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Old 04-03-2014, 08:52 AM   #1
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Replacement batteries configuration?

HI-
2004 Winnebago Brave time to replace batteries- again.
I've always used two 12V batteries in parallel for coach power, they tend to "see-saw" back and forth as they discharge and never quite even out. Do you use two 6V batteries in series to avoid this? Is there a larger capacity coach battery pair that will fit in the battery box? Can you get more than 3 years from any battery combo? What is best solution to coach battery longevity? Starting battery, too? Thanks. Dave
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:18 AM   #2
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Two 12v batteries shouldn't discharge or charge all that unevenly unless they aren't wired together correctly. We've two new 12v ones in our new/old Montana from when we bought it a year ago. First thing I noticed was that one had both cables to the trailer on it and the other was hooked in parallel by 10 ga. cable (instead of the 4 ga. that went to the trailer). With this setup the second one would always be under utilized.

I picked up some 4 ga. cable and some clamps from a local big box hardware store and rewired them. Now the positive to trailer comes off one and the negative to trailer comes off the other. The two are paralleled by the shortest equal length runs of 4 ga. I could make.

As for 6v golf cart batteries - I'm going to switch to a pair of them when the two 12v need to go. Probably Trojan T-105s. I've read some people getting way over five years life out of them if they're well maintained and two of them have better capacity than the two 12v ones I've got now.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:33 AM   #3
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If your batteries discharge unevenly (how did you determine that?) it is because of a wiring problem or corrosion on the terminals. 6v batteries could do essentially the same thing if there are problems, but the two batteries would be equally undercharged.

As for battery life, it depends on the battery type you choose. No automotive or marine type battery will last more than 2-3 years, but a deep cycle type should last 5-10 years with reasonable care and a quality charging system. You can get 12v flooded cell deep cycles from Trojan (e.g. the 24TMX or 27TMX) or 12v AGM deep cycles from Lifeline, Deka, etc. Even Sam's Club has them in the big Group 31 size. 12v deep cycle batteries are usually very pricey, though. All the 6V golf cart batteries used in RVs are deep cycles and they usually cost quite a bit less than 12v deep cycles, so that may be your best bet.batteries are deep cycles.

Here's a link to an article I wrote on Choosing the Best Battery for Your RV.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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dave: I switched from a 12V double set to a 6v double set.... the 6V golf cart type battery has a much more durable grid plate in my opinion. They take the road way better and take the drain abuse better too. Everyone has their favorite ... I like the Trojan...but ended up buying Advanced Auto batteries...since I got them on a 20% off special. they have been much more efficient and have 115AH each.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOPQ View Post
HI-
2004 Winnebago Brave time to replace batteries- again.
I've always used two 12V batteries in parallel for coach power, they tend to "see-saw" back and forth as they discharge and never quite even out. Do you use two 6V batteries in series to avoid this? Is there a larger capacity coach battery pair that will fit in the battery box? Can you get more than 3 years from any battery combo? What is best solution to coach battery longevity? Starting battery, too? Thanks. Dave
KOPQ,
You're getting good advice here. Let me throw my two cents in. We purchased this present RV, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT almost three years ago. After about a month of it sitting at home, we had one of the 1 year old, Interstate 12V Deep cycle/Marine batteries go bad. I paid the prorated warranty on it and exchanged it. Well, about a month and half later, another of the three house batteries, (all three were the same type, size and part number) go bad.

Well, after doing some digging and research, I found out that Interstate had some bad batteries spread all over the country so, I opted for changing over to 6V Deep cycle Golf Cart ones. I took some measurements, and headed to Costco to see if theirs would fit. Well, I got lucky. Four of them would fit where, there were three, 12V units, in the house battery tray.

So, I purchased 4 new Costco 6V units and, re-wired the entire setup for a cleaner, nicer operation. Ours are way into the second year now and, are still working pretty good. We dry camp on an often but, not "regularly" basis. The Inverter/charger that came with the coach, a Dimensions 2000 watt unit, was good for a long time. Then, one day the charging side, just decided to give up the ghost.

