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Old 11-05-2012, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Deep Cycle Batteries

I've seen a couple of people post that they may get deep cycle batteries for their truck.
What is the advantage and is there any disadvantage to using a deep cycle battery?
Do people usually replace both batteries with deep cycle or just one and if so which one?
Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yeah i heard of that also. if you do, do both and MAKE SURE YOU USE DEEP CYCLE/STARTING batteries. i tried a deep cycle only on other engines and they did not last long( less then 1 month). this was on a gasser so i can't imagine how log it would last with diesels.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Deep cycle batteries are not starting batteries. I doubt that you would be able to find ones with enough cold cranking amps to start your truck when it gets cold.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugman View Post
Deep cycle batteries are not starting batteries. I doubt that you would be able to find ones with enough cold cranking amps to start your truck when it gets cold.
for your information they make both. i had one b4 it actually read /deep cylcle marine and starting\
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Use battery specifications, not marketing terms like "deep cycle" to guide your decisions. There is no objective definition for 'deep cycle' as a battery type. All batteries in a manufacturer's line trade off capacity, cost, and ruggedness. All suffer if mistreated the same way.

There are a lot of strong opinions and whatnot but if you look at the typical batteries available at retail for road vehicle usage, you won't find that much difference in energy density compared to normal variation from such things as temperature, cycle to cycle variations, use profile, and age. You will find the design trade-offs in other specifications to some extent but both technologies of batteries as well as of their manufacture are rather mature and that tends to minimize differences.

Find a reputable retailer who sells a lot to folks who use batteries like you do and then go by price, specifications, and warranty.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Most people find that the "advantage" for deep cycle batteries is that they apparently allow you to pull more amps such as if you're running a lot of electronics in the truck. As far as I understand that's the difference. Could be wrong on this though.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Deep cycle batteries are designed to handle higher charge and discharge rates. Your alternator can't charge fast enough to need a higher charge rate, but if you are winching there may be benefit to using deep cycle batteries, as they may heat up less.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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different vehicle same concept. I built an '85 4runner to be my wheeler/rock crawler, I've been through a few alternators and batteries (I run dual batteries in it). after investigating it and and talking to my battery guy we came to the conclusion of the failures. The alternator was being killed over a short period of time due to winching, the batteries would get drawn down to the point the alternator was being over worked then it would overheat and fail. the batteries failed because normal starting batteries dont like being drawn down over and over agian, they like to stay charged/maintained. so in my case I decided to go with "deep cycle" batteries, they allow for a longer amp draw and can withstand being drawn down very low then charged back up many times. along with that I also upgraded the alternator from a 65amp to 135 amp. haven't had any problems since. now in the case of my '91 IDI I just bought 2 new QUALITY batteries from my battery guy at work and they have worked flawless for me, even with running my camper on them. In my opinion your batterys will only be as good as the alternator in the vehicle, they go hand in hand. Unless your running a lot of accessories or a high amp draw accessory I wouldn't worry about a deep cycle battery. Just make sure your cables are good and and ALL your connections are good and not corroded or rusty.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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re: "they apparently allow you to pull more amps" and "designed to handle higher charge and discharge rates"

do please check the specs before you take these sorts of things as true.

traditionally, deep cycle batteries meant a lower currrent handling capability favoring 'ruggedness' instead. This is, in part, where the 'thick plates' myth came from. With modern batteries, the differences aren't that significant (check the specs!). Ruggedness is more from design and alloys that allow better optimizations for desired characteristics.

re: "normal starting batteries dont like being drawn down over and over agian" -- No battery likes a habit of deep discharges. The cycle life drops rapidly with the normal depth of discharge to which a battery is subject. Generally, the 50% DoD point is considered cost optimal - that means no lower than 12.2 volts or so as measured on a 12v battery that has been at rest for at least a half hour.

re: "In my opinion your batterys will only be as good as the alternator in the vehicle" -- the old sage said batteries don't die, they are killed. I've encountered many RVers who have solved their battery problems by making sure they match their use profile to their battery bank and upgrading their charging system to one that will properly charge the battery and provide a maintenance mode that inhibits sulfation while assuring a top charge when the RV is not in use.

A diesel needs a rather high starting current compared to gassers which is why you often find two batteries in parallel for the task. It also tells you that the CCA spec is one of particular interest in choosing batteries for your diesel.

