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Old 05-17-2020, 10:58 PM   #1
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6v versus 12v

I have enough room for 4 12's or 4 6's wired in series then parallel. I guess the winning hand is total amp hours and discharge rate?

Has anyone experimented with this and have an opinion on which performed better and how/why?

I gave a 1kw inverter. When I hook it up, the batt indicator LEDs show 2/3 and it doesn't change - at least for the night. Disconnect the inverter and lights go back to full. Is this normal?
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:02 PM   #2
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Six volt is a bit of a myth.
Old school thoughts.
Laboratory tests can make the 6v ome out a little but ahead.
Real life is different.
I have 12 6v batteries ready to install.
I've decided against it.
All two six volt batteries are is one big 12 volt battery.
Others will disagree.

If you need to break up the space, the 6 volts allow you to essentially 'split' what would be a large 12v battery, in half.
People like the 6v golf cart batteries because they are deep discharge batteries. You don't deep discharge in your motorhome except by accident.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Six volt is a bit of a myth.
Old school thoughts.
Laboratory tests can make the 6v ome out a little but ahead.
Real life is different.
I have 12 6v batteries ready to install.
I've decided against it.
All two six volt batteries are is one big 12 volt battery.
Others will disagree.

If you need to break up the space, the 6 volts allow you to essentially 'split' what would be a large 12v battery, in half.
People like the 6v golf cart batteries because they are deep discharge batteries. You don't deep discharge in your motorhome except by accident.
Thanks. That's what I'm thinking too. If I can build it in 6 I can implement that same technology in a 12. Whether I choose to is a sales and margin question, not a technological one.

If I can stuff 4 12's under there and get more total AH, then that's what I'm most comfortable doing. With 4 12's, you wire them in parallel. What I'd like to know is which battery takes the brunt of discharge. With greater wear, I think rotating the batteries every once in a while would be a smart thing to do. For instance, if the last battery in line takes the brunt of discharge, rotate it to the rear (last one) and keep moving successive batteries forward - each taking a turn at the front.

What say you?
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:38 PM   #4
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I think. The indivudually 2.1volt cells have to go through the same 'me first, me last' scenario.
You're not grouping four 12v batteries.
You're grouping a BATTERY of cells which are grouped by sixes.
BATTERY means a a multiple of units.
So. 6 cells in a row or 4 groups of six in a row.... Same 'me first' problem within each individual battery of cells.

But
Rotating wouldn't hurt a thing.
Personally, unless they're as easy to get to as my behind the front wheels in the wheel well plan, I'd just live with the 7 year life span instead of doing the extra work for a 7.2 year life span.

At Scotties castle in death valley, they were, last I was there, still running the GIANT 1.3 volt batteries from about 1912. They don't rotate the 100 or so they have(thst I remember)
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
I think. The indivudually 2.1volt cells have to go through the same 'me first, me last' scenario.
You're not grouping four 12v batteries.
You're grouping a BATTERY of cells which are grouped by sixes.
BATTERY means a a multiple of units.
So. 6 cells in a row or 4 groups of six in a row.... Same 'me first' problem within each individual battery of cells.

But
Rotating wouldn't hurt a thing.
Personally, unless they're as easy to get to as my behind the front wheels in the wheel well plan, I'd just live with the 7 year life span instead of doing the extra work for a 7.2 year life span.

At Scotties castle in death valley, they were, last I was there, still running the GIANT 1.3 volt batteries from about 1912. They don't rotate the 100 or so they have(thst I remember)
Makes sense. Thank you.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:00 AM   #6
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6 volt batteries generally have larger Ah capacities. When fully charged, 6V batteries have bigger capacities compared to 12V batteries. They have a bigger discharge and recharge capacity. This means that you can discharge and recharge the batteries more often than 12V batteries. These batteries are also less prone to charge memory. With proper maintenance, 6V batteries can last much longer. You can expect 6V batteries to last anywhere between 4 to 8 years depending on how you take care of them. If it was me, I'd go 6 volt.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lt Keefer View Post
6 volt batteries generally have larger Ah capacities. When fully charged, 6V batteries have bigger capacities compared to 12V batteries. They have a bigger discharge and recharge capacity. This means that you can discharge and recharge the batteries more often than 12V batteries. These batteries are also less prone to charge memory. With proper maintenance, 6V batteries can last much longer. You can expect 6V batteries to last anywhere between 4 to 8 years depending on how you take care of them. If it was me, I'd go 6 volt.
Does this go back to feasibility? If I can build specs into a 6v, why can't I replicate that and have 12? Does it have something to do with what duck said about 'me'?
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:53 PM   #8
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6 volts if your gonna boon dock often.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:27 PM   #9
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I believe that the 6-volt batteries are quite a bit bigger and heavier...
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:42 PM   #10
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I believe that the 6-volt batteries are quite a bit bigger and heavier...
They are. But they will discharge and come back unlike 12 vote batteries.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by The_Breeze View Post
I have enough room for 4 12's or 4 6's wired in series then parallel. I guess the winning hand is total amp hours and discharge rate?

