Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-22-2024, 07:51 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 7
Need new bus batteries

Hello! Hope this is the right place to post this. My bus (International IC CE 200 with a Vt365 engine) needs new batteries. I know I bave seen reccomendations on here before but I can't seem to find them of where the best/cheapest place to buy them is? I'll attach a picture of mine but from what I understand, I need the group 31 kind but I'm not 100% sure if thats one specific battery or can be different versions. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Attached Thumbnails
20240120_204250.jpg   20240120_204311.jpg  

Btb27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2024, 10:30 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
nikitis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 964
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 29
Most buses use Group 31's yes. Don't get Marine rated though. Ask for a non-marine rated Group 31. There's a difference in charging capability. Marine batteries are for charging up on a table and then you bring the battery to the boat when you want to use them, and take them off to charge again on a table in the garage. Which you are not doing, you are only charging when the bus is running via alternator.

Look for Group 31's with CCA's of 800+. You can get away with a 700 ish but i'd look for 800CCA's at a minimum, more amperage is going to make starting easier, and give your starter more juice to turn that engine over on crank. Higher CCA's is better but costs also go up. 800 is a good compromise on price to performance.

So Non-Marine (If it doesn't state specifically that it is for marine use, it should be fine), with a CCA of 800 or higher as group31 should work for you.
nikitis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2024, 11:09 AM   #3
Almost There
 
nconn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 78
Year: 2002
Chassis: 30ft International FE | Gear Ratio 4.63
Engine: INTL DT466 HT 215HP/2400 GOV
Rated Cap: GVWR: 34220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Btb27 View Post
Hello! Hope this is the right place to post this. My bus (International IC CE 200 with a Vt365 engine) needs new batteries. I know I bave seen reccomendations on here before but I can't seem to find them of where the best/cheapest place to buy them is? I'll attach a picture of mine but from what I understand, I need the group 31 kind but I'm not 100% sure if thats one specific battery or can be different versions. Any help is greatly appreciated!
I just got new battery’s for my bus. I got 3 group 31s 750CCA’s each at interstate batteries. But you can get them anywhere like AutoZone, Napa, orilleys, etc.. but they aren’t cheap the cheapest ones will be around $150 a piece.

After I changed them I installed a permanent charger connected to my house batteries to keep them healthy.
nconn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2024, 11:11 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
nikitis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 964
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nconn View Post
I just got new battery’s for my bus. I got 3 group 31s 750CCA’s each at interstate batteries. But you can get them anywhere like AutoZone, Napa, orilleys, etc.. but they aren’t cheap the cheapest ones will be around $150 a piece.

After I changed them I installed a permanent charger connected to my house batteries to keep them healthy.
Also a Battery Disconnect is a good purchase to keep them alive.
nikitis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2024, 08:18 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
sportyrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 886
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
Like I have been saying, your local diesel dealer like Freightliner, Kenworth etc. buy them by the pallet and sell them cheap. I think mine were $135 or something like that. And all I ever see in the showroom is group 31's but might have the odd sizes in the back (when on sale they post a pallet of them in the showroom and they disappear quickly)
sportyrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2024, 08:52 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 473
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Btb27 View Post
...I need the group 31 kind but I'm not 100% sure if thats one specific battery or can be different versions. Any help is greatly appreciated!

"Group 31" is essentially a size-format; just like buying a battery for your car or for your truck, there are standardized sizes; the voltage is always going to be the same, but you will have different cranking-amp ratings/CCAs.



Higher CCAs is always going to be better.



Total AH ratings will also be different, but frankly, for starting batteries, you shouldn't normally be pushing anything like that from them, so you'll mostly just want to focus on the CCA rating, and probably the brand for reliability.



and I can promise that you should be able to find Group 31 batteries pretty much anywhere that auto batteries are sold, except for perhaps some import-specialty shops. Any walmart, NAPA, autozone/oreilly's will have them in stock, unless someone like you came in and bought up all four that they might've had in stock.
Albatross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2024, 09:29 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Toledo OH
Posts: 810
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP-EF
Engine: Cat C7 + Allison 3000PTS
I looked up CAT branded group 31s, they're like $400 LOL. What's funny is the CAT branded batteries and BOTH types of NAPA batteries look exactly the same. I'll be getting the "start rite" NAPA batteries as I care less about the warranty than I do keeping about $100 in my pocket.
dbsoundman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2024, 10:45 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 548
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC/2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12-valve
Rated Cap: 1
Fleetpride currently has a 950 cca on sale for 124.99. It has a 36 month replacement warranty.
BamaBus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2024, 10:51 AM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Toledo OH
Posts: 810
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP-EF
Engine: Cat C7 + Allison 3000PTS
Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaBus View Post
Fleetpride currently has a 950 cca on sale for 124.99. It has a 36 month replacement warranty.
I've heard of Fleetpride but haven't looked at it yet, thanks!
dbsoundman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2024, 03:35 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
BriteLeaf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Atlanta, TX
Posts: 58
Year: 1990
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 78
Where are you located?

