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Old 07-10-2018, 06:00 PM   #1
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Review of my 6 volt AGM Batteries

About 4 months ago the factory 12 volt "Harris" batteries gave out ( So at 11 mo old CW + Harris would not replace or give any credit for them). But we all have heard about these OEM batteries before. So I knew I was going to install TWO 6 volts from what I been reading on our forum but with my limited space it was hard to fine one that would fit.

I ended up finding Full River AGM batteries that fit perfectly under my steps on my 2017 Axis motor home. Most of the AGM’s I found (any brand) were shorter than their lead acid counterparts but AGMs will cost you more but hopefully will last longer.

Full River Model # DC 220 – 6 (220 amp hour – 6 volt).

So I pulled the trigger and I love them (so far). It a Very tight fit and hard to manhandle into such a tight spot by myself but it can be done with no mods.

The old batteries (12 volt deep cycle) weighed 46 # each (water levels were all full). New ones are 73 # each! So they are 54 # heavier over all. I checked the battery bracket and no signs of problem (It’s the one thing Thor did right – lol).

So when I replaced them I installed a battery cut off just In case I needed it down the road and I also installed a pigtail for my new Smart Charger (which I will use this winter – right now I run the RV almost every weekend). I think this will work better than the factory charger – esp for AGM’s.

I have not had must time to truly test them but I can tell right way they are much better than what I had before. I can leave some interior lights on and radio/TV for 2 hours + and they still show full on the gauge (the old ones (when still good) would show ¾ full). It might be in the fall before I can truly test them since we run they genny all the time right now for the AC.

I like the fact they are maintenance free and will work well with my future solar install.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:28 PM   #2
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This is a better picture under my step.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:24 PM   #3
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Glad to hear that you're digging them!
(I'm gonna have to take some measurements under my step, and see what I can get to fit under there!)



http://www.thorforums.com/forums/att...1&d=1531261402
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
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What is the advantage of 6-volt batteries over 12-volt?
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:56 PM   #5
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Looks good I have two 6 volt golf cart batteries under my steps now and there's much more capacity than the original battery. These are flooded style so I do have to check them periodically but not a big deal I did have to raise my step about an inch to get them to fit because they were taller.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:03 PM   #6
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They will give you more amp hours of reserve and seem to take abuse much better. Plus going to AGM will let them charge quicker, discharge slower (so you let them sit longer in storage before you recharge them), should last longer than normal lead acid, maintenance free but cost more money.

The unwritten rule is two 6 volts are equivalent to three 12 volts but if you have the original OEM batteries IMO its more like 2 = 4 since the factory ones are usually 60 to 80 amp hours each and dont recover like a 6 v. These are 220 amp hour each (but 6 volts so when hooked in series = 12 volt but still @ 220 amp hour – not 440).

Many treads on this subject.... try some searches and make your conclusions.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:05 PM   #7
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These Full River batteries fit under my steps just fine, no mods. The AGMs seem to be shorter than the lead acid 6 volt.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:27 PM   #8
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AGM is a better battery but I bought 225A/hr 6v GC2 batteries at Costco for $82 EA
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:51 PM   #9
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Do AGM batteries need special care with charging? Can you use the same factory converter/inverter to keep the Batts charged?
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:04 PM   #10
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Fulltime50,
Whether or not a special AGM battery charger is needed, is debatable. I've read that they aren't needed, yet some say they are. To be safe, I wired a disconnect for when storing the RV, and keep the AGM batteries on a maintainer that is made specifically for AGM batteries.

I replaced the two 12-volt flooded lead-acid coach batteries with two 12-volt deep cycle, AGM (Batteries plus Bulbs). They are not cheap but they maintain their charge quite well compared to the original batteries, even when new. I have used the AGM batteries without charging them, and when I stopped using them they were at 12.6 volts. Several minutes later (after not having been charged) they were up to 12.8 volts.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:49 PM   #11
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As far as AGM batteries needing special charging care, our solar controller has an input for the battery type so the charge cycle can be changed to meet the requirements of the battery type. AGM is different from SLA in terms of bulk and float charge.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post

.....cut....

The unwritten rule is two 6 volts are equivalent to three 12 volts ....cut....

Must be so unwritten that this is first time I’ve read it.


Actually, going by various manufacturers’ specifications, you’d really want to question that rule. Their own data suggest it’s extremely close to 1:1 ratio. Assuming of course that we compare same type, size/weight, brand, etc. except the 6- versus 12-Volt difference.

Not saying that 6-Volt may not be better for other reasons, but they are not going to deliver 50% more energy than their 12-Volt counterparts.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:28 PM   #13
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How about when you compare fairly decent 6 volt batteris: to the OEM batteries that are provided by Thor?
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:42 PM   #14
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The factory charger works fine from what I have read but for long term storgage I purchased a smart charger for AGM that I will hook up directly.

