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Old 03-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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Starting and Auxillary starting battery hook up

I have a 1996 Pace Arrow that has 2 6 volt coach batteries and 2 12 volt starting? batteries. The coach also has the Aux. start switch. How do I hook up the 2 starting batteries? Do I hook them up together or separately?
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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I can't tell you... You see, some motors are 24 volt start

However, if I assume it's a 12 volt starting system then the two 12 volt batteries hook up like this

-Battery+
-Battery+

and the house 12 volt battery hooks up like this
-Bat+=-ery+ (where = is a jumper lead)
Yes, I said battery, cause the two six volt 'Halves" Become one 12 volt battery when connected as shown.
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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Yea, there's really not enough info supplied. If I had to guess, I'd say the two 12V batteries are original equipment and someone added an additional bank of two 6V batteries. My rig has two 12's, one for starting and one for the house, and a solenoid to activate via a button on the dash to connect the two in parallel for additional cranking power, if needed. This is a very common setup.

Can you provide photos of the batteries and any nearby cables? The only thing that can be stated with reasonable certainty is that black is your negative (ground) connection and red is the hot lead. You should see a black & a red for each battery, if they are for separate circuits, or if they were connected in series for 24v, a cable connecting one battery's positive post to the other battery's negative post, leaving one positive and one negative to connect to a 24v circuit. (but this seems less likely, to me).

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Old 03-24-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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I will try and explain this a little better.
On the driver side of the coach I have two 6volt batteries and on the passenger side of the coach I have two 12 volt batteries. when I took the two 12 volt batteries out of the RV there was a set of cables going to each 12 volt but the two 12 volt batteries were not connected together. I had some body work done on the front end of the RV and they had to replace one of the 12 volt batteries and of course they did not match the battery that was in there so I had a 24 and 27 series battery. I am thinking that maybe they hooked them up wrong and now I am going to have to replace them with two 12 volt Trojans and do not want to hook them up wrong. I have a auxiliary start switch and what I was thinking is that the one 12 volt was only used when I needed extra power to start the RV. Would the two 12 volt batteries also be used to run some items in the coach? both batteries were deep cycle starting batteries. I am thinking about just putting in one of the 12 volts so I can start the RV and then take it in to have the other 12 volt put in.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention that this has a 454 gas engine.
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:49 AM   #6
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Starting and auxillary batteries

Niffit- go to www.trojanbattery.com (wait for the intro to finish) and then at the top right search box type in 'battery connections' and that will bring you to the pdf files for battery hookup and maintenance - your 96 will have the same setup as newer RV's - the coach and starting batteries are seperate systems (except when charging either with shore power or when you are driving- this is done automatically by the battery isolater) or when you press the battery AUX start button that momentarilly connects the coach battery(s) to the chassis/starting battery(s) if the starting battery is flat- when you release the AUX button that breaks the contact between the two so its an emergency use button only - the two 6 volt batteries are connected in 'series' so that power has only one path to follow and conecting the two 6 V's this way gives you total of 12V's - with two 12V's you connect them in 'parallel' meaning that the current has more than one path to follow ( this is done for someone who 'dry camps or boondocks for added battery time/capacity without charging) - connecting in series increases voltage but keeps amperage the same - connecting in parallel increases amperage but keeps the voltage the same - the Trojan site has excellent info on the wiring connections and other tech info such as the difference between the 6V and 12V batteries, why batteres are connected certain ways etc. -your chassis/start battery(s) are for the vehicle system and your coach batteries are used to power the 12V part of the coach including the appliance control boards (even when running the appliance on 110 volt/shore power or generator- the 110 volts would power your heating element in your water heater for example but the 12V control board controls the 'on & off' sequence) - the coach battery(s) are usually 'deep-cycle' and the chassis/start batteries are standard type and all this is explained in the Trojan site- you can check out other battery manufactures as well to see whats available - the 6V's are for the coach sytem and its possible that one of those two 12V batteries is hooked into the coach system as well (since the two 12V's are not connected to each other) - easy way to find out is to disconnect each battery ONE at a time and check what does and doesn't work (wrap the positive of each with a rag to make sure there is no contact to ground) - by process of elimination you find out what each battery is connected to - make sure everything is turned off when you disconnect the cables to prevent any damage and then check out what isn't working and do the same before re-connecting the cables- let us know what you find.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:18 AM   #7
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Battery

Niffit- one other thing - the type of battery does not necessarily indicate what it is connected to - you can have a deep-cycle bat connected to the chassis system and vice-versa so disconnecting one at a time is a safe way to determine what each battery is connected to to avoid damaging the electrical systems - also if you purchased the Pace Arrow used, you do not know what the previous owner did or if he changed something or if he added an extra batery such as I have seen for the generator for example so do not take anything for granted and when I work on an RV I do not compare the connections/ wiring for that exact reason as I do not know what has been done to the electrical systems-I will use a wiring diagram for reference only and go through the same procedure - I have even seen one guy change his system over to a positve ground (it runs better!! is what was explained to me by the 'mechanic' that made the change!!)
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:30 AM   #8
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This seems odd anyway. I owned a 96 like yours and it had only one 12v battery to start the engine + 2 6v in series for the house supply. There is no earthly reason to have two 12v to start a gas engine.

