Deep Cycle Batteries

Submitted: Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 20:00
ThreadID: 137345 Views:2310 Replies:8 FollowUps:35
Hi All,

I need to get a new deep cycle battery to be installed in the rear of my 200 series Cruiser. It is used to run a compressor fridge and at times a CPAP. The old battery is a 120ah AMG which has lasted about 18 months and until it dopped a cell was working extremely well. Now it is only showing 11.6volts.

Not wanting to open a can or worms, what suggestions do you have. It needs to fit into an ArkPax battery box. Internal dimensions 180mmWide, 330mmLong and 238mmHigh.

Thanks in advance.
Snoopy2
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Reply By: Keith B2 - Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 21:15

Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 21:15
Have a look at the Lithiums at EV Power. They have a 100AH that will easily fit and will give you 80AH usable. They are a lot dearer, but less than half the weight and will run I think (do check) on AGM settings, although you may have to change to a diode fuse for the alternator to get a higher voltage
Incidentally I run 95 litre compressor fridge off an 80AH AGM with a 200 watt solar panel on the roof and it works fine.
Keith
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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:42

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:42
Hi Keith,

Thanks for this suggestion. I did have a look at an ePower 100Ah Lithium battery but it is $1,750 plus I would need to change my battery management system so the cost is a bit prohibitive.

Regards,

Michael (Sn00py2)
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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 20:20

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 20:20
Snoopy try EV Power rather than ePower. They are a lot better value for money. No connection other than as a customer. I got a 200AH for the kind of money you have been quoted.
Keith
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 08:37

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 08:37
When you do replace the battery, it may be worth checking your battery management. An AGM should last a lot longer than that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:47

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:47
Hi Notso,

I'm using a Ctek D250S to both isolate and charge the deep cycle battery. On a test with a multimeter it is putting out 14.4 volts with an input voltage from the alternator at idle on 13.4 volts. The spec sheet says up to 20 Amp output but I'm not able to check that.

I'm seeing an auto electrician tomorrow to get a better test done.

Thanks for your reply.
Michael (Sn00py2)
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Follow Up By: Notso - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 21:59

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 21:59
My main concern is that you may well be overdischarging the batteries. This will ruin them very quickly. If your battery is showing 10.30 volts that doesn't necessarily mean that one cell has dropped. It's possible that the battery has lost the capacity to hold a charge.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 12:06

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 12:06
Hi All,

Just back from the Auto Electrician. The charge from the alternator is ok and he has taken the DC battery out to thoroughly test it. Should know more tomorrow.

Regards,

Michael (Sn00py2)
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 09:44

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 09:44
Snoopy2,

Is there a reason why you want to put it in the rear. You can split the 2 batteries in the front.
Upgrade the passenger's side to N70 around 750CCA, and locate the battery you mention on the driver's side. People, including myself have been doing that for 10 years or more. Infact they come that way now ( no battery on Drivers side)/ ARB even do a 3rd battery under the bonnet.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 10:01

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 10:01
Lithium are a far better battery.
LA battery’s belong in the dark ages.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:50

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:50
Hi Tony,

Yes, I did consider that. I upgraded the 2 starting batteries approx. 18 months ago and they are in good condition so not needing replacement now. I was travelling at the time I replaced/upgraded them so did not have the opportunity to split them then. Perhaps down the track.

Don't really want a 3rd battery in the front as there is a lot going on under the bonnet with extra fuel filters etc.

Thanks for your reply.
Michael (Sn00py2)
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 19:08

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 19:08
Hey bow, Maybe you haven’t realised there just maybe people out there that just can’t afford lithium batteries.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 19:20

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 19:20
And bow I should add that you and nan should keep spouting the lithium line on batteries because my share portfolio of international lithium companies has given me a very healthy reason to smile lately. !!!

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 07:07

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 07:07
If you do the sums a lithium battery works out cheaper in the long run.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 07:15

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 07:15
Good for you Bow and Nan , forget answering the OP's question. Just let everyone know you have a Lithium.

But If you do the sums properly you've probably wasted your money.

Sure you get a deeper dishcarge but if you bought a Lithium with charger 2 years ago you probably paid $1500 instead of $250 for a SLA

So the Lithium lasts 2000 cycles and the SLA 400 or about 3 years.

But lithium is dropping in price rapidly, In 18 months lithium is predicted to be around $600, or $800 inc a charger.

If you do the math, you have wasted around $600 compared to waiting one extra battery cycle.of using a good ol SLA one more time/

I am amazed people don't think of this. When they do the maths, they assume Lithium ( and solar) will stay the same price over 8 or 10 years - they are rapidly commoditising. Getting in to technology to soon can be a costly mistake.