Has anyone experimented with this and have an opinion on which performed better and how/why?

I gave a 1kw inverter. When I hook it up, the batt indicator LEDs show 2/3 and it doesn't change - at least for the night. Disconnect the inverter and lights go back to full. Is this normal?

If you’re installing 4 batteries (other than lithium), either flooded or AGM, the practical solution is to go with 6-Volt batteries. And it has little to do with battery differences — that’s missing the point completely.

With 6-Volt batteries you’ll end up with two parallel strings of two batteries in series each. And that’s OK.

With 12-Volt batteries you'd end up with 4 strings of 1 battery each in parallel, and that’s not ideal.


If comparing similar “deep cycle” 12V batteries to their equivalent 6V, it makes very little difference. The problem is usually that 6V deep cycle batteries are compared to 12V that are very different in construction and then somehow the difference is attributed to the voltage. Basically, 6V and 12V can be different, but they don’t have to be.

In your case with 4 batteries, I’d stick with 6V regardless from a practical standpoint. I’d avoid 4 X 12-Volt batteries in parallel (lithium would be an exception).
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:54 PM   #12
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They are. But they will discharge and come back unlike 12 vote batteries.
Exactly the same chemistry in 6 volt, 8 volt and 12 volt flooded batteries. The amp hr rating is total dependent on the amount of lead in the particular battery. 6 volt, group GC-2, deep cycle are the cheapest deep cycle batteries you can buy per amp-hr because they comprise about 50% of the deep cycle flooded batteries made.
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:48 PM   #13
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Must also not lose track that 200 Ah of 6-Volt is the same as 100 Ah of 12-Volt.


Amp-hours is NOT a measure of energy, and therefore leads to a lot of confusion. The better system is to measure energy in kWh (kilowatt-hours) which is the way electric cars and home electric bills are done because it’s an actual unit of energy. Fortunately a few large RV lithium battery banks are adopting the correct method, but many individual batteries are still sold by Amp-hours.
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:21 PM   #14
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Correct!!
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:49 PM   #15
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The cost per Ah is typically cheaper for 6V than 12V and weight difference can go either way but they are taller.

I have 6V Duracell Batteries with 230Ah that weight 64lbs each. You can get a 12V Duracell with 105Ah that weighs 59lbs or an AGM with the same 105Ah that weights 67lbs... and is heavier on your wallet too.

I'll still take two 6V 230Ah batteries in series than two 12V 105Ah batteries in parallel for 210Ah. The 6V batteries are true deep cycle batteries with the power packed into the larger plates and designed for deep discharge / charge cycles vs many stock deep cycle batteries which are characterized as Marine / RV batteries that can also be used as a starting battery.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cavie View Post
They are. But they will discharge and come back unlike 12 vote batteries.
How so?
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Exactly the same chemistry in 6 volt, 8 volt and 12 volt flooded batteries. The amp hr rating is total dependent on the amount of lead in the particular battery. 6 volt, group GC-2, deep cycle are the cheapest deep cycle batteries you can buy per amp-hr because they comprise about 50% of the deep cycle flooded batteries made.
How long and does it make them worth it?
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:03 AM   #18
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How so?
They are built to discharge very low and be charged back to life many times. 12 volt batteries can do that. Repeated draining will kill a 12 volt. Built very different than 12 volt batteries. Thicker plates. That is why the are used in Golf Carts.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:30 PM   #19
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Can be different. Not always different.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:01 PM   #20
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Okay... Here's a question:
If you have 12-volt flooded cell batteries onboard right now: is an upgrade to AGM batteries enough of an improvement to be worth it?
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