So, I got lucky and purchased used, (only 6 months old) Magnum 2012 MSW Inverter/charger for $600. I installed it along with a new, super wazoo remote to control it and, all is well. But, I'm one of the believers in the 6V setup. It's a preference thing. Below are the "before and after" pics of the changeover.
Scott


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Old 04-04-2014, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gocoffeer View Post
dave: I switched from a 12V double set to a 6v double set.... the 6V golf cart type battery has a much more durable grid plate in my opinion. They take the road way better and take the drain abuse better too. Everyone has their favorite ... I like the Trojan...but ended up buying Advanced Auto batteries...since I got them on a 20% off special. they have been much more efficient and have 115AH each.
That means your total amperage for the batteries is 115AH. For 12V batteries you multiply the amperage by number of batteries, for 6V amperage remains the same as one battery, only voltage multiplies by number of batteries.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:55 PM   #7
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KOPQ, are you sure these 12 volt batteries are true deep cycle and not what they call Marine deep cycle. The vast majority of 12 volt batteries are either starting or Marine dual purpose. Neither of these will last very long when used as a house battery.
They do make 12 volt deep cycle but they are typically much more expensive than equivalent amp-hour 6 volt deep cycle in series..
When looking for new house batteries I would want the most amp-hours that will fit in the space available for the money spent. This will most likely lead you to using 6 volt golf cart batteries in series.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:04 PM   #8
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Hey Scott. Any chance you documented your 3x 12v to 4 x 6v changeover? I'm heading down that path in the next couple weeks. Are you happy with the make /model costo 6v so far?
I' ve still got my factory dimension inverter, I hope that should still work well in the 6v configuration. As expected of your work, I see it was done top notch. Congrats!!
Hope you relo is going well
-mike
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:19 PM   #9
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I just replaced 4 6v batteries...bought the Energizer GC2 122s.
But I need to re-examine my wiring, I replaced it just as it was originally, but it doesn't look as simple as Scott's 6v series-parallel configuration.
I am still having a flashing green light on my Trace inverter/charger (2000 year model)--could there be a connection between the two??
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:02 AM   #10
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Had to enlarge my slide out tray to hold 4 each 6 volt golf cart batteries. After assuring enough clearance I split the tray in half. I bolted 2 each 1/4 X 3/4 steel bars to increase the width to hold the golf cart batteries. I then slotted the square bolt down carriage bolt holes to line up the additional width of the tray to coach bolt holes. The pop rivet aluminum bracket is to hold the battery hold down straps.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:18 PM   #11
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Charles, nice clean looking install. have you found this 4x6V a better implementation than the 2 or 3x12v ? Im afraid (probably unnecessarily) that if one time i over-drain the batteries then i have the potential to kill 4 batteries. if i have my 3x12v, then i can only potentially kill 3 (read:$$). from what i've read... draining below 10.4 has the potential to kill. Which is what i think i did in my current set. My solenoid died so the Engine alternator didn't charge the house batteries, and i wasnt paying attention and they dropped to 9v. Charged fully in campground overnight, hit the road in the am, and within a short time they were back at 9v, and NO juice left to start the genny.
so that where i sit now. buy 3x12v or 4x6v.
-mike
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:41 PM   #12
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I was disappointed in the original 2 Group 27's, then 3 each, group 31, 12 volt "marine deep cycle" and then 3 each, 12 volt imported AGM's. Altered slide out tray and installed 4 each Cosco 6 volt golf cart in August 2013. Only time will tell how long they will last but have approximately 400 amp hours verses approximately 300 with the 3 each 12 volt. Before anyone asks I have a Xanrex 458, 2000 watt inverter with a 3 stage charger. I have a amp hour meter with a shunt and moniture the exact bulk, absorption and float voltage.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info
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