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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The OEM battery has concerned me a few times on it's limited capacity to power anything in accessory mode following a long trip which should have left it fully charged. I'm so not impressed, I am already eye-balling a replacement. The two contenders are the Optima H6 (yellow top) and the Odyssey 48-720 (performance series). They both run in the $260-$280 range (Optima may be a little more), both are flat plate AGM with deep cycle capability, and both claim to be the baddest boy on the battery block for accessory heavy vehicles. Here is a direct comparison (H6/48-720):

CCA (Amp): 800/720
Capacity (Ah): 72/69
Reserve (Min): 140/120
Charge/Discharge (Cycles): 300+/400
Weight (LBS): 54/48
Warranty (YRS): 3/3

Seems like you get a bit more battery with the Optima, but I understand their reputation has suffered since Johnson Controls moved manufacturing to Mexico. Personally leaning towards Odyssey, but I figured I would throw it out there to the forum for comments and opinions from anyone that might already be running with one or the other. Note: yellow top H6/H7 batteries are not spiral wound like most of the rest of the Optima line. Hey, we're all a little bit bored around here - can you tell?
 

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2018 RTL-T
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I too would lean towards the Odyssey battery, not take anything away from the Optima Yellow top. I have a Optima Yellow top in my Prius I drive to and from work mostly and it hasn’t failed me in 5 or 6 years of service. But then again, it isn’t taxed hard with a lot more electronics similar to the Ridgeline. Of corse if you read any online reviews, you get a lot of complaints on the Optima battery. Probably more people complain if they have an issue and none who don’t. Let us know what you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
These batteries have deep cycle capability. Regular car "cranking" batteries are designed to put out high amounts of amps all at once to start your vehicle. They don't do well at keeping up with constant, long current draws that accessories require. They also don't tolerate a high depth of discharge well without dramatically shortening their service life. Powering accessories with the RL is generally not a problem with the engine running, but on one of our last trips we ran a plug-in cooler off and on for a few hours, and played the truck bed audio for a bit in "accessory mode" (engine off). Guess what, the RL wouldn't start; I had to jump it with my Gooloo power pack. Probably not the OEM battery's fault, I was asking it to do something it wasn't designed for. I just had no idea how thin a margin there was to work with in accessory mode.
 

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2019 RTL-T Forest Mist Metallic
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These batteries have deep cycle capability. Regular car "cranking" batteries are designed to put out high amounts of amps all at once to start your vehicle. They don't do well at keeping up with constant, long current draws that accessories require. They also don't tolerate a high depth of discharge well without dramatically shortening their service life. Powering accessories with the RL is generally not a problem with the engine running, but on one of our last trips we ran a plug-in cooler off and on for a few hours, and played the truck bed audio for a bit in "accessory mode" (engine off). Guess what, the RL wouldn't start; I had to jump it with my Gooloo power pack. Probably not the OEM battery's fault, I was asking it to do something it wasn't designed for. I just had no idea how thin a margin there was to work with in accessory mode.
Interesting thanks for taking the time to educate me ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No problem. Don't get me wrong, it would have been really, really awesome if Honda had properly equipped the RL with a yellow top or Odyssey AGM type battery from the git-go. Would definitely make the $$$$$ we spent seem a bit more worth it, especially since it is the 'proper' battery application for this type of vehicle.
 

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2019 RTL awd, MSM
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I wonder how soon we'll see both deep cycle and high discharge batteries show up in ICE vehicles? With the influx of LED lighting, it seems like deep cycle may be a better choice for all vehicle electronics, and high discharge limited to the sole purpose of starting the engine.

It seems like it would be easy enough to isolate the electrics and make this feasible, while contributing to battery life (or reducing cost of batteries that can make it through the warranty period). On an older vehicle, you could simply wire the starter directly to it's own battery.
 

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IMHO there is no need to complicate things unless your needs are really on the extreme end of the spectrum . . .Like police / rescue vehicles etc etc.

Stock battery may in deed be marginal but there are plenty of better battery options out there and you don't have to go for the "designer" brands like Optima or Odyssey. A quality AGM that meets /exceeds the vehicle's normal requirements will last for years and will handle modest deep cycle duty. If you are going away from civilization for a while always bring a back up regardless of whether you have an expensive Optima or a stock battery.
 

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Just a thought, what about the 2020 OEM AGM battery. Found this part number on College Hills Honda website: 31500-TZ7-AGM100M

Price may or may not be all that much better than aftermarket, depending on what you can get your dealer to do on the price. Personally, I have used Optima in the past on vehicles with higher drain due to big car stereos and I found they never lasted as long as I would have hoped. I had both a red top and deep cycle blue top and I don't think either lasted more than 2-2.5 years.
 

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For decades, I have used the specs of a Duralast Gold as the standard in choosing value in an automotive battery for multiple vehicles.

*CCA - Cold Cranking Amps | CA - Cranking Amps | RC - Reserve capacity in minutes

Duralast Gold: $160.00 and has 730 CCA | 910 CA | 115 RC

Optima Yellow H6: $290.00 and has 800 CCA | 928 CA | 140 RC
Optima Yellow D34: $277 and has 750 CCA | 870 CA | 120 RC
Optima Red 34R: $238.00 and has 800 CCA | 1000 CA | 100 RC
Odyssey 34R: $296.00 and has 800 CCA | 1050 CA | 135 RC
Braille B6034 Endurance: $300.00 and has 850 CCA | 1146 CA | 135 RC
Interstate MTX-48/H6: $215.00 and has 760 CCA | 950 CA | 120 RC

In all honesty, we can go down this battery rabbit hole with various batteries sporting awesome specs and whatnot. End of the day, for a daily use, none of this matters much, since they are all a step up from the factory battery in the truck.
I used to love Duralast Gold, I despise it now due to my experience. I also have a car pc, two amps, a 400w inverter and a subwoofer in the truck. Given the fact that I am pushing 238K on the original alternator, starter, and ignition system, it is safe to say that anything beyond the Duralast Gold is a waste for me. I have seriously thought about alternative batteries, and weighing them against everything with 'value' in mind, I will still come back and buy the darn Duralast Gold anyway. Free replacement Warranty and pro-rated warranty is something to look for too and Duralast still has some good warranty. (My G1 has a Duralast Gold 24F, which has 750 CCA, 935 CA and 130 RC and cost me around $150 originally and then $96 on the 4th year or so after it took a dump).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I concur any AGM battery is a step up. I think Duralast you have to go Platinum for their AGM. I've seen other brands with warranties as high as 60 months. Not opposed to a good value, as long as it will handle accessory mode for most of a day periodically running a cooler and audio system without having to worry about it crying uncle. Let's hear some other recommendations!
 

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I just get the "middle-of-the-road" battery at WallyWorld. When it fails in three years, i take it in to the nearest WallyWorld, get my pro-rated replacement and I'm on my way.

I always keep a jumper pack for when the battery fails. Has worked out great so far....
 
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