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markcalgary

Chassis battery replacements Canada/US

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Hi.... moving from Calgary to Houston expect to be there for 2-4 years.... MH needs new chassis batteries...... looking for a battery That I can buy in Canada that will have warranty in the USA....Thoughts?

 

Thanks

Mark

Calgary AB Canada

2002 Monaco Diplomat

Alive and well 

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I wouldn't worry about warranty issues with a chassis battery. My (USA) Cat dealer replaced ours with a CAT branded battery, about a $300 investment. Enjoy your move!

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Posted (edited)

Once the chassis batteries are replaced , then the house batteries are next.   Any thoughts in that regard.  I will need to replace before the trip down.  The idea of a truck OEM is smart  for the chassis batteries....hadn’t thought of that.
 

Thanks

Mark

Edited by markcalgary

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There is a NAPA store in Edmonton where you can get their 12 and 6v batteries that should have warranty at any Napa store across the border, I assume but to be confirmed with them.

 

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Costco (USA) has 6v GC2 house batteries. My set of 4 are on year 3, so no complaints. About $95 ea, US. 

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On 7/30/2020 at 3:17 PM, markcalgary said:

Hi.... moving from Calgary to Houston expect to be there for 2-4 years.... MH needs new chassis batteries...... looking for a battery That I can buy in Canada that will have warranty in the USA....Thoughts?

 

Thanks

Mark

Calgary AB Canada

2002 Monaco Diplomat

Alive and well 

The gold standard for batteries....at least for those of us that test and exercise and maintain them is the Trojan T-105.  That is the GC2 battery group.  They run, in the US, about $105 - $120.  They will outlast anything....including the OEM Interstate.  

I have talked to on of the Senior Electronic Techs that spend 15 or so years at Lazy Days.  He relocated to NC and was working for my buddy, who was the GM of a HR dealership.  He said that when folks let their batteries run down and came in...  He would tell them (or the service writer) that if they were Interstates.....that it would be cheaper to replace with Trojans rather than spend the money for refilling and recharging (the Tech's labor).  He said that typically, maybe 20% of the Interstates would work.....but the other 80% came back for the Trojans.  However his success rate on the Trojans was 90% or so.

I would find the Trojans and put them in.  OR.....see if I could make do and then purchase in the US...

I purchased an Interstate COSTCO.  It was a few dollars cheaper and I needed to replace one of my Golf Cart batteries just to sell it.  The battery was rated far lower and it was not as heavy.  SO BEWARE.  Check the weight and the specs on any cheaper battery and then compare to the Trojans....

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I just finished replacing my chassis batteries. I did a search and found the best deal was at Batteries plus Bulbs a US Chain.  I got the X2-power RV battery (SLI31AGMDPM). I ordered on line and saved 10%.  They were still a hefty price at around US$400 but specification wise you cannot find another battery that will match it.   Sneak across the border to Detroit and you are set.  There are stores all around the US to honor the 4 year warranty.   When the Group 8D house batteries are done I will get them from Batteries Plus.  It pretty convenient to just roll up and have them put them in. they weigh 160lbs each

 

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52 minutes ago, Gary_Curtis said:

I just finished replacing my chassis batteries. I did a search and found the best deal was at Batteries plus Bulbs a US Chain.  I got the X2-power RV battery (SLI31AGMDPM). I ordered on line and saved 10%.  They were still a hefty price at around US$400 but specification wise you cannot find another battery that will match it.   Sneak across the border to Detroit and you are set.  There are stores all around the US to honor the 4 year warranty.   When the Group 8D house batteries are done I will get them from Batteries Plus.  It pretty convenient to just roll up and have them put them in. they weigh 160lbs each

 

The Chassis that you suggested is not a "Pure"   or a typical Chassis battery.  It is a specialty AGM that is designed for Boats and maybe SOME RV's.  We maybe be talking APPLES and ORANGES here. 

The Diplomats came with TWO 31P -MHD (950 CCA) batteries.  Your Patriot probably has a larger engine and requires the 1150 CCA. 

