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Old 07-26-2022, 06:04 PM   #1
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Need deep cycle starting battery recommendations

Not Optima. I've been bitten once and am scarred for life.
I'd normally never consider deep cycle for starting batteries - hence my lack of experience with them - but I think it might be a good idea now as the sound level of music required to overcome my tinnitus requires significant juice.
I've only got 2 batteries & don't want a third, so hopefully something that doesn't compromise much, if any, in the CCA dept.
I guess what I'm looking for is a dual-purpose battery? Just starting to read up now, but hoping for experienced recommendations.
Current batteries are 990CCA, 1185CA, in group 31. I wish to meet or exceed these numbers if possible, or at least be in the ballpark.

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Old 07-26-2022, 08:58 PM   #2
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I wouldn't use a deep cycle, they don't have the cold cranking amps of a starting battery. Here In Iowa I use three 950CCA commercial stating batteries I get from farm and fleet.

https://www.farmandfleet.com/product...l-battery.html



I also keep a cheap black and Decker battery maintainer on them when parked to keep from running them down. Eventually that will tie into my house solar and battery system.
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:23 PM   #3
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I been running deep cyc;e starting batteries for years.. those videos I posted of my DTA360 with no plugs (and the webasto turned off) starting in -12 degree weather.. cranking and cranking away at pretty darn good speed.. they are deep cycle batteries.. no issues.. and NOT CHEAPIES.. (I had rural cheap crap that lasted 1 year in ohio.. never again)...


I use Batteries Plus top of the line AGM for starters and they work like a champ!
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:35 PM   #4
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"deep cycle" and "starting" don't belong in the same battery description. its an oxymoron.... like jumbo shrimp, military intelligence, or composting landfill.

deep cycle - thicker lead plates, holds energy well, discharges nice and slow (works great for playing the radio all day long)

starting - thin plates, doesnt hold as much energy, but has high discharge capacity - (able to run the starter-short, high discharge load)

not that i know, but i assume that once you are in the group 31 category, you are only looking at starter batteries. as they are larger than most auto batteries. flooded deep cycle lead acid batteries in that capacity are the T105s.

I've had my bus for 10ish years. every 3-4 years i replace my starter batteries, a pair of group 31s. at this point, i'll price shop and get the cheapest ones i can, or i'll get stuck and forced to buy expensive ones when they fail me.

farm store specials and sometimes i see lowes with a deca battery on sale are the best deals imo.
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Old 07-26-2022, 10:46 PM   #5
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i may have misunderstood your post.....

is it time for you to consider a dedicated house battery?

last year i upgraded my house battery to lithium (ouch). prior i was running a total of 7 group 31 batteries - 2 for the truck, 1 for the generator, 4 for my 12v house load. now i have the 2+1 group 31s for the bus and a big lifepo for the house.

my apology - the old house battery wasnt grp 31, it was grp 29 i think, the biggest marine battery from wally and it served me well for 9ish years. starter batteries come and go.
i had 4 x grp29 = 4 x 100AH = 400AH * 50% useable - 200AH house battery

i upgraded to a single 280AH lithium iron last year - 280AH useable - more power, 1/4 the weight and size as the old one.

here is a pic of my old and new house batteries. 6 of the old would equal the same power as the new battery. lifepo for the win.
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Old 07-27-2022, 01:20 AM   #6
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Group 31s typically are commercial-grade starting batteries for big trucks. The Group number merely denotes the physical size of the battery, not its intended use or internal design (e.g. FLA, AGM, VRLA, gel, etc.). So-called "marine" batteries are basically just starting batteries with plates that are more durable than normal, presumably to survive the vibration and movement that can happen in small boats. Yes, true deep-cycle batteries can start engines, much better than start batteries can work as house batteries, but in most circumstances I think it's still better to have separate dedicated start and house batteries for long-term reliability.

