6 volt golf cart batteries

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AnthonyRM
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6 volt golf cart batteries

In reading the solar section, it is mentioned that replacing multiple 12 volt batteries with multiple 6 volt batteries substantially increases amp hours. We have a new group 27 12 volt battery in our 2017 13 footer which I intend to keep until it needs replacing, but when it does need replacing can I put one 6 volt battery of equivalent size in as a replacement? We are not interested in multiple batteries, t.v's, stereos, microwaves, coffee pots, etc. We don't want a generator. We like solitude when we camp, thus the 13 footer, so we can get into smaller sites. We want to be able to charge the battery up during the day with a portable solar kit. Other than the led lights in the camper, the two most energy consuming products we will use are the Fantastic Fan and a CPAP machine According to the solar section the fan will use about 6 amps in 2 ours, so about 24 amps in 8 hours. I don't know how many amps the CPAP machine draws. Two kits we are considering are the Dokio 80 watt 12 volts monocrystalline foldable solar panel kit or the slightly larger 110 watt kit. Has anyone used either of these kits? Any thoughts, comments, recommendations? Thanks. Anthony

Forward Look
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If replacing a 12v battery,

If replacing a 12v battery, you would need -two- 6v batteries 'in series' or chained together to make 12v.  They connect like this:

RamRod
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6 Volt Batteries

You could replace one 12V battery with TWO 6V batteries, which when wired correctly will generally give you more amphours to use.  You could also eventually replace your existing battery with a larger capacity 12V one later if needed.  But it sounds as though you probably won't need more than you have already, if you can keep charged up with solar.  Now that brings up a whole new topic of what size and what kind and how to mount or not.  There are some extensive threads on here and on FGRV to guide you through that.

Greg A
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Batteries

Hi Anthony,

There is a ton of information in the solar resource section, so I’ll try and simplify your battery question. The battery solution like reducing draw, I.e. led lights, need to be the first things addressed before dealing with solar panels so you don’t buy more than you need.

The trailers operate on a 12v system, so no you can’t replace a 12v battery with a 6v battery. You have to replace a 12v battery with two 6v batteries wired in series which creates a 12v battery. Why do you want to do this? Very simply, your current 12v group 27 battery is probably rated for about 95-105 amp hours. You can only use half of that before recharging or you’ll damage the battery, so you have approx 45 to 50 amp hours. If you use say 15amp hours a day, you can only go about 3 days without recharging. Now let’s look at my twin 6v system for comparison. I have twin Interstate 6v batteries rated at 232 amp hours, wired in series yielding a 12v battery @ 232amp hours. I can safely use half or 115amp hours. If I use the same 15 amp hours without recharging I can stay out 7-8 days. Why would this be important? Rainy, cloudy week, boondocking I can get through it until the sun shines, you’ll have to go home at day 3. Also, it provides a good safety cushion if one needs to run things like cpaps, etc. If any unusual conditions are encountered and one needs to run the furnace more or whatever I have the capacity to not be concerned about it.

There are also beefier 12v batteries you can look at that will provide a bit more cushion, but they won’t provide what the twin 6v system will.  Folks have modified the battery case on the tongue for a twin 6v system on Scamps, so it is a doable mod if one wants to go that way.

Once you know what your daily usage needs are in amp hours, and what your battery capacity is, then it becomes easy to determine how much and what type of solar panels you will need. I used portable panels for years on my 13 Scamp as they were very easy to use when needed and much more efficient than roof mounted panels because they can be angled directly to the sun and be adjusted for full production.

Our Trailers:
2015 19 Escape

Buying or Selling Molded FG Trailers:

Fiberglass-RV-4Sale

AnthonyRM
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Batteries

Thanks all for your assistance! I like the idea of mounting two 6 volt batteries to replace the one 12 volt but I can't see how that would fit in the existing area. As we are still so new to rv-ing and really are not sure how much amp hours we will be using, I think this next camping season will provide us with some answers, and of course more questions!! I plan on ordering one of the Dokio portable solar kits, probably the 110 watt kit, which I believe is really 100 watts, and see how that does during this year's camping season! That may be enough to keep us in power. 

