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Old 09-21-2015, 08:15 PM   #21
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Batteries

I have 600 watts of solar into a 60 amp controller feeding 4 x 190 amp hr Interstate Group 31 batteries. IMO, six volt batteries take up twice the space as a 12 volt and they weigh FAR more. I have the multi 6 volt arrangement in my boat and would change to 12 vdc units in a sec if I could, but stuck with the current arrangement.
If you have the room, I would go with the group 31 batteries, just make sure they are true deep cycle units. There is no substitute for amp hrs. Sooner or later, you will need them if you plan on boondocking.
If you search the threads, you will find hundreds of problems with people running out of 12 vdc at the worst times.
Remember that a 6 vdc bat at 200 amp hr rating is 200 amp hrs AT 6 VOLTS, NOT 12 volts. If you combine two 6 volt batteries of 200 amp hrs each, you will have 200 amp hrs at 12 vdc, NOT 400 amp hrs.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by brooklyncowgirl View Post
Thanks guys. I Appreciate the input. Looks like size wise We're limited to 2 6 volt, 2 group 24 12 volt or one bigger 12 volt. That and the fact that we are cash strapped newbies and therefore need moron proof DIY. 6 volt sounds good and I've seen the wiring diagrams it doesn't look too complicated but what happens if we screw it up?
The best bang for your buck is (2) 6 volt deep cycle in series. The less expensive ones on average have about a 200 amp hour rating and sell for about $100 each. So you can have a 200 amp hour battery bank (100 ah usable) for about $200.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:04 PM   #23
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When going to the 6volt route...

At what point do you have to upgrade the converter / charger?

4x6v?


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Old 09-21-2015, 09:30 PM   #24
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FYI, 2 x 6vdc batteries weigh about 110 lbs as opposed to a 70 lb for one 200 amp hr battery and the two 6 vdc batts take up almost twice the room. Also, when you replace the 6 vdc batts, assuming you will one day, you will need to replace both at the same time as adding a new unit to an old unit [series] will just drag down the new batt and will not allow you to charge to maximum.
My Interstate Group 31s have a three year replacement guarantee. I don't know of any 6 volt batts that will offer that and believe me, I have 8 in my boat, but have replaced the 6 vdc units in my golf cart with 12 vdc. I saved over 100 lbs by converting the cart.
This arrangement works for me and I realize it isn't for everyone, but the more you know, the better choice you can make.
I forgot to mention twice the core charges for two batts rather than one. About $25 more.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:32 PM   #25
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The concensus is the charger output should be about 10% of the 20hr ah rating of the battery(s). So, at 400ah (4x6v) a good charge rate would be 40 amps.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:36 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kenny kustom View Post
When going to the 6volt route...

At what point do you have to upgrade the converter / charger?

4x6v?


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2016 Sabre 36QBOK
You shouldn't HAVE to upgrade your converter unless you just want to add more charging amps. If you have a WFCO converter, you may want to give thought to a Progressive converter around 60 amps. I've had two WFCO 55 amp units go south on me in three years. Progressive is a much better unit and they go up to 90 amps.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:53 PM   #27
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I could be wrong, but I have never heard of a Group 31 battery having a 200 ah rating, usually they are around 100-120 ah.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:18 PM   #28
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I could be wrong, but I have never heard of a Group 31 battery having a 200 ah rating, usually they are around 100-120 ah.
You could be wrong, but you aren't. It's impossible to get 200ah out of a Group 31 form factor.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:36 PM   #29
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You could be wrong, but you aren't. It's impossible to get 200ah out of a Group 31 form factor.
Good chance he meant 200 from the pair, vs 220 or so from 2 6s. The good news is 6s are the same footprint as gr 24s

Whereas 2 27 s or 31s do not fit my rails.

