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Old 11-13-2017, 09:34 AM   #1
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6v battery conversion = new converter???

So let me start by saying that I know virtually nothing about electricity and know enough to not poke my hands into places I have no right to. With the disclaimer out of the way, this spring we are planning to replace our 2 12v batteries with 2 6v GC2 batteries (probably from Costco or Sams Club). I have a 2012 Jay Feather Select 29L camper and set up for 30 amp service. I am not home right now so I couldn't tell you what is currently in there for a converter (don't even know if it's a smart charger or not). Should I be planning to change/upgrade my converter? If so, can you point me to one? I am not looking to unnecessarily spend money, but I also want to optimize what I have as well.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:51 AM   #2
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6v battery wiring

Me neither but its a good mod, Wall Mart has a decent price on golf car batteries. A member attached this diagram. Thanks
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File Type: pdf Battery Wiring 11.PDF (104.9 KB, 43 views)
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flintsters View Post
So let me start by saying that I know virtually nothing about electricity and know enough to not poke my hands into places I have no right to. With the disclaimer out of the way, this spring we are planning to replace our 2 12v batteries with 2 6v GC2 batteries (probably from Costco or Sams Club). I have a 2012 Jay Feather Select 29L camper and set up for 30 amp service. I am not home right now so I couldn't tell you what is currently in there for a converter (don't even know if it's a smart charger or not). Should I be planning to change/upgrade my converter? If so, can you point me to one? I am not looking to unnecessarily spend money, but I also want to optimize what I have as well.
Just to level set are you going to make them 12v? or are you thinking you are going to convert to 6v system? I only asked based on your disclaimer.


If you are going to replace your 2 - 12v with 2 - 6v and put them in series as one big 12v then you do not need to do anything with your converter...


make sure to check the date on the batteries before you buy them.. the ones at my Costco are 7/17 so they would be almost a year old sitting on a shelf uncharged if I buy them in May.. one was even leaking... get ones that are no more than 3 months old from production
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:10 AM   #4
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Yes, I am planning to wire the 6v in series to make 12v system (thanks for checking). Since we are done for the season (snowing outside right now) I am not planning to purchase new batteries until April or May. Reading something on a different post about converters that increase the charge for 6v battery powered systems made me wonder if a converter change would be necessary/beneficial if we were going to do this mod.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:47 AM   #5
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Questions...
- Do you do any dry-camping (no shorepower 110VAC)
- Do you do one-night stands (not that type), but overnight without shorepower?
- Do you use an inverter (12VDC converted to 110VAC) for anything.

If you do none of the above, there is no reason to get (2) deep cycle 6 volt batteries. If you just want 2 batteries get (2) 12Volt 85Ah or 100Ah Interstate batteries. There would be now reason to shell out big bucks for nothing. If you do not maintain them properly, it will cost a lot less to replace the Interstate batteries.

For the best performance hook your batteries up as in the pictures below. If you go with the (2) 12VDC batteries note how the Negative and Positive trailer cables are connected. Also mark the cables before you remove them or take a picture, so that you get them connected properly.

The one picture shows where you can mount your battery disconnect switch between the negative battery terminal and the frame connection.

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Old 11-13-2017, 12:52 PM   #6
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We spend probably 60-70% hooked up with power. The other 30-40% is either one nighters at places like Wal-Mart parking lots or a few nights dry camping in state or national parks. We don't have an inverter, but will likely be installing some additional 12v outlets to run things like fans and charging phones. Not having these creature comforts has become a sticking point with the ladies in my life so I'll need to get that taken care of. We do have a generator, and when we are staying put at a local campground it's no big deal to fire it up for a bit while we are just hanging around. When we are camping in other areas (think Madison Campground in Yellowstone) I'd like to be out exploring instead of sitting around the campsite to run the generator during the allowed times.

It looks like the 12v Interstate from Costco is $80 and the Duracell 6v is $85 from Sams Club (Costco doesn't have 6v batteries in stock). From what I can gather, the potential for a handful of extra amp hours is probably worth the $10 (not entirely true because I would expect I'll need to also get battery boxes for the 6v batteries).

