AGM's are they worth the price?

Submitted: Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 17:43
ThreadID: 111020 Views:2269 Replies:12 FollowUps:12
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Hi,
I'm in the process of setting up a new travelling rig and have been sourcing AGM batteries. At present I'm looking at three 120 AH Full River priced at about $1100 and wondering if it wouldn't be more economical just to buy good brand sealed Deep Cycle batteries which usually last 2 - 3 years (if looked after) for around $600 - $650. The best warranty I can find on the AGM's is 3 years and usual statements say that they will last at least 5 yrs Plus?? So is there a real value in investing in the AGM's?

Mike.
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Reply By: Batt's - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:06

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:06
I would say they are worth it by all the positive comments I've read here and on other sites. I am in the process of looking at them as well I look at Full river but have decide to go with Aussie batteries when I'm ready to buy I'll wait till they have the one I want on sale and get a solar panel of them as well. They say their AGM's have a 12 yr life if looked after if I got over 5 yrs I'd be happy. This is their site if your interested.
http://www.aussiebatteries.com.au/batteries/deep-cycle-agm/
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:36

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:36
G'day yes go with AGM they should last many years, but also charge back up quicker , and are totally sealed. Wet low maintenance batteries still breath a bit so will lose a bit of fluid in time. Plus being totally sealed are a lot safer, don't gas or spill.
Robbo
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Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:39

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:39
Also look at the price you can get brands like Century and optima for, good brands not much dearer at times. I was a retailer until recently.
Robbo
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Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 19:13

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 19:13
Good brands, Full River is a very good brand, I repaced the first one after 8 years and sitting at 7 years on the second, and they are mounted under the bonnet of the 80 series. I seriously don't think you would get that out of century or optima.
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Reply By: Notso - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 19:50

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 19:50
I've been looking around at batteries and found these a while back. Different technology and might give em a try next time I want a battery.

Silicate Gel batteries
AnswerID: 545510

Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 19:50

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 19:50
I just purchased a SSB AGM 130 amp battery delivered to Cairns from Extreme 4wd in S.A. for about $280. So that's less than $900 for 3 good quality, high amp batteries that should last for many years if treated properly. Others on this thread have pointed out the pros of investing in AGM....




Your money so your choice...
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Reply By: Member - Andrew W14 - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 21:15

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 21:15
3 x 120 Ah AGMS is a hell of a lot of batteries. How do you intend to keep them charged?
Hope you have plenty of solar which is far more important than number of batteries.
Batteries are like bank accounts - you can only take out what you put in - doesn't matter how many accounts you have!
AnswerID: 545512

Follow Up By: Member - Bigred13 - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 21:39

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 21:39
That's the best analogy I have heard for batteries and charging Andrew good one
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 22:29

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 22:29
How do you intend to keep them charged?

Via fuel ;)
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Follow Up By: Steve - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:25

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:25
hey Andrew, I like that one too. I even read it out to the missus. Should've known better though.

Response: "well, unless you have an overdraft".

Women (roll eyes)
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 15:56

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 15:56
Thanks Andrew,

Good question. Yes I'll have one in the rear of the vehicle to run our 80 ltr Waeco freezer and two in the small semi off road van. All linked to the vehicle whilst travelling and three solar panels, two fixed (120 and 80w) and a 100 portable.
Mike.
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 22:26

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 22:26
Mike, you mentioned warranty. Check fine print on warranty, if you place a AGM in the engine bay you may void the warranty.....go figure! Having said that, mines in the engine bay.

It's sought of like off road tyre's. Also read their fine print, "if taken off road you also void warranty.

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Follow Up By: Member - abqaiq - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:18

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:18
For that much power, the battery weight would be significant. Perhaps you should be looking at lithium-iron phosphate batteries [LiFePo4]. You would apparently need only about half the Amp rating, due to relatively flat discharge curve at about 1/3 the weight. Pricey up front but maybe better in the long run.
I have no connection to any battery company, just a researching future battery buyer.
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Reply By: Steve - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:32

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:32
They say they don't like being in the engine bay but I had a Remco agm in the back tub of one car for 3 years and then it lived in the Landcruiser engine bay for six years and was still going strong when I sold it. Always kept it topped up when I could.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:48