I know of a place where you get some AMAZING DEALS on AGM and Lead Acid batteries (around a hundred bucks apiece).
They are located in Texarkana, AR.
They are a government surplus company and a lot of those batteries are new or less than a year old with up to ten year lifespan.
BriteLeaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2024, 01:54 AM   #11
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 90
Year: 2010
Chassis: Bluebird Vision
Engine: Cummins 6.7 ISB Allison 2500
Rated Cap: ADA Lift Bus Lift Removed
The group 31 commercial batteries I bought at O'Reilly's are 950 CCA each. They were like $169 each. Being that had higher CCA than most other places I looked, I went with those. The company I work for has an account, so I asked to get my company discount but I'd pay cash today in full... So if you know someone with an account... I think I ended up getting them for just over $140 each plus tax. I bought 3, and after I did, I reallized I probably really didn't need 3 since I'm going to be removing the wheelchair lift. I do have front and rear AC units built into the bulkhead so having 3 might come in handy. Point being, if you have 3, you very well might be able to get by with just 2 easily.

In fact, I have 1 bus, that has just 1 Group 31 battery and it starts up everytime. It does not have any AC units or lift and originally had 2. I edidn't want to buy more batteries, so I actually pulled 1 of the 3 from that other bus, and put the 1 in this bus. Both busses are starting and running just fine.
Hooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2024, 02:04 AM   #12
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 90
Year: 2010
Chassis: Bluebird Vision
Engine: Cummins 6.7 ISB Allison 2500
Rated Cap: ADA Lift Bus Lift Removed
Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaBus View Post
Fleetpride currently has a 950 cca on sale for 124.99. It has a 36 month replacement warranty.
That's where I'd be going then. 950CCA is the highest I've seen any Group 31 and why I got mine at O'Really's but they only get I think an 18 month warranty which I thought was piss poor when most decent batteries get 2 years and these being bigger commercial rated batteries, you'd expect at least 2 years. So 3 year warranty is great for these batteries. It appeared to me, everywhere I was looking 12-18 months is about all you got and I firgured it must just be beacuse they are commercial batteries.

Just saying, you won't find one with higher CCA, and you're not going to find any with a better warranty, and for sure not $125. If I were OP, I'd be getting over to Fleetpride ASAP.
Hooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2024, 01:50 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 14
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: CAT 3126b with AT545
Due to a rogue power draw I've had to purchase a couple batteries from Napa for ~$125 and they've run well. I decided not to troubleshoot the draw so instead I purchased this battery disconnect (https://a.co/d/2N0sGiI) and bought two trickle battery chargers for about ~$10/ and it's kept our batteries in good shape......I haven't had to purchase one in a couple years. The battery disconnect makes it much easier than removing the cable to disconnect power to the batteries.
Toddthomp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2024, 08:32 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2023
Location: Canada
Posts: 319
Year: 2001
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E, Allison 2000
Rated Cap: 72
Just an FYI......I've read a couple interesting articles on CCA batteries. The higher the CCA of a battery. The shorter the life span. The lower the CCA of the battery the longer the life span.

I remember one hi-way truck company actually put out a TSB using a lower CCA battery on their trucks as it extended battery life considerably.

My Ford pick up truck, if I walked into a dealer for parts. They will now give me a lower rated CCA battery then it originally came equipped

I've installed 4x950 CCA batteries on a truck and 4x800CCA batteries on a truck. -40 C night time low, both plugged in (block heater), both started fine if everything is in good running condition. You would not know the difference. Cummins ISL and PACCAR Mx13 engines.
.
Omnibot2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2024, 08:49 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2023
Location: Canada
Posts: 319
Year: 2001
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E, Allison 2000
Rated Cap: 72
Here, found this on google without trying to find that TSB I mentioned. I'm also talking your standard flooded lead acid batteries.

