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6V AGM Maintenance Charger


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I am in the process of putting up my Elite for the winter.  The Calmark cover that I am going to put on will prevent the solar panels from maintaining a charge on the batteries.  I don't have power at the pad where Ollie resides, so I am going to remove the batteries and store them in my garage.

I have just spent a couple of hours trying to figure out what charger I need to properly maintain my AGM's while in storage.  I can find three and four stage chargers that have a setting specifically for AGM's but they are all 12v.  For example, I have been looking at the Noco Genius series and they have the following settings: 12v, 12v AGM, 12v Lithium, and 6v.  No setting for 6v AGM.  I looked at their literature for a setting to use and the 6v setting does not make mention of AGM's, just wet cell, gel cell, and flooded maintenance free.

I don't want to screw up my new batteries with the wrong charger.  Can someone with 6v AGM experience please share with me what type of charger they use to maintain their batteries while in storage?

Thanks,

Mike

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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Just hook two of them to each other in series, using the Oliver jumper cables. Positive to negative. That will make each pair appear to be a single 12 volt battery, then use a 12 v AGM charger setting. Attach the charger leads to the appropriate terminals, the ones without the jumpers. Does that make sense? Charge that pair, and then the other pair. Or if you have shelf space, and if it can handle the weight, you could even connect them into the configuration that they have in the trailer, then it will appear as a single ginormous 12 volt battery. As long as you have a ginormous charger…. I would do them in pairs, for simplicity… plus I don’t have a shelf that will carry that load.

Since you will have them out of the trailer, the next part will be really easy. In the spring, charge them fully, let them rest over night, and take them to a battery store like Batteries Plus Bulbs. Have them do a free load test, that is the ONLY way to determine the health of AGMs. They will come out to your vehicle and test them, you don’t even have to carry them inside.

I would look for at least a 5 amp charger, that way you can bring it along on trips as a backup, in case your solar or onboard charger goes Tango Uniform. Or the battery in your truck. It could save your vacation…... I have one of these, 7 amps, and it has been great. I do not know about the NOLO ones, but do buy a quality brand. Cheap chargers are not reliable or precise. A good one will perform better and last a long time. This model will maintain a pair, but not four. It would charge them fully from a discharged state, but that could take a very long time. I would make sure yours are fully charged by the trailer before removing them for storage.

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CTEK charger

They do make a 25 amp model but it is at least $320. What is your budget?

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, Safari snorkel.

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I've been using a NOCO Genius for the past two years to maintain 12 volt batteries in my garage over the winter.  It is very simple and easy to use.  Just wire up as JD describes above and basically forget about it till Spring.

Bill

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Thanks guys.  I had given thought to hooking two of them together to make a 12v battery pak and charge with the 12v AGM setting but I was not certain if it would be problematic.  I am still early in the learning curve for 12v electrical systems.  Mechanical things I understand pretty well but I am a little weak at electrical in general.

If I may tap your wealth of knowledge some more, can you tell me why (2) 12v deep cycle batteries come standard on the Elite, yet if you get the solar option (2) 6v AGM's are provided instead of the 12v deep cycle ones?  Does the 12v output from two 6v AGM's provide more amp hours than the 12v output of two 12v deep cycle ones?

From what I have seen from your past posts you guys probably know the answer but it sure has me scratching my head 🤪!

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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Basically the plates in a 6 volt battery can be (and usually are) larger that those found in the same (exterior) size 12 volt battery.  This is due to the fact that since you only have 3 "cells" inside the 6 volt versus 6 "cells" inside the 12 volt battery there is simply more room to put larger plates.  Larger plates usually equate to longer life and a battery that will withstand rougher treatment.

There's more but I don't think you want to hear it at this point.😁

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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And... assuming you want AGM battery technology (vs wet cell lead-acid or lithium), the 6V AGM's are already quite heavy (66 lb each for Lifeline GPL-4CT's) so you probably won't enjoy lifting/moving 12V AGM's around if for instance you take them out annually for winter storage.

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Tom

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite #409 - 2017 Silverado 1500, 5.3L, 4x4 Z71, Dbl Cab, Std Bed

 

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I have had a NOCO Genius 10 on my batteries for a few days now.  I wired my (2) 6V AGM's together as suggested by JD and I am using the 12V AGM setting.  

The batteries are charged up and the unit is in the "maintenance" mode.  No problems whatsoever.  I like it.

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions.