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 09:48
I also had a Remco 100Ah - only lasted 2 years - never discharged below 12.2V, and topped it up with Ctek when stored. It lived in the cool of an aluminium canopy.
I let it charge directly off the alternator. Whitworths told me not to, but at the time I didn't understand why. But they are current restricted - from memory initial charge current is only 21A. I remember recording up to 45 amps going in at times.
In my opinion, AGMs are finnecky - still have one in the TVan thats works fine but have gone back to wet cells in the Landcruiser.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:26

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:26
My Remco was permanently connected to solar in the back of the Landrover for it's first 3 years and then 6 years under the bonnet of the Landcruiser running off the alternator with a Redarc set up. Still perfectly good when I traded it. As you say Phil, I think they can be finicky or at least not consistent in their performance. I hear people putting Delko deep cycle batteries down but I had one of those under the bonnet for over 6 years, again with a Redarc set up and just charged from the alternator. I did occasionally connect it to solar if I was running it down when camping but it wasn't pampered, so it's not all good management.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:00

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:00
FWIW I ran a couple of ACDelco Calcium sealed batteries of 96 aH each in the camper trailer. Lasted 5 years. $170 each to replace. They can take a higher charging voltage than other types so recharge quicker.
AnswerID: 545528

Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:18

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:18
I’m using 2 x 140 AH Powersonic AGM’s in the pod of the ute. They’ve been running brilliantly for 5 years now but then again I do look after them. There should be no reason why you don’t get many years out of an decent quality AGM providing the way you use it and maintain it is appropriate. If you buy them intending for them to last only 2.5 years, you’re doing something wrong.

With then three batteries, you’ll be able to split the draw over the three reducing the overall discharge rates required to run your accessories. Mind you, the life of these batteries is all about how you discharge them, how you charge them and maintain them.

If you’re spending the big bucks on batteries, you’d be wise to spend some money on appropriate technology to ensure proper staged charging at the right rates of charge. A DC-DC charger is a must as is a half acre of solar cells (4 x 100W solar panels would provide a good rate depending on your useage) through an MPPT controller.

My personal thoughts are you need to go back to basics and figure out your requirements and look at the system. You may well be better off spending a bit extra on a good Redarc dc-dc charger than replacing them again in 3 years.

Building a DC power system

Cheers

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:03

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:03
Thanks Mick, good advice as always

Regards,

Mike.
We retired to travell
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 20:41

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 20:41
Here goes the dc/dc charger crap again !!.......You do NOT have to have a dc/dc charger to maintain AGM batteries ( unless you have a late model 4wd with a "smart" alternator....and then you can get away with a booster diode )

I try and NOT tell people what they HAVE to have, I prefer they make up there own mind..

If someone wants to spend a lot of money on a dc/dc charger, then good luck to them, but one is NOT needed to charge AGM's..

I have had 2 KK campers and now a small van ( 3 X 120 a/h AGM's ) running AGM's and have charged them all with just the alternator ( I now have a 200 series with a booster diode ) and solar ( 240 W ) and at home a Projector 25 A charger.

But, if I had shares in a dc/dc charger company, maybe I'd be feeding the rubbish about how good they are too ??
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Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 15:23

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 15:23
Hi Michael. Just replaced two full river 120s in my truck with two new ones. Eight years old and still good and have put the old ones in my van. Secret is to look after them and keep the charge up. Mine are split with one in the engine bay and one in the back with 280 watts of panels charging them running an 80 litre fridge and 60 litre freezer. Dont let them them get to 12.2 as another post says thats nearly flat. Price is a bit high though payed 320 for mine recently and our dollar has dropped since then so they should be cheaper than that.
cheers Graeme.
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:09

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:09
Thanks Graeme,

Price of mine are $359 each for two, have yet to bargain for the third. Mine will be split as well one in the tray and two in the van with 300 w of solar. One 80 lt freezer, a small freezer and a 3 way fridge.

Regards,

Mike.
We retired to travell
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Reply By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:20

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:20
Thanks every body,

You have definitely confirmed my decision to go with AGM's, the question remains as to how many, two or three?

I appreciate your help and advice.

Best wishes,

Mike.
We retired to travell
It's time to go again...

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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 17:00

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 17:00
Why not get 2 larger capacity ones?
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