Yeah I have come across this 2 - 6v = 3 - 12v before.... I told you it was unwritten. LOL. I had on person in a battery store say it and I saw a You tube video and he mentioned it as well. Perhaps the 6's are more of a true deep cycle? Not sure. Someone else can answer it better than I. All I know is the are much better than the OEM batteries and im happy with them. They have crazy quick recovery time. I can use for an hour or so, check with muti meter, turn stuff off and 5 - 10 mintues check them again and the batteries are back to 100 charge..... Kinda crazy.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:32 PM   #15
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The house batteries Thor installs in the gas coaches are flooded starting batteries and not deep cycle. As starting batteries, they are made to be completely recharged after supplying large amounts of starting current. For max life, they should never be discharged more than 20% of rated capacity. They degrade (self-discharge) rapidly at 3 to 4 percent per week. They are sensitive to over charging. Most batteries fail because of the coach on the dealer's lot is not plugged in. When the salesmen notices the awning won't work, they recharge the batteries and moves the plug to another coach that need charging. Starting batteries can only take about 4 deep discharges before they fail. Deep cycle batteries are just that, meant to take 400 or more cycles of discharges to 50% with minimum damage. They can be valve regulated (no maintenance) or flooded (removable caps for watering). AGM batteries come in three types just as flooded batteries do: starting , deep cycle and marine. AGM batteries are all valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries. AGM batteries generally have less capacity in amp-hours than flooded deep cycle because of the space taken up by the glass mats and separators; however, AGM batteries can be discharged to 30% of capacity with minimum damage. They have very low internal resistance, so they do not heat up as much when being recharged. Lastly their self-discharge rate is about 1% per month instead of the 1 to 3% per week for flooded batteries. To get the maximum storage amount of wattage into AGM batteries, requires a slightly different charging profile than flooded batteries, but only those than dry camp for long periods of time using solar and generator need worry about the last 5% of a full charge.



I hope this helps with the confusion of why batteries fail so often in motor coaches.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:37 PM   #16
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Must be so unwritten that this is first time I’ve read it.




Not saying that 6-Volt may not be better for other reasons, but they are not going to deliver 50% more energy than their 12-Volt counterparts.

Im no battery expert but perhaps what explains why the 6 volts are better, last longer, provide longer lasting amps is the weight. These 6 volts are heavy. 73 # each according to my un-certified scale at home. The two I have weigh 54 # heavier than the OEM battery’s I took out of my coach..... well that’s almost an entire battery by itsself..... so two 6 volts weigh as much as three 12 volts.....well almost in my case.

Between all that lead and acid its like getting 3 batteries in two? I don’t know but its something to think about. All I know is after researching for a few months I decided for me the 6 volt was the way to go. As always do your own research and make your own conclusions.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:52 PM   #17
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I had an RV with two 12-volt batteries to start the engine and four 6-volt batteries for the coach, including a 1000k watt inverter/charger. Not long after buying the used coach I replaced the four 6-volt batteries. A few years later they needed replacing again, but where I was, there weren't any available. So I replaced the four six-volt batteries with three 12-volt batteries, and they seemed to work as well, long term, as the bank of 6-volt batteries.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
Im no battery expert but perhaps what explains why the 6 volts are better, last longer, provide longer lasting amps is the weight. These 6 volts are heavy. 73 # each according to my un-certified scale at home. The two I have weigh 54 # heavier than the OEM battery’s I took out of my coach..... well that’s almost an entire battery by itsself..... so two 6 volts weigh as much as three 12 volts.....well almost in my case.

Between all that lead and acid its like getting 3 batteries in two? I don’t know but its something to think about. All I know is after researching for a few months I decided for me the 6 volt was the way to go. As always do your own research and make your own conclusions.
Yeah, as they say, we are all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts. YouTube misinformation can be quite funny at times.

Obviously, apples to apples, we shouldn't compare 73-pound batteries to 54-pound batteries directly. You know that. On the other hand if we look at energy density per pound of battery weight, then it makes more sense. And in my book manufacturers’ tested data comparing their own 6- to 12-Volt batteries trumps some self-centered genius on YouTube reinventing the wheel. I’m not by any means saying everything on YouTube is garbage, but there is a lot of it there.


What’s lost on the Golf-Cart 6- vs 12-Volt battery difference is why they are mostly 6-Volt in the first place. Modern golf carts operated at 36 Volts in order to limit current, with many newer ones going to 48 Volts. That allows use of powerful drive motors without such high current that it would be inefficient to control.

Additionally, to get the required travel range, they needed roughly 400 ~ 500 pounds of flooded lead acid batteries. If you install 12-Volt batteries, that’s only 3 or 4 of them (depending on 36 vs 48 Volt golf cart), which makes each battery heavy to handle. I know because I’ve replaced ~ 60-pound batteries in golf cart before and was very glad they didn’t weigh twice as much.

As a side note, it’s interesting that with lithium batteries that are both lighter and have higher energy density, it doesn’t make as much sense to split the battery bank into 6 or 8 batteries. For example, 4 lithium batteries of reasonable weight each can be wired in series to power a golf cart at 48 Volts.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:50 PM   #19
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Not that you care - but the 2019 EZGOs RXV golf carts have 4 each 140 amp-hour deep cycle 12 volt batteries. Net weight is 985 lbs Optional are 6 each 255 amp hour deep cycle 8 volt AGM batteries. The EZGO Elite golf carts have 4 each 150 amp-hour 12 volt Samsung Lithium-ion batteries. Net weight is 755 lbs. Modern EZGO golf carts do not use 6 volt batteries any more.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:25 PM   #20
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Just to stir the pot, our Prius' have 200+ volt drive batteries. Perhaps that has to do with the regenerative system, electric motors, the inverter, and gobs of electrical devices that run from the massive battery pack. With a vehicle that size, I can't imagine that voltage drop would be a problem.
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