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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Sams Club, Stowaway deep cycle "professional" 12v batteries, how 
	to   add water?
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 22:58:44 -0400

On Fri, 12 Apr 2002 21:54:46 GMT, Eric Greenwell
<> wrote:

>In article <>,
> says...
>> Oh BS, Steve.  I have the same batteries as you in my cars and I have
>> absolutely no problem getting the tops off.  (yes, I use deep discharge
>> batteries in my cars.)  Quit trying to blame Sam's for your neglect.
>Why do you use deep discharge batteries in your car?

*   The last longer - about 5 years on average.
*   They'll crank even when almost dead (also a disadvantage of sorts because
you're not aware for several days of an alternator failure.)
*   I can accidentally leave lights on for literally a whole work day and
still crank.
*   I can play the stereo when picnicking and such and not have to worry about
not cranking and harming the battery from too deep discharge.
*   wifey can run her 12 volt electric blanket when we go to the drive-in or
*   I can run the inverter I've installed in all my cars and not have to worry
about harming the battery from deep discharge.
*   I can run a 12 volt ice box for hours without worrying about harming the
battery.  I have to carry an Epi pen with me at all times and it requires mild
refrigeration so this is a very important feature.  I have a second battery in
my daily driver just for that purpose.

>What ambient
>temperature range do you experience during your use (winter driving?)?

OH, it freezes around here every so often :-)  Dropped to the high tens this
winter on a couple of different days.  In that temperature range, the starter
spins right up like it was warm weather.

The only disadvantage is finding a place to mount the thing.  In my 68 Fury
and the MH, no problem.  But in the BMW, Caddy and Caprice I had to put a
battery box in the trunk.  I find the freed-up space handy for keeping a spare
bottle of oil, window washer, etc.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Battery mystery
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2007 11:38:36 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On 01 Feb 2007 15:25:56 GMT, yoyo <> wrote:

>On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 19:22:06 -0800, ratatouillerat wrote:
>> Another thing about telling the difference between the various Marine
>> battery types is what's on the label for specs -- If it has cranking
>> stuf, it's likely not deep cycle, but one of the other two...
>> Pete
>A CCA rating is a dead giveaway, but an ommission does not guarantee true
>deep cycle construction. The decals on my ST31DC205 say Deep Cycle and
>Trolling, and do not list any CCA.

Actually it isn't.  Any sort of battery can be tested and rated for
CCA.  A deep cycle battery will typically have a much lower CCA for
its amp-hour and reserve minutes rating.  My AGM battery sitting
behind me has a (small) CCA but it is most assuredly a deep cycle

The technology for automated plate making and separator materials is
rapidly closing the differences between the various types.  I have a
friend who owns a battery rebuilding company.  The last time I visited
I could see very little difference between cranking and deep cycle
batteries that were being disassembled.

I'm not advising going out and buying a cranking battery for your RV.
Just noting that the differences are rapidly diminishing.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Battery mystery
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2007 12:54:12 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 16:39:02 GMT, "Tom  J" <>

> wrote:
>> I noticed that on the Optima site, reading the words carefully, all
>> their Deep Cycle batteries are eventually described as  Dual Purpose
>> (starting and deep cycle) batteries, color not withstanding.
>The fact is, very few companies manufacture true deep cycle batteries
>anymore, and Optima is not one of them. I shopped all over the Atlanta
>area last year when I need to replace mine and the only place I found
>true deep cycle batteries was at West Marine.  They also had the dual
>purpose and the cranking batteries. I never thought I'd see the day
>when Napa didn't have deep cycle batteries, but they didn't!!

Sure they do.  The yellow top is their "deep cycle" battery.  It's
proven itself in hundreds (thousand?) of electric cars. In fact, unitl
he changed sponsors last year, John Wayland's White Zombie that holds
the electric car drag racing speed and ET record was powered by 300
and something volts' worth of YT.  Look up White Zombie if you wish.
Interesting website.

The Blue Top is the same as the yellow top except for terminals and
the Red Top is their nominal dual purpose cranking/deep cycle battery.
The difference seems mostly academic with the tight spiral wound plate
technology.  EVers have reported essentially identical life using RTs
and YTs in EVs.

