Golf cart batteries in an RV?

by Ric DeVan
(Santee, CA)

I have a 22-foot RV with two 12V coach batteries. I've heard that two 6V golf cart batteries in series are better than two 12V marine batteries in parallel. Is that true? Would I be better off with two 12V golf cart batteries in parallel?

Hi, Ric!

You want them to run the lights and the television and such in the back, right, not to start the engine? I'm assuming.

All things being equal...

...but they're not. Let's clear this up first, because a lot of people have written me about the pain of buying marine batteries on sale for their EV (same problem as with an RV) instead of golf cart batteries, and getting disappointing performance out of them. You might as well benefit from their painful experience; )

Golf cart batteries and marine batteries are two different creatures. Marine batteries don't care for as much jostling around as you generally do in an RV (or electric car, or golf cart), and they weren't designed for it. So, no matter what the voltage or amp-hourage you've got in a marine battery, it's not well adapted to the environment in which you're asking it to work. They die young.


So, all things being equal, the next question is about wiring batteries in series vs. wiring them in parallel, and about the relative virtues of 12 volt golf cart batteries vs. 6 volt golf cart batteries.

From your question, it sounds like you already know that wiring batteries in series adds voltage, while wiring batteries in parallel adds amp hours - so I won't go into that here, but you can follow the link for more info.

The short answer is, if you want them to run a long time (cycle life) and you don't care how heavy they are, get 6 volt batteries. If you've got weight issues, get the 12 volt batteries.

In your place, personally, I guess I'd be looking at the 6 volt batteries.


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RV Batteries in a Golf Cart?

by Jim Kilbourne
(Prescott, AZ)

Can 6 volt deep cycle RV batteries be used with in a golf cart? Will they be as effective as regular golf cart batteries?

Hi, Jim -
Usually, RV deep cycle batteries are marine-type batteries (I don't get that, really, I'd think golf cart batteries would be a lot better choice), and they don't last as long as golf cart batteries in a golf cart or electric car.

Golf cart batteries are a really tough, sturdy type of deep cycle battery that tolerate deep discharges, fast discharges, and jostling and bouncing around a golf course. Marine batteries are not as tough, and they wear out quicker.

You can use golf cart batteries in an RV to great effect, but not the other way around.


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