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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    109
    Location
    Solsberry, IN
    Tractor
    Kubota L3830 GST

    Default Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    I am trying to find the optimal battery setup for my jeep. Currently I use a normal 12v starting battery as my main battery and a deep cycle for my aux. battery. This has worked for about 3 years, but the deep cycle doesn't hold up.

    The main battery starts the jeep, runs headlights, and gauges. The aux. battery runs my CB, off road lights, and my winch. They are seperated by an isolator block and are charged with a 100 amp alternator. When not in use for long periods of time, I keep the deep cycle battery on a automatic trickle charger, that shuts off when it is fully charged.

    My issue is my deep cycle battery doesn't hold up very well. I have to replace it each year. Should I be using a starting battery instead? A friend mentioned that a winch would work better off a starting battery. Is there any battery maintenance practices I should be following?

    I know the gel cell batteries would be better, but I haven't had the extra cash to spend on one. Each battery replacement has fallen under warranty. But are they really worth the extra money?

    I also power my cargo trailer with a deep cycle. It powers the lights and inverter that powers the fridge. It's life cycle has also been short. It is charged through the truck and is also kept on a automatic trickle charge when not in use.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,706
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    The deep cycle batteries may not be up to the vibration. I have two in the camper that are approaching four years old.

    Perhaps think about putting in one big battery and a larger alternator for the winch and extra lights.

    The new gel batteries certainly seem to be the best choice.

    Egon

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    1,573
    Location
    Waco, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910; Kubota T1670

    Default Re: Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    I've always heard that deep cycle batteries don't hold up well when charged with high amps. I don't know this for sure, however. We use lots of batteries where I work and for anything with an alternator, starting batteries get the nod. Seems to have worked so far.

    However, 3 years isn't too bad to get out of a battery with that kind of demanding requirements.

    Edit - I just reread your post and saw that you have to replace the deep cycle every year. That's not good. I'd suggest trying a cheap starting battery to see how well it holds up before spending big $ on a deep cycle.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    3,388
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Tractor
    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    You're right on your regular battery for starting your Jeep. The problem is that your winch requires at least as much of a burst of power as your starter does and straight deep cycle batteries aren't designed for that. They're more for running a trolling motor, etc.

    I had a similar situation a few years ago with my trailer battery. It had a regular starting battery when I got it and that didn't hold up any time at all. I initially replaced it with a deep cycle but it wouldn't hold up to the needed load. I went to the 1000 amp deep cycle/starting battery and it's worked well for me.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    8,017
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    Go with the Optima. My Red-top lasted well, even when using just one battery when I had the camper on my old truck(new truck is not ready for batteries yet).

    My B-in-Law had yellow tops in his CJ7. He wheeled it, winched, ect. He was on Rubicon, and had a winch cable rub through on the body. Shorted, and smoked like crazy; major drain. They got the hood up, disconected the batteies(he runs two). Fixed the winch power cable, and even after massive discharge, it lasted 6 more years. He replaced them after 8 years.

    I have other friends who have had Optima batteries far outlast regular batteries. They cost more, but last longer. If you are in the boonies, stuck to the frame, and gotta winch, I would put my money there...

    'Course, I was born in a '42 MB(Ford), so I am jaded to Jeeps. Aint seen the need to winch much [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    109
    Location
    Solsberry, IN
    Tractor
    Kubota L3830 GST

    Default Re: Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    Thanks for replys. I may try changing out my deep cycle in my jeep, to a starting battery.

    What about maintenance? They are all maintenance free batteries, but is there a good way to charge them/when to charge them? I only have the trickle charger and a old 6 amp charger. I've thought about upgrading to something a little more modern.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    8,017
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    My B-in-law ran the two yellow tops with no isolator between. The yellow top works fine as a starter too. His is a '84 CJ7. Originally, it was the stock in-line 6, now it is a fuel injected Chevy 350.

    You noted a 100A alternator; how is it set up? "Tuned" alternators are available which charge at lower rpm than typical, so when you are just idling on the trail you still get charge. The average alternator usually needs the engine to run 1500+rpm to start charging. My B-in-law runs the low rpm alternator that comes as part of the Premier arc welder package(he has the whole package).

    You might post this question on "Pirates of the Rubicon" web page. You would have to look it up on Google or something. These guys run some wild rigs... Some run front and rear winches for serious hard rock trails, and get good use out of thier winches/batteries.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    21
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010 HST

    Default Re: Battery for winching/aux./maintenance suggestions?

    I run a single Red Top Optima in my Jeep for starting and winching. I have a high output alternator. I have been running the same Optima in my Jeep for the past 5 years, and before that it was in a Toyota truck for about 3 or 4 years. I have had no troubles out of my Optima.

    My Jeep is a '91 YJ with 4.0L, 5 speed, lift, 35" tires, old Warn winch, CB, and many other accesories.

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