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Old 10-04-2018, 06:46 PM   #1
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Good source of batteries in Canada?

We've noticed that the battery on our 19 doesn't have the capacity it used to have. When the sun is hidden the voltage drops more quickly than it used to. Under load the voltage drops further than it used to.


So we'll probably replace the battery next spring.


I've read through a bunch of forum posts. I think I will go with an AGM battery given that we are frequently off shore power and some times push our battery maybe further than we should. But which one?


The existing battery is a non-AGM Interstate SRM-27. The Interstate web page (https://www.interstatebatteries.com/products/srm-27) says it has a reserve capacity of 160 minutes at 25A. I found another web site that claimed 96Ah for the SRM-27. It sells for $120US -- I can't find a local price, but it's a good bet it's going to be close to $200CDN locally.



For comparison, Canadian Tire sells a group 27 AGM battery (MotoMaster Nautilus Ultra Group 27 AGM Deep Cycle Battery | Canadian Tire). That page claims 175 minute reserve capacity and a 92Ah capacity. Canadian Tire sells it for $300.



Then there's Rolls. I read a few recommendations for them, and there's a local dealer, so I had a look at their website. For their group 27 AGM battery (27 M 105 | Rolls Battery) they claim 105Ah and a 185 minute reserve. I have no idea what they sell for locally (not listed on the web), but I understand they're not cheap.


Have you bought an AGM battery in Canada? Are the Canadian Tire MotoMaster batteries ok? Is there a better alternative that I've missed?


Thanks for the info...



------

A note on battery nomenclature... Since I had to read up on this to understand what I was seeing, I thought others might find the information useful...


AGM means "absorbent glass mat". It's still a lead-acid battery like your existing battery, but it's packaged differently. AGM batteries have a number of advantages over "regular" batteries -- high reliability, low maintenance, faster charging, ability to draw lower without damage. The main disadvantage is cost (they're expensive).



Battery capacity is rated a couple of different ways. The first "reserve capacity" is the number of minutes that the battery will last when drawing 25A, before dropping below 10.5V. The second "Ah capacity" (the Ah there means Amp-hour) is the total power available, measured in Amp-hours, if a slow steady draw is taken over 20 hours.



The "group" number of a battery is just a classification of its size. The battery provided with an Escape 19 is a group 27DC battery (according the Interstate website). I'm not sure of the significance of the "DC" -- the different group 27 specifications are all very similar. For our use, the battery size is not really important excepting that if it's too big to fit in the battery box in the front storage bin, it'll cost be another $50 or whatever to replace the box.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:58 PM   #2
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Hi: dbailey... Do you have a MagnaCharge battery supply in Ottawa and area? I've always found them competive and they have a complete line of sizes and types. Alf
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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Are the Canadian Tire MotoMaster batteries ok?
MotoMaster is just Canadian Tire's house brand. The battery could come from any manufacturer, and the one you buy tomorrow could be a different brand and specs than the one you bought yesterday with the same MotoMaster branding and even product number.

The only bad battery I've ever bought was a MotoMaster for our pickup truck. We had to have it replaced under warranty annually for three years, before I gave up and got a pro-rated refund. The generic replacement I bought from a tire store cost less and lasted for a decade or so. Your experience could be the same... or the opposite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbailey View Post
The "group" number of a battery is just a classification of its size. The battery provided with an Escape 19 is a group 27DC battery (according the Interstate website). I'm not sure of the significance of the "DC" -- the different group 27 specifications are all very similar.
In this case, I assume that "DC" is Interstate's notation for "deep cycle". It is not part of the BCI Group designation.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:33 PM   #4
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I personally would not buy any automotive battery from Canadian tire, I would stick with Interstate. Costco also sells auto and RV batteries, they carry Energizer AGM batteries
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input, folks.


Alf, yes, there's a MagnaCharge place out in the east end. There are a few battery specialists around, but none of them seem to list prices on their website. When it comes time I'll have to call around.


Brian, DC==Deep Cycle... yeah, I missed that. The BCI spec does list some letter codes, e.g. 27 and 27F, so I focused on that. Your assessment of Canadian Tire fits mine. I tend to avoid them when I can. Their products tend to be unreliable, and unless you find a sale they aren't cheap.



phsw98 -- I was going to take a look at Costco next time I go in. The Anybody have any feedback on the Energizer AGM batteries?
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:28 PM   #6
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Another quick note: looking at the Rolls website again, I don't think that battery I mentioned is AGM. I think the group 27 AGM is the S12-116AGM (S12-116AGM | Rolls Battery). Capacity is similar (175 minutes, 105Ah).
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:34 PM   #7
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and one more note... Looking at costco.ca, they only list Kirkland and Optima. I'll need to go into the store to see if they have something else in-store.


The Optima blue-top batteries seem to have significantly less capacity than the others I've looked at (e.g. only 66Ah for the group 27, instead of ~100 that the others are rated at).
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Old 10-05-2018, 01:58 PM   #8
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The Optima blue-top batteries seem to have significantly less capacity than the others I've looked at (e.g. only 66Ah for the group 27, instead of ~100 that the others are rated at).
Unlike other brands, Optima uses a spiral-wound construction, instead of flat sheets (of electrodes), so it has cylindrical cells. With six cells required in a (nominally) 12-volt lead-acid battery, that leads to an Optima battery looking like a six-pack of drink cans. The cylinders don't fill up the rectangular space, so an Optima battery will have, at most, about 80% of the capacity (and weight) of other batteries of the same overall case size. Cases with other than a 3:2 ratio of length to width will be even less efficiently packed.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:16 PM   #9
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IMHO, the Optima design is marketing overcoming engineering.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:59 PM   #10
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IMHO, the Optima design is marketing overcoming engineering.
Perhaps, but Optima was early into AGM batteries, and the spiral-wound design of 1973 was an effective solution to challenge of handling thin and flexible electrodes and mats. Even now, many lithium cells are similarly cylindrical (such as any of the very common 18650 size, and including the Panasonic 18650 and now 2170 cells used by Tesla Motors).

An Optima red-top was the factory stock battery for the first-generation (2005-2006) Ford GT. I don't think marketing affected the choice of battery for that exotic performance car.

A sports car and a travel trailer don't have very similar battery requirements. I'm just saying that the spiral cells are not a bad design... it just doesn't package compactly.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:27 PM   #11
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We bought a 12V Lifeline AGM in Portland, OR. Tax free OR. Forgot the model but it was 120 or so amps and $300. Sold it with our Casita. Lifeline have a good warranty. Had Rolls on our boat years ago. They lasted about as long as Trojan batteries but almost 4x the cost.
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