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Changing the house batteries


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This is a new unit and new batteries. This unit has the wiring for a solar hook up installed but it does not have the solar charging unit. We will not be boondocking much so we do not see a need for Lithium Ion batteries but we do want to change our house batteries to AGM.  Does anyone have suggestions for 12V AGM batteries that they have used. Likes dislikes etc. I would like to change the house Charger/inverter as well eventually but the first item will just be a swap out of the batteries just not sure the factory supplied equipment will allow for the direct change out.

All comments and suggestions welcome.  Thanks in advance all.

Rick and Michele

Edited by Rick and Michele
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44 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

I have been thinking of that change also, and for the same reason. 

Yeah I just do not like flooded cell batteries off gassing hydrogen in my living quarters. I would like to simply change them to AGM just not sure if the charger is capable of doing that. This unit has a WFCO WF-5110RS 1000W Pure Sine Wave inverter but I cannot seem to locate any information on the charger.

 

Edited by Rick and Michele
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Rick and Michelle great questions, here are one engineers thoughts.

1) I like you and many others changed from wet flooded lead acid to AGM so we don't have to worry and mess with checking and adding water. Now if you were a higher energy user and mostly dry camper for long time periods Lithium Iron Phosphate may be worth looking into. Even AGM still need proper adequate venting to avoid overheating

2) Obviously if you ever go Solar you need a Solar Charge Controller suitable for your chosen battery chemistry. While many out there have settings for wet flooded or AGM, if you had Lithium that's another story and requirement. If you purchase a SCC allow room for expansion in case you expand in the future.

3) Similar I suggest a modern so called SMART 3 stage regulated charger suitable for your battery chemistry high enough rated to match your batteries,  your use, and allow room for expansion.

4) I hesitate to name a particular brand  or what AGM I chose, but for sure I suggest a Full True Deep Cycle NOT any dual purpose hybrid like a so called RV/Marine. AGM are available in smaller more typical frame sizes in 12 Volt rated around 100 Amp Hours of energy storage capacity or I chose 200 Amp Hour 12 Volt which are the larger frame size 4D and weight around 130 lbs !!!! However they still take up APPROXIMATELY near the same physical space as say two Trojan 6 volt units or a couple RV/Marine batteries. Its just that being 12 volt you save and don't need that extra series connections as in two 6 volts in series.

5) You might want to check your current Chargers specs to see if its 1) Suitable for AGM (most will likely still "work" for AGM orrrrrrrrr wet flooded)   2) To see if its a more modern so called "Smart" staged charger   3) What's the amperage rating and if its sufficient for your use and new batteries

 

18 hours ago, Rick and Michele said:

I would like to simply change them to AGM just not sure if the charger is capable of doing that. This unit has a WSCO WF-5110RS 1000W Pure Sine Wave inverter but I cannot seem to locate any information on the charger.

 You will have to locate the manual and specs to see if your current charger will suffice for AGM battery technology. As I already noted most will likely still "work" and charge AGM orrrrrrrrr wet flooded even if perhaps not the absolute best........ MORE IMPORTANT is if its Smart technology having regulated charging stages..If not (like a real old Converter/Charger more like a fixed voltage unit) I would replace it for darn sure and ASAP.

None of this should affect your Inverter, its good if located near the batteries and use big enough protected cables to reduce line voltage drop.

PS just for comparison: Many in the past and even today have used TWO 6 Volt Trojan T-105 Deep Cycle Golf Cart batteries wired in series to get 12 Volts at 225 Amp Hours of energy storage......Similar and requiring near the same space a person could use say TWO 100AH 12 Volt AGM's in parallel to yield the same 12 Volts at 200 Amp Hours. Its best to NOT discharge them over 50% of their capacity meaning you would have 100 useable Amp Hours of use before they need recharged   

PS Of course you need a way to recharge those batteries when  needed DUH and if you don't have solar and are dry camped that's either run a genset to power your charger or for while driving or the truck engines running some use a DC to DC charger.

PS, although as mentioned  many chargers will still "work" for wet flooded or AGM, iffffffff " a charger had say specific settings/options for AGM orrrrrrrrrrr wet flooded with different charge parameters for each ????? such would in  my opinion be preferred.  I have seen such settings.

Good questions you are doing your homework, good for you

John T

Edited by oldjohnt
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On 3/1/2021 at 1:10 PM, oldjohnt said:

Rick and Michelle great questions, here are one engineers thoughts.

1) I like you and many others changed from wet flooded lead acid to AGM so we don't have to worry and mess with checking and adding water. Now if you were a higher energy user and mostly dry camper for long time periods Lithium Iron Phosphate may be worth looking into. Even AGM still need proper adequate venting to avoid overheating

2) Obviously if you ever go Solar you need a Solar Charge Controller suitable for your chosen battery chemistry. While many out there have settings for wet flooded or AGM, if you had Lithium that's another story and requirement. If you purchase a SCC allow room for expansion in case you expand in the future.

3) Similar I suggest a modern so called SMART 3 stage regulated charger suitable for your battery chemistry high enough rated to match your batteries,  your use, and allow room for expansion.

4) I hesitate to name a particular brand  or what AGM I chose, but for sure I suggest a Full True Deep Cycle NOT any dual purpose hybrid like a so called RV/Marine. AGM are available in smaller more typical frame sizes in 12 Volt rated around 100 Amp Hours of energy storage capacity or I chose 200 Amp Hour 12 Volt which are the larger frame size 4D and weight around 130 lbs !!!! However they still take up APPROXIMATELY near the same physical space as say two Trojan 6 volt units or a couple RV/Marine batteries. Its just that being 12 volt you save and don't need that extra series connections as in two 6 volts in series.

