Does anyone know where to buy a second (matching) RITAR DG12-100 battery?

Macca_75

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Aug 3, 2016
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Looking to add a second battery before we start on our trip so I have a few options.

1) Add a second one to compliment the standard Jayco one. RITAR DG12-100
2) Pull the Ritar, replace it with my spare Full Rvier and buy a second Full River (my current one is a few years older so not really sure this is a great/cost effective option)
3) Replace the current battery and add another (not very cost effective, but I could either add 1 x 200aH or 2 x 100aH). I prefer the option of 2 smaller batteries in case 1 dies - I just disconnect it and still have something to get by on until I can replace it. Also least cost effective.

So....

Other than trying Jayco when they re-open does anyone know where I can get them from. Google is coming up pretty empty - only 1 store seems to have them - https://www.batterybusiness.com.au/store/product_detail/ritar-deep-cycle-gel-12v-100ah-ra12-100dg - and you need to "pre-order". I suspect Shipping will also be a killer.

Is there a better brand I could realistically look at?
 

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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While I have GEL batteries when I added another I couldn't find another Bosch battery other than a gold plated one with diamond stud terminals, so I bought one of the same rating and type just a different brand, with 2 yrs age between them, over the last couple of years they have worked well together, charged at rest around the 12.8/12.9v which is certainly full for Gels and they stay that way, I know that because someone forgot to switch the solar back on once, so all the doom and gloom I was told hasn't shown up and mine get a bit of work and are always connected to solar rarely 240v.......
so its worth the gamble to save lots of $$$, I was ready to replace the original Bosch if things didn't work well but no need to date.

If your Full River is a GEL and 100ah as the Ritar just hook em together and see, make sure both are fully charged seperately before you do so they start off even, no harm done and if they work well and good and like me saved hundreds of $$$.......If you go the way of getting 2 new batteries go for AGM not GELS, you will find an AGM on the shelf easily and GELs just harder to find and usually need to be ordered.....not great when travelling.
Don't hook a AGM and GEL together they wont be happy at all.

https://caravanchronicles.com/guides/how-to-connect-two-batteries-in-parallel/

You have the right idea about fitting a biggy 200ah and also you would need a crane to fit it.......... .

As for brands its really like tyres nowadays, Giant, Ritar, Bosch,Full River, Excide some swear they are the ants pants while others curse the day they bought them, some trade on the name tax and charge you for having the name as they seem no better than others.... and I know some may find this strange for me but buying from somewhere that has an easily accessable warranty can be a bonus like Supercheap, BCF, BatteryWorld etc..

Thats just my experience with my GELS set up others may differ of course.


No way in hell would I go to a Jayco or any dealer for a replacement battery
 
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mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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@Drover is spot on.

The main consideration is that the batteries are the same "type". If it was me, I would put the existing Full River GEL battery with the existing Ritar GEL battery.
In large battery installations, where batteries are paralleled and / or put in series, it is not uncommon for one to fail. They certainly do not throw the entire battery bank away to ensure that all the batteries are identical.

It is much more important to ensure the batteries are used and maintained correctly than it is to worry about them being absolute twins. Make sure they are not deep cycled (below 50% State of Charge, SOC) more often than necessary and ensure they are recharged to 100% as soon as possible afterwards. Make sure they are connected together correctly, especially if you are running a LARGE load appliance like an inverter. Make sure they are charged and floated at the correct voltages.

Again, since I am pedantic, I would separate them occasionally (say every 6 months) check the terminal voltage after an hour or so to estimate the SOC, and then charge them separately for at least 24 hours on a multistage charger, again, rest them for an hour and remeasure the SOC.

One issue, is how do you determine that one battery is on its way out? You could do a load test on them, say once a year. Again, if it was me, I wouldn't bother, I would run on only one battery occasionally to get a feeling for its 'normal' performance and replace it when the performance went down markedly. No use carting a 30kg battery in your van if it is not paying its way.

The large 48V battery banks that used to be in Telephone exchanges were set up as twins with two chargers. We could run iny any combination of battery or charger. From memory, it was normal to run both battery banks and both chargers. But that was back in the days when a telephone was regarded as an emergency service. We had a variety of tests we did regularly to ensure the integrity of the battery supply. But we did have one important asset. We could see the water level and measure pH of each battery and thus could determine pretty quickly if one was on its way out. From memory we did this every month. But it was common sense for most of us to give the batteries a quick look whenever we were in the battery room. Otherwise it was done regularly every month when we also ran the diesel generator for a morning.

The reliability of any system is very much dependent on the effort put in to monitoring and maintaining it.

Sorry, this is longer and more detailed than I intended. But, (@Drover please note) , at least for once, I am on topic.

cheers
Mike
 

rags

Well-Known Member
Macca, I have a semi used Ritter battery sitting in my shed that I pulled out of our van when I replaced the electrics with a new system. You can have it except I’m in Brisbane and your in South Mexico. not sure of age but our van is a 2010 that we brought in 2014, so at least 6 years old but it still holds charge.
i also have a similar spare full river battery that I pulled out of old vehicle and didn’t use in new Prado as apparently not very good under bonne.
 

Drover

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That was very interesting about the phone exchange batteries @mikerezny , their workings have always interested me since me sister showed me way back in the plug in cable days ..........................
The checking of each battery individually makes great sense, I do it every so often but never thought why other than curiosity to see if the old one was still good but never ran a load on them.
@rags I have an old battery hooked up in the shed as a 12v test source it has a 2.5w panel on the roof to keep it charged up, works well for the odd time I need some 12v, I owuld be keeping them charged up otherwise they will just be anchors.
 

Macca_75

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Aug 3, 2016
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SE Suburbs, Vic.
Macca, I have a semi used Ritter battery sitting in my shed that I pulled out of our van when I replaced the electrics with a new system. You can have it except I’m in Brisbane and your in South Mexico. not sure of age but our van is a 2010 that we brought in 2014, so at least 6 years old but it still holds charge.
i also have a similar spare full river battery that I pulled out of old vehicle and didn’t use in new Prado as apparently not very good under bonne.
Appreciate the offer @rags but we have plenty of Km's between us. I'll keep thinking about what to put in it.
 

Macca_75

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Aug 3, 2016
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SE Suburbs, Vic.
So picking up on this and the tight @rse part of me not wanting to part with cash.

Ritar DG12-100 Full River DC105
14.2 - 14.4 14.7 (Absortion/equalisation) Cycle Use:
13.6 - 13.8 13.6 (Float) Stand By:

I assume my current settings set to match the Ritar are OK to run both of these (different brands) in parallel?

If I do this do I

1) Leave +ve load to positive of Ritar
2) Join +ve to +ve and -ve to -ve (what cable should I use - 6B&S or 8B&S? I don't have either so will need to buy it). I will probably just ask an autoelec to make these as it will be cheaper than me buying the supplies at retail + the tools)
3) Move -ve load to Full River
4) Adjust Drifta to 200aH (https://www.setec.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Drifter-Manual.pdf - page 11 for my own reference later)

Also, while I am at it if I wanted to monitor/track load on both the Drifta AND the Victron at the same time, do the wires I run to the Victron need to be capable of carrying all of the load at any time or are they more of a "signal" wire? I haven't checked whats currently in the van to see what cable thickness currently is there.