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Old 01-30-2016, 02:37 PM   #1
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Golf Cart Batteries question

I have a Voltage 3970 toy hauler. The battery installed is a deep cycle Interstate. I have been reading posts that point to using the 2 6volt batteries for longer usage time. My question, is there enough amp in the 6volt battery system to still start the generator?
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rsstangl View Post
I have a Voltage 3970 toy hauler. The battery installed is a deep cycle Interstate. I have been reading posts that point to using the 2 6volt batteries for longer usage time. My question, is there enough amp in the 6volt battery system to still start the generator?
With the 6 volters wired correctly you will have more amperage available than you have now with the so called deep cycle battery from the manufacturer.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:34 PM   #3
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When shopping for Deep Cycle batteries, look for reserve capacity. If you see Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) that will indicate a Marine Starting/Deep Cycle battery.

Check this link, it will show you how to wire 2 - 6V batteries to put out 12V.

Series And Parallel | How To Wire What you Want Easily And Effectively
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:15 PM   #4
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When shopping for real, true deep cycle batteries stay away from any of them that have MCCA or CCA ratings. Those are heavy starting batteries but they aren't true deep cycle batteries.
You aren't looking for reserve capacity, you are looking for amperage delivered over a given period of time.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:29 PM   #5
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Ok, any of the batteries that are 12volt, look for the MCCA or CCA ratings and stay away from them. The 12volt deep cycle battery would be comparable to the 2 6volt batteries? Price would be better with one battery instead of 2. Thanks for the information.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
When shopping for real, true deep cycle batteries stay away from any of them that have MCCA or CCA ratings. Those are heavy starting batteries but they aren't true deep cycle batteries.
You aren't looking for reserve capacity, you are looking for amperage delivered over a given period of time.
Sundancer,

I think we're saying the same thing, in Canada "reserve capacity" means amp/hours.

Not sure how your batteries are labelled in the US, I was in town yesterday looking at a new suppliers product.

Thier Marine/Deep Cycle batteries show the CCA and Reserve Capacity as Amp/ Hours.
Thier true Deep Cycle don't have any CCA shown and Reserve Capacity shows Amp/Hours.

I guess it's a matter of semantics, but it's how our batteries are labelled. It is getting harder to find true deep cycle batteries any place but a battery store. All the big box stores and most of the auto parts stores to have gone to the combination batteries.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:48 PM   #7
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Ok, any of the batteries that are 12volt, look for the MCCA or CCA ratings and stay away from them. The 12volt deep cycle battery would be comparable to the 2 6volt batteries? Price would be better with one battery instead of 2. Thanks for the information.
No the two 6V batteries will give more amp/hours than the 12V, that's why we convert to the 6V.

It may not be an issue if your not doing a lot of off grid camping.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:48 PM   #8
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Sundancer,

I think we're saying the same thing, in Canada "reserve capacity" means amp/hours.

Not sure how your batteries are labelled in the US, I was in town yesterday looking at a new suppliers product.

Thier Marine/Deep Cycle batteries show the CCA and Reserve Capacity as Amp/ Hours.
Thier true Deep Cycle don't have any CCA shown and Reserve Capacity shows Amp/Hours.

I guess it's a matter of semantics, but it's how our batteries are labelled. It is getting harder to find true deep cycle batteries any place but a battery store. All the big box stores and most of the auto parts stores to have gone to the combination batteries.
Over the years of living off the grid I had to go to battery stores to get true deep cycles. The big box places will put any label on anything to make a sale.
I did find some Trojans at a Batteries Plus store once. Six batteries with a lifetime of 5 years is better than no electricity at all.


Here's a better reserve/amphour understanding,,,,,,,,,,,
Reserve capacity is the number of minutes a battery can maintain a useful voltage under a 25 ampere discharge. The higher the minute rating, the greater the battery's ability to run lights, pumps, inverters, and electronics for a longer period before recharging is necessary. The 25 Amp. Reserve Capacity Rating is more realistic than Amp-Hour or CCA as a measurement of capacity for deep cycle service. Batteries promoted on their high Cold Cranking Ratings are easy and inexpensive to build. The market is flooded with them, however their Reserve Capacity, Cycle Life (the number of discharges and charges the battery can deliver) and Service life are poor. Reserve Capacity is difficult and costly to engineer into a battery and requires higher quality cell materials.

