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Old 05-02-2007, 08:42 PM   #57
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Lew,

Would the factory charger work if using 2 6v batteries in series, or should it be replaced?
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:09 PM   #58
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Lewster:
Thanks for posting the 6v info.
I've been told that you can safely draw the 6 volts down farther then you can a 12 V, making the difference even more. I thought about going with 6V after talking to a guy at Camping world who was doing it, but I wanted to go inside the trailer, and just didn't think I'd have the room. I guess I could've just not used my original battery box, and just went with 2 6 volts inside the trailer. I would've been using the same amount of space as I am with the 3 29 series, and would still have had to add the 2 vented battery boxes. It looks like I would've still had more ah from 2 6 volts then from 3 29 series 12 volts, and the cost would be a little less. I may consider this again in a few years since I'll still have the vent box setup. For now with 375 ah, I should be able to safely dry camp up to 6 days at a time between towing without draining the batteries too low. I also hope to add a single 100w solar panel later this year. I doubt if we ever need more then that.
Charlie
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:50 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini
Lew,

Would the factory charger work if using 2 6v batteries in series, or should it be replaced?
Dennis,

Any good charger should work well with a pair of 6VDC batteries in series, as the charger will 'see' it as one 12VDC unit. AGMs charge faster than wet cells due to the much lower internal resistance. Just be sure that the + connection is made at one battery and the - connection at the other with a heavy battery cable joining the 2 together from the other + and - terminals.
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:55 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
Lewster:
Thanks for posting the 6v info.
I've been told that you can safely draw the 6 volts down farther then you can a 12 V, making the difference even more. I thought about going with 6V after talking to a guy at Camping world who was doing it, but I wanted to go inside the trailer, and just didn't think I'd have the room. I guess I could've just not used my original battery box, and just went with 2 6 volts inside the trailer. I would've been using the same amount of space as I am with the 3 29 series, and would still have had to add the 2 vented battery boxes. It looks like I would've still had more ah from 2 6 volts then from 3 29 series 12 volts, and the cost would be a little less. I may consider this again in a few years since I'll still have the vent box setup. For now with 375 ah, I should be able to safely dry camp up to 6 days at a time between towing without draining the batteries too low. I also hope to add a single 100w solar panel later this year. I doubt if we ever need more then that.
Charlie
Charlie,

The 'rule of thumb' is to never draw regular wet cells beyond 25% and on occassion, slightly more than that and to FULLY recharge them after that happens. With golf cart batteries, their heavier construction allows for deeper draw-downs on a regular basis. AGM golf cart batteries can even be drawn down to 75% depth of discharge 'once in a while' to where they are essentially dead, and are fine after a complete recharge.

This proper recharging is key to extended battery life in most batteries, but is especially critical in AGMs, where they will perform at their peak if the 100% re-charge routine is followed religiously.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:14 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
...This is why MOST major MoHo OEMs have switched over to multiples of 6VDC golf cart batteries in their higher-end units....
no offense lew,

but WHY the big mohos use what they use is misleading...

space
access
weight

for batteries is different in mega mohos..

also big inverters are less common on our trailers...

generally 6 v battery systems will weight more and take more space than comparable 12v battery systems

it seems that all attempts to increase amp hours available have issues to consider.

IF space, weight, wiring and access/lifting aren't issues and 4 or more batteries are desireable, 6v banks become reasonable...

but for a 1 battery or 2 battery system or for tight locations and ease of lifting 12v still seems a better choice...

and while 12v agm batteries are more expensive per unit they might be less costly over time.

controlling for all parameters is the tricky part.

mass/space/cost/reliablity/service/availability/wiring/and so on PER amp/hour of juice...

the needs for a light weight trailer with solar or shore or genset recharging are a matter of compromises...

there is lots of mystery and magic and enthusiasm associated with switching to 6v cells in series....

it's fun to read about it...

cheers
2air'

lots of good battery info to be read...

here is a couple sites i've enjoyed...

Car and Deep Cycle Battery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Interconnecting Batteries - Caravan and Motorhome Books

Ample Power Web Site &nbsp &nbsp Home of the fast full charge!

and it's no surprise the s/n a/s site has great stuff!

Parallel or Serial for your Battery Bank?

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:40 PM   #62
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It has been enjoyable reading the discussion on 12v vs 6v batteries. As I found when trying to decide which to choose, opinions definitely vary greatly on this subject. I will just submit what led me to go with 2 x 6 volts over 12 volt batteries.

In my case, the goal is to set up the trailer for long term boondocking (with a generator and eventually, solar). Wanted to replace the standard single battery with a sufficient battery bank for my need. I am pretty frugal on power consumption; at the same time I wanted something that would give me the longest battery life within my weight/space/budget constraints. Ideally, I would have like to set up a 4 battery bank which would have given me significant battery life but the cost, weight and hassle of installing sealed battery box(es) inside the coach ruled that out. The most I could reasonably get away with on the trailer tongue is a dual battery setup.

Now, I am no battery expert but I did alot of research on this. From reading articles such as The12VoltSideofLife and talking to battery manufacturers and retailers, I concluded 2 x 6 volts would give me the longest life within my budget. As a matter of fact, the battery manufacturers and retailers I talked to all recommended 6 volt over 12 volt for a 2 battery setup using lead acid batteries. AGMs I understand are superior in many ways to lead acid batteries but for me they were just a little out of budget right now. As I didn't really looking into them I don't know if the same rules as far as 6v vs 12v apply the same to AGMs but i believe they do.

