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That depends - Obviously if you have "sealed" batteries not only do you not add water, there isn't even a place where you can add it.  If you have the Trojan 105 lead acid batteries and have the Trojan watering system then you follow the instructions that came with the watering system (it really is great and easy to use).  If you do not have the Trojan watering system then you must add water the old fashion way - lift open the covers on each of the batteries, add water to the bottom of the split ring and then reinstall the covers.  Usually you do not have to move or remove and of the battery cables to do this, but, you may have to unbuckle the battery retaining straps.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Just a word of caution, they need to be fully charged before adjusting the electrolyte level up to the “witness ring”. You are smart to use distilled water, you do not want dissolved minerals getting in there.

 

It is a good idea to clean the cases (and the terminals) annually, a mixture of baking soda and water will neutralize any crusty deposits, but do not get any into the cells. If there are any signs of crud at the bottom of the batteries, you must remove them and clean the trays, it is nasty corrosive stuff, especially  if left for a long time.

 

Safety tip, wear goggles and rubber gloves, and remove any metal jewelry that might contact exposed terminals. Make sure you have good ventilation - sulfuric acid fumes are nasty indeed.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Rummy - as a general comment the lead acid are less expensive and for the same battery size will have more amp hours.  However, in the case of the Trojans that Oliver uses, the lead acid batteries have 50 (as a group of 4) more amp hours that the AGM's.  But since one should not deplete the lead acid's below 50% the actual additional amp hours is only 25.  If you chose the lead acids AND the Trojan watering system then the cost of this combination is fairly close to that of the AGM's.  On the plus side for the AGM's is that they can be oriented in something less than a straight up and down plane since they are sealed while the lead acid's will leak if you do that.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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John, that is the best advertisement for AGM batteries! Wow. What are the reasons that one would choose the flooded lead acid batteries over the AGM?

No offense intended here to those who have these, but I suspect it is ignorance.

 

There are so many negatives with flooded batteries, and in my opinion, no positives other than low initial cost. They are a  pain in the butt to maintain properly.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, that is the best advertisement for AGM batteries! Wow. What are the reasons that one would choose the flooded lead acid batteries over the AGM?

No offense intended here to those who have these, but I suspect it is ignorance. There are so many negatives with flooded batteries, and in my opinion, no positives other than low initial cost. They are a pain in the butt to maintain properly. John Davies Spokane WA

+1, Well said John. As an electrician I had to maintain battery backup systems for high voltage switchgear. Lead acid flooded batteries are systems I will avoid at all costs.

 

Ray

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Ray and Betty Jo Bayless


Our two pups Muffinz and Maddie


2018 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax 6.6 liter 4WD Crew 


2018 Oliver LE2 Twin Bed, Hull #322, Our Igloo on Wheels

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So it sounds like the recommendation here is to go with AGM batteries.  I am finalizing my order on an Elite which will go into production in Feb.  On the Elite, they are a 900.00 upgrade.  Advice?

2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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So it sounds like the recommendation here is to go with AGM batteries. I am finalizing my order on an Elite which will go into production in Feb. On the Elite, they are a 900.00 upgrade. Advice?

We went with the AGMs just because I didn’t want to mess with water levels.  There may be technical reasons pro/con but I went with convenience.  Mike

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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I check my water level in our batteries on a regular basis. We have been doing it for years, and it is no big deal. A regular 12V group 27 deep cycle battery  is usually considered good for 30 months. With some normal care you could expect at least twice that. We have batteries in our boats, the camper, dump trailer, motorcycle, utility vehicles. As long as you keep them clean, watered, and charged you should have no problems. Bet we don't spend over an  hour or so dealing with all of them. Time well spent. The camper comes with the same basic batteries that are in electric golf carts, and look how many of those there are and how long they last. Don't let the naysayers scare you, you can always upgrade later at the end of their lifecycle...

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Even though I'm a real fan of AGM batteries, I have to agree with Canoe 12.,unless you plan to do strictly dry camping, and drive a lot of rough back roads, as we do.

 

The group 27 s are what we started with. When they died, we replaced them with AGM s. I think it was around 3 years.

 

I say that about the rough roads because that is one of the technical advantages of AGM. They're sealed, don't leak when bounced around or mounted less than level. If you go with the flooded standard batteries, make sure you check the slide tray. Some people have put a foam wedge in to make sure the tray can't travel. But maybe that's better with the new trays. Our trailer is a 2008.

 

True, the batteries require maintenance. But, you can coordinate that with other maintenance.

 

Put the $900 elsewhere. By the time you replace them, AGM will probably cost less, anyway. They keep coming down in proportion  flooded . And you can choose to use a less expensive brand than lifeline, anyway.

 

My two cents.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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