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Old 03-08-2020, 10:29 AM   #1
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Battery education 6v vs 12v

Time to replace my 12v batteries in my toyhauler. We do lots of dry camping. Have 2 Ea 12v parallel deep cycle batteries along with generator and 200 w of solar. This set up has been treating us well over the last several years. Was just going to replace with biggest deep cycles I could fit Iím compartment until guy at camper show recommended 6v in series to give me more amp hours. What are benefits to this other than the obvious amp hours and are there any drawbacks
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:04 AM   #2
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Golf cart 6v batteries have thicker plates. So they can proved more amp hours. Thicker plates do mean they weigh more. Great battery for boondocking. New lithium batteries, might have more usable amp hours, but crazy expensive.

If you boondock alot they are they way to go.

Question, you have a 2018 touhauler, which is still fairly new, why do you need new batteries? Properly used and maintained, I would expect 7+ years out of them.
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:21 AM   #3
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There are a number of threads with input on which way to go with batteries.

6 volt do give more amp hours per the number of batteries and that is what I used for many years on several trailers including the toyhauler. We dry camped often for two weeks at a time. The problem came when the batteries went dead in storage (Arizona is not kind to batteries) and I had to try to remove them. It was all I could do to get them out of the cramped space without breaking my back or dropping the battery on the ground and spilling acid everywhere. Also one dead 6 volt leaves you with a worthless live 6 volt in the back country someplace. That was the point that I changed.

I went to 3 12 volt AGM batteries. Around the same amp hours, less weight and no acid, water, checking on the batteries every few months. I have never gone back to 6 volts.
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:55 PM   #4
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So far no long term luck with batteries long term. On my third trailer and average about two years out of batteries. Add water a couple times a year.
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:12 PM   #5
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Time to replace my 12v batteries in my toyhauler. We do lots of dry camping. Have 2 Ea 12v parallel deep cycle batteries along with generator and 200 w of solar. This set up has been treating us well over the last several years. Was just going to replace with biggest deep cycles I could fit Iím compartment until guy at camper show recommended 6v in series to give me more amp hours. What are benefits to this other than the obvious amp hours and are there any drawbacks
here is how I thought of it... if you need the amp hours then you probably need 4 6v batteries (backup). Currently you have 2 12v so if you loose one you are still working.. if you you have 2 6v and you loose one well... you are out of power.. so you could do 2 6v and one 12 v so you have the ability to get done what you would need done. Do you really need more amp hours? are you not able to run your genny? or is it cloudy where you are all the time??? It sounds like 2 12v work for what you designed the question is do you need more amp hours or do you need a redundant system? It doesn't sound like you are in a place that would require you to go to two 6v...
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:13 AM   #6
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There are manufacturers making true deep cycle 12v batteries, yes with thicker plates, you just have know what you are looking for and how to read the spec's for batteries.
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:24 AM   #7
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Some battery choices

https://www.rvweb.net/best-rv-battery-reviewed/
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:46 AM   #8
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After a lot of study, I'm in the 6v camp for both my 26bh trailer, and my 28' sailboat.

The thicker plates have been mentioned. The advantage of the thicker plates is that they are able to withstand discharge to 50% much better than the typical 12v battery. So, given equal amp hours between 6v and 12v, you have more effective power available with the 6v.

With 12v batteries in series, you add the amp hours of each battery to get your total amp hours. With 6v batteries in series to produce 12v, you DON'T add them together for total amp hours. Whatever one battery is rated, that's your total amp hours. Still, dollar for dollar, you're getting more amp hours out of 6v batteries, and typically, longer life.
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:20 PM   #9
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If you are an FMCA member the March 2020 edition of Famnily RVing magazine has an article by Gary Bunzer titled "A 12-Volt DC Primer: Part 1". This part of the article has some good information regarding batteries.
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:29 PM   #10
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This will be my 7th season on my pair of Trojan T-105 6V batteries and they are going strong. I think a good quality pair of 6V in series is a perfectly reliable way to go. I check my water levels at the beginning and end of each season and top up with de-ionized or demineralized water (the stuff meant for batteries). They usually take a couple ounces each year. I think a big proponent of battery health is the converter. A good quality, true smart charger with different charge modes is necessary as to avoid over or under charging the battery, or boiling it down by not dropping down to storage voltage (13.2V) causing water levels to lower and plates being exposed which causes them to die.

I will likely get another pair of Trojan 6Vs when these ones go. The big thing for me was fitting them on the tongue of the trailer in the battery tray. They fit perfect, and give me more amp hours than a pair of same size 12Vs. On a fifth wheel or a travel trailer with a storage deck on the front, four 6Vs would be my choice where space was not an issue.
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
After a lot of study, I'm in the 6v camp for both my 26bh trailer, and my 28' sailboat.

The thicker plates have been mentioned. The advantage of the thicker plates is that they are able to withstand discharge to 50% much better than the typical 12v battery. So, given equal amp hours between 6v and 12v, you have more effective power available with the 6v.

With 12v batteries in series, you add the amp hours of each battery to get your total amp hours. With 6v batteries in series to produce 12v, you DON'T add them together for total amp hours. Whatever one battery is rated, that's your total amp hours. Still, dollar for dollar, you're getting more amp hours out of 6v batteries, and typically, longer life.



12v batteries for an RV need to be wired in a parallel configuration, not in series.
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Old 03-13-2020, 04:20 PM   #12
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Ah....meant parallel. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:33 PM   #13
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12v Gel

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12v batteries for an RV need to be wired in a parallel configuration, not in series.
I have 6 12 v 100 amp batteries wired parallel. Seems to work well. I can use microwave and coffee pot. Just not at the same time. The cappuccino machine is a killer, but on a sunny day I quickly recover.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:58 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Doughydman;836689]Time to replace my 12v batteries in my toyhauler.



As mentioned before your life of those 12 volts seems way short.
Do you pull them below 12 volts very often?
Do they run partially dry several times?
Have you checked the voltage your controller puts out? to high or low will hurt your batteries.
Is your controller a less expensive model and not a MPPT model?
Do you use a trickle charger off season?


Any one or a combination will cause premature death on batteries. Same will happen to 6 volt batteries or new 12 volt batteries.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:48 AM   #15
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Doughydman, I totally agree with other posters about finding out what is killing batteries on your unit. Donít know for sure, but I suspect several deep discharges could be one of the possible causes of short battery life. In order to help you pick out what the best solution would be for you, I would like more information please. Are you limited to just the tounge? Jay
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:13 AM   #16
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To check what loads are still present when the battery disconnect switch is off you can use a digital multi meter and remove one fuse at a time and put the leads of the meter on the two slots the fuse came out of and check for current.
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Old 03-29-2020, 02:24 PM   #17
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30 months with 4 six volt trojans in my fiver. Holding strong. I installed a manual water feed so I have the ability to top off the water level on all cells just by squeezing the bulb. easy peezy. I keep the fiver plugged in 24/7 at home as well as on the road, with a xantrex inverter. I have started to put trickle chargers on all my vehicles and have found this to make a huge difference on battery life. 6 different vehicles that don't seem to get driven as often as I would like. Water and a good trickle charge will increase battery life to 5 to 7 years.
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