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Old 11-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #1
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Conversion of 12V to 6V Deep cycle, done, nice!

Ladies and gents,
Without going into too much boring detail here, we had 3, 12V Interstate Deep Cycle Marine house batts when we purchased the rig about 6 months ago. Within a month after bringing it home, one of those went bad with a dead cell. Within three more months, another one went bad, again a dead cell. These batteries are barely 18 months old. And, we've not done very much camping yet.

So, with that being said, we were off to Costco today to pick up 4, 6V Golf Cart batts and do a change over. To start off with, the tray was the exact width for the configuration in the pics. There's no side to side play at all. It's not tight but, it's not loose either. As far as length, I have about 2.5" of spare room. Now, it gets close as far as height it concerned.


Our rig is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD w/330 CAT. The height from the floor of the tray to the header of the compartment is 11.25". The Costco 6V batts are 10.75" tall, from the bottom of the battery to the top most protruding part, which is the handle brackets. The terminals are actually lower than the those. All I had to do was make sure the wiring was kept below the header as the tray was extended and retracted for battery service. So far, so good. I followed a wiring diagram I found on the net and it's actually "Series and Parallel".

When I hooked up the last wire/ground all was fine and the coach did not go up in flames, must have done it all right. All the new cables were of #1 gauge and sealed to the new copper lugs with self sealing shrink tube. Take a look at the pics and evaluate what you think.
Scott



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Old 11-07-2011, 11:48 PM   #2
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It looks like a clean installation, are you electing to forgo hold down clamps?<br>
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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JohnRR,
Well Sir, here's my thought. In the present configuration of the batteries, there is zero side play. They can't move from side to side at all. As far as end play, the batteries are 3" shorter than the length of the tray so, Installed 1" thick, by 3" tall, by 6" long, HDPE Plastic blocks in between the ends of the tray and each battery and one in between the two sets of batteries. They now can't move in any direction what so ever.

Now, each of those batteries are close to 70 lbs each. I figure as long as I'm not doing about 100 mph off road with this rig, they should be fine and not come out of that tray. All sarcasm aside, I feel they're safe enough as they are. Thanks for the notice though.
Scott
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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I was not questioning your thought process just your total plan. I do understand where you are coming from and do not disagree with in fact if my change over comes out the same as yours I'd do the same thing.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:46 AM   #5
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Very nice install. I'm planning to do same when my current three Delco Voyagers give up. I had measured the height of similar batteries at Sam's and was not sure they would fit without some cutting on the steel at the top of the battery compartment opening. We will see. I believe we will eventually end up with a residential fridge so I want the extra battery juice for the inverter.

Did you make up the cables yourself? If so, did you have to buy a crimping tool specifically for that?
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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Just a thought - While they may not bounce around from normal RV use, the question becomes what about in an accident? Do you really want to risk them getting jarred out of position and shorting out (mega amps) and possibly start a fire?

Dave
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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I tend to agree there is little chance of the batteries bouncing out but since the clearance is minimal you might want to add battery terminal covers to the positive posts. Something similar to these. 61 Battery Terminal - Cable Lug Covers & Protectors
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:52 PM   #8
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Great link too bad I did not know about it years ago
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRR View Post
I was not questioning your thought process just your total plan. I do understand where you are coming from and do not disagree with in fact if my change over comes out the same as yours I'd do the same thing.
I appreciate your thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
Very nice install. I'm planning to do same when my current three Delco Voyagers give up. I had measured the height of similar batteries at Sam's and was not sure they would fit without some cutting on the steel at the top of the battery compartment opening. We will see. I believe we will eventually end up with a residential fridge so I want the extra battery juice for the inverter.

Did you make up the cables yourself? If so, did you have to buy a crimping tool specifically for that?
To you and anyone thinking of the 12v-6V change, measure everything at least twice. Length and width of the tray and or compartment and, the height from the bottom of the tray to the cross section of the header as it slides in to the battery compartment. On ours, that measurement is 11.25" and the batteries are 10.75 so, I had a half inch of clearance for things as needed. I kept almost all my wiring, terminal connections etc, lower than the highest part of the batteries.

And yes, I made up all my cables. Nope, I don't have any form of cable crimper. I should have bought one but, never got around to it. So, I simply put the copper lug into the vice with the cable end up. I heated it with my plumbing torch so the solder would melt. I put the solder down, picked up the cable, heated the ends of the wires, but not enough to burn them, and re-heated the molten solder, then jammed the wire/cable into the molten solder/lug. It makes the solder travel right up to the lip of the lug and almost touches the insulation of the cable. It instantly solidifies and that's the connection I made with all of the cables.

