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Author Topic: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!  (Read 5960 times)

Wigpro

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    • Capt Jim Lucas
6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« on: July 25, 2015, 11:47:16 AM »
I recently fought through fitting two 6 volt golf cart batteries in my 5er and what a huge difference.

Last year I remote camped at the same place with friends and had to run my generator everyday to keep my batteries up and my small electric freezer frozen - this year I left the freezer at home and I also replaced all my light bubs with LED's and camped a full 10 days and the batteries were still showing green on the meter....

I am impressed with the difference - I also ran my small 300 watt inverter to charge my laptop everyday with no issues....

Additionally I bought a small marine bilge pump and two 7 gallon water jugs and could easily add water to my RV, I could hook to the batteries or the easier method was to just take my portable 12 volt jump pack out and hook to that.

I got the batteries at Costco for about a $100.00 a piece - WOW - make the change it is worth it...

Jim
Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

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Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 02:35:57 PM »
I'm looking into doing the same. My plan is to install the batteries then go someplace with hookups, but don't hook up unless I need to and see what works.

A couple of questions..
Did you use your furnace at all?
any TV?
I assume you ran your fridge on propane?
What are the ah ratings on the batteries you bought?
2007 Springdale 260
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2015, 05:22:12 PM »
Just for the record, it has nothing to do with them being 6v. You probably nearly tripled your battery amp-hour capacity if you replaced one typical 12v with a pair of 6V GC2 batteries. Something like 230 AH instead of 85 or so.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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Wigpro

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    • Capt Jim Lucas
Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2015, 05:34:18 PM »
I replaced two 12 volt marine deep cycle batteries with 2 6 volt golf cart batteries....

I did NOT run my propane heater - the primary consumption was the 12 volts for the propane fridge and some short term light usage so not much, I was conservative on my use - but still I would have been down to almost nothing for power in 2 or 3 days with the old batteries...and never would have been able to run my inverter for the laptop and a couple times small kitchen appliances.

Jim
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 05:44:34 PM by Wigpro »
Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

Travel Blog: http://captjimtravelblog.blogspot.com

Website: www.captainjimlucas.com

Photo Site: http://captjim.smugmug.com/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 05:51:56 PM »
Quote
I replaced two 12 volt marine deep cycle batteries with 2 6 volt golf cart batteries....

OK, then you probably gained about 50% in AH.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 06:10:18 PM »
Boy you did the DELUX upgrade.. Got rid of all the power hogs and installed better batteries to boot.

now I do have a comment on that... GOOD JOB!!!!

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

tfirma

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 02:51:34 PM »
So I was quoted (2) 12v AGM batteries from a dealer (about to get my first RV).   I've heard (2) 6v could work better than (2) 12v.       Would you agree, and also - would that also apply to the AGM batteries (should I ask for (2) 6v instead of (2) 12v?)

Thanks!

Tom

Gizmo

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 03:45:19 PM »
A lot depends on how you will be using your rig and what your power requirements will typically be.  If you plan to stay only in parks with electrical hook-ups, then the 2-12v would be fine.  If on the other hand you are planning a lot f boondocking, particularly with multiple day's, then the 2-6V batteries would be a better choice because as Gary mentioned the 6v batteries will provide considerably more amp hours.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

Utclmjmpr

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 05:56:41 PM »
All that is well and good,,, BUT you still have to replace all you use to stay even at some point.>>>Dan ( tHE NEXT THING WOULD BE SOLAR)
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 06:27:09 PM »
Quote
So I was quoted (2) 12v AGM batteries from a dealer (about to get my first RV).   I've heard (2) 6v could work better than (2) 12v.       Would you agree, and also - would that also apply to the AGM batteries (should I ask for (2) 6v instead of (2) 12v?)

The volts have nothing to do with it. You should ask for the amount of battery amp-hours of capacity that you think you need.

This myth comes about because people replace the small Group 24 marine type battery(s) that are typical small RV equipment with two nice GC2 6v batteries. The pair of GC2s have about 1.8x the amp hour capacity of the pair of 24's.   But if the 12v's installed were the Group 27 size, the ratio is only 1.1x, and with Group 29's it even up.  These are all similar physical size batteries, so no tricks in size.

