How to convert 12V RV battery to a multi-bank 6V battery system
If you own an RV (aka: motorhome, recreational vehicle, mobile home, trailer, etc) then you know just how important it is to have a good battery system to run your appliances when you go on a camping trip. It’s no fun if you wake up and there is not enough power to run the pump on your sink.
We have a lot of customers who come to us for RV replacement batteries a decade after their batteries on their RV go bad. Yes you read that correctly 10 years later! Whoever heard of batteries lasting that long?
Well their secret could be the battery manufacturer or that they maintain their batteries well, but it could also be that most of them are using 6V deep cycle batteries in series with a capacity that is much higher than their daily demand when camping. 6v deep cycle batteries are commonly referred to as golf cart batteries.
These batteries are designed with thicker lead plates so they will withstand greater cycling depths than standard 12V SLI (starting,lighting, ignition) batteries that you see in a car. Car batteries often have thinner lead plates and are talked about in terms of CCA (cold cranking amps). SLI batteries are designed to deliver a higher current during a shorter amount of time to crank the engines. Deep cycle batteries on the other hand deliver a slower current of energy over a longer period of time and the thicker lead plates are necessary to prevent rapid corrosion of the plates during deep cycling.
If car batteries are used for RV power supplies, they won’t last very long. They will experience rapid drain and the plates will eventually sulfate to the point that physical holes in the plates will occur. The debris that falls off the plates will ultimately gather in the bottom of the battery and cause shorting of the battery and a premature end to battery life.
Before selecting your battery type, you will need to know your system voltage along with your energy requirements as well as your battery compartment size. In order to choose the best configuration it will be to your advantage to spend some time researching these requirements.
How much energy you need depends on the appliances you will be using along with your energy consumption habits.
Keep in mind that you should not discharge the battery more than 25% before fully recharging to 100%.
These calculations can be tedious but worth your time and research to understand how the energy is being consumed.
Here we have a customer who was using a 12V car battery for his new RV and soon realized it was not powering very much for very long!
We approximated his energy needs and came up with a solution of Two (2) 6V Trojan T-105 batteries to be installed in series. We located the battery bank at the front of the trailer where there was ample space and access.
Location at front of trailer was determined to be the best spot since the battery compartment was small and difficult to access.
Tango Towlite RV trailer and Trojan T105 battery bank to be installed.
A special rubber handle/grip is used to lift these 65 pound batteries. This rubber handle definitely saves your back from going out! Be sure to add this to your order.
Batteries wired in series configuration. Click here for an illustration showing a Series Wiring Diagram
Snap Top battery boxes were used with space for airflow. Boxes will later be secured with padlocks for added security to prevent theft of batteries.
Battery capacity was tested and showed 100% just after installation.
Category:How To Guide, RV Batteries