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Old 12-25-2020, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default What Batteries Do you Use ?

Hi, I have been looking at Lithium batteries since they are lighter and give more power but not sure I can afford them. They are quite high priced.

One guy at work said to use two 6V batteries instead of 12 volt batteries. But if you hook two 6V batteries in parallel to make 12V the capacity is the same as one battery. If you hook up two 12V batteries in series the voltage remains the same 12V but the capacity doubles. So isn't the 2 - 12V batteries better ?

I would also like to hook up a couple of solar panels on the roof and have them charge two batteries. But I need to learn a lot more about what equipment to use.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:56 PM   #2
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I have a portable solar panel now that I can use. Just it would be nice to hook up two flexible panels on the roof with the ability to expand the system in the future.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:06 AM   #3
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I have only used Optma AGM batteries for the past 20 years. https://www.optimabatteries.com/

Red top in vehicles and Blue top (one) in the camper. The Blue top works great as the Interstate that came in the camper only lasted about 2.5 years, then junk.

When camping, I connect to shore power and if none available, use my dual Honda Inverter/Gernator EU2000i's and never run short of power.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:35 AM   #4
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Well - for the first 7 seven years I used 4 12-Volt interstate batteries. Gave me a nice system with reserve storage for off-grid camping. Upgraded to 4 12-volt LiFePO4 Battle Born batteries. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Well-only you can be the judge of that. But for me, the extra reserve and ability to discharge deeper, makes off-grid camping more enjoyable and less stress.
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:06 AM   #5
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I think lithiums can't be charged in below-freezing temps, so that could be an issue in Edmonton.

For what it is worth, I use NAPA group 31 flooded lead acid batteries, each with 110 amp hours of capacity. They last about five years. I keep them on a BatteryMinder Plus when they are not in use.

And we have a 120 watt portable solar panel that usually tops up the battery every day.

But our energy usage is pretty minimal -- we use the furnace (an energy hog) only at shower time in the evening. I'm guessing that in Canada you would use the furnace more than that.
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Old 12-26-2020, 12:14 PM   #6
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I just it depends on how much I will be using the trailer off grid. And how much usage. The lithium batteries look like the best but really high price. The next is dry cell batteries for deep charging, cost is in the middle. The lead acid batteries are cheaper cost but heavier. Decisions.....

I was thinking it would be nice to put two batteries. But with lead acid they are heavy. I may have to live with the increased weight. In Canada when it gets cooler at night in the mountains sometimes we need to run the heater more at night. Although this trailer has a enclosed under belly which should help with the increased insulation.

I was thinking I will try and learn some more about solar installations. I want to install two flexible solar panels on the roof. With the ability to add more in the future. Also start with some cheaper batteries at first. Then in the future keep adding to the system p. Maybe more panels and better batteries.
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Old 12-26-2020, 01:56 PM   #7
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Is there any way you can put the batteries in a warm environment, rather than on the tongue (where mine are)? I have found that lead acid batteries don't put out as much power in very cold conditions.

And yes, the lead acid group 31 batteries are very heavy -- I think 65 pounds each? Lifting them in and out of the battery boxes on the tongue is great exercise!!
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Old 12-26-2020, 03:57 PM   #8
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I am not sure yet. If I bought a lithium battery bank I would probably try and put them in the back under the bed. Its about the only storage. But the wiring goes to the front. There is a frame there for two batteries. The 229VSD has a V shaped front cap. So the propane bottles are stored in a compartment at the back of the trailer. The batteries are tucked under the front of the cap. I will probably just put the two there for now and test out the trailer. Like I say I need to learn more about solar and where to locate things in a new to me trailer. I guess with the propane at the back that should help out a bit with tongue weight.
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Old 12-26-2020, 04:03 PM   #9
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This is what it looks like on the front.
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Old 12-26-2020, 04:10 PM   #10
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Does anyone know about the question I was posting on the 6V or 12V batteries?

Quote: if you hook two 6V batteries in parallel to make 12V the capacity is the same as one battery. If you hook up two 12V batteries in series the voltage remains the same 12V but the capacity doubles. So isn't the 2 - 12V batteries better ?
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Old 12-26-2020, 06:18 PM   #11
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Hmmm . . . . it does not look like you have room on the tongue for two batteries?? And I think (but do not know for sure) that lead acid batteries can emit fumes when kept inside the trailer, but lithium batteries do not. But don't rely on that info -- I am not sure it is right.

