TYPE OF BATTERY

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 13:45
ThreadID: 23988 Views:2400 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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I have been advised to buy a Optima Battery for my Dual Battery System.
However i do not know what type it is, either deep cycle or cold cranking.
The battery will be in a battery box in the rear of my Prado.
I believe i will have to use a Sealed Battery if not have it vented some how.

Is the Optima the best to use or what are others views. What is the price like?
Kelpi
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Reply By: rash - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 14:15

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 14:15
Kelpi........I have used optima batteries for years and would never buy a wet cell battery again. They are fully sealed and hence do not require venting. The yellow ones are deep cycle but unlike a wet cell battery these can be dischared virtually to nothing without harm.They also receive charge as fast as you can supply it.
Drawback........cost .I was in fact thinking of trying a THREE RIVERS battery while not the same consruction as the OPTIMA do have most of the other features and are a lot cheaper. Forgot to mention you can mount either of these batteries upside down or on their side if you want

Regards
Rash
AnswerID: 116372

Follow Up By: Steve - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:01

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:01
Three Rivers??? Is that a new brand or have you been watching cowboys and Indians again;>)
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Follow Up By: rash - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 13:39

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 13:39
Steve.........I knew is was something river.....ye'h FULLRIVER
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Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 16:33

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 16:33
Kelpi,

You can pick up an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) 100 amp deep cycle battery for between $200 and $400 depanding on brand and how well you bargain. Brands that I am aware of are Remco, Fullriver and Lifeline. Much better value than an Optima.

I had the same problem of having to have the battery inside the car and went with the Lifeline. Had it one year and very happy with it.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 00:54

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 00:54
Kelpi,
I took Jim's advice and got an AGM. I went for the Remco 100Ah, the build quality looked good and the bloke at Batteryworld had high praise for them. I think I've had it for about 6 months now and I'm very happy with it. I'm considering getting another one as I'm running a 110l waeco from it and it does have it's limitations in that particular application.
Blue
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 17:45

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 17:45
Yep, AGMs are great in my experience. Apart from being fully sealed, you can operate them on their side with no problems. This is how I use one in a canoe with electric motor. Also use one to run my 70l Reefer Fridge/ Freezer. Optima and Lifeline are top brands with a high price. I've had good experience with Fullriver so far which are much cheaper. Made in China, but seem to be well made. You can get a 120AH for under $300, which I think is pretty good.
Only thing is, most 'experts' recommend that you don't charge them in parallel with a normal vented battery, but that is another story (and debate).
AnswerID: 116399

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 21:32

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 21:32
(Quote) Only thing is, most 'experts' recommend that you don't charge them in parallel with a normal vented battery (end quote)

Norm,
Do you know how they recommend them to be charged out in the bush and well away from an independent power supply, do they recommend you also use an AGM starter battery (or a really long extension lead) L0L.
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 08:48

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 08:48
Hi Mainey,
I think you know more about this subject than me. I've spent the last couple of months researching and trying to learn as much as I can on the subject. The main thing I've learned is that everyone has an opinion on batteries and charging..... and they are all different!
As to charging AGMs in parallel with normal vented lead acids, many people do it, but the detractors say they are not getting a full charge and just don't know it.
Some isolator manufacturers (Redarc is one) now state that you should not do it.
Three ways I am aware of to mix batteries, but avoid the problem are:
1. Use a Rotronics isolator, which never connects the batteries in parallel.
2. Use an inverter and 3 stage charger as you would at home. This one is particularly useful when the AGMs are in a trailer or caravan. It reduces the impact of voltage drop over the long distance and you still get a full charge. There are some inefficiencies with this system, but they are minor in practice as AGMs charge quickly. A 3 to 4 hour drive will generally get you to full charge.
3. Use a solar system and a good regulator for the aux, but you will need to have it set up to use while driving (ie on top of vehicle or caravan).
All of these are more expensive than a normal solenoid system, but my 'research' suggests they will work better.

Number 2 has the advantage that you now have an inverter for other use when camping and a 3 stage charger for maintenance charging when you have access to 240V. Number 3 gives you a solar system for when you are camping. If you would have one (or both) of these arrangements anyway to meet your camping needs, they are probably good systems.