My guess is that a previous owner wanted some additional house battery capacity and added a second 12v. There was space for it near the engine (chassis) battery, so that's where it went. If that is the case, it is not and should not be wired to the chassis battery because the two systems need to be isolated except when the Aux start switch is in use. Isolation is the reason you have an Aux Start switch - the systems should normally not be connected together.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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The idea of wanting to add an additional battery for the coach might be the answer. After I took the two 12 volt batteries out one set of positive cables touched the side of the compartment and sparked, does that mean that that set of cables is also hooked up to the coach batteries? can you hook up two 6 volt batteries and one 12 volt battery for coach power? When replacing these batteries should I get one for starting and one deep cycle?
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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The idea of wanting to add an additional battery for the coach might be the answer. After I took the two 12 volt batteries out one set of positive cables touched the side of the compartment and sparked, does that mean that that set of cables is also hooked up to the coach batteries? can you hook up two 6 volt batteries and one 12 volt battery for coach power? When replacing these batteries should I get one for starting and one deep cycle?
It sounds like possibly someone added an additional 12V battery and an Inverter. Is there an inverter in there to run the TV??
You really need to trace the wiring off the batteries and see where it goes. The 2 6V are the house batteries.
A chevy 454 was definitely 12 Volt, not 24. So, you would have one 12V for starting Battery with positive hooked to the starter motor and the ground to the chassis. The other 12 volt is the ?mark. What is it hooked to and why.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:57 PM   #11
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I need to crawl under the coach and check the cables location out. With the way the one set of cables sparked and was hooked up to one of the 12 volt batteries the previous owner must have added the extra 12 volt, yes there is a inverter on the coach.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:01 PM   #12
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:28 PM   #13
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Batteries

Niffit - it sounds like one of the 12V batteries is hooked up to the coach system - your coach battery(s) should be deep cycle and the chassis batery non-deep cycle (although you can use it for this application) - the chassis/vehicle battery is there for a) providing starting power b) assisting the alternator when heavy loads are applied on the vehicle electrical system and c) the battery acts as a shock absorber for voltage spikes and any transient voltages - the coach battery(s) are for the specific purpose of running the 12V house system (and the AUX start button when needed) - the deep cycle battery is a heavy-duty version of a standard battery and can be brought back to a charged condition after being discharged several times without damage so a standard non deep cycle battery will not give you the same amount of service life as a deep cycle will when used in the coach - most RV's come with one 12V chassis battery and one 12V or two 6V coach batteries - there are benefits to both types and you can add extra reserve power to the coach system battery capacity if you want to do some dry camping ( many emergency/command center vehicles are converted RV's and they add these batteries for the extra power/capacty as required in an emergency situation) - all of this is on the Trojan battery website so do some reading before you make a purchase - also as Mandy's Man mentioned the extra 12V may have been added for an inverter system find out first what the batteries are connected to and then when you know whats on your specific RV then decide what batteries you want to buy depending on what you want to use the RV for- the two 6V batteries are basically one 12V battery but are connected in series (from the factory) and you can change this but you have to identify what is on your vehicle first - use the info from the Trojan site to assist you in doing this- also do not let the positive cables come in contact with the ground as this may cause damage to either electrical system- for example if this happens on the vehicle battery the alternator may be damaged (mucho dollars to replace! ) check out your system first and let us know what you find.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIFFIT View Post
can you hook up two 6 volt batteries and one 12 volt battery for coach power?
Yes, as long as the two 6V batteries are connected first in series, and then the positive and negative leads are connected to the 12V battery in parallel. Refer to the pics provided by Rick Long.

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When replacing these batteries should I get one for starting and one deep cycle?
A starting battery is best for what it's named for: starting the motor. Deep cycle are best for running 12V appliances & fixtures, as well as providing maximum run time via an inverter converting 12V to 120V. So, only replace the chassis battery with a starting type battery. The rest should be deep cycle.

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