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 > Charging 6v golf cart batteries?

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engineer40

Michigan

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Posted: 06/06/22 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello all! I'm new to campers but have been enjoying learning about my new (used) Viking 10ft popup truck bed camper. It did not come with any house batteries. After some research and looking at my budget for now, I purchased 2 6v golf cart batteries. I have them wired in series for 12v output. They are working as expected.

As far as I can tell, my camper does not automatically recharged the batteries when I'm plugged into shore power. I have a decent work around. There is a house plug in in the same cabinet as I have the batteries. I have a spare smart charger that I plan to wire directly to the battery terminals so it automatically charges them when I plug into shore power. I've been using this battery charger for a few years and it's never overcharged anything.

Since I have 2 6v batteries wired in series I'll need to connect the charger to the positive battery terminal on 1 battery, and to the negative battery terminal on the 2nd battery. I believe that way both batteries are being charged equally at the same time. If I do this, do I have the charger set to 12v/2amp? I'm assuming I do... But my charger also has a setting for 6v/4amp and since the batteries are technically 6v, it has me questioning my thinking here. I appreciate any clarify you all can provide. Thanks!

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Posted: 06/06/22 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You now have 1 - 12V battery, just in 2 separate boxes. You’re correct in using the 12V setting.
Now, if it only has a 2A setting, this won’t be of much use while actively using the batteries and trying to maintain a charge.
Presume your camper doesn’t have a converter from this post and your other post.
I would find a larger charger.


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engineer40

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Posted: 06/06/22 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Secondary question... I'm going to buy a volt meter. Are there any specific features of a Volt meter or multi meter that I should look for directly related to troubleshooting RV electrical? Example, I think it would be nice if I could tell if there was a current draw on the battery bank during certain uses. That's just one example, but I am a new camper owner, so I'm sure there are things I haven't thought of yet. Thank you!

valhalla360

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Posted: 06/06/22 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Connect to the positive on battery 1 and negative on battery 2. If you put a volt meter on the terminals, they should show roughly 12.X volts if you have the correct combination (if you get the wrong combination, it should show 0 volts).

After that, it basically charges like any 12v battery. Just be aware that 2amps won't allow you to use much 12v power. Modern RV charging systems are typically in the 30-60amp range.

Any multimeter will do. It is nice to get one with a clamp on amp meter, so you don't have disconnect anything to check on amperage but you don't need a $300 meter.


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CA Traveler

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Posted: 06/06/22 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are charging it correctly, 12V charge for a 12V battery or 2 6V in series. The 6V setting can be used to charge a single 6V battery.

Any basic VOM will be useful and one that can measue amps are usually limited to say 10A and can be helpful. Further up the food chain is a clampon ammeter that makes measuring amps so much easier and for much higher amps. Make sure you get one that measures DC amps, many for electricans measure only AC amps and labeled DC since they can measure DC volts.


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engineer40

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Posted: 06/06/22 12:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:


After that, it basically charges like any 12v battery. Just be aware that 2amps won't allow you to use much 12v power. Modern RV charging systems are typically in the 30-60amp range.


Thank you. Can you explain what you mean by your AMP statement? I assumed that being 2amps would just make it take longer to charge. But sounds like it's more detrimental to my battery bank than long charging times?

What benefit would a 30amp capable charger provide me? Thank you!

jy

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Posted: 06/06/22 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are camping somewhere and charging at a 2 amp rate,and you are using 10 amps your batteries will be slowly dying.


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engineer40

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Posted: 06/06/22 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you. Thinking through the scenario, if I'm plugged into shore power (since my batteries are charging), wouldn't anything I use in my camper be using shore power and not the battery bank? So my batteries would be doing nothing except charging?

Or am I thinking about this incorrectly? I'm new to campers.

I'm willing to buy a new/better charger if it would make my camping life easier in some way. Thoughts?

Lwiddis

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Posted: 06/06/22 12:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you considered an adequate solar system?


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Gjac

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Posted: 06/06/22 01:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What is the max amp output on your charger? For my 2 6v GC batteries I charge at 40 amps, when batteries are 50% depleted. You can buy a portable 40 amp charger for about $100 or so. Depending how your trailer is wired, and the age of the trailer most will draw from the battery when plugged into shore power and the battery acts like a filter. When you are plugged into shore power check the voltage at your batteries you may already have a built in charger. If so your voltage should read 13 volts plus. Most trailers and MH's have a built in charger. Maybe someone on here is more familiar with your trailer and give you a more detailed answer.

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