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RV Batteries

Ballsdeep

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RV Batteries- whats everyone using?

Its time to throw in some new house batteries in the motorhome. I have always had descent luck with the Costco 6v for $90 each- I know their are better brands but these work too.

I found some 6V AGM batteries at Full River Batteries but they are pretty spendy- ~$1300 for 4 batteries they are maintenance free and usually get up to 7 years out of them. Still hard to justify spending that much on batteries.

Anyone know if their is any better technology with the larger/longer 12v solar battery systems?
 

fmo24

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I am going with 6V agm next as all my batteries are behind rear wheels and get hot and jostled on the road. Currently have 8 wet 6V and It is a continuous chore to keep posts and cables clean and free of corrosion. I think I’ve replaced all the cables at least once in the past year
 

RCDave

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I think it depends on how the RV is used. Do you dry camp mostly or visit places with hookups?

Dry camping IMO justifies more spend on batteries and solar.
 

Ballsdeep

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I think it depends on how the RV is used. Do you dry camp mostly or visit places with hookups?

Dry camping IMO justifies more spend on batteries and solar.
We do alot of both however we do alot of desert camping during the cooler moths and take out the dirt toys. When in the desert, I plug the motorhome into my Predator 3500 and let it charge overnight- so really its like we have hook ups!
 

Ballsdeep

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I am going with 6V agm next as all my batteries are behind rear wheels and get hot and jostled on the road. Currently have 8 wet 6V and It is a continuous chore to keep posts and cables clean and free of corrosion. I think I’ve replaced all the cables at least once in the past year
Agree on the cables, what a pain in the ass!

Any pix of your battery set up? I believe our rigs are similar, curious how you crammed 8 in there?!
 

Singleton

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My next set need to be maintenance free. PIA to get to batteries to add water every quarter
 

RCDave

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My house is served by six 6V. More toward the front of the coach and on a slide tray. I installed Flow-rite watering system on them. Makes keeping water levels perfect and so easy to do. A few pumps of distilled water every few months and that's it! Easy peazy
 

Groper

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I have (4) good 6v Deep Cycle Duracell Batteries sitting in my garage that are a yr old if your local.

I changed them out for LI batteries.
 

fmo24

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Agree on the cables, what a pain in the ass!

Any pix of your battery set up? I believe our rigs are similar, curious how you crammed 8 in there?!
My bad was including 2 starting batteries which are not 6V. They are sealed
 

River Runnin

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Fuck that water! ... I Just put AGM's in and the Start battery is next! :)
 

fmo24

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I will grab pic if you want. 4 inline in last compartment then two on a pull out tray Below starting batteries
 

Uncle Dave

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We do alot of both however we do alot of desert camping during the cooler moths and take out the dirt toys. When in the desert, I plug the motorhome into my Predator 3500 and let it charge overnight- so really its like we have hook ups!
I find the RV's built in charger both too large (in that it can consume lots of amps on first clamp) and not good enough in that it will slowly boil the batteries.

I find Im better off using a parallel charger that limits the amperage draw and more fully charges the batteries. my ctek 20 amp unit is about perfect for this job.

Newer Rv probably have a better charge circuit.

UD
 

Uncle Dave

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multiple 6's aren't necessarily any better than 12's and the wiring becomes more complex .

If the 6's aren't any heavier than the 12's you aren't buying anything - its the amount of lead that counts.

trojans and crowns are my 2 picks.

UD
 

J 2

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I am going with 6V agm next as all my batteries are behind rear wheels and get hot and jostled on the road. Currently have 8 wet 6V and It is a continuous chore to keep posts and cables clean and free of corrosion. I think I’ve replaced all the cables at least once in the past year
When I trained as a auto mechanic many years ago the old guy mechanic taught me to put all connections together clean then soak it with clear coat spray paint. Seals it up and never corrodes. Still do it to every vehicle I have including when I buy something new. In my boats I spray the electric block too.
 

EmpirE231

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I had to swap mine last year and went with the Sams club Duracell 6v.

I really wanted to look into going LI (Lithium ion) as those seem to be the best way to go, but it was mid season. If you go LI, you really need to make sure your charges are capable of maintaining them correctly.

AGM is good for the maintenance free aspect
 

Badchoices03

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6V Costco batteries and replace every 4-5 years, I have never had a problem and do a lot of dry camping in the desert....its all about maintenance and not over charging....
 

outboard_256

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multiple 6's aren't necessarily any better than 12's and the wiring becomes more complex .

If the 6's aren't any heavier than the 12's you aren't buying anything - its the amount of lead that counts.

trojans and crowns are my 2 picks.

