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6V AGM replacement options


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I have an appointment at the factory service center in less than two weeks and noticed late last night that my 2017 Elite 2 had difficulty lifting the front up while when I was getting ready to tow it home in prep for a short trip this weekend.  Voltage inside read 10V, it was getting dark out and I have the solar package. 

This morning I opened the battery compartment and it was obvious that the front left cell was swollen on the top.  

I would install Li batteries at the factory, however, the new Li package will not be available for retrofit until next year.  I am hesitant to spend money on lead acid now but I am sure that at least one of the AGMs must go.  What other options should I consider in the short and long term?

Regards,

Mike

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Hopefully this helps someone else with the four AGMs that runs into similar problems.

With the left front cell swollen I decided to take the front 2 cells out of the circuit by removing the connection between the right front negative and the left front positive (see yellow arrow pointing to this lead).  

Now with solar active the voltage on the rear right and left cells in series is 13.2V.

The left front is measuring 6.6V and the right front is 4.2V.  I am thinking that this is workable until the Li GC2 cells arrive and can be installed. 

Mike

Screen Shot 2020-10-01 at 11.28.53 AM.png

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43 minutes ago, mjrendon said:

I should have asked this in my previous reply.  Does anyone have advice on fitting 4 Battleborn GC2 cells in the Oliver Elite battery tray?  

Thanks,

Mike

I'm assuming you mean Elite II.   The BB batteries are GC2 in case dimension only so you'll have lots of opportunity to get creative with making a first class installation. Before you rip into things, have your layout plan set and all the cable, terminals, tools etc you're going to need to make all jumpers and re-terminations. Take a look at the following webpage for some unique battery cable lug shapes.  https://www.imperialsupplies.com/browse/electrical/battery-supplies/battery-terminals/magnalugs

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1 hour ago, mjrendon said:

I should have asked this in my previous reply.  Does anyone have advice on fitting 4 Battleborn GC2 cells in the Oliver Elite battery tray?  

Thanks,

Mike

Mike,

You really need to measure your battery tray as Oliver has used different ones.  Our tray will take three standard horizontal profile Battle Born batteries and four vertical profile batteries.

Consider your amp/hour needs.  You may only need two or three BB batteries.  Two will be close to equivalent to the batteries you have and will save you $2,000 over four batteries.

Andrew

Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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Posted (edited)

The CG2's are going to be just slightly too wide for the battery tray, which is 14".  I would contact Battleborn, however, and ask if the dimensions that they give include the ratchet strap tabs.  If it does, then you can easily cut those off and the batteries should fit fine.  If not, you might be able to force them in, or perhaps modify the tray to make them work, but I don't know of anyone who's attempted that.  You can use four of their their standard batteries, turned on end, and while it will be tight to make the connections, they work fine.  That's the setup that I have.  

The tray that Oliver uses, btw, is the MorRyde SP60-042 Utility Tray, inside dimensions 14" x 21" x 2.75".  There's 12.75" clear from the floor of the tray to the bottom of the aluminum catch for the lock.  

IMG_1007.thumb.jpeg.661ff56a25a4384beec734d7a1320e7f.jpeg

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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4 hours ago, mjrendon said:

I have an appointment at the factory service center in less than two weeks and noticed late last night that my 2017 Elite 2 had difficulty lifting the front up while when I was getting ready to tow it home in prep for a short trip this weekend.  Voltage inside read 10V, it was getting dark out and I have the solar package. 

This morning I opened the battery compartment and it was obvious that the front left cell was swollen on the top.  

I would install Li batteries at the factory, however, the new Li package will not be available for retrofit until next year.  I am hesitant to spend money on lead acid now but I am sure that at least one of the AGMs must go.  What other options should I consider in the short and long term?

Regards,

Mike

I should have read the entire thread first but..

Since you're at least operational with the downgraded 200AH battery configuration, I'd take it to service as is and let them advise knowing that you want to upgrade to LI asap. If you're dead set on the LI upgrade, the cost for an interim AGM "fix" is relatively insignificant. Another option is to just live with the 200AH limitation until the time for LI comes. No/limited inverter usage?

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Thank you to everyone that replied.  I am going to cancel the order for the BB GC2 cells. I have measured my tray/compartment and it has inside dimensions of 14"W x 21"D x 12.75H to the aluminum block for the door latch.

Overland's photo verifies that the standard batteries work without any modifications, other than the custom cables needed for the connections.  Does that black tubing contain the main lines to the distribution panel and solar?