Unless you buy Lithium for another reason, like weight or bragging on forums. Then the extra cost may be worth it. But they are not cheaper.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 07:24

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 07:24
Tony, lithium are good for a lot more than 2000 cycles and you don’t need a
expensive charger.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 19:09

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 19:09
Bow, AGM's are usually good for in excess of 2000 cycles as well.
The problem with lithium is nobody has had them long enough to prove they in fact last longer than the "old" AGM's.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 20:01

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 20:01
And most people who are spouting about lithium had a stuffed agm battery setup and replaced them with lithium and all of a sudden they have a massive supply of 12 volt available to them.

If they replaced the worn out agm’s with new agm’s they would experience the same result.

What I read on a few forums and experienced in a caravan park one day these lithium people are a cut above the rest.

My full rivers do me just fine thanks

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 20:51

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 20:51
Gronk
You are correct,no one has killed a set with old age that I know about.
I know one set that has been used 24/7 for seven years.
I have one set in a caravan for five years.
One in the truck as a Aux battery for 4 years.
One in the boat to drive the electric motor for two years.
One set in the new caravan for six months.
All sets of battery’s are still test at 100% capacity.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 10:58

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 10:58
"All sets of battery’s are still test at 100% capacity."

Really? NO loss of capacity whatsoever on ANY of those sets?

Having spent a fair bit of my later professional career working with assorted Lithium technologies, I call BS on that.
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Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 12:59

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 12:59
If you have worked with Winston cells you should know that there capacity is above the advertised capacity.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 16:47

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 16:47
Ahh! I get it...

....give you a bigger battery, chuck a sticker on saying it is a 100Ah and you think it is a great battery because you don't notice the deterioration until it starts to charge at less than 100 Ah.

A great advertising ploy.

Cheers

Anthony
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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 09:50

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 09:50
Sn00py2
Yes a battery can fail prematurely but,
If your battery is at 11.6v then it probably hasn't DROPPED a cell at all. If a cell drops, it removes one cell from the system and a then a 12.7 v normal reading will be around 10.7v because one cell has dropped. Yours at 11.6v is around half way there and it can't have half dropped.

As suggested, the charging system may be at fault and not raising the charge voltage sufficiently high enough. Is the battery being charged by a decent charger?

If you simply go and buy a new battery the problem may be still there and going to replicate the fault. Best to check the charging system by connecting to an alternate battery, slightly discharged, to see if the system is operating properly.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 10:03

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 10:03
.
I agree with RMD with it not being a "cell drop".

To check for charge availability: you appear to have a voltmeter so connect it across the battery with the engine running at a fast idle. You should see about 14 volts. If not, the charging circuit is at fault.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:53

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 16:53
Hi RMD,

Just checked the voltage after sitting overnight and it is now 10.3 volts so a bad cell is definitely the culprit.

As stated above, I am using a Ctek D250S to charge the battery and it is putting out the nominal 14.3 volts with the load from the AGM.

I'm seeing an Auto Electrician tomorrow to investigate further.

Thanks for your reply.
Michael (Sn00py2)
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 18:14

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018 at 18:14
Hi Sn00py2,
Don't forget to let us know what the sparky finds out....please!
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 15:39

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 15:39
Thanks Sn00py2
That voltage after a rest indicates a dropped cell as you stated. I had a cheap AGM fail in one cell and it was around the same 10.3v, ie, totally lost one cell.
Hope you get it all ok again soon.

RMD
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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 17:36

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 17:36
Hi All,

Just spoke to the Auto Electrician and the first test shows that something may have gone wrong with my ArcPak which is drawing 1.2amps with no load attached. He is doing further testing tonight to see how the battery is going with a long term load.

More updates to follow.

Regards,
Michael (Sn00py2)
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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 15:28

Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 15:28
Hi All,

Just back from the Auto Electrician and the culprit was the ArcPack which, even when switched off, is drawing 1.2ahr. As the car had been sitting for a few days at a time over the last few months, this has continually drained the battery. On test, after a full charge, it only lasted 120 minutes when it should have lasted at least 320 minutes. As a solution, I have removed the ArcPack and installed a new AGM battery with a "dumb" battery case. As the ArcPack is over 7 years old it may not be worthwhile getting repaired however I have sent an email to Arc Corporation to see if it is (a) repairable and (b) economic to repair.

Thanks everyone for your help and comments and after I hear from Arc Corporation, I will post an update.

By the way, I have been completely happy with the Arc Pack and would highly recommend them to anyone.


Regards and Thanks again.
Michael (Sn00py2)
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 09:00

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 09:00
.
Who says the Forum is slowing down?

Just needed a good "Battery Thread" to get things moving. LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 10:17

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 10:17
Alan.Just outfitting my new tug. Can you suggest a good make of tyre to go with the battery suggestions.
Dave.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 12:13

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 12:13
Hi Alan,

I'm also looking at a Patrol to replace my Toyota.... No, just kidding. Sometimes you just have to smile and keep your sense of humour.

