Preparing a reliable power source is essential to make your trip go well!
In most cases, RVs run on 12V power. So you can run a single 12 volt RV battery or use multiple batteries simultaneously, such as connecting two 6 volt batteries in series.
With that in mind, what are the differences between a 6 volt and 12 volt battery?
In this article, we will find the answer to this by looking at some aspects, including:
So, without wasting much time, Let’s Compare 6 volt vs 12 volt RV batteries!
Table of Contents
About 12 Volt RV Batteries
The 12 Volt RV Battery is the perfect pick for many vehicles, such as:
- Travel trailers
- Truck campers
So, the 12 volt RV battery, no doubt, can be used to run everything.
The fact is that most RVs come with two 12V batteries connected in parallel. The most popular types of 12V batteries for RVs would be marine and deep cycle batteries.
They can be easily found at most local auto parts stores and it means you can easily find replacements even when camping in small towns.
In most cases, they are cheaper than 6V batteries. However, Marine batteries are an exception. They are more expensive than 6 volts because they last longer and provide a stronger charge.
- The RV can be operated with only one 12V battery. That means if one of your batteries fails, your vehicle can still run.
- They work well with large, long-lasting motors.
- They are easy to find in regular stores.
- These batteries can hold their charge longer than 6V batteries.
- You can add as many 12 volt batteries as you want if you connect them correctly.
- The voltage stays at 12V while you can double the amp hours.
- Suitable for people with an average budget.
- The more amp hours they have, the bigger they get.
- Heavier than 6 volt RV batteries.
- Less durable than 6V batteries.
- Many 12V batteries, especially low-quality models, discharge faster than 6V batteries.
- When completely drained, they cannot recover as quickly as 6V batteries.
About 6 Volt Batteries
As mentioned above, most RVs are equipped with 12V batteries. But, it is possible to use two 6-volt batteries by connecting them in a series. While there are some downsides to using two 6-volt batteries in a series, it is still popular for many good reasons.
They are suitable for smaller vehicles, such as a golf cart or RV with a small load. They easily power many accessories like windshield wipers, lights, or any other feature that does not require a lot of energy to operate.
6V batteries are considered more durable than 12V batteries since they can even last 4 to 8 years with good maintenance.
They are lighter than 12V batteries. Specifically, a 12V battery weighs about 129 pounds, while the average weight of a 6V battery is about 62 pounds.
They are harder to find. So, it will be very inconvenient if you need urgent replacement while you are on the road. The fact is that you usually only find these batteries in specialized stores.
- Easier to manage than their 12V counterpart.
- These batteries have larger Ah capacities.
- They require less space.
- These batteries have a longer life.
- They don’t wear out quickly.
- These batteries have a bigger recharge and discharge capacity.
- These batteries are harder to find at regular stores. Instead, they are commonly found at sizable automotive supply stores.
- Less affordable.
- Most RVs come with a 12V battery box. Hence, a 6V battery will not fit into that box.
6V Vs. 12V RV battery: What Are the Main Differences
In theory, at the end of the day, 12V and 6V batteries can both give you 12V power. However, when you take a closer look, you will begin to discover significant differences between RV batteries 6v vs 12v.
6V batteries are not very common. They are not easy to find in a small town outside the remote area. They are usually only offered at specialty stores. This is why most RV owners prefer to use 12V batteries.
The higher the voltage, the higher the push of electrons, resulting in more electricity being generated. That’s why a 12V battery is perfect for RVs that need more power.
What’s more, the voltage represents the battery’s strength, while amp-hours refer to the stored energy. So, 12V batteries have higher ampere-hours than 6V batteries.
Two 6V batteries can be connected in series to create a 12V power source. However, they will only be charged up to the battery capacity with the lowest amp-hour capacity.
The best thing to deal with this problem is to connect these 6V batteries in parallel. That way, the battery’s voltage still stays at 6V. However, their amp-hour capacity would be matched with the total of the battery’s capacity. As a result, all batteries will be fully charged to their full capacity.
Life is a factor that you cannot ignore when choosing a battery for your vehicle. The 6-volt battery is the winner when it comes to this. It is possible to use a 6-volt battery for 4 to 8 years if you maintain it properly.
Selecting an RV battery with the right size for the battery compartment is essential to avoid usage complications.
6V batteries may not be compatible with small campers or travel trailers because of their larger dimensions.
On the other hand, if you own a large fifth wheel or camper vehicle, it is alright to apply two or more 6V batteries.
Take the weight into consideration when you narrow down your choices of 6v or 12v batteries for RV.
As mentioned above, a 12V battery is significantly heavier than a 6V battery. It is true to say that using a lighter battery is always a good idea. As we all know, you can improve the fuel efficiency of your RV by reducing weight wherever possible.
12V batteries are significantly cheaper compared to 6V batteries. However, a 6V battery is a more intelligent investment in the long run.
The 6V battery life is significantly longer than its 12V counterpart. You can expect them to last up to 8 years with regular and proper maintenance. In contrast, 12V batteries require more frequent replacement, costing you more money in the long run.
Which Type of Battery Is Perfect for You?
The short answer to this question is ‘it depends.’
Most RVs are equipped with 12V batteries by default. But it does not mean that using the 6V battery is wrong. On the contrary, we have proven that 6V batteries have many advantages over 12V batteries in the above comparison.
Consider the size of your RV as a prerequisite in choosing a battery. The fact is that larger vehicles will have a higher electricity demand. In this case, 12V is a perfect choice.
In contrast, you should use 6V batteries for smaller recreational vehicles.
Besides, it is essential to monitor the drain of appliances and pick a battery that can meet those needs.
For better understanding, please check out the video below.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What if I Charge a 12V Battery With a 6V Charger?
If you try to charge a 12v battery with a 6v charger, your battery may not start charging or will not last very long. The reason is that your battery needs more power than the 6v charger can supply. So, if you have a 12v battery, it is best to use a 12v charger.
2. Can I Use a 12V Battery Instead of a 6 Volt Batteries in an RV?
It is available. If you need a more powerful battery, you can use a 12v battery to replace the 6v battery. But you need to make sure your battery fits inside the RV battery compartment.
3. How Many Ways to Wire Batteries Together?
There are 2 ways to wire batteries together, including series and parallel.
If you connect the batteries in parallel, like the 12V batteries in RVs, you will create a larger battery but keep the same voltage.
When you connect them in series, the voltage increases, but amp-hour capacity stays the same.
Check out here for more information on wiring multiple 6v or 12v batteries for RV use.
4. Are RV House batteries 6V or 12V?
Are you wondering about “Are RV house batteries 6V or 12V”? The short answer is both! But, nowadays, most RVs are equipped with 12V batteries as a default.
By now, you’ve learned a lot about the differences between 6 volts vs 12 volt RV batteries through this article. Although, in most cases, RVs are equipped with 12-volt batteries by default, there is no denying that 6V batteries have many advantages over 12V batteries.
In general, many different factors play vital roles in deciding the best battery for your vehicle, and 12V and 6V batteries for RVs have their own pros and cons. So, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what you need to make the right purchase decision.
Hopefully, the above information on 6 volt vs 12 volt rv batteries is helpful to you. Please share this article with other RV owners. This means a lot to us!
Glen’s a camping addict since way back when, a time he could barely remember. He loves tools, equipment, gears, accessories, and doing repair on his RV. He’s a confessed DIYer, performing even the maintenance of his RV. Glen also loves dressing up his recreational vehicle to keep it in style.