Again, I am definitely no expert. Just sharing the information that led me to my decision. At the same time, for someone who may only boondock occasionally, it doesn't really matter much which battery you choose.

BTW - Just ordered the WFCO 55 amp 3-stage conversion for my Parallax 7300 and Trimetric Battery Monitor from Randy at bestconverter.com. Thanks Randy for all your help!
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:51 PM   #63
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2 air,

No offense taken, but there has been a definite shift from the MoHos of 6-10 years ago and today's. The shift has been from 2 12VDC house batteries to 4 or 6-6VDC batteries. I have asked just about every OEM's tech gurus why this change went into effect and they ALL told me that they went with golf cart batteries because of their better durability and re-charging characteristics.

Considering that I have not replaced a single 12 VDC battery for a customer, but have done a bunch of 6VDC upgrades for them, the word MUST be out on the MoHo forums as well.

Sure, you can put huge battery banks into a MoHo and not worry about the weight, but IMHO, the weight DIFFERENCE between what the factory gave us and the slight weight increase for the golf cart batteries is far outweighed by their multiple benefits.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:13 PM   #64
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I notice that I said in post #3 on 4/21 that I was having a battery box made to fit my 2 6V golfcart batteries. Well, that didn't happen. I gave the guy a week between calls to see what was up and each time he said, "It'll be ready tomorrow." After 3 weeks of "tomorrow" (How patient should a man be for goodness sake?) I told them I was coming down for my plans and templates and we'll call it good. I get there and they can't find a thing. I let them look around and squirm for about 10 minutes until I say forget it. I called around to a few other shops and I didn't feel too good about their understanding of what I wanted and I didn't have the energy to work up plans and such again so I just bought a box like JK3500 did and had pretty much the same setup done. And you know what? I'm really glad the machine shop screwed up and didn't do what I wanted. I feel really happy with the setup I wound up with. A heck of a lot cheaper too. About $75 for the box, $150 for the tray and holddown and $15 for extending the battery cables which I handled myself.
And here it is.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:21 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle
I notice that I said in post #3 on 4/21 that I was having a battery box made to fit my 2 6V golfcart batteries. Well, that didn't happen. I gave the guy a week between calls to see what was up and each time he said, "It'll be ready tomorrow." After 3 weeks of "tomorrow" (How patient should a man be for goodness sake?) I told them I was coming down for my plans and templates and we'll call it good. I get there and they can't find a thing. I let them look around and squirm for about 10 minutes until I say forget it. I called around to a few other shops and I didn't feel too good about their understanding of what I wanted and I didn't have the energy to work up plans and such again so I just bought a box like JK3500 did and had pretty much the same setup done. And you know what? I'm really glad the machine shop screwed up and didn't do what I wanted. I feel really happy with the setup I wound up with. A heck of a lot cheaper too. About $75 for the box, $150 for the tray and holddown and $15 for extending the battery cables which I handled myself.
And here it is.
Looks great turtle! Sometimes the simple solutions are the best. jk
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:55 PM   #66
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JK3500 and Turtle, nice job on the new battery installations. Much like Southwest Coaches in Irvine did for our 22' but they just used two individual boat type battery boxes. Both of your looks better.

One thing I would suggest is to check and see if the poly boxes you used is UZ resistant. If not consider rough sanding, priming and painting the boxes a black to match the A frame or an aluminum to match the trailer. Otherwise they may get a chalky coating or crack as they deteriorate with age.

Again, nice job.
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Old 05-27-2007, 03:05 PM   #67
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Good call on the UV protection advise. I'll be storing the box in my garage with the batteries but painting them is still a good idea. Thanks Don.

Jamie
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:02 PM   #68
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Since the thread is active again I thought I'd update everyone on my battery upgrade. I ended up going the cheap route this time, and buying 3 new 29 series 12v batteries which gives me 375 ah. Unless we use the furnace we can go several days without drawing them down more then 25%. I also bought the larger vented battery boxes that Markdoane suggested, and ran the upper exhaust out above the battery existing battery box. Added the parralex 55 amp temp control charger, and a new fuse panel. So far I'm happy with the changes. I may spend the extra money on agms next time.
I appreciate all the input on this.
Charlie
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:44 AM   #69
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Do I need a vented box for an AGM?

Last week I visited the Ontario distributor for Lifeline Batteries.

Mobile Power Solutions, at locations in Toronto and Montréal, install AC/DC power systems in police command centers, ambulances, fire trucks, utility vehicles and the like.

The manager there swears that I don’t need a vented container for a Lifeline AGM. He’ll take my money for one but says I don’t need it.

He claims they’ve installed Lifelines SIDEWAYS under the seats in fire trucks without problems of any kind.

His professional advice runs counter to information on the Forum. What do people on this thread think?


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Old 06-08-2007, 05:16 PM   #70
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6 volt vs 12 batteries.

The wattage output from the same size 6 volt and 12 batteries are the same.

Using 2 six volt batteries in series, is going backwards.

Why?

When one gets weak, your done.

With 12 volts batteries in parallel, when one gets weak, you simply disconnect the weak one and continue on.

There is no electrical advantage of using two 6 volt batteries in series as opposed to two 12 volt batteries in parallel.

Ohms Law, says so.

But the huge disadvantage to using batteries in series is just like the old Christmas series light strings. When one bulb went south, it was done. With parallel bulbs, when one bulb went south, you still had all the rest to enjoy.

Andy
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