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Old 05-05-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1979 31' Excella 500
Flagstaff , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 13
New Batteries - 6V vs. 12V

Hi All-

We recently replaced the batteries on our '79 sovereign. The guy at the store suggested 2 - Exide Xtra 6v 135 min@ 75 amp/226 AH@ 20 hour rate batteries. His rationale was that these batteries would give us more juice than the 12 volt batteries we're replacing. So, I bought them (ouch). Once home, we are now confused as to if they will work with our system. We have an Intelipower 92 series (model PD9260C) conveter/charger.

The batteries
a) don't fit in the hatches
b) have different posts than we've ever seen before
c) don't seem to jive with our battery cables (what gauge cable necessary?)

Thanks for your help!
Wm & Christine

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Old 05-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
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1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
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If they don't fit in the hatches I would return them ASAP.
Not sure when Airstream started using 2 12 volt batteries but if that is what you are set up for you would have to rewire as 2 12 volt batteries would be wired in parallel but 2 six volt must be wired in series to get 12 volts. If you have the knowledge to do this you are ok,, If not you need to get help and may be better off staying with 12 volt batteries that fit and avoid the re wiring.. The store guy isn't wrong, but did not give you all the facts either

All that being said, The 2 6 volt batteries I am using are now 8 years old. Never got more than 4 years out of the 12 volt jobs

Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:32 PM   #3
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
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Battery capacity is simply a matter of weight, which usually means size. Wet Cell lead acid batteries will have about 12 watt hours of usable energy per pound (50% cost effective point -see for analysis) depending upon temperature, use profile, age, and more - each of which can make more than a 10% difference.

Get batteries that will fit in the spot you have for them from a reputable retailer who sells a lot to folks that use them like you do and stands behind what he sells.

Be very wary of the hype and myth mongering about RV batteries. Go by specifications, warranty, and cost - things that have objective measures that someone will put their money on.

The battery voltage has nothing to do with how long they last. How you use and care for them does. Generally (re NAWS FAQ), you can expect 4 to 7 years for the batteries normally used in RV service, either 6v or 12v.

One man's experience does not a generality make so be very careful about anecdotes. There is a lot of very bad, incorrect, misleading, and out of context information out there so be careful and stick to objective measures with known parameters that are statistically valid and have proper backing.

The IP 9260 should do an excellent job of charging and maintaining your batteries to keep them in top shape if you let it (some people unplug for storage which is not a good thing or don't recharge promptly and so on).

Also keep in mind that batteries just don't store much energy. Minor differences in size won't make any real difference (placebo, maybe). In a TT, you are generally limited to battery banks under 250# so you have maybe 3 kWh energy available maximum. Typical household use is ten times that.

If you find yourself running your batteries below 12.0v (measured after a half hour of no signficant charge or discharge) on a routine basis, then the need is to change your energy use lifestyle, not to try to get bigger or better batteries. Running your batteries lower than this, excess heat, and improper storage maintenance are the primary ways people kill batteries.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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1979 31' Excella 500
Flagstaff , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 13
Hi All--
We took the batteries back and bought 2- 6v batteries rated at 105 amp hours each. Thanks for the replies!
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Trotwood , Ohio
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Our 77 Has 2 group 27 12v batteries. This is the 3rd year maybe 4th Id have to look it up(TIME FLYS WHEN YOU ARE HAVIN FUN)but we have never ran out of power.JUST my opinion .TAKE EM BACK ASAP and get the correct 12 volt batteries to fit your situation.
Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:59 AM   #6
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1979 31' Excella 500
Flagstaff , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Darn! What I MEANT to say is this: we took the 6 v batteries back and bought 2- 12v batteries rated at 105 amp hours each. Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:12 AM   #7
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Mesa , Arizona
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Where in Flag did you buy your batteries?
1958 Overlander
2011 Wolf Creek 850N TC
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
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Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
Darn! What I MEANT to say is this: we took the 6 v batteries back and bought 2- 12v batteries rated at 105 amp hours each. Thanks!
Whew! Thanks for the correction. You had a lot of us holding our breaths for a moment or two.


Somebody, please, point me to the road.

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