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Old 07-27-2022, 05:15 AM   #7
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...but in most circumstances I think it's still better to have separate dedicated start and house batteries for long-term reliability.
John

100% agree. House and chassis should have separate systems. Should the chassis batteries be too weak to start the rig the house batteries can be used to charge them. Should the house batteries fail for some reason (short, equip failure etc.) you can still start the rig to get home or to a repair or parts facility.
Our rig will have house battery powered heating pads/blankets for our chassis batteries and will be temperature maintained themselves by either being inside the rig or in an insulated underside bay that has house air cycled through it when temps call for it. The chassis batteries will also be disconnected electrically from everything except a voltage display in the controls area when parked for more than a week or two.
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Old 07-27-2022, 09:34 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input, everyone. Let me clear some things up:

1) I'm talking starting batteries, not house batteries.
2) The reason I want something more resistant to deep(er) cycling is pretty much driven by the recent addition of an audio (stereo) system. The audio system is powered by the bus (starting) batteries (no, this cannot & will not change), and I'd like the ability to enjoy it for a bit, with the engine off, while not murdering my batteries in the process.

Here's an article from odyssey describing the type of batteries I'm considering, and the tech that supposedly makes them a hybrid capable of serving in both capacities:

https://www.odysseybattery.com/blog/...se-rv-battery/

The odyssey extreme battery is also one specific example of a battery I'm considering trying, but the price is through the roof. In group 31, this battery puts out more CCAs than most any of the pure starting batteries I've seen, including the ones I've got in now (1150 vs 990), and they advertise as good for 400 80% DOD cycles (no, I'd never intentionally discharge to this depth, but if accurate, this should speak volumes as to their ability to withstand less severe discharging).
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Old 07-27-2022, 10:26 AM   #9
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check their weights - get the battery with the most lead.

screw their marketing dual purpose ploys. physics says the heaviest lead acid battery holds the most electrons.

i've had the big group 31 with the high cca, and i still only get 2-3 years as starting batteries. thats why i choose the cheap over the big.... i kill them in the same amount of time.

my fridge was my first 12v install, so i started out with a house battery and built from there. cold beer isnt as good when you're battery is dead out in the woods.
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Old 07-27-2022, 10:40 AM   #10
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It isn't just marketing, Turf. And it isn't just the amount of lead. The surface area of the lead exposed to electrolyte is an important factor. That's what it sounds like the TPPL tech they're talking about does, though I admit I'm still learning here. And odyssee isn't the only manufacturer pushing out what they brand as 'dual purpose' batteries. Other brands appear to be specifically targeted towards the car audio industry, which is pretty much my raison-de-etra here.

In the past I've done & would recommend exactly what you have. Here the heat kills batteries in short order. But these are also supposed to withstand much higher pressures before venting (they say 175F) to avoid electrolyte loss, and they come with a 4-year warranty. But yeah, determining if they'll be cost effective in the long run is a big part of why I began this discussion.
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Old 07-27-2022, 11:09 AM   #11
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TBH, what you're after is what I did in my bus for a few years.

We'd run the sound system all day and into the night(16 or so hours) off the 2 group 31 bus batteries. Batteries would then be recharged by a 10 amp trickle charger when we ran the generator for the air conditioning while sleeping. If it was cool outside and we weren't running the genny, we could get 2 to maybe 3 days max before the batteries were dead. I put in new batteries every other year. Not because they were junk, but because it was cheaper to use and abuse cheap batteries then it was to install a system that could handle what we were doing.

FWIW the sound system in the bus consists of a cheap wally world head unit, connected via rca cables to an older rockford punch 500w 4 channel amp, which powers 4 cheap 6x9 speakers(pioneer brand atm). Not a quality system by any means, but with as loud as we had it, we'd blow speakers often. Honestly, I feel it was so loud that we would more then likely cause tinnitus then cure it lol.

With that said, power consumption is directly related to volume, so I'd say you'll be able to go much longer before the batteries die then I did.

PS. I had the switched power for the head unit and amp operated off a 3 way toggle switch. With the switch down, the radio would turn on and off with the ignition switch. With the radio switch up, it would power the radio all by itself. This way you could power the radio, and only the radio(no backfeeding), minimizing extraneous power consumption.
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Old 07-27-2022, 11:16 AM   #12
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And for what those fancy odyssey batteries cost, I feel you'd be money ahead having 2 separate systems, with the house system consisting of actual deep cycle batteries, like a gc2.

