Motolite Deep Cyle batteries

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 11, 2003 at 18:54
ThreadID: 2911 Views:6512 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about Motolite Deep Cycle batteries? My local battery agent can offer me a 109 ah battery for $170 which seems like a good deal but I have never heard of them. They are USA made and apparently have very thick plates. The warranty is 6 months which seems common, though I believe Trojan gives longer.
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Reply By: OziExplorer - Saturday, Jan 11, 2003 at 19:33

Saturday, Jan 11, 2003 at 19:33
Greydemon I have seen them advertised in the US. Quality, no idea, but you seldom find US manufactured stuff which is not good. For that size battery if it is made in the USA the price is comparable for the amp hours to other deep cycle batteries. I have been involved in the auto trade with particular knowledge on the autoelectrical industry and have not heard of them being sold previously in Australia - however, that means nothing. It is surprising they can be bringing in US manufactured batteries to compare with the Global Yuasa batteries from Korea which is the ones we are presently using because of their now proven excellence. $1.50 an amp is a good reasonable price for a deep cycle battery, yours would come in at $163.50. So $170 is well within the ball park. Would I buy one, yes, without hesitation if it is made in US.
Looking on the Motolite website I can find nothing about their deep cycle batteries. There website leaves a lot to be disered. They have signed a technology deal with Global Yuasa to make batteries under licience.
Can I suggest you get the model number of this battery, and make sure it is not just a truck battery they are flogging off as a deep cycle battery.

What are you actually running from this battery and how are you charging it?

Greydemon as a matter of interest, how long do you expect a deep cycle battery to last?

Just as a matter of interest, this is the Global Yuasa distributor in Australia:
The deep cycel batteries we presently use are the 882 (last item on the page) and you can get these for around the $135 mark.
AnswerID: 11073

Follow Up By: Greydemon - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 02:22

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 02:22
Thanks Ozi - I pushed the wrong button - my reply to you shows as a reply to my question ... it has been that sort of day!

FollowupID: 6073

Reply By: greydemon - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 02:18

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 02:18
Thanks Ozi,

I have existed on ice and eskies up until now ( switching to red wine when the ice ran out !) so have no experience with dual battery systems or deep cycle batteries. Most of what I do know has been gleaned from the web, including this forum. I have had chats with a few salesmen but have had to bear in mind that their advice may not be unbiased. I expect mainly to be running a fridge/freezer of around 40-50 litres, make unknown at this stage. I'll probably also hook up the UHF and interior lights, and run a small 12v fluorescent light for the kids tent. I will probably look for a three way fridge so will run on gas if not using the vehicle. Recharge will be handled through an 'Arrid Smart Relay' dual battery system in the vehicle. This whole setup will only be used for the odd weekend trip and an annual pilgrimage somewhere remote for three weeks or so.

How long will the battery last? I've no idea.Feedback I have read suggests anything from 6 months ( as soon as the warranty expires) to several years, I suppose it all depends on what you buy, how you use it and how you look after it.

AnswerID: 11098

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 13:54

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 13:54
If you are going to use a three way fridge then a substantially smaller battery would be more than adequate.
A battery like the Apollo 862 75aH - probably, around $115.00
The life span of a normal deep cycle battery is normally twelve to fifteen months, so no advantage to have a larger battery than is necessary, or spend more money than is necessary.

Are you aware that three way fridges do not work well while travelling if the roads/vehicle is rough. If you are only travelling short distances, or you are on smooth roads, this is not an issue, However, if you are travelling through bush tracks more than one day, this does become an issue.

With the saving you will make on the battery, when you go away and camp for the three week period, you could invest in a small Solarex 20w solar panel for $268.90 from here:
If you went away camping only in summer, then a 10w panel at $168.90 would make the grade. You would need to change the orientation of the panel three times a day. With your fridge running on gas and the use of a couple of fluoro lights and UHF radio should supply you with sufficient power.
The other alternative is not to use a extra battery at all if you only want to run the UHF and a couple of fluoro lights. You could use an Exide orbital from here:
and put the money from buying the extra battery and Arrid system towards the cost of the solar panel. The only other addition I would put on the system, would be a low battery voltage cut-out so that you did not accidently run the battery flat so you could not start your vehicle. This would be unlikely, but with kids, anything is possible. The low voltage battery cut-outs can be purchased in kit form cheaply from Dick Smith Electronics.
I have no idea of the price of the Exide Orbital batteries and have no personal experience with them. The surveyors whose DGPS gear I borrow use them in their vehicles and for running their electronics while stationary and are reporting good service from them. With this type of battery using it for two purposes, I would change it every two years.
FollowupID: 6081

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 19:57

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 19:57
Exide Orbitals are around $280-$300 - still a bit pricey for a 55 Ah battery, unless you definately have a reason for needing a sealed battery.
FollowupID: 6092

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 20:18

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 20:18
Nigel I had no idea they Exide Orbital batteries are that expensive. Will get some local pricing tomorrow as a matter of interest.
FollowupID: 6094

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 11:01

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 11:01
Biggest killer of batteries is undercharging. Any battery manufacturer will tell you that a vehicle alternator will not fully recharge a battery. So when adding a second battery it's important to consider a mains charger to top it up (after each deep cycle or at least once a month).

My preference is for the LEAB Champ switch mode chargers as they are waterproof and robust and have a nice 3 stage program. But I have 3 deep cycles between my vehicle and trailer so the cost of that charger is not as bad when compared with the prospect of premature replacement of 3 deep cycles.

There are cheaper charges around, but it's worth spending enough to get one with a auto cutout, as overcharging causes heat and heat damages batteries.

I also disconnect my starter battery and recharge it every couple of months and find the life of the battery is extendly considerably.
AnswerID: 11105

Reply By: greydemon - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 14:51

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 14:51
Thanks everyone, this has given me plenty to think about .... and it seemed such a simple question when I wrote it !

AnswerID: 11117

Reply By: colin - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 17:11

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 17:11
yuasa batterys offer a two yr warranty and are a 17 plate battery. Col
AnswerID: 11126

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 20:16

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 20:16
Colin on normal wet cell deep cycle batteries I think all companies only offer six months.
If you are talking about Yuasa, then my statement is correct. If you are talking about Global Yuasa, then my statement is also correct.
On normal automotive and truck batteries two years is the norm. The life of a wet cell deep cycle battery is normally maximum 18 months (being generous)
FollowupID: 6093

Reply By: Janset - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003 at 17:33

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003 at 17:33
Hi Greydemon.

Just in passing. I have sworn away from Motolite. I was under the impression the made in USA was good.

If you call going through 2 x 130a/h batteries in just over 13 months as good, then they are good.

The first one failed under warranty, 5 months old.
The second (warranty replacement) failed in 8 months. (no more warranty claim)

I am on my 3rd one now, not because of choice but at the time I was forced to go down that path through circumstances. So far, 4 months down the track it is still holding up. Finger crossed.

I telephoned the state manager, can't recall the firm or his name and queried the shortness of the life.

The answer I got was got was words to the effect:

"What do you want for nothing, your battery was replaced under warranty and as a result you got over one year's usage. What more do you want?"

What I do not want is to be spoken to as if I was a slow learner and giving me the impression that he was doing me a favour by relieving me of my hard earned cash.

Needless to say, I have now switched over to Trojan for my backup deep cycle in the Jayco. We will see how that goes.

Incidentally, both the Motolites that failed completely died in one cell, the one under the negative terminal. The remainder of the cells, perfect readings..

AnswerID: 11290

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