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Old 05-06-2015, 07:08 AM   #1
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Going from a 8D to a 4D?

Currently our van has a Lifeline 8D AGM. It's pretty dead though. The previous owner let it sit for quite some time without any kind of charge. It drops down to around 12.0 - 12.2 shortly after removing any kind of charge. I do have solar setup to keep whatever I decide to go with for a new battery in good shape. We usually are camping for a week or less, most often it's 3 day trips and it's usually in very sunny locations.

Currently our power usage is pretty light and I expect it to probably stay that way. Our camping is almost always dry, out in the middle of nowhere. Our power draw is usually:

heat (original Suburban heater mostly used in the spring/fall, no clue what it draws)
water pump (SHURflo 4008-101-E65 3.0, says it draws 7.5 amps but we use it sparingly)
interior lights (all have been replaced with LEDS)

our fridge is currently non functional and we have been using a Yeti cooler. I may just stick with this but I might also replace the fridge with something like a 12v TF down the road, not totally sure about that yet.

Pretty soon I'm probably going to have to replace that 8D. It looks like it's around $100 less for the 4D and I'm wondering if we could get away with that for our needs? Also, any reviews on the Apex batteries? They seem to be about half the price, good deal or you get what you paid for?
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

For a lot of us, a 4D is overkill. I have 2 Group 24 batteries and a 125W solar panel, use the furnace when needed, some lights and the 12V refrig all the time. I have plenty of battery for several days of camping with little to no sun. You could probably get by with a single Group 24 battery.

Mike
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:48 AM   #3
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

I might ditch the 250AH 8D UPG and go "modular" next time as well. I have a 10+ year old Optima Blue Top which was sitting on a trickle charger which I put in my wife's Dakota when the still-under-warranty-but-I have-to-make-time-to-take-it-back-to-Walmart battery failed.

The 10+ year old Optima (I have to scrutinize the label to see if I can determine how old it is), starts the Dakota no problem as long as you drive it at least every other day. But let it sit in excess of 3 days and its dead.

So back to what Ford_6L_350 said, I could replace the 8D with two 75AH Blue or Yellow Top Optimas connected in parallel and see how things go, then add one or two more if it didn't keep up. That's a type of "modular" approach that is not possible when you buy one big 8D or 4D.

You electrical gurus: Would you take a look at this and tell me what you think about the alleged Optima vs traditional wet cell deep cycle failure to fully put out but capacity to "bounce back":

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2H5GOLBCN ... hisHelpful
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:12 PM   #4
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

Worth knowing replacing a 4-D to an 8-D is way lower total AH than twin 4-D's. I use the total AH that two 4-D's supply. YMMV. If you feel a 4-D is only slightly lacking in the power reserve you need, an 8-D might be right up your alley. The footprint is bigger and might not fit in your battery box...something to consider They are a bit more expensive but a single battery is better IMO than multiple smaller batteries to gather the same AH. Up to you.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:49 AM   #5
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

daveb: Thanks.

Does the guy know what he is talking about? I am very interested in longetivity and my experience with the Sportsmobile original installed 4D and my replacement 8D is that they don't handle abuse very well and that (possibly as a result) they don't last very long.

What about the alleged Optima vs traditional wet cell deep cycle failure to fully put out but capacity to "bounce back" discussed here:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2H5GOLBCN ... hisHelpful

Ford_6L_350: Do you really do fine with only two Group 24 batteries? What are they and what are their amp hours? My fridge alone will draw down the 8D battery in a weekend.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:53 AM   #6
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

A lot depends on the brand and who makes them. SMB is using Universal brand these days and I'm not a big fan of those but that's just me. I've said this before, there are some advantages with going to a cheaper battery if you have bad charging habits. Any battery can have their lives shortened by poor maintenance but in most cases you get what you pay for. Some batteries bounce back better than others. I've brought back a few Optimas but have one in the garage that just died and it's toast. When my lifeline batteries begin to give up I'll equalize them...what do I have to loose?

As far as multiple battery systems, the only thing I prefer about a single battery compared to a twin type (or more) system is it doesn't have a partner that can kill its brother(s) and there are less connections to fail.

As for the OP, I'd stay with the 8D. It fits well has a little extra Amp hours and the cost isn't too much more. The life of any battery depends on the brand, type and how you take care of it. Both batteries of the same brand should have the same length in life but I don't think a low quality battery will outlast a higher quality type...JMO. If your van eats batteries because of poor maintenance, going with a cheaper brand might save money. I have a buddy with a trailer that only gets used at hunting season and he's tough on his batteries, so he just replaces them when they die with the cheapest brand he can find.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:13 PM   #7
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

You don't mention how big your solar panel is, but since you don't have a fridge, I would think a 4D would be plenty to last you 3 days of camping. If you had at least a 125 watt panel, I bet you would be at full charge by mid day with just heater and water pump usage.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

It's a Renogy 100w panel with MPPT controller.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:52 PM   #9
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Re: Going from a 8D to a 4D?

Quote:
Originally Posted by E350

Ford_6L_350: Do you really do fine with only two Group 24 batteries? What are they and what are their amp hours? My fridge alone will draw down the 8D battery in a weekend.
http://www.batteriesplus.com/product_se ... AGMDP.aspx

The 4cf frig takes 2A and runs ~1/2 the time, so that would be 24AH/day X 3 days = 72AH for a battery rated at 77AH, and I have 2 of them.

Maybe your 8D is old and weak?

Mike
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