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Replacing Chassis Batteries - Alternatives?


rpasetto
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I currently have two Chassis batteries: 12v, connected in parallel, 1100CCA AGM; the label says "X2power" brand. I have been thinking of replacing them; do not know their age.  The size is Group 31.

(Monaco WD book specs a pair of 950CCA  Interstates as standard.  WD book specifies an option of "4 12v AGM 1400T", which I think are Lifelines.) 

Has anyone replaced their pair of chassis batteries with three, or four 12v in parallel?   Tray size measures 20 1/16" wide by 13 3/4" deep.

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8 minutes ago, Paul Busch said:

My sig has 4 house and I replaced with 4 AGM 2 years ago. Works for me.

Plan is to do the same as you did for the house batts, replacing wetcell with AGM.  Currently there's 8 wet cell GC's; looking to get 8 AGM GC to replace.  I've been told that Sam's Club has the best prices on these but somehow not all Sam's carries them.

Meanwhile I am not sure about choices for the Chassis batteries.  You probably have the same tray arrangement in your 05 Sig.  What do you have for Chassis Batts?

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Rick,

I replaced the 4 house and 4 residential fridge battery’s with NAPA batteries. I can’t remember who makes them for Napa but they are the same as a lot of more expensive batteries. I like the idea of AGM and it is nice. To not have to watch them. I used two of the biggest Optima AGM batteries I could find for the starter batteries. This was 4 years ago so might be better options now. Works for me now.

paul

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I would call O'Reily Auto parts or Napa Auto parts and let them know you are looking for two starting batteries for your 500/600 Cummins, that's all I did, batteries have been in there 4 years now, have a trickle charger on them at all times when not in use keeping them a little excited so they do not start to discharge. 

Wayne 

1999 Signature Caesar 

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2 hours ago, Vince Toscano said:

Hi Rpasetto,

Are you having issues or issues in the past with how the engine is starting? 

Vince

 

After I bought the coach a year ago, I changed hoses and belts, engine oil, filters and coolant plus the usual fix-up stuff.  Tires are 2018 Michelins so they stayed.  However, have no idea of the age of the batteries, either chassis or house.  Coach has always turned over Ok but I have no basis for comparison.  I don't know how long those batteries have before they just give up the ghost.

A few days back I disconnected these batteries after they'd been charging at 'float' and tested them with a battery tester.  Admittedly it's a cheap one, from Harbor Freight, rated at up to 500a.  The test procedure calls for connecting the battery, then turning the control knob up to the current draw of half the Cold Cranking amp rating, so 500a.  Ammeter never got beyond 400a and the voltage was just in the "green- range" (~10.5v) at the end of the 15 second test.  Plan is to bring the batteries to Oreilly next week and have them put them on their tester.

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rpasetto asked about replacing his CHASSIS batteries.  Many of the replies were about those who replaced their HOUSE batteries.  

My coach has two 12 Volt Chassis batteries.  There is not enough room for four 6 Volt batteries and I do not know of anyone who has done that change.  To my knowledge all batteries have some kind of label on them that shows when they were made and or installed among other data.  Clean off the label(s) as best as possible and take a picture as best as possible.  Hopefully a battery dealer can tell you how old they are. 

So, lets talk about batteries.  I know of no one who can tell me how long my House or Chassis batteries will last.  There are way too many variables that will determine that.  I can only tell about my experiences and my methods.  I check my two 12 volt Chassis batteries, as well as my four 6 Volt House batteries on a regular basis using my battery control panel.  The voltage readings should be equal when being fully charged.  If one bank of batteries is lower than the another then it is time to check the individual battery voltages involved to see what is going on.  The same thing can be done woth a voltmeter at the batteries.

The chassis batteries are the easiest to check for problems.   Disconnect both the Chassis battery common ground terminals.  That should disconnect those chassis batteries from any draw what so ever.  Take a voltmeter and write down the voltage of each battery immediately after disconnecting the ground terminals.  Those voltage readings should be very close to each other.  Then wait at least 24 hours and take the voltage readings again.  Because there is no draw on those batteries, the voltage readings should be the same as the initial readings.  If one of the batteries shows a lower voltage, that battery has a problem.  There a several causes that I will not get into at this time.

The battery with the lower reading, when connected in normal use will pull down the charge and may increase the draw of the good battery and in time will result in both batteries going bad.   It is common practice that if one battery needs to be replaced, both should be replaced.  

I replaced both my chassis batteries last year (February 2020) with 2 AGM Interstate batteries with their standard three year warranties.  I did that at my Interstate Dealer and he took out the old and installed the new batteries free.   In September 2020 I noticed the Chassis batteries not charging up to the same House battery voltage.  I did the disconnection of the ground terminals and did the voltage checks as described above.  Sure enough one of the chassis batteries showed a voltage drop.  My Interstate Dealer came over to my coach during one of his deliveries and tested my batteries.  He tested the batteries for voltage, tested under load and other parameters.  His hand held intelligent testing device gave him a print out besides what was on the digital display.  One battery was bad and the other showed evidence of having been pulled down by the bad battery.  He replaced both the batteries under warranty.

I use all AGM House and Chassis batteries.  I still do at least monthly checks on battery terminals tightness, signs of battery cable fraying and any sign of corrosion.   I use my old school racing ideas (I'm 78) and apply Vaseline to all battery terminals and connections to prevent corrosion.  The Vaseline prevents the air from getting to the terminals, no air no corrosion.  This is just my way.  I am sure others have different methods of monitoring and maintaining their batteries with good results.  My experience with the AGM batteries, while weighing and costing more, hold their charge longer, charge faster and I am not messing with fluid levels.  Stay safe, Stay well, Safe travels

 

 

 

 

Edited by vegaman19760
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Great post!

