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Old 01-30-2020, 09:21 AM   #1
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Battery life

we have a 2018 21 with solar but not inverter and have done 160 nights so far, all bar maybe 15 boondocking. the original flooded batteries are now not holding charge, is that a reasonable life or not. I am not far from quartzite and will be going "way off" grid shortly so am looking to buy new batteries before we do that. was thinking of going agm, anyone recommend an AGM make and model that will fit the stock 21 box and perhaps where I could get them in quartzite. thanks in anticipation.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:44 AM   #2
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We have a 2012 19 with dual 6 volt batteries. The batteries are still the original ones supplied by Escape. I make sure they are topped up with distilled water. Now that they are getting old they seem to use more water. So far they have served us for 366 nights of camping. We depend on solar charging for 50% of the time while camping. Solar keeps the batteries charged during 6 months of storage. Sorry to hear your batteries are giving you trouble early.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:10 AM   #3
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we have a 2018 21 with solar but not inverter and have done 160 nights so far, all bar maybe 15 boondocking. the original flooded batteries are now not holding charge, is that a reasonable life or not. I am not far from quartzite and will be going "way off" grid shortly so am looking to buy new batteries before we do that. was thinking of going agm, anyone recommend an AGM make and model that will fit the stock 21 box and perhaps where I could get them in quartzite. thanks in anticipation.
Have you maintained the battery electrolyte levels? Stock batteries should last longer than yours.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:26 AM   #4
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Battery life is very dependent on how they are treated. If kept above 70%, electrolyte levels kept up, they can last a long time. My 6V batteries in my 17 were still doing fine after 7 years & 1090 nights in the trailer. On the other hand I've seen people kill a set in 2 years, and there are those that expect to replace them ever 4 years.

Unless you have dragged them down to close to 0% a couple of times, 160 nights is much shorter than expected. Check the age of the batteries - they may still be under the manufacturer's warrantee.

As to a replacement, until you find out how & why they died, I wouldn't go to the more expensive AGMs. In my case I switched to lithium, highly recommended, but expensive.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:35 AM   #5
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I’ve had 2 Walmart marine batteries ( ($80 new) last over 7 years and an Interstate deep cycle battery ( $120 ) last only 14 months .
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:15 PM   #6
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Have kept the fluid level up, check every couple months and they have never been drained below 55%. Will keep an eye on them next couple days. Danny recommended retailer in quartzite.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:31 PM   #7
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As you see, experiences are all over the place. Battery chemistry and battery behavior in the real world is not predictable. There are just too many variables. That said, I would expect at least three years but anything above five years is exceptional. Many of the results are not due to diligent owners but rather due to chance.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:16 PM   #8
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Have kept the fluid level up, check every couple months and they have never been drained below 55%. Will keep an eye on them next couple days. Danny recommended retailer in quartzite.
You may want to confirm that the solar controller is delivering the correct charging voltage. Not totally accurate but easy enough - use your multimeter to measure the voltage on the battery terminals, towards afternoon on a sunny day when you can reasonably expect the batteries to be full. If the batteries are being properly charged then the reading should be between 13.8 and 14.5 V. There are a number of variables so this is just a general range, but if significantly above or below these numbers then something may be wrong with your charging hardware.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:07 PM   #9
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I concur with fudge brownie...happenstance has some possibility, but as the others have said, deep, really deep discharge is very hard on batteries. And do check the OCV/CCV output from your panels. It is just one other possibility of a problem arena.


Anything bringing your batteries down to 12V is real tough on them. A 12V battery is a "nominal" designation....."in name only". A fresh, charged lead acid is more like 12.7V.


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Old 01-31-2020, 12:20 AM   #10
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6 and 1/2 years on our Interstates , so bought them again . Pat
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:15 PM   #11
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Problem solved, deceased blootooth speaker battery has been forgotten and left"charging". Now all good, i once again blame my grey hair for robbing my memory
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