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Old 04-23-2016, 06:30 PM   #1
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12 or 6 volt batteries?

So here's one for debate. Should I have the dealer install two 12 volt batteries or two 6 volt? We don't boondock very often and I carry a Honda Generator when we do. Is it worth the extra cost for the 6's?

The new 5er showed up at the dealer this morning and they haven't touched it yet so this is a good time to make a decision.

Thanks !


Tom
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:39 PM   #2
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So here's one for debate. Should I have the dealer install two 12 volt batteries or two 6 volt? We don't boondock very often and I carry a Honda Generator when we do. Is it worth the extra cost for the 6's?

The new 5er showed up at the dealer this morning and they haven't touched it yet so this is a good time to make a decision.

Thanks !
Tom
Questions:
What size generator do you have?
When boondocking, are there restrictions on when you run your generator?
How much 12v power do you need when not running the generator?
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:53 PM   #3
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The Honda is just a 2000 watt and is really quiet. I typically only run it in the morning for an hour or so to top off the batteries, make coffee and so the DW can do her hair. Then again in the evening for an hour or so. Typical quiet hours are from 10 pm to 7 am so that's not an issue.

We don't pull much power from the batteries cuz all we use are the lights and they're all LEDs.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:59 PM   #4
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The Honda is just a 2000 watt and is really quiet. I typically only run it in the morning for an hour or so to top off the batteries, make coffee and so the DW can do her hair. Then again in the evening for an hour or so. Typical quiet hours are from 10 pm to 7 am so that's not an issue.

We don't pull much power from the batteries cuz all we use are the lights and they're all LEDs.
I'm not a 12v guru, but sounds to me like a pair of 12v would be sufficient (maybe even one). If you haven't already, you'll need to keep a watch on your battery voltage (under no load conditions) to see if your generator run times are getting your batteries back to a full-charge state.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:05 PM   #5
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With only two batteries as you are talking there is a "downside" to two 6-volts wired in series. If while on the road one dies, you are left without coach power. If you have two 12-volt batteries and one dies you can disconnect the bad battery and keep camping, albeit with half the amp-hours.

While I decided to replace my original coach batteries with 6-volt Trojan "real" deep-cycle batteries, I have four batteries. So if I have one go bad I can take a pair out of service and still keep going. But also know sudden, complete battery failures are rare, especially if you use a quality battery like a Trojan.

If the dealer is willing to install either two 12- or 6-volt batteries, are the 12's actually deep-cycle batteries or are they "dual-purpose" marine batteries? Because those combination starting/deep-cycle batteries are not nearly as capable as a true 6-volt deep cycle battery like a Trojan T-105 or T-145.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:06 PM   #6
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The old coach seemed to do ok but we haven't taken the new one home yet. Dealer says they'll install 2 12s but will charge me $180 for the 6volts. Kinda steep since they haven't even put the 12's in yet.

I figure I'm ok with the 12's too but input from the veterans is welcome.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:41 PM   #7
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In most cases, you will get much better "cycle" with a pair of 6-volt golf cart batteries. They rarely "go bad" as longs as you make sure that they are fully charged when you store them for the winter (and there is no draw on them while being stored), so the fear of one going bad and leaving you with only 6v is a very rare occurrence. I run four 6v batteries, wired as 2 "big" 12v batteries, and keep them charged with 300w of solar panel when dry-camping.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:27 AM   #8
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Here's a couple of recent JOF threads on the subject of batteries that may provide some additional insight:

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f3...ups-34096.html

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f7...ade-34976.html

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f5...s-34179-2.html

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f7...y-33454-3.html

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Old 04-24-2016, 08:39 AM   #9
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Have been using twin 6v on houseboat and the last 2 tts and have never had one of the go bad. I had a set not take a full charge after 6 years, but still had 12v just not for as long as when they were new. If you need more reserve power than one good 12v, then for sure you should step up to twin 6volts. If it were me I'd take the basic battery from the dealer and buy my own batteries from somewhere else. The risk of loss of power when a 6v dies is so very very small and not a factor in deciding your battery choice.

Why do you need more than one 12v with your planned usage? Simple, pretty much all CGs have generator hours that restrict use. Install an inverter and run your entertainment center and other moderate draw items after you shut down the generator in the early evening. Twin 6v or 2 12v batteries will both serve that need. Want more reserve capacity then go with the 6's. The extra cost of 6v's is not that much when compared to "top shelf" 12v's [not the cheap ones your dealer will supply[.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:06 PM   #10
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Are they are giving you TWO 12VDC batteries or TWO 6vDC Batteries to make one 12VDC BIG battery. The better AHs will come from the two 6VDC batteries connected in series... Having two 6VDC batteries wired in series has one rare drawback in that if one goes bad on your you are dead in the water. You have no way to produce the 12VDC your trailer needs to keep going... This is a rare event and I can't actually say I have ever heard of one failing but it culd. We live for PLAN B's haha...



The two 6VDC Batteries connected in series will give you around 220AHs which will produce 12VDC @25 AMPS for about 447 mins (7.45 Hrs) until 0% charge state. Of course you don't ever want to go below 50% charge state or you will do damage to your batteries so you will only get 3.7Hrs of use drawing a big 25AMPS here...

The two 12VDC Interstate 85AH Batteries connected in parallel will only give you around 170AHs capacity which related to 280 minutes (4.6 HOURS) when drawing 12VDC@25AMPS down to the 0% charge state. Down to th 50% charge will be just only be drawing 25AMP for 2.3 hours.

You can see the big difference here for about the same cost per WATTs being produced... The 12VDC and 6VDC batteries cost about the same price around $90 each...

Of couse 25 AMPS of power being drawn from you battery bank is alot of juice at one time. In you case the ceiling lamps may be your biggest drain. Each bulb turned on will draw 1AMP from your battery. Each ceiling lamp fixture has two bulbs in the them... This can add up pretty quick. Most of us change those over to LED LIGHTs rather quick. Your 12VDC furnace will draw 5-6AMPS when turned on... The rest of the parasitic items will add up to around 1-2AMPS... Running an PSW POWER INVERTER from your battery bank to run your HDTV and other home entertainment items (100WATTS) will draw around 8AMPS

Sorta depends what you want to do haha...

I have three 12VDC 85AH Interstates connected in Parallel in my OFF-ROAD Camper. Being a Ham radio guy I use a few watts each evening and momabear is watching HDTV all the time after we settle down for the evening until lights out at 10-11PM. Sometimes she like to have her 12VDC lap blanket on as well... I have my battery fully monitored to let me know when I am approaching 12.0VDC which is approximate 50% charge state. Like you I want this to occur around 8AM the next monring so i can run my trailer off my generator and charge the battery bank back up to its 90% charge state. This takes me around three hours of generator run time with my smart mode PD9260C converter/charger unit.

If I only charge back up for an hour or so then the next time I start using my batteries they run out of juice alot quicker each time. I have to go the 90% charge charge state to get 99% of their rated performance.

This is what we do when we camp off the power grid which is mostly what we like to do...

Not much on the RV Traveling part...

Roy Ken
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