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Old 07-17-2011, 08:11 AM   #1
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Coach battery replacedment - 6 or 12?

Hi-

My two 6 volt batteries won't hold a charge. I am new to RV'ing so I'm not sure how this is supposed to work.

Can I replace the 2 6v with one 12v battery or do I have to have them in pairs? I don't ever boondock, but I also don't have a place to plug the RV in when it is stored.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:17 AM   #2
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Yes you can do it either way as long as it ends up 12 volts.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:22 AM   #3
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I never boondock. I would love to save a few bucks and stay at Flying J or Walmart, But my wife will have none of that. I always remove the two 6 volt batteries and install one twelve volt. It is cheaper and saves a lot of weight.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:40 AM   #4
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I have 2 coach batteries from Advance Auto parts, they were inexpensive and they seem to be holding since I bought them in Oct. and they still have a charge after coming out of storage. The engine battery for the Ford V10 is an optima BLUE top dual purpose battery. They use dry cel technology (NO water) and they have a 2 year replacement warranty. As a matter of fact, my Sightseer is in the RV dealer this week for some maintenance before our big trip. The Optima is bad, wont hold the charge, well 1 call to Advance Auto and the free replacement is waiting for me to pick up and bring to them. I have Optimas in both my cars as well as the coach. Very happy with them. The are a stout battery.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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Some numbers:
six volt batteries at sam's or Costco run around 70-90 dollars
The pair is 220 amp hours (Actually each of them is 220 but when you wire two sixes so they become one 12 volt you add voltage, not amp hours) These are true deep cycle batteries (Best for motor home)

A 100 amp hour battery from Batteries Plus (12 volt, single battery) is about 100 dollars.
This too is a true deep cycle (not a Marine/Deep Cycle or starting)

So the advantage of the six volt pair is lower cost per amp hour..

At one time, it was much harder to find 12 volt deep cycle batteries, but that has changed or to be more precise is changing. (Still easier to find six volt but not that much easier) which is why I named retailers in this post.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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As long as you "never boondock", so can decrease the available battery amp-hours to save money. That is , use one 12v rather than a pair of 6v. One Group 24 12v has about 85 AH versus the 220 AH of the oar of 6v's golf cart batteries.

You may find the battery goes dead in storage, though. Your RV still draws some power (LP detectors and such) and the lower battery capacity may not be sufficient if stored awhile.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the replies. I bought a 12v Advance auto battery to get me through. I am going to try to salvage the T-105 Trojan 6v batteries.

How are the coach battery(s) charged? Are they charged by the engine, generator? Also, how do I check that they are being charged?

I have a 95 Winnebago Vectra (Chevy)
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:18 PM   #8
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You may find the battery goes dead in storage, though. Your RV still draws some power (LP detectors and such) and the lower battery capacity may not be sufficient if stored awhile.
An inexpensive way to avoid killing your batteries while in storage is to simply disconnect them.

You can also put an easy-to-use blade-type disconnect on the cable that goes back to the coach (or to the starter).

Or get a solar battery maintainer from Harbor Freight if you store outside.

All are cheaper than purchasing an extra battery.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:42 PM   #9
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Actually, I forgot to mention that I put the blade type disconnect on the 12v battery. There is a solar panel on the roof but I don't think it's working. Will need to check that with a meter.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
How are the coach battery(s) charged? Are they charged by the engine, generator? Also, how do I check that they are being charged?
For your Vectra:
You can use the engine alternator to charge your coach batteries as long as your battery mode solinoid is ON.

Your generator will charge the coach batteries as long as your battery disconnect is off (coach battery available)

Looks like you could have a inverter and converter. The converter (if installed) most likely can provide battery charging. It depends on the model installed. If an inverter is installed, then it to could provide battery charging depending on the model. The battery dissconnect switch must be in the connected position for either one to ooperate.

I reccommend you download the Winnebago wiring diagrams as it will save you (or a tech) much frustration.
Manuals & Diagrams

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Old 07-18-2011, 06:26 PM   #11
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sqzdog.....I often read here....."I never boondock, do I really need a good battery or batteries"...

What many forget is that most every light, water pump, water heater, furnace and refrigerator in an RV requires a battery even when you're connected to shore power. All of the items listed are powered by your battery(s) and then the battery(s) are recharged by your battery charger.

The engine is the heart of your chassis and the batteries are the heart of the coach. When you go cheap with batteries, you're really taking a chance with having an issue at a later date.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:00 PM   #12
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Well we just replaced our 3 12 volt after 9 years had them tested they were still at 85%;; the key is to recharge them as sonn as possable. a low/dead battery begains to sulfate Imeditley; Our habit was . because we use the Inverter for breakfast Coffee/toster/ microwave. When we are done we start the genset It has a 75 amp charging rate We run it for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. When boondocking. Now how can anyone dispute that use if they lasted 9 years.. I would suggest getting a GOOD battery charger and hooking it up Perminent;; If you rely on the coachs converter. You will be an old probly dead man before the batteries are fully charged, They are not a good charger; Vary low rate. maybe .06 amp;life is good;;
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:05 AM   #13
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Well we just replaced our 3 12 volt after 9 years had them tested they were still at 85%;; the key is to recharge them as sonn as possable. a low/dead battery begains to sulfate Imeditley; Our habit was . because we use the Inverter for breakfast Coffee/toster/ microwave. When we are done we start the genset It has a 75 amp charging rate We run it for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. When boondocking. Now how can anyone dispute that use if they lasted 9 years.. I would suggest getting a GOOD battery charger and hooking it up Perminent;; If you rely on the coachs converter. You will be an old probly dead man before the batteries are fully charged, They are not a good charger; Vary low rate. maybe .06 amp;life is good;;
The OP wants to maintain the charge on his batteries while in storage and not hooked up, not while boondocking (which he says he does not do).

Your points are perfectly valid for a boondocking situation.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #14
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sqzdog.....I often read here....."I never boondock, do I really need a good battery or batteries"...

What many forget is that most every light, water pump, water heater, furnace and refrigerator in an RV requires a battery even when you're connected to shore power. All of the items listed are powered by your battery(s) and then the battery(s) are recharged by your battery charger.

The engine is the heart of your chassis and the batteries are the heart of the coach. When you go cheap with batteries, you're really taking a chance with having an issue at a later date.
When plugged in, your converter will put out 55 amps or 65 amps (average converters installed in most coaches) Your converter increases output as you add load. You are wrong in saying that it draws down the battery and then recharges.
(unless you are using over 55 or 65 amps) It puts out 13.6 v and increases output as you add load. As long as you are plugged in, battery capacity should not matter.
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