BUT...  The OEM Diplomat Chassis Battery was a wet cell (maybe sealed....they are NOW). 

What you are recommending is a Hybrid that would be used for Boats or MH with only ONE set of batteries.  All the OP needs are standard CRANKING battery.  Wet Cell vs AGM is his call.  He does NOT need the more expensive DUAL PURPOSE....in fact that might not be suited for his needs....and they will fail prematurely.    

https://www.batteriesplus.com/product-details/marine_rv/battery/x2power/sli31agmdpm

It is an AGM (sealed) battery.  It is NOT recommended....therefore, as a Moderator, I am taking the time to explain this so that there is NO CONFUSION.  I just recently went through this SAME exercise with a neighbor with a really upper end and tricked out Bass boat.  He was fussing about how the same "Dual Purpose - High Performance" Batteries did not last.  He did NOT have the Batteries Plus....but the specs on his batteries matched those that you recommended.  he was out a substantial amount....  I also had a Winnebago with only TWO batteries....that were HOUSE and CHASSIS.  That was ugly.  The COMBO batteries failed miserably....

What the OP needs is a replacement for his original Chassis Starting  batteries....and just that.  He will spend far less for them than the combos, in either wet cell or AGM.

https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/sli31sa

These only have 18 month warranty, but they are $120....so instead of $800, he would be in for $240.

 Batteries and Bulbs did not, based on a quick scan, have a SINGLE PURPOSE (Starting) AGM.  Interstate does have such....but it is over $300...  31P-AGM7

Bottom line, the OP has a 2002 that did not come with a BIRD or Bi-Directional charging system like your Patriot did.

I would be apprehensive of putting in AGM's for twice the cost and not having a good PLUGGED IN ALL THE TIME Maintainer on them.

Many  here are running the standard OEM Wet Cell Interstate replacements.  I got 7 years out of my first two and they were not really down that much.  They were a little "strained" when you were in the middle of the south and the temps were approaching 100...and you shut down...and let the engine sit for 20 minutes or so.  They had a "pause", but STILL cranked the ISL.  The hot engine had MORE compression.  But, when the engine cooled down to ambient (even 100 dF), they started fine and never hesitated.  i was going on a long trip....so I upgraded from the puny 775 (memory).  Monaco let the Bean Counters go cheap....so instead of having the 950's like the OP does, I got the 775's.  The SAME ISL in a Dynasty that year....had the proper or larger 950's.  So I upgraded to the 950 CCA....and they are going strong....that was 5 years ago and a LOT of trips and starting (probably 30 K miles).

Just wanted to make sure that folks were not confused.  If my neighbor had not lost his high dollar dual purpose  batteries and was convinced that needed the specialty DUAL purpose....when the original configuration was High Capacity Starting (single) and TWO deep cycle Trolling.....then I would not be so adamant.  It cost him a lot as he bought batteries not designed for the application.  His new bank....with a nice Pulse Technology maintainer is working great and he is very pleased.

Thanks for understanding the need to address this in a little more detail...

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I have have used deep cycle AGM Marine/RV  batteries in my Boats and RVs since the early 90s and have never had a premature failure.  I do switch them out at 4-5 years because I don't want to be stuck offshore or in the Boonies with dead batteries.  I will never own another wet cell due to corrosion of the battery terminals and around the battery rack. It never hurts to have capacity and that is what you are buying over a standard starter battery.  

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We are using Duracel Commercial batteries for the chassis. Their internal construction is far superior to other batteries and can handle the vibration much better then  others.

We are seeing a lot of interstate battery failures with customer coaches. No idea what they changed in their manufacturing process but many that we changed out were dead at 2 years or less. In regards to house batteries we try and steer our customers to the Duracell 6v AGM's. Bill Groves, our battery Guru has done a ton of research on batteries and that is what he is also recommending.

