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Old 08-23-2007, 08:33 AM   #1
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12 Volt Golf Cart Batteries?

Hi... I have a new 2007 19' Bambi with 2-24 series batteries. They don't tell me the AmpHour rating anywhere. I believe they are Interstate. I've read a great many threads about upgrading to 2-6V golf cart batteries... or AGM's. I've also read negative opinions on 6V systems from Andy. The argument that 'if one should die the whole system is dead'. I have never read any opinion about using 2-12V golf cart batteries. I see on some battery sites that they do exist. I may be able to squeeze a couple series 27's into the existing box. Looking for the best route to go when these originals die. Want the most AH power for extended boondocking. Also can't find if my factory converter is a 3 stage. It's a Parallax 7300... doesn't say the specific model. says 55 amp. Anyone know if this is a good 3 stage charger or should this be upgraded as well at some point?
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:34 AM   #2
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I am also puzzled by the reluctance of battery manufactures to print the amp-hour rating on their batteries. On a deep cycle battery, who really cares about the CCA rating? or the reserve minutes?

I think I would go with 2-12V deep cycle batteries in group 27, with about 115 aH each. You aren't going to find 'real' golf cart batteries in 12V group 27.

If you plan to upgrade the converter and have the bucks, go with the AGM batteries; otherwise Sam's Club has the 12V x group 27 deep cycle Energizer for about $60 each.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom
Hi... I have a new 2007 19' Bambi with 2-24 series batteries. They don't tell me the AmpHour rating anywhere. [...]
Hi Pete,
Based on the Interstate SRM-24 published ratings, the capacity at a 20-hour discharge rate looks to be 82 Ah. The 20-hour figure seems to be the industry standard for rating these kinds of batteries, and is the key parameter for battery monitors to be useful...

Hope that helps,
-jd.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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I like 6v golf cart batteries. After wiring them in series you essentially have one large, robust 12v battery. I've never had one fail and I haven't heard of anybody else having this problem either. I usually agree with Andy on technical issues but I don't agree with him on the 6v batteries. They are very popular in the RV community for a reason.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:37 AM   #5
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The way my battery compartment is built, I am limited to one group 27 battery. The alternative would be to redesign the area. I purchased a lifeline AGM a few months ago and it is one great (but pricey) battery. This last weekend we spent 4 days and 3 nights in the trailer with no hookups. The battery was still in the good range at the end of the trip. I never had to top it off with my EU1000 honda.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
The way my battery compartment is built, I am limited to one group 27 battery. The alternative would be to redesign the area. I purchased a lifeline AGM a few months ago and it is one great (but pricey) battery. This last weekend we spent 4 days and 3 nights in the trailer with no hookups. The battery was still in the good range at the end of the trip. I never had to top it off with my EU1000 honda.
Richard,

Are you still happy with the one battery?

What power supply/charger did you go with?

I too am limited to one group 27 in the factory location in our 84 Sovereign. Reading the parallel vs series threads has driven me crazy. What I really want is a reasonable amount of 12v power, without making a bunch of unnecessary modifications. I already am prepared to replace my charger. It is loud, HOT, and not 3 stage technology.

Maybe one AGM is OK for me. I wouldn’t take my family out boondocking without a small generator anyway...

Chris
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mello mike
I like 6v golf cart batteries. After wiring them in series you essentially have one large, robust 12v battery. I've never had one fail and I haven't heard of anybody else having this problem either. I usually agree with Andy on technical issues but I don't agree with him on the 6v batteries. They are very popular in the RV community for a reason.
Series batteries are like series light bulbs.

When one goes out in series, your battery power is done.

Not so with parallel bulbs or batteries.

No 2 batteries are the same, therefore when in series, strange things happen. Again, in parallel, you can use an old battery with a new battery, no problem.

You cannot do that with batteries in series. They "MUST" both be brand new to start, and then good luck at that.

Rewiring the trailer is not necessary with parallel batteries. Series batteries, does require some rewiring.

If batteries in series were better than parallel, then every RV manufacturer would be installing them, plus every car and truck manufacturer would also be doing the same thing.

Electronically, series batteries does not make sense in a car or RV.

But again, to each his own.

Andy
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Old 11-23-2007, 07:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemy55
Richard,

Are you still happy with the one battery?

What power supply/charger did you go with?