5) You might want to check your current Chargers specs to see if its 1) Suitable for AGM (most will likely still "work" for AGM orrrrrrrrr wet flooded)   2) To see if its a more modern so called "Smart" staged charger   3) What's the amperage rating and if its sufficient for your use and new batteries

 

 You will have to locate the manual and specs to see if your current charger will suffice for AGM battery technology. As I already noted most will likely still "work" and charge AGM orrrrrrrrr wet flooded even if perhaps not the absolute best........ MORE IMPORTANT is if its Smart technology having regulated charging stages..If not (like a real old Converter/Charger more like a fixed voltage unit) I would replace it for darn sure and ASAP.

None of this should affect your Inverter, its good if located near the batteries and use big enough protected cables to reduce line voltage drop.

PS just for comparison: Many in the past and even today have used TWO 6 Volt Trojan T-105 Deep Cycle Golf Cart batteries wired in series to get 12 Volts at 225 Amp Hours of energy storage......Similar and requiring near the same space a person could use say TWO 100AH 12 Volt AGM's in parallel to yield the same 12 Volts at 200 Amp Hours. Its best to NOT discharge them over 50% of their capacity meaning you would have 100 useable Amp Hours of use before they need recharged   

PS Of course you need a way to recharge those batteries when  needed DUH and if you don't have solar and are dry camped that's either run a genset to power your charger or for while driving or the truck engines running some use a DC to DC charger.

PS, although as mentioned  many chargers will still "work" for wet flooded or AGM, iffffffff " a charger had say specific settings/options for AGM orrrrrrrrrrr wet flooded with different charge parameters for each ????? such would in  my opinion be preferred.  I have seen such settings.

Good questions you are doing your homework, good for you

John T

John,  Thanks for your post.  I agree with all you said and my post was mostly trying to get other Coachmen 311FS owners to enlighten me on any info they had on the factory charger. This is a brand new unit and they have supplied zero info on the charger unit and I cannot locate a manufacturer or model number on it.  I will keep looking thanks again for your insight.

Rick

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5 hours ago, Rick and Michele said:

This is a brand new unit and they have supplied zero info on the charger unit and I cannot locate a manufacturer or model number on it.  I will keep looking thanks again for your insight.

Wow, its tough to find out just what you have if the dealer is no help and absent any make or model grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Thanks for the kind words

John T 

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On 3/1/2021 at 11:49 AM, Rick and Michele said:

Yeah I just do not like flooded cell batteries off gassing hydrogen in my living quarters. I would like to simply change them to AGM just not sure if the charger is capable of doing that. This unit has a WFCO WF-5110RS 1000W Pure Sine Wave inverter but I cannot seem to locate any information on the charger.

 

It is highly unlikely that your flooded cell batteries are inside your living quarters.  Most likely they are located in an area exposed to the outside air.  The batteries don't gas off a lot of hydrogen gas.  It is only a problem if the gas is allowed to escape into an unvented enclosure.  

Since you will not be dry camping or boondocking I see very little reason to change out flooded cell batteries.  The exception would be is if they are located in a spot that is hard to access to check the water level every month or so and refill them with distilled water every 2-3 months.  

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On 3/1/2021 at 8:13 AM, Rick and Michele said:

This is a new unit and new batteries. This unit has the wiring for a solar hook up installed but it does not have the solar charging unit. We will not be boondocking much so we do not see a need for Lithium Ion batteries but we do want to change our house batteries to AGM.  Does anyone have suggestions for 12V AGM batteries that they have used. Likes dislikes etc. I would like to change the house Charger/inverter as well eventually but the first item will just be a swap out of the batteries just not sure the factory supplied equipment will allow for the direct change out.

All comments and suggestions welcome.  Thanks in advance all.

Rick and Michele

I am a fan of Fullriver batteries.  They make very good batteries (high quality) for a decent price.  I have been running them in my rigs for many years (6 plus in my truck house bank and 4 plus in my 5th wheel).  I have recommended them to friends who have also had great success with them.

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We have a 36' class A . 

The four 6 volt batteries were junk when we bought the rig back in 2010 . 

I installed a single 4 year old Cat brand 8D AGM and replaced it with an Oreillys house brand flooded cell 8D on 10-8-18 . 

I returned that wet cell because it wasn't holding charge . I replaced it with another Cat brand 8D AGM . 

 AGM is a dream ( install it and forget it ) compared to the 'pains' of wet cell maintenance .

And , I have never had a problem with charging , using whatever system came original from the factory . 

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Yo Pat and Pete, I upgraded some years back to AGM also, love NOT having to worry and mess with checking and adding water, yayyyyyyyyyyy... I went with multiple smaller frame size 4D 208 Amp Hour 12 Volt DEEP CYCLE units but even they weight 129 lbs each !!!!!!!!! The wife had a job dragging them in lol

Now Im in the research and study phase considering upgrading to Lithium. Perhaps another adventure 

A pleasure chatting with you

John T

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/6/2021 at 2:19 AM, Chad Heiser said:

I am a fan of Fullriver batteries.  They make very good batteries (high quality) for a decent price.  I have been running them in my rigs for many years (6 plus in my truck house bank and 4 plus in my 5th wheel).  I have recommended them to friends who have also had great success with them.

Thanks a bunch I will look into them.

 

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