Outbacker RV Forum banner

Batteries: 6V Vs 12V For The Occasional Off-Grid Camper

4735 Views 25 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  clark261
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
21 - 26 of 26 Posts
Thanks for the info Oregon Camper. I don't have a Facebook account and, as tempting as it is to join your private group, I don't have any plans of obtaining a Facebook account. I just don't trust them. I'm starting with just one panel and I'll go from there if I need more. The 210RS is a small enough size that I probably and hopefully won't need more panels. Those panels can get up there in price!!
use 6V because it has thicker plates, can discharge and charge them more often than 12V batteries so 6 Volt batteries usually have a longer life.
Way late to this but dual 6v is always superior. Add a small generator for the occasional top off or in these modern times, a solar charger and you're golden.

I recommend Interstate 6V's.
For those who are confused about choosing between 6 volt and 12 volt RV batteries for motorcycles and touring trailers, we offer these tips: Many 12 volt batteries on the market have an amperage of 50 Ah to 100 Ah. The average 6-volt battery on the market provides 225 amp hours, typically ranging from 160 Ah to 260 Ah. 6-volt battery systems have thicker and heavier plates that allow them to withstand the chemical changes inside the battery, so 6-volt batteries can be said to have a longer lifespan. But in terms of cost, 12-volt battery systems are inexpensive and available at most auto supply and battery stores.
If your RV is equipped with 12V batteries, you can use them. However, it is difficult to argue that 6V batteries have greater advantages than 12V batteries. Here's what you can do to help:
As soon as the old batteries burn out, switch to 6V batteries.
Allowing your batteries to drop below 50% can reduce the amount of charge they can hold.
If you're going to a distant spot, bring a pair of 6V batteries with you in the RV.
It would be better if you thought about how you would charge your batteries. You can get 12 Volts of electricity by connecting two 6 Volt batteries in series, but it will only charge up to the lowest amp-hour capacity. Putting two 6 Volt Batteries in parallel, on the other hand, will only give you 6 Volts of power, but their amp hours will be added together.
21 - 26 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.