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Old 01-24-2009, 12:17 AM   #1
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Optima batteries - are they that bad?

I'm looking at changing the house battery. Its a 4D UNIVERSAL. I called a few places (Batteries Plus in Escondido, San Diego) and their supplier wouldn't call them back to give them a price and subsequently -- they haven't called me back. My mechanic said it would take about a month to order a 4D battery. The AGM's were quite expensive and apparently harder to come by. Soo...

I was thinking of going with 2 Blue Top Optima Gell Batteries wired in Parallel. Lighter, Smaller -- Would this be a bad idea? I know some people went with 1 4D lead acid battery, but the idea of it leaking and checking the battery for fluids and not being able to get to it easily sounds down right... miserable.

Anyone out there using 2 Gel batteries or lead acid batteries in lieu of the AGMs? What do you think? I got to do something quick and I don't want to wait a month!!!

SMB just seems so far away to go up there for only batteries.

Joe
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:54 AM   #2
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

When I discovered that the batteries in our newly purchased, third-hand SMB were moribund early last year, I bit the bullet and ordered AGM's to the size I needed to fit the existing battery boxes. I ordered them on-line, got free UPS shipping, and got them pretty quickly. The price beat anything i could get locally. Try http://www.ebatteriestogo.com/RV_Batteries.htm or just Google "rv batteries" and check brands and prices form other suppliers. Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

Psomaki - did you install the batteries yourself after you received them? If so, how difficult was it? Just curiuos, those suckers are heavy and awkward.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

SDWINDANSEA, yes I did, and I am what many 30-somethings would refer to as an "old fart." I.e., I am in decent shape but not particularly strong, plus I have some back problems. The batteries came with a strap attached. Gotta tell you, though, that my house batteries are in, not under, the "house." The boxes are under the passenger-side dinette seat. Both plastic battery boxes are vented - back box vented to front box and front box vented through the van side. This means I had to lift those heavy suckers into the van and then up, over, and down into the open boxes. Were my batteries in some kind of arrangement under the van, I would either have had to use a hydraulic bottle jack or scissors jack, or might have worked an install deal with the local RV guy. The latter could have been touchy, because I did not buy the batteries through him. I believe in buying locally, but not when ordering on-line can save me several 10-dollar bills. No problem making connections, because I already had two batteries in parallel. Sometimes, though, if you are adding a second battery or if your old batteries had different connectors, you might have to visit an auto-parts store for new cables or at least new cable terminals. On the whole, except for horsing around the heavy batteries, this was a pretty simple job. Wish resurrection of my dying Norcold fridge were as easy!
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

Referring to the post title.....

Anything built within the last 1.5 year(s) i wouldn't touch from Optima. Ever since they were bought out quality went out the window.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

Ditto what Adventureduo said.....

Optima may or may not still be a good battery, but one thing for certain is that they are NOT the battery that they used to be. I have heard a lot of complaints from folks buying recently to replace older Optimas. Most of the comments I have heard were in reference to the Yellow tops.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:07 PM   #7
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

What a shame too, about Optima being sold. The red top in my Bronco is over 10 years old, see very frequent duty, has been fully discharged a handful of times, spent 3-4 years in the Arizona heat, and still starts my Bronco each and every time.

I've been hearing great things about Deka, but I don't know if they have a "house" battery.


Herb

[Edit: added battery selector attachment from Deka]

[Edit 2: I saw that Deka has a factory location in Ontario, CA]
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Deka_battery.pdf (32.8 KB, 5 views)
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:59 PM   #8
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

I Decided to just go ahead and get a 4D battery. I have the Universal 4D. EBATTERIESTOGO.com or eproductstogo.com have the MK and the Universal 4D. I don't know if the MK has the L style Bolt through connector, but the Universal 4D does. Anyone here have a preference of one brand or another. Its 528 incl shipping for the MK, $449 for the Universal. They both claim 20hr /200 AH. The Universal is a 'tad' smaller but heavier.

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Old 01-26-2009, 10:54 PM   #9
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

From the website below, I found this which was interesting: "MK Battery is a wholly owned subsidiary of East Penn Mfg Co (DEKA) of Lyon, PA"

http://www.batterystuff.com/batteries/r ... /8A4D.html

Let us know how the install goes.


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Old 01-30-2009, 10:37 PM   #10
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Re: Optima batteries - are they that bad?

I went and decided on the Universal 4D battery which was the battery that was in my SMB originally. I followed the link from psomaki at http://www.ebatteriestogo.com. Figuring out what I wanted wasn't as easy, so I emailed Bob@ and he responded quickly and was very friendly. I originally tried calling a bunch of local shops like: batteriesplus, campingworld, etc - but either they didn't know what I was talking about or never called back after they said they would look for it. Anyway- My new 4D is on its way and should be here by Wed.

I figured, I'd install it myself. I'll just fabricate a nice holder / lift and see about pulling it out. Hell, if I can't do something with all the tools in my garage, the advice on this website - I shouldn't be driving in the middle of nowhere. Anyway- If you need a battery, send Bob an email and I'm sure you'll be happy too.

$449 and shipping was free. Pretty Rad.
Joe
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