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Old 12-16-2015, 03:27 AM   #1
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New coach...Confused need help

Ok I just bought a 1988 Holiday Rambler motorhome... And I am getting myself accustom to it...

I have had a 1982 Allegro and do know a good bit about vintage motorhomes...

But my boggle is that I went and checked the house batteries I found three 6 volt batteries...

Ok no big deal on the 6 volt, but the quandary is when I realized that they were wired in parallel...

Huh? yes all 3 were wired parallel

I have been in electronics for many years and if you put three 6 volt batteries and if I haven't lost my mind that would give me 6 volts with accumulated amps...

Do any of you know why this would be done this way?

Is there something I don't know?
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:09 AM   #2
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I have no experience with this in a motorhome, but have had several 6V cars. Many cars had 6V electrical systems as late as the 1960s. To accommodate modern accessories, like radios without vacuum tubes, you had to install a voltage converter for the 12V items. It seems odd to me for 1988, but the light bulbs don't know the difference. Those early 6V vehicles often had a generator vs. the alternator found in 12V systems. Either way, you would need one or more voltage converters to go from 6>12 or 12>6. Poking around with a voltmeter will answer some questions.



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Old 12-16-2015, 05:25 AM   #3
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Yes you know that it is wired wrong.

Some older MH tapped the 6 V for light dimming but it was still a 12 volt system.

Check the converter, water pump and even the fridge. They should be 12 volts.

Think about when the engine alternator tries to charge them.

How does the generator start ? 6 volt ?

Unless you have a voltage reducer, you will be overcharging the batteries the way they are.

You will also need to go down to 2 or up to four batteries.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:05 AM   #4
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Suspect a former owner was attempting to get as many batteries in the available space as possible with two batteries are in series with the third parallel to get 12VDC (or is that 2 parallel and the third in series). The problem is the gain of a third 6V battery might not be worth the effort considering how the overall available amps are determined. There is some power storage gain but I can' help wondering if the third battery is going to pull down the other two as power is consumed. If it's working I would leave for now but when the day comes to replace the batteries drop back to two and keep the set up conventional.

There is one benefit, when you replace all three you'll get an extra core refund coming.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:26 AM   #5
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How does the generator start ? 6 volt ?


I have not been able to start....
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:19 AM   #6
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Well there you go.

You need to set it up as a 12 volt system, With 2 or 4, 6 volt batteries.

You could also install 1, 2 or 3, 12 volt batteries.

You may find some issues with both charging systems since they were trying to charge 6 volt batteries up to 12+ volts. ( fuses, circuit breakers )


For testing purposes, use 2, 6 volt batteries in series. Make sure they have some power in them and are topped off with water. If they were charging at 12 volts, they could be boiled out.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:44 AM   #7
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Something is clearly wrong.. I'd need eyes on to be sure but is there possible 3 more batteries elsewhere in a series parallel configuration?

I'd like to see that one.. but I'm in S.E. Georgia and thus unless you are right close I can't.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:06 PM   #8
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Got to be more batteries somewhere. Maybe under the entry step.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:03 PM   #9
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Got to be more batteries somewhere. Maybe under the entry step.
I aint found them...nothing under steps
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:25 PM   #10
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If you hook up all 3 in "a series" you will have 18 volts.

- if you hook up the third 6 volt to either of the other 6 volt batteries **positive to positive** and **negative to negative***--that will be the same as having a booster battery---just like if you hook up a booster battery to the dead or weak battery in a car. It will give you more amps for starting-or whatever else you might need more amps for.

get your volt meter out & be sure you have 12 volts going to all your necessary connections

If you bought from an individual- call them -ask what they had in mind with the 3- 6 volts

If you bought from a dealer, don't bother calling- My guess is someone took some good or new batteries out of your coach & put them in another coach. Indication being , you might not have 12volts to your Gen
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:36 PM   #11
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You say they are house batteries, does the genset start off the house? Most I know of start off the chassis.

How do you know they are 6 V?
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:48 PM   #12
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Take a picture of the batteries and upload to this forum so we can take a look.

How many filler caps do you see on each battery ?
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:36 PM   #13
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Take a picture of the batteries and upload to this forum so we can take a look.

How many filler caps do you see on each battery ?

ok...I did some research and it seems they are 12 volt batteries...

there are 3 everstart 24dc-6... I seen the -6 and read 4.1 volts and jumped to a conclusion that they were 6 volt hence the -6

Are they in fact 12 volt?

I have a 4th in engine bay for starting
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:40 PM   #14
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Looks like you have 3, 12 volt DEAD batteries.
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