I too am limited to one group 27 in the factory location in our 84 Sovereign. Reading the parallel vs series threads has driven me crazy. What I really want is a reasonable amount of 12v power, without making a bunch of unnecessary modifications. I already am prepared to replace my charger. It is loud, HOT, and not 3 stage technology.

Maybe one AGM is OK for me. I wouldn’t take my family out boondocking without a small generator anyway...

Chris
I am very happy with the single AGM. It is an excellent battery and it fits in the battery compartment of my 75 TW. I still have an old single stage converter so I do need to watch my charging times when attached to shore power. Most of my camping boondocking so the converter is not an issue.

On my recent Balloon Fiesta Rally we camped for 4 nights and I ran my Honda EU1000 for only a couple of hours. It was more to charge my laptop then the trailer.

Two weeks later we camped for 3 days and never charged at all.

The battery is pricey, but worth it, in my opinion.
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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I need to chime in. While I am no technician, I wanted more battery storage for my 2005 Safari 25'. My forced air furnace was dropping my batteries to 50% in one night.

So I converted from two 80amp 12v batteries to two 220amp 6v golf car batteries. With this change I went from 2x65=130 amps (parallel) to 220amps (serial). Battery cost was around $60 each. The only wiring change that was necessary was at the battery.

I'm very pleased with the new setup. I've met quite a few long time campers that have done the same thing, tho not one airstreamer (yet).

After that, I added two 80watt solar panels (plus converter).
And I added a wave 6 catalitic heater that requires NO electric.

As one might guess, I like dry camping, thus I want the independence from 110v electric.
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:32 PM   #10
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Sorry, they were
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:33 PM   #11
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Sorry, my 12v batteries were 65 amps each, not 80 amps each.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:22 PM   #12
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6volt battery failure?

Okay, show of hands, anybody here with a two six volt settup ever have the dreaded battery failure that screwed up a trip????? along the same line, how long do you think you can stay out on one of those powerfull group 24 12 volt's if the other one fails?????? My TV isn't a dually, maybe I should get one on the off chance I get a flat tire on the rear axle? 2 good 6 volt AGM's have done me just fine for the last three years.
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:52 PM   #13
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Allow me to shed a little light on what the RV industry is doing re: batteries from my perspective. As some of you might know, I work almost exclusively on large, diesel pusher type motor homes.

With the exception of Newell and Prevost (ultra high-end at $1 Million +) that use very large banks (6 or more) of the 150 lb GPL-8D Lifeline AGMs, most, and I repeat MOST major motorhome manufacturers use a bank of 4-6VDC golf cart batteries in a series/parallel configuration. These provide 440 amp hours to the house batteries.

Many of these coaches come with cheaper liquid cell colf cart batteries and when they begin to have wear down in 3-4 years, I replace them with the Lifeline GPL-4CT 220 amp/hour golf cart battery. With the new Lifeline GPL-6CT 300 amp/hour batteries, a 4 unit configuration will give these coaches 600 very useable amp/hours of power for the coach. You won't see many golf cart battery failures due to their much heavier construction wih very heavy plates and bomb-proof shells. Remember, these are made to withstand being bounced around on the golf course and the olf course operators expect these batteries to last a while and provide superior service.

These same manufacturers have switched from 12VDC batteries to 6VDC golf cart batteries as they found they outlast the 12's and provide much more useable power for these coaches. They would not have done this if they felt that 6VDC configurations were causing problems! I have done the same in my CCD by replacing the junk Interstates wth 2 Lifeline GPL-4CT6VDC golf cart batteries. They work great and provide as much power as I need and will last me at least a week of boondocking without rationing my electrical usage.

My point is this: Some can voice their opinions on the relative merits of 12VDC systems over 6VDC systems, but I maintain that the 6VDC golf cart systems are the way to go based on my practical experience in this industry.

As further proof of the benefits and reliability of 6VDC systems and Lifeline AGM batteries in particular, I am now a dealer/installer for AM Solar and the only battery we use in new installations is the Lifeline GPL-6CT 6VDC golf cart battery and on some ocassions where space does not permit their use, the GPL-4CT 6VDC golf cart battery.

ANY multi-battery configuration should have the same batteries in it that were made on or near the same date to facilitate proper charging. This is whether you use 12VDC or 6VDC systems and most battery manufacturers recommend this when setting up a battery system.

