Battery are You using Everstart 27DC-6
Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:38 PM
I am in the process of upgrading battery system for use boondocking. The Walmart Everstart 27DC-6 is highly rated in several boating forums in dual setups. The interstate SRM-27 was original to my SD 17. Pricing at $75/$85 respectively locally. Is any one using the 27DC-6? Amp hours exceed the interstate SRM-27 per each company's website.
Posted 27 March 2008 - 09:51 PM
Working at AutoZone, I tested, charged, re-habbed, and replaced many batteries, and at least in the automotive category (not deep-cycle), the EverStart brand was:
A. weaker than other brands, even at full charge
B. apparently the most short-lived - lots of 2-year-old batteries, completely shot, and
C. almost impossible to recharge and recover one once a customer had deeply discharged it.
The AutoZone store batteries are (were at that time - better check!) made by Johnson Controls, and they are pretty amazing. I saw very few warranty claims, and most "failures" were because of the customer's other equipment, or abuse. Often I could prove this by filling, charging, and testing the battery for the customer, and that meant we had another problem to look for.
I had one guy insist on replacement of his DuraLast Gold size 78 (the best we sold), even though the battery was only 6 months old. I told him it had to be his charging system, and would he wait until the battery was charged and tested, but he insisted on a new battery. I re-habbed that battery from its abuse and it tested perfectly, so I bought it for $15 and it performed perfectly in my Cadillac for the next 3 years until I sold that car. I used to clean up, charge and check the DuraLast trade-ins, and if I had the right size on hand, I would sell and install them for $5 to folks who needed a battery but couldn't afford it. I NEVER had one of these returned. The success rate of recovering a DuraLast compared to an EverStart was probably 10 to 1 or better.
I've currently got an AutoZone 27 Marine Starting + Deep Cycle in the truck, and a similar 27 Deep Cycle + Starting in the Casita purchased from Advance Auto Parts (it was a Sunday, and I had to have it).
A couple of years ago, (before the AZ 27), I needed a battery for the truck in an emergency on a Sunday morning, and bought a EverStart 24. It was only a few months before I traded it in for the AZ 27; even though nothing was wrong with it (yet), I wanted rid of it based on what I had seen working in the parts store. It's been 2 years+ since I installed my small solar panel, and my trailer battery never goes below 50-60% charge even after a winter's night of lights, furnace fan, TV & movies, etc, so these batteries will last a long time.
I strongly caution you against the EverStart, based on my observations of their automobile batteries, especially if it's only a matter of $10 or $20 to get the better brand. It will save you a lot of grief.
I will add that at this time of the year (spring), I'm glad I'm not still in auto parts, because over the next few weeks I would be seeing hundreds of folks with one-year-old RV deep-cycle and riding mower batteries, who can't figure out what the problem is, but have let a battery sit for six or more months without charging or checking it. No matter which brand you select, if you are boondocking, try not to let your battery ever get below about 50-60% charge, no matter your charging method, and you will have good service out of the battery.
I'm not a big fan of AutoZone because they are bureaucratic and they pay you in dirt, but they've generally got good products and I am, after testing, selling, and installing 2-10 a day for 2 1/2 years, a big fan of their batteries.
Hope this helps
05 Casita 16 SD "micronaut"
96 Dodge Dakota 4x4 V6
full-timing since 09/04
Posted 28 March 2008 - 05:32 AM
The following is a partial list of batteries made by Johnson Controls:
Sears Die Hard Gold
Auto Zone (Duralast Gold)
Mitsubishi (Diamond Car Care)
Advance Auto (Autocraft Titanium)
Costco (Kirkland Signature)
Pep Boys (ProStart & Energizer)
Johnson Controls also makes the Optima brand.
*Exide is now supplying some OEM batteries for Toyota
Note: to be totally fair to Johnson Controlls, some EverStart batteries sold at Wal-Mart stores may have been made by Delphi or Exide.
The JC made battery that came in my '05 Tundra lasted three years. That would not be remarkable except that it was the first of five Toyota OEM batteries that didn't live to the ripe old age of seven years. As luck would have it, it died in a Wal-Mart parking lot last December. I replaced it with the best that Wal-Mart had. The Everstart MAXX, made by Exide, quit without warning last Monday. Getting my free replacement turned out to be more difficult than expected when the battery checked out good. I was glad to know that the test confirmed that there were no problems with my Tundra. They even showed me a print-out of the test results but the fact remained that it wouldn't start my truck without a boost. The store manager just didn't see the logic of my argument. As it turned out, the print-out was what got me my new battery. The battery was producing considerably less than the advertised 700 cold cranking amps.
As for the deep cycle EverStart batteries in my Casita, I have had two. The first lasted a year and a day and the second is starting its fifth season.
I can't recommend one brand over another considering my limited experience. I think it logical to conclude that when a relatively new battery fails, it is more than likely a matter of sloppy quality control and all three of the major manufacturers seem to be guilty of that from time to time.
Edited by cnold, 29 March 2008 - 08:49 AM.
1999 Casita 16" SD
Posted 28 March 2008 - 05:50 AM
If WM and a manufacturer enter into a contract for an item, the manufacturer can cut corners to meet WM's pricing. WM's volume is so huge, it can be well worth it to the manufacturer to make an entirely different (and probably cheaper) model just for WM.
Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:09 AM
Your point is well taken. I have modified my post.
I have noticed, as you pointed out, that many consumer electronics products sold by Wal-Mart have model numbers that are different from those sold elsewhere. It makes shopping around harder and other retailers that offer to meet or beat any advertised price often do that even when the products are virtually the same.
Due to the fact that tire manufacturers must post load and wear ratings, it is harder for them to get away with that kind of black magic. Still an uninformed consumer can be duped. When purchasing a battery, the consumer must rely on the amp ratings alone and that tells us nothing about life expectancy.
Edited by cnold, 29 March 2008 - 09:05 AM.
1999 Casita 16" SD