Converting from 2-12 volt to 2-6 volt batteries...need help - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-20-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
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Converting from 2-12 volt to 2-6 volt batteries...need help

I'm converting from 2-12 volts to 2-6 volts. I understand I have to wire these in series. Got that accomplished, but have a couple of questions beyond that:

1) How heavy a gauge wire do I need to use to make the negative to pos. connection?
2) To attach the wires from my generator to the batteries...do I connect both pos and neg to the same battery? I wouldn't think so...so, if I connect the neg to the neg of one battery and the pos. to the pos of the other battery...does it matter which pos or neg as long as they are not on the same battery?
3) The 6 volt are taller than the battery case that came with the Voltage and so the top of the case (with the vent hose) won't fit. I could probably come up with some styrofoam and cut a spacer or even mill a block of wood, but wonder how important it is to even worry about the venting...my battery in my car/truck isn't much more confined than in the front compartment.

So, since the Voltage only came with a single vented box (now too short), do I really need to get two well sealed boxes and figure out a way to join both vents so both are vented? I note that the generator is pretty well sealed in its own right...how likely is it that enough hydrogen could be generated to pose a real problem?
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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Batter Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNGento View Post
I'm converting from 2-12 volts to 2-6 volts. I understand I have to wire these in series. Got that accomplished, but have a couple of questions beyond that:

1) How heavy a gauge wire do I need to use to make the negative to pos. connection?
2) To attach the wires from my generator to the batteries...do I connect both pos and neg to the same battery? I wouldn't think so...so, if I connect the neg to the neg of one battery and the pos. to the pos of the other battery...does it matter which pos or neg as long as they are not on the same battery?
3) The 6 volt are taller than the battery case that came with the Voltage and so the top of the case (with the vent hose) won't fit. I could probably come up with some styrofoam and cut a spacer or even mill a block of wood, but wonder how important it is to even worry about the venting...my battery in my car/truck isn't much more confined than in the front compartment.

So, since the Voltage only came with a single vented box (now too short), do I really need to get two well sealed boxes and figure out a way to join both vents so both are vented? I note that the generator is pretty well sealed in its own right...how likely is it that enough hydrogen could be generated to pose a real problem?
1. Use the same gauge wire as your existing battery cables. This wire will be carrying the same amount of current as in your original configuration.
2. The two six volt batteries in series are the same as a 12 volt battery. Ignore the positive and negative that are connected together. Treat the other two terminals as if they were on one 12V battery. If your generator has two sets of battery charging wires, you will now only be using one pair or, depending on your generator, you may be able to connect two positives to the one positive wires to one positive terminal and two negative wires to one negative terminal.
3. I'd vote for two well sealed boxes and joining the vents. You don't want to take a chance on a hydrogen leak, explosion, and/or fire.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
1. Use the same gauge wire as your existing battery cables. This wire will be carrying the same amount of current as in your original configuration.
2. The two six volt batteries in series are the same as a 12 volt battery. Ignore the positive and negative that are connected together. Treat the other two terminals as if they were on one 12V battery. If your generator has two sets of battery charging wires, you will now only be using one pair or, depending on your generator, you may be able to connect two positives to the one positive wires to one positive terminal and two negative wires to one negative terminal.
3. I'd vote for two well sealed boxes and joining the vents. You don't want to take a chance on a hydrogen leak, explosion, and/or fire.
Thanks. I had already deduced about treating the two batteries as one...and hooking up the generator to the free pos on one and the free neg on the other would be the only way for these to work as a 12-volt. But, thanks for the other info. I'll have to get a heftier cable to join the two batteries and hopefully will be able to find a box that will hold the two batteries and be able to be sealed and vented. I'm sure I'll find some somewhere.

Rob
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNGento View Post
Thanks. I had already deduced about treating the two batteries as one...and hooking up the generator to the free pos on one and the free neg on the other would be the only way for these to work as a 12-volt. But, thanks for the other info. I'll have to get a heftier cable to join the two batteries and hopefully will be able to find a box that will hold the two batteries and be able to be sealed and vented. I'm sure I'll find some somewhere.

Rob
Try:

Marine Battery Boxes and Hold Downs on Sale

Good source with good prices, as far as marine/RV prices go.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNGento View Post
Thanks. I had already deduced about treating the two batteries as one...and hooking up the generator to the free pos on one and the free neg on the other would be the only way for these to work as a 12-volt. But, thanks for the other info. I'll have to get a heftier cable to join the two batteries and hopefully will be able to find a box that will hold the two batteries and be able to be sealed and vented. I'm sure I'll find some somewhere.

Rob
Try:
Marine Battery Boxes and Hold Downs on Sale

Good source at good prices, as far as marine/RV prices go.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:05 AM   #6
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4

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNGento View Post
Thanks. I had already deduced about treating the two batteries as one...and hooking up the generator to the free pos on one and the free neg on the other would be the only way for these to work as a 12-volt. But, thanks for the other info. I'll have to get a heftier cable to join the two batteries and hopefully will be able to find a box that will hold the two batteries and be able to be sealed and vented. I'm sure I'll find some somewhere.

Rob
one could build a battery box out of just about anything nonporous or will not corrode.

for example:

build one out of a good 3/4 inch plywood, line the inside with FRP and caulk all of the seems well. Paint the outside or cover that with FRP also. FRP (fibre reinforced plastic) is the stuff they sell in lumber yards for between 20.00 and 30.oo per 4x8 sheet.

could also build one out of plywood, again 3/4 inch and cover the inside and outside using the W.E.S.T. system and either fiberglass matt or woven cloth.

or you could try here: RV Battery Box | sealed 6 volt RV battery box

or google: 6 volt rv battery box
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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I don't think I'd worry about a box for your batteries. Unless you drive like a mad man those batteries will pretty much stay in place. Use a short interconnect cable to keep them close, use a tie down to keep them together. With the tie down you now have double the weight that will have to be moved.
A new vent top will be easy to make to cover the top of both batteries. I added another 12 volt but all I did was turn the cover sideways to mostly cover the batteries.
Unless you really work those batteries, the chance of off gassing enough to creep into the closed generator compartment and cause an explosion is pretty slim.

It is my opinion only, the battery box is only there to comply with a regulation, just like the baby fire extinguisher they give us. It would be good for crushing ice but would severly suck at extinguishing any fire larger than a paper towel.
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