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Old 03-29-2014, 05:25 PM   #1
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'93 Excella... Series or parallel?

Can you tell me from the photo if my 1993 Excella is series or parallel? I believe I fried my batteries by leaving it hooked up to shore power for too many months. I want to replace the batteries but not sure what to get. (I know you're saying to yourself look and see what you have and replace them, but I can't be sure it was done correctly the first time)

So is it possible to tell from the pic whether I have series or parallel? It looks parallel to me but the RV dealer had 2 6 volts installed.


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Old 03-29-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
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Okay I did not see the picture of your battery and the cabling shows 1 hot (red) line coming in from the batteries so it looks to me that you have possibly got 2 batteries connected in series but without the pictures of the batteries I am guessing this would make your batteries either 2 6 volt or you are running 24 volt system.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:47 PM   #3
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The batteries are in the black boxes to the left and right. The red from the left battery and the red from the right battery both connect to the same terminal junction (top right of pic under "danger". The red from the inverter also connects to the same junction. Then a red leaves that junction and runs to the master 12volt cutoff (bottom right round sliver switch with blue rubber on each terminal) which feeds the 12v distribution in the top picture.

Looks to me now as if I have 2 6volt batteries wired in parallel. What would I notice about 12 volt lights running on 6 volt power to be sure? I hate to go buy 2 new 12 volt batteries. Any opinions / advise?

Thank you


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Old 03-29-2014, 07:17 PM   #4
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As you stated it looks as they are in parallel but that makes no sense so positive to ground you have what voltage? If low 7.2 or less then it should have been connected in series. I use parallel at work but 2 twelves for a large load setup.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:06 PM   #5
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Hi Cliff,

I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you saying turn off shore power and measure the voltage? I guess that will confirm it. I will try that tomorrow.

thank you for your help
Bryan


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As you stated it looks as they are in parallel but that makes no sense so positive to ground you have what voltage? If low 7.2 or less then it should have been connected in series. I use parallel at work but 2 twelves for a large load setup.
Cliff
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:21 PM   #6
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Hi Cliff,

I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you saying turn off shore power and measure the voltage? I guess that will confirm it. I will try that tomorrow.

thank you for your help
Bryan
Airstream has never produced a trailer that had batteries wired in series.

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Old 03-29-2014, 10:41 PM   #7
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If they are not maintenance free batteries you can count the number of filler caps. Each filler cap indicates 2 volts, for the number of cells. 6 filler caps is 12 volts, 3 would be 6 volts.

The configuration you show is parallel and would be 12 volts in your AS. If they are 6 volts then the lights would be dim, inverter won't work, radio wouldn't work, etc. I'd say if your configuration is correct, you have 12 volt batteries.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:33 AM   #8
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Yes and thank you Andy for the input, they are in parallel and will handle a larger load current wise and yes if 6 volt were installed then the lights would be dim. Andy I have seen 1 trailer with wiring that looked factory and two batteries hooked in series, they were dead but the trailer had sat for several years and the po left it connected.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #9
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Yes and thank you Andy for the input, they are in parallel and will handle a larger load current wise and yes if 6 volt were installed then the lights would be dim. Andy I have seen 1 trailer with wiring that looked factory and two batteries hooked in series, they were dead but the trailer had sat for several years and the po left it connected.
Cliff
Cliff.

Yes indeed.

Opinions, ideas, rumors, gossip, falsehoods, have all caused some owners to be different and change the way the trailer and/or motorhome was designed and built.

Rarely have any of them been to the betterment of the coach, but oh well, they did it anyways.

For what it's worth, 2 batteries in series DOES NOT increase capacity at all.

Never can never will.

In fact two batteries in seriers creates a huge disadvantage. When one fails, the system is dead.

When batteries are in parallel, when one fails, you still have one left that keeps the systems alive, and everything functions normally.

Many years ago Christmas tree lights were in series. When one quit, the entire string of lights was dead.

Then through technology, we learned how to make those lights strings to be in parallel. Problem solved.

I am always in wonderment why some owners choose to back date their coach using old and not very good systems.

Just think what would happen if all the interior lights were in series.

Simply makes repair shops more work and profit.

Oh well, to each his own.

Andy
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:03 PM   #10
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Thank you folks. Learning lots as I go. So my receipt said 6 volt batteries .... but a volt meter proves the receipt wrong. They are 12 volt batteries and they are working correctly and I do have parallel wiring.


I appreciate everyones help!


Bryan
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:14 PM   #11
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Just a quick comment from one who installs a LOT of RV battery systems. There are fewer and fewer OEM manufacturers using parallel 12VDC battery connections. Most now use, and have been using 6VDC golf cart batteries in series/parallel connection for some time.

Look at it this way: a single 12VDC battery has 6 small cells producing 12.8-13.2VDC when fully charged at 100 amp/hours (group 27 battery). Place 2 in parallel and you have the same voltage when full (12.8-13.2 VDC) but the capacity is now 200 amp/hours.

If you use a pair of 6VDC golf cart batteries, the voltage of EACH battery individually is 6.4-6.6VDC for a full battery. This is for a 3 cell battery with the same footprint as the 12VDC unit in the preceding paragraph. The 3 cells in the same space as a 12VDC battery are then twice as large and robust, yielding better durability and construction. This is why THEY ARE USED IN GOLF CARTS!

When you connect these 2 golf cart batteries in series, you are essentially creating one big 12VDC battery, which in this case happens to have 220 amp/hours of capacity.

And with regard to blowing out one battery in a given battery bank……unless they have been separated, have been wired incorrectly or one is defective in manufacture (rare indeed)…….you almost never see (at least I don't) one battery go bad in a battery bank. Unless of course you are addicted to buying at the low end of the battery spectrum, where quality control and quality in general is a dirty word.

I have been installing 6 VDC golf cart batteries in trailers and motor homes for 8 years and I have yet to see a single, isolated battery failure in a bank of batteries that I have placed.

Of prime importance is proper battery charging using modern equipment. Most converter chargers available today are substandard and do only a fair job of proper battery maintenance when compared to available quality inverter/chargers with settings for battery type, size of the battery bank and most importantly…..full temperature compensation for the charging voltages.

NOTHING will ruin a battery or set of batteries of any voltage and wiring configuration faster than the single voltage converter that Airstream continues to offer in their 'premium' trailers. IMHO, THESE PARALLAX UNITS ARE GARBAGE!!!!!!

At least they got the message, sort of, with the Interstates by including a Magnum inverter/charger. Yet, they still include the ME-MM simple remote when you really need the ME-RC for proper battery parameter setting and monitoring and delete the temperature sensor for the batteries.

Airstream still has a long way to go in the area of proper battery charging for their RV offerings.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:25 AM   #12
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Agreed Lewster!!! I have always run twin 6 volts in every camper I have ever owned, they just seem to take a beating, and do last longer. As a matter of fact the last rv I sold, I put twin delco 6's in it when new, did manly dry camping, inverter powering TV's and lights, I would drag them down and charge em back up, check the water twice a year, and 10 years later sold the trailer with those batteries. In the winter I would charge em up, leave them in the rv, and in the spring would still have half life in em. From what I can see, I don't believe I can get 6's in the battery compartment on my excella, they are taller.
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