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Last weekend we had one of our 12v deep cycle batteries fail (practically draining the other one in the process). This made for a bit more difficult weekend, but luckily it wasn't too cold so the furnace wasn't really needed. We have another trip coming up where the furnace is going to be needed (plus it's nice to have a bit of light every once in a while!)

I've read a bunch of threads on switching to 6v, as well as the few different site dedicated to RV batteries. My question is this. For an average guys who dry camps maybe 2-3x a year, doesn't want to spend several hundred dollars on new charging/monitoring equipment, doesn't want to spend all his free time fussing over and maintaining batteries, is probably never going solar, are dual 6v still recommended over dial 12v?

I want to be able to do what I always do. Plug the trailer in to our 30a outlet a couple days before heading out. Pack up and leave, camp for a weekend (2-3 nights) come home, unload and plug in for a day or so to recharge. I'm planning on installing a cut-off switch to kill battery service to the trailer to stop parasitic drain, but that's about it.

I know there are a lot of sites that talk about buying 3-stage chargers, better inverters, $150 monitors, etc, but is that just a "I need a hobby so I'm going to obsess over batteries" thing, or is it a necessity for running 6v golf cart batteries (I doubt many golfers obsess this much out their batteries).

I'm going to Costco today to price out their 12v and 6v batteries, but I'm still undecided
 

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2-3 days of camping with heater running will be tough for a single battery.

I gave up on using two 6 volts, as the power (amp hours) in 12 volts batteries is nearly the same...not worth the hassle. Plus if one of the two 6 volts ever go bad...you have NO backup.

Just get two 12 volt deep cycle batteries from Costco and you will be very happy.

Now...when you change your mind and you want to go all in on solar...spend more money then you wanted, you can use the diagram below. We've gone 21+ days and had 100% charge everyday. :)

gallery_535_64_269599.jpg
 

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What O-C said: for your application go with two 12v deep-cycles. But ke D p them on a battery maintainer when the trailer is in storage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I have two 12v now so I think I'll just get another two 12v to replace them. No wiring changes or other hassles then. These ones lasted 6 years.

Oregon_camper, you make a really good point about the back-up. If I had 6v last weekend when my battery went bad I'd have had no power at all.
 

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Those of us that use dual (or more) 6v batteries do so because they have more capacity and are much more durable than 12v.

The extreme boondockers really get into the details, but you don't have to. I let my converter charge them when plugged in and just use them.

You don't have to watch the 6v batteries any more than the 12v. Wiring them is no more complicated than the 12v.

Go with what makes you feel most comfortable though.

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We only occasionally dry camp, so having an elaborate "off-grid" system is not something we need. We use (2) 12V batteries in parallel. For our most recent replacement, I wanted to go with (2) 6V batteries primarily for the added durability. Unfortunately, our battery tray will not accommodate the added height of the 6V. (the batteries won't clear the fiberglass front)

Therefore, we'll continue to use the (2) deep cycle 12V.

And that's the way it is...
 

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Unless you dry camp a lot, a pair of 12V will probably do you just fine.

My advice, FIRST if you still have the WFCO charger, toss it for a PD drop in replacement board. the WFCO is known for very very very seldom actually going into bulk charging mode, so IF you need a quick recharge, it won't do it, It will charge at 15A or so, AND it then never goes much above 13.8V so the battery never gets a true full charge.

A PD replacement and 12V pair should work well.

Now, before the 6V guys jump in, We do dry camp a lot, so I do run 6V batteries, 4 of them. we go weeks at a time, and I get 10 years of life out of them, discharge them to 25% SOC and but, for occasional dry camping for a few days, 12V are probably a better choice.

One advantage of the 6vGC is that they will withstand literally hundreds of discharges down to 25% SOC, while most 12V, even the trojan deep discharge don't last long below 50% SOC.

Trojan spec's the GC to 500+ cycles to 25%SOC over 1000 @ 50% SOC. So for us hard core dry campers that's a plus.

Now that I have solar, batteries aren't the issue, it's how long before the holding tanks are full. two weeks and batteries still near full charge even when using microwave occasionally, heat every morning in the spring or fall, and fan most of the day, we are keeping the batteries charged. Seldom need to pull out the generator. We have some solar on the roof, but since most camping is in the trees, I have 3 160W portable panels and 100 feet of cord to find the sun. works great.
 

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Unless you dry camp a lot, a pair of 12V will probably do you just fine.
That statement right there tells you the 6v configuration is best.

Although you "may not need" twin 6v batteries, they are superior.

I run twin T-105 batteries (6v Trojan), and I can say they require no more maintenance than 12v batteries. If you're going with twin batteries and have the space, go with 6v.

If you don't have the space, that is a valid issue of course.

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Unless you dry camp a lot, a pair of 12V will probably do you just fine.
That statement right there tells you the 6v configuration is best.

Although you "may not need" twin 6v batteries, they are superior.

I run twin T-105 batteries (6v Trojan), and I can say they require no more maintenance than 12v batteries. If you're going with twin batteries and have the space, go with 6v.

If you don't have the space, that is a valid issue of course.
Going to have to respectfully disagree.

We dry camp about 90% of the time. I ran 2 Trojan 6v's in both of my prior RV's and they did great. When we moved to the 5th wheel, I have more space then I could ever want in the front compartment for batteries. I did a lot of research and ended up going with 2 Trojan T-1275's...which are 12v. I've had them in for 2 summers and one winter....left them in trailer all winter, with only solar panels charging them. They are ROCK STARS!! Just got back from camping 10 days over 4th of July and had 100% power everyday and only had them drop to 70% at night.