What's inside the battery makes a difference, not just what the rating says on the label. Some types of batteries may be designed to provide maximum power, but neglect to take long-term wear into consideration. There can a trade-off between battery life and capacity. It is important to pick the right battery for the right application and climate. Batteries that are built with reinforced plates and a high lead content will usually last longer than batteries designed for maximum cranking performance. Carquest offers a wide selection of batteries to meet a variety of applications and conditions
Omnibot2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2024, 01:00 AM   #16
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 90
Year: 2010
Chassis: Bluebird Vision
Engine: Cummins 6.7 ISB Allison 2500
Rated Cap: ADA Lift Bus Lift Removed
I've always had good luck with Johnson Controls batteries. IIRC, there's only like 4 battery manufactures. Johnson Controls now known as Clarios. They are the ones that build Die Hard batteries for Sears for many many years. Exide is another manufacture and Interstate is the other I recall. Not sure of the 4th ATM. I'd say I've had the worst luck with Exide batteries as far as longevity and tolerating abuse, like cold weather or deep discharge and it coming back. Exide may be the most common. So the label can say what it wants, but if there's only 4 manufactures, and I beleive Interstate just does their own and that's that. But I work for a tow yard. When we go to jump our cars ready rfor auction which is like after we've had it 3 months or more, it appears we'll have a few of the Clarios batteries will still start, just about none of the Exide will, and the Clarios seem to respond well to a jump and then holding a charge once charged back up, where the Exides seem to lose the charge if you can get it to charge back up at all. Interstates don't seem to do all that bad, but we don't get many of those to be able to talk much about them, just the couple I recall, seemed to have charged back up and held it at least for a short while and had it been used on a daily basis, likely would have recovered. I've actually seen 6 year old Clarios batteries start after 3 months and charged back up fully and worked fine for at least another year, and if I remember right, it was the following year in the winter time when very cold, that one failed. At 8 years old, I didn't even bother trying to give it a chance. I jumped it, started and straight to Wally World. Normally I did NOT buy Walmart Batteries. Now that I'm aware Clarios makes their GOLD batteries, not the Value or 1 year batteries, but the Gold 2 year batteries, and you won't beat the price for a Clarios battery anywhere, not to mention, they usually don't hassle you on the warranty if needed and can be done nationwide. So for passenger cars and light trucks I do like Walmart GOLD batteries, and last time I bought a battery for my dads' RV, I noticed it was only $20 more to get the AGM with a 4 year non prorated warranty and more CCA so I did that and so far, been great. It also sits for long periods of time and does use it to run a diesel heater often since and I keep a cheap cheap solar charger and a 100watt panel hooked to that to keep it topped off so his heater works. Yes, that's his engine starter battery, not the coach batteries. I keep his heat separate so I know he has heat even if everything else fails. So now this part. Saying I prefer Clarios over the rest doesn't really matter to us. I've not yet seen anywhere to buy Group 31 batteries that were made by Clarios. I'm not 100% positive but I think most of the ones we'll see are by Exide. Regardless of the label on the battery, look at the case, the ribs, the vents, the caps etc, you can usually tell if the same company made them no matter the label that's on it.

So I prefer to buy the Clairos formerly known as Johnson Controls and/or Die Hard for all my vehicles, but I'm not so certain where to get those in Group 31. If anyone does know, please let me know if you're 100% certain it's made by Clarios in a Group 31. I've noticed these group 31 batteries don't get a good warranty. I don't know why, maybe because it's a commercial vehicle use? Just not sure. I think the ones I bought several months ago at O'Reallies is only 18 month.
Hooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2024, 02:04 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 3,758
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
East penn is the one you're forgetting, and is the only one made here in the states afaik. I don't think Interstate makes their own, but buys them through an existing manufacturer, typically johnson but occasionally exide.

We sold interstates for years, until about 10 years ago they offshored(or moved to mexico, I can't remember now) production and quality went to hell in a hand basket. Dealing with that(we're paid nothing to test/replace a warrantied battery), and the fact I don't like seeing american jobs moved overseas, we switched to deka, which was the only label east penn had at the time. Now they make batteries for napa, federated, auto value, duracell, along with a host of others.

Not sure if I buy the whole higher cca=shorter lifespan debate. I'm sure if you get on the fringes of ultra capacity the plates can be too thin and not as durable. But with group 31's we sell both a 950cca/18 month warranty and a 760cca/6 month warranty "value" line, and I've seen no such correlation, or an overwhelming number of failures from one or the other. The 950's tend to have more "outlier" units that will last 5-10 years, whereas the 750's don't, but I can't say either one has a short failure rate over the other.