UD
how is wiring more complex? If anything its easier. And 6v for RV applications are better than 12v. You don't need the CCA's for the house circuit. I went from a single 12V, to dual 12V to dual 6V and it was night and day difference each step.
 

sangerflattbottom

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I just did (4) 6V from All American Battery in LHC with new cables for $657. I have their batteries in the coach, boats and cars. We got a decade out of the (2) in the boat so they've proven their quality to me.
 

Foscheck

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Dry camping on two 6v Interstate batteries from 2013. Can’t help but think the end is near.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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Some of you guys are saying LI (Lithium ion), don't you meqn LiFePo (Lithium iron phosphate)? These are expensive but apparently very worth it. They can discharge down to near zero and not go dead like a regular wet cell/AGM will go dead at 50%, their output is consistent regardless of charge level, and they are completely maintenance free. The only major caveat is the charging system, LiFePo's don't like to be treated like regular batteries, so the charger needs to be different.
 

MK1MOD0

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Some of you guys are saying LI (Lithium ion), don't you meqn LiFePo (Lithium iron phosphate)? These are expensive but apparently very worth it. They can discharge down to near zero and not go dead like a regular wet cell/AGM will go dead at 50%, their output is consistent regardless of charge level, and they are completely maintenance free. The only major caveat is the charging system, LiFePo's don't like to be treated like regular batteries, so the charger needs to be different.

Not worth it to me. Deep cycle batteries are so much cheaper and work very well if properly maintained.
 

HB2Havasu

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I run (4) 6 Volt Lead Acid Interstates from Costco and they work fine for our 2-3 day dry camping trips to Glamis. We run 500 watts of solar, and have a 1600 Watt Generator that we run at night while the lights are on. We also have the onboard 5500 Onan Generator when we run with the whole house invertor when larger loads are needed, so we could really go without hookups for weeks if needed. If we were fulltime in our RV we would probably spend the extra cash on Lithium but it seems pointless for a weekender!
 
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Luvnlife

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I had six 6 volt batteries from Interstate in our Moho. They were the tall ones, not regular height. Power for days.
 

Uncle Dave

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how is wiring more complex? If anything its easier. And 6v for RV applications are better than 12v. You don't need the CCA's for the house circuit. I went from a single 12V, to dual 12V to dual 6V and it was night and day difference each step.
You have to wire series / parallel 2 - 6's in series to make a 12.

There is a bit more effort to balance a large 6V string thats series-parallel but I suppose it's just as easy.

Curious how you wired it - do you have drawing?

AH is AH be it 6v in serial making 12 or 1 12 volt. IF one solution weighs more - thats the one that will get you more.

How does CCA come into play





UD
 
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J DUNN

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There is WAY better tech out there. As @DarkHorseRacing said, you just need a compatible charger but your rig may already have it.
Biggest downside is upfront cost but if you're going for long term, like over 7 years, then save yourself some money and get Lithium.

 

RCDave

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rivermobster

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I have 2 6v with one solar panel on my toy hauler. Batteries last 5 -7 years.

Interstates.

They last WAY longer that the 2 12v batteries I had!
 

4Waters

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My old motorhome was switched to 12v and I used deep cycle batteries from Autozone because there are Autozones everywhere so if I had an issue it would be easy to get a replacement. For example between Simi Valley and Moorpark there is 1 Costco, 1 Napa, 2 Pepboys, 2 O'Reillys and 5 Autozones. If you add in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura and Calabasas you can add 1 Costco, 1 Napa, 1 Pepboys, 0 O'Reillys and 2 Autozones. Autozones are everywhere.

I also had an 80w solar panel with controller on the roof to keep them charged, never had an issue with them.
 

Groper

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Some of you guys are saying LI (Lithium ion), don't you meqn LiFePo (Lithium iron phosphate)? These are expensive but apparently very worth it. They can discharge down to near zero and not go dead like a regular wet cell/AGM will go dead at 50%, their output is consistent regardless of charge level, and they are completely maintenance free. The only major caveat is the charging system, LiFePo's don't like to be treated like regular batteries, so the charger needs to be different.
Yes LI Lithium Iron Phosphate and yes very worth it to me anyway.

No more corrosion issues with connections even after being OCD about keeping things clean and coated.
I have (4) LI's in my MOHO with (3) 190w=570w GoPower Solar Panels and can dry camp (Glamis) without starting my Generator for days with a 2000w Magnum Energy Inverter/charger and controller where you set up all your charging parameters battery type etc.
Magnum Energy's customer service is awesome and will walk you issues if you should have any during set-up.
 

