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vikes40for60

Trolling Motor Batteries

Question

Any recomendations for trolling batteries that have worked well, dont cost a fortune, and are mainteance free. I have (2) 24V Trolling Motors connected currently to 2 Thermoil Batteries. The previous owner badly neglected the batteries and I need to replace (neve kept the water levels to par). Any thoughts or advice? By the way, I have an on board Minn Kota Charger, if that matters.....

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I'm into my 4th year with the Everstart "Trolling" batteries from walmart. Don't mean to push any certain brand, it's just what I use. The onboard charger is the only way to go. If you have one, take a battery charge meter with you when purchasing the batteries so you can pick the best of the litter, and also check on the manufacture date if possible. The newer the better. And the "newer" batteries are normaly at the back of the rack.

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I wish there was such a thing as an "inexpensive, maintenance free, good quality battery" They could keep those in stock!

I also have done well with the Walmart series of battery. Currently I am using a mixture of batteries - I have 5 in my boat (1 starting = Interstate & 4 wired together in a 24V system with plenty of reserve = 2 Interstate, 1 Napa Marine and 1 from the battery store)

I have tried a lot of different batteries, and have found that the way YOU take care of them, makes more of a difference than who made them.

Steve

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Steve, you're right on your last statement. That's why I think an on-board charger is such a good investment.
BTW, that's a lot of reserve you got there.

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Herb,
Sometimes I think it might be overkill, but I spend a lot of time on the big waters, (Mille Lacs, Leech, Vermilion, Rainey) and some of the are 4-5 days with no electric access to plug-in the charger.

I have gone 5 days on Rainey with lots of wind, making some big waves - we were using the bow mount to hold on some mid lake reefs. I even left the live well pump on overnight once -- batteries came home still at 75% charge!

They also help to add weight, so I get a smoother ride. smile.gif

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For $53 I went to Fleet Farm and bought there 130 Amp Hour Deep Cycle battery. I am very happy and impressed with the quality for the price I paid.

It's just the fleet brand battery, and isn't very costly at all. Give it a look.

PCG

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That's about the same as the walmart price.
PCG, what group # is your's?
herb

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Guest

Okay, pretend I know nothing about boats and on-board chargers, except that I know I don't have one.

How do I get one, what will it do for me, and how hard are they to install?

I have a 12V trolling motor battery, and a 12V starting battery. The trolling battery is not connected to any sort of charger, except when I get back from fishing smile.gif

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i have done well with the daystarter navigator series 31 for my trollers. just be sure not to let them freeze in the off season. otherwise they have been a great batt. have a hard time running them down. a little more spendy about $110 each but for the 5 year warranty and the staying power they have i think that they have been worth it.

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Consultant, I'd get a 2 bank on board charger. Mine is a tournament pro 3 banker. No special preference for brands as I think they will all do a good job. Just find one that is water proof. Hook it up to both batts. When you come in from a day on the water just plug it in and walk away. Pretty simple. In the winter I plug it in once a week. You can leave it on all the time but I don't think it's needed.

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There are a hundred different things to consider when talking about trolling motor batteries!!! As far as the battery goes, I am very happy with the L&M Fleet deep cycle. I get on average three years out of them, not bad for a $50 battery. Now for chargers, if you are running a 24 volt system not all on-board chargers are created equal. Dual Pro makes a multibank charger designed for a 24v or 36v sytem that can be hooked up in series at the battery, and not have to break the circut for charging. I personally use a 4 prong plug in system at the motor end, that allows me to run my battery cables in 12v up to the plug. The series circut is then made inside the plug. This system can be used with any multi bank charging system. I also think that it is good to run your batteries down as far as you can from time to time to prevent any kind of memory from developing. Another sometimes overlooked important fact is the size of the wire used. The larger the wire, the less resistance to power up. this will also add life to your batteries. Spend a little extra money up front, and you'll save money down the road.

P.S. When I say I am happy with batteries lasting three years, that's because I use them 75+ days a year!!

[This message has been edited by Fishin'Bemidji (edited 07-18-2002).]

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Four years ago when I bought my batteries and on board charger I call the batt. manufacturer to ask about memory because I too had heard to drain them as low as possible before charging for the first time. The tech told me there is absolutely no problem of memory in today's deep cycle trolling batteries. He said that is still a problem with nickel cadmium batts., but that is about it. He also said a lot of problems occur when people get iin off the water and do not charge their batteries right away. He told me to plug that charger in as soon as I get to an outlet and my batts should last several years as long as they were good quality to begin with. Just before I posted this I took a load test on all my batteries and they test like new and I also spend a lot of time on the water and I leave them in the boat during the winter, outside. Quality batteries is very important, but I think more so is how you take care of them.

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Evenflow,

If you connect your batteries in parallel (positive to positive) to your truck battery, all you effectively do is create a bigger 12V battery. It is true that your vehicle will charge the drained batteries, but this puts a lot of load on your alternator. So if you're not worried about the additional load go ahead.

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Supposedly the wires are hooked to the alternator in such a way that the car or truck battery is not involved in the current flow (except the boat batteries pulling charge from the alternator so the vehicle doesn't get as much charge). I haven't looked under the hood of my own vehicle to see if that is possible.
So vidnovic,
You think this would put some strain on the vehicle's alternator, eh? I would have to agree with you and can imagine it uses quite a bit of juice.
Like I said, I heard about this second hand and it sounded very interesting, but I can't say I trust it enough to try it myself, or I would have already. I was just wondering if someone else had tried it.

So, anyone else hear anything about this setup?


Evenflow

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I heard of a setup at the sports show where another set of wires(s) were hooked up to the positive and negative of each trolling battery and then spliced together. (positive together and negative together) These wires went in a single wire to a quick connector. This is where it gets interesting.
You install positive and negative wires coming off the alternator in your CAR/TRUCK which leads to a connector tied near your trailer and lights. So when you get done fishing after a long day on Mille Lacs, you pull the boat, hook up your tailer lights, hook up the connector from your trolling motor battery(ies) to the connector from your alternator, and as you drive home you are charging your battery(ies).
The booth claimed if you fished Mille Lacs till your battery (one) was dead, then drove home to the cities, the battery would be charged when you got home.

Anyone used or have a system like this? I thought it was a very interesting system but only heard about it second hand.

Evenflow

------------------
It's all just theory till you hit the water.

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My dad's RV trailer connection works in the way that I have described. Actually his running light plug has a connection to his RV's battery. When he travels his truck charges his battery. This is one of the reasons that "towing packages" for pickups usually contain a heavy duty alternator.

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