From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Batteries
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 17:41:17 -0400
On Wed, 4 Jun 2008 09:11:20 -0700, "Nate" <email@example.com>
>Almost every time I use my RV I flat spot off the grid. While I do have my
>generator, I rarely use it. Maybe for a hot summer day I might run it to
>run the AC for a few hours in the mid afternoon...maybe.
>I use nothing but maintenance free batteries. I have one from Wal-Mart and
>two others from Costco. They all work fine and have been reliable since I
>put them in the RV four years ago. While four years is not a long life for
>batteries, that's all the data I have to present on this rig.
>I used to buy into the anti maintenance free battery fallacy. I don't
>anymore. I now believe that the cells will wear out long before the water
>evaporates, assuming the battery is maintained properly with a quality
>I may be wrong. Next year I might have to replace my batteries. I'll keep
How much do you use your rig? (Until the last two years, almost every weekend
for me). How much do you use your batteries? Just to run some lights or
serious drain? How many charge/discharge cycles do you suppose your batteries
have on them? Do you leave your rig plugged in when at home? If so, do you
have a smart charger?
Until you really use your rig, you really can't say whether the MF batteries
are good or not. If the battery is only a decoration in a rig used twice a
year for a few days then any old battery will do. If you hop from RV park to
RV park or other hookups then any old battery will do.
Remember too, that I'm an EVer and part of the net's EV community. MF
batteries have a horrible rep there. An EV can kill a pack of MF batteries in
days. It's a lousy choice even for the 12 volt accessory battery.
As an advice-giver of some repute, I feel that I have an obligation to
recommend things that I know will work, all the time and every time. I know
that a conventional wet battery will always work well in an RV environment,
even if used hard. I also know that an AGM battery will do the same, with the
qualifier that it requires more careful charging. Finally, I know, both from
experience and from the experience of others that a MF battery more often than
not WON'T give satisfactory service. And I know the technical reasons why.
Ergo, I'm not going to recommend MF batteries for ANY RV service.
The logic is both simple and clear. If I know that either of two options will
always work, it makes no sense to recommend a third that might but probably
Incidentally, one can make any wet battery maintenance-free by installing
Hydro Caps. This is a replacement cap for each cell that contains a platinum
catalyst. The platinum recombines the hydrogen and oxygen and returns it to
the battery as water. It also traps any sulfuric acid mist that bubbling
might liberate and returns it too.
There are only two downsides. One, they're relatively expensive, given that
they contain platinum. OTOH, they're a lifetime purchase that can be moved
from battery to battery. Second, they should be removed during equalization,
as the high volume of gas liberation can cause overheating and sometimes
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Batteries
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2008 03:23:32 -0400
On Wed, 04 Jun 2008 16:54:40 -0500, Bob Giddings <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>On Wed, 04 Jun 2008 17:41:17 -0400, Neon John <email@example.com>
>>Incidentally, one can make any wet battery maintenance-free by installing
>>Hydro Caps. This is a replacement cap for each cell that contains a platinum
>>catalyst. The platinum recombines the hydrogen and oxygen and returns it to
>>the battery as water. It also traps any sulfuric acid mist that bubbling
>>might liberate and returns it too.
>Have you got a good source for these? When I was tricking out my
>rig back in '02, they were high dollar. Especially since I had
>to buy 24 of them.
No, sorry. For things like that, I do a price sweep of the net to see who's
the cheapest at the moment. I don't have a genuine wholesale source for
Yep, they're pricey. Probably REALLY pricey today, given what platinum is
bringing in the market right now. That's why I don't have any. Last time I
looked was for my CitiCar which needed 12 sets of 3. I had cardiac vapor
lock! I can feed a LOT of water back into my batteries for what those cost.