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Old 10-09-2019, 09:59 AM   #1
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Adding extra house batteries

I have a 1997 Pace Arrow 30ft class A. It has the battery for the engine 12v plus 2 6v house batteries under the hood. There are some extra battery cables that run to a side compartment on the passanger side, near LP tank. Those cables are not hooked up on either end at this point. Can i add 2 more batteries in that compartment? Do they have to be 6v or can they be 12v? I have a couple spare 12v batteries sitting around I would like to use. Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:23 AM   #2
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You can use either IF you understand the fundamentals of series and parallel.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:30 AM   #3
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Those extra cables....do you know where they go?

I've never heard of house batteries having two different locations.

Has someone modified the RV or did that year Pace Arrow come standard with more than one battery location?
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:36 AM   #4
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All good questions. Short answer yes you can. Couple of things though. No on the old 12v ones. The mismatch may do them all in. Have the ones under the hood tested to see how much life they have left. When you mix new and older batteries the old ones drag the new down to their level fast. Unless the old test really well then you might want to get 4 new instead.

There are a few other things like the wires should be 8 gauge or better or they will limit power flow. Not critical though. The charger should be powerful enough to charge 4 in the time given or you won't gain any advantage. The compartment needs to be well ventilated EXCEPT for the wall between it and the PL tank.

There is loads of power in 4 good batteries! You will love it. Next stop would be a couple of solar panels.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:54 AM   #5
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I miss matched 6 and 12 volt batteries for 5 years in the old MH.
Even when the older 12 volt battery died, it didn't short out internally so it just didn't add to the capacity.

I discovered it droped to 8 volts in an hour, after disconnecting it, while checking something else. I threw another one in and all was good. It was also on the opposite side of the 2, 6volt batteries.

Traded the old MH but pulled the 2, 6 volt batteries. Still good, sitting in my shed.

As with any parallel battery bank, you need to seperate the batteries to check them every 6 months or so.

Here is a link to some info on batteries, dispelling the myths.

https://www.yandina.com/combInfo.htm
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:26 PM   #6
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Combining different types and ages of batteries is one of those "don't try this at home" feats. It can be done successfully if you know what you are doing, i.e. understand battery condition and attributes, but many people aren't as smart as they think and muck things up. Therefore the standard advice is "don't do it".


Yes, you can add batteries in another compartment. Yes they can be different voltage 6 vs 12) is suitably wired. Some converter chargers have have terminals for connecting multiple battery banks and that's the deal way, but the add-on batteries can be connected to the existing bank if that''s your only choice.


Be aware that many coach charging systems have battery controller (BCC) with fuses or breakers sized for the wiring and number of batteries that are factory installed. If you try to add a large converter/charger to better handle those extra batteries, you may run into current limitations on the BCC.


Generally, though, adding a battery or two isn't a big deal.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:01 PM   #7
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A 12 volt battery has 6 cells, a 6 volt battery has 3 cells. Every cell is the same voltage.

Tie 2, 6 volt, 3 cell, batteries in series and you now have a 12 volt, 6 cell battery.

While cruising down the road, almost every MH is charging both the 1 or 2, 12 volt chassis batteries AND charging the 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6, 6 or 12 volt house batteries, thru a solenoid and heavy cables, that connects both battery banks directly together.

While parked at a campground with shore power, in most 2008 and newer MHs, the converter/charger OR inverter/charger is charging the 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 house batteries ( whether 6 volt or 12 volt ) AND the 1 or 2 chassis batteries thru the same solenoid and cables.

Sometimes the house and chassis batteries are near each other and sometime many feet apart. Sometimes one bank is AGM and the other bank is flooded cell.

A little bit of imbalances in cabling or chemistry isn't going to kill then or anyone. Your batteries will not have a measurable shorter life.

Keep them charged when not in use and all will be fine.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:17 PM   #8
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So I ask again of you more experienced folks...Is it normal to have two different locations for just house batteries?
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
So I ask again of you more experienced folks...Is it normal to have two different locations for just house batteries?
I haven't seen it as a standard arrangement in RVs, unless upper and lower trays count, but have seen it in boats.

Catamaran style boats split the battery banks to balance them out.

My 35 ft trawler has 4 centerline and 4 on the port side. Not that far apart but it keeps it sitting level.

My buddies 34 ft trawler has 2 house batteries aft and 2 midship, in front of the engine.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
So I ask again of you more experienced folks...Is it normal to have two different locations for just house batteries?
Usually you have 2 locations only if you add extra batteries in a motorhome. On boats it's a different story.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:03 AM   #11
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This was made to have 2 separate locations. There are 4ga cable with battery ends on them that run from engine bay to side compartment. I am not the original owner but this setup does appear to be original. It seems logical and now just want to take advantage of what I've got.

So how do the wires connect? The ones from existing under hood 6v to new extras 12v? What terminals go to what other terminals?
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:31 AM   #12
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I'm with Twinboat here.. I needed more juice, so I added 2 12v batts to my 6v series parallel set.
Oh The horror... oh wait, it works.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:37 AM   #13
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Others have covered it but I noticed you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Is it normal to have two different locations for just house batteries?
It is not common, at least as they come from the factory. Certainly Fleetwood did not design yours that way, so you are looking at an owner modification. I had a '96 Pace that had the pair of batteries up front. There was no room for additional batteries, so any additions would have to be located elsewhere.


If you place batteries in another compartment, be sure they are adequately ventilated. Batteries emit hydrogen gas and an acid mist while being charged and in some circumstances the amount can be large enough to be dangerous if not vented away.
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