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Old 09-21-2016, 07:13 PM   #1
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Coach Batteries, 4 6Volt verses 2 12Volt?

It is time to replace my 4 6volt storage batteries. Should I replace them with 2 12 volt deep cycle or go with the 4 6 Volt?
Which will I get the longest use before they drain down?

1999 DSDP 3858 with Cat 3126, Allison MD3060, 72k miles.
2008 Smart Car Passion ForTwo Toad.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:21 PM   #2
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You're almost always better off with 4 six volt batteries vice 2 twelve volt.

--2005 F350 Superduty Crewcab, 6.0, 4wd, short bed, 3.73 gears
--2016 Montana 3711FL, 40'
--SOLD 2014 Wildcat 327CK, 38'
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:32 PM   #3
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First, battery life is measured in AH ( amp hours ) used. The more AH you got, the longer before they need a recharge.

On most situations, 4, 6 volt batteries will outlast 2, 12 volt ones.

Each 6 volt is about 200 AH. 2 together get you the 12 volts and still the 200 AH. Add 2 more and you get 400 AH.

A 12 volt battery, around the same size, will give you about 100 AH. 2 will give you 200 AH. Thats 1/2 the 4, 6 volts.

You may be able to find 200 AH, 12 volt batteries, but they will be much larger and heavier.

The other option is 4, 12 volt batteries.

Keep in mind that the wiring is a bit different between 12 volt and 6 volt setups.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:54 AM   #4
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Each 6 volt is about 200 AH. 2 together get you the 12 volts and still the 200 AH.
A 12 volt battery, around the same size, will give you about 100 AH. 2 will give you 200 AH. Thats 1/2 the 4, 6 volts.
Yeah, 2 batteries gives about half the power of 4. Either way you get about 200AH for each two batteries.

It's not the voltage that makes the difference, and you can't change the chemistry of a lead acid battery by re-packaging it. It takes a certain amount of lead in an acid solution to produce x amp-hours @12v, and its the same whether you put it in 6v boxes or 12v boxes.

A typical GC2 (aka golf cart) 6v deep cycle produces 230 AH @ 6v, so two of them in series are 230AH @ 12v. A typical Group 27 size 12v deep cycle produces about 115 AH, so two of them in parallel are also 230 AH. Both contain about 62 lbs of lead. The GC2 6v is fairly short but tall, while the G27 12v is a bit longer but not as tall. One shape may fit better than another in your battery box or bay, but the total volume of battery will be about the same for any given amount of AH.

What does make a difference is whether the battery is a deep cycle or not. Most of the 6V sold are "golf cart" deep cycles (motorcycle and tractor batteries excepted), but a lot of 12v are not, despite being labeled "marine/RV deep cycle". Forget marine types and get a quality deep cycle 12v from Trojan or Lifeline. Expect to pay top dollar, though.

6v deep cycles are often more competitively priced, so on a cost per AH basis, it 's had to beat the 6V GC2 deep cycle.

If you choose AGM technology batteries, the price differential between 12v and 6v levels out pretty close.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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