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Old 11-17-2013, 10:17 AM   #1
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4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Is there anyone that has installed an 8D AGM battery in there SMB?
I have been thinking about it when the time comes when I need a new house battery, instead of installing two 4D's. The cost is not that much more. Prices I have seen for the 4D is around $500.00. The 8D ranges from about $550.00 to $730.00.
The only difference, size wise, is 2.5 inches wider. It looks like a slight modification to the battery carrier frame under the van.
Below is a PDF with all the stats. on the batteries.

http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/1741.pdf

Thanks,

Woody
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Woody, I'm sure you noticed the AH rating for two 4-D's is much higher than a single 8-D.

The pros to a single battery system using a single 8-D are:
>One battery has less to go wrong.
>The separator only has to protect the single battery so being it's not banked with another battery, if the single battery fails on its own you're only dealing with one failure rather than a bad battery in a twin battery system killing its good (unprotected) partner before you find one has gone south on you. The latter can be very costly.
>Less connections is a slight plus.
>Charging will be quicker.
>If you use temperature thermistors to monitor the battery charge temps, you only need one.
>Less weight is also good for heavier vehicles. Definitely cheaper.

Mainly it all comes down the pros of a slightly larger, lighter, cheaper, less problematic battery system that only puts out a little more than a single 4-D. It just depends on what your battery loads are. If you reach 50% DOD on a regular basis and routinely drop the discharge voltage to 12.2v (50% DOD), a 8-D is fairly close in amp hour size and twin 4-D's might be a better choice. If you usually reach 12.4 by early morning before the sun is up, an 8-D could be a wise move. But there are other ways to decrease your daily load that can help, namely LED lighting.
Myself I like the twin 4-D battery system I have so I can run my microwave for limited amounts of time when camping close to others. Not having to run the engine to heat a dish up is nice.

Hope this helps.
Dave
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:37 PM   #3
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Thanks for the info Dave.
I am just tossing this around. I think its a ways off but always thinking.
I notice when I am out in the fall, when there is less sun for the solar panel, I would like to have just a little more. In the summer when there is sun quite late I am just fine. I like my T.V. in the morning with my coffee. I usually get up long before sunrise. I also like my T.V. before I go to bed. So that is my biggest consumer of electricity.
I don't have a microwave. I also have changed all my interior lights to LED.

Woody
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Cold is also a big factor. If you camp in cold or sub freezing weather on a regular basis, the more AH you have on hand the better.
Just watch that pre-sun battery voltage which should point you in the correct direction. Myself I like to keep about a .2v average reserve above 12.2 to compensate for over usage, cold...etc.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

I am just the opposite of you Dave, I try not to camp in the cold. I lived in Montana to long. I am still warming up.
I do watch the voltage all the time and I don't like it when it gets down to 12.2 v.

Woody
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbee
Is there anyone that has installed an 8D AGM battery in there SMB?
I have been thinking about it when the time comes when I need a new house battery, instead of installing two 4D's. The cost is not that much more. Prices I have seen for the 4D is around $500.00. The 8D ranges from about $550.00 to $730.00.
The only difference, size wise, is 2.5 inches wider. It looks like a slight modification to the battery carrier frame under the van.
Below is a PDF with all the stats. on the batteries.

http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/1741.pdf

Thanks,

Woody

After switching from using 4D to 8D batteries, I've switched again to using two 6 Volts for the last 3 yrs.
8D was fine but it was quite heavy and took up alot of space and I didn't have any luck with them lasting more then 2 years. I probably went thru three 8D's.. and got tired of swapping them out. So I took the advice of the battery tech and he made me awesome cables to hook the 6 volts in series.

I now use two Lifeline 6 Volt in Series (Lifeline GPL-6), and the pro's with the batteries are they have a bigger positive plates versus the 4D/8D batteries, and the best part is they come with attached rope and handle and can be actually picked up and moved by one person. The bigger positive plates help with the corrosion and warping that tend to happen with usage and discharge (over discharge) cycles.
Another pro is I have the AGM batteries on their side in a L shape versus the size pattern an 8D would make and fits under my Gacho fine. I'm actualy thinking of doubling up but right now I'm not needing the extra power.

It's almost the end of year 3 on this set, so far they are performing great, we'll see how long they last.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Also of note is that there are 2 types of 8D and 4D batteries. The heavy duty models which are wet cells and the AGM deep cycle versions. The former will not last more than a year or two especially if you run an inverter. I have had 5 years experience with these and none have lasted more than 18 months even though I never let them deep discharge. But the effect of big inverter loads to the point that the voltage drops below the inverter threshold was sufficient to seriously reduce the life.

