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Old 12-17-2008, 12:58 PM   #1
03heritagerider
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Default Battery issue

Need help installing new house batteries. Pulled the old ones out and forgot to label them. Don't know which wires go where.

Here's what I have...

Two batteries, Lets call them battery "A" and battery "B"
4 positive cables
2 negative cables
1 jumper cable

Here's what I think...
4 positive cables on one terminal of battery "A"
2 negative cables on on terminal of battery "B"
Jumper cable from positive on battery "B" to negative of battery "A"

Am I right??????
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:37 PM   #2
RJ82much
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This is not correct if you have 12 volt batteries. If they are 12 volt batteries, there will NOT be a connection between + & -.

Before we go any further, tell us which coach you have, & the voltage of your batteries. A mistake could not only be costly, but dangerous as well.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:53 PM   #3
03heritagerider
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Thanks for the reply.

It a 2003 Gulfstream Friendship Quattro.

The old batteries were 6 volts. Therein lies some of the confusion. The new ones I bought are 12v.

I'm assuming, with the 12v, I need to make a positive to positive and negative to negative connection between the two batteries.

I think the positive to negative on the old ones was because they were 6v and that's why there was only one jumper.

Am I correct
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:38 PM   #4
RJ82much
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Yes, you are correct about needing a positive to positive, and a negative to negative connection between your batteries.

If you dont have a lead that will suffice for the 2nd required jumper, you should be able to purchase the approximate length at an auto parts store. Those two jumper leads are supposed to be 2/0 awg size (big stuff!).

You should connect a black 2/0 wire from either negative battery terminal to the frame.

You should find a red 2/0 wire that disappears into the coach inards, heading for your coach disconnect relay in your power compartment. Don't worry about where it goes, just so long as it is 2/0 big, and red. Connect that to either positive battery terminal.

Your last lead is a smaller, 4 guage, red wire which also gets attached to either positive battery terminal. This is the charge circuit coming from an 80 amp breaker in the same power compartment as the disconnect relay. Also, don't worry about where it goes so long as it is not so big & red.

This is all that is required to switch from 6 volt batteries to 12 volt. Just don't drop a wrench or screwdriver across the terminals!!! Ha Ha Ha...

Let us know how you make out.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:23 PM   #5
GStream40
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Here is a website that shows how to wire the batteries up about half way down the page. Great information about The 12 Volt side of Life.

http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm

Ron
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:25 PM   #6
03heritagerider
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Thank you Bob. Your assessment was right on. I read your post late last night and was able to put it together today. I found the 2 guage cable at Advance Auto Parts.

All works well now.

I guess by using two 12v instead of two 6v, I have, in effect, increased my capacity. If I'm boondocking on a cold night, the batteries may make it through the night with the furnace running. Stayed in Quartzsite a couple of years ago on BLM land. No generator allowed after 10:00 p.m. so I had to get up at 6:00 each morning to start the generator to keep the furnace running. Kinda spoiled the whole boondocking experience.

Thanks to you too Ron for the web info. Looks like some interesting reading.

A special thanks to both of you for the quick responses and very helpful info. I'm going to keep this forum bookmarked. Hope I can return the favor some day.

Mike
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:59 PM   #7
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Mike,

You have brought up a very interesting topic. "Electricity" is my business, but batteries are not. I hear that many folks want to change over to 6 volt golf cart batteries, but frankly never understood why. Without really thinking about it, I just assumed that it was to obtain more capacity. I never thought about it - I was happy with the 2x12 volt batteries in my Sun Voyager. Hard to believe that could be a wives tale.

I did some online reading and confirmed at
http://www.trojanbattery.com/Tech-Su...nsDiagram.aspx that you are absolutely correct, per a battery manufacturer.

A series connection of batteries will increase the voltage (A trick to start old 6 volt construction equipment was to apply 12 volts to the starter, with the 6 volt battery disconnected!) without affecting the capacity.

