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Truck Battery Question

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#1 ExplOregon



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Posted 25 March 2019 - 03:10 AM

Hey All,


Long time lurker. Excited to be joining the community.


Background Info:

Truck: '09 Ford F150 XLT

Camper: '18 FWC Hawk Shell with propane heater and fantastic fan and single stock FWC house battery (Arrives 5/2/19ish)


Here's my question:

I'm prepping the truck for the arrival of the camper (going through 10/40 Overland out of Beaverton, OR for the order). The battery in the truck is on its way out so I need a new one. The question is what type of battery should I get (starting or multi-purpose)? I've been searching the Ultimate Battery Thread and other threads on WTW, but haven't found much info specially on recommendations for truck batteries. Maybe I should just replace the OEM battery with something similar, but thought I'd ask the question here just in case the community has other thoughts.


Additional considerations:

  1. I plan to mount solar panels on the roof within a year or so
  2. I'm considering adding a winch and lightest possible bumper to mount it
  3. I plan to mount some additional lighting sources (light bars, etc) for driving while off-road
  4. Depending on power needs, I would consider adding a second house battery if needed
  5. I plan on adding a Noco Genius Charger + Plug to help maintain the house battery while not adventuring

Thanks for any advice/thoughts/recommendations. I'm a newbie so still trying to figure out how this all fits together. 

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#2 Vic Harder

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 04:28 AM

buy your truck battery assuming there is no camper. they serve very different functions. i like optima yellow tops for start duties
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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ, FASS, EGT delete, 5" exhaust, FTE Resonator, MotorOps 50 HP Tow Tune, Lightwerkz.net HID projector Headlights, Edge Insight CTS2

2012 ATC Puma, BattleBorn LiFePo4, Victron MPPT and BMV, AIMS 3000W inverter, Induction cooktop... loving it... 

#3 Advmoto18


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Posted 25 March 2019 - 01:08 PM

Since a winch is list as #2...I've been a Warn winch fan since the 70s.  Never had one fail or let me down.  Having said that...


Visit a 4WD center and have your alternator tested for condition/performance since your truck is 10 years old.  The winch is a huge current draw, especially when you get into the 10K# units.  While the winch connects to the battery terminals, you winch with the engine running so the alternator provides current through the battery to the winch.


As such, any degradation in the alternator's output will put the crank battery into a state of discharge.  I would buy the largest (CCA/C20) battery that will fit in the truck.  I like Interstate crank batteries but have used Optimas as well.  


Mounting the winch can be tricky when you look to light-weight winch bumpers.  You can't afford to have any deflection in the bumper when winching, not only can this lead to catastrophic failure of the bumper but pose a huge safety hazard to any nearby human or animal.  If up-front weight is an issue, consider a winch tray mounted directly to the frame.  A winch tray does not replace a bumper for highway safety purposes so check your state regulations.


When using a light-weight mount for the winch, pay particular attention to straight-line pull specifications and try to avoid more then a few degrees off a straight pull.  Weight capacity for off straight line pulls is not linear, so tough to guesstimate what you can get away with before the winch mount fails.





I have a PNW friend with a Hawk shell.  He did a great deal of research before up-fitting his shell.  He is using 1 house battery with 1 roof mounted panel and 1 portable panel.  Every installed component in the shell was given consideration for limiting power draw and battery drain.  It's a very nice setup with all the comforts I have in my factory optioned Hawk yet with a weight savings of nearly 400# (less wood/cabinets) and substantially less energy requirements than my Hawk.  He is using a diesel heater/blower and National Luna frig;  tremendous energy savings due to operational efficiency and design compared to factory installed components.  


Up-fitting a shell can be a fun project.  Enjoy!

Edited by Advmoto18, 25 March 2019 - 01:19 PM.

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South Carolina Low Country.  

#4 trikebubble


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Posted 25 March 2019 - 04:25 PM

I put a Deka Intimidator AGM in my Tundra. No issues whatsoever with it, ever. I also ran the same battery in my old Xterra. If/when I need another battery it will be the same one.