I fished Walleye Tournaments for 8 years and it was part of the cost of doing business, every 4/5 years there will be a bad cell here and there, could not afford for battery failure at any time so we would tear everything out of the boat and replace.

Wayne 

1999 Signature Caesar 

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Typically when you are not using batteries, a battery tender will help you preserve your batteries health. A few years ago I stated to use a battery tender on my motorcycle because it will sit through the winter months. It really works. This may help in preserving your chassis batteries while in storage. If you have a newer inverter/charger it will serve the same function for your house batteries. Making sure the selection of battery type is used when programing the function in the control panel of your inverter/charger. Your coach needs to be hook up to shore power. 

Typically 2 batteries is sufficient for your chassis power needs. It's main draw is to start and run you engine along with a generator.  

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On 2/27/2021 at 7:32 AM, rpasetto said:

I currently have two Chassis batteries: 12v, connected in parallel, 1100CCA AGM; the label says "X2power" brand. I have been thinking of replacing them; do not know their age.  The size is Group 31.

(Monaco WD book specs a pair of 950CCA  Interstates as standard.  WD book specifies an option of "4 12v AGM 1400T", which I think are Lifelines.) 

Has anyone replaced their pair of chassis batteries with three, or four 12v in parallel?   Tray size measures 20 1/16" wide by 13 3/4" deep.

Rick P,

I replaced the two Group 31 starting/chassis batteries (originally 950 CCA but those were hard to come by at a reasonable price) with three Group 78 800 CCA 12VDC batteries. I did not have enough lateral room to add a third Group 31 without relocating the primary fuel filter mounting bracket. I did have to fabricate a new tray, which I did out of basic 1-inch angle iron. I already had a hydraulic crimper on hand from making house bank cable replacements, so the jumpers were relatively simple. I used 1"x1/8" copper bar stock to make some extenders for the terminals to help with fit and strain reduction.

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I installed 8 Lifeline 6v AGM batteries in 2013 and they are still going.   We do dry camping while traveling and have stayed at an occasional primitive camp ground.  I do equalization randomly.   I would do this again since there is really no maintenance and I have not seen any corrosion. 

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My Interstate chassis batteries were made in 06/15 and I just replaced them.  One was off gassing and I believe it blew up when they were welding in the bung for the wax valve, nobody will tell me for sure.  Anyway, I put two group 31 batteries back in there.  I thought I was getting Interstate batteries but they are Centennial, I had to have them ordered so I was not going to refuse them.  They were $149.95 each out the door. We will see how long they make it.

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That is a good price! Like in other posts,keep the post clean and tight, spray them with CRC. Battery terminal protector/I like the Vaseline trick as well.if your coach charges them when on shore power that's great,I have mine on a small trickle charger/maintainer and when I have no power I use small portable solar panel, stores easy in the basement of the coach.

Wayne 

1999 Signature Caesar 

 

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The PO put 2 Duracell 12V AGM chassis batteries and they have done us well. 3 or 4 years old now?  I suspect he got them from Sam's.  

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Checked the local Sams Club a few days back.  The only AGM Group 31's they had were rated at 800CCA or less.  They had an SLA Gp 31 rated at 900CCA.  I want to meet or exceed the 950CCA of the original engine batteries for my coach.

Not sure what's happening with Sams.  A few fellow RVers had told me to check out their AGM GC2 batteries for the house side; presumably they were going in the $150 to 200 range a while back.  Checked local Sams and many in the area and all they had were flooded GC2's; thye could not even order the AGM's.

Checking out O'Reilly next.

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On 3/3/2021 at 7:26 AM, rpasetto said:

 

Not sure what's happening with Sams.  A few fellow RVers had told me to check out their AGM GC2 batteries for the house side; presumably they were going in the $150 to 200 range a while back.  Checked local Sams and many in the area and all they had were flooded GC2's; thye could not even order the AGM's.

Checking out O'Reilly next.

I started checking w Sam's for Duracell Gc2 AGMs just before Christmas.  Mid Feb I gave up and got Trojans. Sam's kept telling me they cannot special order them and no one in a 150mile radius had them.  I was in Birmingham and called 2 Sam's there and neither had the agms. 

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23 hours ago, Steven P said:

I started checking w Sam's for Duracell Gc2 AGMs just before Christmas.  Mid Feb I gave up and got Trojans. Sam's kept telling me they cannot special order them and no one in a 150mile radius had them.  I was in Birmingham and called 2 Sam's there and neither had the agms. 

Yep.  Not sure what's up with Sam's, checked the Sam's Clubs from San Antonio to Austin areas and none had the GC2 AGMs in stock.  Called a few and requested they order the GC2 AGM and got tired of hearing "... let me check .... no, we cannot order them".

Got GC2 AGMs at O'Reilly's... also got a pair of Group 31 SLA for chassis; 1000CCA. 

Edited by rpasetto
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I don't think Sam's is the problem.  I think Duracell is the problem based on the lack of that specific battery at many Sam's.  Our local one had the inventory wrong.  Computer showed 7 in stock, had 1 in stock.  The first week they didn't fix that, second week they corrected that but none would show up even though other batteries were coming weekly.  I had 3 in my area I kept checking with.  

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