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Should I Use Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries as House Batteries in My RV?

by Daniel
(Ca.)

Should I Use Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries as House Batteries in My RV?

Should I Use Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries as House Batteries in My RV?

Should I Use Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries as House Batteries in My RV?
2 Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries Hooked Up in Series Circuit
4 Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries Hooked Up in Series/Parallel Circuit

What is the best set up for a fifth wheel trailer as far as batteries? The dealer said one 12 volt was plenty for 3-5 days. The manufacture said two 6 volts would be better. The manufacture said they do not set up the battery and that was the dealers choice because it was cheaper. Why doesn't the manufacture set up the battery? Sorry two questions. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER Greetings Daniel thanks for submitting your question on our free Ask An RV Question Page.


Let me first say that the RV Manufacturer gave you the right answers to both of your questions.

Some RV Manufacturers do let the RV Dealer put the batteries in. This way either the customer or the dealer can make a decision on what type of batteries to use to provide the power to the house portion of the RV.

Your 5th Wheel Manufacturer is also correct in stating that in most cases 2 six volt Deep Cycle Batteries are better than 1 twelve volt battery.

I am going to try to give you an explanation without getting too technical. There are three types of batteries that we are going to discuss here. I will give you the pros and cons of using them to power the house portion of your 5th wheel. What these batteries are used for is dictated on how they are constructed.

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Starting or Cranking Battery: Just as it name implies it is a battery that is designed to crank over an engine to get it started. It provides a powerful short burst of energy and is not designed to provide power for a long period of time. It is also not designed to be discharged and recharged often; the life span of this battery will be greatly reduced if it is used to power the 12 volt system of a 5th Wheel. It will also not provide power for as long as a Deep Cycle Battery.

RV/Marine "Deep Cycle" Battery: This is a cross between a Cranking and true Deep Cycle Battery. It can provide enough short burst energy to start the engine and it can provide power to the house portion of the RV for longer periods of time than a Cranking Battery but not as long as a true Deep Cycle Battery. It can also be discharged and recharged more often than a Cranking Battery but will not last as long as a true Deep Cycle Battery. Again I would not recommend this battery to power your 5th Wheel.

True Deep Cycle Batteries: These batteries are designed to provide a small amount of power for a longer period of time. They are definitely not designed to crank over an engine. They can be charged and discharged more often and last longer than either the Cranking or RV/Marine Batteries when it comes to powering the 12 volt accessories in an RV.

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Most RV Experts and RVers agree that 2 six volt Deep Cycle Batteries hooked up in series will provide power for longer than 1 twelve volt Deep Cycle Battery.

Depending on the size and use of the RV some RVers have 4 Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries hooked in Series/Parallel (see picture at top of page), that will theoretically provide this low level power for twice as long as 2 six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries hooked up in series. This is especially important if you are going to be doing a lot of boondocking (camping where electricity is not available).

If your RV is equipped with a solar charger, it will also extend the length of time that this power will be available to you. If your 5th Wheel is equipped with a generator, you can also run the generator to refresh these batteries.

Bottom Line: Even though I do not know the size of your 5th Wheel or its intended use, I agree with your 5th Wheel Manufacturer's recommendation of having two six volt Deep Cycle batteries to power your RV. If your 5th Wheel is very large or you intend to do a lot of Boondocking then I would suggest the 4 six volt Deep Cycle Battery setup. I would definitely not accept the 1 twelve volt battery option. These options may end up costing you more initially, but could save you a lot of problems down the road.

If any of our visitors would like to add their opinions, they can do so by clicking on the "Click Here To Add Comments" link located at the bottom of this page.

Good luck with your new 5th Wheel and Happy RVing.

RVing Al

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Comments for Should I Use Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries as House Batteries in My RV?

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4-6v batteries
by: Arve

If I hook up 4-6v batteries in series-parallel to get my 12v output, using true deep cycle batteries, can it use this setup to start the generator? It's an Onanistic 5500...
Thanks

Note From RVing Al: For more information on how to wire 2 or 4 deep cycle batteries take a look at the wiring diagrams that I added to the top of this page.

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4 x 6 volt batteries!!
by: Anonymous

Interesting, however 4 x 6 volt batteries in parallel will only increase the amperage, the voltage will remain at 6 volts.

I am sure you mean a series parallel connection which will increase the voltage and amperage.

But the danger then is using a higher amperage than the system is and was designed for. This in turn can blow circuits and create a fire risk..

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6v battery conf.
by: Anonymous

can three 6v be conf. with 2 in parralel and 1 in series?

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can two 6v start my generater
by: Anonymous

I have two 12v and am thinking of going to 2 6v, will they start my onboard gen?

Comment from RVing Al: Yes they should have no problem starting your generator.

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question why one boiled over
by: AnonymousM

5th wheel is 32ft hot weather, why did one 6volt boil and run over. fed by solar panel,did the charge from the sp dry them..why did only one boil over.
I really understand that 2 6vltare best. they are expensuive and dead. donot want to have it happen again. 5th wheel has a dial i.e. off one both.

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Trojan T-105
by: Anonymous

We have a small camp in the middle of nowhere that weve had for 20 years. The electrcal setup is 6 trojan t -105 (6 volt) bateries wired in paralell series to create 3 12v bateries. those bateries are trickle charged by a solar panel. the bateries feed an inverter to power the AC oulets in the house.We got 10 yrs out of the first set and we are about to replace the second even though they still work. Thats 10 YEARS per set!!! what more do i need to say

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4 batteries series/parallel
by: Mel

2 - 6 volt batteries in series are better than 1 12 volt for power duration.

Anonymous is right - the 4 - 6 volt batteries should be hooked up 2 sets of 2 each in series and then both sets hooked in parallel - just as detailed in his comments.

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How do I tell the difference
by: PaPaFrank

I am new to RVing and plan to do a significant amount of boondocking. I would like to upgrade my RV house batteries, how do I distinguish "a true deep cycle battery" from a "Marine/deep cycle battery"?

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4 6v vs 4 12v
by: Anonymous

Asking the same 6v vs 12v question... I have 4 6v batteries powering the inverter side of my coach. If I replace those 4 6v batteries with 4 12v marine/rv deep cycle, is that a better solution?

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4 battery hook up
by: Anonymous

Using 4 batteries you would want to setup a series parallel circuit, not series, to get 12 volts. Four 6v batteries in series +-+- = 24v. Connect 2 sets of 2 batteries in series, B1- to B2+ and then connect the 2 sets in parallel B1+ to B2+|B1- to B2- to equal 12v.

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