There certainly no end to the different types of lugs in the link that bhncb posted. What tooling is needed to make your own battery cables? 

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, mjrendon said:

Overland's photo verifies that the standard batteries work without any modifications, other than the custom cables needed for the connections.  Does that black tubing contain the main lines to the distribution panel and solar?

...

What tooling is needed to make your own battery cables? 

I did cut off the tabs on the opposite side of the batteries so that they'd sit flat.  Not necessary - I'm just like that.  The black wire wrap covers dual 1/0 cables (+ on one side and - on the other) that connect to bus bars inside the trailer.  All the other cables then connect to the bus bars.  On the opposite side, which you can barely see in the photo, I also have a few voltage and temperature sensors that have to be located at the battery.  You don't absolutely have to use the bus bars, but since there's so little free space with the Battle Borns, it definitely helps.

Don't forget that you'll have to swap out the converter module in the PD charger (order it directly from them) and set your zamp controller to lithium.  

Just mentioning all that for full disclosure.  I don't think that it's a difficult project, but it's more than just swapping out the batteries - and it's important that it's done right.

For making up cables, you'll need the cable of course, lugs in the correct cable size, some heat shrink tubing, wire wrap, and a crimper of some sort.  You can get the kind that you hit with a hammer for around $20, or a hydraulic one for about $50.  IMO, the hydraulic version is worth the extra, even if this is the only project you ever use it for.

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland,

Thanks again.  I knew about the setup changed on the ZAMP but I was unaware of the PD module swap out.  I will call them tomorrow to get the correct module ordered. 

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Don't forget a battery monitor that measures Amps/hours used!  Just measuring voltage is not sufficient with LiFePO4 batteries.

Andrew

Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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Andrew,

That has been on my list since I bought the trailer.  It is good time to put one in with the new batteries.   I believe there were some threads on the older forum with pics and details.

 

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22 hours ago, AndrewK said:

Mike,

You really need to measure your battery tray as Oliver has used different ones.  Our tray will take three standard horizontal profile Battle Born batteries and four vertical profile batteries.

Consider your amp/hour needs.  You may only need two or three BB batteries.  Two will be close to equivalent to the batteries you have and will save you $2,000 over four batteries.

Andrew

Oliver told me there is room for 3 of the LifeBlue lithium batteries on the current Oliver II battery compartment tray.  You might want to ask them the dimensions to confirm.

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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35 minutes ago, Susan Huff said:

Oliver told me there is room for 3 of the LifeBlue lithium batteries on the current Oliver II battery compartment tray.  You might want to ask them the dimensions to confirm.

You can fit 10 if you own a jigsaw.  The life blue batteries are 19" x 6.5" x 9.5".  It would be physically impossible to fit them in the existing battery box, much less the tray.  

 

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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1 hour ago, Overland said:

You can fit 10 if you own a jigsaw.  The life blue batteries are 19" x 6.5" x 9.5".  It would be physically impossible to fit them in the existing battery box, much less the tray.  

 

Looks like 2 LifeBlues is the limit for the battery compartment.  

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Step one when troubleshooting (other than your very obvious problem with the swollen case) is to charge them, take them out and let them sit overnight, and have an automotive electric shop or battery store perform a load test. That will provide a definitive answer.
 

Mine are 3 1/2 years old (four camping seasons). I have a suspected dud battery. I plan to do this ASAP and will start a thread about how it goes. If all the others are good, and one has failed, I will see if I can get a warranty replacement for the bad one and keep the AGMs. If they are all going bad, I guess I am next in line for lithiums. I might just go with the two best AGMs for a while, until I find a great sale on the lithiums. Or until those go “Tango Uniform”, whichever comes first.

My Victron  monitor said I was at 95% but the little electric hot water kettle caused the inverter to go crazy. The batteries would not carry even that little load, much less the microwave. My wife had to dig out the old fashioned kettle and use the stove top. How primitive!

89870EF5-144F-45A2-9DDD-34DAC432D816.thumb.jpeg.fd00a4c7500c011dd13b88477ba982cd.jpeg
 

John Davies 
Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"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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While camping this weekend I found that my remaining 2 AGM cells would no longer lift the trailer.  Since I am leaving this Saturday for 10 days, I plan to remove all of the AGM batteries and install a single lithium 100ah battery since I do not have the cable building tools, cabling or lugs yet to install all four. The other three will have to wait until I get back from this next trip.  Note: This should be fine for lifting the trailer since the jack has a 30A fuse and the single battery has a max draw of 100A.  