I agree match the pairs, don't worry about a 6 dieing dead. If one of your 12s dies dead it will kill the other before you figure it out anyway. We like the solar on the roof, but try a single 100 on the ground then mount it later if it feels like ground handling it is a drag. I wanted it on the roof and done. Cheapest deal I found was windynation.com

There are 11 of those in my camping group and no one is unhappy. Even if you only buy 100 watts I suggest the 30 amp charger which will handle expansion.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:40 PM   #30
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We own a Tracer Air 252 trailer. The trailer came equipped with an Exide group 24 dual purpose marine battery. We've found that even without using lights (we're planning to upgrade to LED) that we had to run the generator every day when camping without shore power.

Since our plans are to do a lot of boondocking and camping in national parks and forests, etc. we want to upgrade our battery capacity and add a portable solar panel and use the generator for backup when solar fails.

The battery bracket is on the tongue behind the gas canisters. It consists of two pieces of L iron, the shorter of which is 26" set 9" apart welded onto the tongue from underneath (I'm a bit concerned about the strength)

The cheapest option would be to add another group 24 battery. I'd like to go with a true deep cycle battery instead of a dual purpose. Can I mix the two or would I have to buy two deep cycle batteries?

I'm also looking at the possibility of going with two 6 volt golf cart batteries. These should fit in the space we have and give us more power. Batteries Plus near me sells Duracell 6 volt batteries at a pretty good price. This would be more expensive but give us more battery for the buck.

At any rate, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...05s-80824.html

The above post is about upgrading to 6 volt battery's and how to mount them to the trailer.

Hope this helps Tim
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:06 AM   #31
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Yes, I just use one. It is the capacity of my a-frame at the hitch. That is the reason why I went with one battery but needed some oomph.

You are a smart newbie by creating a thread like this and being informed. Best of luck with your choice.
Thanks, I don't know if I'm smart but I am cheap. I hate spending money on something that's not going to work and then having to spend more money to correct the original bad decision. This is all new to us. Put my husband and me in a tent and we're pretty competent campers--Eagle Scout and First Class Girl Scout. Put us in an RV and we're--well--newbies.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:22 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
You shouldn't HAVE to upgrade your converter unless you just want to add more charging amps. If you have a WFCO converter, you may want to give thought to a Progressive converter around 60 amps. I've had two WFCO 55 amp units go south on me in three years. Progressive is a much better unit and they go up to 90 amps.
Going more then 70 amp requires a dedicated 20 amp receptacle.

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Old 09-22-2015, 08:04 AM   #33
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If you really want to save weight look in to Lithium. Yes, they are expensive, but the life cycle is double that of SLA or AGM, no maintenance, flat discharge curve. Best decision I've made for my bass boat. Once the Sears PM1 on my TT dies I'll be going lithium.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:10 AM   #34
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If you only have room for two...then QUality true deep cycle 12V's are the way to go. If you lose a 6V battery due to defect or short...you are dead in the water with a pair. With 12V batts...each stands alone as a power source. Trojan or Deka would be my recommendations as makers. Group 31 is your best bet if it fits...followed by group 27 and then group 24. You should also take a look on the trojan site at some of the NON standard size 12V batts they carry that pack a lot of amp hours if you have some extra height available.
With TWO 12V batts you'll have around 200 amp hours (if you use group 31 or 27) which will give you 100 usable amp hours a day befor you need to recharge. Your charger should be rated at 20% of capacity to quickly charge...so a 40-50amp charger is ideal. MORE will get you NOTHING as wet cells cannot accept more. Less will take longer and you'll spend it on generator gas.
Solar will give you 1/4 of rated wattage in a sunny, unshaded location in amp hours per day ON AVERAGE. So 200 wAtts of pAnels should provide around 50 amp hours a day. 400 watts would be good to allow full recharge from 50% depletion on a pair of batteries as above.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:57 AM   #35
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If 1 12 v fails it will drain the other battery and you won't know which on is bad and should be replaced in pairs but if you have 2 6 volt batteries in series if 1 cell should go bad you get 11 v and can be measured and replace 1 at a time instead of in pairs. The lower cell wont drain the other battery. I had to replace my 2 12v ones every 2 years or so, but my 2 6v batteries lasted for 2 trailers and is still going strong.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:06 PM   #36
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If you only have room for two...then QUality true deep cycle 12V's are the way to go. If you lose a 6V battery due to defect or short...you are dead in the water with a pair. With 12V batts...each stands alone as a power source. Trojan or Deka would be my recommendations as makers. Group 31 is your best bet if it fits...followed by group 27 and then group 24. You should also take a look on the trojan site at some of the NON standard size 12V batts they carry that pack a lot of amp hours if you have some extra height available.
With TWO 12V batts you'll have around 200 amp hours (if you use group 31 or 27) which will give you 100 usable amp hours a day befor you need to recharge. Your charger should be rated at 20% of capacity to quickly charge...so a 40-50amp charger is ideal. MORE will get you NOTHING as wet cells cannot accept more. Less will take longer and you'll spend it on generator gas.
Solar will give you 1/4 of rated wattage in a sunny, unshaded location in amp hours per day ON AVERAGE. So 200 wAtts of pAnels should provide around 50 amp hours a day. 400 watts would be good to allow full recharge from 50% depletion on a pair of batteries as above.
Hope this helps.
Thanks, looking at the size of my battery bracket I should be able to fit 2 6volt or 2 group 24 12 volt battery boxes--anything larger and I'm limited to one. Height is not a problem but weight is. I'll check out some of those non-standard 12 volts from Trojan you mentioned. The Trojan J185H-AC looked good at 225 AH but at 14" high I'd need a special sort of battery box for it. Might be topheavy too. At any rate, the search continues.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #37
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When going to the 6volt route...

