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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Switching from 12 volt to 6 volt batteries

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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/04/20 09:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GravelRider wrote:

But I do believe you can pretty safely discharge the 6 volts down to 20%, right?


You can cycle to 20% or you can have many more cycles by only using 50%. By many more I mean four times as many cycles.

If you want to cycle to 20% the only choices are SiO2 chemistry or LI.

My next bank will be SiO2 because I need to survive -40 and they are currently less than 50% of the cost of LI.

Neither SiO2 nor LI require getting to 100% state of charge, so they are ideal for use with solar.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

philh

Belleville MI

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Posted: 07/05/20 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

to truly dry camp, you need to go to 6V GC2 batteries and upgrade your charger/converter. Add solar for the win.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 07/05/20 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“But I do believe you can pretty safely discharge the 6 volts down to 20%, right?”

You can cycle to ZERO percent. Your choice. There is no “safety” issue. Deeper the discharges the fewer the cycles.

[image]


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


ajriding

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Posted: 07/05/20 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look into the portable lithium ion batterie units - about $500. They are lighter and portable, so take them in the house in the winter/off-season, or move them wherever you need battery power...
These portable things typically have a built-in inverter and charge controller. I would go this route if I had to start over.

Or get two Golf Cart batteries. Best value for a true deep cycle battery. Marine batts are not a true.. They are inbetween a starting batt and a deep cycle battery, which is the definition of Marine. Marine cannot be discharged as much or as many times as a true deep cycle batt and survive as many cycles.

For either Marine or Deep the less you discharge the longer it will last, so running your power consuming things at night when there is no solar charging the batts is not ideal. Best to run power early in the day so the sun can keep the voltage topped off and have time to recover or fully charge batts before bed, but I understand wanting to do TV at night...

What DC fridge are you referring? Hopefully not like a Coleman.. Those are junky power hogs. A compressor fridge (danfoss compressor) should not deplete the batts too much overnight unless there are many other demands for power, like TV or the heater blower motor. Consider a Buddy heater which uses zero power (but puts out a lot of moisture and potential for CO).

As far as wiring, nothing needs to be changed. The only difference is you connect 6v batteries in series, not parallel as you would 12v batts.

GC batts can be purchased from a national chain auto parts store, so if issues on the road you can get replacements or warranty anywhere in the nation easily.

Do upgrade your solar. I typically say that 200 watts is ample for most charging. Sounds like you use your power at night so 200 (with good MPPT charge controller) will have your batts topped off going into the night time power hungry time period you describe.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 07/05/20 10:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GravelRider wrote:

in the morning with our voltage reading at 11.4 volts. To be fair, our 12 volt fridge was running at the time, so I'd imagine actual voltage was probably 11.6 or so, but still too low for my tastes, and for good battery longevity.
Absolutely never use the 12v fridge mode when a continuous power source is not available.

Assuming you are running a generator to recharge the battery... verify your charging voltage is 14.2+ volts on the battery. If not you need a new converter.

Fix these issues before you swap batteries.


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CA Traveler

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Posted: 07/05/20 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you really have a 3 way refer that incudes a 12V heating coil? They are NOT very common. Or is it 2 way and your're running 120V AC on an inverter? On propane the 12V DC controller and light draw is very small and fans are limited.

The normal refer draw is very limited compared to your furnace and TV.

Agreed that you need to do an energy audit and get more facts than guesses before you throw money at a solution.

But based on the limited information available consider 2x 6V GC batteries and see how that works for you. This is a cheap step to observe at least voltage and learn your needs. For $20 you can install a meter to measure battery discharge which would be a hugh step towards understanding your daily consumption and how you can control that consumption.


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Bob


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Posted: 07/05/20 10:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Short answer, yes you’ll get more useable power out of 2 6v batteries than 2 “normal” 12V combo batteries. It’s not earth shattering but it better. One can figure that out with a couple graphs. Hookup is as simple as it looks. Series vs parallel and charging is the same.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

pianotuna

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Posted: 07/05/20 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cycle life under ideal circumstances means getting to 100% state of charge each time for lead acid. Otherwise they sulphate and may loose part of their capacity. Sometimes that capacity can be recovered if the battery has not been left discharged for too long and sometimes it is a permanent loss. The process of recovery is often called equalization.

SiO2 and LI chemistries don't have the sulphation problem so don't need to get to 100% In fact, Li, does best if charging stops at 90% of full.

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 07/05/20 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ppine wrote:

You need solar or a gen to bring your batteries up every day or you will ruin them.

Concur !

The best "bang for the buck" are golf cart batteries at Sam's Club or Costco. A pair is actually cheaper than a pair of "dual purpose" marine/RV 12V batteries !

CharlesinGA

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Posted: 07/05/20 10:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For a single battery box that will hold two GC2 golf cart batteries and usually fits in the frame work provided in the A frame of many trailers, is the CAMCO 55374 (batteries turned end to end, like a huge 12v.) the NOCO HM426 Dual 6V GC2 box puts the batteries side by side for a more square footprint but not the way that many travel trailers have brackets prewelded in place for.

https://www.campingworld.com/camco-double-battery-box-118120.html

Charles


Need a new owner for my 2007 Winnebago View 523H on a '06 Sprinter 3500 chassis. 30k+ mi, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dymanics PD4645, Chill Grille, deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar.
Replaced by a '08 Thor FS180 travel trailer and 2003 Ram 2500 CTD 6 spd

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