A parallel connection will increase the capacity (per the above reference). Apparently, you have made a very wise choice in your conversion to 12 volts. Now, how do you make your propane hold out for more than a couple nights in cold temperatures?
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ82much
...A series connection of batteries will increase the voltage (A trick to start old 6 volt construction equipment was to apply 12 volts to the starter, with the 6 volt battery disconnected!) without affecting the capacity.

A parallel connection will increase the capacity (per the above reference). Apparently, you have made a very wise choice in your conversion to 12 volts. Now, how do you make your propane hold out for more than a couple nights in cold temperatures?
What you say is true, but I think you have reached the wrong conclusion by not looking at the details. What you want in either case are true deep-cycle batteries that are built to take deep discharges without damaging the battery. Given that, take a look at the specs on deep-cycle batteries, such as those put out by Trojan --
http://www.trojanbattery.com/Products/d ... RV_000.pdf

Note that using double the capacity of their 12-volt deep-cycle battery is still typically less than the capacity of a single 6-volt deep-cycle battery. For example, two type 27 12-volt deep cycle batteries would provide 400 minutes at 25 amps while one type T125 6-volt battery (two in series) would provide 488 minutes at 25 amps. Similar conclusions can be drawn using the amp-hour capacity calculations at the 20-hour rate.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:46 AM   #9
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heh heh, now I think I know why.... I said batteries aren't my business.

I saw the capacity specs on the Trojan site (and others) as well as the characteristics of deep cycle.

Having just come through the "great ice storm" - 5 days without power & single digit temps, still no phone, the flu, & getting ready to fly to sunny Florida for 3 weeks, I'm having a difficult time focusing on facts.

Thank you MFA, for your addition to the discussion.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:41 PM   #10
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Bob, MFA.

I've seen fellow RV'rs debate to almost swearing, about whether to use 6 volt in series, or 12 volt in parallel, batteries to power their coach or inverter.

I changed all my batteries to the sealed, deep cycle blue top Optimas. This solved several problems for me.
First, I no longer have "boil over", which happens with any battery. When you constantly charge and discharge the coach batteries, you have to watch their water levels. The boiling over of the battery's water causes deposited battery acid, that you have to neutralize. With my TM, weekly I had to use a battery neutralizer spray in the coach battery compartment to clean out the deposited acids.

In my wanderings to control this issue, I stumbled across some of the sites you mentioned. While I have no issues with Trojan, I'd offer that there are different opinions out there.

Basically, a battery is a box, in which energy is stored. No matter how you connect or otherwise use the battery, the total amount of stored energy cannot change.

That energy is measured by volts x amps = watts. You take a 12 volt battery, that is rated at 1000 amps, you have 12,000 watts of power.

In series, two 6 volt batteries, rated at 1000 amps each, would have 6 x 1000 or 6,000 watts each. Combined in series or parallel, they equal 12,000 watts of power. If you combine in series, where the voltage is now 12 volts, you have 1000 amps. If you combine in parallel, at 6 volts, you have 2,000 amps.

Now comes the hard part. The battery's ability to "give up" its power vary highly from one battery maker to another, and from one battery type to another. It would take a lot of time to go over each nuance.

But, having done a lot of leg work, and research, and having some knowledge of this area, I am convinced that hooking maintenance free 12 volt deep cycle batteries in parallel is the best way to go. After all, your space only allows 2 coach batteries. The math on what two 12 volt, vs two 6 volt, batteries will supply shows that the deep cycle 12 volt are superior.

Long winded, sorry.



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Old 12-21-2008, 03:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlamb
... The math on what two 12 volt, vs two 6 volt, batteries will supply shows that the deep cycle 12 volt are superior...
Perhaps you could supply some specific details that back up your claim, such as the calculations that I provided earlier...
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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Well, I didn't want to get into the technical arena.

First, having all 12 volt batteries in your coach means you can swap (if great need arises) a battery out to start your car or pickup.

