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Old 06-16-2006, 04:26 AM   #1
Glenn and Lorraine
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Are 6V batteries superior to 12V batteries?...

Copied from the Optima Battery website.

Quote:
quote:Question: Are 6V batteries superior to 12V batteries for deep cycle applications?


It's popularly believed that 6 volt batteries are better for deep cycle power applications than 12 volt batteries, but it isn't true. This myth likely developed from the fact that golf carts use 6 volt systems. Because golf cart batteries were the only deep cycle batteries widely available for many years, the best way to obtain good 12 volt deep cycle power was to connect two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series (or more batteries could be connected in a combination series and parallel configuration for higher voltages like 24 volts or 36 volts.) The effectiveness of that approach owed entirely to the design characteristics and quality of the batteries used, not to the fact that the batteries used produced 6 volts.

In reality both 6 volt batteries and 12 volt batteries are simply built from 2 volt cells; if a battery is built with three such cells, it's a 6 volt battery. If a battery is built with six such cells, then it's a 12 volt battery. To make a 12 volt system by connecting two 6 volt batteries in series is to do nothing more than to build a 12 volt battery with two cases and external interconnection. In fact, every cable end connection results in some efficiency loss, so the two 6 volt batteries, because they must be connected by a cable, will be slightly less efficient than the 12 volt unit.

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Old 06-16-2006, 05:01 AM   #2
OntMont
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True, but two 60 lb 6volt batteries are easier to handle than one 120 lb 12volt battery. In general, golf cart batteries should be built to stand the rigours of golf cart use; so they should be of a more rugged construction, but that is not an absolute, there are certainly some good strong 12 volt batteries out there.
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:24 AM   #3
FredG
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True about the weight. But, most deep cycle batteries are also rated for marine use and I'm sure most boats get more of a pounding that golf carts.

In my opinion, for our needs, the Reserve Capacity should be a major factor in choosing batteries. The 27M size deep cycle battery we just bought this year has a reserve capacity of 190 minutes at a 25 Amp draw. I looked at the Optima deep cycle battery, but it had a reserve capacity of only 130 minutes and was twice as expensive, so we went with the premium autozone battery instead.

Here's a page I found that explains this pretty well:
http://www.dcbattery.com/faq.html
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:36 AM   #4
Glenn and Lorraine
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Great link Fred. I will be adding that one to the links page.

And you are 100% correct. My bass boat took a much greater pounding than any golf cart could ever withstand. I often thought how great things would be if they were all built like a bass boat.
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:32 AM   #5
richfaa
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It is amazing what a little homewok and research can turn up...HUmmmmm///
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:44 AM   #6
Montana Sky
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Isn't is great that we have choices?? I run 12v deep cycle batteries on my boat, those babies sure get used, and take a beating every weekend.
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:41 PM   #7
dsprik
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OK, what's this??? Interstate Battery's page. I was looking at the BCI (What is this for anyway???) Group 29 battery on this page and I went all the way to the bottom of the page and found a 6v battery that is rated for 445 min @ 25 amps???

You would have to rig 2 of these up in series, right? Therefore, if I understand the page info posted above, 2 of these would still only give you 12v @ 445 min? Or is there a way to get 890 mins out of this somehow? Four (4), 63# batteries...

Last question... Who would ever have a need for ~900 min (15 hrs) of battery power?