Again, terms like 'deep cycle battery' are marketing terms more to define the target customer and warrranty rather than anything significant about the battery. If there isn't an objective measure that the retailer or manufacturer will put his money on, then don't let it sway your judgment.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Being I live off grid and batteries run every thing I know a lil some thing on batteries!

First off: Deep cycles are rarely ever proper deep cycles! if it will start your truck it aint a deep cycle!

Deep cycle will give low power for a long time! even then they die fast if brought much below 50% dod, Unless it is a traction deep cycle like a gulf cart battery they can suply 25A at a c5 rate.

What you guys want is a standerd AGM starting battery, it will have a btter recovery if drawen too low (How ever constent discharge below 65% will kill it sooner rather then later) and has good charge acceptance as well so it will charge better off a given source.


The only battery that actualy likes to be killed dead flat would be a wet cell nicad, high maintance batteries must be watered often and cycled dead flat and charged each month. Has a very high discharge power rating even when cold! Engine will jump to it second the key is enguaged!
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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"they apparently allow you to pull more amps" and "designed to handle higher charge and discharge rates"

do please check the specs before you take these sorts of things as true. < Indeed!

traditionally, deep cycle batteries meant a lower currrent handling capability favoring 'ruggedness' instead. This is, in part, where the 'thick plates' myth came from. With modern batteries, the differences aren't that significant (check the specs!). Ruggedness is more from design and alloys that allow better optimizations for desired characteristics.
< Correct and wrong! Correct; A deep cycle was designed for indurance at a lower discharge rate, average being the C20 (5A for 20 Hours befor discharged) That is correct. The the Thick plate is no myth, a true deep cycle MUST have thicker plates due to plate warpage or buckling from the sulphite formation during discharge. A thin plate will be torn apart from the larger crystals seen in deep cycling usage, where as a starting battery has very thin plates to allow for very large surface area of reaction to generat the currents needed in starting. In short: Deep cycles make very bad starting batteries! Starting batteries are garbage for deep cycle use!

re: "normal starting batteries dont like being drawn down over and over agian" -- No battery likes a habit of deep discharges.The cycle life drops rapidly with the normal depth of discharge to which a battery is subject. Generally, the 50% DoD point is considered cost optimal - that means no lower than 12.2 volts or so as measured on a 12v battery that has been at rest for at least a half hour. < Less %dod the better really!

re: "In my opinion your batterys will only be as good as the alternator in the vehicle" -- the old sage said batteries don't die, they are killed. I've encountered many RVers who have solved their battery problems by making sure they match their use profile to their battery bank and upgrading their charging system to one that will properly charge the battery and provide a maintenance mode that inhibits sulfation while assuring a top charge when the RV is not in use. < That is correct, you want you total AH to be 2 times what you will use, if you use 50Ah in a day in your truck you want 100Ah more is actualy better 25% dod is a good mark to aim for! How ever this is still near fatal to a starting battery the larger sized sulphite crystels do damage tot he paper thin plates. AGM batteries Have added structural re-enforcment to the plates that allow it to survive lower dod's and allow them to recover better as well, how ever it did not make them immune to abuse they simply survive it better!

A diesel needs a rather high starting current compared to gassers which is why you often find two batteries in parallel for the task. It also tells you that the CCA spec is one of particular interest in choosing batteries for your diesel. < That is dead on accurate!

Again, terms like 'deep cycle battery' are marketing terms more to define the target customer and warrranty rather than anything significant about the battery. < Sadly this is all so true, it is a very miss used term, simply if it has a ca/cca rating on it, it is NOT a deep cycle! Deep cycles will all ways be rated at the 20h rate or 100h rate, common practice is to use the 20rate when designing your battery bank

If there isn't an objective measure that the retailer or manufacturer will put his money on, then don't let it sway your judgment.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The reason "deep cycle" has been used to mean so many things is that it doesn't actually mean any one thing. Given that they use the same chemistry as other batteries (and indeed you can get deep cycle classic lead sulfate, gel, solid, or whatever kind of battery you want) the difference is the thicker plates, and thicker connections between plates, and between plates and lugs.

Don't believe that a deep cycle battery shouldn't have CA or CCA. That is a lot of nonsense, because there are batteries intended for both deep cycle and starting. And frankly, if you put a lot of faith in an amp-hour rating, or any other rating, you're being silly. Manufacturers do everything from re-running tests to outright lying. Just because their test battery performed a certain way that doesn't mean yours will. Etc.