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What am I missing in this thread. The op is wanting chassis batteries. They are neither 6 volt or rv batteries. They are simply common group 31 batteries available at any hd truck dealer,Costco, Napa and hundreds of other locations. In Canada they are priced between $130 and $150 each

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14 hours ago, Gary_Curtis said:

I have have used deep cycle AGM Marine/RV  batteries in my Boats and RVs since the early 90s and have never had a premature failure.  I do switch them out at 4-5 years because I don't want to be stuck offshore or in the Boonies with dead batteries.  I will never own another wet cell due to corrosion of the battery terminals and around the battery rack. It never hurts to have capacity and that is what you are buying over a standard starter battery.  

Your call.  The COMBO battery is not suited for either Chassis or Coach in a Class A MH.  Whether it is AGM or Wet Cell, you need a SINGLE Purpose (Starting -Cranking or Deep Cycle) in each bank.  That is the gist of my comments and concerns...

Whatever works for you....

1 hour ago, throgmartin said:

We are using Duracel Commercial batteries for the chassis. Their internal construction is far superior to other batteries and can handle the vibration much better then  others.

We are seeing a lot of interstate battery failures with customer coaches. No idea what they changed in their manufacturing process but many that we changed out were dead at 2 years or less. In regards to house batteries we try and steer our customers to the Duracell 6v AGM's. Bill Groves, our battery Guru has done a ton of research on batteries and that is what he is also recommending.

No argument from me.  The Interstates, in the Cranking Series, are working well for many of us....including Mr. Wizard.  NOW....did Interstate change?  Who knows.  I have been running them for years in my cars.  Once I added a maintainer to my less driven, Vette, I get excellent life out of them.  Interstate is all over the country and will adjust and not give you any hassle and the local distributor will test and rejuvenate for free under the "Customer Care" warranty.  My 5 YO starting batteries pop the engine after 15 minutes of sitting HOT after being shut down.  That is the "poor man's" test for Cranking Batteries.

The discussion over AGM vs Wet Cells will rage until the last Fossil Fuel propelled RV is crushed.  The owners that take care of and exercise our House Wet Cells get up to 10 years out of Trojans.  The ones that want AGM have to understand that IF their electrical system goes funky or they abuse the AGM's, there is NO RETREAT.  Use it as a Boat Anchor and buy new ones.

So, it is a matter of your lifestyle, your ability to monitor and maintain (AGM are NOT INSTALL AND FORGET.....we have posts all over here and on the old site about...."My almost NEW AGM's are dead and will not hold a charge....what do I do?") any TYPE of batteries.  If you drain a Wet Cell or abuse it....especially a Trojan, you stand at least a 75% of recovery with only minor loss of SOC

I do NOT quibble with the fact to some's taste's   are.......AGM's are what they want.  However, there is an equal contingent that understand how to maintain wet cells and have good life....even out of the "lesser quality" brands like Interstate.....and not  Trojans.   The EXIDE (NAPA) batteries are very dependable always.

The only issue with this post was the fact that a "dual purpose" battery was touted as being a great choice for Chassis.  it is NOT.  Our MH's need SINGLE purpose batteries in each bank...

Bill and I have quit the "debating".  We have folks with MH experience going back 30 years.  They are also very well versed and have researched batteries and also been reading blogs when Al Gore invented the Internet.  I guess we are the Buggy Whip guys.  So...that is my take.  

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On 7/31/2020 at 4:27 PM, markcalgary said:

Once the chassis batteries are replaced , then the house batteries are next.   Any thoughts in that regard.  I will need to replace before the trip down.  The idea of a truck OEM is smart  for the chassis batteries....hadn’t thought of that.
 

Thanks

Mark

I replaced my dead US2200 batteries with Canadian made ROLLS batteries which have a 5 year warranty over here in the U.K. 

CAT batteries for the chassis.

Edited by hitechpete
Addition

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I forgot to mention, with the Interstate battery failures we are seeing the death of these batteries are being caused by an internal short which is most likely caused by a failed plate. The Interstates used to be a robust battery but obviously they changed something in the manufacturing process. The Duracell commercial 12 v chassis battery is very well constructed  with a much better internal construction that will handle adverse conditions such as vibration. This is why we use them exclusively.