AGMs are nice because they are essentially zero maintenance. Great for people who are not accustomed to keeping expensive battery systems alive and well.

May I suggest you read my article on Choosing an RV Battery - it's in the forum Library at Choose battery
Gary
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BigSkyTrailerGuy

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 01:13:38 PM »


May I suggest you read my article on Choosing an RV Battery - it's in the forum Library at Choose battery

Gary gets a $20 kickback from Trojan every time someone clicks that link...  But it is definitely a good read!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2015, 01:52:47 PM »
Gotta make those motorhome payments somehow...
Gary
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Kevin Means

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 06:33:47 PM »
AGMs are nice because they are essentially zero maintenance. Great for people who are not accustomed to keeping expensive battery systems alive and well.
... or people like me who are just tired of doing it. Call me lazy but it's sooooo nice to only have to glance at the battery-monitor and dust off the battery-bank to make sure they're alright. It's not difficult to maintain standard lead-acid batteries, (although I've got decades of battery-acid stains on my driveway from doing it), it's just an RV chore I no longer have to do every month. Love those AGMs!

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
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(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

Gizmo

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 08:45:10 AM »
... or people like me who are just tired of doing it. Call me lazy but it's sooooo nice to only have to glance at the battery-monitor and dust off the battery-bank to make sure they're alright. It's not difficult to maintain standard lead-acid batteries, (although I've got decades of battery-acid stains on my driveway from doing it), it's just an RV chore I no longer have to do every month. Love those AGMs!

Kev

I am about there also Kev.  When the time comes to replace my 2-6V batteries, I will be looking at AGM's.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

hes4all

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2015, 07:37:53 PM »
I am about there also Kev.  When the time comes to replace my 2-6V batteries, I will be looking at AGM's.
Good move IMHO!
Terry and Janelle
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tanglemoose

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2016, 01:33:40 PM »
Just purchasing a Cougar Half Ton Series 21rbswe in the next week or so... we are negotiating two batteries on our new unit as our old camper had just one. We do have generator and owned a Kodiak Dutchman Ultimate 200Q without LED lights, so had to charge every morning to go thru the day. We do mostly boon-docking, as we are in the forests usually!

Read thru the article, your friend got his 20 bucks! but a very good read, as I knew very little about batteries and don't one to maintain one, and neither does the spouse.

Wondered if there were any updates on your preference of batteries since this thread started. As I am looking over my email from dealer he is offering a 12V battery + parallel kit. Not much information on type of battery, so I will have to do some inquiring... After reading your notes, I am thinking I want to ask for two flooded cell golf cart batteries instead of the 12V. Guessing that will change the price a bit, even though he wanted 158.00 for battery and kit and install on my new unit. May even want to buy our own and have them install, they seem to want top dollar for any add ons.
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2016, 03:12:00 PM »
Wonder what a "parallel kit" is?  Obviously you need a pair of wires to connect a second battery to the first, but we are talking a couple 12" or so battery cables you can buy at Walmart or an auto parts store.

At $158 for two batteries and the cables, you aren't getting a real deep cycle battery bank. Probably two Group 24 marine deep cycles, which is what most RV dealers seem to think is an "RV battery". The size and shape of the battery compartment in the Cougar will dictate your choice somewhat, but the best bang for the buck will be two flooded cell GC2 (golf cart) batteries wired in series instead of parallel. Should be able to do those for about $200-$220. If you want 12v true deep cycles, the price probably jumps to $300, cause 12v deep cycles are a specialty item and priced accordingly. A Trojan 24TMX, for example.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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tanglemoose

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2016, 03:35:28 PM »
Hi, that was for one battery, one battery is included with sale but we want two with the unit... I am thinking if you put two batteries together... that there must be some wiring, so they both charge when you are on shore power or generator???? but IDK.. I have never been so lucky to have two! Did check Costco and they have a 6V for 83.99, but not sure what model. May tell dealer, I will bring him the batteries, he can install them! ha....
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Lou Schneider

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2016, 03:47:13 PM »
If the batteries are mounted on the trailer tongue, the package price also includes a second plastic battery box with lid.  About $20 at any RV parts place.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 03:50:40 PM by Lou Schneider »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2016, 04:03:32 PM »
There is nothing special about charging or using two batteries wired in parallel, Or series, for that matter. A far as everything else is concerned, they are just one large battery.

