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Old 10-16-2019, 01:57 PM   #1
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New and looking to convert to two 6 volts!

Hi There!

This is my first post here and our first time owning a camper (Rockwood A122). We are trying to make sure we have a setup capable of accomplishing our goals with our A-Frame. We do see ourselves boondocking/being without shore power for a few days at times. I am not positive what battery comes standard with the A122, but after reading others' advice on here we are going to switch to two 6v batteries. I am looking at two blem Interstate deep cycle golf cart ECL-GCS 6v batteries with 215 AH ($37.50 each). Since we have two children (one baby) our big concern is making sure we can run the furnace through the night for 2-3 nights at a time. I'm having a hard time figuring out how many amps the furnace uses. So I guess my questions are is this the right set up/battery choice? How long would we be able to last running the furnace on auto at maybe 60 degrees tops, using lights sparingly, and maybe running the fan at times?
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. something to consider is regardless of the battery type you will eventually need to recharge it. Think about some type of generator that will take you and your family into the future (as the kids get older the rig gets bigger)
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:27 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to FRF!
First, trailers dont "come" with a battery. Batteries are a dealer-installed items and there is no standard.
But generally dealers install the cheapest 12v dual purpose marine battery they can find. These are NOT true deep cycle batteries.
6v GC2 golf cart batteries have the same footprint as a Group 24 12v battery, which is probably what came with yours.
They are taller though and will too tall for the 12v battery box.
When you get them, be sure to wire them in Series. Google "the 12 Volt Side of Life" and check out their diagrams.
By the way, where did you find blem 6v golf cart batteries? At an Interstate dealer?
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
Hi and welcome to FRF!
First, trailers dont "come" with a battery. Batteries are a dealer-installed items and there is no standard.
But generally dealers install the cheapest 12v dual purpose marine battery they can find. These are NOT true deep cycle batteries.
6v GC2 golf cart batteries have the same footprint as a Group 24 12v battery, which is probably what came with yours.
They are taller though and will too tall for the 12v battery box.
When you get them, be sure to wire them in Series. Google "the 12 Volt Side of Life" and check out their diagrams.
By the way, where did you find blem 6v golf cart batteries? At an Interstate dealer?
Thank you for your response! Yes I found them with an interstate distributor, hoping its the right choice! Any suggestion on a battery box? Also, any idea how long we will be able to go with out charge or shore power? The generator is an idea down the road for us, but for now I would prefer to avoid that expense for the time being.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by myersjf12 View Post
Thank you for your response! Yes I found them with an interstate distributor, hoping its the right choice! Any suggestion on a battery box? Also, any idea how long we will be able to go with out charge or shore power? The generator is an idea down the road for us, but for now I would prefer to avoid that expense for the time being.
Walmart has 6v battery boxes but the Interstate dealer should have them.
With two 6v golf cart batteries in an A-frame trailer, you PROBABLY can go 3 nights, as long as you conserve your battery power. Like setting the thermostat lower since the furnace is the biggest drain on battery power.
Will you have water hookups? How will you deal with gray and black water?
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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Welcome from SoCal! If you can afford it, a 200 - 2200 watt inverter generator would eliminate the worry. A generator is an all weather solution as opposed to solar which is a fair weather solution
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:03 PM   #7
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Bikendan, I think he meant $137.50 each for the batts. If he is getting them for 37.50 each, I'm buying a bunch!!
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
Walmart has 6v battery boxes but the Interstate dealer should have them.
With two 6v golf cart batteries in an A-frame trailer, you PROBABLY can go 3 nights, as long as you conserve your battery power. Like setting the thermostat lower since the furnace is the biggest drain on battery power.
Will you have water hookups? How will you deal with gray and black water?
We would probably limit water usage, if use any at all and would keep the furnace temp low and keep it on auto as opposed to always leaving it on.
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:05 PM   #9
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Bikendan, I think he meant $137.50 each for the batts. If he is getting them for 37.50 each, I'm buying a bunch!!
They are charging $100 for both. $25 in core credit so it comes to $75. I was surprised too!
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:06 PM   #10
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I am looking at two blem Interstate deep cycle golf cart ECL-GCS 6v batteries with 215 AH ($37.50 each).
I just talked to my local Interstate distributor. He said the ones for $37.50 are reconditioned batteries, not blems. Blems are $65.
Core charge is $30 more, per battery.
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:07 PM   #11
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Welcome from SoCal! If you can afford it, a 200 - 2200 watt inverter generator would eliminate the worry. A generator is an all weather solution as opposed to solar which is a fair weather solution
CurtPutnam, Would you recommend the generator with the dual 6v battery setup?
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:11 PM   #12
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The only way to tell if you can make it is to try, Have a back up plan in case you don't make it, Remember that you do not want to discharge below a 50% level to avoid battery damage. Do you have a means with which to check your batteries' state?
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:15 PM   #13
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CurtPutnam, Would you recommend the generator with the dual 6v battery setup?
I have a Honda 2000i for my pair of 6v batteries, Easy peasy = plug in the campers power lead and let the converter do its job.
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:24 PM   #14
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Is a reconditioned battery a bad idea? Said they were a year or less than a year old
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:49 PM   #15
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Purchasing new, you wind up with a known quantity. Used begs the question of what is your tolerance for risk? JMO
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:54 PM   #16
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New and looking to convert to two 6 volts!