I still haven't installed mine yet, but am leaning towards the inverter and 3 stage charger. Need to get my skates on as I've got some big trips planned for August and September. At the moment, I just have a 120AH AGM in the back to run the fridge. I make sure I have 240V available every couple of days to recharge. I have also recently bought a Kipor 1KVA inverter generator which extends my time if necessary. I guess that is a 4th system which may be OK for some people.
Happy to hear your comments. I've been doing lots of reading and listening, but have little practical experience on this issue.
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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 22:12

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 22:12
Norm,
I use the solar system method because I camp in one spot for many weeks at a time, I don't rely on the vehicle to charge the DC battery system.
My next battery system will probably be Fullriver AGM, when the DC Delkors die.
Different driving times will alter the method used for recharging the aux battery, a solar system would be a complete waste to someone who drove every second day, they would be far better with a decent alternator recharge system.
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Reply By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 22:10

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 22:10
I bought a Full River 120a from Mr Val at Fridge and Solar at the Gold Coast and have it installed in the back of my vehicle to run a Waeco Fridge when 240 not available.
Check out the technical info from Mr Val here.
The really good part of these batteries is that they charge up in approx 3 hours from car alternator.
If you have any queries follow the link on the above site and you will find Mr Val most helpful.

Pedro
AnswerID: 116456

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 08:59

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 08:59
Yes Peter, Val is very helpful. A good web site with lots of info and links. He is also happy to give advice over the phone or via email. So you don't have to live on the Gold Coast to use his knowledge.
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Reply By: ferris - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 23:10

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 23:10
Hi Kelpie, I spent many hours researching the best type of battery, as I was killing conventional deep cycle batteries every 12 - 18 months. The one thing I found out is that there is no such thing as the perfect battery. They all have there drawbacks. Optima appear to be very good, but big $$$$. Be careful with mixing Optima's with other types of batteries. I believe they offer only a very limited warranty if it is charged in parallel with any other type of battery. The way I read it with Optima, was it was all or nothing. AGMs are suitable for your application and cheaper, but cannot be put under the bonnet. They don't like high temperatures or higher charging voltages.
Cheers
Ferris
AnswerID: 116466

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 17:58

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 17:58
Dont like high temps ? only on paper , have 2x 80amp AGM under bonnet of turbo diesel ,1 as starting and other as aux separated by ROTRONICS , both charge to 100% ,whats more have 3x 80amp fullriver AGM on campertrailer charged in para via anderson plug from vehicle mounted aux ,all 5 batts charge to 100% in all temps that QLD can dish out ,, be less worried about temp , after all AGM was designed to withstand millitary specs and the EXTREME heat/cold as encounterd in space ,, NASA use AGM in the space shuttle.
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Reply By: Flash - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 08:34

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 08:34
Go for the "FULL RIVER" HGL 120-12
120 amphour AGM battery.
You won't regret it- they'll run rings around the Optima as construction is every bit as good, but capacity is way, way more.
AnswerID: 116486

Reply By: Nick - Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 15:57

Monday, Jun 20, 2005 at 15:57
I have an AGM battery in the rear of my Prado which has been exceeding my expectations for over a year now. Mine is a Lifeline 80 Ah and I think the price was about $350. Sounds expensive but believe me its worth it. The main advantages of AGMs are:
1. They charge very quickly
2. They charge fully - I've read all the debates, I speak from experience
3. The hold their charge - long shelf life withot topping up
4. They are sealed
5. They can be used for emergency starting - using appropriate cable or jumper leads
6. They can stand being drained to a lower level of charge, not as low as sugested elsewhere in this thread, but to say 20%.

The only downside I've read of is that they alledgedly don't like high temperatures eg. under bonnet applications. I have no experience of this and I'm pretty sure people run Optimas as replacements for original wet cell batteries.

I use a Redarc isolater with 10mm2 cabling and a cheap battery box. The Redarc vs other isolators debate is continually raging (as are battery debates in general) but for the application described here at least, it is cheap easy to install and works.

Nick
AnswerID: 116558

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