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Old 02-21-2016, 09:15 PM   #21
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gas wont light except when on 12 volt
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:26 PM   #22
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When I saw the furnace was off I knew something else was wrong. I like 6 volt batteries, I have used 6 volt batteries for a long time, just one at a time


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Old 02-21-2016, 10:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by EdnKat View Post
Herk, I think that first diagram will result in 24 volts. 'Batteries connected in series', doubles the voltage. Parallel + to +, - to -, doubles the amp hr.
That is correct; one image is how to properly connect 2 6 volt batteries and the other how to properly connect 2 12 volt batteries.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by thunderstruck View Post
Trying to figure out 6 volt batteries. Would like to upgrade to 2- 6 volt batteries to get more off Generator TV time at non hook up sites. Having a hard time shopping for them. I understand I'm looking for " golf cart " batteries but any other ways to do research or recommendation on places to purchase. Also any opinions on if this is a good way to go. Right now I have 2-12 volts on a Rockwood 2604ws
My own opinion after over 65 years of camping is that 2 6v are by far better than 2 12v.. The 6v plates are about twice as thick as a 12v battery's plate. I'm only buy Trojan T-105 golf cart batteries. Down here in the Tampa Bay area I pay $105 for each battery. They usually last about 8 years. During the time I was using 12v batteries I never had them last more than 3 years. Often less than 2 years. I switched to 6v batteries about 25 years ago and never looked back.

Just my own experience. I know others have different preferences.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:52 AM   #25
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I have read and participated in the 6 v 12 volt discussions many times over the years. Batteries are all about weight. More weight...more capacity. It all depends on how much space you have to yield the maximum weight. The decision is actually quite simple. A 12 volt battery contains 6-2 volt cells in series (6 caps) while a 6 volt unit has 3 of those cells in series (3 caps.) This means that for the same volume, a 12 volt battery needs to allow space for 6 additional cell walls (more plastic) and as a result has less room for thicker plates and electrolyte. Of course it gets a little complicated since there is no exact 6v to 12v comparison, but you can compare a Trojan T105(6V) against a Trojan 27TMH (12V), both flooded and both deep cycle. The 12v is longer (those extra cells!) and the 6V is both a little wider and higher. However, both weigh around 61 to 62 pounds. Two 27TMHs in parallel should give you 400 minutes at 25 amps while two T105s in series will definitely yield 447 minutes at 25 amps, which is a 10% increase in boondocking capacity, even at an identical weight. An additional benefit is that the two 6 volt batteries in series will always equalize better (all cells getting the same recharge) while the two 12 volt units could be prone to one battery getting more charge or discharge than the other since they are used in parallel and one path will always have slightly lower resistance. This means that one of the batteries will charge and discharge slightly faster and age more quickly than the other.

An additional benefit of the 6 Volt units is that there are more weight options at the same footprint. You can go to T145's with the same physical footprint, get another 10 pounds of lead and be rewarded with 530 minutes at 25 amps, which is a whopping 33% increase (after your bank account has healed!)

If you have only one battery...you have no choice. Two or more...go with 6 volt deep cycle.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:54 AM   #26
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DON'T SCRIMP ON THE CABLING!!!!!!!

A welding shop can custom fabricate the heavy duty cables that will allow you to get the most out of your batteries. "Standard" battery cables will restrict the amps that can flow.
It is critically important to make the battery "interconnecting" cables as short as possible; as BIG in diameter as possible; and of as equal in length as possible. The idea is to reduce and equalize the resistance between the charge/load source and the battery system ground by as much you can.

Even small differences in Ohms can cause major differences in how each battery responds to loads and charge rates.

