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Old 12-05-2014, 10:02 AM   #1
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Upgrading your battery system....

I have a 2014 Escape 21 with the original 95 watt solar and a group 29 battery with 130 a/h. Since upgrading the solar seems improbable, I have looked into adding more battery power. This should give me more options on operating the Dometic off 12v while towing at night when the solar is not operational. Due to the high draw of the Dometic while on 12v, my tow vehicle input is not sufficient to handle the need and my battery bank is approximate 4 hours of operation.

I received a Sam's Club membership for my birthday this year and visited them yesterday. They have a 6 volt battery there with 220 a/h for $64. I know I'll need 2 to achieve that goal for 12volts. Since I had ETI install the larger group 29 battery in my build which allows me approximate 45 a/h per day until solar recharge. I checked and the battery box installed is the larger one, the same as dual 6 volts set up. So I'm okay there.
Other than purchasing 2 short battery cables, I should be set to go. My GoPower is already set up for 12v lead acid so no change needs to be done there.
As a result my battery reserve should almost double and allow more night time 12v use of the Dometic while towing. I think it is a worthy $130 expense. Am I missing something here or is there anything else I need to change/do?
Thanks for your opinions, they are always welcome.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
...

I received a Sam's Club membership for my birthday this year and visited them yesterday. They have a 6 volt battery there with 220 a/h for $64. I know I'll need 2 to achieve that goal for 12volts.
...
Other than purchasing 2 short battery cables, I should be set to go. My GoPower is already set up for 12v lead acid so no change needs to be done there.
Make that 1 short cable. Connect original + cables to battery 1 +. Connect original - cables to battery 2 -. Connect short cable from battery 1 - to battery 2 + (and NOTHING else to these posts.)

That is VERY cheap for 6V batteries. Are they deep cycle?

Also check the charging requirements for the new batteries. The Interstate (ETI supplied) 6V deep cycle and 12V batteries have different charging needs.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #3
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That is VERY cheap for 6V batteries. Are they deep cycle?

Also check the charging requirements for the new batteries. The Interstate (ETI supplied) 6V deep cycle and 12V batteries have different charging needs.
Yeah, I thought that sounded cheap too. I paid WAY more for my Trojans.

What difference would there be charging dual 6v, as opposed to single 12V batteries? Escape uses the same converter for both, I believe.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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What difference would there be charging dual 6v, as opposed to single 12V batteries? Escape uses the same converter for both, I believe.
There has been much discussion here about this. ETI uses the same converter which does not charge the 6V batteries correctly.

Deep cycle battery charging: Interstate Batteries FAQ :: How do I charge certain deep cycle 6-volt and 12-volt batteries?

I cannot find Interstate specs for non deep cycle charging but everything I can find shows lower charging voltages.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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The converter I got has been working great with my batteries for the last 6 years. Like anything, I imagine if you wanted to spend more money, you could get something a little better.

The page you linked to lists the charge requirement of individual batteries, not dual 6V, which is basically the same thing as a single 12V, but with more capacity. All the different charge voltages are exactly double with 12V, compared to 6V.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
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Jim,

I think you are having trouble keeping up because of the voltage drop in the long run for the charge cable from the truck to the back of the 21. I am planning to try this DC to DC charger once I pick up my 21 next year.

ctek d205S
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:14 PM   #7
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The converter I got has been working great with my batteries for the last 6 years. Like anything, I imagine if you wanted to spend more money, you could get something a little better.

The page you linked to lists the charge requirement of individual batteries, not dual 6V, which is basically the same thing as a single 12V, but with more capacity. All the different charge voltages are exactly double with 12V, compared to 6V.
For a fair amount more money you get a much better charger - for deep cycle batteries. NOT much better for "normal" batteries.

The page I cited is for the U batteries - Interstate deep cycle. The 12V battery ETI supplies is NOT a U battery, and not deep cycle. It prefers a standard charger. The Interstate deep cycle batteries use a slightly different chemistry, and hence, have different charging requirements.

The ETI charger is here: Power CentersWF-8955PEC, WF-8955 55 Amp Power Center

NB: The max voltage is 14.4 volts, much less than the 15.5 Interstate recommends. It is fine for "normal" batteries, not so good for Interstate U batteries.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:09 PM   #8
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NB: The max voltage is 14.4 volts, much less than the 15.5 Interstate recommends. It is fine for "normal" batteries, not so good for Interstate U batteries.
I have Trojan T-105's, so I went to their site, and they recommend a 14.8V charge, 13.2V float, and a 15.5V equalize. At 14.4V, the Escape supplied charger is not too far off. For equalizing batteries, a couple times a year, I use a charger that I have at home that does a 15.8V charge. I can see that if you wanted the one in the trailer to do it all, you might want a new one.

I still don't understand how with deep cell batteries, that charging dual 6V, or charging a single 12V would have different charging needs.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:35 PM   #9
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Jim, I have the dual 6v setup and the much maligned stock charger. While I know from all the various posts here that the stock charger is not ideal, it does its job well enough for me. (Experts please note I said for me - I'm easy to please) I have a Battery Tender external charger that I use while in storage and it comes much closer to the ideal voltages, but I have been told here (in no uncertain tones) that it is worthless too. All that said, my dual 6v batteries are now 4 years old and test out as in very good shape.

You will probably be charging your batteries from solar more often than from shore power it sounds anyway. So I would think that the stock Escape charger would be ok

BUT, I'm of the go camping, enjoy yourself, and worry about the big things in life. Also as Donna says YMMV!
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:48 PM   #10
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...I have the dual 6v setup and the much maligned stock charger. While I know from all the various posts here that the stock charger is not ideal, it does its job well enough for me.

I'm of the go camping, enjoy yourself, and worry about the big things in life...
Thank you for easing any concerns I might have over all this hoopla.
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