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Old 08-20-2010, 07:27 PM   #1
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Purchasing Lifeline AGM Batteries

I want to purchase 3 Group 31 Lifeline AGM house batteries. Where have you found to be the best place to purchase? I see there are a few distributors on the internet that offer free shipping (Impact Battery, BD Batteries, Powerstride Battery, etc). Has anyone used any of them? Or is purchasing from a local dealer preferred?

Thanks,
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:46 AM   #2
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.... Or is purchasing from a local dealer preferred?
The Internet has a lot of Horsepower when it comes to pricing however in my opinion and practice I will normally try and support a vendor in my local area if at all possible. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't but I would at least take a look to see if there is any advantage. Being able to get a replacement anything when you need it on the same day you need it is an advantage.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:42 AM   #3
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Shop locally if possible...

I agree with shopping locally. Sometimes the free shipping offers online result in a higher price to start with. If something goes wrong, with any part, a good dealer will take care of it for no charge. I have had this happen. There are some minor odds and ends that the Internet is good for, but not everything. It seems good, at least in my opinion, to establish a working relationship with a good local dealer. Joe
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:27 AM   #4
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Hi Bill & Elaine,

I agree with Driver and Mr. Loafer. For items where the price is significantly lower on line for an item that will likely never fail or need to be returned, then go for the best price on line. For all else, find a reputable local merchant.

You may want to consider an increase in Amp./Hour capacity by going to four Lifeline GPL-4C 6 Volt 220 Amp./Hour AGM batteries. 440 Amp./Hours is pretty sweet and I think you have the same battery tray.

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your replies. I checked with the local Interstate Batteries dealer in Tampa and I think they are close to the internet price (the main store was closed but I got an approximate price from a satellite store). If the approximate price is good, the difference between them and the internet would be the sales tax.

Mark. Nice job on the battery install. It looks like we have the same battery tray. I checked the dimensions and 4 of the GPL-4C batteries will fit. But that extra 40% in AHr rating comes at an additional cost of 25% more dollars. Since I do not do much dry camping, I think I will stay with the GPL-31T batteries. When I check tomorrow and get the real cost, I may change my mind.

Another option I considered was the GPL-30HT batteries. These are taller, but I have the clearance in my tray. They have a 150 AHr rating giving a total of 450 for 3 batteries. This is very close to the 440 AHr rating of 4 of the GPL-4C batteries.

Are the 6V batteries better for any reason? Or are 12V batteries with the same total AHr rating just as good.

Thanks again,
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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Hi Bill & Elaine,

In theory, there is no electrical difference between the 6 Volt and the 12 Volt batteries. Let price be your guide. 3 ea. 12 Volt will probably be about the same price as the 4 ea. 6 Volt batteries and the installation will be identical to what you remove making it easy and simple. You will need longer bolts for the hold-downs, but thatís no real problem if all-thread is used.

Owing to differences in housing design, the weight difference is 24 lbs. in favor of the 6 Volt batteries. 3 GPL-30HTs are 288 lbs. for 450 Amp./Hour or .64 lbs./AH. 4 GPL-4CTs are 264 lbs. for 440 Amp./Hour or .6 lbs./AH. 4 GPL-6CTs are 360 lbs. for 600 Amp./Hour or .6 lbs./AH. The 12 Volt batteries are just a little less materials efficient because of the increased weight of having 5 dividers and interconnects instead of 2 and endplate inefficiencies (say 2 ends with 10 plates or 20% as compared to 2 ends with 20 plates or 10%).

Do you, by chance, have enough height to use 4 of the GPL-6Cs? They are 300 Amp./Hour for a real serious 600 Amp./Hour total. We seem to have the same tray but yours must be mounted a little lower giving you extra room for taller batteries. If I could, Iíd lower my tray and go with the GPL-6C batteries. We are full time and occasionally take long trips where the extra capacity would be nice, especially with our 200 Amp. charge capability.

Let us all know what you decide to do.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:34 PM   #7
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Mark & Donalda,

It looks like we have the identical tray, but I have quite a bit more height above the tray. I have at least 14" for batteries and they will still clear all the cables that are tied to the top of the bay. The GPL-6CT batteries are 12.94", still leaving me 1" plus.

