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Kirk W

Batteries from Sam's Club?

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We are about to replace the battery for our travel trailer that is much abused and a little bit neglected. :wub: I really don't need advice on battery care as I learned care of flooded cell batteries in my submarine days, but I do have one that is due for replacement and was wondering if those from Sam's are still of good quality for the price? We don't do boodocking any longer and since downsizing we rarely spend a night dry camping so the battery tends to get taken for granted. But it is nice to have one for that rare night without one. Our little trailer only has one an it don't have anywhere to add another. For our use there is really not reason to do so, but I'd also rather limit what I have to spend to replace mine. Any opinions on the best cost/price for a 12V, deep cycle battery?

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Kirk, FWIW I've used Good Sam Duracell (230 Amp Hr at 20 hr rate) EGC2, but those are 6 volt "true deep cycle" golf cart batteries. I had four in series parallel with no problems and occasional checks with a hydrometer and volt meter showed them to all be the same and consistent, they were less expensive then Trojan T - 105 at the time, so I'm satisfied and a happy camper.

 

Of course (as you already know) with only room for a single battery and if you go the Sams Club route, it looks like you have to use one of their 12 volt RV/Marine batteries which I consider a "hybrid" as it has to have the CCA to start a fairly large marine engine (like a regular auto starting battery) and then operate like a "deep cycle" battery to power a trolling motor. However, since you don't need the extended traditional "deep cycle" feature and dont have room for two true deep cycles, HEY ONE OF THEIR DURACELL 12 VOLT SHOULD WORK JUST FINE. I'm unsure just who manufactures their "Duracell" brand (Johnson controls???) but all I can say is the Sams Club Duracells I've owned were fine and yes cheaper then Trojans. I think their 12 volt RV/Marine are only like 105 Amp Hrs (versus 230 in the true deep cycle 6 volt golf cart batteries) but with limited dry camping I say GO FOR IT. If you needed more Amp hrs I think Trojan and others manufacture 12 Volt true deep cycle batteries but they aren't cheap. PS looks like Good Sam also have AGM in those batteries!!! theres yet another reasonable cost option to consider!!!

 

Keep warm n dry and storm free down there in Texas, my daughter said I cant visit her in Austin in the summer because I'm HIGH MAINTENANCE since it was so hot I made her park in the shade and go out and start the car and run the AC before I got in lol

 

Good Sam Batteries:

 

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/batteries/3990105.cp?xid=cat_sub&navAction=push&rootDimension=product_type:Marine%20Batteries&altQuery=100001_1055_3990105

 

John T A satisfied Good Sam Duracell battery user

Edited by oldjohnt

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Kirk, no matter where you get a battery (and no matter the brand) the chances are good it is going to be made either by Exide or Johnson Controls. Both of which make a good battery. My suggestion would be to find out where you can get the best price for the battery size you need and call it a good decision.

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I had the 12v deep cycle from Sam's club that held up well some years ago. It was a "true" deep cycle. I know I have seen the true deep cycle12v at some Sams clubs I have been in this spring as I may be gettin one or two before the summer runs out.

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The Sam's clubs in the east sell Duracell labeled batteries. They are made by East Penn, makers of Deka. Very good batteries and a good price point. I have a battery of six golf cart 6 volt and I'm pleased with them. I did get mine at Batteries Plus Bulbs at $109 each with no club membership required.

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I bought 4 group 31's AGM (truck batteries) from them a year ago. We have a 2000 w psw inverter in the truck, microwave and trailer charging, and they have done well.

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We routinely buy Sam's Club batteries (6 volt) for our golf carts and they perform about as well as Trojan (lifetime). These are pretty neglected batteries, although we do TRY to maintain them properly.

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Not Sam's Club, but on my previous rig I ran 2 of the Group 29 Everstart batteries from Walmart and they ran strong for 3 years, before I sold the rig. Didn't really maintain them either. I think this is what they looked like:

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-MAXX-29-Marine-Battery/16795213

 

These show as no longer available but that is probably because there is an updated sku.

 

I bought them after doing some searches online that pointed to these batteries being true deep cycles. If I were shopping again, I would just do some searches on the current offering to see what others thing of their build quality. We switched over to 2x6v GC batteries from Costco on our new rig because my battery tray wouldn't fit the 2x12v Everstarts, otherwise I would have transferred them over.

