Just bought a 1996 Fleetwood Prowler and I have to buy new batteries for it (didn't come with any).
We do 98% dry camping with no hook-ups so battery life is KEY for us.
Normally we camp 3 days 2 nights (Fri/Sat/Sun) and we camp high up so it's cold and heater runs all night. Not to much running of the lights ... just for cooking dinner, late night inside card game etc. etc. ... few hours of running a couple lights each night really (I will be looking into replacing all lights with LED after reading more).
I have two spots on the tongue that will fit 2 group 24 boxes perfectly .... my first thought of course was just to buy 2 new 12-volt deep cycle batteries and wire them in parallel. But the more and more I read they say NO ... buy 6 volt batteries as they will give you longer power then 12-volt.
So if this is the case my questions is can I fit 2 6-volt batteries in one single group 24 box? And if so I will have a total of 4 6-volt batteries .... How In The World Do I Wire Them?
Question above answered in this thread so far.
Any feedback on my dalema here would be great.
My main questions are ...
1. Are the multiple 6-volts better then the two 12 volts for dry camping?
2. Whatever you suggest ... how do I wire them and with what kind of wires?
3. Any certain things I should know here? (as you can tell I am totally new to all of this)
Thanks you SO much for any help you can give me on this ... I know there are some threads about this (which I have read) but don't really get into the questions I have and some we're just confusing to me.
I look forward to any help you can provide me.
* This post was
edited 02/10/13 01:28am by falconman515 *
1996 24' Fleetwood Prowler
Towed By ...
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Z71 4X4 Crew Cab
If you are thinking alot of camping off the power grid the battery bank should be at a minimum of 220AH capacity. A great battery bank would be around 450AHs... This will allow you to use almost all of the 120VAC and 12VDC installed appliances/toys that you can use in a ONE DAY/NIGHT camping experience. Then you will want to re-charge the battery bank back up to its 90% Charge state so you can do this all over again the next day/night battery run. I use my 2KW Honda EU2000i generator to re-charge my battery bank each morning when camping off the power grid. You can run almost all of the "toys" with the exception of the air conditioner and the high wattage microwave when camping off the power grid.
You can mount a 48-inch diamond plate locking toolbox across the trailer tongue that will fit 4each COSTCO/SAMs CLUB GC2 6V batteries. I would get the the GC2P models which will give you two banks of 225AHs capacity. These cost $90 each. This is probably the best AHs for the $$$ spent.
You can do the same with 12VDC batteries but the cost is going to be alot more.
Hooking up 6V batteries is easy to do and you would think of the 6VDC batteries as ONE 12VDC battery... Here is a couple of diagrams from GOOGLE.
Since adding alot of batteries to the trailer tongue is a large expense you might want to protect your investments by keeping your batteries locked up against thief.
Something like this maybe...
sample photos from GOOGLE images
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I think your idea of two 6v batts in the existing box will work, but get the actual measurements from the mfgr. and you'll know for sure. You could also just install two 12v batteries. On the other hand, four 6v golf cart type batteries will always out perform two 6v or two 12v batteries, but four 6v might be out of the question for you.
My experience last year when I was dry-camping for over eight weeks with a single 12v battery was that it would not last thru the night no matter how long I ran my genset. Since weight is a consideration for me (see sig) I opted to just install another 12v battery in parallel. I've been dry-camping for four weeks now and they haven't run down yet, even using the furnace thru the night a few times before I got to Key West. I run my genset a couple of hours each morning, and maybe five hours at night, and it's apparently enough to keep the batts fully charged.
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if 98% of your camping is dry, its becomes important to know the environment you will be camping in… cool weather camping where comfort depends on the use of the furnace, the batteries can be a make or break deal for the stay… and a generator becomes another stay saving deal for extended stays…
as with anything else there are trade offs… for more 12v storage capacity the trade off can be any or all of more cost, weight, and space…
off grid isn’t always cheaper than on grid camping, there are trade offs in location selection to…
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I think you are a little confused on the power between 12v and 6v batteries. You currently have room for 2 batteries. That can be 2 12volt batteries in parrelel or 2 6volt batteries in series. For the same footprint of batteries 2 6volt batteries will give you more AmpHrs and longer service as they are true deep cycle. 2 12volts in parrelel can be anywhere from 160 to 200 AmpHrs typically. 2 GC2 6vots will give you about 225 Amphrs. In other words for standard size marine 12volts and golf cart 6volts, 2 6volts are more powerful than 2 12volts.
When dry camping Amp hours is the most important consideration. Choose the set up that will give the most.
Multiple 6 volt batteries will give the most AH for a given weight.
A single 12 volt battery large enough to equal 225 AH will weigh in around 160 lbs. So putting two of them on the tongue of a TT could cause early failure by adding over 300 lbs. to the tongue weight.
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If you want to keep them in the stock location my vote is for 2-six volt batteries. If they won't fit between the frame rails I'd get some 3' angle iron pieces and weld / bolt them to the top of the frame rails for a battery mount.
And I'd convert to LED lighting. One of the first mods to our new TT will be LED's since we dry camp also.
Being it's a '96 TT, you may want to look into upgrading the converter / charger to an IOTA or PD 3-stage unit. I have a deck mount IOTA that's going into the front storage compartment, it'll have a 3' wire run to the batteries.
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