Anthony Memoli

Greg A
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Solar

It is really hard to tell till you know what you will use, but 100w panel for a 13 Scamp would probably be way more than needed. If you are going to experiment with a portable panel I’d look at a 50w. You can always add a second 50w later, bypass the onboard controllers and run them through a really nice controller if you find you need more. The 100w is quite a bit more $$ and a good bit heavier to lug around. 

Have you replaced all the bulbs, with LED’s or order the Scamp with LED lights which I think they are doing now?

Do you have a furnace?

What other devices will you be running?

What seasons will you be primarily camping in and what location?

The 13’s are usually pretty easy on power consumption if not running a furnace all night. In my 13 I used to use two 15w briefcase panels tied together through a 20amp controller clamped to the group27 battery posts when needed. We were traveling with a family of four, fridge on propane, no furnace, used a Mr Buddy. Early days of LED lights that glowed blue and looked like an alien ship had landed. The battery would be back full no later than 11am most days.

Our Trailers:
2015 19 Escape

Buying or Selling Molded FG Trailers:

Fiberglass-RV-4Sale

AnthonyRM
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Solar

Yes, replaced the lights with led and we actually use two portable battery lanterns in the camper as much as the LED lights. We have a furnace but have not yet used it. Most of our camping will probably be in warmer weather, so I don't anticipate using the heater very much. We are not running much of anything. We listen to music from a play list on my phone so the phone(s) need a charge each day, we like to run the maxi fan at night, and there is the CPAP. I also have a lithium portable solar generator that we use so that would need an occasional charge and that is what I use to charge up the phones. For us, smaller is better so perhaps a smaller 50 watt would be a good start. Now to decider between flexible or solid panels!!

Anthony Memoli

mk evenson
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6V batteries

Greg, I have been doing a lot of reading about batteries lately. One comment I read was that recharging 2, 6V batteries could be problematic in that if one were fully charged then the converter may stop charging both batteries. This writer seemed to think that each 6V charged independently. Do you think there is any validity to that statement? I will search for the source.

 

Mark

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Gompka
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mark, when you wire together

mark, when you wire together a pair of 6v batteries in series, they act as one battery. They charge and discharge together, there is no way you would ever come to a situation where one battery was fully charged and the other one was not. They would either be both charged or both discharged.

Greg A
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6v Batteries

Mark, No validity, at least in normal operation. Gompka is dead on in his description of 2 6v wired in series operating as a single 12v. I suppose that if a cell or two was damaged on one of the batteries it would not be able to charge sufficiently , but that is no different than how a 12v would behave with damaged cells and lets you know it’s time to replace battery. 

There is a camp out there that believes banks of 12v are superior to banks of 6v and there are good arguments on both sides. I will say having had our trailer for two years with twin 6v and solar, it’s outperformed any setup I’ve had previously in actual use in the field. I’d figure out how to mod twin 6v on any trailer going forward now, that is until Lithium becomes mainstream.

Our Trailers:
2015 19 Escape

Buying or Selling Molded FG Trailers:

Fiberglass-RV-4Sale

Billqb
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6V Batteries & CPAP

I am impatiently waiting for my 13’ Scamp. I plan on going with two 6V batteries. I have a 120W Zamp solar panel kit to charge them up. I camp at high altitude so the heater will be used and I also have a cpap. I can separate it so I don’t use the heat side which uses the most power. I also cook outside. If I need hot water I just heat it up on my Coleman grille. I also use luci lights plus I plan on all leds everywhere. But luci lights are great. We are only planning on sleeping in the Scamp unless there is bad weather. Does your cpap machine separate?

Bill

I also have a Li yeti 400 that I have at home for emergencies. I could also take that for the cpap. That’s what I bought it for anyway. My Zamp plugs right into it. I didn’t even know it.