Seriously, while I would love to put in a Lithium Battery, at this stage I think that the cost is still a bit on the high side considering the proper add-on's to enable full charging of them.. Perhaps next time.


Once I hear back from the Auto Electrician, I will post an update.

Note: When I was at the Auto Electrician, I realised that my inverter was switched on so this may also be a culprit in the poor battery performance.

Regards,

Michael (Sn00py2)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 12:48

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 12:48
.
Hi Sn00p,

Yeh, I'd like Lithium too but I have recently replace my pair of AGM's. Yep, maybe next time?
Sounds like you are in good hands with the autoleccy.

But as for changing the Cruiser to a Patrol, that's just going too far! lol


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 15:45

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 15:45
DavidM SA
Maybe we will get Lithium tyres soon and they will stay charged up and not go flat and last longer. Only 4 cells required.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 11:19

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 11:19
I've had one AGM battery since installing a fridge, lasted about 4 years and was $350 from memory, but from a rather expensive retail operation.

About a year ago I needed a new one and went with this one from 4WD Extreme ebay store . . .
105amp/hr SSB brand

There details / specs HERE

So far clocked up a good 30k or so with it fitted, inc a 14k rough track 5 state trip 4 months back.
Longevity will have a lot to do with your 4WDn, batteries don't like rough stuff in general, but some are better made for corrugations and track work.
Some of the info in the 2nd SSB link above made me give them a go.

Oh, and mine fits into my Arkpak :)
I don't use their smart charger though, have directly from alternator via a VSR setup.
AnswerID: 621640

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 12:13

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 12:13
SSB are very good AGMs. Rated for underbonnet use with 3 year warranty.
I own a few and not had one fail. Tvan 130Ah one is 7 years old; Caravan 130Ah one is 3 years old and I run a 105Ah aux under the bonnet.
With all of them I restrict the current with a DC-DC charger - Ctek 20A in the Tvan and Projecta IDC25 in car and in caravan and the car and caravan both get topped up with roof solar.

I learnt the hard way that you should never have an AGM battery charging directly from an alternator. They will take more current than they are capable of receiving and you will lose capacity as they vent at high charge currents
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 13:04

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 13:04
Thanks Phil, didn't know the higher input could limit life of the AGM.
I might look at the Ctek myself, 20amps should be fine for me, that would charge me up form and afternoon / overnight camp in less than a few hours anyway.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 15:06

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 15:06
Hi Les, most AGMs have a current restriction - usually about 25 to 30A for a 100Ah - written on the side of the battery or hidden in the data sheet. The first AGM I owned was a Remco and it was mounted in the cool of my ute's canopy - I measured 47Amps going into it at idle when the battery was half flat once and congratulated myself on a great wiring job! But it only lasted just over a year before it had lost capacity and failed to run a fridge overnight.
Since using the DC-DC chargers to restrict the initial current I've been very happy with AGMs.
I like the Projecta IDC25 - it integrates solar input very well, so the solar power is always used and just topped up with additional current from the alternator. Both the Ctek and Projecta have good temperature regulation with a probe you attach to the battery so voltage is backed off as the temp rises - I think this is vital for helping an AGM to survive under the bonnet but unfortunately lacking on the Redarc equivalent.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 18:15

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 18:15
.
Yeh, Redarc stuff is well made and supported but lacks features and programmability found in the competition.
For some perverse reason I use Redarc......but my needs are simple.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Gronk - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 22:12

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 22:12
Phil, you are correct with the limiting of current for an AGM, but in my case, with 3 X 120 a/h in the van, the alternator in the 200 series hasn't the capacity to overcharge 360 a/h.
Still living in the dark ages with a Narva 140A VSR........lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 00:00
Yeah pretty hard to overcharge 360Ah........
Other way is to wire it with thinner wire .....haha
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 15:00

Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 15:00
I have 4 x 115Ah AGMs in the OKA that are now coming up 9 years old.
If your AGM only lasted 18 months, then it is likely that you "murdered" it.
That being the case it is likely that the same will happen to its replacement unless you find out why and fix that first.
The first thing to look at is how it is charged and when.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 621661

Reply By: Flaming Hedgehog - Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 18:05

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 18:05
Interesting issue..
If it turns out you need a new battery check out Klaeton Sheehan's gear at Australian Direct in Maroochydore..
They have 120AH Deep Cycle AGM Batteries for $229 DELIVERED
2 Year Warranty 328mm L x 172mm W x 230mm H - 31KG
https://goo.gl/Uu6XMT

Good luck with it all :)
AnswerID: 621757

Follow Up By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 18:55

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 18:55
Thanks Hedgehog, will look at it. Still waiting for a reply from ArcPak.
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