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820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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Mike,

We have 4 6v AGM batteries.  We are going to attempt to do the same thing you have done by wiring x2 6v AGM batteries together as suggested by JD.  Do you keep your NOCO Genius 10 connected and charging the batteries all the time or does it turn off when the batteries are fully charged?  How do you know the batteries are fully charged?  Is there an indicator on the NOCO?  Due to having 4 batteries we will have to charge one set of x2 6v AGMs and then disconnect and charge the other set of x2 6v AGMs.  Were just trying to figure out if we need to purchase two chargers or if one will do the trick.  Thanks much!

M&K

 

Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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If you decide to go this route then simply take a picture of how your batteries are wired prior to taking them out of the Ollie.  Then, rewire them in exactly the same manner when you store them and attach the NOCO alligator clips to the terminals where the main wires (negative - black and positive - red) from the Oliver were attached.

Plug in the NOCO and it will do the rest keeping all four batteries charged as long as there is 110 volt power supplied to the NOCO - walk away.

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

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I used a NOCO Genius 1100 charger for many years to maintain 12V 34Ah AGM batteries which powered a CPAP machine on extended wilderness river trips.  (I now use LiFePO4 [Lithium Iron Phosphate] batteries because they weigh a lot less; those take a different charger and charging protocol).

My NOCO Genius 1100 has lights showing 25-50-75-100% charge.  The light for the current charging level slowly "blinks."  Once the connected batteries reach full charge, all four charge level lights are steadily illuminated.  The charger will then just supply the trickle of power the AGM's "like" to stay properly charged.

I would not spend the $$$$ on a second charger.  If you don't mind monitoring the charging process and switching the charger alligator clips to the other set of batteries periodically, I would put the NOCO charger on one set for 1 week, then switch to the other set for 1 week, then switch back and forth every month while the batteries remain out of the trailer.  IMHO, AGMs don't lose charge fast enough to require constant trickle charging; once fully charged.  Every other month should be fine.  Keep in mind that, like ordinary car "wet cell" batteries, AGM's often sit on warehouse shelves without charging for several months after manufacture before they are purchased by end users.  A few months of "standby" loss does not seem to significantly affect the long-term ability of the battery to hold a charge.

Overall age, however, is a different matter.  Regardless of how well they are maintained, AGMs are good for only 3-5 years after manufacture.   The manufacturing date is usually stamped into the plastic battery case, sometimes in code like "1018", which might indicate "October 2018".  Check with your battery manufacturer to be sure.  When I bought AGMs, I always wrote the manufacture date on the case with a Sharpie.  I always replaced my AGMs after year 3, because I depended on them for a good night's sleep on wilderness river trips, with no backup.  Now that I use LiFePO4s, which have as much as triple the life (and price!) of AGMs, I plan to replace them after year 9, to be safe.

Hope this helps.

 

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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Thank you for the quick replay and detail in your reply!  I really appreciate the information on what to expect with the light status and charging of the batteries. I did read that the AGMs don't last long but, we're not ready to pull the trigger on the lithium solar package $$$$

Mahalo,

M&K

Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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3 hours ago, Rivernerd said:

Overall age, however, is a different matter.  Regardless of how well they are maintained, AGMs are good for only 3-5 years after manufacture.

Interesting,  as we've used agms for 6 or 7 years, at least,  well maintained. 

Probably depends on manufacturer and owner maintenance.  I would never discard agms after 3 years. 

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10 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Interesting,  as we've used agms for 6 or 7 years, at least,  well maintained. 

@Islandgrl these are the first AGM's that I have owned, so I can't speak from experience.  However, I did a good bit of research and SeaDawg's comment appears to be spot on.  Maintenance and proper operation are the key to getting the maximum life out of your batteries.

Read the owners guide for your batteries.  It can be a bit intimidating if you are not accustomed to reading technical manuals.  The manual will tell you how to care for them and will say what type of charger you will require.  Any old charger won't do.  

You will be able to charge all four of them at the same time by jumpering them together like @topgun2 suggested.  As it was explained to me, it just turns them into one huge 12v battery.

The NOCO Genius 10 brings the batteries up to full charge in stages (like the owners manual says to do) and when they get close to full charge the green indicator light will slowly  fade on and off.  It will turn solid green at full charge.  At that point, the charger is in the maintenance mode and will keep your AGM's in top shape.  Leave it plugged in all the time when in storage to keep your batteries in prime condition.

Mike

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820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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Thank you all for all the words of wisdom, experience and great advice!! This forum and Oliver owners have such a wealth of knowledge! I really appreciate the quick, detailed and realistic advice.  Retirement and owning our first truck and soon to be tow trailer has so far been a fun challenge and learning experience we are both embracing.  As we say here on the island, "Mahalo" and Aloha Friday!"  Safe travels and hope to one day see you on the road and/or at the rally.  

Mahalo,

M&K 

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Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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