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3 hours ago, throgmartin said:

I forgot to mention, with the Interstate battery failures we are seeing the death of these batteries are being caused by an internal short which is most likely caused by a failed plate. The Interstates used to be a robust battery but obviously they changed something in the manufacturing process. The Duracell commercial 12 v chassis battery is very well constructed  with a much better internal construction that will handle adverse conditions such as vibration. This is why we use them exclusively.

 Chris, that is good to know.  The Interstates that I have used, probably for the last 20 years, have been reliable for starting or Chassis.  Many folks, whom I trust due to their knowledge, intellect and experience, have had great success with the Interstate Cranking batteries.  It SOUNDS like Interstate has changed the coating process of the plates.  I learned a lot from some members on and offline.  

When we fuss about batteries,  we are typically talking about damage to the plates.  The coating peels off (often from being dry or lack of an electrolyte).  That coating collects on the bottom of the battery and builds enough to rattle around and SHORT out the battery.  The shorted cell is easy to spot.  If you have a 6 VDC battery and charge it, then measure the voltage.  It will read aorund 4.5 or maybe 4.75 VDC.  That means that only TWO of the cells are working.  The other cell is shorted out.  You will also see that when you test the Specific Gravity.  

I found this out when my original Interstates failed.  I then, very stupidly, found that out when I let my golf cart sit for too long.  Even a robust battery like the Trojan T-105 ain't THAT bullet proof.

I replenished the electrolyte (it took a LOT).  Charged and then drained and charged again.  All was WELL....but then I drove it.  OPPS.....the coating started peeling from the vibration.  I lost two batteries....quickly.  

That is what is PROBABLY happening....

Thanks for the heads up.....

 

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On 7/31/2020 at 11:27 AM, markcalgary said:

Once the chassis batteries are replaced , then the house batteries are next.   Any thoughts in that regard.  I will need to replace before the trip down.  The idea of a truck OEM is smart  for the chassis batteries....hadn’t thought of that.
 

Thanks

Mark

I would go with the Trojan T-105.  The cost of such will be $100 - $120.  They are robust.  They will last for many years as long as they are not too BADLY abused.  They outlast all the other brands.  I had read good things about them here.  But, the clincher was a tech from Lazy Days that relocated to NC.  He worked for a buddy who was the GM at a HR and Chevy dealership.

He said that if a customer brought in an Interstate House that was dead, most likely it had no electrolyte.  He would advise them....these are not gonna come back.  If they said....REFILL and RECHARGE.....only 25% of the time did that work.  BUT, if they were Trojan's, then the success rate was around 75 - 80%.  The Trojan T-105 is the most popular golf cart battery in the US.

One OTHER THING....and this is just for general infomation.

I am an advocate of well cell batteries.  They suit my needs and provide me with over 7 years of life.  Now having said that, one has to understand that Wet Cells need preventative maintenance.  You must replenish the electrolyte.  You must USE them.....and discharge them periodically to say 50%.  IF you are like me, I rarely drain mine as I don't dry camp.  I also have a BIRD (Bi-Directional) charging system.  I store the Camelot with a 30 amp service.  I have Pulse Technology defulfanation modules.  SO, I try to give them TLC.  If I do....they last.  

I understand WHY folks like AGM's.  But, as a moderator, it is our responsibility to make sure that folks are knowledgeable enough and make good decisions.  Too many times, when an inexperienced or perhaps an experienced MH owner, without a lot of electrical knowledge reads the posts....the posts are "AGM's are the MAGIC BULLET".  They don't need electrolyte.  They are maintenance free.  

That is probably true.....but with some qualfications.  IF you abuse (overcharge or have an electrical charging issue, one event can be catastrophe.  You can KILL them or destroy them.  We see TOO MANY posts...

 Switched to AGM's.  Bought a bank of them when the old wet cells went dead.  They are now dead and the dealer says they are toast.  Will have to replace.  Why did I only get 2 years out of them....??

There could be many reasons.  The folks that are very knowledgeable and like the AGM's are typically VERY ELECTRONICALLY SAVVY.  They have the need for such.  They have some nice monitoring equipment.  They know what is going on at all times with their batteries.  They may have special needs or they dry camp a lot.