I certainly have not made up my mind that I HAVE to go with 6v, it just seems like people who have are glad they did. If I'm being foolish to do so then I don't mind you telling me that either.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:07 PM   #7
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Here's an excellent place to start, and it educated me on everything I needed to know about RV power systems:

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flintsters View Post
We spend probably 60-70% hooked up with power. The other 30-40% is either one nighters at places like Wal-Mart parking lots or a few nights dry camping in state or national parks. We don't have an inverter, but will likely be installing some additional 12v outlets to run things like fans and charging phones. Not having these creature comforts has become a sticking point with the ladies in my life so I'll need to get that taken care of. We do have a generator, and when we are staying put at a local campground it's no big deal to fire it up for a bit while we are just hanging around. When we are camping in other areas (think Madison Campground in Yellowstone) I'd like to be out exploring instead of sitting around the campsite to run the generator during the allowed times.

It looks like the 12v Interstate from Costco is $80 and the Duracell 6v is $85 from Sams Club (Costco doesn't have 6v batteries in stock). From what I can gather, the potential for a handful of extra amp hours is probably worth the $10 (not entirely true because I would expect I'll need to also get battery boxes for the 6v batteries).

I certainly have not made up my mind that I HAVE to go with 6v, it just seems like people who have are glad they did. If I'm being foolish to do so then I don't mind you telling me that either.
2 - 12v will serve you as well as 2 - 6v.. you would need to go to 4 - 6v to get to the 3-6 day without a power source...
make sure you get a true deep cycle 12v not a start/deep cycle etc.. the true deep cycles are north of $200...
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:42 PM   #9
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I'm in agreement with Mustang65, with regard to there is no reason to have two 6v's instead of two 12v's unless your usage patterns make it appropriate. It doesn't sound like you would reap much benefit for the additional expense.

Our usage is similar to yours. We often use our 26BH away from hookups, but we have a small generator that we don't hesitate to use to keep our single 12v topped off.

On my sailboat, with different usage patterns, we rely on two 6v's.

A pair of 6v's, with approximately the same footprint as a pair of 12v's, provide substantially more amp hours. That's the first benefit. The second benefit is 12v deep cycle batteries are generally not true deep cycle. Their plates are thinner. A golf cart 6v battery has thicker, heavier plates and provides true deep cycling. Every battery has a finite number of cycles available, and a 6v simply has more. If you need a more robust battery setup, 6v outclasses 12v.

When I need to replace our TT battery I might upgrade to two 6v's. We'll see. It would just mean that we'd have a much better reserve "just in case".

Your present converter will perform with two 6v's pretty much the same as it does with a pair of 12v's or a single. Two 6v's in series ARE a 12v battery.

BUT.....the converter in your trailer is probably not very good in the first place. If it's the WFCO brand that Jayco typically uses, then it's taking you many more hours to charge than it should. You can search on this, but basically the WFCO converter is SUPPOSED to provide the greater voltage a battery needs at certain times in it's charge cycle, but in reality, fails to do so. It's supposed to be a "smart" charger, but doesn't perform as one.

The efficient fix for that is to upgrade the convertor/charger. Progressive Dynamics makes an upgrade that is made to fit into your existing WFCO enclosure (which also houses your AC and DC electrica panels). Write down the model number of your WFCO unit, and check on the Progressive Dynamics website if there is a direct, bolt-in, replacement for it. There probably is.

I did this in my 2017 26BH right away. Instead of 10 or 12 or more hours to fully charge your battery, I do it in 2 or 3 hours. That's a lot less running of the generator when we boondock.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:16 PM   #10
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I'll take a look when I get home to see what kind of converter I have in my unit right now....thank you for the suggestion.

In terms of 12v or 6v batteries....If I can get 2 6v for $85 each ($170 total), doesn't it make sense to get that instead of the true deep cycle 12v for $200 ($400 total)? Am I thinking about this part too simply?
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