, batteries proved they were going to be an issue, and with the cold weather ended up running our furnace for just a little bit in the morning. So, to not have to worry, stopped and bought 2 6V GC batteries. Piece of mind is nice. Not sure if I could have gotten away without and just struggled, but didn't want to struggle especially with overnight lows in the 40's.

So, now my question. My battery boxes are too small for the 6V GC Battery, they are taller. I have a 5th wheel so the boxes are vented with a tube, not open like a travel trailer box. I have been searching a few websites and have not found the taller boxes. I went to a local RV supply and they can order them, but I gave up when the guy couldn't find how to order them or what the cost was. He admitted he wasn't the parts guy.

Any ideas where to find these? Also, is it better to buy the same 2 boxes like the original batteries or buy a single box that fits both batteries on the one side. If I go with the original setup I have to figure out a new battery cable as my original cables were for a 12v setup and don't have the correct connections to go straight from battery to battery. I would want to replace that wire with the correct size battery wire and new connections.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

MEXICOWANDERER
Explorer
Explorer
Load test the batteries for 15 seconds at 250 amps

MEXICOWANDERER
Explorer
Explorer
Krap changes on the blink of an eye. Ever since LTH of México with both feet it's anyone's guess as to battery origin. More than half of Johnson Controls car batteries are made there.

time2roll
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have been running Costco batteries for 15 years and they have always served very well. First set lasted 9 years so still using the second set. I don't believe the quality is any lower. However they are not the maximum capacity available in the GC2 format. Costco of course does not make batteries. They are not really marked but I believe they are 208 AH. 220 to 232 is available if you really need the capacity. However in your post it does not seem capacity is a huge issue.

Lots of deep cycle batteries get a bad wrap due to poor usage, maintenance and charging habits.

I am not convinced you even need batteries depending on what you find with the converter. Better charging will make a world of difference with your existing batteries.

azrving
Explorer
Explorer
Ive seen bad reviews for the Sams club Gc2 It might be one thing to read reviews of an item that pretty much CANT be jacked up by a moron vs reading reviews of something that can easily be destroyed. I bought an 13 yr old tt with two interstate gp24 and one was still working. I’ve used a group of sams gp27 for 48 volts and replaced them as they died. YES they were drastically mixed and worked just fine. The pack started in 2008 and one was still working fine in 2019. It’s all in how they are taken care of. More die of under charging vs over charging

Thermoguy
Explorer II
Explorer II
I know that Interstate batteries are made by Johnson Controls. One of the posts on this thread said there are different levels of Interstate batteries and that Costco doesn't offer the best ones, look for a different Interstate distributor. With that said, I have read different information about the Interstate batteries and who makes them. It's all over the board. Probably has changed over time. The Costco reviews are very poor so that has me worried to get batteries from Costco.

theoldwizard1
Explorer
Explorer
wa8yxm wrote:
Interstate makes batteries??? I know they market them all kinds from flashlight to forklift but I did not know they made 'em.

Concur ! Interstate does not MANUFACTURE any batteries.

The manufacturer may differ from year to year, or form product line to product line.

mbopp
Explorer
Explorer
I used to run dual G29 12v batteries but switched to dual 6v golf cart ones. I got them and battery boxes at Batteries + Bulbs, Duracells. 10% off if you order online for store pickup.
Charging is with a Honda 2000 generator driving an IOTA-55 converter. This year I'm trying 200W of portable solar.
2017 Grand Design Imagine 2650RK
2019 F250 XLT Supercab
Just DW & me......

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
bikendan wrote:
ostco batteries ARE made by Interstate.


Interstate makes batteries??? I know they market them all kinds from flashlight to forklift but I did not know t hey made 'em. .
Johnson Controls makes 'em last I checked but in fairness.. that may have changed. (JC makes Interstate last I checked)

I parts of the US Costco may be US-Battery as well. Again last I checked. but that's been a while and things do change.
Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times

bikendan
Explorer
Explorer
Thermoguy wrote:


I see lots of negative reviews on the 6V at Costco so I will look to see who is the Interstate dealer in my area. My cousin used to own a dealership in Portland but he sold it a few years ago. Too bad, it would be good to have that in now. Is there anything wrong with Batteries Plus?


Costco batteries ARE made by Interstate.
Dan- Firefighter, Retired:C, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur:W, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP:(), 2014 Ford F150 3.5 EcoboostMax Tow pkg, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/4pt Equalizer and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes

Thermoguy
Explorer II
Explorer II
Thanks for the replies everyone. I will have to find out what converter, charger is and post. I'm sure it is OEM.

I like the idea of 2 GC batteries but was thinking that 2 Group 31 would be about the same. But the GC batteries would not require a new box.

My current wiring, my negative wires both go to ground. So I would just have to take the positive from one and run to the negative of the other. Can I use the same wire? Seems like I can.

I see lots of negative reviews on the 6V at Costco so I will look to see who is the Interstate dealer in my area. My cousin used to own a dealership in Portland but he sold it a few years ago. Too bad, it would be good to have that in now. Is there anything wrong with Batteries Plus?

azrving
Explorer
Explorer
Check them with an hydrometer and equalize if needed. Yes, any abuse surely matters but 4 years isnt all that old The hydrometer wont lie. Its not just a voltage issue