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#5 knoxswift


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Posted 25 March 2019 - 04:51 PM

X2 Optima Yellow
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#6 klahanie


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Posted 25 March 2019 - 08:47 PM

To echo Vic, I say keep the truck and camper battery different types, in keeping with their different functions. Engine starting should be the #1 priority, IMO. So something at least as capable as the oem truck battery.


A winch gives more reason to go with a SLI / cranking type battery (and biggest) and perhaps large gauge wires to the house battery for winching (and starting assist). That's what I did, plus I went with "marine" house batteries as a sort of dual purpose type. But like many folks didn't use much if at all so switched to a deep cycle for house but the larger gauge can still be useful.


Offroad lights should be supplied by the alternator, in most cases.


If you were charging the house exclusively with the alternator and had room for a larger or dual truck battery then I'd consider matching truck and house types.


Also, I hate corrosion of terminals and wiring from off gassing and electrolyte shaken out of vent caps from rough travel so I'd look at buying AGM replacement for the truck. Even better if the voltage charge profile matched the house battery, so I'd find out what model is to be supplied by FWC and check the charging specs against what you might buy for the truck.


PS Welcome to WTW

... and enjoy your camper !

Edited by klahanie, 25 March 2019 - 09:05 PM.

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~David.  2010 F350 C&C w camper deck. 1997 Granby, orig owners.

#7 ExplOregon



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Posted 27 March 2019 - 04:43 PM

Thanks Everyone! Appreciate all the feedback. I don't think that I'll realistically get a winch at this point so that should make things a little easier for me. 


Regarding the Optima Yellow Tops, I have some additional questions:

  1. The Yellowtops for my truck require 2 blue group 65 bottom snap-on adapters, but none of the shops that I called (AutoZone, O'Reillys, etc) had any idea what I was talking about or knew anything about these adapters. Therefore, do I really need these adapters or can I rig a different solution? Or how do I get my hands on these adapters? Do I need to call Optima?
  2. There's been some chatter recently on other forums regarding the Optima's quality declining after moving their factory to Mexico. Any truth to those claims?

I'm considering the Duralast Platinum AGM as an alternative. Close to OEM fitment, cheaper price (than YTs), good reviews, 750 CCA and 935 CA. My current OEM Motorcraft battery is 540 CCA. 

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#8 PaulT


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Posted 27 March 2019 - 09:59 PM

Check with Mike's Auto Parts in Cedar Mill close to Roth's IGA. I have bought several Optima batteries and Noco chargers from them.  I wanted a matched pair of Blud Top Optimas for my boat and he got very recent ones with serial numbers 20  units apart for me. I also bougjt a Yellow Top Optima for my Tundra. He has you write the purchase date and register sequence number on the top of the battery so that it can verified for warranty quickly if needed from their records. They were competitive in price, quick in getting what I needed and great customer seervice. They seem to do a lot of RV electrical stuff and carry several battery brands.


According to Mike's the Made in Mexico problem was real after they first started manufacturing there some years ago but they pulled it back to the US, at least, to get the quality back.



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I thought getting old would take longer.

#9 craig333


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 01:13 AM

They used to come with the adapters. Not sure if they still do. I sure hope the quality issues are a thing of the past. The ones in my Jeep are holding up well. Getting near time for new batteries in the truck. Starting to look around.

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Craig KK6AUI _________________________ 2004 2500 CTD 4X4 FWC HAWK 1960 CJ5

#10 klahanie


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 03:37 AM

Without a winch or similar need, you don't really need a more capable battery. I'd then put reliability and value at the top.


I'll just throw this in about brands.


If your oem is the original at 10 years old and has performed satisfactorily up until recently. That, imo, speaks pretty well about the Motorcraft brand. I've had good service out of mine (10 or more yrs, 2 diff vehicles). Maybe that is common with other oems, I can't say.


I don't see AGM mentioned in this info but they do have a number of grades including the BXT series that appears to meet the specs and perhaps exceed the warranty of the Duroplast and also may be cheaper. And you never know with Parts at a Ford dealer, competitive times may have changed their pricing.


Lot's of choices out there and you may want something specific for your own reasons. Just wanted to mention that Ford sells/supplies a large number of batteries each year and has done so for many decades. Not sexy but I haven't heard much bad about their batteries.

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~David.  2010 F350 C&C w camper deck. 1997 Granby, orig owners.

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