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I have twin blue tops for my trailer and was digging around in the box for something and noticed one was not ice cold like I thought it should have been. I touched the other one and it was completely cold. The one is not even close to hot, its just not cold like I would expect, or like the other one.  

I went out this morning and touched them both before the sun had a chance to get around the trailer and shine on the box and the one was warmer than the other one was.

I've had batteries in this same location for <15 years.  And when I installed these a few years ago I cleaned everything up, replaced a few cables.  

I just checked them a second ago and this morning after checking them i unplugged the trailer, which kills the charger, and both seem to be the same temp.  There is almost no load in the trailer right now, just vampires.  I have a smart charger that charges them when they are low and switches to trickle when they are full.  It does not know that there are 2 batteries though...  the instructions for the charger said that I would charge more then one in parallel,  which is why I went with this charger. 

Is this something to be concerned about?  Should I take all of the cables off and clean everything up and put it back together??  Or just leave it alone....  I'd like these to last as long as possible... 

 

 

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Edited by Bobalos
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No the one on the right "furthest" from the charger/load. 

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42 minutes ago, Bobalos said:

No the one on the right "furthest" from the charger/load. 

Hmmm...  that might mean the battery has a small internal short or is starting to fail. Can you put a clamp on ammeter on it? Do you have an IR temp gun? It would be nice to know some actual numbers, like how much current is being drawn total and how much of it from that battery, and the actual difference in temp. between the 2 batteries. Ideally, they both should share the load and the charging equally, but a temp. differential suggests that's not happening.

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Isolate them by unplugging the cables, let them stabilize under a small load (just connect one to the trailer wiring with a light on for a minute or 3) and compare voltage. One is likely going to be considerably lower than the other. 

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sounds like you have a cell going bad the hot one probably has a lower static voltage so the charger is over charging the good cells to compensate. disconnect and check the voltage with the same light load individually like said above

Edited by Jersey_Jeff73
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Posted (edited)

I have not had a chance to play with this yet, but I did get a picture of the mfg dates.  They are older than I thought.  

Is this what I can expect from these?  I got around 10 years from my last set of yellow tops....  

I disconnected the batteries this evening, to see what they look like on a day or two.  Then load test. 

 

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Edited by Bobalos
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Get lead/acid replacements from Costco.  Swap them out every 30 months, and be done with it.

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If you end up buying new batteries, I would recommend buying LiFePo4 batteries from Amazon. You can get a 200Ah Chins or Amperetime for less than those Optimas cost and they're much more efficient (lead-acid loses 20% charging/discharging), much lighter weight, can be discharged 80% and still last 20 - 25 yrs. They sell 100Ah, 200Ah and 300Ah versions, but the 200Ah is the best value Ah/$$. 

I also prefer to run all of the cables to bus bars and just run 1 pos and 1 neg cable to the battery. This way the cabling is cleaner and if you need to disconnect something, just disconnect that cable instead of removing the whole stack of connectors.

Here's an example of one:    https://www.ebay.com/itm/252539928106?hash=item3acc8d7e2a:g:u1kAAOSwTM5YtzjX

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As for buss bars, we use something like these on the machines we build at work.  I'll have to check the vendor, but we are baying less than $10 a piece.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/224203756178?hash=item343395d292:g:0LsAAOSwQv1e7jDv

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13 minutes ago, Lord of the Dunes said:

If you end up buying new batteries, I would recommend buying LiFePo4 batteries from Amazon. You can get a 200Ah Chins or Amperetime for less than those Optimas cost and they're much more efficient (lead-acid loses 20% charging/discharging), much lighter weight, can be discharged 80% and still last 20 - 25 yrs. They sell 100Ah, 200Ah and 300Ah versions, but the 200Ah is the best value Ah/$$. 

I also prefer to run all of the cables to bus bars and just run 1 pos and 1 neg cable to the battery. This way the cabling is cleaner and if you need to disconnect something, just disconnect that cable instead of removing the whole stack of connectors.

