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Old 05-28-2012, 10:33 PM   #1
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What size cable for conversion to 6 volt batteries?

OK, I ask this question with trepidation. Many discussions on the merits of 2-6volts vs 12 volt batteries go on and on about what is best....

But -

I've already made my decision and purchased 2 6 volt Energizer batteries from Sam's Club. I also have all the information about series hook-up. But I can find NO information about the guage of the wire that I use to do the hookup.

Can someone please help?
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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Just going to 2-6's? Minimum I would go with is #4 cable... I am running 6-6's and a whole house inverter so I used #00 welding wire..
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
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You should also change out the in-line fuse your are currently using. Since you will be going to the 4AWG cables with ring terminals it is only fitting you change out the fuse block to a ring terminal style. I would also install a battery disconnect switch in this same line as well.

If you dont have a smart-mode converter/charging system you probably will also want to change that out as well. These few items all go along with upgrading your battery system. The modern smart-mode converter/chargers will do almost all of your battery maintenance for you and you won't have to worry much about your batteries for years to come after changing over. The smart-mode converter/charger will allow you to re-charge your two 6v GC2 batteries is as quick as 2-3 hours running your trailer connected to the 120VAC receptacle of a 2KW Honda type generator using a RV30A-15A "DUAL" honda type adapter when you are camping off the power grid.

And you thought this would be all I needed huh haha... These other items arent necessary to continue running but if you have all that firepower now with the new GC2 batteries might as well upgrade the rest of it.

When you change over the automotive bulbs to LEDs then you can stay camping off the power grid for weeks on end if you desire as long as you re-charge your batteries back up in a quick 2-3 hour generator run time period each day.

food for thought.... I did all of my off-road battery beef-up mods in spurts and now I can successfully camp off the power grid for longer periods of times running off the batteries for the 12VDC aplliances and an inverter for the 120VAC appliances. Of course you will not be able to use the air conditioner or any other high wattage item like maybe the high wattage microwave unit.

Going to the high capacity GC2 batteries is the start for all of this... You will want to open some new doors now... You know how it goes... The next thing you will be hearing is "Scotty, I need more power - give me more power- give me all you got Scotty!!!"

Its kinda fun watching CBS NCIS way back in the woods in "full" high def TV mode. You dont even get to to do that at cable hookup sites.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey02 View Post
OK, I ask this question with trepidation.
naaa.....you can ask anything here without fear! Let us know how things turn out...pics are welcome.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:58 AM   #5
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I used the #4 cabling. Already have an on-board smart charger and now also have the Black and Decker 40 AMP portable smart charger. (Got the B&D real cheap at Mendard's home center). Also just purchased the Champion 2000i generator, so hopefully I'm set for now. I've not yet done all the mods that RoyBraddy suggested, but hey...I've got the whole summer.

In the next couple of weeks, we'll be boondocking for about a week solid with 2 adults and 3 teenagers, so we'll see how everything works. The batteries will probably hold out fine...with 3 teenagers (not all my own!) my nerves and patience may not!
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:20 AM   #6
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Just so everyone understands, upgrading your system by installing two 6 volt batteries in series does not require increasing the gauge size of the wiring. The size wiring suppling battery current to the trailer is determined by the amp loads placed on the wiring and batteries. If nothing else is changed but the batteries, no wiring change is warranted. Might be a good idea though if the manufacture skimped on the wire size though.
With that said, many people who chang to two 6 volt batteries also upgrade their system by installing inverters or high capacity battery chargers. These upgrades would certianly require battery wiring upgrades.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #7
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Just so everyone understands, upgrading your system by installing two 6 volt batteries in series does not require increasing the gauge size of the wiring. The size wiring suppling battery current to the trailer is determined by the amp loads placed on the wiring and batteries. If nothing else is changed but the batteries, no wiring change is warranted. Might be a good idea though if the manufacture skimped on the wire size though.
With that said, many people who chang to two 6 volt batteries also upgrade their system by installing inverters or high capacity battery chargers. These upgrades would certianly require battery wiring upgrades.
This is correct. There is no reason to go with #4 gauge wiring. A golf car which pulls mega amps only uses #6. Your trailer is usually wired with #8 so the wire that ties the two batts together needn't be any larger. In my case I just used a #8.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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This is correct. There is no reason to go with #4 gauge wiring. A golf car which pulls mega amps only uses #6. Your trailer is usually wired with #8 so the wire that ties the two batts together needn't be any larger. In my case I just used a #8.
The OP decided to upgrade to 2 6V golf cart batteries, and as part of his upgrade, wanted to know if a different gauge wiring should be employed. The correct answer is: it all depends. The reason people upgrade the wiring has nothing to do with a larger battery bank per se or the amp draw (e.g., #8 wiring can handle a max of 73amps which is more than sufficient for amp draw), but instead, has everything to do with voltage drop. Voltage drop is very important as it pertains to the time needed to recharge the larger battery bank (or any battery bank for that matter). First, the length of the circuit needs to be determined. For example, let's assume that Jayco put the converter (near the power panel most likely) about 15 ft from the battery bank, which is usually at the front end of the trailer. The total circuit length is 30 ft. Second, determine the gauge wiring used for the circuit. Let's also assume that the OP has #8 AWG wiring. The result is a calculated 8.88% voltage drop (via one of the many voltage drop calculators on the web), which in turn, means that it will take many hours to recharge the battery bank. If the OP has a converter with a multistage charger, the battery bank will never see the higher voltage numbers for the bulk and/or absorption phases (typically ranging from 14.8V to 14.2V) due to the voltage drop. Therefore, to decrease the recharging time and take full advantage of the multistage charging features, larger wire sizes are necessary. Again, the wire size will depend upon the circuit length (note: if we used 4 AWG for the above example, the voltage drop would be about 3.5%). Ideally, the voltage drop should be less than 3%; the lower the better.

As stated by Seann45 and others, at a minimum, 4 AWG should be used. If you decide to upgrade to 4AWG, don't forget to use 4AWG for the cable used to connect the batteries in series.
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