http://www.ibsa.com/www_2001/content...uct_marine.asp

Not that I would ever go with this incredibly expensive system... The wife would have to wait one more anniversary for her next diamond. Maybe two more anniversaries...
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:48 AM   #8
Wrenchtraveller
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If you ever have to boondock with your furnace running and want to live with a few lights on and watch TV, you will find 15 hours of battery time is not enough and you will want to fire up your quiet generator and relax. Ask me how I know. We stayed without hookups in 24 F weather and with my furnace running about half the time, a few lights on, my two cheap 12 volts
were starting to draw down pretty good after just 8 hours. It snowed and we stayed for another 8 hours to let the weather settle and I just fired up my quiet little Kipor 2000 Sinemaster and everything was copesetic I checked the spelling on this and it can also be spelled "copacetic" We also got to watch TV with the generator running.
That was the only time I needed the generator on this trip but that is why I bought it and it was sure nice to have. We could barely hear inside the unit and I ran it for about 8 hours.
The rest of the time battery power was fine for overnight. My coach came with cheap batteries but considering I forgot to negotiate that into the deal , I think my Dealer was great for throwing them in for free. I also got a heavy duty sewer hose, heavy duty water hose, brass pressure regulator, all thrown in free with no asking.
This was Fraserway in Delta. I am very pleased with them.
The Island Montana dealer who was thousands higher priced made a point in telling me that batteries would be extra. That comment alone was enough to make us walk. Costco puts their biggest deep cycle RV batteries on sale every now and then and I have always had great luck with them so when these get tired , I will stick with two good 12 volts.
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Old 06-17-2006, 02:05 PM   #9
8.1al
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You can generally get more amp hours from 2 6 volt then 2 12 volt. The 6 volt battery also has thicker plates and will last longer.
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Old 06-17-2006, 02:18 PM   #10
dsprik
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So... how do I get those 447 min of reserve capacity out of this 6v battery on the Interstate website??? I have to have two, at least. However, how would one rig these? Could two of these give you almost 1,000 min (16.6 hrs) @ 25 amps??? That would be great.
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:54 PM   #11
Broome101
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Dave,
BCI (Battery Council Institute)that;s how it is rated by them. What they are not telling you is amp hours really don't mean a thing. You need to know what the KWH is of each , KWH Kilowatt Hours is what does the work not amps. Higher the KWH longer the run time you will get.
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:02 PM   #12
dsprik
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Rodney, is the "reserve capacity" anything useful, then? As I look through batteries at sores or websites, they don't all rate the RC @ 25 amps. Very confusing when trying to find a "good" rv battery.
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:17 PM   #13
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dsprik


Last question... Who would ever have a need for ~900 min (15 hrs) of battery power?
Dave,
My wife is a graphic artist and uses her computer continually. When we are dry camping we need lots of storage. That's why we opted for the Lifeline D8 12 volt batteries (2 of them). They give us 510 ampere hours of "juice." With that, we often run the computers (2), with a scanner and one of three printers. Although we don't run everything at one time, we have run both computers and the TV at the same time.

I figured, what the heck, if I'm going to live this lifestyle fulltime, then I'm going to enjoy it.

Orv
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:33 PM   #14
PartyCrashers
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O.k.-After reading all the above, I got to say we went the other direction. We have gone from two 12volt batteries to two 6volt batteries. I got to say I don't understand all the in and outs of batteries, I can only give info on the results. Over the last few years using our two 12volts while dry camping our batteries did not hold up. We got to the point that the batteries could not last over night while running our heater. Someone explained the difference in the 12volt batteries and the 6 volt golf cart batteries for re-charging. They said that the 12volt batteries will not dis-charge all the way while in use so when you recharge your not getting a full charge you are not getting the full use of the batteries.....where as the 6volts are different...we decide to go with the two 6volts and I got to tell you there is a BIG difference, even taking in account the batteries are newer. We are also compairing to when our 12volts batteries were new. We now can dry camp up to 3 nights without using the generator. For sure 3 nights, we have not tried four nights yet...that is three nights with lights and heater, etc. There is a difference and the difference is better...we will stay with the two 6volt batteries. 15 hours of wattage use!? If you sat down and started to add up your hours and all the things you do you'd be suprised! Even count the hours of sleeping...you do have panels and monitors that run off the batteries.
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:51 PM   #15
OntMont
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dsprik

Rodney, is the "reserve capacity" anything useful, then? As I look through batteries at sores or websites, they don't all rate the RC @ 25 amps. Very confusing when trying to find a "good" rv battery.
Does this help? http://www.trojanbattery.com/Product...spx?Name=T-105

We have two of these and they provide a good capacity for cold nights or summer weekends, maybe not for the serious boondocker, but much better than your average "Deep Cycle". You should be able to buy them for about $65 each. (Padre Dave has the same set-up)
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Old 06-17-2006, 05:56 PM   #16
dsprik
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I actually had 2, T-105's written down once upon a time, way back when I first started doing research on what I wanted in our 3400 (last Aug?). Where's the best place to get these? I think that I need covers with vents, too. I may have an old link somewhere, I know this was a lengthy thread last fall/winter somewhere...

