Originally Posted by hoser
Nice read and thanks, over the years I have read a bunch of info on deep cycle batteries and here is what I gather from all that reading, dont buy a deep cycle battery because their is no proper way to charge them without spending 400 bux on a charger, then you cant run that charger off a generator because it wont work right so you can only "charge properly" off shore power but if shore power is available you dont need batteries.
I don't think it needs to be that bad.
Lead acid is about the most forgiving battery chemistry out there. All it asks of you is that you charge it back up soon after discharging it. The difference in importance between a perfect charging and doing the best you can with what you have really depends on how the bus is being used, your battery bank, etc.
For Les who will most likely end up with a $1000 bank of 8D AGM deep cycles and has mentioned fulltiming in it, proper charging makes a lot more sense finacially and out of convenience. It's also a lot easier to justify the expense of "proper" charging equipment when you're going to be using it so often. For those of us who are seasonal weekenders wit ha bank of two or four GC2's it becomes a little less important. As long as you have battery power when you need it, it doesn't much matter. The service life between a golf cart battery that has had perfect care and one that has had the best a person can manage isn't going to be all that different. I just don't think it is that hard to swallow replacing a battery bank after 3 years as opposed to 4 when it was cheap to begin with. Neglected batteries will not live to see their third birthday though so it's important to atleast TRY and take care of them.
As for not having a big enough charger...there are maximums in place of how fast you acn charge a battery, but not minimums so much. In most battery chemistries, the slower you charge a battery, the better it is. Same goes for discharging. The reason people like to run bigger charging circuits on their house batteries is because it will charge faster. Other than the rare case where we have to "wake up" a starting battery that someone brings in which has been sitting for a while, we prefer to use a 10 amp charger at work. I, for one, don't like cleaning up bubbed out electrolyte. The same even carries over for me at home. I tend to use my 1.25 amp Deltran Battery Tender to charge batteries instead of my big charger. That mostly has to do with the fact that I don't have to pay attention to it, but the only real penalty is that it takes longer.
Long story short...I wouldn't be scared away from buying a deep cycle just because of all the maintenance you hear about. I kind of equate it to the dentist telling you to brush after every meal, floss daily, use flouride mouthwash, etc. While that is a perfect solution, if you brush twice a day and make an honest effort at flossing daily, the service life of your teeth should be 80 years or more.