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Old 10-05-2016, 01:57 PM   #1
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Two 6 volt batteries - parallel/series

I am going to order the two 6 volt batteries and the solar panel setup. At present I have 75watts of portable solar panel (Goal Zero) that I have been using to charge my deep cycle 12volt battery in my Aliner with their controller and alligator clips to the battery. I wrote them to ask if I could use this setup with two 6 volt batteries and their response was yes if the batteries are connected in series. Couple questions - how are the 6 volt batteries in the Escapes connected? Can they be connected either way? Advantages of each way? I talked with an Escape owner with roof solar and the only downside was when the trailer was parked in shade. Having the option to use my portable panel would solve this when necessary. Make sense??
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:06 PM   #2
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Two 6 volt batteries in parallel is a stronger 6 volt battery. The only way to get 12 volts from 6 volt batteries is to connect two 6's in series.

Your current solar setup would work just fine connecting the leads to the + of the first battery and the - of the second battery.

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Old 10-05-2016, 04:58 PM   #3
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You can have then install, or you can install one of these for your hookup:
Zamp Solar RVROOFSIDE Sidewall Port
$9.81 Amazon
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:47 PM   #4
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Adding to Ron's directions, you also need to connect the - of the first battery to the + of the second battery. That completes the series connection.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:10 PM   #5
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Adding to Ron's directions, you also need to connect the - of the first battery to the + of the second battery. That completes the series connection.
I believe Ron was referring to how the solar panel would be connected across the batteries, but you are correct in reference to how the actual batteries need to be connected.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:53 PM   #6
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Rubicon327, I agree you read Ron's comment correctly. And in answer to the original post, ETI connects the batteries in series. That provides 12v to water pump, fridge, lights, etc.
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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Here's what's in my tongue box.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:56 PM   #8
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Here's what's in my tongue box.
Myron nice set up. It appears the smaller diameter red wire off the Positive is to the 12V section of the WFCO power center which makes sense. Is the other large gauge wire with the "system fuse" routed to an inverter?
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:56 PM   #9
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Thanks. "SYSTEM FUSE" goes direct into the power center inside.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:15 PM   #10
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Thanks. "SYSTEM FUSE" goes direct into the power center inside.
Do you have an inverter? Sorry but I still don't understand the two lines leaving the battery positive and the heavy gauge on the one wire. Just curious why the trailer is wired this way. Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:39 PM   #11
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You are exactly right. My first picture created confusion.

Heavier black wire goes from POS to inline fuse to my inverter, red wire goes to the WFCO control center.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:42 PM   #12
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Myron's second photo shows the connection between batteries: positive of the left battery to negative of the right battery, making the two 6-volt batteries into one 12-volt battery. This is the only way to use 6-volt batteries in a 12-volt RV, and is installed by Escape. This cable needs to be able to handle all of the current passing through the batteries, so I would rather see it at least as heavy gauge as the inverter cables. It looks like it was sized for just the converter (WFCO), not the inverter as well.

Myron, is the negative connection of your inverter made through the frame? I don't see a cable from the negative battery terminal to the inverter, only the light green cable to the frame. If the only connection for the inverter to the battery negative is via the cable from battery to frame, this cable to the frame needs to have just as much capacity as the positive cable, and the thinner it is the more power is being lost in resistance in the cable. Usually a large inverter has its own cables direct to the battery terminals for both positive (as shown here) and negative.

For practical purposes, electrical current moves only in complete circuits, and every part of the circuit handles the same amount of current... so every part is a link in a chain and the weakest link limits the capacity of the chain.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:41 AM   #13
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Yes Brian, to the frame with the same heavy gauge (black) wire.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:28 AM   #14
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Myron, is the negative connection of your inverter made through the frame?
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Yes Brian, to the frame with the same heavy gauge (black) wire.
So then this is the situation:
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If the only connection for the inverter to the battery negative is via the cable from battery to frame, this cable to the frame needs to have just as much capacity as the positive cable, and the thinner it is the more power is being lost in resistance in the cable.
When the inverter uses a hundred amps (for example) that big red positive cable carries 100 amps from battery to inverter (fine), the heavy black cable carries that 100 amp current from inverter to frame (fine)... and that smaller green cable takes the same 100 amp current from frame to batter (probably not thick enough), and the cable between the batteries carries the same 100 amp current to complete the circuit (also doesn't look as heavy as the red inverter cable).
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:47 AM   #15
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So then this is the situation:

