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Old 09-10-2019, 08:26 AM   #1
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17B Batteries: Why?

Just curious, why do the 17 trailers have two 6v batteries rather than 12v, and why are they on the rear bumper? I can understand lack of interior room, but can they not adversely affect weight and balance? Did it allow ETI to move other heavy items forward?

When I need new batteries I would consider two 12v in parallel, but expect the charging/solar systems would not be compatible?
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:40 AM   #2
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The two batteries on the rear are an option. Stock is a single 12 volt. They are on the rear bumper because that is where they fit and you are correct, they provide balance fore and aft. The dual six volt batteries, in my mind, are far superior to the single or dual 12 volt system. Especially if you do go off grid, travel fall/spring, do not have solar or are a heavy user of power. Properly configured batteries in parallel or serial do not require any changes to the charging/solar system. All three options of batteries results in 12 volts, it matters not how the 12 volts are arrived at.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:20 AM   #3
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Sure makes battery maintenance and replacement easy having them on the bumper!
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:47 AM   #4
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and theft as well as exposed to the elements.....
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynfrfun View Post
Sure makes battery maintenance and replacement easy having them on the bumper!
...and no nuisance alarms on the propane/CO detector from the off gassing
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:35 PM   #6
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Did it allow ETI to move other heavy items forward?
Not quite - the proportions of the 17' have the axle further rearward in the trailer than typical, so it would tend to be excessively front-heavy with the battery in the front. It is proportioned much like the Casita 17', which is notorious (as discussed in the FiberglassRV forum) for having very high tongue weight for its size, especially compared to the Scamp and Casita 16' models. Reace derived the 17' design from the 15' Surfside by adding all of the length ahead of the axle, and placed the battery in the rear to avoid excessive tongue weight.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:38 PM   #7
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Series versus parallel

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Originally Posted by marant View Post
When I need new batteries I would consider two 12v in parallel, but expect the charging/solar systems would not be compatible?
As Paul explained, it wouldn't matter to the charging systems (converter or solar system) whether the nominally 12 volt battery bank is two 6 V batteries in series, two 12 V batteries in parallel, one big 12 V battery, or any of the other possible configurations. Three 4 V in series, anyone?

Why would you consider two 12 V batteries in parallel instead of two 6 V batteries in series? There are valid reasons to do that, such as the ability to run on one if the other fails; however, there are also reasons to avoid it, such as imbalance between the batteries and the greater availability of suitable batteries in the 6 V format.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:37 PM   #8
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I read this a few years ago, good read.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

The battery was moved to the back bumper for proper tounge weight. The first 17B was to heavy at the hitch.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
The dual six volt batteries, in my mind, are far superior to the single or dual 12 volt system. Especially if you do go off grid, travel fall/spring, do not have solar or are a heavy user of power. Properly configured batteries in parallel or serial do not require any changes to the charging/solar system. All three options of batteries results in 12 volts, it matters not how the 12 volts are arrived at.

I don't understand this dislike for dual 12 volt batteries. With my setup I can use them individually or parallel.


I have more storage capacity than dual 6 volt. I can remove one and charge it when exploring the local area in my tow vehicle. If one goes bad I simply switch to the remaining one and happily carry on till I can buy a replacement. I honestly do not see any downsides to dual 12's if you set them up right.


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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Why would you consider two 12 V batteries in parallel instead of two 6 V batteries in series? There are valid reasons to do that, such as the ability to run on one if the other fails; however, there are also reasons to avoid it, such as imbalance between the batteries and the greater availability of suitable batteries in the 6 V format.
An imbalance between the batteries should only be a problem if one is extremely depleted and you are running them in parallel. Or if you are charging them in parallel (which I never do) but the same could be said for dual 6's.
And as far as the "greater availability of suitable batteries in the 6 V format" could you please explain that for me because that has not been my experience. 12 volt deep cycle batteries are easy to get, from Costco to Canadian Tire to any RV shop.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynfrfun View Post
Sure makes battery maintenance and replacement easy having them on the bumper!

You got that right


Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
and theft as well as exposed to the elements.....

If theft worries you battery locks are not hard to find or make your own if you prefer. And after 4 1/2 years of sitting on my bumper in a battery case protected from the elements, mine are doing just fine, thank you very much.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:47 PM   #11
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I received the following by PM. Found it very helpful and informative. Was not aware of the difference in construction.

