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November 28, 2008

Deep cycle batteries are used for our coach; automotive batteries are used with our engines. The deep cycle battery is designed to give us better life, since we draw down the power more than we do with an engine battery.

Use 6-volt batteries for your coach, replace in pairs, and maintain the distilled water level 3/8” above the plates. Also keep the connections corrosion free. Careful, if you remove a connection, turn off any loads and do not allow the connections to torch another object. Sparks, fire and explosions can happen while working on your battery. Wear gloves and goggles to be safe.

Sixty percent of RV fires are from 12-volt DC power circuits. Double check your work and see that the wires do not rub against an edge. Protect the wires with split-loom or another outer wire protector. Twelve-volt systems are difficult to fuse, so it turns off the power during a short or open-circuit situation. 120-volt AC systems use Ground Fault Interrupters to monitor those circuits. Thus the GFI interrupts the power whenever a leakage threshold is reached, hopefully preventing a shock or fire.

Keep your batteries charged, but not overcharged, to get the best battery life. Some convertor/charges have a higher voltage cycle to help rejuvenate your batteries.

If your batteries have a vent, not sealed type, dangerous gases are emitted. These must not be stored in a confined space. These gases are flammable and can explode.

This is one of our free tips we offer-

Happy Camping,
Fred Brandeberry

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  479. Roger

    Can you poit to a resource that can clarify the idea about to 6v deep cycle being better than or equal to two 12v deep cycle? According to itwould appear that two T-105 6V “Golf Cart” batteries would provide about the same amp hours as four Size 27 12V batteries.

  480. Glen,
    if a short occures, the heat from the voltage going through the wire and fuse link will melt the link thus stopping the energy to drain out of the battery or melting your wires
    I do not know of a GFI for 12 volts The GFI in bathrooms to protect 120 volts from killing you

  481. Irv Stark

    Herb, My experience with the OPTIMA battery was not all that satisfactory. I could not definitively tell that it provided any additional hours of operation than my old deep cycle battery that came with my trailer which, in my mind, does not justify the high cost. The big advantage is that it is basically spill-proof and requires no maintenance. I have since gone to two 6v Trojan batteries and am quite satisfied with the performance.

  482. Glenn

    What makes a 12v circuit to fuse? Simple as splicing in a fuse holder and you are ready to go. Also, how does a fuse or GFI protect against an open circuit? Their purpose, in my mind, are to open the circuit when a problem occurs.

  483. Herb Lillibridge

    Any thoughts on the OPTIMA batteries for the engine & the OPTIMA deep cycle for the coach?

  484. Casey Donovan

    If 6 volt batteries are used in the 12 volt system of a coach or trailer, they must be connected in series to put 12 volts into the circuits. The negative terminal of one battery is connected to the positive terminal of the second; the other two terminals are connected the same way you would connect a single battery.
    There is a mystique that 6 volt batteries are intrinsically better and longer lived than 12’s. It really isn’t so, if you compare true deep cycle designs of each. They simply split the 6 cells of a 12 volt unit into two packages. This may be convenient for handling and may allow you to fit more amp-hours of battery into the same space. Beware of “dual purpose” batteries or any that list a Cold Cranking Amp rating. These are compromise designs that do not serve you best in an RV cabin.

  485. larry mason

    My question is about hooking two 6 volt batteries in parallel to power my trailer when I am not by any 120 volt hookup. I am under the impression that two 6 volt deep cycle batteries last longer than one 12 volt . If this is true how should they be hooked in conjunction? thanks for your help. Larry Happy Holidays