I don't see a tongue-mounted battery box on the Cougar half tons, so was guessing the battery is in a compartment. Whether there or on the tongue, there may be some logistics in finding space for a second one.

Costco has excellent prices on 6v GC2 batteries and they are solid performing deep cycles, even though private label brands. Probably much superior to anything the dealer would package up, especially as an add-on to a factory single battery, which is surely a smallish, marine type, 12v.  If you bring your own two batteries, he ought to install them for free as part of the sale overhead, plus you should get the original battery back as a spare. Not much parts or labor expense for him to do that.
Gary
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Dan de La Mesa

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2016, 06:23:05 PM »
Your battery article is lucid and well written, Gary.  Thanks for your efforts.

Question: If an RV currently has two 12v house batteries connected to a solar panel, will the wiring from the solar panel be different if the batteries are changed to 6v?

Stephen S.

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2016, 08:22:28 PM »
Your battery article is lucid and well written, Gary.  Thanks for your efforts.

Question: If an RV currently has two 12v house batteries connected to a solar panel, will the wiring from the solar panel be different if the batteries are changed to 6v?

No, no difference in the rest of the wiring. As long as the storage batteries are hooked up to receive and deliver 12V, it doesn't matter if it's two 12s parallel or two 6s series... just needs to be 12V in/out. The other wires need to be large enough to handle the loads either way.

The only thing to worry about is that the two batteries are as close to each other in condition and age as possible. A weak battery paired with a strong one (parallel or series) will tend to strain one or both into premature failure.
Stephen S.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2016, 10:18:07 AM »
Quote
Question: If an RV currently has two 12v house batteries connected to a solar panel, will the wiring from the solar panel be different if the batteries are changed to 6v?

No. It's still a 12v battery, just with different physical packaging. Technically, they are all 2v batteries, with multiple 2v "cells" packaged to produce the desired voltage, e.g. 6v, 8v, 12v or 24v. Those are all common battery voltages in various industries & applications, and all use the same basic cell technology. So a 12v is 6 cells in one package, while a 6v has only 3 of them. When you put two 6v's in series, you are back the 6 x 2c cells again. Same-same, but in two parts.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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John From Detroit

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2016, 04:23:37 PM »
Thank you Gary... Thank you.

For years I've been saying "There are not six volt batteries in RV's.. Just 12 volt that have been split into two halves for eeasier handline"

Of course each half IS a six volt battery on the shelf.. but when installed they "Magically" (absolutly no magic involved) become a 12 volt battery, to be precise a 4D.  Treat them as such.

(how do I charge them? Charge it?
(Can I replace just one? Can you replace just 1/2 of a 12 volt battery?)

Almost all your six volt questions are answerd by thinking of each of them as 1/2 of a 12 volt battery.

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

tanglemoose

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2016, 05:27:49 PM »
Always a change.. just found a very gently used cougar like we were wanting and almost bought! Going over to pick up next week. there is a place on the tongue to put the battery or two... I am checking on prices. It will come with a battery, but we are going to upgrade. I would like to have one of those boxes they mount on front that holds the batteries. Costco did have good prices, may just buy two and take to a service dept. to have installed along with the Maxxi Vent Covers that we want. Had just put them on our camper we sold...

Now if I just had a solar panel on roof! ha... Can't get hubby to think that direction YET!

thanks everyone!

Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

tanglemoose

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2016, 02:59:02 PM »
Just re-reading this section again, I had to laugh! I was wanting to know about the batteries as we were looking at new RV and we were going to put in our RV deal certain types of batteries.. Just saw my note, about If it only had solar but hubby not ready! TOO FUNNY... we bought a used one, just like we were looking at with two of the 6V batteries...like this post recommended AND it has solar!!! wow...

Now I am going to have to check the batteries and see if maybe some distilled water should be added.. Not sure when that should be done!

Thanks, everyone!
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Fiona Rose

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Re: 6 Volt Battery Update - what a difference!
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2016, 10:09:19 AM »
Just want to say thanks this thread is very informative and timely for me
2014  20' Keystone Springdale 202QBWE  TT
1998  Chevy Tahoe

~Currently living in her on friends' property
~Getting set to hit the highway this summer

 

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