Any suggestions on what type of materials and tools to get for making the new cables and tips for a 4 battery layout?  Overland's pic above is very helpful. 

Is there anything  under the batteries on the tray, like matting?

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ScubaRx, 

All connections except the one noted above as removed were tightened.  Only the two back batteries remain in the circuit. 

back right = 6.3V, back left = 6.8V
front right = 3.9V, front left = 6.9V (swollen on top)

I see voltage drop immediately when turning LED Lights on (Main Cabin only) on the ZAMP from 13.6 to 12.5... continuing to drop from there in less than a minute to <12V. 

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14 minutes ago, mjrendon said:

All connections except the one noted above as removed were tightened.  Only the two back batteries remain in the circuit. 

back right = 6.3V, back left = 6.8V
front right = 3.9V, front left = 6.9V (swollen on top). 

You have a bunch of bad batteries. Resting voltage (no load) should be within 0.3 volts of each other. With the swollen case and the bad voltage matching ....  you definitely need a full set of batteries. BUT you need to verify that all your charging systems are fully functional first. I am certain that Oliver will insist on a shop testing them, before issuing you the OK to buy new ones at their cost. Or they might send you some, but they weigh 72 pounds each, so maybe not. They can't ship them with acid, so a local shop would have to do that and charge them, regardless.

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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7 hours ago, mjrendon said:

While camping this weekend I found that my remaining 2 AGM cells would no longer lift the trailer.  Since I am leaving this Saturday for 10 days, I plan to remove all of the AGM batteries and install a single lithium 100ah battery since I do not have the cable building tools, cabling or lugs yet to install all four. The other three will have to wait until I get back from this next trip.  Note: This should be fine for lifting the trailer since the jack has a 30A fuse and the single battery has a max draw of 100A.  

Any suggestions on what type of materials and tools to get for making the new cables and tips for a 4 battery layout?  Overland's pic above is very helpful. 

Is there anything  under the batteries on the tray, like matting?

You must replace the charging unit in the converter or it will not charge your lithium battery. You must have some sort of smart bus (or a smart battery) to monitor its condition. You can't just stick one in there without making other changes, the chemistries and charging parameters are very different. This is the 45 amp version, standard output on an Ollie. They have a 60A one but I don't recommend blindly installing it without possibly making wiring changes.

A7D34AD5-E722-4C05-8EE2-17686992739D.thumb.jpeg.61579d80da60dcfd5625da44d0bb6c2d.jpeg.77fdceab382af29d62a8d7884b809079.jpeg

If you are determined to make the trip and can't get the parts in time, pull a big lead acid battery out of another vehicle like your neighbors truck and use that.... Just kidding on the neighbor.

The tray is painted steel, no pads.

You need a hydraulic crimper, I bought this one. I have not used it yet:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0813S6ZT7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"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, 

Thank you for your reply. I have noted that hydraulic crimper. I still need to choose cable, lugs and tie downs.  bhcnb posted a link to imperial supplies which has quite a selection.

I had my Progressive Dynamics module replaced under warranty last year and the new module is Li compatible according to Progressive support team. Otherwise I would only get small portion of the new Lithium battery filled when attached to shore power.

IMG_3672.thumb.JPG.cc8dc8497eb720cb1713f18021afd42b.JPG

The ZAMP controller will support Lithium as well with a small adjustment to the settings.  

I will be in Hohenwald next week but unfortunately they will not be able to do a Li retrofit yet (2021). I will ask them to check out the charging system, if that is not part of the annual service.

 

  

 

 

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43 minutes ago, mjrendon said:

Sorry everyone.  I replied to the wrong topic.

No problem.  I moved the responses to your original topic. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)

The Battle Born batteries arrived today so I removed the AGMs and started fitting the new batteries while re-using only the existing cables. Initially I tried fit just one of the new batteries but found it easier to install two, as the length of the existing cables seemed to work better that way.  The ZAMP and Progressive Industries configuration changes were simple and I plan to test out those changes tomorrow.  I will post pictures of the setup once it is completed.

Edited by mjrendon
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27 minutes ago, mjrendon said:

 Progressive Industries configuration changes were simple 

Please explain how the Progressive changes are done.....moving jumper pins? Switching wire terminals?

Thanks

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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