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Old 03-15-2015, 09:16 AM   #11
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As far as batteries go, i still have the original 2 Magnum Energy RV/Marine batteries in our camper. They have been going strong for 7 years, and we mostly dry camp. We do have an 80W solar panel to maintain them. During winter the camper is always plugged in unless we happen to be winter camping.
We have the same batteries installed on the TT, but are installing a 250W solar system next month. Hopefully they will last as long as the batteries in the camper. They are 12V, not sure of AH capacity. Just FWIW.
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:25 AM   #12
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I have been very happy with the batteries I purchased from Costco. I use dual Grp 24, but they have 27 and GC2 6v if you want to go that route.
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:36 AM   #13
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When comparing the Ah of 6V and 12V, remember to half the rated Ah of the 6V batteries since you will be running them at 12V. I have been vary pleased with my Lifeline AGM batteries. I went with four 6V (600Ah) since I'm a boondocker.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:14 AM   #14
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Speaking of 6v vs. 12v, why switch over to 6 volt batteries when the system is designed for 12 volt? Just curious.

Ken
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:27 AM   #15
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I can't speak to all of the chargers, but the last couple of years of 185RB & 195RB are shipped with a WF8735P power center which bulk charges at 14.4, floats at 13.2, and loaded float charges (when loads are still present) at 13.6. All of those are fine for an AGM like the Trojan which calls for bulk charging at 14.1-14.7 and float at 13.2-13.8.

In regards to the exide batteries, I've had bad luck with them in other uses. I have had good luck with Deka/Penn, Trojan, and Concord/Lifeline.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:26 PM   #16
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I have a question regarding this topic. Having just experienced two brand new deep cycle batteries being dead on our new TT (haven't even taken it out yet); due to the constant draw of the entertainment system, the CO2 detector and refrigerator (I know... I should have pulled the fuse). However, colder temperatures wreak havoc on battery life anyway.
So I have decided to install a cutoff off switch. However, I am also looking into ditching the two 12V deep cycle batteries and changing to running two 6V batteries wired in series to provide the necessary 12V for the system. I am looking at:
Trojan 6v 189AH Deep Cycle Gel Battery T6V-GEL.
Gel batteries withstand the cold much better (actually all temperature extremes)
I had converted my fifth wheel over to running two 6V batteries. They actually last longer, which is why I did it; but that was 11 years ago. Does anyone still do this?
Pros, Cons?
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:43 PM   #17
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From a technical point of view

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKGperson View Post
Speaking of 6v vs. 12v, why switch over to 6 volt batteries when the system is designed for 12 volt? Just curious.
I looked this up while researching which way I wanted to go... 12Volt vs 6 Volt. If we take a look at what is probably the most common 6 volt RV battery on the market, which is the Trojan T105 (220 Ah rating) and a 12VDC batteries (group 27 - 220 Ah rating).. both TRUE DEEP CYCLE. Originally I would have thought that there would not be much difference between the combination, only a bigger case, but I was wrong.

The T105 Deep Cycle plates and the 12 Volt battery plates are made of the same material, but the difference comes into play when you look at the thickness of the negative and positive plates of the T105 battery which are about 60% thicker than the 12 Volt counterpart. Given this information, if properly maintained, the T105's should have a longer life cycle than the 12 Volt batteries. The length of life of these batteries is determined by how much of the material is shed from the plates, which causes the eventual failure of the batteries.

There are more things to look at, like charging series connected batteries vs parallel connected batteries... the extra battery lead (circuit resistance)
needed to complete the 12 volt parallel battery connection. These may seem trivial but over time they play a part in the life cycle of a battery system.

The easy answer is that in a flooded battery system, there are less caps to check on a 6 volt system (6 caps - 2 batteries) vs (12 caps) on (2) 12 volt batteries.

To a normal RVer, the above is way past the information that they want to know, so they just purchase what ever the dealer makes the most money on, as they have no clue either.

Just my thoughts,
Don
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:13 PM   #18
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Mustang65; Thank you for the technical information on this.

As of my last post regarding changing to 6V I did not notice the post from 'clubhouse'.

Technical aspects aside, I can only speak from lived experience. Like 'clubhouse', I am a boondocker. I have spent many hunting trips well off the grid. In fact one of the things my family currently loves about camping is that we usually go places away from cell service and get away from the computers and media etc. We 'unplug'. Anyway, my father had converted his trailer to 6V batteries a couple years prior. Now his TT was an older 1980 series 30 footer (I don't remember the make), meanwhile my 5th wheel was a much newer Komfort. During one hunting trip while camped side by side for over 3 weeks, and all things considered equal, the difference was as plain as the nose on our faces. His batteries were lasting longer than my 12V deep cycle on the fifth wheel. To further this, we spent most evenings after the hunt day was over, playing card in his trailer. Yet, his batteries lasted longer and his lights did not dim as quickly as mine did. As well, we noticed, when we fired up the generators (about every 3rd or 4th day) his batteries reached full charge level. Mind you, he was running two 6V batteries to my one 12V. After that trip, the first thing I did was change my fifth wheel over to 6V's.

Heavily considering doing the same with my new rig, but I will insist on using Gel batteries. Here in Alaska, I personally have seen to many times, batteries that go dead on vehicles over night when temps drop below zero.
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVGun40 View Post
I have a question regarding this topic. Having just experienced two brand new deep cycle batteries being dead on our new TT (haven't even taken it out yet);
Don't write off your 2 batteries yet. Give them a FULL charge and take the specific gravity of each of the cells. Write them down. Take the batteries to a place that can do a TRUE EQUALIZATION of the batteries (connected together). Not the RV dealer, but a reputable battery outlet should be able to accomplish this. The TT's battery charger's equalization mode, is not at what most battery manufactures recommend. They should be EQUALIZED somewhere in the area of about 15.5 VDC with temperature monitoring. I am spoiled as my SOLAR charge controller does this for me, when I request it. Check with the mfr for the exact numbers. Oh, and do not add any of those battery rejuvenator products to the deep cycle batteries.

Have them check the specific gravity (SG) of each cell (write them down) after the EQUALIZATION and if the readings are all close to each other you should be good to go. The life of the battery may have been shortened but it should operate ok.

Keep these numbers (SG) as in a year or two you can compare them to the original numbers and be able to see how your batteries are doing.

You may be able to drop them off and they do the entire process, if you trust them.

Just my thoughts,
Don
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:06 PM   #20
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Thanks Don, I am a do it yourself person, and have the equipment, so I will check the SG as you suggest. Then during my next R&R (I am retired from the military and work a job which I do two weeks on and two weeks off to keep me busy enough to put some extra fun tickets in our pockets) I will look into the equalization process. This sounds relatively inexpensive and easy to do.
BTW, I like the solar panel setup you have; I have checked out the pictures of your install. I am also thinking I will look into a similar setup in the future. Though I don't think I will be mounting the panel to roof considering the snows we get here. I will have to give it some thought. Does your system allow the TT to be run on solar power entirely?
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