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Great AGM Batteries For The Price!
on February 5, 2012
Received this Deep Cycle battery 2 weeks ago from Amazon. The manufacture's production date was 11/2011 and the manufacture's ship date (to Amazon?) was 12/2011 so the battery was received factory fresh. It arrive with a full charge per my multi-meter at 12.8 volts. It has 840 cranking amps at 32 degrees and 700 cranking amps at 0 degrees. It is a 100 amp hour battery with a 200 minute reserve capacity.
This battery was installed in a diesel pusher motor home as the "house" battery, which is used to power the lights, heat, water pump etc. when you are not connected to utility power or running the generator.
It is heavy (at about 72 pounds) but since it is a sealed AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery we won't have to remove it every 6 months and check the water level in it as you do regular lead acid batteries.
We also use a NOCO Genius G7200 charger (also sold through Amazon) to keep it charged since it is a "smart" charger and will not over charge the battery. We no longer use the coach's built in 12 volt converter/charger to keep the batteries charged since it will over charge the batteries and shorten their life.
Even though we have only had the battery 2 weeks, I would recommend it for 3 reasons:
1. PRICE! When shopping around for a group 31 AGM battery, our local battery store (Batteries Plus) wanted $325.00 for theirs. (To be fair, their AGM battery was a hybird with 1000+ cranking amps - it is across between a deep cycle battery and a starting battery.) Other places online wanted $250.00 or more and around $50.00 shipping!
2. Exide has been making batteries for over 120 years so I think they will be around to honor their 2 year replacement warranty.
3. As an AGM battery there little maintenance (Just wipe it off every now and then). I have had an AGM battery in our full size truck for 7 years with no problems to report. Our other vehicles have had to have their batteries replaces every 2 to 3 years. The heat in Texas is hard on a battery... (From now on when we replace the batteries in our vehicles, they too will be AGM batteries.)
We plan on purchasing 2 more of these batteries when our existing engine starting batteries need to be replaced in the coach.
(NOTE: 2 Exide RF-31's (RoadForce mdel) were purchased in July of 2012.)
Hope this helps someone!
Update March of 2015:
As stated previously, we did purchase 2 more of these (the Exide RF-31 versions) for our diesel pusher in July of 2012. The RF-31's are used to start the diesel engine. AND we use a 240 amp alternator that charges the batteries and provides additional power for our 5000 watt inverter. We use the 5000 watt inverter to run the microwave or coffee pot or even the house air conditioning (13500 BTU's). Please note the the diesel engine is running and charging these batteries when we use such a high amount of power. These batteries are used just to store the power from the high output alternator. The batteries feed the 5000 watt inverter using 3200 strand welding cable (350 MCM cable). We also use the 350 MCM welding cable to go from the high output alternator to the batteries and another section to ground so that there is no power lost when charging.
It has been 3 years since we purchased our first MC-31 and it is still in use. I do not think it has the same capacity as it once had but I had used the old converter/charger in the motor home to charge this battery when I was using the NOCO G7200 charger for another project that lasted for about 6 months. The Old converter/ charger may have gotten the one MC-31 over charged who knows. Last year we replaced the old converter/charger with a new computerized model that stops charging the batteries when they are full. This new converter was also purchased at Amazon ( Progressive Dynamics (PD9260CV) 60 Amp Power Converter with Charge Wizard ).
We are planning to purchase another MC-31 but it may be the Exide XMC-31 this time. The XMC-31 has 1100 cranking amps & 925 Cold Cranking Amps. It may be use along next to the 3 year old MC-31 for "house" power in the motor home OR used as the diesel starting battery and the 2 RF-31's and the one MC-31 tied together (3 batteries as one large 12 volt storage unit) to use as the "house" battery in the motor home. Haven't decided yet which way to go. The Motor home is designed to have 4 batteries (2 for the engine and 2 for the "house") but we have only been using the 3 newer Exide batteries and just a spacer in the forth spot (2 for the engine and 1 for the house.
Hope this update helps !