Best brand and type of batteries in 2012

Hello all,
My 90ah wet cell is refusing to hold a charge to run the 47lt ARB fridge overnight.

Its about 4 yrs old so i recon there has been time for technical improvements.

Can anyone help me out with the latest and best? probably a 120ah.

Regards
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 18:27

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 18:27
You'll get a better answer if you give more info.
Where is the battery? under the bonnet, in the tray or in the trailer?
What sort of isolator?
How do you recharge the battery when away? Just from the alternator or do you have solar panels or 240V charger?
AnswerID: 482779

Follow Up By: Member - MicknCarolyn W (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 20:11

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 20:11
Its the 2nd/reserve battery and located under the hood.
The isolator is a Redarc SBI12.
Whilst ive just added a solar panel to my gear, ive not used it yet and my whole question has arisen whilst under test, prior to camping, and after a half hour drive of charging by the alternator.
The output/charge of the alternator at the socket is 13.9volts and the battery test by an auto electrician is fine.

I simply wish to know what the latest and greatest battery is on the market by somone who has recently purchased and used one.

Thanks anyway Phil.

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FollowupID: 758066

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 20:38

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 20:38
Hate to tell you but advances in batteries are few and far between. They are still 6 cell and easily die an early death if you don't look after them.

Under the bonnet:
Simplest and cheapest is a hybrid wet cell, like the Exide Extreme or Yuasa Overlander. They survive the heat, can recharge quickly and don't cost an arm and leg. About 80Ah in an N70 case.
Next option is a quality AGM like the Optima. Downside is only 75Ah in a 13" case, but upside is they are more resiliant than the average cheap AGM and have come down in price. I wouldn't put a cheap AGM under the bonnet.
Third option is a wet cell deep cycle. Never been a fan of them - many only come with a 6 month warranty. But some people get a good run out of the more expensive high capacity ones (eg 115Ah 13" batteries - Trojan and Caterpillar come to mind)
I wouldn't buy a Ca-Ca battery - they don't like vibration, need a higher charge voltage than the average alternator can provide and I've seen a few too many fail on corrugated outback roads.
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FollowupID: 758067

Follow Up By: GT Campers - Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 07:55

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 07:55
MnC, 13.9 charge voltage is a little low (was that tested with a discgharged, or charged battery?) and a half-hour charge isn't much tucker for the battery...
As Phil G has said, you can't really go wrong with a Overlander or Extreme battery for all-round general purposes-ness!
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FollowupID: 758093

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 08:38

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 08:38
13.9V is a very reasonable spot reading with the motor running and a charged battery.
It will vary with temperature - most alternators are temperature regulated which is a good thing for batteries under the bonnet - the voltage will drop (maybe as low as 13.5V) as the temperature under the bonnet rises.
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FollowupID: 758096

Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:30

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:30
Concur with Phil G's comments and choice of battery options. I have the Yuasa in my 4WD and expect to get a few years of life over and above a cheap wet cell variety. However I use Fullriver AGM's in my marine enviroments with 5 years of trouble free life so far. Having said all this my batteries are maintained by a range of Ctek chargers and are looked after appropriately.
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FollowupID: 758107

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