Here's an example of one:    https://www.ebay.com/itm/252539928106?hash=item3acc8d7e2a:g:u1kAAOSwTM5YtzjX

I have heard that the BMS on the amazon batteries are junk.  BMS is the main thing that goes on the lipos from what I hear.  My solar guy has been doing this for 20 years and is a total geek about power and solar stuff.  He told me to you get what you pay for.   I good Lipo cost me about $500 per 100mah but know that is still expensive.  I also really love the Full River glass mats I have had very very good luck with those.  They are about $300 each

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1 hour ago, Squatcher said:

I have heard that the BMS on the amazon batteries are junk.  BMS is the main thing that goes on the lipos from what I hear.  My solar guy has been doing this for 20 years and is a total geek about power and solar stuff.  He told me to you get what you pay for.   I good Lipo cost me about $500 per 100mah but know that is still expensive.  I also really love the Full River glass mats I have had very very good luck with those.  They are about $300 each

Interesting. Will Prowse has a YT channel about Lipo batteries and solar. He's disassembled pretty much every Lipo battery on the market and from his videos I've watched, he's been saying that most of the Amazon Lipo batteries are using one of about 3 different BMSs and all 3 are very high quality. Very few of the batteries are doing the low temp. cutoff, but I'd rather use an externally controlled heater anyway, so I'd prefer not to have a low temp. cutoff.

 

As for the "you get what you pay for" adage - sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. When I was in the Navy, I was out to sea for 6 months with a Cesium beam clock - the true atomic clock. I set my Rolex and my $15 Timex to it at the beginning of the deployment. 6 months later, the Timex was off by about 25 seconds. The Rolex was closer to 15 minutes off. Even though the Rolex was a Certified Chronograph, it was nowhere near as accurate as the Timex. When I spoke to my watch distributor about it, he said the brand had the certification, not each individual Rolex and they were meant to be checked and reset periodically, 6 months was far too long between resets.

Battleborn batteries for example, are vastly overpriced and poorly designed. If one out of the (IIRC) 80 cells shorts out, the entire battery will send all of it's power through it, burning the whole thing up. There are other batteries better designed for less than half the price.

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9 hours ago, Lord of the Dunes said:

If you end up buying new batteries, I would recommend buying LiFePo4 batteries from Amazon. You can get a 200Ah Chins or Amperetime for less than those Optimas cost and they're much more efficient (lead-acid loses 20% charging/discharging), much lighter weight, can be discharged 80% and still last 20 - 25 yrs. They sell 100Ah, 200Ah and 300Ah versions, but the 200Ah is the best value Ah/$$. 

I also prefer to run all of the cables to bus bars and just run 1 pos and 1 neg cable to the battery. This way the cabling is cleaner and if you need to disconnect something, just disconnect that cable instead of removing the whole stack of connectors.

Here's an example of one:    https://www.ebay.com/itm/252539928106?hash=item3acc8d7e2a:g:u1kAAOSwTM5YtzjX

are you suggesting that I replace both of my Optimas with one 200 Ah battery?

will I be able to charge it with my exsisting charger/converter?

I dont think that the 200 Ah battery will fit in my box, can I use two of the 100Ah batteries or will that require screwing around with BMS's & chargers & stuff. 

 

9 hours ago, Kraut_n_Rice said:

As for buss bars, we use something like these on the machines we build at work.  I'll have to check the vendor, but we are baying less than $10 a piece.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/224203756178?hash=item343395d292:g:0LsAAOSwQv1e7jDv

I would appreciate it if you got me the brand name of those that you guys use.

 

9 hours ago, Squatcher said:

I also really love the Full River glass mats I have had very very good luck with those.  They are about $300 each

have you used them in a traler/RV application or buggy or truck or ????  Are you buying them online or is there a local shop that stocks them?

 

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Search LiFepo4 300ah on amazon.  Pick your poison.  They are pretty much all the same with a different sticker.  Currently the 300 AH is the best cost per AH.

1 - 100ah Lifepo4 would do the same work as both those blue tops and much better also.  

Depending on the charger/converter you have you can always buy a secondary 14.6V charger to top it off.  Not sure why people freak out about that.  Your main charger can do the brunt of the work and then let the smaller 14.6 top it off.  They can work sxs.

I just put a 300ah Lifepo4 in my boat to run the 3500W stereo system.  I have a Noco 26a charger that I just plug in when I get off the water.  Lifepo4 does not care if you charge it or leave it discharged so its not that big of a deal if I just let it sit and then charge it while idling around.

I have Lifepo4 in my trailer, boat, sand car, and truck.  Lead acid is garbage and having to maintain them is a PITA.

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49 minutes ago, Bobalos said:

 

I would appreciate it if you got me the brand name of those that you guys use.

