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Old 09-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
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Golf Cart batteries

Has anyone converted their Classic trailer from the standard 12 volt batteries to 6 volt in series? I've been told you can double(almost) your dry camping time this way.

Thanks
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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Me, me. (waves hand wildly in the air). Both my Caravel and my Argosy have a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries in series. The Argosy has a small solar system in addition (about 4 amps max charge). I virtually never run down the batteries when out boondocking for up to a week. I have all fluorescent lights, and my refrigerator does not require any 12 volt power to run, only my automatic ignition water heater. My furnace is a 16,000 btuh Suburban which takes 3.5 amps to run. I highly recommend the conversion, but it is hard to find space for them where the weight will not be a problem. There also can be venting issues.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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No So Fast...

We would all make the golf-cart battery conversion if we could.
Afterall, two six-volt batteries connected in parallel offer a lots of sustained juice when compared to a Deep-Cycle RV 12 Volt.
But the Class has battery compartments designed for Group 24, 12-volt batteries. Right?
It is a non-trivial project to fabricate new battery compartments that will swallow the chunky, 6-volt, golf-cart batteries.
Tell me if I'm missing something here.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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6 volt batteries are not that much better then 12 volt.
2 12V 100AH in parallel = 1 12v 200AH
2 6V 200AH in series = 1 12V 200AH
Batteries of the same construction and weight and different voltages still have the same power storage capacity when you multiply voltage by amp hours.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
We would all make the golf-cart battery conversion if we could.
Afterall, two six-volt batteries connected in parallel offer a lots of sustained juice when compared to a Deep-Cycle RV 12 Volt.
:
Wrong, two 6 volt batteries in parallel give you 6 volts but double the amps. To get 12 volts they need to be in series.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:42 PM   #6
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In theory two 12 volt #27 batteries in parallel will have about the same capacity in Amp hours as two six volt golf cart batteries in series has. However, many, many people have found that in actual practice the golf cart batteries hold up much better, both in capacity and length of life. That also has been my experience. They have heavier plates, and are more of a true deep cycle discharge battery than the common compromise "marine/deep cycle" battery we usually purchase because it is all that is available.

And, yes, it is a PITA to adapt an Airstream battery system to golf cart batteries as they are taller by an inch and that makes quite a difference in many rigs.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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I replaced my one 12v marine battery with two 6v golf cart batteries. I have gone boondocking numerous times for four days and never have had to recharge my batteries. The voltage typically drops from 12.8v to 12.6v over the span of 4 days. I have all LED lights and use the water pump, fans and furnace very little. I have room to add two more batteries to my Tradewind, but do not feel the need to do this now.

Dan
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:44 AM   #8
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Ventport is Correct...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventport View Post
Wrong, two 6 volt batteries in parallel give you 6 volts but double the amps. To get 12 volts they need to be in series.
... of course. Can't keyboard and think at same time.
Your two existing 12 volts are connected in parallel.
Tow 6 volt batteries must be connected in series to a achieve 12 VDC.
Two golf cart batteries connected in series, connected in parallel to two more golf cart batteries connected to each other in series, would still 12 VDC but more capacity than your existing, two 12 volt batteries.
Sorry for any confusion that I may have caused.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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Certainly have

Quote:
Originally Posted by breazy View Post
Has anyone converted their Classic trailer from the standard 12 volt batteries to 6 volt in series? I've been told you can double(almost) your dry camping time this way.

Thanks
Put in the golf cart batteries and LED bulbs. Longest boondock so far is 5 days including using the furnace each morning. Batteries never showed fewer than 12.4 volts output.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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I run two 12v deep cells wired in parallel for about 140$ total. Can run furnace at night, two flat panel TVs and non LED lights for 4-5 days no problem. Can't beat the price. I suspect golf cart batteries cost much more. Not worth it to me.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:50 AM   #11
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The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:06 AM   #12
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All lead acid batteries are two volt. A 6v golf cart battery has three in series. A 12v has six. You can call them cells. Size of plates and quality of the electrolyte and how these are allowed to interface determine how well you can charge them and how long you can discharge them. With two golf cart batteries you have 6 large cells where two 12v batteries have 12 smaller cells. I think you lose a little capacity in packaging in two 12v.

I am sure someone builds a 12v battery with the same qualities of a golf cart battery. Maybe look into UPS batteries.

Do they make AGM golf cart batteries?
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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There are a lot of threads here about golf cart batteries and other schemes of increasing battery capacity. I have used golf cart batteries in a prior RV. However, after research and my experience with this modification, I came to some conclusions.

The amount of storage in a battery system is for all practical purposes proportional to the volume of space it takes up and how much it weighs. Both weight and use of space are undesirable properties for things used in a RV. In the end all you gain is a couple more days without charging. If the batteries in use will last through 24 hours in a cold environment, that is all you really need. From there on, the effort and money is better spent on acquiring ways to recharge the batteries. Solar panels are the most obvious. There are also wind systems and of course hydrocarbon fuel powered generators, although the latter lasts only as long as the fuel. Solar and wind systems are both long lasting investments, where as batteries of any type are only going to be good for a few years and then will require a complete reinvestment.

My advice to maximize the effectiveness of your investment:
1. Do a complete inventory of your energy usage.
2. Develop a usage plan that meets your needs without excesses.
3. Install only as much storage capacity as is necessary to follow that energy plan for 24 to 48 hours.
4. Invest in a generating system that will supply enough power to satisfy your usage plan.

In short, installing larger battery systems is expensive in both money and resources (weight and space). This is an expense that will recur every few years. However having a minimized battery system and a good generating system will have a larger front end investment but much smaller recurring investment, and battery capacity will not limit your time in the field.

Ken
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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A failure of one of two 12v batteries and you are still in business. One of two 6v, not so.
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