(This is another reason why charging your camper battery with your truck while towing is terribly inefficient - though better than nothing) - See attached document regarding this topic.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Automobile Alternators as Chargers.pdf (805.9 KB, 51 views)
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:17 AM   #27
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Batteries Plus

I just did a cross over from 12 volt to 6's, consider Batteries Plus for a store. They typically carry Trojan T-105s so you wont have to pay shipping. Their price point is real good. I read a few things about the Costco Batteries that I did not like so we cut to the chase and went with Trojans. Also 6's are taller so you will have to purchase new boxes or a box system that will accommodate the height. We will not go back to 12's these 6's are amazing!
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:29 AM   #28
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The 6 Volt option is a good one and has worked well for many folks, with that said myself I'll stick with the 12V batteries and the ease to find replacement should I have a problem. My stay length is not dependent on batteries or converter should either fail I have 2 yamaha's and a 12 volt charger.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:44 AM   #29
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Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

When considering the decision between 6 volt and 12 volt banks, these items should be considered:

1) Weight - Good quality TRUE deep cycle batteries are heavy.

NOTE - most batteries delivered with travel trailers are not deep cycle batteries; they are the so called "Dual Purpose Marine" batteries. Marine batteries have thinner plates than deep storage batteries because they are expected to be able to START the boat engine and then provide some limited storage for accessories at anchorage. BUT THEY ARE LIGHTER and CHEAPER so they get put in by the dealerships (not FR who ships units without batteries).

NEVER use "automobile" batteries. They are for starting only and have almost NO storage capability. With the engine in ACC, turn on the radio and play the radio for a few hours. You won't have enough oomph to start the car.

2) Cost - True Deep Cycle batteries have more than twice the lead of Dual Purpose batteries and three times the lead of starting batteries to hold that capacity. Lead is expensive.

3) Amp Hours - Whether provided by 6 volt or 12 volt batteries, AH is EVERYTHING. Nothing else matters to determine how long a battery bank will last when being used.

NOTE: CCA is Cold Cranking Amps and that means you DON'T want that battery. Dual Purpose batteries have CCA and RC numbers. RC stands for "Reserve Capacity" and is in MINUTES of life when disconnected from a charging source. To Convert RC to AH you must multiply the RC by 0.4167

An RC of 200 minutes is equal to a storage battery of 83.3 AH for example.

4) Battery size - There are several "common" sizes (24, 27, etc) each battery size increase has more plates, more weight, and is bigger physically that the previous size.

If you upgraded your stock 12 volt batteries to Trojan 12 volt deep discharge batteries of similar size you will be VERY pleased with the result. Similar sized Deep Cycle storage batteries have about 50% more capacity than Dual Purpose batteries.

Buying large batteries that won't fit your camper is wasted money.
Measure many times before you order.

5) Venting - Make sure your vents are large enough to handle the gasses created during charging larger banks. Battery gasses are flammable (explosively so in confined spaces) and have been known to set off your propane detector.

I am sure there is more, but need to get going...
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:01 AM   #30
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One thing I keep hearing here and in all of these discussions. If you have a 6V battery die, you're dead in the water. But if you have a 12V die you can go on with the other 12V (in a dual system) or just go find a replacement.

If a 6V up and dies, you're not out of business. If all you can find is a 12V battery, then get it, drop it in the box and connect your cables to that battery only, leaving your good 6V disconnected in its box. From an equipment standpoint, the cables are the same, you just connect them differently.

Because honestly, while we boondock how often are we that isolated from civilization? Plus, batteries rarely just up and die. A hydrometer check will usually indicate issues before they become issues and should be part of every boondock trip.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:02 AM   #31
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I am not proselytizing 12 volt only.
I like properly wired 6 volt systems as well.

Do as you will. My point was that one was not "better" than the other; and the only thing that matters in the long run is Deep Cycle plate design and AH capacity.

In fact the best solar set up I have ever seen had 6 two volt deep cycle batteries in series with 2430 AH capacity.

