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Should I Replace the Battery?


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#1 PJorgen

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Posted 25 September 2023 - 07:20 PM

I have a 2014 Hawk with the original 12v AGM lead-acid battery that FWC installed in the camper when new.  The charging system is the stock system with the battery monitor that FWC used at that time.  I keep the camper plugged into shore power at all times when the camper is not in use.

 

On a recent trip the battery monitor showed 2/3 charge when in past it had always showed full charge.  When I returned home I checked the battery with volt meter and measured resting voltage at 12.1v and with the water pump running and the 3-way refrigerator on the 12v source I measured 11.8v.

 

My question - is it time to replace the nine-year old battery?  If so, what type and where is a good place to purchase one?

 

To be clear, I understand that there are a number of improvements I can make to the basic FWC installed electrical system.  However, I don't use much power and typically drive the truck every day when camping which recharges the battery.  The current system has always met my needs and I figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

Appreciate everyone's input.


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2014 Hawk, Silver Spur exterior on a 2012 GMC 2500HD 4x4.


#2 Cpt Davenport

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Posted 26 September 2023 - 12:15 AM

You can take your battery down to the auto parts store and they can test it for you. 9 years sounds about right to show signs of deterioration. Never letting it go below 50% is a must for longevity. I agree with your ain't broke don't fix it motto. If it is meeting your needs then I say stick with another AGM. I love my lithium set up but it does involve other upgrades to the system as you mentioned.

 

I use VMAX AGM batteries in my off grid cabin. They have performed flawlessly for 10 years now. Super heavy but great performers and have been very reliable. 


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#3 Beach

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Posted 26 September 2023 - 12:32 AM

I've stuck with the AGM because like you, I don't require much 12v power and didn't want to spend money on something I don't need. Last replacement I installed a Renogy 100ah AGM  and have been very happy with it's performance. What ever brand you go with, get a dedicated deep cycle battery not a dual purpose type. Check Renogy's website for sales, I got a deal on mine. 


Edited by Beach, 26 September 2023 - 12:34 AM.

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#4 rubberlegs

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Posted 26 September 2023 - 01:12 AM

The above advice makes a lot of sense. We spent $1300+ on our lithium conversion, doing all the labor ourselves. Our battery needs are different and it's been working great (we love it), but getting another AGM battery would have been a lot easier!


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Tacoma/Fleet 2018.


#5 Vic Harder

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Posted 26 September 2023 - 03:09 AM

+1 to stick with AGM for your needs.


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#6 ckent323

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Posted 26 September 2023 - 03:54 AM

Whatever you do I recommend adding a battery monitor to your setup - a Victron BVM-712 or equivalent.

As Cpt Davenport wrote: If you routinely limit discharging to no more than 50% of full charge and always fully recharge before discharging again and keep it on a good quality battery maintainer if you let it sit then you should expect to get 9 or more years out of an AGM battery.

If you switch to lithium you may need to upgrade your battery charger and add a dc_dc charger between the truck and camper as well as pay for the lithium battery which could add up to $1500 - $2000.  You can replace the AGM and add a solar charging system for less. 

If you do add solar I recommend getting the largest solar panel that will fit on your camper, hopefully att leat 360 watts. A 360 watt solar panel will weigh about 40 pounds and cost around $325, a Victron 100/30 smart solar charge controller will cost about $250 and a Victron BVM-712 will cost about $195.  You might need to upgrade to 60 pound lift struts which will cost around $50 for two.

I hope this is helpful.

 

Craig


Edited by ckent323, 26 September 2023 - 03:55 AM.

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1993 Dodge Cummins W-250 Club Cab long bed, 2007 FWC Keystone





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