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Old 12-01-2020, 12:19 PM   #1
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6V vs 12V

Love to hear thoughts on 6v vs 12v house batteries in a Class A motorhome. We don't do a ton of boondocking, mostly shore power at CG.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:43 PM   #2
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6-volt deep cycle batteries offer longer life than 12-volt "marine" or dual-purpose batteries that most RVs tend to come with. Thicker plates in 6-volt batteries provide a longer lifespan than the thinner plates in a similar size 12-volt battery. 6-volt batteries generally provide good value when it comes to "amp-hours per $$". But you must keep them watered and still not discharge them more than 50% lest you shorten their lifespan. But many 6-volt batteries offer a single-point watering system that makes keeping the water levels up very easy. One example is Trojan's Hydrolink system.

But many owners find AGM batteries also serve well; and lithium battery systems are coming on strong and dropping in price. But for me, my 4 Trojan T-105 batteries are still working great 4+ years out!
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:58 PM   #3
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6-volt deep cycle batteries offer longer life than 12-volt "marine" or dual-purpose batteries that most RVs tend to come with. Thicker plates in 6-volt batteries provide a longer lifespan than the thinner plates in a similar size 12-volt battery. 6-volt batteries generally provide good value when it comes to "amp-hours per $$". But you must keep them watered and still not discharge them more than 50% lest you shorten their lifespan. But many 6-volt batteries offer a single-point watering system that makes keeping the water levels up very easy. One example is Trojan's Hydrolink system.

But many owners find AGM batteries also serve well; and lithium battery systems are coming on strong and dropping in price. But for me, my 4 Trojan T-105 batteries are still working great 4+ years out!
Great information...thanks! I've used golf cart batteries in the past and am familiar with watering them. Thanks also for the photo. You have 4 6v chained together?
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:12 PM   #4
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Great information...thanks! I've used golf cart batteries in the past and am familiar with watering them. Thanks also for the photo. You have 4 6v chained together?
Yes. It originally came with 4 12-volt Harris "Marine" batteries that didn't hold up long.

The batteries are connected such that two batteries are in series (to give 12-volts) and then the two pairs are connected in parallel to provide more amp-hour capacity.

Here's another more recent view of my setup, you can see the HydroLink lines on the fill caps. I also attached an explanation sheet and picture that describe the battery connections, a couple other owners found them helpful.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:33 PM   #5
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To me it comes to to your needs and wants. If you compare dual 6 volts to dual 12 volt batteries. In comparable sizes. The 6 volt batteries have more amp hours. 6 volt batteries in series, you add the voltage, but the amps rating stays the same. Dual 12 volt batteries in parallel, the voltage stays the same, but add the amp hours. Almost always, the dual 6 volt will have more amp hours. In RVing amp hours are king.

The hard part is deciding what is best for you? Your class A should have a generator, so recharging everyday, could be double. But what do you have for power draw? Residential frig running on an inverter, use a lot of amp hours. Does someone need a cpap, or other device? Like lots of lights on at night? Cold weather camp, running the furnace (fan is a big power hog).

If you have a residential frig, I would get a clamp amp meter, and see what your battery power draw is. A good voltage meter, and referring a battery charge chart, can also give you an idea, by monitoring how long your current battery bank will last and what your using. My recommendation is to make sure you have at least 24 hours of battery time, ideally at least 36 hours, just incase you cannot run the generator one day.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:31 PM   #6
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Love to hear thoughts on 6v vs 12v house batteries in a Class A motorhome. We don't do a ton of boondocking, mostly shore power at CG.
Thanks in advance!
stick with 12v for what you are going to use it for... 2 of them you always have a fail over if you isolate one from the other with a switch. There are switches that allow for house and start batteries.. and discharge one at a time but charge them together.. that is what I would recommend..

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Old 12-02-2020, 06:46 PM   #7
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Yes. It originally came with 4 12-volt Harris "Marine" batteries that didn't hold up long.

The batteries are connected such that two batteries are in series (to give 12-volts) and then the two pairs are connected in parallel to provide more amp-hour capacity.

Here's another more recent view of my setup, you can see the HydroLink lines on the fill caps. I also attached an explanation sheet and picture that describe the battery connections, a couple other owners found them helpful.
Awesome. Thank you!
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:47 PM   #8
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stick with 12v for what you are going to use it for... 2 of them you always have a fail over if you isolate one from the other with a switch. There are switches that allow for house and start batteries.. and discharge one at a time but charge them together.. that is what I would recommend..

look up west marine
Thanks much!
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:49 PM   #9
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To me it comes to to your needs and wants. If you compare dual 6 volts to dual 12 volt batteries. In comparable sizes. The 6 volt batteries have more amp hours. 6 volt batteries in series, you add the voltage, but the amps rating stays the same. Dual 12 volt batteries in parallel, the voltage stays the same, but add the amp hours. Almost always, the dual 6 volt will have more amp hours. In RVing amp hours are king.

The hard part is deciding what is best for you? Your class A should have a generator, so recharging everyday, could be double. But what do you have for power draw? Residential frig running on an inverter, use a lot of amp hours. Does someone need a cpap, or other device? Like lots of lights on at night? Cold weather camp, running the furnace (fan is a big power hog).

