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Old 07-17-2016, 06:22 AM   #1
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(2) 6 volt batteries vs (1) 12 volt?

Hello, I have a 1995 Holiday Rambler I just bought to try this camping thing out, and so far it seems like we are going to enjoy it.. I noticed my battery supply is actually a pair of 6 volt batteries, I was wondering if there would be any issues with changing over to a 12 volt deep cycle.. Any of you out there ever run into this.... Thank you for your help, God Bless!
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:52 AM   #2
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Generally the 6 volt batteries are better....this is because they are used so extensively in the electric golf cart industry. Not that 12 volt batteries can't be made as well......it's an economy of scale thing. So many 6 volt deep cycle batteries are being produced, that they become cheaper to buy.

These "golf cart" type batteries are VERY heavy duty....made to withstand hundreds of deep discharge and charge cycles. Buying a 12 volt battery from Walmart, for example, will not be better, unless your 6 volt batteries are already past their useful lifespan.

Trojan brand batteries are generally considered one of the best in the "flooded" type of battery. Lifeline brand is the best of the sealed AGM type battery. But even the "cheaper" examples of golf cart batteries like this example from Sams' club will give you good service.

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Old 07-17-2016, 07:50 AM   #3
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Stay with the 6 volt. Tried and true with the best value. Make sure you do a search on this site for many threads on the subject. It might make your eyes bleed but good info. No need to reinvent the wheel.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:13 AM   #4
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It's all about getting the most amp-hours in the space available and for the best price. This almost always turns out to be paired 6 volt batteries.
Two 6 volt batteries will province about 216-220 amp-hr.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:25 AM   #5
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Most moho's are built to only allow 6 volt batts into their batt compartments. Before you do anything make sure the 12 v's will fit.


I think the 12 volt units are better because they gas less when charged, the connectors don't have to be cleaned as often and cost less. I"ve used both over the last 35 years of moho ownership and have found that the 12 v units just plain last longer. I have found that the connectors on 6 volt batts are more sensitive to corrosion problems. Current and voltage are reduced to poor connections. Most folks are not willing to clean their terminals once every 6 months on a 6 volt battery where as the 12 volt units can go a year or two sometimes with out cleaning. With the 12 v units I rarely if ever have to add water to the battery, with 6 volt units I have to add every 6 months or so. A good 6 volt batt runs a little less than $200 including tax. A good 12 volt batt runs about $115 including tax.


Again, the problem is space. Moho manufacturers often only allow enough space for (4) 6 volt batteries. You just can't fit four 12 volt units in the battery compartment, so you are stuck with the 6 volt units. When going full time, I bought my moho with out a gen set. I installed a 8D 12 volt unit where the gen set was mounted at using the gen set wiring. So, I have (2) 12 volt deep cycles in parallel with the 8D for my coach. Less weight, more amp hours. Never had dead batteries. True, the roof ac and the micro doesn't work when not plugged in, but that is what rv parks are for.


For those of you that are old enough, remember the early 6 volt starting systems on the Volkswagen beetle back in the early 60's. What a PIA.....


A little hint, think of voltage like some one pushing you, think of an ampere like a "cup of electrons". So, amp hours should be thought of as "cups of electrons".


Lastly, regardless of what you hear about depleting the charge on flooded cell deep cycle batteries, NEVER allow them to go below 55% total charge. (6volt or 12volt) They will loose 1% to 3% of their total charge capacity each time you allow this. The drop in charge capacity depends on the quality of the battery.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:09 AM   #6
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6V will be a true deep cycle battery. 12V will be a dual battery. The 6V has no CCA rating while the 12V will. You'll get more charge cycles out of a 6V vs 12V. 6V will not discharge as fast.
1 12V will only have around 80-100 AH.
2 6V will have 200-230 AH.
2 6V will run things in the RV longer before needing to be recharged.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:17 AM   #7
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I don't think that is true about MHs only taking 6v these days. Maybe 10 years ago, but all I see now is 12V AGM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:40 AM   #8
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Interesting fruit salad of ideas. Here is what I can determine and why.

If you can use a pair of GC-2 batteries you can get a price break. That is the sweet sport for golf cart batteries. GC-2's are relatively tall so they will not fit in a lot of motor homes. Virtually all the C's and a lot of A gas units use a pair of house batteries mounted on the frame under the steps. That space is generally to low for the common 6 V deep cycle sizes. Dp's use a battery compartment that usually has the height to handle these batteries. Measure what you have and plan accordingly.

Battery capacity is mostly a function of the cell chemistry and cell volume all else being equal. For a given size box (battery case type) a 6 V battery will have 3 cells so 4 walls separating cells. For a 12 V battery there will be 6 cells so 7 walls. Each wall has an associated thickness and clearance that costs cell volume thus cell capacity. When we consider two boxes it we then get 6 big cells for two 6 v batteries vs 12 cells each slightly smaller than half the 6 V size in the same space. That is the capacity advantage of two 6 v over two 12 V batteries. There is one but it is small *for a given case size*.

We then get to the practical side of what is available in a price range and availability you can live with. Only you can decide that. You should shop around though because there are some significant price differences. For instance Trojan and Interstate only sell through dealers who have a significant markup. Places like Costco and Sam's Club are the distributor for what they sell so you are one markup less in the price tree. OTOH they do not always have what you want. That is how we decide to do things like put two Duracell's from Sam's Club in instead of a pair of Interstates that are maybe a bit better but twice the price and not a big difference in capacity. As long as the furnace runs all night I am happy. If they die a year sooner I shrug. ;-)
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by nuge31 View Post
Hello, I have a 1995 Holiday Rambler I just bought to try this camping thing out, and so far it seems like we are going to enjoy it.. I noticed my battery supply is actually a pair of 6 volt batteries, I was wondering if there would be any issues with changing over to a 12 volt deep cycle.. Any of you out there ever run into this.... Thank you for your help, God Bless!
nuge31
I've used 12V deep cycle house batteries for 20 years... (but my coach has 4 of them not 1).
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:30 PM   #10
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Just my 2 cents most commerical trucks have multiple batteries for heavy-duty use. And in my boat unless you have the room for a D8 battery two 6v batteries is the way to go
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:49 PM   #11
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So are two 6volt batteries better than two 12 volt batteries ??? We have one 12 volt in our new rv,, no real room to add a second battery but I bet I could... We don't "dry camp" but you never know when you might need it....
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:51 PM   #12
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So are two 6volt batteries better than two 12 volt batteries ??? We have one 12 volt in our new rv,, no real room to add a second battery but I bet I could... We don't "dry camp" but you never know when you might need it....
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I would say yes. Just by design, they last longer. I had 2 golf cart batteries in my Keystone 5er for 7 years and they were still going strong when I sold it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:59 PM   #13
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You can now get 12 volt Trojan 200 amp hour deep cycle batteries but they are not cheep. To me it comes down to what will fit. I have 4 12 volt Interstate batteries but 6 volt batteries don't fit in the space. I can go taller but not wider. Figure out what fits and go with the most amp hours. Previous RV had great success with 6 volt batteries and that is the direction I would head towards if they fit.


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Old 07-18-2016, 04:55 AM   #14
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So are two 6volt batteries better than two 12 volt batteries ??? We have one 12 volt in our new rv,, no real room to add a second battery but I bet I could... We don't "dry camp" but you never know when you might need it....
Monkey
Sort of. The trick part is "for the same size package". For the same size package you can get more power in two 6 V than in two 12 V.

If you do not dry camp you would be dumping a significant amount of cash into adding an acid filled potential problem that you will not need. That might not be the best way to spend your money.
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