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Kirk - You seem to be in an ongoing transition. (One that I've appreciated you sharing, as you've two have shifted from Full Timers to Part Timers.)

 

" abused and a little bit neglected." This line jumped out at me, and that also tells me that since I know you know the proper care of batteries, that at this time that is not a high priority for you to do... I suspect that might remain the same in the future too... Plus, buying and swapping out a batteries, can be a PITA!

 

You also said you did not want to "I'd also rather limit what I have to spend to replace mine."

 

So I see two clear options for you:

 

1) Go with the 12V Sams wet cell, and realize you may need to replace these more frequently ahead. Especially based upon normal upkeep not being a priority.

 

--- or ---

 

2) Spend a bit more now, and get say a Fullriver AGM Type 24, 27 or 31 (Your call on the size.) Add in a blade switch disconnect.

 

Probably cost you a little less then twice as much as the Sams 12V wet cell. But they handle neglect better, and with a blade switch disconnect - will discharge at a much slower rate.

 

My bet is that you'd get twice the life out of the AGM, vs the wet cell, under what I perceived the care would be ahead. So costs could equal out over the future. But, you would not have to go swap out abused wet cell on a say approximately 'two to one' ratio. And, having less needed maintenance, matches your potential neglect of regular maintenance too:)!

 

Costs could be a wash over this period of time, or close enough...

 

Hope what I'm trying to say comes across. For sure, it ain't that you don't have the experience and the knowledge to milk the longest life possible out of any battery - it's just not at the same level of importance to you as it was while Full Timing. And while the costs is more this time around, it could become pretty close if you really do lose two wet cells to one AGM. And, again the 'OK to forget about it...' mode would be supported better by an AGM. (And heck, you might even get a cheap trickle charge Solar Battery Tender, or such, and that would keep the AGM very happy with no need of maintenance. Yeah, more money now. But, it also means if say nasty weather comes thru, you two have that trailer as your added escape pod insurance to hang out in until things get back to normal too... So the extra costs of keeping it charged and ready, could pay dividends in that way too....

 

You've been around, and you know what you feel is right for the two of you...

 

Best,

Smitty

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Smitty, the AGM is worth considering and it just happens that Sam's has those as well. The thing is that since we are back to part-time, battery maintenance doesn't get the attention that it used to for several reasons, one being that I don't have as many to replace (only 1 now) and since we are part time, the trailer sits in our RV port while we are gone without it, sometimes for long periods as well as it being in storage mode for several consecutive months each year. I'll do some shopping and comparing to your approach as it may be a good answer.

 

Other thoughts are also appreciated so suggestions are welcomed.

 

Part of our change back to part-time has been some international travel by air or ship an so we are expanding our experiences but the RV side remains our first love and we relish the months that we spend on the road.

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"relish the months that we spend on the road."

 

My wife and I here you! We're sitting watching the sun come up over the Mississippi river for the first time. With tugs and barges flowing by in both directions. Also our first COE park, Shady Creek Recreation just South of Davenport, IA. What an experience for $10:)!

 

One thing I've always noted about your posts, is that you both seem to embrace and enjoy everything - as you do whatever it is together!! (See that a lot amongst the Escapee members... One of the reasons we've been drawn to this crowd.)

 

Best, and enjoy your travels wherever, and however, they come!

Smitty

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Kirk, " the AGM is worth considering and it just happens that Sam's has those as well"

 

Smitty, "Spend a bit more now, and get say a Fullriver AGM Type 24, 27 or 31 (Your call on the size)"

 

 

It just happens, as I asked in a post just the other day, I recently searched Sams Club and Fullriver AGM batteries so I had these URL shortcut links handy.

 

 

 

Sam Clubs 12 Volt AGM Batteries

 

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/topic/duracell-agm-batteries?rtype=item&rid=prod3590225&action=item_overlap&iid=prod3590232&xid=topic_pdp

 

Fullriver 12 Volt AGM Batteries

 

http://www.fullriverbattery.com/search?cat=batteries&voltage=12

 

Sure, AGM may cost a bit more initially, but not having to worry with electrolyte and venting and placement is certainly worth something. Most all the so called "smart chargers" I've looked at are AGM compatible as they can be more sensitive.

