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Unread 11-09-2019, 12:43 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Default Cheaping out on batteries

I have an RXV. It’s only used around my yard and up and down my street, less than a mile.
I don’t need much range at all, I’d never use 5 miles worth.
My batteries are original and just about completely toast. (2015, four 12-volt).

For my specific application I’d like to just throw in four cheapo 12 volt so-called marine or RV batteries.

The problem is from what I can tell, just about all available ones are absolute garbage and are shot within a year and a half or so.
That makes shelling out $1000 for four Crowns or Trojans seem the more economical choice in the long run if I can get five years out of them, even though I don’t need all that capacity. It sucks to have to buy that much battery when I really don’t need it.

Has anyone here tried this and have any words of wisdom?
This is basically a lifespan-per-dollar question, with no regard for range more than a couple miles.
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Unread 11-09-2019, 12:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

Here is a recent thread on it: Three "bigger" 12v batteries or six 6v batteries
It gets a little "spirited" at times but there are some thoughtful posts so read it to the end.

Over the years the knee jerk reaction here has been ..no. I haven't tried it. I understand the interest in it for some. I'm pessimistic.
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Unread 11-09-2019, 01:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

If deep cycle batteries last 5 years (60 months) and cost $250 each ($1000 for four) while the marine batteries only last 1.5 years (18 months), you would have to buy them at $83.34 ($333.34 for four) to break even.

Even if you can find 12V marine batteries for $83.34 or less, you still have to take the cost of 3 battery changes in 5 year vs 1 battery change, into consideration and your time is worth something. Plus the cost of transporting the batteries from the vendor and transporting the cores back to the vendor.

Also there will be three periods of reduced performance as the batteries approach end of useful life instead of just one.

Other than those things, marine batteries would probably be adequate for a limited range application.

Personally, I'd go for the lowest priced 12V deep cycle batteries with the highest AH rating I could find locally. (I got my Exide batteries through a farm supply)
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Unread 11-09-2019, 01:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

Oh, sorry I did see that other thread but Iím reading it on a tiny phone screen and didnít notice the extra pages past the first one!
My bad for posting essentially same question thatís already got an active thread going.
Seems not everyone understood the guyís needs, which are similar to mine - range just isnít an issue. Iím only looking at cost per year.

Something I worry about is the way nearly all new batteries made nowadays are such poor quality. That makes me hesitant to buy the $1000 set, if theyíre junk too.
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Unread 11-09-2019, 10:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

What cheap batteries can do is EOL a controller. Low voltage is bad. can melt stuff or release the magic smoke.

The RXVs/TXTs/electric cars that often roll in deader than a hammer and have let the magic smoke out are often using Rural King or some other cheap batteries. I don't recommend them to folks hoping to save money. They pay for it in the end either way. the rule is 'you get what you pay for'

I've seen Rural Kings either reverse polarity or are cased wrong where + is - and - is +. Controllers don't take kindly to that either.

On some of the resistor cars from the '70s that folks buy for their kid or to run in the ground a cheap set of batteries generally doesn't do much harm as there are no electronics to kill, but cheap batteries only give you at best 1-3 years of use vs. 6-8 years out of a decent set.
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Unread 11-09-2019, 10:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickdalzell1 View Post
What cheap batteries can do is EOL a controller. Low voltage is bad. can melt stuff or release the magic smoke.

The RXVs/TXTs/electric cars that often roll in deader than a hammer and have let the magic smoke out are often using Rural King or some other cheap batteries. I don't recommend them to folks hoping to save money. They pay for it in the end either way. the rule is 'you get what you pay for'

I've seen Rural Kings either reverse polarity or are cased wrong where + is - and - is +. Controllers don't take kindly to that either.

On some of the resistor cars from the '70s that folks buy for their kid or to run in the ground a cheap set of batteries generally doesn't do much harm as there are no electronics to kill, but cheap batteries only give you at best 1-3 years of use vs. 6-8 years out of a decent set.
Monster, my intent here is not to jack your thread, but since this topic is here I would like to ask Nick a question.

What would cause a battery to reverse polarity like this? A friend called not long ago and asked me to look at his cart as one of the 4X12 batteries had suddenly reversed polarity. I thought surely he was using the meter wrong. But sure enough, one was reading reversed. They were marine, not golf cart batteries and were on the way out when this happened. I talked him in to replacing them with golf cart batteries and he is thrilled with the difference.
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Unread 11-10-2019, 12:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

How batteries polarity gets reversed.


https://www.batterystuff.com/blog/ba...-polarity.html
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Unread 11-10-2019, 12:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

Yeah I already read that. Don't see how any of it applies to the situation I'm talking about. But thanks for sharing.
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Unread 11-10-2019, 04:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooncarter View Post
Monster, my intent here is not to jack your thread, but since this topic is here I would like to ask Nick a question.

What would cause a battery to reverse polarity like this? A friend called not long ago and asked me to look at his cart as one of the 4X12 batteries had suddenly reversed polarity. I thought surely he was using the meter wrong. But sure enough, one was reading reversed. They were marine, not golf cart batteries and were on the way out when this happened. I talked him in to replacing them with golf cart batteries and he is thrilled with the difference.
Johnnie B explained it to me once, but I forgot the physics of it.

However, I saw it happen with a set of 6v Trojan Powertron Batteries where I think a pack of new batteries had sat in a discharged state for a while. The previous owner put new batteries in and let the cart sit for a year or more (bad charger). Then he pulled 3 of those batteries out and put in another cart, leaving 3 in the cart and a few months later, he put in three new ones and let set for a period of time.

When I got it, I checked all 6 batteries and they all had around 4-6 v and the sum of all of the voltages should have at least been enough to turn on the charger, if not move the cart. However, charger would not activate. when I checked the pack voltage, it was low. I re-checked and re-added the voltages which was again different from the pack voltage.

Was driving me crazy. Either I was losing my mind or the laws of physics were in jeopardy (the former being way more likely). Anyway, after walking away in frustration and sleeping on it, I had an idea. I started checking the voltages in series in step and the results were something like: battery 1 was 6v, batteries 1 - 2 was 12v, 1 -3 was 18v, 1-4 was 24v, 1-5 was 18v.

Battery 5 had a Negative Voltage and I had not noticed the - sign when I checked previously. When I added the voltages AND added the negative voltage on battery 5, it matched the pack voltage. I charged battery 5 alone and it came back to a + voltage. Then I charged the entire pack, and, believe it or not, it load tested within about 80% of the rating minutes.

Note, 3 of the batteries were new batteries, 2-4 months old and three were 1-2 years old new (or at least unused) batteries.
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Unread 11-10-2019, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cheaping out on batteries

Thanks. I know one of the batteries had been replaced. Can't remember which but I'll ask him.
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