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Old 03-01-2019, 06:15 PM   #1
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Question four winds house battery replacement

I asked thor about the house battery which comes from the factory and they sent me a few details on it. It looks like this thing is only 35AH which seems very wimpy.

I examined the battery tray and it has an upward lip on each side which limits replacement battery sizes quite a bit.

I've searched for a replacement (much higher AH but still fits in tray/space) and this is what I've come up with:
VMAX MR197 12 Volt 200AH AGM


The measurements all claim that it will fit and since it is still 12v I don't have to make any modifications. It looks like all I have to do now is just make my purchase and swap the batteries but things are never as easy as I think they will be. I know I'll need to run the generator for a couple of hours before driving anywhere to prevent the alternator from working too hard to charge this sucker. Can anyone see anything else I missed?
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:57 PM   #2
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It looks as if you currently have just a single house battery?
I'm guessing that your proposed replacement will simply take up the available space that you have... (and looks as if it's meant to hold TWO batteries!)
If your ruler says that it will fit: I'm looking forward to hearing how you'll be using all of that extra power.
Good luck, and please let us know how much better this new setup works!
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:41 PM   #3
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Now thats one big 12 v battery!! Looks like it will fit.... but its 107#. Can you install yourself.... Do you have a helper?..... And down the road if you need to remove it will you be able to remove by yourself?

I went with TWO 6V AGM's (73 # each). They have a removable strap so it was not too bad to install myself. They fix under my steps (just like yours) with any mods. But you will need two more cables to connect the TWO 6v (or TWO 12v).

They were about the same price as your but they are 220 amp hours and I feel like the 6v are more HD than 12v. Plus you can find TWO replacement 6v (or TWO 12v for that matter) ...... good luck finding a replacement Vmax on the road.

Batteries always seem to let you down when you least expect them too.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:43 PM   #4
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Yup, I can install it myself but I'll still have help.

I did consider using 2 6v in series to 12v but if one dies I'm stuck with nothing. Since I'll be hooking up a solar charger, later on, I figured I can keep the wiring to a minimum and, worst case, plop in a car battery from napa or walmart as a temp replacement if the big tank dies.

Later down the road, I'll also be adding an inverter (3000-ish watts) to keep the house going when not on the generator or shore power.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:12 AM   #5
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Hey M@tt,

Sounds like you’ve got your mind made up but let me mention this anyway. You can put in 4 Trojan T-125 6V 240Ah Flooded Lead Acid Deep Cycle Battery’s for $800.00. These are easier to handle at 70 lbs. each, you'll gain another 80 AH, and you'll save $140 bucks as well.

I understand the benefits of an AGM battery over a lead acid battery, but if you don’t have to have the AGM’s and you don't mind checking water levels occasionally, this might be a good alternative.

Just thought I’d toss it out for your consideration.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:40 PM   #6
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I checked the Trojan T-125 and it looks like it's slightly too big for the tray.

Out of curiosity, I went looking for a 6v that matched the width need. I found that the larger 6v batteries had more square-ish sizing than the long narrow rectangle I needed.

That got me wondering if there were any 6v that would fit. I found that a few BCI group L16 would meet the combined length and width need nicely but they are far too tall for the area under the step.

However, their height and bigger capacity makes them a very nice match for a different little project I have going on at home; can I safely run a koi pond exclusively on solar? Let's find out.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:32 PM   #7
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Yeah when I was looking for 6v Lead Acid to fit under my steps on my Axis (E450 chassis so same....or very similar setup to yours) I could not find one that would fit (too tall) under the steps so then I looked at the 6v AGMs. Trojan didnt have any close dealers to me but I came accross the Full River brand. After doing on research I really liked what I was reading about FR. Plus my local Battery Depot gave me a 10% dicount when I asked him for some help.

I had them installed for about 10 mo now and absolutely love them. Plus I was able to get them locally which I liked .... just in case I didnt like the way they fit.
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:33 AM   #8
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Can flooded be exchanged for AGM without any other mods?
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fish and Dear View Post
Can flooded be exchanged for AGM without any other mods?
Yes - the chemistry is the same, but.... There are substantial voltage profile charging differences for max storage of electricity in AGM batteries.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:38 AM   #10
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Yes - the chemistry is the same, but.... There are substantial voltage profile charging differences for max storage of electricity in AGM batteries.
SO I would not need to make any other changes and the batteries would be ok?
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:54 AM   #11
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SO I would not need to make any other changes and the batteries would be ok?
True
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fish and Dear View Post
SO I would not need to make any other changes and the batteries would be ok?
Yes, no changes needed. AGM's are superior in every way except for price.
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:56 PM   #13
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I received the battery today.

Took the old one out.

Put the new one in by myself. I might be feeling that one later tonight. 107 pounds of battery doesn't move willingly. The dimensions were perfect and everything powers on in a snap.

I even took a little time to install a cable with an anderson powerpole plug (40A) for connecting my portable solar array underneath the steps later on.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
But you will need two more cables to connect the TWO 6v
Why two? You just need a single cable to connect the + of one 6 Volt to the - of the other 6 Volt.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by m@tt View Post
I received the battery today.

Took the old one out.

Put the new one in by myself. I might be feeling that one later tonight. 107 pounds of battery doesn't move willingly. The dimensions were perfect and everything powers on in a snap.

I even took a little time to install a cable with an anderson powerpole plug (40A) for connecting my portable solar array underneath the steps later on.
Good deal. Let us know in the future how the battery is holding up.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:10 AM   #16
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Why two? You just need a single cable to connect the + of one 6 Volt to the - of the other 6 Volt.
Yeah you right. Dont know what I was thinking.
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