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Old 05-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #1
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Battery question

Hi, haven't posted in a while but out enjoying our '19!
So we just picked up our trailer after being in winter storage & found batteries won't hold charge and need to replace. We ordered 2 from our local place & they gave us 12v by mistake. Will have to wait a day to get 6v in, which is cutting it close as we leave Thursday morning.
Question is, could we use the 2 12's, hooking up parallel, instead of the 6's in serial?? If Yes, would there be anything we would need to do other than hook up & go? How does trailer know which battery to use?
Any answers are appreciated as we're pretty ignorant here!....thanks, Karen
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:37 PM   #2
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Two 12v hooked in parallel is fine as long as they are both new and similar amp hours. You may have to recalibrate your solar as 2x6 hooked in series is treated as one 12v battery. see here for wiring..The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:40 PM   #3
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Jump staring a car is also hooking up two 12volts.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:44 PM   #4
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Yes, but first make sure the 12v are true deep cycle (golf cart type) batteries not just automotive. Assuming you know how to wire for parallel you will need to measure the lengths for at least one new cable. Look up "The 12 Volt Side of Life Part One - marxrv.com" for a description and diagram.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:45 PM   #5
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The weight of two 12V will be significantly more and you'll likely need new battery box too. I would just tell your supplier you don't want the batteries and go to another battery supplier. Must be dozen in your area that sell 6V deep cycle batteries.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:50 PM   #6
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I always thought the 6 volt batteries would be heavier due to the thicker lead plates?
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:57 PM   #7
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This would be a good time to consider the AGM type batteries. They are much more expensive but no hassle with refilling the water, you can draw them down much lower and they recharge more efficiently. Trojan and Lifeline are two major brands but there are many others.
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:05 PM   #8
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We all seem to be forgetting the main issue here, why did 2 year old batteries go dead? If there is a short, new batteries may well be a waste of money until the cause of the problem is solved.
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:20 PM   #9
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California trailer too, so doubtful freezing was the issue. Wonder if low on water and not fully charged during lengthy storage? Plus there's those pesky tiny battery drains that can happen unless the disconnect switch is flipped.
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
We all seem to be forgetting the main issue here, why did 2 year old batteries go dead? If there is a short, new batteries may well be a waste of money until the cause of the problem is solved.
That is the issue. My original 2014 factory 12v battery is still in good shape.

I do use two 12v batteries separated by a battery switch. I like always having one in reserve.

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Old 05-09-2017, 03:30 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies! We will probably just wait until the 2 6's come in tomorrow, as recalibration of the solar panel, yikes, don't even know what that means!
The question as to why the batteries died is a good question. A couple of things here. We live in Tahoe so keep our trailer in storage in Carson City in the winter. So the batteries have been sitting for 8 months without checking them. Next year we will remove and bring home and keep charged up. The other thing to ponder, we took them to our local chevron (all we have without driving to Reno or Carson), and had them charge and check them, they told us batteries toast and replaced them with the 12v. We discovered immediately and returned them. We wonder if they charged the old batteries as 12v and killed them by doing that, as clearly they didn't even know they were 6v.
We had thought about AGM, but since there are time constraints involving campground reservations Thursday, decided to just get whatever to get us through this trip.....so, I guess to be continued.....K
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:32 PM   #12
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If they took the batteries out of the trailer and charged them separately they probably did charge them as 12v. Also, they would have first checked the water and filled
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:35 PM   #13
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Donna, water level fine when we picked up, and no we didn't keep the batteries charged over the winter.....our bad
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:40 PM   #14
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Try to get the batteries back and charge them, I have brought 6 v batteries back to life after slow charging them for 2 days. Buy a single 12v deep cycle to use on your trip and when you return those 6 volts maybe fine
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:44 PM   #15
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Also, if they tested the batteries individually with a 12v tester they would show as dead.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:03 PM   #16
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Will do! Thanx
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I always thought the 6 volt batteries would be heavier due to the thicker lead plates?
If the 6 volt batteries are differently constructed because they are a different design intended for different purposes, they could have different plate thickness than the 12 volt. If they are 6 volt and 12 volt models of the same design, their plates will be identical... just like their capacity and their weight.

Since Karen didn't mention the specific models of the batteries - or even their size - there's no way to compare their construction.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:36 PM   #18
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Misunderstandings in ordering are common, so I can see the wrong batteries being brought in, but if anyone who handles batteries as part of their job doesn't notice the difference between 6 volt and 12 volt in flooded lead-acid batteries they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a customer's battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
How does trailer know which battery to use?
Normally the two batteries are simply connected together - no switch - so the trailer doesn't "know" which one to use, since they are effectively just one bigger battery.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:59 PM   #19
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Brian, totally agree, incompetent.....won't really trust them again.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:37 PM   #20
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Just conjecture here but based on my experience as a high school kid who frequently replaced batteries in cars and boats at a gas station between Oklahoma City and Lake Eufaula, I wouldn't have known the difference between a 12v and 6 v battery and I was driving an old 1951 Studebaker Champion which had a 6v system.
I just pulled them out and replaced them with another one which looked like it. Usually the replacement required a lot of cleaning of the corroded connectors.
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