While you can design the internals of a group 31 sized battery to be deep cycle-ish. It's still a group 31 battery, just hybridized to be dual purpose. Your true deep cycle batteries are designed from the ground up to be deep cycled.
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Old 07-27-2022, 11:44 AM   #13
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phantom loads killed my start batteries.
the little light on the stereo.....who knows....

but when i parked for about 2 weeks, i got a pair of dead batteries. i cycle them dead to full, regardless of start action.

i'll leave, and come home from a trip.... 2 weeks later... everything is dead.

its real easy to abuse those start batteries. i dont expect them to last.
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:05 PM   #14
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Right on, Booyah. That's exactly where I'm coming from. FWIW we have a 500w amp also, w/ 2 x10" subs on one channel & 4 x 75w components on the other 4. And I like my music LOUD as well ;) More like a need, actually lol.

Great minds think alike... That's exactly how I wired our head unit (3 way switch). Next step for me is to add in a protection mechanism to prevent them from being pulled below a certain voltage.

I went back & forth on whether to power it via the house or bus bank. Ultimately I chose bus as I figured most of the time, while parked, I (and everyone around me) would prefer peace & quiet, plus there will be times when I want to drive the bus with the house battery removed, and the head unit has things like our backup camera display, hands free phone, etc incorporated that i want to keep working. In retrospect I may have made a judgement error here. But I've already fused & wired everything at not insignificant expense, so unless really pressed Im reluctant to change that now. Same goes for adding a 3rd battery. That's probably the best way of adding capacity, but now that I've wired in things like the amp, dc to dc charger, and a fuse block, the battery compartment is pretty crowded with just two.

I think your approach likely makes the most sense. Is it weird the thought of murdering cheap batteries makes me feel dirty?
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:08 PM   #15
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phantom loads killed my start batteries.
the little light on the stereo.....who knows....

but when i parked for about 2 weeks, i got a pair of dead batteries. i cycle them dead to full, regardless of start action.

i'll leave, and come home from a trip.... 2 weeks later... everything is dead.

its real easy to abuse those start batteries. i dont expect them to last.
Why no battery maintainer and/or disconnect?
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:20 PM   #16
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Why no battery maintainer and/or disconnect?
i spend my money on batteries.

i got charger, i toss it on the day before i want to start it up and she runs fine. 2 weeks later, she is dead. 2 years of that and she gets new batteries.

ive burn batteries in ways you havent even thought of yet.

my original house battery was 4 wally specials. i abused them and they made it 9 years.

i just finished a van build and did a pair of 200AH lithiums for them. thats enough battery run a mini spilt for an hour or so.
we used these and i would buy again,

https://www.amazon.com/Ampere-Time-R.../dp/B08P6HH4WK
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:34 PM   #17
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Lol, you're an enigma, Turf. No poop in landfills but burning through lead acid batteries like its your job is ok?
You'll hook up an EV to a charger, but not your bus?
I don't understand you even a little bit. I bet we hit it off instantly lol.
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:44 PM   #18
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I'm really enjoying the Turf / TheHubbardBus love-hate thing you have going on. You guys were meant for each other. Which one of you is Walter Matthau and which is Jack Lemmon in this scenario?
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:58 PM   #19
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I'm really enjoying the Turf / TheHubbardBus love-hate thing you have going on. You guys were meant for each other. Which one of you is Walter Matthau and which is Jack Lemmon in this scenario?
Someone's showing their age. Or their paramount+ subscription. Not sure which

We can always make it a threesome (but only if I get to be Moe)..

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Old 07-27-2022, 01:23 PM   #20
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There aren't enough Stooges to represent all of us on this forum that fit the description. But if I had to choose, I'd go with Larry. He's everybody's least favorite, but I do like the crazy hair.

Aaaand... back to the battery question. Sorry for the interruption!
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