I thought last fall they were ~$100, I thought. Hopefully they have come down. Also, I could check with my dealer - he may give me a good price before I pick up our 3400.
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Old 06-17-2006, 06:20 PM   #17
richfaa
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Dave..I would assume that you are planning to do a lot of dry camping If so then the golf cart batteries would be the way to go..However if you are going to get a generator you would not need to be concerned about how long the batteries will last.In our case only..we did not buy this 06 3400 to dry camp or boon dock we did that in our tent and pop up..Now we may be somewhere where there is no power or may lose power but the Kipor 3500ti will save the day.We have always used 2 good marine 12V deep cycle batteries in Parallel and have had no problem in our style of camping.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:11 PM   #18
JH Sechelt
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I'm with Rich one this one. If I was going to do a lot of Dry Camping I would go with 2 - 6 V. But for now it might be the odd night at Casino or Wall-Mart Parking Lot, the rest will be in RV parks. I do carry a Honda 3000w Generator and have added a pulse charger to the battery system. I've pulse charged some old dead lawnmower batteries and brought them back to life and are still using them today. Amazing technology.

J&D
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Old 06-18-2006, 01:48 AM   #19
OntMont
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dsprik

I actually had 2, T-105's written down once upon a time, way back when I first started doing research on what I wanted in our 3400 (last Aug?). Where's the best place to get these? I think that I need covers with vents, too. I may have an old link somewhere, I know this was a lengthy thread last fall/winter somewhere...

I thought last fall they were ~$100, I thought. Hopefully they have come down. Also, I could check with my dealer - he may give me a good price before I pick up our 3400.
It certainly depends on your camping style, some people don't need a battery for anything other than operating the trailer brakes, other people spend weeks on BLM land with no services. We are somewhere in the middle. As for a source for Trojan batteries, we bought ours at Continental Battery in Harlingen, TX. I think they have branches across the south. Otherwise, check the Trojan battery website.

The padre and I both use Blue Sea brand battery boxes, I bought mine on E-Bay for about $70. In addition I installed a Blue Sea switch and have purchased the "Smart Charger" option for the Iota brand converter that is in our trailer. I also have a pulse charger (from Camping World) for use during long term storage.

As mentioned previously, this is a well worn topic, a search should provide a lot more details.
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:51 AM   #20
dsprik
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I have lately been thinking (this scares the wife ) that I might want to do some dry camping. I own 51 acres near Lake City, MI, and I really need to spend more time there. This 3400 would certainly afford me more of an opportunity to do so.

While we would like to spend most of our time in parks with full hookups, remember this FTing, and even extended camping, experience is new to us. We may decide that with our nice "home", and being very well self contained, we may be able to save a little (a lot of?) money here and there, and dry camp at a semi-secluded lake or two the we know of, or camp in a secluded area.

Cheryl and I do enjoy peace and quiet, occassionally.

If we start leaning this way, I would rather have the equipment "up front" to be able to occassionally do this, rather than all of a sudden trying to scramble to come up with this upgrade later out of our budget. Now, I will also tell you that solar would be a ways out, but certainly having some of the best batteries and a good gen (3500 Kipor), is definitley something we would want up front.

That way when we come to visit you Rich, you don't even have to unplug and move your 3400 out of the way for us... we can just park on your front yard...

Yesterday, when the temps leveled out at 92 for about 12 hrs or so up here, Cheryl and I went down to a secluded, little known public access on Torch Lake. Just us on a Saturday, beautiful day on a the "2nd Most Beautiful Lake in the World" (Travel Magazine). Sat in the sun with a nice breeze coming off the lake on a maintained grassy spot (township even put a picnic table there). Wandered into the water occasionally. Beautiful scenery and VERY relaxing. All by ourselves...

Now if we could just back our Montana in there... It would probably take... oh, I'm thinking 3 or 4 days, before the Township Supervisor caught us... Batteries would be essential here as the residents near the access would definitely here even a quiet gen I'm sure as even the slightest sound travels very well across the water...
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