At what point do you have to upgrade the converter / charger?

4x6v?


2008 F350 CCSB V10
2016 Sabre 36QBOK
Probably not even then unless you want them to charge your 4 6s alot faster like on you Generator for shorter time.

The Solar charger limit is how much solar you plan to push through it. A Thirty Amp Solar charger will probably handle 4 100 watt panels if they are flat on the roof. If you are pointing them at the sun on legs I suspect on a hot day you might push the 30 amps but that is why there are fuses on everything I do. Normally on my 2 100 watt panels laying flat on the roof I get a max of about 13 amps at high noon if the batteries are low. If I was going to 400 watts, it might be time to look in to a bigger charge controller but the 200 watts keep my 3 Group 24 size batts fat and happy unless we get crazy with the the Inverter powering the microwave. But with a little restraint it has never been a problem. We have gone 4 or 5 days with no need of generator or shore power. (Full disclosure we are normally in sunny California)
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:50 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
I could be wrong, but I have never heard of a Group 31 battery having a 200 ah rating, usually they are around 100-120 ah.
It has it right on top of the battery and it's straight from the horses mouth [Interstate Dealer] 190 amp hours.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:56 PM   #39
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Going more then 70 amp requires a dedicated 20 amp receptacle.

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I wasn't suggesting him go to a 90 amp converter, just that Progressive has a lot of models above 30 amps, where as I don't think WFCO goes more than 55 amp. I may be wrong on that, but that's the biggest I've seen.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:04 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Kenny kustom View Post
When going to the 6volt route...

At what point do you have to upgrade the converter / charger?

4x6v?
2008 F350 CCSB V10
2016 Sabre 36QBOK
KK... if you are plugged in most of the time, you're charging all the time so the size of the charger hardly matters...but 10% of a/h capacity is usually the minimum specified. That would mean a pair of 6V would needabout 20amps and a bank of 4 would need 40amps.
If you are boondockinng using a generator...you'd want to double those numbers to reduce charging time daily...by roughly half, and the upgrade will pay for itself in less gas used, and less maintenance & wear & tear on the genny.

Boondocking with Solar is a bit more difficult as you need to size your panels to your daily amp hour use. (i.e. 4x your daily amp hours used in solar watts) if you want to be totally green. Installing a REaL battery monitor and seeing your actual daily amp/hours use before purchasing a set of panels is a good way to determine what you need.
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