Admittedly it was not in an RV, but I did drool some ...
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:11 AM   #32
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I did not know that trojan made 12V storage batteries, good to know, I like it when I learn something new each day and this forum is a good place for that to happen.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:27 AM   #33
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I did not know that trojan made 12V storage batteries, good to know, I like it when I learn something new each day and this forum is a good place for that to happen.
Trojan is not the only manufacturer of 12 volt Deep Cycle Batteries:

Here are other manufacturers as well:
http://www.solar-electric.com/catalo...atteries&cat=0
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:45 AM   #34
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I have read and participated in the 6 v 12 volt discussions many times over the years. Batteries are all about weight. More weight...more capacity. It all depends on how much space you have to yield the maximum weight. The decision is actually quite simple. A 12 volt battery contains 6-2 volt cells in series (6 caps) while a 6 volt unit has 3 of those cells in series (3 caps.) This means that for the same volume, a 12 volt battery needs to allow space for 6 additional cell walls (more plastic) and as a result has less room for thicker plates and electrolyte. Of course it gets a little complicated since there is no exact 6v to 12v comparison, but you can compare a Trojan T105(6V) against a Trojan 27TMH (12V), both flooded and both deep cycle. The 12v is longer (those extra cells!) and the 6V is both a little wider and higher. However, both weigh around 61 to 62 pounds. Two 27TMHs in parallel should give you 400 minutes at 25 amps while two T105s in series will definitely yield 447 minutes at 25 amps, which is a 10% increase in boondocking capacity, even at an identical weight. An additional benefit is that the two 6 volt batteries in series will always equalize better (all cells getting the same recharge) while the two 12 volt units could be prone to one battery getting more charge or discharge than the other since they are used in parallel and one path will always have slightly lower resistance. This means that one of the batteries will charge and discharge slightly faster and age more quickly than the other.

An additional benefit of the 6 Volt units is that there are more weight options at the same footprint. You can go to T145's with the same physical footprint, get another 10 pounds of lead and be rewarded with 530 minutes at 25 amps, which is a whopping 33% increase (after your bank account has healed!)

If you have only one battery...you have no choice. Two or more...go with 6 volt deep cycle.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:54 AM   #35
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I did not know that trojan made 12V storage batteries, good to know, I like it when I learn something new each day and this forum is a good place for that to happen.
They make 12v - flooded and AGM and Gel and everything of all sizes. I am fond of gel cells and they are installed inside my TC close to all the electronic's so flooded cell are to risky for my application.

Remember that if you get T-105's or other flooded batts that you absolutely have to maintain them or they will become expensive paperweights. Check the water often, look for and correct corrosion at the terminals and use a really good charger, which many of the OEM converters are NOT, get a good hydrometer, voltmeter (clamp meter) and strongly consider a battery monitor (trimetric or equiv.) or you are wasting your time and money.

Read the 12 volt side of life and be educated about how to pull this dry camping gig off safely and comfortably.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:04 PM   #36
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There are several comments on my tale of dual 12V battery failure, finally resulting in an electrical fire (in the battery box) when I connected two unequally charged 12V batteries in parallel.


On my little A-frame, the whole point of dual batteries was to power me through dry camping for 4 days/nights in high 20s temps at night (4-5 hrs/night runtime on heater). I do not want to be a battery sitter while I'm camping, so no solar or generator or Trimetric. We often spend most of our daylight hours away from the campground.


The non-high wall A-frames have continuous run 3-way fridges - no DC control board or thermostat. There is no DC draw by the fridge when running on propane.


What happened to the dual 12V install: I still don't know for sure. When I got home from a trip, batteries were pretty low. I had not yet installed a shut-off switch (A-frames and PUPs do not have them as standard).


I plugged in the camper - stores in my garage - and batteries still seemed low after a day or so. I got an 11.5V reading on the voltmeter. So converter was not working. Swearing, I dug out my Sears 10A charger and put it across both batteries (after disconnecting positive lead to camper). Circuit breaker on Sears charger would not allow charger to stay on.


Swearing some more, I disconnected the batteries from each other. I put the Sears charger on one battery, and got the same result. Flipped the charger to 2 amp setting, and the circuit breaker held. After 12 hours at 2 amps, I flipped the charger to 10 amps, and circuit breaker still held. Eventually recharged that one battery.


I could not get the breaker to hold while recharging the other battery. Finally got the breaker to hold for a few minutes at a time, and got a little charge in.