Finally, starting the IDI doesn't necessarily take a lot of battery. I had two sad old tired 650 CCA batteries and they started my truck fine, literally for years after I got the truck. Now I have two shiny new 850s and yes, it starts faster... but only just slightly. But I have a Nippondenso starter instead of the stock Mitsubishi, which I recommend to anyone shopping for a starter. Frankly, I think one shiny 850 would do the job, but extended cranking would risk overheating the battery, and a second battery doesn't add all that much weight.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkypoo View Post
The reason "deep cycle" has been used to mean so many things is that it doesn't actually mean any one thing. Given that they use the same chemistry as other batteries (and indeed you can get deep cycle classic lead sulfate, gel, solid, or whatever kind of battery you want) the difference is the thicker plates, and thicker connections between plates, and between plates and lugs.

Don't believe that a deep cycle battery shouldn't have CA or CCA. That is a lot of nonsense, because there are batteries intended for both deep cycle and starting. And frankly, if you put a lot of faith in an amp-hour rating, or any other rating, you're being silly. Manufacturers do everything from re-running tests to outright lying. Just because their test battery performed a certain way that doesn't mean yours will. Etc.

Finally, starting the IDI doesn't necessarily take a lot of battery. I had two sad old tired 650 CCA batteries and they started my truck fine, literally for years after I got the truck. Now I have two shiny new 850s and yes, it starts faster... but only just slightly. But I have a Nippondenso starter instead of the stock Mitsubishi, which I recommend to anyone shopping for a starter. Frankly, I think one shiny 850 would do the job, but extended cranking would risk overheating the battery, and a second battery doesn't add all that much weight.
There is way more depth to battery selection other then plate thicknes you have to get into the chemistry self discharge rates charging efficienes, discharge efficiencies, Absortion voltge, float voltage whether or not the cell type needs equalizing. How ever it is only tht complicated if you depend on them to run your house for your average consumer you can over simplify like you did, but make no mistake it isn't that simple.

Any manufacturer who gives miss leading specs finds them self soon out of the off grid market! Deal with repuitable companies and the batteries will perform within their tested window, and boy do we test them befor puting them into service! 10 grand is the average cost of a bank! you make damned sure you get what you've paid for!

FYI lead sulfate is the bad thing in the battery not the battery chem, Lead calcium, lead antimony, Lead selenium alloy plates (Determins self discharge rates and to some degree the level of gasing befor the absportion charge is reached), all use lead peroxide in the active paste, Nickle Iron use Nickle compound and a Patasium lithium hydroxid electrolyte, NiCad use patasium hydroxide.

You have Flooded lead acid (Typical in auto motive)
AGM is the upcomer due to its more robust design and ability to survive shock and vibration with added charge acceptance and high discharge rate
Gell is craptastical! Very picky charge voltage window and charge rate limmited and really dislikes high discharges

Exactly and thus not a true deep cycling battery (The term was rather precise as to its meaning back in the day, now days it is a miss leading sales gimmic), if it has a ca/cca it is a hydrid class and not a deep cycle.

I could have writen 3 pages worth of info but that isn't the nature of this thread, Kiss rule is what I was trying to keep it to.
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Last edited by Xeonpony; 11-07-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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re: "The the Thick plate is no myth, a true deep cycle MUST have thicker plates due to plate warpage or buckling from the sulphite formation during discharge." -- I'd suggest taking a look ... and then doing some research on how modern batteries are built. Faure designs have been around quite a while. Also look at energy density by weight and consider its implications. You can't keep up the energy density by burying the reactants inside a 'thick' plate, for instance.

and the Golf Cart being a traction battery? really now.

Context is important. Here, my comments are towards those in the 50 to 250 pound range as commonly available at retail for RV's, autos and pickup trucks.

Having been in a number of barn burners on this topic and seen the futility of trying to bring reality and fantasy together, I have decided all I can do for those with a somewhat open mind is to suggest they go by objective measures- specifications, warranty, and cost. Keep in mind measures that are pertinent to your needs. Value what you hear by how much money the person making the assertion will put behind it.

And do watch out for labels such as "true deep cycling battery" that do not have an objective definition that allows you to separate such a battery from others by some measure or specification.
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