And I don't know the answer about 6v vs 12 v -- I use 12 v. But a lot of folks swear by golf cart batteries -- I think that you might be able to squeeze more juice out of 6 v.

I should also add that I use one battery at a time -- the other battery is just a fully charged spare. This is in case the battery in use suddenly fails, which is rare (but it does happen). If you have two batteries hooked up at the same time, and one of them fails, you might not know it because the non-failing battery will pick up the slack. Until it is completely depleted (surprise!), leaving you with no power at all.

So that is why I use one at a time and carry a spare. And I switch them out every trip -- they take turns being the main battery.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:32 AM   #12
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There is room for two batteries on the front.

In my old trailer It only had room for one battery. So I used to keep a spare in my truck box. I just had it if we were not hooked up to power and I ran out. But I really never used it. We kept pretty low power usage when we were not hooked up. Only using lights, pump when we needed it. Only running the furnace for a bit before bed and in the morning if it was colder. We would usually shut the furnace off at night. This seemed to work and we could conserve enough to use up all the available power.

I was thinking with two batteries up front we wouldnt have to worry so much about running out of power so if needed we could keep the furnace on when needed.

I think with 6V golf cart batteries. They must have more capacity than regular 12V batteries. I will do some more reasearch.
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Old 12-28-2020, 06:47 PM   #13
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To save money I go with the least expensive battery option, the wet cell. Deep cycle, "golf cart" type batteries are the go-to option for many travel trailer owners. I bought my current set of two 6v from Costco because of price, but there are plenty of places to find deep cycle batteries. They work very well with my 300 watt solar system. I may be wrong, but it looks like the battery rack area under the V nose of your TT could handle two 6v east and west of each other. Before buying. definitely do your research first. There is loads of info on the net about battery types. You just need to see what fits your budget.
Regarding answers to your questions including the 6v vs 12v, check out this website:
Battery School | Batteriesnorthwest.com | Advantages and Disadvantages of using two 12 volt batteries connected in parallel or two 6 volt batteries connected in series.
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:47 PM   #14
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Thank you !! That answered my question about 6V vs 12V batteries. I found this link. The 6V batteries are available in higher capacities than the 12V. And the 6V batteries have thicker plates so they last longer.

https://www.dieselhub.com/towing/6v-...e-battery.html


Quote: 6 volt batteries are available with much high amp-hour ratings across the board. 6 volts are commonly used in golf carts, which require a relatively high amp-hour rating and are the perfect match for travel trailer applications. We'll compare popular batteries on the market in the section below. The biggest, and likely only disadvantages of a 6 volt battery for such applications is that they require more time to fully charge and two batteries are required for a 12 volt system.

For RV applications, nothing is more important than a battery's amp-hour rating as more amp-hours translates into longer usage before recharging is required.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:56 PM   #15
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I use AGM batteries. Maintenance free. Last at least 9 years. I can leave in the trailer all year. Charges no matter what the temperature. I don't think lithium is there yet. Yes they're nice, but too many issues for leaving in trailer in sub zero temperatures. You can get heaters for them, but then you have to deal with those. I design and build lithium battery packs for vehicles, but for my trailer I'll stick to something far more simple. My trailer runs on solar year round no converter. And that's the way I like it. Just clear the snow of the panels in the winter and away it goes.
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Old 01-03-2021, 02:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeindin View Post
Hi, I have been looking at Lithium batteries since they are lighter and give more power but not sure I can afford them. They are quite high priced.

One guy at work said to use two 6V batteries instead of 12 volt batteries. But if you hook two 6V batteries in parallel to make 12V the capacity is the same as one battery. If you hook up two 12V batteries in series the voltage remains the same 12V but the capacity doubles. So isn't the 2 - 12V batteries better ?

I would also like to hook up a couple of solar panels on the roof and have them charge two batteries. But I need to learn a lot more about what equipment to use.

Any help would be appreciated.
Sorry I am coming in late but our Christmas season has been hectic.