If you have a residential frig, I would get a clamp amp meter, and see what your battery power draw is. A good voltage meter, and referring a battery charge chart, can also give you an idea, by monitoring how long your current battery bank will last and what your using. My recommendation is to make sure you have at least 24 hours of battery time, ideally at least 36 hours, just incase you cannot run the generator one day.
Thanks for the reply. I need to know what the capacity is for the bank for sure. We're plugged in most of the time, so I really don't know the capacity. The big draw would be the blower motor, but since we're on shore power, it doesn't drain the house batteries.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:12 PM   #10
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The factory has gone to 6 volt AGM, from the spec sheet.

2) 6V AGM (220Ah) house batteries on slideout tray
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:45 PM   #11
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There are true deep cycle 12v batteries on the market which have just as thick of plates as 6 volt batteries. Most of the major manufacturers make them, the 6v vrs 12v debate is now an old wives tale.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:05 PM   #12
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There are true deep cycle 12v batteries on the market which have just as thick of plates as 6 volt batteries. Most of the major manufacturers make them, the 6v vrs 12v debate is now an old wives tale.
Very true, there are a variety of 12-volt deep-cycle batteries available. But the costs are significantly higher than 6-volt batteries of a similar physical size. Perhaps as they become even more common the prices may equalize.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:23 PM   #13
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Very true, there are a variety of 12-volt deep-cycle batteries available. But the costs are significantly higher than 6-volt batteries of a similar physical size. Perhaps as they become even more common the prices may equalize.

Yes, but the benefit of two batteries of the same size is that with the 12v batteries you get double the ah for the same area used.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:50 PM   #14
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Yes, but the benefit of two batteries of the same size is that with the 12v batteries you get double the ah for the same area used.
Not quite true, most 12 volt group 27 deep cycle batteries, including Trojan and Lifeline are only 100-105ah batteries. Take the same 6 volt deep cycle GC2 batteries that fit in the same space as a group 27 are rated at 205-225ah. So it still takes 2 - 12 volt batteries to get 200-210ah vs 2 - 6volt batteries to get 210-225ah Advantages of Using 6V Batteries are they have larger Ah capacities. When fully charged, 6V batteries have bigger capacities compared to 12V batteries. They have a bigger discharge and recharge capacity. This means that you can discharge and recharge the batteries more often than 12V batteries. I will always go 6 volt over 12 volt based on my experiences.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:43 AM   #15
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Not quite true, most 12 volt group 27 deep cycle batteries, including Trojan and Lifeline are only 100-105ah batteries. Take the same 6 volt deep cycle GC2 batteries that fit in the same space as a group 27 are rated at 205-225ah. So it still takes 2 - 12 volt batteries to get 200-210ah vs 2 - 6volt batteries to get 210-225ah Advantages of Using 6V Batteries are they have larger Ah capacities. When fully charged, 6V batteries have bigger capacities compared to 12V batteries. They have a bigger discharge and recharge capacity. This means that you can discharge and recharge the batteries more often than 12V batteries. I will always go 6 volt over 12 volt based on my experiences.



My research has come up up with different results. I'll stick to my guns on this. besides your really splitting hairs on 15 ah and I have to disagree on discharge specifications as most manufactures have different testing standards. There's umpteen Youtube videos on these tests so I will agree that we disagree as usual. Sometimes drinking Trojans Kool Aid is just that, manipulated test results that Rolls, Deka, Penn, Johnson and other manufactures may test to more, or different standards. Unless there is a uniform testing standard, which there is not, then the manufacturers of batteries as do other industries manipulate test results, or test to different calibrated standards to make their products more favorable to the consumer. My premise of true deep charge 12v batteries being equal to 6v true deep cycle batteries in available capacity is because the internals are built to the same standards the only difference being a 12 or a 6. If you knew the physics behind the difference in voltages then you would understand. 6 volts has no inherent advantage over 12 volts especially when two 6 volt batteries need to be mechanically connected together (impedance issue here resulting in efficiency).
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:03 AM   #16
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with the 12v batteries you get double the ah for the same area used.
The main point I was trying to make was you donít get double the ah for the same area used with 12 volts. You still have to have two 12 volt batteries to get a little less ah than two 6 volt batteries.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:21 AM   #17
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The factory has gone to 6 volt AGM, from the spec sheet.

2) 6V AGM (220Ah) house batteries on slideout tray
Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:07 AM   #18
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I have 2 6-volt batteries, I replaced 2 12-volt batteries, much happier, very pleased with the results.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:52 PM   #19
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Not sure about motor homes, but in the TT world, in most applications you canít get 2 group 27 (much less the wider group 31) with the 2 battery boxes to drop down on between the frame in the front of the TT. That leaves you with the smaller group 24 batteries and the boxes that go with them. 2 6 volt GC2 batteries will fit in the group 24 boxes, but are taller and need lid mods done to the boxes. That gives a real boost in Ah over 2 group 24 12 volt batteries.
2 group 24 = 110 Ah
2 group GC2 = 210 Ah.
Looking at the pictures, it looks possible that you could put in 4 group 31 12 volt batteries turned sideways. Being a 12volt guy if they will fit, that is the way Iíd go. Jay
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:48 PM   #20
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Maybe I am wrong but here is my take. 2 12 volt batterys = 12 volts. 2 6volt batterys = 12 volts. If one of the 12 volt batterys go bad you still have 12 volts. If one of the 6 volt batterys go bad you have 6 volts. Now if I am correct things that are in the trailer run off of 12 volts not 6 volts. So things will still work if one 12 battery goes bad. But not if one 6 volt goes bad.
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