Not familiar with battery reconditioning but in my case I wouldnít want to risk them failing on me and ruin a camping trip to save what probably amounts to $70 or $100.. As far as how long you can run them, there are a lot of factors to include what else besides the furnace are you going to run, how often the furnace will need to run which will be based on the outside temperature and what you have your thermostat set on.. If itís really cold and you set your thermostat on 70 it might last a night or two at the most so having a generator to recharge it is a good safeguard which will also allow you to extend your trips...

Oh and the worst thing you can do to these lead acid batteries is drain them down too low (below 50% or 12.06 volts) since it will shorten their usable life and sooner rather then later not be able to hold a charge or load...

You can use a portable handheld meter but a lot of people who dry camp will install a permanent meter in their camper so itís easier to monitor. I would go this route if youíre going to do a lot of dry camping since youíll want to keep track of your state of charge..

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Old 10-16-2019, 03:55 PM   #17
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CurtPutnam, Would you recommend the generator with the dual 6v battery setup?
As long as you don't need to run the a/c, any 2000w INVERTER generator will work. I have a Honda 2000i but I would have no problem buying a Champion, Ryobi, Kipor, or many others.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:48 PM   #18
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Two interstate batteries will provide about 110 amps.

Look up the furnace. It will have listed the amps used per hour.

It strictly depends on you. Depends on the thermostat setting and how cold it is wherever you are.

I would recommend you get a decent voltmeter installed. Otherwise, your are sort of blind as to what is happening! You migh wake up cold.

Costco sells two new Interstate 6ís for less than $200.

If you expect to boondock much an inverter generator is a good plan. Cars charge poorly at best. Plugging in is the fastest method to recharge.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:52 PM   #19
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may want to look into solar also. It might get you through your three day boon-docking trips if you start with fully charged batteries.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:58 PM   #20
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Two interstate batteries will provide about 110 amps.

Look up the furnace. It will have listed the amps used per hour.

It strictly depends on you. Depends on the thermostat setting and how cold it is wherever you are.

I would recommend you get a decent voltmeter installed. Otherwise, your are sort of blind as to what is happening! You migh wake up cold.

Costco sells two new Interstate 6’s for less than $200.

If you expect to boondock much an inverter generator is a good plan. Cars charge poorly at best. Plugging in is the fastest method to recharge.
Good advice here ^^^^. A generator will also allow you the luxury of charging other things which drain your battery like cellphones and laptops and while plugged into the generator, allow you to run other things that require electricity like a microwave, hair dyer etc. A few hours in the AM and a few hours in the PM and you shouldn't have to worry about draining the batteries down and not being able to run the heat...
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