To answer your question regarding 6V or 12V batteries, here goes...
Batteries are rated in terms of Amp-Hour capacity at a certain current drain. For example a 12V wet cell, maintenance free battery might be rated at 45 Amp-Hours at a discharge rate of 5 Amps. That means that in theory if you started with the battery at 100% capacity that it would be totally drained after 9 hours, BUT discharging to 0% would seriously damage the battery! Wet cell batteries should not be discharged beyond 50% without damaging them. AGM batteries have much greater Amp-Hour capacities (80-100 Amp-Hours) AND you can discharge them further without damaging them. Typically you can discharge an AGM to 20-25%. Each brand can be different in the Amp-Hour and how far it can be discharged. For RV use an AGM battery often is the most financially effective as you have more capacity AND you can discharge it further without damage.

A 6V battery (as used in golf carts) packs in more Amp-Hours as there are only 3 cells in the battery as opposed to 6 in the 12V battery. The lead plate size (surface area) can be larger (perhaps over twice) in a 6V battery with the same outside dimensions as a 12V battery. Hence the Amp-Hour capacity will be greater (over twice) in the 6V battery. If you choose to use 6V batteries and want 12V then you will need to connect two of them in SERIES.

If you connect two 12V batteries in PARALLEL then you will receive twice the Amp-Hour capacity of just one.

So from the above two conditions you should start to see that two 6V batteries will produce slightly higher Amp-Hours than two 12V batteries, but my guess the increase in density is only worth about 10% gain in Amp-Hours.

In conclusion I encourage you to go back to the mfr ratings. Assuming you decide to get AGM batteries look at the cost of two 6V AGM batteries and the resulting Amp Hours compared to two 12V AGM batteries. To me it is all about the performance that you get per dollar. I think if you do the same analysis on Lithium batteries you will spend much more $$$ and only gain in the wieght and size of the batteries. That's my 2.

PS. I will ad that one of my beefs is that the WFCO converter in my FF did a lousy job of charging even a normal 12V wet cell and would not have gone to a high enough voltage to properly charge an AGM battery. Any the WFCO is not programmable for other battery chemistries, including lithium. Solar chargers often have switches to set charging different battery types. My solution was to add a Renogy 12V-12V charger to my system in the FF. The output of the WFCO powers the Renogy and the batteries now properly charge. You can find my write-up elsewhere on this website.
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Old 01-04-2021, 12:21 PM   #17
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Thank you for the information!! I will look at AGM batteries. With AGM do you use 2 - 12V or 2 - 6V ?

I get that confused about the terms. I know to hook up the two 6V batteries in series. I would need to hook the positive from one battery to the negative from the other together to make 12V. Then use the positive from one battery and the negative from the other battery to hook to the trailer.

Can you send me a link to your other post ?
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Old 01-04-2021, 12:43 PM   #18
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I use two 12V AGM/Deep cycle batteries in parallel. I found them to be cheaper than 6V batteries. For the lowest price I suggest you check Sam's Club, Costco or other sources you have in your area. I have been in Edmonton many times over the years and have seen all the seasons. Nice!!! But it can get cold!

If you generally only charge the batteries while at home I would recommend the PowerCharger 12V 2/3/8 Amp charger model number EP12M248 which has AGM/Wet cell/Gel cell settings. It works great and was low cost. I keep it in the AGM and 8A positions. If you Google the model you can find it at several places.

Here is the link:
https://www.funfinderclub.com/forums...ries-4289.html
Good luck!
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:16 PM   #19
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So if I go with 2 - 12V AGM batteries the charger in the trailer will not charge them ?

I have a portable solar panel. Will this change them ?
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:33 PM   #20
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I found that the converter in my trailer would not charge the AGM batteries to a high enough voltage. I would presume that your controller for your portable solar panel(s) should have a setting for charging a 12V AGM battery. If you don't know I would suggest checking with the mfr. At most you may need to change the controller to one which is configurable to the different battery types. For your use the solar charge may prove sufficient or you could add a separate AC charger as I mentioned when you are storing it. I imagine it would be much cheaper to power the portable charger I mentioned rather than running the converter in the trailer all of the time.
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