Calcium batteries

The camper Im looking at comes with Calcium dual batteries. I dont know anything about these batteries. The cost to upgrade to AGM is more than I expected. $400 plus for both. Is it worth the upgrade.

PS I have a 105 AH AGM second battery in the car.


Old Smifffy
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Reply By: Member - res.q.guy (Vic.) - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 17:12

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 17:12
Hi Old Smiffy
I'm not an expert on them, but I have had 3 x 100 ah in our caravan, and one in the camper trailer, for the last few years, without any problem.
Just make sure your chargers are suited for calcium batteries, as they charge at a slightly higher voltage than normal, I belive.
AnswerID: 485146

Reply By: Isuzumu - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 17:29

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 17:29
I have been using calcium batteries for around 18 years, have ever only had one replaced under warranty. At the moment have 5 batteries (camper and two 4WDs) oldest is 4 years old had it checked and around 75%. 14.8 volts max charge, I have seen 15.4 volts on my charger no problems, just got to keep an eye on it. Used them on our yacht's as well great value.
AnswerID: 485148

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 18:52

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 18:52
Ian - AGM batteries use Lead-Calcium in their construction, the same as regular Calcium batteries. The only difference is that AGM batteries absorb the liquid electrolyte, so that if the battery is damaged, there is no acid leakage and possible serious resultant damage.
AGM batteries are totally maintenance-free and require no top-ups during their life. Calcium batteries require some topping up, but only a minimal amount, as compared to a standard, plain lead-acid battery.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 485155

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 20:19

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 20:19
Sorry Ron but I have not found a way of topping up my Super Charge Gold Double Calcium batteries. But yes if they leak then you would have acid all over the place.
FollowupID: 760414

Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 21:44

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 21:44
Bruce - I guess that's a feature of individual brands, then. The Yuasa Calcium batteries can be topped up.
I've used quite a number of standard Supercharge low maintenance batteries, but I've had a mixed run out of them.
Some have died in less than 2yrs, some are still going after 7 years. Have you always had a good run out of Supercharge batteries?

Cheers - Ron.
FollowupID: 760417

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:01

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:01
Ron just to be pedantic
Some lead calcium batteries don’t need topping up.
Plain lead acid automotive batteries don’t exist.
They are lead alloys such as lead antimony, lead calcium, lead silver or a combination known as a hybrid.
FollowupID: 760418

Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:22

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:22
Dennis - Well, thanks, mate - you old pedant! [:-) Did you wanna peruse & correct my spelling, too! LOL

Yes, you're absolutely correct on the types of lead in battery construction. I was using the term, "plain lead-acid" in the context of the description, to differentiate a standard run-of-the-mill vehicle battery, from the low-maintenance or no-maintenance, Lead-Calcium and AGM types.

Cheers - Ron.
FollowupID: 760420

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 10:30

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 10:30
Wouldn't dare Ron - I can't spell for nuts.
FollowupID: 760444

Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 21:53

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 21:53
Hullo Ian
I have AC Delco calcium batteries on the boat, both for starting (1) and house supply (3) - fridge, radios - VHF and HF, lighting - nav and internal, GPS x 2, chart plotter, water pump, bilge pumps, auto pilot, winch, etc.
They have been there 7 years and still perform well. Can hold their charge over many months without use, are fully sealed and have never leaked with all the violent movement at sea.
AnswerID: 485168

Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:26

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:26
Andrew - Are they Delco Marine batteries? I have heard nothing but praise for them, and many farmers I know use them in their main tractors, to ensure reliability in starting. No doubt, they're priced accordingly.
I've used Cat batteries for many years, in situations where robustness is required. The Cat batteries have the lower portion of their plates bonded to the bottom of the case to prevent movement and vibration. This is supposed to lengthen their life. However, if I got 5 yrs out of a Cat battery, that was a good run.

Cheers - Ron.
FollowupID: 760422

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 08:52

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 08:52
Hullo Ron
I am not aware that they are specifically manufactured for marine use, although many people use them for the purpose.
And yes, they are a bit more expensive initially - but for marine use, reliability is essential. And on a cost per year basis, they have been cheaper. [Price is one thing, cost is quite another]
FollowupID: 760433

Follow Up By: Ian S12 - Wednesday, May 09, 2012 at 15:05

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 at 15:05
Thanks everyone

It looks pretty clear to me. Ill save the $400 and leave the AGMs on the shelf and stick with the Calcium Batteries. Thanks to everyone for your help.

FollowupID: 760609

Reply By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 16:53

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 16:53
I have just returned an Alco (Apex) calcium battery for warranty as it is not holding a charge. It was fitted as a cranker in my Prado and my auto leccy does not like calcium batteries as a cranker.

I didn't know any better so when I was buying I just took the recommendation!

Have not heard if they are going to replace it yet. The warranty was going on the 30 May 2012, so just on 12 months.

Bill B

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AnswerID: 485212

Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 14:26

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 14:26
Firtsly almost all modern lead acid family batteries, except the cheapest nastiest have some calcium in them.

Most batteries now have calcium in the plates and modified electrolite because this improves almost every aspect of their performance.

In particular it reduces that ammount of gassing and fluid loss during charging.

It is the use of calcium that allows the manufacture of "sealed" or "maintenance free" batteries including AGM.

Personally I do not see any advantage to the use of AGM in road vehicles, caravans or campers, in almost every case a similar quality sealed wet cell battery will offer every usefull advantage of AGM in this application at around
half the price.

REMEMBER...all batteries including AGM require permanent and adequate ventilation to the outside air and should be installed upright in vehicle applications.

There is no such thing as a completly sealed battery, all batteries will vent explosive gasses and possibly acid mist if overcharged or run at elivated temperatures.

AnswerID: 485288

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