Should I Use Six Volt Deep Cycle Batteries as House Batteries in My RV?
Why You Should Use 6 Volt Deep Cycle Batteries as House Batteries in Your RV
What is the best setup for a fifth-wheel trailer as far as batteries? The dealer said one 12 volt was plenty for 3-5 days. The manufacturer said two 6 volts would be better. The manufacturer said they do not set up the battery, which was the dealer's choice because it was cheaper. Why doesn't the manufacturer set up the battery? Sorry, two questions. Thanks for your help.Over 1,500,000 successful roadside rescues—Good Sam RV Emergency Road ServiceStarting or Cranking Battery:
ANSWER Hi Daniel, some RV Manufacturers let the RV Dealer put the batteries in. This way, either the customer or the dealer can decide what type of batteries to use to provide the power to the RV's house portion.
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 by how they are constructed.
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.
Trojan T-105 6 volt Deep Cycle BatteryTrue Deep Cycle Batteries
These batteries like the Trojan T-105 6 volt Deep Cycle Battery
(pictured above) 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 the top of the page), which 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 will 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.
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Good luck with your new 5th Wheel and Happy RVing.