I am now going to try the 3x more expensive AGM models. However from comments on this thread it seems they too are life limited. Unless of course the models being referenced are the HD we cells. However at the $500 plus prices that cost is firmly in the AGM territory with Lifecycle brand items being closer to $800.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:16 PM   #8
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRL
After switching from using 4D to 8D batteries, I've switched again to using two 6 Volts for the last 3 yrs.
8D was fine but it was quite heavy and took up alot of space and I didn't have any luck with them lasting more then 2 years. I probably went thru three 8D's.. and got tired of swapping them out. I now use two Lifeline 6 Volt in Series (Lifeline GPL-6)
It's almost the end of year 3 on this set, so far they are performing great, we'll see how long they last.
What brand of 8-D were you using?

I haven't had any issues with my 4-D's from Lifeline, maybe just luck. The Lifeline GPL-6CT is a great AGM battery but your still limited to about 300AH using two batteries which ain't bad at all. But they cost about 400 bucks each ($800 for 300Ah) where an 8-D is about $650 for 255Ah.
I asked Lifeline about plate thickness and the guy told me in the past that was true but today there are very little differences between the 6 and 12 volt AGM's they sell. They did claim that there are differences between other manufactures though.

There seems to be a lot of mixed messages out there and I don't claim the guy I talked to at Lifeline was correct so it might be best to make several calls to different techs at Concorde. I was told the main difference is the case/size. Northern Arizona wind & sun claims the Concorde SunXtender is basically the same battery as the Lifeline minus the 5 year warranty and sold at a much better price. I do know Lifeline batteries are marked up in price big time. I had a dealer friend get me one for a little over a 3rd off the asking price. IIRC I think I paid about 375 for a GPL4-DL lifeline.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:38 PM   #9
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Re: 4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Quote:
Originally Posted by NRL
After switching from using 4D to 8D batteries, I've switched again to using two 6 Volts for the last 3 yrs.
8D was fine but it was quite heavy and took up alot of space and I didn't have any luck with them lasting more then 2 years. I probably went thru three 8D's.. and got tired of swapping them out. I now use two Lifeline 6 Volt in Series (Lifeline GPL-6)
It's almost the end of year 3 on this set, so far they are performing great, we'll see how long they last.
What brand of 8-D were you using?

I haven't had any issues with my 4-D's from Lifeline, maybe just luck. The Lifeline GPL-6CT is a great AGM battery but your still limited to about 300AH using two batteries which ain't bad at all. But they cost about 400 bucks each ($800 for 300Ah) where an 8-D is about $650 for 255Ah.
I asked Lifeline about plate thickness and the guy told me in the past that was true but today there are very little differences between the 6 and 12 volt AGM's they sell. They did claim that there are differences between other manufactures though.

There seems to be a lot of mixed messages out there and I don't claim the guy I talked to at Lifeline was correct so it might be best to make several calls to different techs at Concorde. I was told the main difference is the case/size. Northern Arizona wind & sun claims the Concorde SunXtender is basically the same battery as the Lifeline minus the 5 year warranty and sold at a much better price. I do know Lifeline batteries are marked up in price big time. I had a dealer friend get me one for a little over a 3rd off the asking price. IIRC I think I paid about 375 for a GPL4-DL lifeline.
The 8Ds were from WestMarine.. My local Lifeline tech said they were made in Japan and something wrong with the builds since two of them didnt survive as good.
For the two 6 volt lifelines I recall it was less then 600 for both.
Im going to try yet one size bigger size maybe next round.
What I really like alot was the ability to move each 6 volt by myself..
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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4D vs. 8D AGM Battery

About 1.5 years ago I took a gamble and installed three group 27 AGM batteries bought at Sams Club, sold as "Duracell." These are made by the same company that makes Deka, and are made in the USA. Actually, right here in Pennsylvania.

Pricing is very good. I think for three batteries, totalling 315ah (105ah each) I paid a total of around $500. These used to only be sold in Sams east of the Mississippi, but not sure what the current situation is.

So far they have held up very well. We don't have solar, and this summer we did a 30 day trip and the only charging (mostly) was via the alternator. They continue to hold a steady charge well and for long periods. We have a 1500 watt inverter and occasionally would use the microwave (with van running).
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