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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Switching from 12 volt to 6 volt batteries

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GravelRider

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

campigloo wrote:

To reduce consumption consider 12v TV sets. We bought two about a year ago and they’ve been great. They draw less than half the power the ac version pulled.


Our TV is a 12 volt. It is a 28" Free Signal Transit. We use a tablet with a micro-HDMI port plugged into the TV so that we can download Amazon and Netflix shows/movies and watch them without any cell signal.

GravelRider

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Posted: 07/06/20 05:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bpounds wrote:

Couple things to add,

That 12v fridge is bad news for boondocking. They are very inefficient. Normally only find those in popup style rigs. But, I guess you're stuck with it. Get more battery.

I like the Vmax line of 6vdc. And with those AGM, you do not need to put them in a battery box. They are safe in any orientation. That might allow you to get even more than 2 of them, but you do need pairs. Unless you look at the Vmax 12vdc AGM. I don't have the 12v, but I would trust the name.

The cheap club store batteries will need to be in a box, and you'll likely end up replacing them sooner. Depending on how you maintain them. Might or might not be worth the savings to you.


My wife and I went back and forth on this 12 volt vs the propane fridge. I liked the idea of the propane, she liked the idea of bigger food storage. She won. Lol.

I think I'm going to try out those two Sams Club batteries and see how I like them and if I need more capacity, as I can get them for $180 for the pair. If I need two more, it'll still cost less than the AGM pair. Depending on how long they last for what I want, I may upgrade to something more expensive in the future.

GravelRider

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Posted: 07/06/20 05:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

My Trimetric shows voltage, amps and % Full plus other options. Or in the menu system you can get a lot of additional information . Many also use the Victon.

Voltage is limited in determining battery usage. These meters track all amps in and out and voltage and comppute the battery SOC. They use a shunt (very low ohm precision resistor) connected close to the battery to obtain this information. I use a 500A 50mV shunt so there is absolutely no concern about voltage drop.


Okay, I'm sold. I'll look into the Trimetric. Thanks.

GravelRider

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Posted: 07/06/20 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Here's my shunt and full battery disconnect switch. These are AGM batteries so battery fumes are not a consideration but should be considered for flooded batteries.

[image]


Thanks for the picture.

A standard battery box mounted in front of the trailer on the hitch should provide all the venting needed for flooded batteries, right?

pianotuna

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Posted: 07/06/20 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at the Victron gauges. They have a smaller footprint, more functionality, are more accurate and cheaper than the venerable Trimetric.

Blue tooth I think on the Victron, as well.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

crosscheck

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Posted: 07/06/20 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bpounds wrote:

Couple things to add,

That 12v fridge is bad news for boondocking. They are very inefficient. Normally only find those in popup style rigs. But, I guess you're stuck with it. Get more battery.

I like the Vmax line of 6vdc. And with those AGM, you do not need to put them in a battery box. They are safe in any orientation. That might allow you to get even more than 2 of them, but you do need pairs. Unless you look at the Vmax 12vdc AGM. I don't have the 12v, but I would trust the name.

The cheap club store batteries will need to be in a box, and you'll likely end up replacing them sooner. Depending on how you maintain them. Might or might not be worth the savings to you.


One of the main reasons I chose a Danfos compressor style 12V fridge /freezer was because the they are a favourite of the ultimate boondockers which are yachters. They can't use propane fridges because propane is heavier than air and could sink to the lower decks if there was a leak and could cause an explosion.
Our camping style is 98% dry/boondock camping. For 5 years, we camped with a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer which when cycling used 4.4A. They are more efficient than absorption fridges using 1/3 less energy. They cool much quicker, for the same outer dimensions, have 1/3 more volume, keep more consistant temperatures in hot ambient temperatures and are not a fire hazard. We almost never needed our 2000W genny as we had 4 6V AGM batteries and lots of solar.

People who use the term"12V fridges are bad news for boondocking" have never had this kind of fridge. They are becoming much more popular for so many reasons as long as you figure in more electrical capacity(batteries, solar) if you don't want to run your genny.

I have a 6 cuft absorption fridge in my TT which came with the new unit. If it gives up the ghost down the line, a 9 cuft NovaKool will fit exactly in the same opening and as I already have plenty of solar and 4 6V GC-2 batteries and more room for extra solar, this is the route I will go.

Dave


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2016 Creekside 23RKS, 490W solar, 2000W Xantrex Freedom 2012 inverter, 4 6V GC-2 (450AH)
2006 F350 CC 4X4 sold
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Some Of Our Fun:http://daveincoldstream.blogspot.ca/

CA Traveler

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Posted: 07/06/20 11:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GravelRider wrote:

A standard battery box mounted in front of the trailer on the hitch should provide all the venting needed for flooded batteries, right?
Yes. The shunt however is usually made of brass and can be corroded by battery fumes from flooded batteries.

Ideally a outside shunt would be in an enclosure. But inside the battery box could be acceptable.


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Bob


GravelRider

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Posted: 07/07/20 06:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Look at the Victron gauges. They have a smaller footprint, more functionality, are more accurate and cheaper than the venerable Trimetric.

Blue tooth I think on the Victron, as well.


Thanks. I'll look into these as well.

GravelRider

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Posted: 07/07/20 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

GravelRider wrote:

A standard battery box mounted in front of the trailer on the hitch should provide all the venting needed for flooded batteries, right?
Yes. The shunt however is usually made of brass and can be corroded by battery fumes from flooded batteries.

Ideally a outside shunt would be in an enclosure. But inside the battery box could be acceptable.


Good to know. I'll see what I can do once I get the new batteries and shunt/monitor. Thanks.

bpounds

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Posted: 07/07/20 09:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

crosscheck wrote:

One of the main reasons I chose a Danfos compressor style 12V fridge /freezer was because the they are a favourite of the ultimate boondockers which are yachters....snip


Using 12VDC is by far the least efficient way to generate heat, out of the 3 utilities common on RVs.

That's not to say it isn't appropriate in some situations. You mentioned one.

If you've got enough solar and battery bank to support it, more power to you. I've noticed there isn't much shade over sailboats.

I have seen a 12vdc fridge run our truck battery down during a single overnight stop at a motel. GM truck, which did not isolate the trailer from the starting battery. So it depleted the trailer battery and the truck battery. I wasn't the owner, but I was a participant, and it was my AAA card that got us back on the road that morning.


2006 F250 Diesel
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