I'd love to see the actual tsb number stating what you posted.

We switched to napa batteries a year ago. Their AAA line offers a 3 year warranty and is the same batteries as deka afaik, but 10-20% cheaper accross the board for us. Commerical batteries are always half or lower that warranty span, commercial is just that much harder on a battery. Running batteries dead is the biggest killer of them in my experience. I've got a deka platinum in my work car that is over 10 years old. The only thing I do with it that is different then most, is I charge it with a smart charger overnight every 6 months when I change the oil.
__________________
My build: The Silver Bullet https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/p...llet-9266.html
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2024, 03:01 PM   #18
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 90
Year: 2010
Chassis: Bluebird Vision
Engine: Cummins 6.7 ISB Allison 2500
Rated Cap: ADA Lift Bus Lift Removed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
East penn is the one you're forgetting, and is the only one made here in the states afaik. I don't think Interstate makes their own, but buys them through an existing manufacturer, typically johnson but occasionally exide.

We sold interstates for years, until about 10 years ago they offshored(or moved to mexico, I can't remember now) production and quality went to hell in a hand basket. Dealing with that(we're paid nothing to test/replace a warrantied battery), and the fact I don't like seeing american jobs moved overseas, we switched to deka, which was the only label east penn had at the time. Now they make batteries for napa, federated, auto value, duracell, along with a host of others.

Not sure if I buy the whole higher cca=shorter lifespan debate. I'm sure if you get on the fringes of ultra capacity the plates can be too thin and not as durable. But with group 31's we sell both a 950cca/18 month warranty and a 760cca/6 month warranty "value" line, and I've seen no such correlation, or an overwhelming number of failures from one or the other. The 950's tend to have more "outlier" units that will last 5-10 years, whereas the 750's don't, but I can't say either one has a short failure rate over the other.

I'd love to see the actual tsb number stating what you posted.

We switched to napa batteries a year ago. Their AAA line offers a 3 year warranty and is the same batteries as deka afaik, but 10-20% cheaper accross the board for us. Commerical batteries are always half or lower that warranty span, commercial is just that much harder on a battery. Running batteries dead is the biggest killer of them in my experience. I've got a deka platinum in my work car that is over 10 years old. The only thing I do with it that is different then most, is I charge it with a smart charger overnight every 6 months when I change the oil.
East Penn, that's the one. Thanks. The few Napa batteries we've had at the tow yard, do seem to start easy with a light jump after sitting for months, and a few even surprise us and do start, but they seem to rebound and hold a charge. What we do, it jump them to see if they start pull and run so we can mark the windshield with R&P for Run and Pull. Then a few days later at auction times, some will still start, and some will need to be jumped again.
Hooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2024, 07:58 AM   #19
Bus Nut
 
nikitis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 964
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post

Not sure if I buy the whole higher cca=shorter lifespan debate. I'm sure if you get on the fringes of ultra capacity the plates can be too thin and not as durable. But with group 31's we sell both a 950cca/18 month warranty and a 760cca/6 month warranty "value" line, and I've seen no such correlation, or an overwhelming number of failures from one or the other. The 950's tend to have more "outlier" units that will last 5-10 years, whereas the 750's don't, but I can't say either one has a short failure rate over the other.
I'm with you on that. My real world life experience has shown the opposite. When I buy lower CCA batteries, as they age, they can't crank the engine at all. And when you get into older engines that don't start as easily and you have to crank longer, the higher CCA's shine in those situations. It'll overturn your engine a little harder/faster because you're feeding more amperage into the starter. There's an argument it could destroy your starter a little sooner than expected, but higher CCA's help. I was cranking my bus with 650 CCA batteries when I first got it, and it would hardly crank, even with 12.7 volts. fully charged. I checked the voltage on them. I upgraded to 850 CCA's and she starts up far more easily with those.

I don't think lower CCA's is bad to use on a newer engine, in fact I'd probably recommend it just because if she starts easily with little resistance you don't need all that extra amperage, but as engines age I recommend higher CCA's. Most of us have older buses with engines half way into the grave, so I'd start considering higher CCA batteries for them.

So that's my rule of thumb for cars trucks and buses. If the engine is older and not starting as well, I go with higher CCA's.

Having followed that Mantra for 20+ years, I've never really had constant start/battery drama that a lot of people seem to have.
nikitis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2024, 07:28 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,770
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I live in FL so every bus I've had has started just fine on one G31. I usually run 2 but lately my bus doesn't see much use so I just have 1 right now.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries, battery

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.