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Old 08-04-2018, 10:37 AM   #1
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Converting to 6v batteries

Hello,

I currently have a pair of 2 year old Interstate SRM-24s in our 2008 International 19'. I'd like to get more AHs without a ton of money, so I'm planning on switching to 6v GC2s (Costco or Sams) and have a couple questions. First,
  • I realize they won't fit without modifying the battery box, and have a battery box extender on the way from Vinnie's Airstream.
  • I've previously changed out the charger/controller to a PD 4655.
  • We have the factory 50w solar with the Atkinson charge controller; we may add a 100w portable at some point.
Is this as simple as wiring the two 6-volt batteries in series (one pos to the other neg) and connecting all loads (trailer, inverter, jack and brake controller) to the single 6v pos terminal and same with negative cables?

I'm also considering adding the Victron BMV-712 with BT, but I'm not sure I see enough value. I don't know how the temp sensor works; I assume it has to be connected to a compatible charger? I don't see how it could it be functional with my PD4655?

In view of the potential for a portable solar panel in the future, is there anything else I should consider now or in the future?

Thanks in advance,
Mike
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Old 08-04-2018, 03:12 PM   #2
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Converting to 6v batteries

Yup, wire them in series exactly as you described.
Consider a battery watering system to make maintenance much easier, and consider adding a mechanical shut-off switch to kill all parasitic loads when in long term storage.
Plenty of threads on the subject.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Yup, wire them in series exactly as you described.
Consider a battery watering system to make maintenance much easier, and consider adding a mechanical shut-off switch to kill all parasitic loads when in long term storage.
Plenty of threads on the subject.
Thanks. I hadn't considered a watering system but that looks like a great idea. So is there a reservoir or is it manual? I'll start researching.

I've been reading the threads on the disconnect switch but have been disconnecting the neg cables during storage. Someday I'll do one when I replace the battery cables along with some wire management tasks i've been putting off. I want to take the dinette seat out when I do that and am not looking forward to that.

Any comment on the BMV temp probe working with my charger? Need to understand how that works.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:58 PM   #4
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Converting to 6v batteries

The battery watering system I have has a filler bulb and a short spigot that you fill with distilled water, plug on to a connector that leads to the float valves in the cells. Then you squeeze gently until you feel resistance. That means the cells are now filled. Then you disconnect. The same filler can be used on regular batteries manually. No reservoir in this system.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:59 PM   #5
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By the time you invest in a watering system, aren't you near the cost of some entry level AGMs that don't need one. You still have to monitor a watering system like sprinklers in a yard.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:01 PM   #6
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Converting to 6v batteries

Yeah, maybe the first time. I can buy a lot of GC-2 golf cart batteries for the cost of AGMs, and can get them from Samís or Costco. As long as I use GC-2 batteries, I can transfer the watering system easily.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:10 PM   #7
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Yeah, maybe the first time. I can buy a lot of GC-2 golf cart batteries for the cost of AGMs, and can get them from Samís or Costco. As long as I use GC-2 batteries, I can transfer the watering system easily.


X2!

I'm pretty good at killing batteries. Headed to Sams tomorrow to replace my 5 year old $85 set.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:24 PM   #8
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Yeah, maybe the first time. I can buy a lot of GC-2 golf cart batteries for the cost of AGMs, and can get them from Sam’s or Costco. As long as I use GC-2 batteries, I can transfer the watering system easily.
No question they are half the cost and last half a long. 5 years is respectable on flooded for somebody that takes care of them. 11th year on Lifelines 1 month shy of 12 year but 20 percent faster charging and only peek on them once a year to make sure they haven't been stolen Certainly no argument, just different perspective on technology. Lithium folks are spending $950+ on 100 AH batteries like they are going out of style for their benefits so the only correct answer is what's right for you
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:53 AM   #9
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I got two GC2 Duracells at Sam's on a 1-day sale yesterday for $74 each plus tax. I had 2 cores to trade. Looks like a Flow-Rite watering system from Amazon will run another $75. Probably not a bad idea.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:47 AM   #10
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Sam's Duracell EGC2's are much better than anything from Cosco. Batteries plus Bulbs also have Duracell.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:01 AM   #11
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Costco 6V are a great deal. I switched 4 years ago. The caps come off easily. I only have to top up the water twice a year. For the box, I bought a 1x1" piece of pressure treated board, painted it black then screwed it to the top the original box. Reattach the lid to the now taller box and you are all set.
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:12 PM   #12
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Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by marter View Post
Hello,

I currently have a pair of 2 year old Interstate SRM-24s in our 2008 International 19'. I'd like to get more AHs without a ton of money, so I'm planning on switching to 6v GC2s (Costco or Sams) and have a couple questions. First,
  • I realize they won't fit without modifying the battery box, and have a battery box extender on the way from Vinnie's Airstream.
  • I've previously changed out the charger/controller to a PD 4655.
  • We have the factory 50w solar with the Atkinson charge controller; we may add a 100w portable at some point.
Is this as simple as wiring the two 6-volt batteries in series (one pos to the other neg) and connecting all loads (trailer, inverter, jack and brake controller) to the single 6v pos terminal and same with negative cables?

I'm also considering adding the Victron BMV-712 with BT, but I'm not sure I see enough value. I don't know how the temp sensor works; I assume it has to be connected to a compatible charger? I don't see how it could it be functional with my PD4655?

In view of the potential for a portable solar panel in the future, is there anything else I should consider now or in the future?

Thanks in advance,
Mike
I changed out two 12 volts for two 6 Volts on my 25' Flying cloud. Got them on the internet for $200 a piece and they're AGM's. Didn't have to change the size of the box either. Just got my 27' Globetrotter and had the dealer put the 6's in them. Work great with 160 solar panels.
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:33 PM   #13
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Chances are that your charger/convertor is a single stage one, and they tend to boil out the batteries. So, before spending money on a set of batteries that will be dead in 3 years, consider upgrading to a multi-stage charger. Then look into AGM batteries - Lifelines or Pearl River (both have long warranties).
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Old 08-05-2018, 02:13 PM   #14
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Chances are that your charger/convertor is a single stage one, and they tend to boil out the batteries. So, before spending money on a set of batteries that will be dead in 3 years, consider upgrading to a multi-stage charger. Then look into AGM batteries - Lifelines or Pearl River (both have long warranties).
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