Next, in times gone by, the only deep cycle batteries around were those for golf carts, or trolling motors. The age of deep cycle 12 volt arrived. One 12 volt deep cycle costs about the same as a 6 volt. Remember, you have to buy 2 of the 6 volt.

In the same space, 2 of the 12 volt will fit, and if one of them goes bad the other will take up some slack, allowing you time to replace one.

Lose a 6 volt and the entire system goes down.

Last, I can do all the math, and calculations, but consider this, from Trojan themselves, which got me moving toward 12 volt batteries.

From: [email protected]
The main advantage of using two 6 volt batteries connected in series is long life. They generally last about two times longer than 12 volt batteries.
This is because 6 volt batteries have bigger and thicker plates that can
better withstand the effects of deep cycling.

The main advantage of using two 12 volt batteries connected in parallel is
backup. If one battery goes down, you will have the other battery to keep
your system running. With two 6 volts, if one goes down then your entire 12 volt system is down.

In terms of capacity, if you get a couple of really good 12 volt, group 27
or higher, batteries then the runtime that you'll get out of the two systems
is roughly the same.

If you need further assistance, please contact me.

Best regards,

Jim Le
Technical Support Engineer
800-423-6569 Ext. 301

I bought huge, (I believe they are size 32) 12 volt deep cycle AGM deep cycle batteries. I calculated that they, combined, put our more amp hours (by a hair) than the 2 largest Trojans (for my space). The benefit is that I wanted a maintenance free system, and I could not find any such in 6 volt. I was tired of cleaning battery acid in my battery compartment.

As I noted, this is one of those discussions where tempers rise, but I personally feel that staying with 12 volt batteries was right in my case.

MFA, hopefully this will answer your questions, if you need, I will do the math for you. Send me a private e-mail if that is your wish, just give me a while to get back to you as the Holidays are upon us.



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Old 12-21-2008, 07:38 PM   #13
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heritagerider: I meant to give you this hint, but got lost in my thoughts.

In most stores you will find colored electrical tape. Before changing out any system, you should get two colors, usually red and (black or green). The red goes on the + and (black or green) on the -. That way, you've identified the proper post for that connection.

You are much better off going with a larger gauge wire for your connections, than to small. The big truck shops, RV shops, and electrical shops can direct you. I do not like the connecting wires sold in Auto stores, as they have crimped connections and usually are no larger than 2 gauge. 2/0 gauge is much larger in diameter, and I fear that you have not identified the difference. Be careful, 2 gauge is not enough.

The truck stores (NAPA Truck center is where I go) will make 2/0 gauge connecting cables for you, with sodered connectors, with shrink wrap covers.

Again, make sure you have 2/0 electrical wire.



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Old 12-21-2008, 08:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlamb
...MFA, hopefully this will answer your questions, if you need, I will do the math for you. Send me a private e-mail if that is your wish, just give me a while to get back to you as the Holidays are upon us.
Thanks for the offer, but I'm actually capable of doing math on my own. My intent was to elevate the discussion out of the "Two 6-volt batteries are better."... "No, two 12-volt batteries are WAY better." kind of banter by introducing some facts rather than opinions.

FWIW -- I have no dog in this hunt. I'm still using one 12-volt battery.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:29 PM   #15
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Well, as I said, this is one of those subjects. Anyway, that is why I listed Trojan's own engineer's statement, with his contact info.

Ending, though, I say again, do not mistake 2 gauge automotive cable for true 2/0 cable. I am not aware of any auto store carrying 2/0 cable. Making that mistake could be very dangerous.

Take care MFA



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Old 12-21-2008, 09:23 PM   #16
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[quote="rdlamb"]heritagerider: I meant to give you this hint, but got lost in my thoughts.

Rick

Thanks for the tip on the guage. I bought the batteries (Deep Cycle) at Batteries Plus. They said they can make the terminal connectors for me. I went and bought the one at Advance because I was heading out for the weekend and didn't have time to wait. I'll be at Batteries Plus in the morning to get new cables made.
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