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Old 09-29-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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batteries in MH--House batteries

Are the batteries in my 2000 Tradewinds MH 6 volt or 12 volts. Since they are wired in series i assume they are 6 volt. Your help would be appreciated. Rivrduk
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:58 PM   #2
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Easiest way to tell is to see how many fill caps (cells) are on top of the battery.
3 for 6 volt, 6 for 12 volt.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivrduk View Post
Are the batteries in my 2000 Tradewinds MH 6 volt or 12 volts. Since they are wired in series i assume they are 6 volt. Your help would be appreciated. Rivrduk
Like Wanabee said, count the caps. On your Tradewinds you should have 2 different battery banks, 2 or 4-6V coach batteries and 2-12V chassis batteries. The 6 Volt coach batteries are wired to deliver 12 volts for your coach needs-lights, fans, sensors, etc. Your 12 volt chassis batteries are for starting the motor, and cockpit gauges, radio power outlets, headlamps, heater motor, etc.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rivrduk View Post
Are the batteries in my 2000 Tradewinds MH 6 volt or 12 volts. Since they are wired in series i assume they are 6 volt. Your help would be appreciated. Rivrduk
The first thing ANY/EVERY RV owner should do is trot to your local electronics emporium (most likely Radio Shack) and buy a VoltOhmmeter! (VOM) and learn how to use it. RS has a nice one for under $20. Model: 22-182 .

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Old 09-30-2010, 11:41 PM   #5
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I have four batteries that have 3 caps that are wired in series, so i assume they are 6 volts right? I then have two very long batteries that have no caps, but they have two post at each end of the battery close together. I assume the two on one end are the negative and the two on the other end are postive the number on the battery says D-10. I have never seen batteries with two posts on each end, and they are not the serviceable type it seems, since they have no caps. So which will be the chasis batteries to start the diesel and which will be the cabin batteries I am very new to the MH thing. I have solar panels on the top to charge the house batteries but i have built a cover so they cannot get the sun. I have purchased a trickle charger to hook up to the house batteries if i could figure out which are the house batteries and whether they are 6 or 12 volts i could then hook it up. I dont want to hook 12 volt charger to a 6 volt battery. If i get a volt meter can i test the batteries and get a correct reading even if they are hooked up in series. I thank you for your response. rivrduk
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:08 AM   #6
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Like Vegasdan said, The four 6 volt batteries (3 caps ea.) are wired to provide 12 volts for the coach, the two 12 volt batteries (no caps) are the maintenance free type for the engine/chassis.
I use the chassis and coach battery disconnect when I am storing my RV, but I also turn everything back on and exercise the genset once per month to make sure everything stays charged up and operating properly. I don't have 6 volt batteries (wish I did!) but the 12 volt batteries should read 12.6 volts when rested.
btw, another good place to buy a DVOM is Harbor Freight, I paid $1.99 on sale and it was better then my old one I paid $75.00 for 15 years ago.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:48 AM   #7
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As has been mentioned, Harbor Freight is a great source for Volt/OHM meters. Here's a few that are featured on their WEB Site!

Search results for: 'ohm meters'

The least expensive meters are great for checking battery conditions, fuses etc. I've bought two and keep one in my MH and the other in my garage.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:44 AM   #8
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rivrduk, My suggestion, based on your first post, is for you NOT to work on your batteries/electrical system. You can do major damage to everything in your motorhome. It is a suggestion.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:24 AM   #9
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rivrduk, My suggestion, based on your first post, is for you NOT to work on your batteries/electrical system. You can do major damage to everything in your motorhome. It is a suggestion.
I second this. For right now I'd recommend getting someone to explain the electric system to you or get a book on RV electrics. You will, however, want to make sure to check the water levels in your 6V batteries. This should be done every month to be sure the level is over the top of the plates. Remove the caps on one battery at a time and use a flash light to see into each of the 3 cells. You will need a small mirror to see into the rear 2 battery cells (I have to do this on my Tradewinds but I have seen other TWs with more room above the batteries). When you add water only use distilled water. I use a turkey baster to add water to mine. Do not over fill. I check mine often and keep the level just below the inner plastic "well". If you find one or more of the batteries with dry cells, chances are they will need to be replaced. Use only deep cycle 6V batteries. I have golf cart batteries in mine.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #10
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rivrduk,

If you measure the voltage from a positive terminal to a negative terminal on the same battery it will read the voltage of the battery(6 or 12 volts).
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
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One more thing Rivrduk,
I wouldn't use a trickle charger unless I knew it is fully automatic and would shut off when the batteries are full, but that's just me. When using a trickle charger it is critical to carefully watch the electrolyte level in the 6 volt batteries because water will evaporate from the cells. If the water is allowed to evap below the lead plates the batteries will likely be damaged.
I store my RV with the battery disconnect engaged and the 30 amp line connected to household power, then I connect batteries and exercise the genset once per month.
You will find many different ways people store their RV's, but this is the way I do it.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:11 PM   #12
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I do appreciate your response. I am not smart enough to work on anything on my MH. I was just trying to figure which batteries went to what. I now know, so i feel much better. House batteries (four of them @ 6 volts are house , and two others are 12 volts and are chassis batteries) I thank everyone for this info. I am learning quickly on this forum. Its great! Thanks again, Rivrduk
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivrduk View Post
I have four batteries that have 3 caps that are wired in series, so i assume they are 6 volts right? I then have two very long batteries that have no caps, but they have two post at each end of the battery close together. I assume the two on one end are the negative and the two on the other end are postive the number on the battery says D-10. I have never seen batteries with two posts on each end, and they are not the serviceable type it seems, since they have no caps. So which will be the chasis batteries to start the diesel and which will be the cabin batteries I am very new to the MH thing. I have solar panels on the top to charge the house batteries but i have built a cover so they cannot get the sun. I have purchased a trickle charger to hook up to the house batteries if i could figure out which are the house batteries and whether they are 6 or 12 volts i could then hook it up. I dont want to hook 12 volt charger to a 6 volt battery. If i get a volt meter can i test the batteries and get a correct reading even if they are hooked up in series. I thank you for your response. rivrduk
The meter will read the voltage between the two points, no matter what. If you have 4-6V batteries in series, they are providing 24V. I suspect they are wired with 2 in series and another 2 in series, those 2 sets wired in parallel. That is a great setup and will give you enough power potential to dry camp for a long time.

Experience will provide the limits about time and capability. Good luck and fun camping!
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:25 AM   #14
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Wrong impression from my comment?

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I do appreciate your response. I am not smart enough to work on anything on my MH. I was just trying to figure which batteries went to what. I now know, so i feel much better. House batteries (four of them @ 6 volts are house , and two others are 12 volts and are chassis batteries) I thank everyone for this info. I am learning quickly on this forum. Its great! Thanks again, Rivrduk

I hope you did not think you're not smart enough from what I said. I didn't want you to get into trouble before you learned the basics. You proved you are smart by asking questions, some don't. I'm sure you'll be an "expert" shortly from necessity.
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