Use what you wish but please base your decisions on FACT and not mere speculation.

Thanks for listening!
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom
Hi... I have a new 2007 19' Bambi with 2-24 series batteries. They don't tell me the AmpHour rating anywhere. I believe they are Interstate. I've read a great many threads about upgrading to 2-6V golf cart batteries... or AGM's. I've also read negative opinions on 6V systems from Andy. The argument that 'if one should die the whole system is dead'. I have never read any opinion about using 2-12V golf cart batteries. I see on some battery sites that they do exist. I may be able to squeeze a couple series 27's into the existing box. Looking for the best route to go when these originals die. Want the most AH power for extended boondocking. Also can't find if my factory converter is a 3 stage. It's a Parallax 7300... doesn't say the specific model. says 55 amp. Anyone know if this is a good 3 stage charger or should this be upgraded as well at some point?
Pete
Pete,

I had the same converter in my '06 19CCD and immediately replaced it and the batteries when I got it. Went with a WFCO converter that IS a 3-stage charger and a pair of 6VDC Lifeline GPL-4CT golf cart batteries. I don't believe that the Parallax unit that Airstream provides has a 3-stage charger.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:42 PM   #15
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Nice article on Battery Basics in the December 2007 issue of God Sam's HIGHWAYS. It repeats what lewster said in his posting. And it recommends 6v batteries for those who boondock a lot...........
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:48 PM   #16
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Lewster is one the money again. the 6 volt golf cart batterys are much to be preferred over any 12 volt type. the 6 volt batterys are availible in several heights. The short ones have about 105 amps, the tallest, about 375 amps for a premium brand. All have the same footprint. stay away from Interstate and Exide brands, they are not known for long life. The best for the buck is Trojan, the best of the best, for lots of bucks is Rolls.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:03 PM   #17
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there are about 50 threads on this topic with the same posts repeated in each...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangebowdrie
... the 6 volt golf cart batterys are much to be preferred over any 12 volt type...
this might be true for a 4 battery arrangement and even more so for a 6 battery setup...

sometimes, like when rebuilding the system, setup and locations, when SPACE AND WEIGHT aren't an issue (boats and mohos)

but not when just 2 batteries are used, and the location is limited...like in a silver trialer i disagree.

there isn't any advantage to a pair of 6 volts over a pair of 12v agms. of similar capacity.

at least no one has made the case for 2 based on simple facts and not sales/up grade, 'i know the real world better than you', hype.

cheers
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:08 PM   #18
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There are other factors to consider when comparing batteries. I have seen cut-a-ways of the Lifeline products and the difference between the construction of their 12VDC line and their golf cart batteries was telling, with the golf cart series utilizing much heavier lead plates and overall construction.....even better that the venerable '8-D' behemoths.

And speaking of 8'Ds......if you look at the capacities chart on the Lifeline web site: Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries and look at not only the amp/hour rating, but the 25amp 'minutes of discharge' rate which is particularly useful, you will see a telling difference.

If you compare the 8-D for example, it has a 255 amp/hour rating and 475 minutes of discharge at the 25 amp rate. Now look at the GPL-4CT golf cart battery. It has a 220 amp/hour rating but 492 minutes of discharge at the 25 amp rating...........interesting....more useable discharge time than an 8-D!

Now look at the new GPL-6CT golf cart battery. It has a 300 amp/hour rating but a whopping 690 minutes of discharge at 25 amps.

These are comparing apples to apples by looking at one manufacturers product so there is no brand bias. For me , the choice is clear!
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:43 PM   #19
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One of the nicer advantages of the 6-volt types, is there ability to have high capacity in a small footprint. If you have the height available, two of the 6-volts will fit in a smaller area than two 12-volts, and give you greater capacity. The more robust plate construction, longer life, and greater number of charge/discharge cycles are icing on the cake.
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:04 PM   #20
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I always get a kick out of the 2 x 6v vs 12v discussion. In reality it's a case of how many 2v lead acid cells there are in each plastic case. A 6 volt is three per plastic holder and a 12v is 6 cells. I always liked the more robust size per cell of the 6 volt setup. We used to make 6 volt batteries from a 12 volt that had 1 bad cell. Drive a nail through 3 cells including the one bad on and you have a 6 volt battery
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