"6v batteries, although the same size as a 12v, have 3 cells versus the 6 in a 12v battery. The lead plates in a 6v battery are heavier than those in a 12v, i.e., more rugged. That makes them superior for applications where they are subjected to greater vibration and bouncing as in golf carts. I would not replace 6v RV batteries with 12v batteries. Online research will verify this. But the decision is, of course, yours.

And 12v batteries would be compatible with the solar panel and controller."
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marant View Post
I received the following by PM. Found it very helpful and informative. Was not aware of the difference in construction.

"6v batteries, although the same size as a 12v, have 3 cells versus the 6 in a 12v battery. The lead plates in a 6v battery are heavier than those in a 12v, i.e., more rugged. That makes them superior for applications where they are subjected to greater vibration and bouncing as in golf carts. I would not replace 6v RV batteries with 12v batteries. Online research will verify this. But the decision is, of course, yours.

And 12v batteries would be compatible with the solar panel and controller."

It almost sounds like you are comparing 6v batteries with 12v car batteries. Deep cycle 12v batteries come in various sizes, all the ones that I have seen are larger than 6v and better constructed than car batteries. But like you say the decision is mine and I'm very happy with my current arrangement.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrisetrucker View Post
12 volt deep cycle batteries are easy to get, from Costco to Canadian Tire to any RV shop.

A lot of those batteries at Costco and CT are combo deep cycle/starting batteries, not true deep cycle batteries ( which may be why they sell them cheap ).


Deep cycle batteries have thick plates and can be discharged down to 80 percent (deep cycled) time after time without causing damage. In contrast, starter batteries deliver short, high-current bursts to crank an engine, meaning they frequently discharge only a small part of their capacity. The main difference between true deep cycle batteries and other types is that deep cycle batteries have solid – not sponge – lead plates. They are most commonly used in industrial applications for backups and in solar power plants. True deep cycle brands include Crown, Deka and Trojan.



Marine batteries may be starting batteries, dual-purpose batteries or deep cycle batteries. They are usually a hybrid of starting and deep cycle batteries, with lead sponge plates that are coarser and heavier than starting battery plates but not as thick as true deep cycle battery plates.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:51 PM   #14
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While there is little difference between true deep cycle 6V & 12V batteries, the 12V are a bit harder to find, generally more expensive because of less sales volume (the 6V are often used in golf carts) and can will be heavier for the same amp hours since the 6V batteries are half the amount of lead each. While together, they weigh the same for the same amp hours, lifting 1/2 each time is a bit easier.

I have no "stick" in the choice - I went with a pair of 12V 100 amp hour Battleborn lithium batteries, 31 pounds each, and the pair is the equivalent of 400 amp hours of lead acid...
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:31 PM   #15
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When I installed my pair of parallel 12 V AGM batteries I measured the "imbalance" current at 5 mA (0.005 Amp) after they were connected for a week. That amount of loss would be replaced by 5 minutes of average solar on the roof 160 watt panel. Back then 6 V AGM batteries were rare and expensive. With all the discounts Sears was passing out in 2015 they were a bargain - alas - never to be repeated.

Would I do it again? Yes, if the price was right. If the price is wrong then I will likely go with Lithiums. (Two wrongs make a right)

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Old 09-10-2019, 11:36 PM   #16
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This had already been explained, but my summary would be that, for the same construction, capacity is just proportional to that amount of lead, regardless of how many boxes it is split into. Deep cycle batteries are generally more available in 6V and even 8 V than 12V, but starting and dual-purpose batteries are mostly 12 V. Due their use in golf carts the most common deep-cycle batteries are 6V and 8V, and since of those only the 6V are useful in 12V systems, the 6V "GC2" format are the most commonly available deep-cycle batteries.

If you want to manage a pair of batteries in parallel (switching to, for instance, only charge individually), there can be a redundancy benefit... but for the usual RVer who just treats them as a single combined battery, the series configuration is both simpler and more effective in keeping the two boxes of lead in the same state. Either arrangement can work, and I have had both.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:41 PM   #17
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Oh... and plate thickness has nothing whatsoever to do with the number of cells (and thus nominal voltage) of the battery. A cell always has a stack of many plates (or roll of many layers in a spiral cell AGM) and the plate construction is determined by the intended service, not some arbitrary plate count or how many other cells there are in the box.
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