The distinction between deep cycle and cranking is really only a
conventional plate-and-separator thing and has to do with how thin the
separators and plates are.  Even plate type AGMs where the assembly is
pressed together need little distinction, if any at all.  I'm hedging
because I can't think of a cranking-only AGM but there may be one

Oh, and NAPA most certainly does sell deep cycle batteries, 6 and 12
volt.  I got my last set there, mainly because one of my best friends
owns the local store.  NAPA also carries both Optimas and Orbitals,
Exide's generally regarded as slightly better clone of Optima.  Your
local store might not stock them but that's only because they
apparently don't sell there.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Battery mystery
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2007 15:37:48 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On 05 Feb 2007 16:52:27 GMT, yoyo <> wrote:

>On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 12:54:12 -0500, Neon John wrote:
>>The yellow top is their "deep cycle" battery.
>This is directly from the website:
>OPTIMA  YellowTop  Benefits
>    * Dual Purpose starting and deep cycling.

Now that's funny.  I and hundreds (thousands?) of others have
collectively decades of experience with these batteries in electric
cars and someone disputes that experience with a reference to a
consumer web site.  A riot.

Suggest looking up "Corbin Sparrow" on the net.  It was a factory-made
EV that came with Yellow Tops.  Given the limited range of this
vehicle, you can be assured that these batteries were indeed deep

>There are TWO references to starting performance in the above.  In
>contrast, I have not yet seen any description of Golf Car batteries having
>starting performance highlighted.
>Now, it is one thing for a mfgr to casually mention CCA but is quite
>another to *emphasize* starting performance for a deep-cycle battery.
>This battery sounds too good to be true.

<bumping my head against the wall>.  This is like someone arguing with
a drag racer by citing a web site somewhere.

I'll repeat again.  The distinction between cranking and deep cycle
battery applies mainly and almost exclusively to conventional thick
plate and separator wet batteries.  Cranking batteries have thinner
plates and separators so that more can be packed in a given space to
provide more current for a given package size.  These thin plates and
separators are fragile and will shed active material if deeply

Yellow Tops, Red tops, Exide orbitals and best of all, Hawker Cyclones
(or whatever they call them this week) are totally different.  The
plates are thin pure lead gauze impregnated with active material and
wrapped into a roll with either fiberglass fabric or aramid fabric as
the separator.  This roll is very dense and there is no room for
shedding.  The entire ends of the gauze are connected to electrodes a
la capacitors, to spread out the current.  The separator is soaked in
acid.  The chemical mix includes something to cause gas recombination
so that no gas escape passages must be left.  The battery normally
doesn't gas unless overcharged or very heavily discharged.

The 55 amp Optima can sustain 2500 amps for >12 seconds (what the drag
racers are interested in) and maintain 10 volts or more.  People like
John Wayland (who is sponsored by Exide) test and select batteries for
the highest discharge current capabilities which can exceed 3000 amps
at 10 volts.

The Hawker Genesis and Odyssey are flat plate versions of this battery.
Still pure lead gauze, pressed into a dense assembly.  These batteries
come in the conventional rectangular form-factor.  They are capable of
the same current capacity.  These batteries were originally developed
as jet engine cranking batteries.  Thousand amp for maybe a minute
ability.  They're available with those nifty aircraft battery
connectors if you want to pay the extra freight.

My hotrod electric scooter has 3 35 amp-hour 12 volt Odyssey batteries
in it.  They can withstand 250 amp discharge for miles.  The motor
controller limits at 550 amps and at that rate, according to the data
logger, the 36 volt pack sags only about 3 volts.

I should mention that these batteries are about 4 years old and until
I hit the road, used the scooter as my primary transportation every
day.  Hundreds of discharge cycles and according to the E-meter (and
my calibrated butt), they have lost no capacity.

I've taken money off more than one unsuspecting victim by betting
whether a single 17 amp-hour Genesis (about the size of a motorcycle
battery) could start my diesel truck.  It can, and with little effort.

YT's used to be the king of the hill in high discharge applications.
Year-before-last Exide changed their design a little and now they rule
the roost.

"Too good to be true?"  Not to anyone who's familiar with high
performance battery technology.

Suggest you go to the Hawker website (or Enersys or whatever they call
themselves this week, they can't make up their minds) and do some
reading.  Lots of moderately technical information there.

Conventional AGM batteries as sold in places like Outdoor world have
less performance but similar characteristics.  Pressed thin plate and
high tech separator fabric in a dense assembly.  Not quite as good
interconnects so the peak current is limited.  Still these "deep
cycle" batteries are capable of sustaining cranking-level currents.

Even plain old wet cell deep cycle/trolling batteries do well for
starting.  I've been using Stowaways for years, even on my old hotrods
with the big block engines.  They do a fine job even in the moderately
cold weather we have here.  I can leave the lights on for hours and
still crank.  And if I happen to flatten one through carelessness, it
usually isn't harmed much.  A cranking battery is never the same after
a 0-volt trauma.


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