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Old 11-29-2016, 12:47 AM   #1
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Upgraded to Trojan T125 Batteries on Challenger

I finally pulled the trigger on upgrading my battery bank to 4x 6v Trojan T125 batteries. This new setup will give me 240 usable amp hours, which is a dramatic improvement over the 35 barely usable amp hours of the 2x 6v included Harris batteries.

Pretty easy install once you have everything. I chose the T125s over the T105s because of the slightly larger capacity (225 amp vs 240 amp hours). If you decide to do it, you will need the batteries of course, 2 x 10" 2 AWG with crimped lugs, 2 x 12" 2 AWG with crimped lugs, and corrosion protection of your choice. Pull out the old batteries and put in the new ones. The way I have it setup, I was able to place the positive and negative cables from the RV right back in about the same position without needing to extend or shorten, hence the way I have my batteries configured. I hope this helps someone out and never forget the famous words of Fire Marshal Bill... "Safety First."
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:58 AM   #2
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Looks good wish we had room in the Axis for 4. Did you have to upgrade your charging system?
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:03 AM   #3
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The Challenger comes with a WFCO 9855 (55 amp) charger/converter that has been doing a pretty good job so far so no upgrade needed.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:50 PM   #4
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Erich, I have read several of your posts on batteries and solar. I have been concentrating my extra time/bucks on fine tuning handling issues, but I need to extend the hours I can get for quick dry camping overnight stays without gen set use.


What would your guess be on performance if I simply went with 2x 6v Trojan T125 batteries? I have the large residential with ice maker (2014) Challenger GT. Could we sit for 10 hours with just the frig running and possibly a light and 2 phones charging?
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:00 PM   #5
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If you have 2x 6v T125s, you would have about 120 useable amp hours. I am positive you would be fine for an over night trip without worrying about your items the fridge going bad. Your fridge may use between 50-80 amps leaving you some power for LED lights. I would turn your inverter off before you went to bed and then back on in the morning. Another thing that will help the draw on the battery is to ensure any receptacle that is connected to your inverter if unplugged as most devices still have a parasitic draw. Let me know how it works for you. I will be doing some boondocking and testing out the batteries in the next couple of weeks and will be sure to let everyone know how it goes.

*I forgot to mention that we keep our ice maker off. That saves quit a bit of draw.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Techn0 View Post
The Challenger comes with a WFCO 9855 (55 amp) charger/converter that has been doing a pretty good job so far so no upgrade needed.
That's good then, most RVers aren't seeing high enough voltages from what's being reported on other forums to properly charge something like the T125.
The best I've measured from ours is 14.1 volts @ 10 amps for less then an hour into the unknown brand 12 volt pair that came with ours. On the previous camper with a pair of Exide Stowaways, 12 volt 105Ah real deep cycles, never saw above a few amps @13.6 from the 9855. With 360 watts of of solar in full sun and starting from 50% SOC I measured 21 amps for several hours before the system went into absorb @ 14.8 volts. This was with the panels tilted to face the sun under early spring conditions start at about 40 degrees F.
Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: The "nest" and it's loads this is a link to my original install with raw test results start at the above 50% SOC. near the end of the thread before I started the current install.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Techn0 View Post
If you have 2x 6v T125s, you would have about 120 useable amp hours. I am positive you would be fine for an over night trip without worrying about your items the fridge going bad. Your fridge may use between 50-80 amps leaving you some power for LED lights. I would turn your inverter off before you went to bed and then back on in the morning. Another thing that will help the draw on the battery is to ensure any receptacle that is connected to your inverter if unplugged as most devices still have a parasitic draw. Let me know how it works for you. I will be doing some boondocking and testing out the batteries in the next couple of weeks and will be sure to let everyone know how it goes.

*I forgot to mention that we keep our ice maker off. That saves quit a bit of draw.
These are some good pointers, our friends run theirs over night with the ice maker, a couple of hours of T.V. and LED lights for about 3 hours after dark. I measured the amp draw when the refrig cycled and it was 17 amps for about 10 or 15 minutes. When ginny hours commenced at the CG they would need to run it for 4 to 6 hours with inverter/charger outputing 60 amps into a 432 Ah bank of which~ 216 Ah had been used from the time the ginny was turned off the previous day. That may give some idea of what a solar system has to make up during the day. If your shooting for a 10% rate of charge,ROC, that's 43 amps until absorb is reached. Typical ROC for deep cycle batteries is 10 to 13%.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:57 PM   #8
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Nice job. Great performance upgrade for the cost.

