deep cycle batteries

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1628 Views:5357 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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I have a 115AH deep cycle battery that is three years old. After being fully charged and then rested for 12 hours it showed 12.2 volts.
A battery in perfect condition should read 12.6 volts. A battery has only 50% capacity left at 12.2 volts. Is this typical for a battery of this age, or does anyone have any tips for extending the life of a deep cycle battery. I only use it to run a trailblazer fridge and a light.
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Reply By: bOB - Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 01, 2002 at 00:00
Dazza, from my experience, you're doing OK getting 3 years out of it. I expect to replace a battery in after about 3 years.
AnswerID: 5346

Follow Up By: Ray - Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00
Hi,

This is a really interesting topic as there are so many variables. I generally get a min of 4 years from my starter battery and have some sealed lead acid in the car for my fridge etc that are over 7 years old and behave as new. Also have a couple of gel cells that are over 5 years old. I don't touch deep cycle for many reasons. The single biggest killer of batteries is being undercharged, an altenator will not fully charge a battery, certainly not in normal circumstances. I recharge my battery off a 3 stage charger after every trip and about monthly otherwise. Yes the charger was $500 compared to a cheap one for under $100 but I can leave the charger unmonitored and I've more than paid for it by extending the life of batteries. I also put a battery conditioner in the unsealed lead acid and run a mega pulse. Can't confirm the mega pulse but have been running tests on it in a lab. By far the best you can do is keep the temps down and try and not over charge with the cheap chargers plus try and keep from being undercharged to a min as in time frames.

Ray
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FollowupID: 2308

Reply By: Pete - Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00
Hey Dazza , can you tell me a bit more about your trailblaza?
I'm looking for a new fridge at the the moment and after much research the trailblaza 60 litre appears to be the pick of the bunch.
Which model have you got?
What vehicle have you got it in?
What sort of run time do you get?
Battery set-up?
do you recomend one ect ect
thanks for any info , Pete
AnswerID: 5360

Follow Up By: Dazza - Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00
Pete, I have the 80 litre fridge but should have got the 60 litre.
The only difference is height and the 80 litre is to deep for us.
These fridges are fantastic but do take up a lot of room.
The 115AH battery when new would give me three days run time without any recharging,
but now can only get one day as the battery is three years old and past its use by date.
I use the pirrahna 150 isolator which is trouble free.
With my next battery I am going to do the following:
1. turn the fridge up to a high setting when the vehicle is running then turn to a lower setting
when I pull up this will save the battery heaps.
2. always put the solar panel out (I have an 80 watt), even if only camping for one day.
3. after returning home put the battery on charge with a good quality charger ASAP
4. try not to discharge (or cycle) the battery no more than 20% of its capacity.
5. check the electrolyte religiously.
6. try to get a bit of air flow around the fridge when travelling to help dissipate the heat generated
when the fridge is operating.

Hopefully these little tips will extend the life of the battery.
Cheers Dazza



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FollowupID: 2319

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 03, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Dazza,

Your plan for your new battery is wise.

I think 3 years for a deep cycle is reasonable in these circumstances as the battery was in a 4WD vehicle (I'd expect longer life in a stationary application), it was possibly flattened beyond the recommended 50% of capacity, and it was recharged in parallel with a starter battery.

To get maximum life from a deep cycle (in a 4WD) you should cycle it regularly but not too deeply, use an independant charge system when charging from the alternator, and recharge the battery fully on a mains charger after a cycle (the alternator will never fully charge any battery).

Of course some of these things aren't always practical, so most of us trade battery life for convenience.
AnswerID: 5379

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