Found out the 30A fuses in the converter had blown - I don't know why they blew. Replaced those (got the wrong physical size the 1st time), and figured that was my original problem. Got impatient to put things back together, and forgot to measure each battery voltage independently. Re-hooked the batteries in parallel and my electrical fire started. I ran and got my lineman's pliers and cut the parallel cables to put the fire out.


Both batteries had holes in the tops of the casing. Battery cables had burned insulation and really ugly strands of copper.


I decided on the 6V golf cart batteries as a replacement that would not have the same possibility of the combination of me screwing up and the batteries being at unequal charges starting a fire. If my wife had seen the fire, with the vent caps providing hydrogen to flare at the cherry red battery cables (#4), she would probably never go camping with me again. I also installed the marine battery selector/cut-off switch that I had bought (but never installed) for the 12V setup.


Finding the higher capacity 6V batteries - true deep-cycle instead of the marine 12V Interstates from my RV dealer - at less cost than size 24 12V made me even happier. My battery box was just tall enough to fit in the 6V without modification. The Costco golf cart batteries are slightly heavier, probably adding 20-30 lbs to my tongue weight.


Except for checking the water periodically, my new setup is pretty much maintenance free. I charge the batteries for a day or two before and after each trip (while the fridge is pre-cooling), and disconnect the rest of the time in the garage.


Either 6V or 12V will work in a dual battery configuration. The 6V configuration is more idiot-proof, and offers more capacity and longer battery life (true deep-cycle vs marine dual use) in the same space. Cost is slightly less for 6V, but weight is greater. And I still say that if dry camping with dual 12V batteries in parallel, that if one fails the good battery will mostly discharge itself into the failure before you know you have a problem.

just my experiences
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:25 PM   #37
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I just checked the batteries in the new Flagstaff for the first time and found they had wired the cables across the battery fill cap. While turning the batteries around I did notice they say "Deep Cycle" not marine/rv and are interstate 12V batteries. So some do make deep cycle other then trojan.
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:18 PM   #38
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The non-high wall A-frames have continuous run 3-way fridges - no DC control board or thermostat. There is no DC draw by the fridge when running on propane.
What controls the propane solenoid valve if there is no DC draw?

What detects flame presence and controls fridge temperature by starting and stopping the propane heat source in your fridge?

Inquiring minds and all that ...
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:20 PM   #39
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Herk7769 that is a good question without a standing pilot to keep the thermo couple generating millivolts to operate the gas valve I would think it required 12V power source.

I hope someone can explain different it really has me wondering.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:06 PM   #40
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What controls the propane solenoid valve if there is no DC draw?

What detects flame presence and controls fridge temperature by starting and stopping the propane heat source in your fridge?

Inquiring minds and all that ...
The small fridges in PUPs and A-frames are continuous run, and are not thermostatically controlled. Therefore there is no auto-start, no solenoid valve, and no DC control board.

They typically have a piezio push button igniter like many home gas grills. Starting on propane can be difficult at high altitudes. Temperature is very loosely manually regulated by a propane metering valve that is manually adjusted. There may or may not be a separate manual propane shut-off, as the metering valve may also serve as the shut-off.

On the AC side, temp is again loosely manually regulated by an SCR (just like a home light dimmer) that adjusts the amount of power to the coil.

On the DC side, the coil is fixed and is typically 60-70 watts, vs 90-120 watts for the AC coil. I use DC for travel because it will hold temp (not cool) and not blow out (there is no auto relight for propane if flame blows out).

Lack of temperature regulation is a problem with these units, although I've gotten pretty good with settings based on outdoor temp.

The short height of the camper side and a side vent at top of the chimney makes for less natural air flow that full size campers have. Putting baffles to direct air flow in bottom vent, across cooling coils, and out top vent makes a big difference in cooling performance.

These fridges cool best on propane, AC is good, and DC is just maintains temps while traveling.

Some-to-most high wall units have conventional RV fridges due to the extra height.

Hope this answers your questions.

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