 

Your money your choice, for my use I'm leaning to AGM, (NOT needed or ready to go the Lithium route just yet) and Fullriver is now a strong contender after the helpful responses to my recent post.

 

Don't get yer wires crossed now

 

John T

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Just for clarification with the whole mfg'r issue. It's true that the majority of batteries on the national market are mfg'd by one of 3.. but it's not "all the same battery". There are product classes within those mfg's as well as some batteries built to dealers specifications. Throw into the mix that within a specific brand not all sizes/classes may be mfg'd by the same company. Other mfg's may have been contracted to help "fill out" that particular brands product line. Throw into the mix that sometimes, within a brand, due to regional considerations.. not all sizes/classes of battery may be available in all areas within a specific brand. Throw into the mix that in some areas, a national chain store may contract with a different mfg to produce a battery that is generally produced by 'another' mfg simply due to availability and transportation cost considerations.

 

Etc, etc...

 

Bottom line... you can never be 100% certain 'who' the mfg is without checking the codes on the safety data sheets. In addition.. because the mfg may be the same in brand x, y, and z doesn't mean it's the same battery so "brand" awareness DOES play a big role in what you're actually paying for.

 

When in doubt.. actual physical weight can help to some degree. A heavier battery in the same class will generally mean you are getting more lead for your $. Of course.. that may just be more pressed mesh plates vs. heavier, fewer, plates, but that's a whole 'nother discussion and doesn't necessarily have any bearing on electrical component performance or chemistries.

 

Price can also help. You generally get what you pay for. When big box stores are building out their product line and negotiating standards with mfg's to penny profits it's not reasonable to expect to get the same battery (for example) at Walmart $10 cheaper than the one Costco sells.

 

From there.. it's up to the consumer.

 

Kirk.. all that being said. If you're looking for the best savings and a "throw-away" (non critical, probably won't maintain it regularly, if it lasts a couple seasons then I'm happy) I would go for the cheapest RV/Marine you can find with the capacity you are looking for. Likely in the 90-110ah range and a Wally's.

 

Paying just a little more you 'could' get a little better battery (more bang for your buck), but if it's a "throw-away", then why throw away any more money than you have to, right!? (a neglected/abused $115 battery will go bad just as fast as a $90 one)

 

A cheap AGM might be nice and has some strong selling points. No maintenance and an extremely low self discharge rate (1-2%/30 vs 7-15%/30). Meaning you can just unhook it/disconnect and walk away for several months and still come back to a battery with a decent charge still on (no tender required).

 

If budget wasn't a limitation, and in the way you plan to use it, I would go with the "box store" AGM. It's less likely for premature failure if neglected so you might get a double "life" over a cheapo hybrid for less than twice the price... AND you get to 'set it and forget it', which has gotta be worth sumthin.

 

- off my soap box

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My advice stays the same. Inexpensive, wet cell, true deep cycle; Duracell labeled, two 6 volt 235 amp hour golf cart battery. True deep cycle.

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I bought two, Group31, AMG, 12V Duracell batteries from Sam's Club early last year. $179 each with 20% off for opening a Sam's Club MasterCard. Can't beat that with a stick! Still working great! Left them out all winter with solar charging. Still going strong!

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Sehc, "My advice stays the same. Inexpensive, wet cell, true deep cycle; Duracell labeled, two 6 volt 235 amp hour golf cart battery. True deep cycle."

 

I have four of the EGC2 (or something like that) Flooded Lead Acid True Deep Cycle 6 Volt Batteries from Sams Club in Series/Parallel which gives me around 460 Amp Hrs of energy storage which I'm very satisfied with. While I like what I have, if I upgrade I'm strongly considering AGM next time around.

 

HOWEVER, Kirk posted "Our little trailer only has one an it don't have anywhere to add another...... Any opinions on the best cost/price for a 12V, deep cycle battery?"

 

I took that to mean he DOES NOT have room for two batteries and is therefore looking for a SINGLE 12 volt, but maybe I didn't understand his post correct??

 

 

 

John T

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