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Topic ClosedReplacing the storage batteries on my Rpod 179 - Event Date: 30 Mar 2021 - 30 Apr 2022

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troutpodder View Drop Down

Joined: 15 Apr 2017
Location: Idaho
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Posts: 13
Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: Replacing the storage batteries on my Rpod 179
    Posted: 30 Mar 2021 at 2:48pm
i Need to replace the storage batteries on my Rpod 179 after 4 years of use.  I am looking for guidance on a few things and up front I will admit to not having a solid knowledge or understanding of the electrical system in the RPOD

1st) I believe I had two 6V batteries that were wired such that they produced the needed 12V . The batts required that i keep them topped of with distilled water. Am I thinking of this correctly?  if so, do I need to go with the same type of battery? There are 4  leads from the camper to where the battery box - 2 reds , 1 black and one white plus there is another cable used to connect the two batteries .

2) If I go with a different battery - say a 12 Volt - do i still get 2 batteries ? or just one? Obviously I am not quite understanding this 

3) is the charger that is inside the Rpod needing to be changed if I go with a 12 V battery ?

Again, my apologies .. just trying to figure this out


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jato View Drop Down
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Joined: 23 Feb 2012
Location: Kewadin, MI
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2021 at 4:09pm
Hi Trout, welcome to your 24/7 owners manual.  A lot of what to replace your 6 volt batteries will depend on your camping 'style.'  Do you normally camp where electric is available?  If so a single 12 v deep cycle marine battery will be all you need.  If you normally boondock than you have a couple options that either being a pair of 6 volt batteries wired in series (to give 12 volts) or a pair of 12 v that could be used individually (which is what I do) or hooked up together in parallel to give 12 volts but increase your amp hours.  A pair of 12 v will weigh at least 25 lbs less than a pair of 6 v batteries, something to consider for your a-frame.

My two 12v Interstate batteries (group size 24, deep cycle marine) are now 10 years old.  We usually boondock and they have and continue to perform well.  With proper maintenance they will last  . . . . . . I am not sure?  We do expect to get a minimum of 6 days total with our batteries when off grid - this is when night temps are in the 40's and furnace gets used a lot.  In warmer weather they obviously will go much longer than 6 days.   Am amazed how well these have performed.  Important for battery life is not to draw down below 60% S.O.C. or 12.2 v (on 12 volt battery) before recharging. 

Your onboard battery converter in your Rpod will work and charge your two 6 volt batteries together and/or 12v batteries, no need to change out.

Batteries should last more than four years.  Again, if you are not using your Rpod for a week or longer either disconnect the ground (-) cable or install a battery disconnect so your battery doesn't get drained down to far when sitting idle for long periods of time. 
God's pod
'11 model 177
'17 Ford F-150 4WD 3.5 Ecoboost
Jim and Diane by beautiful Torch Lake
"...and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2021 at 7:59am
4 years is not an unreasonable life depending on battery type, climate, and usage.

Assuming that the battery has been properly maintained, there are two "clocks" which determine how long a lead acid battery will last.

First is cycle life, which depends on the battery design/chemistry, the number and depth of the discharges.

The second is corrosion or shelf life, Which depends on chemistry and temperature. High temps are bad.

Like everything else in life there are trafeoffs. A typical 6v golf cart battery uses a plate design and chemistry that is optimized to tolerate deep cycling in order to extend cycle life. The downside is that this chemistry increases internal corrosion rates and so reduces shelf life (and also increases self discharge and water use). If they are also subject to high temps the shelf life could well be only 3-4 years, whether you cycle them or not.

So golf cart batteries might or might not be the right choice depending on your use case. If you boondock and are a heavy power user then your batteries will get cycled a lot and they are a good choice. That my use case so I run them and plan in replacing them every 4-5 years. When I lived in the desert it was 3-4 years.

If you mostly camp with hookups and when you don't you're a frugal power user then golf cart batteries are not for you. Get a single 12V marine dual purpose type battery designed for moderate cycling and starting.

As for 6V in series vs 12 in parallel if you're getting two batteries, it's always better to connect batteries in series rather than parallel. That way they both see the same current in or out. There is no reason not to connect both batteries and leave them connected as long as you bought them both at the same time.

Re weight, most of it is lead, and lead is what determines battery capacity. So lighter batteries have less capacity, another tradeoff, unless you switch over to Lithium batteries, but that's another story.
1994 Chinook Concourse
1995 RV6A Experimental Aircraft
2015 Rpod 179 - sold
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