When the inverter uses a hundred amps (for example) that big red positive cable carries 100 amps from battery to inverter (fine), the heavy black cable carries that 100 amp current from inverter to frame (fine)... and that smaller green cable takes the same 100 amp current from frame to batter (probably not thick enough), and the cable between the batteries carries the same 100 amp current to complete the circuit (also doesn't look as heavy as the red inverter cable).
Agreed. Not criticizing Myron's install, but just want to confirm it is safe and reliable and I'm learning for when I want to install my own inverter. Based on information from Myron's second photo I will assume the inverter is a Xantrex ProWatt SW 600 for purposes of conversation (only one of that size in their current lineup). Rated at 60 amps DC input current at full load. These units have both a chassis ground connection and a direct negative battery connection. The whole key to the best inverter performance is minimizing voltage drop so a direct connection from the inverter to the battery negative with proper conductor size is really the correct way to wire it. Obviously it works for Myron, but at full load could potentially present an issue. It would be interesting to know what the voltage is across the batteries and how that compares to what voltage is read on the inverter. This would be an indicator of any high resistance connections. At a minimum, I agree the green wire from the battery negative to the frame is likely too small. It may be ok to remain as-is if the large gauge neg line from the inverter were brought directly to the battery as described.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:57 PM   #16
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Just looked at my Xantrex Prowatt SW Sine Wave Inverter owner's guide.

On page 10, Table 1, Voltage Drop Per Foot of DC Cable, they like a best wire size of AWG 0, which has a voltage drop of 0.0060 per foot. The wire I'm using is AWG 4, with a voltage drop of 0.0152 per foot.

Estimate my distance from POS to Inverter to be 5 ft max. From Inverter to frame, 2 ft max. If my math is correct that's a voltage drop of 0.0760v and 0.0304v, respectively.

No way I'm using AWG 0, thinking that's wire thick and stiff enough for holding up a small suspension bridge or connecting to the electric chair at Sing Sing.
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:07 PM   #17
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Just looked at my Xantrex Prowatt SW Sine Wave Inverter owner's guide.

On page 10, Table 1, Voltage Drop Per Foot of DC Cable, they like a best wire size of AWG 0, which has a voltage drop of 0.0060 per foot. The wire I'm using is AWG 4, with a voltage drop of 0.0152 per foot.

Estimate my distance from POS to Inverter to be 5 ft max. From Inverter to frame, 2 ft max. If my math is correct that's a voltage drop of 0.0760v and 0.0304v, respectively.

No way I'm using AWG 0, thinking that's wire thick and stiff enough for holding up a small suspension bridge or connecting to the electric chair at Sing Sing.
(These values from the Owner's Guide for the Xantrex PROwatt SW Sine Wave Inverter are for 60 amps of current)
That makes sense, but you also need to include the much smaller-gauge green wire from the frame to the negative battery post (at least a couple of feet of perhaps 8 gauge), plus the wire between the batteries (a foot or two of perhaps 6 gauge). Although the two big cables only cause about 0.1 volts of voltage loss, the other cables will add significantly to that.

I'm not suggesting 0-gauge cable, but I would suggest for anyone building a similar configuration:
  • inverter negative cable directly to the battery negative terminal, or battery negative to frame cable larger gauge than inverter cables
  • cable between the batteries at least 4-gauge
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:16 PM   #18
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"...but you also need to include the much smaller-gauge green wire from the frame to the negative battery post ",

Naa... don't think so. I'll never come remotely close to drawing 60 amps in my trailer.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:06 PM   #19
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"...but you also need to include the much smaller-gauge green wire from the frame to the negative battery post ",

Naa... don't think so. I'll never come remotely close to drawing 60 amps in my trailer.
Okay, so calculate the drop at the lower voltage, and include all of the wire. By the way, why put in a 600 watt inverter if you're never going to come remotely close to using 600 watts of AC power from it?
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:54 PM   #20
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MyronL, referring back to my post #4, I think you should connect + of one battery to - of second battery with jumper cables. That should satisfy everything.
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