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Thread: special car battery required for coverted vans?

  1. #1

    special car battery required for coverted vans?

    I made an appointment with a new shop to service my vmi system and when I said the one touch sometimes does not work the woman said the car battery could be the issue [mine has tested low recently]. she said they highly recommend that I get it from them so it's the right kind, though she couldnt tell me the brand just the price. I know not to get a cheap battery from kragen from experience, but does it otherwise matter?
    Last edited by leschinsky; 03-27-2015 at 10:18 PM.
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I like the Optima Yellow top series for converted vans. It holds it's voltage better than most, lifts and other wheelchair accessories are very voltage sensitive. They aren't the cheapest out there but last much longer than most. Most auto parts stores will install the battery for free if you buy it there. There are 3 types of automotive batteries flooded lead, AGM and gel. Flooded lead is the oldest technology and last the shortest and tend to lose voltage and amps the fastest. AGM batteries stands for absorbed glass mat and they have enough cranking amps to start your van but also have the ability to hold their voltage even after operating lifts and doors. Gel batteries are the type used for lower amp draw over extended periods of time (like a power chair) but may not be able to deliver enough amps to start your van.

  3. #3
    Ah my local auto shop mentioned agm batteries I think he said for about $250 without labor. the woman at the vmi shop said their batteries were $147 but I don't know what kind it is. guess I'll call back tomorrow. thanks nrf. not sure how no one ever told me this before in the almost 30 years I've been driving.
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

  4. #4
    We have been using remote start for many years. I would not think of opening doors or operating lift without having the engine running. Of course this is also nice in winter and summer when you can heat up or cool off vehicle before you get in. This winter with many well below zero mornings I kept one vent blower aimed at door/lift to preheat the mechanicals before I attempted to open doors, deploy lift. I am a mechanical idiot but I have to think you get longer battery life by starting engine before commencing the big power draws from lift and doors.

  5. #5
    Does it have one or two batteries? I've used batteries from walmart for years in my motorhome, car, boat, jeep. I went through the Optima fad 20+ years ago in the Jeep. (Jeeps are hard on batteries. Off roading and winching) When they first came out they were good, now they are no better than anything else (bought out by big company) and will dent the heck out of your wallet.
    Call VMI and ask them what they recommend for CCA and deep cycle battery.
    If you change the battery every 3-4 years you shouldn't have problems.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I am really happy with my Optima Yellow Top battery for my 2008 VMI conversion Dodge Grand Caravan. They run from $150 to $230 from Amazon.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by leschinsky View Post
    I made an appointment with a new shop to service my vmi system and when I told them of the one touch sometimes not working the woman said the car battery could be the issue [mine has tested low recently]. she said they highly recommend that I get it from them so it's the right kind, though she couldnt tell me the brand just the price. I know not to get a battery from kragen from experience, but does it otherwise matter?
    What make and model van?

    You definitely would want to get the best battery you can for the van, but its not special.

    Are you having trouble with the ramp/door and the van not starting?


    Jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Automotive Innovations View Post
    What make and model van?

    You definitely would want to get the best battery you can for the van, but its not special.

    Are you having trouble with the ramp/door and the van not starting?


    Jim
    Dodge caravan sport 2000

    you recommend agm?

    car is starting but door and ramp sometimes not.


    wish I had remote start ancient!

    bald, just one battery.
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

  9. #9
    If the car starts fine and then the door/ramp don't work its not the battery.
    I have a friend that has that problem and they have chased the fix for over a year. Spent almost a $1000 and it still doesn't work right. If someone can open the door manually the ramp will deploy and the van will squat. Same with closing it. Ramp will go up and van rise, but door has to be closed manually. Sound familiar? The latest "guess" is a $600 dollar part+ labor.
    We are going to try red neck fix next week.
    I don't know if hers is VMI, but its a Dodge.

  10. #10
    well she said it could still be the battery, you sure you're right?

    no mines different, the door will still open and ramp come out if I hold the button down the entire time.
    Last edited by leschinsky; 03-28-2015 at 09:15 PM.
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

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