Uncle Dave

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Wiring six 6 volts to produce 12 volts is pretty simple.

Pretty simple
Simple, and wrong.

The positive and negative lead should always come from opposite ends of the string.

In that config the first 2 batteries on the left will take a disproportionate charge-discharge load.

Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 2.55.06 PM.png
 

RCDave

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The figure was for simplicity of illustration purposes. But as for current transfer, it would not make enough difference to matter if it was wired as illustrated
 

Uncle Dave

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The figure was for simplicity of illustration purposes. But as for current transfer, it would not make enough difference to matter if it was wired as illustrated
It actually does matter.
 

Groper

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Simple, and wrong.

The positive and negative lead should always come from opposite ends of the string.

In that config the first 2 batteries on the left will take a disproportionate charge-discharge load.

View attachment 915619
Hahaha you are correct sir, this diagram is so wrong it's comical.

In that config the first 2 batteries on the left will take a disproportionate charge-discharge load.
The last batteries or the right will probably never get fully charged because the first (2) batterie on the left will take a full charge and the Voltage reg, will turn off before the rest of the bank gets a full charge.
 

Uncle Dave

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correct - moving just 1 wire makes a HUGE difference - more so than you'd believe by looking at it.

The problem with battery wiring is that it will "work" just about any way you do it - balancing the load is the trick to long bank life.
 

Wheeler

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I have (4) good 6v Deep Cycle Duracell Batteries sitting in my garage that are a yr old if your local.

I changed them out for LI batteries.
how much?
 

Wheeler

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outboard_256

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You have to wire series / parallel 2 - 6's in series to make a 12.

There is a bit more effort to balance a large 6V string thats series-parallel but I suppose it's just as easy.

Curious how you wired it - do you have drawing?

AH is AH be it 6v in serial making 12 or 1 12 volt. IF one solution weighs more - thats the one that will get you more.

How does CCA come into play





UD
if you want to get technical it comes down to lead plate design. Since the 6v don't need to produce high cranking amps they can use much thicker lead plates than the 12v automotive counter parts. The thicker plates lead to better amp hours but less cranking amps. It will also prolong battery life when sitting for long periods of time between uses. They are usually smaller and lighter than the 12v counter parts making the same amp hours, so your going by weight doesn't hold a candle at all. Don't even get me started on li-ion, li-poly, ni-cad, etc where you get much better power our of smaller and lighter packages, but at a much higher cost. If your shopping batteies by weight you got a lot to learn.
 

Uncle Dave

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if you want to get technical it comes down to lead plate design. Since the 6v don't need to produce high cranking amps they can use much thicker lead plates than the 12v automotive counter parts. The thicker plates lead to better amp hours but less cranking amps. It will also prolong battery life when sitting for long periods of time between uses. They are usually smaller and lighter than the 12v counter parts making the same amp hours, so your going by weight doesn't hold a candle at all. Don't even get me started on li-ion, li-poly, ni-cad, etc where you get much better power our of smaller and lighter packages, but at a much higher cost. If your shopping batteies by weight you got a lot to learn.
I understand different chemistries have different construction and energy densities and vastly different weights, and understand you cannot cross compare by weight.

Lots of manufacturers play games with their AH ratings - some give you a 20 hour discharge number others a different number.

In comparing AH to AH in identical chemistries weight IS a factor.

When using the same discharge rating - If 2 sixes give you 100AH and weigh 70 LB and 2-12's give you 100AH but weigh 100LB - ill pick the 100 Lb combo every time.
IF you can arrange the 6V combo in such a way that it weighs more in a given space it will be the way to go. All things being equal - more lead wins.

You cant simply assume every 12 volt is an auto-starting battery with the same size plates, it could be a deep cycle thick plate 12V, or a vato zone cheapie.

Led purity and a host of other factor weigh in as well that make it no so cut and dried as a bunch of 6s being a better answer than 12's.
Would you rather have 200AH of sams club 6 volts - or 200 AH of 12V trojans or Rolls surettes?

Im always happy to get schooled.
 
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DILLIGAF

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I have 500AH of Battle Born Lithium batteries and getting ready to add 500AH more. I plan on FT in my fifth wheel off grid for the next 2-5 years. Also have 2200+W of solar as well as a generator.

I did a test and ran them to 0% and by the next morning they were back to 100% after plugging into to my 50A here at home.
 

3.Slow

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Just picked up 2, 6 volt Trojan T105 plus from Apex golf carts in Laguna, best price I found anywhere. 260 out the door for 2.
 
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