Batteries in general

Tom's RV Discus Message Board: The Airstream List Discus Message Board: Topics A - F : Batteries in general
By Frank Walker on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 10:45 am:

One of my first problem areas to tackle is the 12 Volt power system. I powered it up using a battery charger as the batteries have long since died. My question to the group is what deep cycle batteries have risen to the top of the heap as the ones to buy? I have 4.

By Lashway on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 10:58 am:

In answer to Frank:

There are a lot of batteries choices and you will probably hear of many.

I have used Sears Die Hard, Marine Deep Cycle, Maintenance Free brands. I put a set of four in my trailer at least eight years ago. They have been hooked up to solar panels. I lost the first one about two weeks ago and feel I really have had a good life out of them. I like the maintenace free aspect as you don't have to worry about fluids and very little worry about gas. The four batteries were located two on each side of trailer under the rear single beds. I noted the one going bad from the odor. I will not replace the single battery and will wait and change out all of them at once. I am thinking of only running with two battries and two solar panels as I have discontinued the use of my inverter as I am not doing the traveling and boondocking I had anticipated doing.

I also used a maintenance free Stowaway brand battery and had good experience with it when I had a single battery installation. Still am using the Stowaway in another smaller trailer and it has to be at least ten years old. It sat in garage after I put in Die Hards and was recently installed in the unit I am rebuilding. It seems to be working OK but for how long is a good question.

I believe the constant charge of the solar panel contributes to the long life of batteries when you have a control device that automatically shuts off solar power input when batteries are charged.


By Richard P. Kenan on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 10:59 am:


I have had rather mediocre - to - poor experiences with DieHard, but that is probably my own fault for lack of proper attention. At the "trailering" seminar at the Swiss Festival Rally at Sugarcreek, Ohio, this summer, the speaker (highly regarded from what I heard other people say) really trashed the DieHard, claiming it was at the bottom of the heap, and he recommended Interstate deep cycle RV./marine batteries. I haven't had any experience with Interstates, and I certainly am not endorsing the opinion of that speaker on DieHard batteries (nor Interstates, either). Just relaying an opinion from a national rally, for what that's worth.

I think it would be useful if, on these lists, experiences with various battery brands could be collected. I've only seen one response to your request. I'd start by looking to see if there was anything on Tom Patterson's site, either from earlier posts or from other sources that he's collected. It's really a marvelous site:


- Dick

By on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 11:00 am:

I love mine...... if you can love batteries (c:

AC Delco Voyagers.


By Don McKelvay on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 11:01 am:

I too have been advised to stay far away from Diehard Deep-Cycle batteries and that was at an International a couple of years ago from one of the official speakers.

His rationale was that they boil at a far lower voltage (when charging) than almost any other battery. The Inter-state were highly recommended and in 8 years I have been very satisfied. The last ones lasted almost 5 years. Now I have solar panels which keep the batteries from discharging too far and I expect the batteries will last even longer. One key is to faithfully check the water level and only add distilled water.

Don McKelvay, #19432
London, Ontario

By Lashway on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 11:02 am:

I use Interstate batteries in my cars and find them to be the best I have ever used. When I have had a 60 month battery it lasts the 60 and a trifle more. I used to use Die Hard in the cars/trucks and was lucky to get 48 months on a 60 month unit. Fortunately I have had good luck with the Die Hard deep cycle batteries in my trailer, as I previously mentioned. However, my purchases were 8 years ago and I don't know if the quality is the same. I may replace my die hards with Stowaway deep cycle, no maintenance batteries, as they seem to be less then $60.00 ea at Sam's club. Last I look Interstates were in the $80 plus range, of course they may be worth it.


By jim clark on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 11:03 am:

In the line of additional information... In a previous life I was involved with a major siren manufacturer. The sirens were supplied with Voyagers exclusively.. They had very good experience with them and would not use anything else... I had forgotten they were a Delco product


By Sandy on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 11:04 am:

There is a spiral wound plate type that is sealed and is mil-spec. They are about $100 a pop but apparently worth it. When the no-name replacement the Airstream dealer put in to replace the ruined Interstate in my "new" Airstrem quit thats what we will buy. The factory was NO help on that issue, saying it was thedealers choice as to what batteries he put in, so lang as they were Group 27. Just the beginning of my disenchantment with AS. They refused to spec the batteries originally used as OMC.