What we fear is that someone will just skim or make a decision without fully understanding the pros and cons of AGM or the reasons that you might need them.

This has been banging around in my head for a few days....so here goes.

If you understand HOW to maintain Wet Cells and how to get good life out of them....then some of us don't feel that we get any value or advantage from switching to AGM's.  That is NOT knocking the AGM's...it is just our personal preference or how we think we need to spend our money.  If you get 7 - 9 years out of a bank of Trojan T-105....then you would need to get maybe 12 or so years out of the lowest cost AGM's.  Will that happen?  I don't know....but from what i read, I am not going to make that investment.

In summary....

If you have a rig that does NOT have BIRD or Bi-Directional Charging, I would be WARY.  Now some folks will stick on a charger....and charge the Chassis or the House.  BUT, if you put on a run of the mill charger, you stand, I believe, more of a change of messing up or overcharging the AGM's.  Wet cells DO need water.  SO, If I did not have a newer MH....then I would be wary.  Now, if you have upgraded your Charger/Inverter or put in the Blue Seas ACR or a BIRD system and understand HOW to set up your Charger and also how to read the remote and also what is happening....then you may be alright.

If you buy a MH and it comes with or the electrical system was DESIGNED for AGM's....then you will be OK.

I have two personal incidents that make me wary.  

First....recently, my Magnum remote failed.  It was quirky.  I noticed little things.  I trouble shot it.  I talked to Magnum.  OK....PROBABLY the remote.  But when the remote failed....it told the Magnum charger that I have a 1500 Amp Hour bank.  The Charger then did its best to work with a bank that was 3 TIMES what I actually had.  I really worried about my Trojans.  I tested them and they were not abused.  BUT, if I had had AGM's and the Remote failed....then who knows.

You need, if you convert to AGM's fully understand HOW to reconfigure and how to monitor your charger.  So many folk, unfortunately, NEED a new bank and there is a reason, unbeknownst to them, that they have a charging or an electrical problem.  They say....HEY....put in AGM, they are idiot proof.  WRONG.  AGM's required a higher level of understanding that does Wet Cell so you know WHAT to do and WHAT NOT to do.

Second....and this is over a 20 year history.  I have owned Vettes.  They are not driven that often.  GM had a bad run of Delco side post batteries.  They leaked.  GM gave me a new one and then it leaked.  I have the scars on my garage floor to show that.  I read a LOT about the Optima AGM.  I read hot rod blogs and Vette forums and such.  I even talked to the Senior Tech at the local Interstate distributor.  He said....not for me.  We (interstate) do not run AGM's in our trucks.  We have had a failure rate (will not crank) that is higher than the conventional Wet Cells.  Optima is not any better.  I read all sort of bad reviews where the AGM's failed quicker than did the conventional batteries.  

My wife's 2014 Upper end Caddy has an AGM.  If failed.  I will probably put back in an AGM when it goes out again.  The charging system is designed with variable charging and was meant for an AGM.  My 2016 Vette has a wet cell....there was NO AGM Option.  Most Vettes (C&) came with the Battery Monitor Option ($90 or so).  This is just a Vette labeled low amperage maintainer.  It may not even be a Defulfanator.  It is private labeled and I can't find the info.  SO....when the Vetty battery fails.....regular for me.

I DO use a maintainer on BOTH vehicles when we take long road trips and leave the cars in the garage.  These are low amperage units and they maintain the battery.  It takes about 2 days for them to read "Full Charge".  When I come home....the cars start and the Voltmeters read what they should.

SO....if you decide to go AGM's, do some research.  make sure that your MH's system is working properly.  Make sure that you have a method of maintaining charge on your House (assuming AGM's) at all times.  Make sure that you reconfigure the Charger remote and that it WILL work (or have settings) for an AGM.  Then, if that is your choice and you understand and pay the additional money for the convenience....and hopefully, the additional life.....that is your call.

Hope this helps.....

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