For instance, Rolls, Surrette and Lifeline use thicker lead grids (the plate's skeletal structure) to support additional positive plate oxides which are compressed into a denser form in order to add battery reactive material for greater Reserve Capacity and Cycling Performance. In addition, these plates are separated by indestructible separators. These mats hold the active oxides tightly in place during the cubical plate expansion which occurs during deep discharging, instead of allowing the oxides to shed off and precipitate to the bottom of the battery. Construction materials such as those raise the Reserve Capacity of a battery and increase the battery's Cycle Life.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:40 PM   #9
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I have been looking around at the various batteries and the space that I have with my current battery boxes. I don't do a lot of serious dry camping. I am leaning more towards getting the deep cycle battery for now. I have definitely learned more about the differences between batteries and what to look for.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:24 PM   #10
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If your not going to be off the grid more than your on it, then I wouldn't worry about converting to the 2-6V batteries.

A 12V Group 27 true deep cyle battery should fit your needs.

If boondocking is something that you will be doing occasionally during the warmer weather, consider a potable solar panel to keep the battery topped up. This worked well for us when we were doing weekends at the lake.
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:47 AM   #11
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We boondock offgrid for a week or more at a time. We have solar, and 4 new 12Vs on board. 2 came with the unit and 2 came from my old unit we traded in (i had just bought them the month before). I had it wired with 3 for the coach, and 1 reserved for the Gen. That proved to still be insufficient to avoid having to get up at 1am and starting the gen after the first couple nights, since it was so cold and the furnace was running a lot.

So now, i am building a battery extension. I will post pictures of the project when complete, but basically it is 4 6Vs in a quad box, made mobile, which hauls up to camp in the garage, then rolls down the ramp and around to under the gen box, where it plugs into the other batteries in parallel, using a heavy duty 12V winch quick disconnect, to add another couple hundred amp hours. Including a voltmeter and bidirectional ammeter to monitor the direction and amount of flow. Using offroad knobby pneumatic casters under the box to enable it to roll in the dirt easily enough at 250 lbs. You won't probably find anything like this on Amazon (at least not all in one piece) and not everyone needs to take these measures, but I'll post pics and parts list when all done.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by VCToyhauler View Post
We boondock offgrid for a week or more at a time. We have solar, and 4 new 12Vs on board. 2 came with the unit and 2 came from my old unit we traded in (i had just bought them the month before). I had it wired with 3 for the coach, and 1 reserved for the Gen. That proved to still be insufficient to avoid having to get up at 1am and starting the gen after the first couple nights, since it was so cold and the furnace was running a lot.

So now, i am building a battery extension. I will post pictures of the project when complete, but basically it is 4 6Vs in a quad box, made mobile, which hauls up to camp in the garage, then rolls down the ramp and around to under the gen box, where it plugs into the other batteries in parallel, using a heavy duty 12V winch quick disconnect, to add another couple hundred amp hours. Including a voltmeter and bidirectional ammeter to monitor the direction and amount of flow. Using offroad knobby pneumatic casters under the box to enable it to roll in the dirt easily enough at 250 lbs. You won't probably find anything like this on Amazon (at least not all in one piece) and not everyone needs to take these measures, but I'll post pics and parts list when all done.
Not sure if you inverter has the capability but mine has a AGS to start up my generator at a preset voltage...can also start generator based on coach temperature to run the AC units for the dogs when we are the races where they can't go into the track.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:14 PM   #13
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Thanks don.. We have the Xantrex Prowatt SW 2000 inverter and the Onan 5500 gen. What did you use for AGS? I had been looking into that.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:43 PM   #14
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Thanks don.. We have the Xantrex Prowatt SW 2000 inverter and the Onan 5500 gen. What did you use for AGS? I had been looking into that.
I have the Magnum Energy ME3112 Inverter/Charger.
3100W 12 VDC Modified Sine Inverter Charger ME Series | Magnum Dimensions

All accessories are networked:
ME-AGS-N - Auto Generator Start
ME-BMK - Battery Monitor Kit
Accessories | Magnum Dimensions

ME-ARC - Remote
Remote Controls | Magnum Dimensions

The Xantrex is capable of remote start with the proper control panel. I used to have a 2000W Xantrex in my last rig. My father in law has a Xantrex 2000W. Ours were older with a white control panel capable of remote start. Xantrex currently offers one that appears to possibly work with yours, but I'd verify that:
Power Accessories | Automatic Generator Start | Xantrex
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:20 AM   #15
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Thanks again don - i like that xantrex autostart unit, but for some reason its data sheet says it works with onan diesel gens and does not mention the others.. ours is the gas 5500. What gen do you have?
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:33 AM   #16
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After our next trip out i'll report back if my battery extension gets us a full night without the fridge going 'LO DC', and without starting the gen.. Went thru a lot of gen gas too last time. Also going to check how many lights i can change to lcd/led etc.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:53 AM   #17
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I'd call Xantrex about the compatibility. The wiring instructions in the owners manual lead me to believe it will work with your 5500 gasser and that it is also compatible with those diesels, but I could be wrong. I have the 5500 Onan like you do.
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