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Old 04-08-2007, 10:56 PM   #1
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Question about 6V batteries

I switched from two 27 group batteries to two 6V (golf cart batteries), then went off for a week where I used only shore power. But upon unhitching my trailer after arriving at the campground and hitching back up yesterday, I noticed my electric jack was very slow. Is this because it's only getting power from one of the batteries? Is there a remedy?

Also, I went to the 6V batteries without realizing I should have asked several questions. Such as:
1. Can I charge them with my Honda 1000i generator?
2. What is the best charger to use that will do the job in the quickest
amount of time?

Thanks for any light anyone can shed on this.

Jean
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:05 PM   #2
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Your 2 X 12 volt batteries were connected in parallel, that is the plus(+) and minus(-) of both batteries were tied together. When you went to 2 X 6 volt batteries they should have been connected in series, connect the plus(+) of one to the minus(-) of the other. If you did not do this you may only have 6 volts. You also may have damaged them by charging them with 12 volts when hooked to shore power.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:00 AM   #3
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Richard is right. You should immediately disconnect the batteries, and put them in series. Get some help if you don't know how. Probably should have a load test to see if they are damaged.

Contrary to what some on this forum think, IMHO golf cart catteries are the way to go. When properly connected they have more capacity. They are built with stouter cases, and with thicker lead plates. Thus they put up with more physical abuse such as bouncing down the road, and they are designed to be more deeply discharged without damage. Golf cart batteries are more forgiving of being charged too quickly, and you can add water (distilled, please) when needed.

The only real disadvantage is size and weight, but that's why they have more capacity.

If my battery doors were big enough, I would change them to golf cart batteries in a heartbeat, especially since I boondock occasionally.

Your Honda generator will charge the golf cart batteries just fine, but you would be better off using a charger connected to the 110 volts than using the 12 volt cord.

Your post doesn't say the year of your trailer, or whether it has the original "univolt". The newer 3 and 4 stage chargers do a great job, and probably worth the expense, but because they are basically powered by switch mode power supplies (to save cost/weight of a big transformer) they can be electrically noisy. Try listening to a fairly weak AM radio station with one charging to see what I mean.

Overall, if they survived the initial mis-connect, you should be much happier with two sixes in series. Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:17 AM   #4
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Agreed!

I have been 'pushing' 6VDC golf cart batteries since I have been in this Forum. I have them (Lifeline AGM) in my CCD. Their size required some mods to the battery box, but their extra capacity, ease of charging, lower internal resistance and much lower rate of self discharge make them well worth it, IMHO!

Most major MoHo OEMs use them in their upper end units (unless they have the super 8-D batteries in them) for the same reasons.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:27 AM   #5
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Lew, just for kicks, I'm wondering what mods you had to make to your battery box to make this happen. Also what specific model battery did you install? My 27s are near end of life. I discharged them 2x accidentally and they have never been the same. Now they don't hold a charge all that well and in the next few months, I'm gonna be in the market for new batteries.

I also am planning on upgrading my factory charger with what we talked about a while back.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:30 AM   #6
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Question about 6V batteries

Thank you for your responses. I won't be able to get to my trailer to check the battery boxes for a week, unfortunately. The new batteries were put on at an Airstream dealership and the service guy (not the mechanic) told me about how I needed to wire in series, as opposed to the previous way. I so hope I haven't ruined these batteries in my last week of camping.

By the way, I have a 2005 16-foot CCD International Bambi, which I love using. I do a lot of boondock camping and use an ice chest, rather than the refrigerator to keep the draw off the batteries to a minimum. That's why I'm interested in being able to recharge them from the generator as quick as possible. In the past, I haven't been able to hook up to shore power when I'm away in the summer. In the past, I've taken the Group 27 batts off the trailer (which is kept in public storage) to recharge them at home. With the heavier 6 volts, that will be more difficult.

Again, any comments are appreciated. I am a real beginner at the technical side of owning a trailer, even though I've had mine now for three years.

Jean
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:16 PM   #7
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Batteries should be ok. When you boondock, why don't you run the fridge on propane?
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:55 PM   #8
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Hello jean -- Partially discharged batteries shouldn't be able to freeze if you store your trailer at lower elevations in California for instance. Then I wouldn't worry about the gradual discharge that occurs during storage. I do bring my batteries into the basement in winter due to Minnesota conditions and put them on a battery minder every month or so.

Your batteries should recharge fully after an outing if you plug in overnight at home before returning it to storage (if possible). Your Parallax converter will do this nicely. Plug in with a 30A-15A adapter (available at any RV supply business) as long as you don't attempt to start the air conditioner with that adapter in place. Recharging from the tow vehicle thru the umbilical is slow and can take 2-300 miles on the return trip home to be considered anything near complete.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:32 PM   #9
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Your fridge won't draw any 12 volt power other than the light that comes on when you open the door if you use the LP.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:53 PM   #10
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Jean, How did they mount your batteries for you? I have 2 6V golf cart batteries ready to go for my 16' CCD and plans drawn up for a new box and mounting platform on the tongue. I'd be interested in what you have? Jamie
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Old 04-09-2007, 02:33 PM   #11
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I switched my 2005 Safari to 6v and have been very happy. My two 80w solar panels keep them fully charged at all times.

Regarding the initial post. Is it possible that the serviceman correctly connected the + and - posts for 6v in series, but that the electric jack ,might have its own set of +/- wires (that were not properly switched)?
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.ervin
Is it possible that the serviceman correctly connected the + and - posts for 6v in series, but that the electric jack ,might have its own set of +/- wires (that were not properly switched)?
My thoughts exactly.

My jack has a dedicated lead to the postivie (+) post of one battery, and I think completes the circuit with a local ground.

The jack lead connects at the upper-left of the picture.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradjun1
Your fridge won't draw any 12 volt power other than the light that comes on when you open the door if you use the LP.
Brad,

The newer RV fridges need 12VDC to operate the control and igniter boards and do indeed use it. Not in large amounts....but they will not operate without the 12VDC.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cats
My thoughts exactly.

My jack has a dedicated lead to the postivie (+) post of one battery, and I think completes the circuit with a local ground.

The jack lead connects at the upper-left of the picture.

Cheers,
-jd.
JD,

I would run a dedicated line to the positive terminal of one battery and the negative terminal of the other, with a heavy cable of at least 2AWG running between the other +and - posts. This will give you 12 volts DC from a series connection of the 2 batteries. You must use the opposing + and - terminals to facilitate any 12VDC draw from the batteries.
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