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Old 05-27-2022, 12:42 AM   #1
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battery Question 6v or 12v

Hello,
It's time for us to replace our 6 Interstate GC2 6 volt batteries, 4 to run the res. fridge and 2 for the entertainment systems they have served us well since 2013, but are showing signs of old age. we have a magnum me 2012 inverter that keeps popping its 30 amp breaker when the load gets too heavy. I suspect that's due to Inverter not being able to keep the batteries charged up and over heating.
My question is would y'all recommend keeping the same set up or switching to 2 12 v AGM's or??
Tia
Milo
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Old 05-27-2022, 06:42 AM   #2
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Tons of information out there on this.

In a nutshell 6 Volt batteries last longer that 12 Volt one (larger plates in the 6v units).

Also because you have to wire 6 volt batteries in pairs you get higher amp-hours with a 6 volt setup.

The benefit (if you can call it that) to a 12 Volt setup is they are a bit less expensive than the 6 Volt ones. And with a 12 Volt setup you can get away with running only 1 battery.

Example: If you had enough space for x3 batteries you may consider a 12 Volt setup so you could run all three batteries. If it were 6 Volt you would be limited to x2 batteries.

As for why your Magnum is popping its breaker; that would take some diagnostics to figure out. You need to get an amp meter and test the loads that are pulling while it is in use. I don't think charging should cause this but you won't know for sure unless you test it.

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:23 AM   #3
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If it works for you...

There are lots of old threads on iRV2 discussing your question. I have not found one that comes to a definitive conclusion.

There are differences, but they are minor. It often comes down to what you prefer or what discount price you pay for what.

You say your six 6 volt flooded cells work well for you. It will be easiest to replace with close match. Switching to 12 volt batteries may require some new connecting cables.

Price per amp hour may make a difference for you. Check out special sales.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:29 AM   #4
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My question is would y'all recommend keeping the same set up or switching to 2 12 v AGM's or??

Six 6 volt or six 12 volt are going to work about the same. They will be about the same weight and size. Lead acid batteries come in different physical sizes. Smaller lighter batteries have less capacity.

The thing to focus on is the total "amp hours" the new battery bank supplies compared to the old battery bank. Since what you have works well, I recommend replacing with the same number of amp hours.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:13 PM   #5
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I have a 2012 ALL Electric coach. Just replaced 8 AGMs 6 volts with Crown 6volt AGMs that have 220amph. NO maint. So I stayed with the same type, plug and play. Costly- yes- worth it yes, the old gave up after 11 yrs. Jim75
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Old 05-27-2022, 10:02 PM   #6
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If the current setup is working for your use cases, I would stick with it. Unless you have an automatic watering system, switching to AGM would certainly be a plus from a maintenance perspective. AGM also has the percent of discharge advantage, but of course at a higher price point.
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Old 05-28-2022, 06:32 AM   #7
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I'm assuming your current ones are flooded or FLA. In that case 6V GCs are generally superior to most 12V varieties because they are designed for deep cycle and rough service. This article is well worth the time to read it.
https://marinehowto.com/what-is-a-deep-cycle-battery/
If you are considering switching to AGM it is a very different story. With most AGM the plate design are not tailored for specific uses like FLA. Their design provides good performance in both deep cycle and starting applications. Above confirmed by both Trojan and East Penn and is the reason most AGMs spec both AH and CCA/MCA where most FLA will spec one or the other.
When I replaced my 8 FLA 6V GCs I went with 8 AGM 6V GCs as I was refurbing my batty tray and compartment due to corrosion and never wanted to have to do it again. Also the jumper wires fit perfectly by staying w GC.
AGMs are roughly 2X FLA $$ so you need to decide if no maint or no corrosion are important enough to be worth the premium. Many newer higher end autos with more power needs ( auto stop/restart & electronics) have switched to AGM... I have to believe mfg have valid reasons to spend more for a batty!
Many think with 6V battys because you need 2 battys to get 12V you can use half as Many 12V battys... not true unless you want or can get by with half the AH capacity.
A typical 6V GC provides roughly 200 AH at 6V you need two to get 200 AH at 12V
A typical 12V batty provides roughly 100 AH so you need two battys to get 200 AH at 12V.
There is no magic or free lunch with batty difference between 6V & 12V is how the plates are connected... one way provides more AH the other higher V.
Bottom line if staying FLA and you want the same AH capacity you have when battys were new just replace them w the same.
I used mask tape & numbered all wires and drew a diagram w numbers. A photo or a few also worth having. Above let's you get the cables back in the same location when reassembling and cables lengths are not all the same.
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