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 trailer question

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doober



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Join date : 2013-05-07

PostSubject: trailer question   Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:23 pm

I have 2-6volt batteries on the front of my travel trailer, i used to use 12 volt ones but was replacing one every year, so i went with the 6 volts, they are hooked up correctly, but my question is can i run a 12 volt electric tongue jack from these? if so how do I hook it up? Positive on one battery and negative on the other? Thanks for any advice.
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SteveS

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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:01 am

doober wrote:
I have 2-6volt batteries on the front of my travel trailer, i used to use 12 volt ones but was replacing one every year, so i went with the 6 volts, they are hooked up correctly, but my question is can i run a 12 volt electric tongue jack from these? if so how do I hook it up? Positive on one battery and negative on the other? Thanks for any advice.
Yes, you have that right. Think of it as a multi cell flashlight. Lets say you wanted one of those 2 cell varieties. The battery "cells" are bumped up against each other, nose to tail. Each battery puts out 1.5 volts, but when you measure from the exposed nose to the exposed tail, you end up with 3 volts. A 3 cell battery adds up to 4.5 Volts, so you must use a different bulb with the proper voltage rating, else you burn it out or it runs very dim.

Lead acid batteries are actually collections of 2.1 volt cells, in that the individual cells are connected internally in series just like the flashlight. However, this 'flashlight' cannot be taken apart to replace the individual cells. A "12 Volt" lead acid has 6 individual 2.13 Volt cells adding up to12.7 Volts. A "6 Volt" battery is made up of 3 individual cells adding up to 6.35 Volts. When you series connect 2 individual 6 Volt batteries you are making a 6 cell battery that behaves exactly like a 6 cell 12 battery.

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brianak



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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:10 am

My tongue jack grounds off of the frame. No ground wire. If this is the case run the positive wire to the second 6V battery in the series.

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doober



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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:09 am

and which one is the second battery? the one the neg comes off to the trailer?
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SteveS

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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:51 am

doober wrote:
and which one is the second battery? the one the neg comes off to the trailer?
You never connect anything to either end of the cable that connects the 2 batteries to each other. That cable in between goes from the Positive (+) of one battery and goes to the Negative (-) of the other battery.

That leaves one battery with an exposed Negative terminal which is grounded to the trailer frame and perhaps is directly connected with wires to the Negative connections on various powered devices. Other devices that need a ground connection can simply be wired to the frame for that connection.

There is now only one exposed Positive terminal to hook things up to. This terminal is hooked up to a fuse block (or some similar arrangement of fuses). This allows various wires to be attached to the Positive connections on the devices that need power, with a fuse for each device or branch circuit (a collection of devices such as lights, etc.).

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scottwv



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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:27 am

Why are the two 6's lasting longer than one 12 ?!?
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doober



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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:13 am

Thanks Steve for the help, go it figured now, Scottw i am not sure why they last longer, they were all deep cycle batteries, it was explained to me before but i cant remember why. But all i know is 2-6 volts on my trailer last twice as long as 2-12 volts did before all under the same camping environment.
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SteveS

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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:30 am

scottwv wrote:
Why are the two 6's lasting longer than one 12 ?!?
All things being equal, each of the 6 Volt batteries being the same size and weight as the single 12 Volt battery, the plates within each of the cells are twice the size on the 6 volt battery. This makes for twice the electrical storage capacity (Amp Hours) with the pair of batteries.

You can do a similar thing with a pair of 12 Volt batteries, connecting them together in a parallel connection arrangement. This also gives you the doubling of electrical capacity. There is a potential drawback to doing this though. If one of the batteries develops an internal short, the remaining good battery feeds electrical current into the bad battery and it can overheat that battery big time. With the series connected 6 Volt batteries this fully shorted cell is benign and does nothing catastrophic, the battery set just quits working as it did (the set puts out 2.1 Volts less than it did). I suspect that a weak cell (or cells) has more impact on apparent power output in a paralleled set than it does with a series connected set, making for a more robust power source. I do know that I have had much better luck with 6 volt batteries on my travel trailer setups in the past.

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brianak



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PostSubject: Re: trailer question   Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:23 pm

Most 6V batteries are rated for almost twice as many charge cycles 500+ versus 12V batteries. So they last longer. They are also true deep cycle batteries so you can drain them down much further.

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