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Author Topic: New Battery Bank for the Eagle  (Read 1585 times)
garhawk
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« on: November 26, 2012, 07:35:34 AM »

Well folks, I swallowed hard and replaced the 8 each, 8D battery bank in our Eagle 20.  There are actually 2 more 8Ds used for starting but they’re in good shape and only two years old.

The best price was from The Battery Store in Huntsville, Al @ $420 each with exchange.  That’s about 60 miles south so, I made the round trip in my ‘86 El Camino for the pick-up and, again for the return of the take-outs.  The little ‘chevy, being air shocked equipped, took on the 3/4 ton load and made the trip like a trooper, albeit at 40 mph due to 6 year old tires.

My good friend and longtime welding instructor at the local Tennessee Technical Center made their forklift available (along with a couple limber-back students) to remove and re-set the big 8Ds.  At 168 lbs each, it would not have been possible for me and anyone I know to have set those batteries on their dedicated perches inside the bus bay without internal physical damage to our bodies.

Although Trojan was my brand of choice because of their reputation in the deep cycle battery field, they did not offer the “L” post on the 8D model and, since all the wiring was custom fitted for that set-up, I went with the Deka make - it was a direct replacement and the same price.

A good half-day was used up wiring-in the 8 batteries and buttoning down the racks. It has taken another three days to “break in” the battery bank - here’s the method I used:

   1)  allowed the 2500 Trace inverter to take the bank to 100% State of Charge (SOC).
   2)  using the bus’ electric water heater, refrigerator and, a plug-in, 1500w electric wall heater, I drew down the bank to 10.9v LBCO (the inverter’s Low Battery Cut Off) and an indicated 66% SOC.
   
These two steps were repeated twice more (3 cycles total) and, as of 7:30 a.m. this morning, the inverter has begun taking the new battery bank again to a 100% SOC where we will begin using it for another (hopefully) 6 1/2 years!

With this small interruption, it’s now back to finding a brush skirt for the back of the Eagle.  Made reservations with Brenda and Bill in Arcadia yesterday - looking forward to seeing many of you there!
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gary t'berry
Eagle Mod 20 DD ser 60 w/slide
GMC RTS 102"  40er (in progress)
akroyaleagle
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 09:53:47 AM »

Gary,

Did I read this right?

8 batteries for a total weight of 1344# and cost of $3360?

I have 6 Rolls Royce Surrettes in mine. They've been there 9 years and are still going strong. They were warranted for 8 years in RV application. I don't remember exactly what they cost but it seems like around $1400 to $1600. I would have to go out to the coach and look up the receipt. I check the water every year or so. Never takes much to top them up.

I replaced 6 Trojan L-16s with the Surrettes. They were 6 years old and still worked fine. I just thought it was time for them to go. I bought them in Fla for $100 each.

I had 6 8Ds before that. They started dropping out just before 2 years. I'd never go that way again for house batteries.

I use two 8Ds for start batteries and like them. I tried the three group 31s and was unhappy. I went back to the 8Ds.
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Joe Laird
'78 Eagle
Huron, South Dakota
eagle19952
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 10:05:43 AM »

looks like some nice batteries... Smiley

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/products.folder/battery-folder/Surretterolls.html#SealedAGMBatteries
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 11:09:44 AM by eagle19952 » Logged
Sam 4106
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 10:21:05 AM »

Hi Gary,

Are your batteries AGM or flooded lead/acid? What is the amp hour rating of each battery? How do you use your bus that you need such a large battery bank? These are important questions for me since we plan to travel full time, starting next fall.

Thanks, Sam
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 10:33:03 AM by Sam 4106 » Logged

1976 MCI-8TA with 8V92 DDEC II and Allison HT740
luvrbus
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 11:17:03 AM »

$470 each I would say they are AGM Deka's $420 for the battery and 50 bucks is the going price for a 8d core not a bad buy Gary,Lifeline has a little more amp (255) but big difference in price for just 10 amp hr 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 02:46:51 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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garhawk
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 02:32:10 PM »

Hi Akroyaleagle...   

Wish I could have talked with you earlier.  Seems as though all the high-powered stuff @ bargain prices come along after I've spent my money.

Hi Sam...

Sorry, I should have mentioned it in my post.  The batteries are AGM, the AH rating is 245 and, we do a lot of overnight stays at big box stores, friends without high amp plug-ins, parks that don't require you to buy electricity, etc.

The cost for this size battery bank figures to be approximately $50 per month over 6 years.  There's never a need to check for water level, no out-gassing and, there is the convience of ample power when dry camping.  We watch a lot of color tv, use the microwave a considerable amount, cook outside frequently with our electric griddle, don't skimp on lighting if we want it and, occasionally run an electric wall heater or an air conditioner if the need arises.  Those are our reasons, if they don't fit your busing style...

Hi Clifford...

Looked at the Lifeline but shied away for several reasons, the top being price and, as you say, only 10AH difference.  We don't find it difficult in keeping the SOC at 65% or better so, the extra 10AH isn't worth the extra dollars.
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gary t'berry
Eagle Mod 20 DD ser 60 w/slide
GMC RTS 102"  40er (in progress)
luvrbus
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 03:30:06 PM »

Gary,here in Az there is no sales tax on batteries used for solar power you should hear the stories some tell trying to buy golf cart and other batteries, just passing it on you may have could saved the sales tax 20 to 40 bucks for each battery lol  

good luck
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 04:57:04 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 04:52:22 PM »

Gary:

How about some pictures of your battery bank?

Thanks in advance!
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 08:06:16 PM »

Yes, pictures please, this is the kind of bus porn we all eat up!
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garhawk
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 06:51:32 AM »

Hey Clifford...

I did!
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gary t'berry
Eagle Mod 20 DD ser 60 w/slide
GMC RTS 102"  40er (in progress)
TomC
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 07:49:11 AM »

Too bad you didn't switch to L16 AGM's (6vdc or 2vdc) since you can mount them on the side.  Then you could handle the batteries your self. But-8D batteries are known for their quality. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 07:56:07 AM »

I have seen the AGM 8 D's in Prevost mounted on their side and hanging upside down from the top of the bay with 8-8D batteries fwiw
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 08:25:45 PM »

     Good work, Gary.  We had a look at them when I was there a few weeks ago; it was obvious the older ones were getting weak.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine
boxcarOkie
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 04:27:01 AM »


How about some pictures of your battery bank?  Thanks in advance!


Here is one of mine.  Brand new Interstate's this year, the last group were nine years old, I expect to get about the same out of these.  Regular maint. and keeping an eye on them, and they will last as long as anything.


BCO
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garhawk
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 06:23:52 AM »

Hey Boxcar,

Thanks for publishing that picture of your batteries.  Mine don't look much different, just gray in color and a mite different configuration (3 batteries + power reel over 5 batteries).

I don't know how to publish a picture and right now I'm still working on the 'grey to quote' procedure!

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gary t'berry
Eagle Mod 20 DD ser 60 w/slide
GMC RTS 102"  40er (in progress)
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