It seems that the electrification of RVs continues to progress steadily, with equipment manufacturers addressing RV manufacturers' needs. Xantrex just introduced to OEMs at trade show a new 1200-watt inverter for refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, etc.

Also of interest is their mention of development into lithium battery system to run air conditioner without generator or shore power. We can only imagine the battery bank's size and cost.

Anyway, hard to have too much battery capacity.


Xantrex Unveils Freedom X Inverter in Louisville | RV Business
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:33 PM   #9
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Hmm.... did you have room to stack a pair of 8d gel's ?
That would alleviate the need to constantly top off the water. and simplify the wiring ( 2 batteries vs 4 )
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:00 PM   #10
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Hmm.... did you have room to stack a pair of 8d gel's ?
That would alleviate the need to constantly top off the water. and simplify the wiring ( 2 batteries vs 4 )
I would lose 30 amp hours using the 8d gels vs my configuration plus I am more of a 6v battery guy not that are much differences between 6v and 12v deep cycles other than sizing. The T125s had the most amp hours for the 4x 6v configuration vs 4x 12v configuration. I even looked at AGM batteries but too expensive for my first run of batteries. I walked out the door with these batteries for $532. I am okay with topping off the batteries every few weeks for the price I paid for a top performing battery.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:10 AM   #11
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I would lose 30 amp hours using the 8d gels vs my configuration plus I am more of a 6v battery guy not that are much differences between 6v and 12v deep cycles other than sizing. The T125s had the most amp hours for the 4x 6v configuration vs 4x 12v configuration. I even looked at AGM batteries but too expensive for my first run of batteries. I walked out the door with these batteries for $532. I am okay with topping off the batteries every few weeks for the price I paid for a top performing battery.
Not a bad price for 4. I ordered 2 of them and with tax they were 353 bucks. I talked to Thor a few days ago and they advised me not to go with GEL cell because the inverter for some reason don't like them. They said use AGM or liquid cell.
Cant wait to see and personally talk with you guys tomorrow.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:16 PM   #12
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You are correct a lot of chargers will not charge Gel batteries correctly. AGM batteries offer the convenience of Gel without the drawbacks.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:01 PM   #13
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Not a bad price for 4. I ordered 2 of them and with tax they were 353 bucks. I talked to Thor a few days ago and they advised me not to go with GEL cell because the inverter for some reason don't like them. They said use AGM or liquid cell.
Cant wait to see and personally talk with you guys tomorrow.
I am presuming that you have a modified wave inverter instead of a pure sine wave? I would talk with Xantrex to verify but I haven't had any issues yet and I know a couple that have the modified wave inverter with the T125s that haven't reported any issues. I would love to know the reasoning Thor is saying that and if Xantrex would say the same thing.

As for charging, older dumb chargers may have issues but any newer smart chargers shouldn't have any issues.
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Old 12-12-2016, 04:04 PM   #14
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A couple of years ago I read an article about upgrading the batteries and they mentioned issues with some converter/chargers not being adequate for use with gell batteries. If I am not mistaken the issue is with the bulk stage of the converter/charger.

I would have to go back and see if I can find the article again.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:11 AM   #15
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A couple of years ago I read an article about upgrading the batteries and they mentioned issues with some converter/chargers not being adequate for use with gell batteries. If I am not mistaken the issue is with the bulk stage of the converter/charger.

I would have to go back and see if I can find the article again.
Guess it would be nice for some to know but I have all ready made up my mind with the water battery. You get a few more amps and they are also cheaper.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
A couple of years ago I read an article about upgrading the batteries and they mentioned issues with some converter/chargers not being adequate for use with gell batteries. If I am not mistaken the issue is with the bulk stage of the converter/charger.

I would have to go back and see if I can find the article again.
From another hobby where we use lots of batteries of different chemistries (NiCD, NIMH, LIon, LiPoly, LiFE, Gel, AGM, Flooded... some over evolution - some for different uses...) - the gel cell types want a CVC - Constant Voltage Charger... different than what a wet or AGM battery wants where the voltage varies based on the phase of charge. (There is a reason for the different settings on better external chargers - not aware of a converter with a setting like that - I assume they make one that will handle gel? but haven't looked.)

Even AGM and traditional flooded have different needs - but they are a bit more compatible than the gel requirements.

Can seriously shorten the life of a gel battery it it isn't kept happy... which is why DW's 'scooter' with its 36v gel setup has its own dedicated charger...
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:00 AM   #17
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That's great info about gel batteries. Thanks for the info.
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