I would, every once in a while, put the end back in the vice and pull my guts out trying to dislodge the cable from the soldered lug, ain't happening. But, in the future, I think I'll either buy one of those hammer type crimpers or, a hand held, huge pliers type crimper, we'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave78Chief View Post
Just a thought - While they may not bounce around from normal RV use, the question becomes what about in an accident? Do you really want to risk them getting jarred out of position and shorting out (mega amps) and possibly start a fire?

Dave
Dave, no Sir, I'm not willing to risk a fire, but, like stated, they can't move. I might, at a later date, try and fab up some sort of hold downs, I can't use conventional ones because the clearance is too tight on the top side as the batteries pass by the header on the compartment. I'll come up with something later. Thanks for showing concern. Much appreciated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
I tend to agree there is little chance of the batteries bouncing out but since the clearance is minimal you might want to add battery terminal covers to the positive posts. Something similar to these. 61 Battery Terminal - Cable Lug Covers & Protectors
Safe Travels
Bob
I'd have to see those terminal protectors in person because I did have some that were factory installed on the lead-in cables but, they almost rubbed right off the first time I attempted to close the battery tray with all the new batts in place. So, I removed them and the clearance is minimal but, none the less, is there. Like my answer to Dave, I'll come up with something. I too am not fond of the open ended positive side. But, it must be low profile. Thanks for the link.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:45 AM   #10
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Looks like a nice clean install
A few questions
I see not voltage sense lines - your charger even a high end converter should be using voltage sense line to compensate for the line loss
What about a temperature probe in the battery compartment - where are you measuring the battery temperature?
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:54 AM   #11
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Just a thought. If the clerance is that tight how agout cutting and fitting a rubber mud flap to size and plac on top of the batteries filling the top gap. Any sort of thick rubber would be a good insulator and filler.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJINTF View Post
Looks like a nice clean install
A few questions
I see not voltage sense lines - your charger even a high end converter should be using voltage sense line to compensate for the line loss
What about a temperature probe in the battery compartment - where are you measuring the battery temperature?
KJINTF,
Well Sir, there is the temp probe from the Dimensions 2000 watt inverter. It's positioned on the negative lug, on the right hand, inner battery. For the most part, you can't see it in the pictures. But, I assure you it's there. I've never heard of a "voltage sense line" but, that doesn't mean anything, it might be common on a lot of coaches but, I'm pretty sure it's not on mine. I did however, re-arrange a ton of parasitic wires that were all over the terminals on the chassis batteries. So, it's possible maybe it's in that rearrangement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eccostar View Post
Just a thought. If the clerance is that tight how agout cutting and fitting a rubber mud flap to size and plac on top of the batteries filling the top gap. Any sort of thick rubber would be a good insulator and filler.
eccostar,

Not a bad thought bud. I'll look into that. I kind of thought of something along those lines when I was doing the changeover but the thought just slipped away. The problem is, I have no way of securing it on the back side. I can't get my hand in and or around the back side of the batteries. Waaaaaaay too tight for my fat digits. But, I'll check into that idea. I appreciate your insight on this matter.
Scott
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
I appreciate your thoughts.




And yes, I made up all my cables. Nope, I don't have any form of cable crimper. I should have bought one but, never got around to it. So, I simply put the copper lug into the vice with the cable end up. I heated it with my plumbing torch so the solder would melt. I put the solder down, picked up the cable, heated the ends of the wires, but not enough to burn them, and re-heated the molten solder, then jammed the wire/cable into the molten solder/lug. It makes the solder travel right up to the lip of the lug and almost touches the insulation of the cable. It instantly solidifies and that's the connection I made with all of the cables.

I would, every once in a while, put the end back in the vice and pull my guts out trying to dislodge the cable from the soldered lug, ain't happening. But, in the future, I think I'll either buy one of those hammer type crimpers or, a hand held, huge pliers type crimper, we'll see.



Hey FIRE UP, Thanks for the post, Looking to do the same soon..If I may add to you're comments.. never solder terminal ends ....always crimp! and use tin covered or zink coated cable ends...copper is ok but no2 on the galvanic corrosion scale....coat the metal ends and terminals with any thing...I prefer dialectric grease or vasoline..but liquid tape works also, something to keep the acid off them...Thanks again,
Richard
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:28 AM   #14
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Thanks for the post; It's great; If only one in ten posts were this Imformative on this RV Site would be nice; No back and forth snickering.. Thanks for Shearing it; Life is good.
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