One question is whether the tray will support the 360 pounds of batteries (4 x 90 pounds ea).

I still have not decided which way to go. I have narrowed it to three options:
  1. 3 GPL-31T for 315 AHr.
  2. 4 GPL-4CT for 440 AHr.
  3. 4 GPL-6CT for 600 AHr.
I have not done much dry camping so far, so option #1 would seem to make sense since it is much lower in cost. But having option #3 would give me the ability to tail gate, etc. without worrying about running the generator. We did dry camp once at Ginny Springs and the extra run time between starting the generator would have been nice.

Decisions, decisions.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:00 AM   #8
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I want to purchase 3 Group 31 Lifeline AGM house batteries. Where have you found to be the best place to purchase? I see there are a few distributors on the internet that offer free shipping (Impact Battery, BD Batteries, Powerstride Battery, etc). Has anyone used any of them? Or is purchasing from a local dealer preferred?

Thanks,
i got my pair of gpl-6 ct's from bd batteries. shipping was included in their price. they were good people to deal with.
my gpl-6ct's are mounted on their sides for clearance.
they can even be mounted upside down in you wanted to do that.
mine are almost 2 years old and are doing well.
check my previous post for pictures of my installation.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:47 AM   #9
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DAN L,

I assume that the cost from BD Batteries was without a battery exchange. The local dealer wants an extra $25 core charge if you do not have a battery to exchange .
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:12 AM   #10
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I bought four of the GPL-6C's in March and they fit nicely into my 2007 Winn Tour battery tray. With the extra amps, I had to adjust the switches on my charger/inverter.

We just did about 15,000 over the last few months dry camping across the country and in Yosemite for a week. Those batteries pack a ton of charge. In the Tour, everything but the AC can run off the batteries so its great to have the extra amps and not have to run the genset constantly.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:33 PM   #11
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DAN L,

I assume that the cost from BD Batteries was without a battery exchange. The local dealer wants an extra $25 core charge if you do not have a battery to exchange .
there was no core charge.
i gave my 2 12v deka marine batteries to my brother in law to use with his fishing boat trolling motor.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:42 PM   #12
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I also bought from Interstate in Tampa. I drove over and picked them up. They are very heavy, but I love them. They are very good quality. I like the way the terminals are set up with the screws down the terminal. I had considered buying them on the internet, but it started getting complicated with truck delivery. I called around and found these in stock.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:14 PM   #13
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I just got off the phone with Winnebago Customer Service to see what the weight limit was on the house battery tray. They contacted their engineering department who in turn had to call Kwikee to get the answer. Unfortunately, the answer that came back was 200 pounds.

I assume the limit is what it is because of the fact that the tray can be extended with almost all of the battery weight hanging off the end of the rails.

If I take the weight limitation of the tray into account, then there is no decision. The only solution is 3 GPL-31T batteries at 207 pounds. For sure 4 GPL-6CT batteries are out because at 360 pounds, they would be at 180% of the tray capacity. Even 4 GPL-4CT batteries at 264 pounds would be at 132% of tray capacity.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:39 PM   #14
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I went with the LifeLine GPL-31T batteries pruchased from the local Interstate Batteries dealer in Tampa. After removing the tray to clean, wire brush, and re-paint it, I installed the new batteries this morning. I thought I might have to get longer hold down bolts, but they were just long enough to work with full thread through the nuts.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. This forum is a great source of information.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:45 AM   #15
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Agm batteries has the following advantages:


1. Agm batteries are recombinant.
2. AGM's do not have any liquid to spill, and even under severe overcharge conditions.
3. AGM's have a very low self-discharge - from 1% to 3% per month is usual.
Thus, AGM batteries main advantages are no maintenance, completely sealed against fumes, Hydrogen, or leakage, non-spilling even if they are broken, and can survive most freezes.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:55 AM   #16
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I am going to ask.. Is there a reason you need to go maintenance free or such as limited access for watering or is there another reason you are willing to pay the price for Lifelines as opposed to say Interstate Work-A-Holic U-2200's (GC-2 size)

I know all the things salesmen say about Lifeline batteries and yes, they can be charged a bit faster than other batteries. But I've run the math many times and remain firmly convinced they are simply not worth the price tag.
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