I was a firm believer in 6v's over the last 10 years, but now I think 12v's are just as good for 99% of the use cases. Can you squeeze a bit more from a pair of 6v's...probably. Is it work the headache if you have one go bad and then have NO power...nope.
 

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Unless you dry camp a lot, a pair of 12V will probably do you just fine.
That statement right there tells you the 6v configuration is best.

Although you "may not need" twin 6v batteries, they are superior.

I run twin T-105 batteries (6v Trojan), and I can say they require no more maintenance than 12v batteries. If you're going with twin batteries and have the space, go with 6v.

If you don't have the space, that is a valid issue of course.
Going to have to respectfully disagree.

We dry camp about 90% of the time. I ran 2 Trojan 6v's in both of my prior RV's and they did great. When we moved to the 5th wheel, I have more space then I could ever want in the front compartment for batteries. I did a lot of research and ended up going with 2 Trojan T-1275's...which are 12v. I've had them in for 2 summers and one winter....left them in trailer all winter, with only solar panels charging them. They are ROCK STARS!! Just got back from camping 10 days over 4th of July and had 100% power everyday and only had them drop to 70% at night.

I was a firm believer in 6v's over the last 10 years, but now I think 12v's are just as good for 99% of the use cases. Can you squeeze a bit more from a pair of 6v's...probably. Is it work the headache if you have one go bad and then have NO power...nope.
If a 12v goes bad, you won't have any power either.

The 6v batteries are simply the gold standard for durability and ruggedness.

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If a 12v goes bad, you won't have any power either.

The 6v batteries are simply the gold standard for durability and ruggedness.
Why would you think that? If one of my 12v batteries was to up a die while on a trip, I would simply rewire my system so only one battery was in the configuration.

I still respectfully disagree with your assessment of 6v's over 12v's.
 

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If a 12v goes bad, you won't have any power either.

The 6v batteries are simply the gold standard for durability and ruggedness.
Why would you think that? If one of my 12v batteries was to up a die while on a trip, I would simply rewire my system so only one battery was in the configuration.

I still respectfully disagree with your assessment of 6v's over 12v's.
Because when one battery wired in parallel with other batteries goes bad, it takes the others down with it... unless caught right away.

You can certainly disagree, however there are A LOT of boondockers (people who work their batteries hard) on my side.

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Because when one battery wired in parallel with other batteries goes bad, it takes the others down with it... unless caught right away.

You can certainly disagree, however there are A LOT of boondockers (people who work their batteries hard) on my side.
LOL....you clearly have not seen many of my posts. We boondock ~95% of the time...see my signature picture for an example.

BTW...I'm not a novice at this. Shown below is the configuration of my current RV. I think I have ~$7,500 into hardware to complete our boondocking requirements.

gallery_535_64_269599.jpg
 

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Because when one battery wired in parallel with other batteries goes bad, it takes the others down with it... unless caught right away.

You can certainly disagree, however there are A LOT of boondockers (people who work their batteries hard) on my side.
LOL....you clearly have not seen many of my posts. We boondock ~95% of the time...see my signature picture for an example.

BTW...I'm not a novice at this. Shown below is the configuration of my current RV. I think I have ~$7,500 into hardware to complete our boondocking requirements.

gallery_535_64_269599.jpg
You're still in the minority with your thinking.

I have $2,250 in mine... which includes two inverter generators and two T105s. If I needed more, I would add more T105s.

Nice diagram for your "I love me" wall.

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I've got a 2014 210RS. I would love to install a 2-battery set up, but I'm finding it difficult to find the space. How did you guys do it???
 

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The rack for the battery on the tung of our trailer is wide enough for two batteries.

Good Luck

Robert
On our 210RS, it doesn't fit two 27 batteries.
 

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I got tired of trying to figure it out so I just bought a replacement AGM Group 27M battery.

I tried uploading photos, but this site keeps telling me "You aren't permitted to upload this kind of file". It's a jpg file.
 

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Ok, I was able to install two batteries onto the tongue of my 210RS, BUT I had to replace my 12V AGM Group 27 Batteries with two 6V batteries (Trojan batteries - Made in USA). Works great!! Now I'm looking at getting a couple solar panels installed.
 

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The first step in this process is to really figure out how much power you need/use. I installed a Victron BMV-712 (linked below to Amazon) that monitors all my battery usages....both outgoing and incoming power. Get the version with Bluetooth, so you can see all info on phone/tablet.

Once you have the Victron installed, go camping for a weekend and see how much power you pull over those days. The trick I like to recommend to folks doing this energy audit, is to leave home with a FULL charge, but camp in a location WITH electrical hookups. Plan a long weekend...like 3-4 nights and see how much power you are using.

The Victron will give you daily reports...very nice. Then you can easily determine the amount of power you use on an average per day. This will tell you the amount of solar you need in order to bring your batteries back to 100% each day. Remember, the trick is camping where there IS electricity....just in case you run out on day 2 or 3...the weekend isn't shot and you can simply plug in.

We can then calculate the panels you'll need and provide you with recommendations on controllers and wiring.

The final step will be batteries. You could have 3000 watts of solar panels and still have problems, as the biggest problem is battery capacity. If your batteries are not capable of holding enough power, then you'll always have issues, regardless of how much solar you have.

https://amzn.to/2tfm1Qv

You can also join a private group I created on Facebook called "Solar Powered RV's and Boondocking"

https://www.facebook.com/groups/solarpoweredrvsandboondocking
 
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