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Old 06-26-2017, 07:38 PM   #1
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AGM batteries

I am working on my build sheet for a 19 to be completed late November. I asked ETI about installing AGM dual 6V batteries instead of the the batteries they normally supply. They are happy to to do that if I supply the batteries. My 19 will used primarily in "boon docking" mode with a combination of fixed 160W roof panel and portable solar. My question is whether or not the extra cost for AGM batteries is worth it.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:54 PM   #2
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Go with the standard Interstate 6V batteries. 232ah, and they perform well. With the same setup we never run out of power when boondocking. Maintenance? Have never had to fill them yet.

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Old 06-26-2017, 08:26 PM   #3
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I agree with Robert. The twin 6v Interstates have been great and never been close to 50% discharge with quite a bit of boondocking. We have the 160 factory solar and it's been all we've needed to date.
If I were getting the 21 I'd definitely get the AGM's since the batteries are inside the cabin.
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:30 PM   #4
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Other than air conditioning, the whole trailer can operate off propane and 12v and my batteries are full around 10 am. If you need more, another owner added a second set of dual sixers plus the inverter. More power, arrrrgh, arrrrgh!!!
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:31 PM   #5
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I agree with Robert. The twin 6v Interstates have been great and never been close to 50% discharge with quite a bit of boondocking. We have the 160 factory solar and it's been all we've needed to date.
If I were getting the 21 I'd definitely get the AGM's since the batteries are inside the cabin.
Yeah, that's true Greg. Accessibility and offgassing are concerns when the batteries are indoors. Another reason I love the setup in the 19.

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Old 06-26-2017, 10:19 PM   #6
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Have a good nose and have never noticed a smell with our dual 6V under dinette bench. Would go AGM next time if they drop in price significantly.
Edit: very glad not to waste space or weight capacity with dual 6V in the front box!
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:47 PM   #7
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Have a good nose and have never noticed a smell with our dual 6V under dinette bench. Would go AGM next time if they drop in price significantly.
Edit: very glad not to waste space or weight capacity with dual 6V in the front box!
Hydrogen is odorless.

The space is "wasted" somewhere. Either under the benches or in the storage box.

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Old 06-26-2017, 10:51 PM   #8
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Hydrogen gas smells like rotten eggs.

Health Concerns with Batteries - Battery University
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:53 PM   #9
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The space is "wasted" somewhere. Either under the benches or in the storage box.
Would rather have more ready access in the front storage box for stuff I use all the time.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:09 PM   #10
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Hydrogen gas smells like rotten eggs.

Health Concerns with Batteries - Battery University
Well, sulphur does, not hydrogen. A sulfated battery that is off gassing exudes a mixture of sulphur and hydrogen, and sometimes yes, you can smell the sulphur. The carbon monoxide detectors have gone off in the middle of the night on several 21's due to even small amounts of hydrogen coming from an improperly sealed battery box - and this gas is not detectable by smell. That's one of the reasons why AGM batteries make sense in a 21.

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Old 06-26-2017, 11:12 PM   #11
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Would rather have more ready access in the front storage box for stuff I use all the time.
Ross, in our 21 the dual 6volt batteries are under the passenger side seat.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:17 PM   #12
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HI Leon- same here!
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:36 PM   #13
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Whether it's worth it is hard to answer. I'm glad they're now providing this option. They didn't 3 months ago.

As has been pointed out, AGMs are low maintenance, and that's one benefit. My main reason in wanting them is that AGMs are more efficient in charging and discharging since they have less internal resistance. It's like getting bigger solar panels without taking any extra real estate on the roof. They’ll also charge faster on the WFCO converter due to the voltages supplied by that unit. I seem to remember they also tolerate deeper discharges better, but I could be wrong about that.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:48 PM   #14
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I agree with Robert. The twin 6v Interstates have been great and never been close to 50% discharge with quite a bit of boondocking. We have the 160 factory solar and it's been all we've needed to date.
If I were getting the 21 I'd definitely get the AGM's since the batteries are inside the cabin.
my 2c:

AGMs are big $$$$ especially for two.

we have the 21' and the battery box seems very very very well sealed, complete with some sort of grey putty that stays flexible.

I am very careful to get it put back correctly when re-closing the battery box.

it is vented to the outside.

the batteries also have very secure caps that "lever" down to really seal, very securely.

having said all that... when our dual 6v eventually need to be replaced... i'll look at AGM. I had one in our Casita, and it performed MUCH better than the stock battery on the Casita.... same size.

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Old 06-27-2017, 12:11 AM   #15
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Do AGM s need to be wired differently?
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:53 AM   #16
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Do AGM s need to be wired differently?
No, just replace the 6 or 12 volt with the same size and voltage AGM.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:20 AM   #17
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Do AGM s need to be wired differently?
As Steve mentioned, no. There's a positive and a negative terminal as with all batteries. But, if you have a solar system, you may need to change the profile of the charger to match the AGMs. Not a wiring change, but a setting change.

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Old 06-27-2017, 06:53 AM   #18
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AGM No Comparrison

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Hydrogen is odorless.

The space is "wasted" somewhere. Either under the benches or in the storage box.

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The hydrogen off gas is not odorless, when I take our electric fork truck off the charger at work and drive it, the off gassing makes me sick.

I bought an Canadian Tire Nautius gr 27 AGM battery last year, I really love it, last longer, never put it below 70%. I left it on the garage floor over the winter, I checked a couple of times, didn't drop more than 0.1 Volt after its fall charge.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:57 AM   #19
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Can someone post a pic of your battery box that's under your bench seat or bed, I haven't seen this done before. I'd like to remove the AGM from my bumper.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:01 AM   #20
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Escape installed the AGMs I supplied in January when I went to pick up. The deducted their cost of the flooded batteries, but I assume left the markup in the cost.

A few of the reasons I went with them;
- with batteries inside, even with a box it is nice they don't discharge
- a baster charge rate than flooded, something I felt was an advantage with solar
- able to handle up to 80% discharge as opposed to 50% with flooded
- no maintenance and no chance of any spillage.
- lower self discharge

They do cost a bit more, and are more sensitive to overcharging, something not a problem with the WFCO converter.

I paid $250 CAD for each of my 225 Ah 6V batteries on sale for about $30 off.

All this said, flooded batteries will do the job well too.
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