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Old 02-10-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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Battery question

Does it matter what batteries you use? 2 x 6V or 2 x 12V. Sorry newbie question. Basically which batteries are the best?
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #2
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Its a trade off and depends on how you will use you TT.

2 6V will give you the most amp hours, but are quite a bit heavier and take longer to charge. 2 12v provide far lower amp hours (Grp 27 is better than Grp 24) but still less that 2 6V.

If you plan to camp primarily without hookups for extended periords of time the 6v option will power your DC systems the longest. If you will typically be camping with hookups and only shorter times with no AC connection (24-48 hrs) the 2 12v should work fine.

No matter what, without hookups you need to remember that without an integrated inverter you are only getting DC power. That means no Air Conditioner, Microwave and your 110 outlets aren't powered. If you don't have a DC powerd TV that is gone too.

Also, batteries are typically on the TT Tounge. That will increase your tounge weight so you need to make sure the A Frame and battery braket are up to the increase load and that TV can sustain the additional hitch weight.

I personally opted for 2 12V Grp 27 batteries and sparingly use a 2000V Yamaha generator for charging or if we need a quick hit from the microwave. The Generator won't power my 13.5cfm AC. Additionally I have a portable 500v DC to AC inverter if I need AC power for something brief (i.e. cell phone or computer chanrging)

Hope this helps
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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Do some trailers have built in AC/DC converters? I would be doing both dry and hooked up camping. Are 6v more expensive? How battery conscious would I have to be to have lights, maybe tv for a movie for the kids, for a 3-4 night camp if I was going dry camping?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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All modern TT have converters (AC to DC). This is what charges you battery when plugged in also while on shore power provides the 12v supply needed for the 12v system.

Inverters (DC to AC) aren't standard but can be added.

6v initial costs are certainly high than 12v batteries. However they last much longer, I have heard of people getting 15years out of 6 volts. Warehouse stores like Costco seem to be a good place to purchase batteries.

Every power draw adds up. Lights can be made more efficient with LEDs. TV power consumption varies widely between different units. While dry cramping the biggest battery killer for us is the furnace. A couple of cold nights running the furnace will kill 2 12v batteries

By watching our power usage we can get 3 days on our 2 12v batteries.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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I did the (2) 6V GC (golf cart) battery conversion in my past and present units. Same batteries at 2.5 years old they are well worth the money. Depending on your location will determine the availability to buy discounted batteries. I have found the 6V to be most available in areas where golf courses flourish and people own their own.In the north it's not as popular as the warmer southern states where you can pick them up for half of the cost in club stores or some auto parts stores. That's what I did.

Local RV shops will stock them in most cases and run in the $150.00 each range.

To do 3-4 nights your going to need a good set of batteries. I frequently do the 3-4 and 7 night dry camping during the season and the 12V did not hold up for longer than one 24hr period with stock lights and not much else besides the water pump, fridge and sensors. If you need heat forget it. 12hrs max before your 75% drained.

In going with the (2) 6v setup I can now run all my systems and three TV's for about a total of 3 hours and still have over 12.1-12.3V in my batteries. I run a 700W inverter with a voltage meter built in so I know when I need to bring it back up with the genny which is something you are going to need. Solar is an option as some can steer you in the right direction on that option should you desire.

The genny size depends on your needs for additional comforts, AC, micro, coffee pot. If you just want a charge then 1000W will do just fine in charging your batteries in a few hours each day.

I try not to run mine past 50%depleted so the life will extend but you can run them way down without worry. The key is AH (amp hours). If rated for CCA (cold Cranking Amps) it is not a true deep cycle and the lead plates are thinner with no real storage capacity. Thus the 6V will add tounge weight and should be considered in your choice as well. The 6V weigh about 50# each where the 12V run in the 30# range.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips,

Going to the dealer to order the trailer in about 1hr. I'll see if they can change the 2 12v to 2 6v instead.

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Recommend the Trojan T-105 batteries if you go with two 6V. Sam's Club also sells a GC2 size deep cycle golf cart battery that is similar but I can't tell you how long they would last. Finally, Crown makes some real nice batteries too according to their published specs.

But one thing is for sure, you will get more amp hours (AH) from two 6Vs that you will with two 12V. On the downside, just realize that if you were to lose one of the 6Vs, you can't run your trailer off the remaining 6V.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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I am running the Sam's club Energizer GC2's with great results. You should get a break on one battery being you are not taking one of the 12V variety.

The Trojan's T105's are very good batteries.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quahog View Post

But one thing is for sure, you will get more amp hours (AH) from two 6Vs that you will with two 12V. On the downside, just realize that if you were to lose one of the 6Vs, you can't run your trailer off the remaining 6V.

Not a problem because if one battery goes bad it will kill the one it is attached to. Dosen't matter if they are in series or parallel.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Not a problem because if one battery goes bad it will kill the one it is attached to. Dosen't matter if they are in series or parallel.
Trying to absorb this point... so you're saying if one of the two batteries goes bad, it will suck the life out of the other, thereby taking it down too? That makes sense.

I'm planning to install multiple batteries soon with a Blue Sea 9001e battery switch (1, 2, both, or off). The thinking is, if you know you have a bad battery or want to isolate one for service or replacement, the switch would allow that and allow the remaining batteries in the bank to keep functioning. I've even considered adding two 6Vs to my existing 12V (separate circuits) with multiple switches to address any single point of failure. Right now, tongue weight is the limiting factor (along with the wallet!).
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