 

Scroll down.  Options for separate ones with and w/o covers.

https://vtewarehouse.com/content/electromech/busbar/html/large4point/large4point.php

Or both in one. 

https://vtewarehouse.com/content/electromech/busbar/html/dual4point/dual4point.php

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10 hours ago, Lord of the Dunes said:

If you end up buying new batteries, I would recommend buying LiFePo4 batteries from Amazon. You can get a 200Ah Chins or Amperetime for less than those Optimas cost and they're much more efficient (lead-acid loses 20% charging/discharging), much lighter weight, can be discharged 80% and still last 20 - 25 yrs. They sell 100Ah, 200Ah and 300Ah versions, but the 200Ah is the best value Ah/$$. 

I also prefer to run all of the cables to bus bars and just run 1 pos and 1 neg cable to the battery. This way the cabling is cleaner and if you need to disconnect something, just disconnect that cable instead of removing the whole stack of connectors.

Here's an example of one:    https://www.ebay.com/itm/252539928106?hash=item3acc8d7e2a:g:u1kAAOSwTM5YtzjX

Friend just had one of the Chinese LiFePo4 200Ah battery's BMS chit the bed and the battery split the case. LiFePo4 is pretty safe, chemical makeup wise though. 

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5 minutes ago, Rockwood said:

Friend just had one of the Chinese LiFePo4 200Ah battery's BMS chit the bed and the battery split the case. LiFePo4 is pretty safe, chemical makeup wise though. 

any idea how old it was?

what was he using to charge it?

what was it in?

Lots of new Chit for me to learn with this battery tech...

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3 minutes ago, Bobalos said:

any idea how old it was?

what was he using to charge it?

what was it in?

Lots of new Chit for me to learn with this battery tech...

Couple of months.  Was using solar to charge it in his class C.

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I Have used the full rivers in my Motorhome for over 5 years with ZERO issues.  My brother sells them since he has a RV dealership.      yes my solar guy has taken apart lipo batteries and has showed me the BMS in his batteries take the whole top of the battery.  He said the amazon ones BMS is maybe 3" square with much less electronics in them.  Just passing info along from someone I trust on the subject.  I am sure there are some good ones out there.  chit I sure hope so.  

 

BTW the Rolex vs timex doesn't really hold water unless your roles was on a watch winder the whole time.  If you forget to wind it everyday then the time for sure will be off. Just saying.  Hard to beat a Timex anyway.   Rolex I would think is more Jewelry than a watch.  If you know watches Rolex is not really known for Keeping great time. Like Mentioned you have to wind those watches everyday.   But I do get your point Steve. 

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I did a little digging around and I have one of the IOTA chargers (will check tonight to see which one) & I bought the dongle that monitors the battery & controls the charge to the battery. 

image.thumb.png.3e065c623f10860515ff3ff27bbf9d05.png

 

 

as it turns out they have a whole mess of these dongles.  Im not sure which one I have now, but Im guessing its not ideal for the dual AGM batteries I have in the trailer now.  I will look into this as well, this evening. 

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image.thumb.png.069f61581c226665d2e0a3a4612de2b0.png

 

image.thumb.png.f84abcd87abb69756ad5746f625772b7.png

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Posted (edited)

Right now I have 2 optima 34 group batteries in my trailer.  with the box that is in it, I cant fix a 200AH or larger battery in the box.  I can fit the 100AH battery in it. 

if Im reading it right, one of the 100AH CHINS or Ampere Time batteries will actually be more battery than the 2 Optima's.  is that right?

FWIW, the battery setup I have now works fine.  I normally run my genny a couple of times a day to run run the microwave & compressor and to charge up the batteries before I goto bed.  I have never had an issue with the battery voltages getting low enough that the heater stops working @ night....  In fact Im guessing I could go a few days without firing up the Genny....

Also, It looks like I should buy the smart charge controller for the LiFePo4 battery type for the IOTA DLS 55 converter/charger I have.  seem to make sense too? 

Edited by Bobalos
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image.jpeg.f360438f1231fb6c27642f12a15bfa98.jpeg
 

Technically, you can discharge down to 0% and they’re fine, but recommended to stay above 20% for best life. Lead acid don’t last long when discharged beyond 50%, which is how people say a 100ah LiFePo4 is equivalent to 200ah. 

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  • Bobalos changed the title to Trailer batteries

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