Converter/charger - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2002, 10:59 PM   #15
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"4. Additionally on the really good ones there is occasional EQUALISATION where the batts are deliberately overcharged under controlled conditions to induce internal plate cleaning."

Don't forget that the equalization mode should be turned off if you have AGM or gel batteries.
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Old 11-08-2002, 10:05 AM   #16
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Jets?

:u
swiiiiisssssshhhhhh, zoooooooommmmmmmmm

What was that? A speeding train? A bullet? A jet? No....it was all of that flying right over my head!:wink
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Old 11-08-2002, 12:17 PM   #17
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Suz-

Non-tech summary -- If you are using shore power to keep your battery charged during storage, unless you KNOW it has intelligent charging, don't leave the converter plugged in all the time. Either use a timer or plug in the converter for a day per month to avoid overcharging.

Check the water on the battery (yes, you CAN pry up the covers and maintain the supposedly maintenance-free battery) and if it is using water, either it is broke or it is overcharging.

Pete and sometimes overcharged RatLadies who use a lot of water

PS: On my Scamp, the Magnatek converter was plugged into a standard 120VAC outlet located inside the kitchen cabinet; on my Jayco, the Magnatek likewise plugged in inside a different cabinet.
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Old 11-08-2002, 12:59 PM   #18
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Non-tech explanation

Thanks a million, Pete. Thought for a sec that I wouldn't even be able to decipher the non-tech version, but then some simple words started soaking in. So, now I have a couple of more questions.

Background: I have had my '89 plugged in since I brought it home last April. Didn't even know how to check the battery for water for the longest time, so assumed it would be toast by the time I did check it. Unfortunately, the way my unit is set up, I have to take out the back seat to check it properly/add water. Have removed the access panel in the seat and taken off the battery cover...but clearances won't allow complete removal of battery cover. Excuse the digression. Anyway, when I finally did get to it I added distilled water. I assume since it will still run the lights when it is not plugged in, that the battery is okay...is that a safe assumption? I've been gone for a couple of months, so not sure of it's condition now, except the lights will still run when not plugged in to shore power.

Now for the question:

Quote:
Either use a timer or plug in the converter for a day per month to avoid overcharging
Does this mean that if I unplug from shore power for a day or two every month, it should be okay?

Thanks a million. The more I learn, the less I know.
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Old 11-08-2002, 02:22 PM   #19
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Umm, no, leaving the converter overcharging for 29 days out of 30 is not a good thing (presuming there are no drains on the battery). Just plugging it in for a day or so will be enuf to restore the battery's internal losses that it experiences just sitting there, but any more dumb charging will overcharge it .

One solution for long-term storage is a small solar panel, but it MUST have a charger/voltage regulator that won't overcharge, and must have some sort of backflow check device to keep the battery from trying to charge the stars and clouds at nite.

BTW, same is true for the socalled Trickle Chargers; they will trickle in elec at over the gassing voltage over a long period of time causing water loss and resultant damage.

Pete and Rats
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Old 11-08-2002, 03:01 PM   #20
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Ah....

Okay...now I think I get it. I believe the reason I never had a problem before is because I spent time out there everyday and ran the a/c and/or lights. I guess that did the trick. Real damage may have occurred, though, when I had to leave town for two months. But, as I said, the lights are still working even though I've unplugged it.

So, the battery (which doesn't cost very much) may or may not be fine. The converter could be bad, though???? If so, then why do my lights still work? Is there something I should look for as a clue other than the battery being dry? How do I check my converter?

I really hate being so dumb about all this, but if I don't ask, I won't know. Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2002, 08:15 PM   #21
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Hi
If I wasn't lost before I sure am now. Ha
Ches::sad
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Old 11-08-2002, 08:24 PM   #22
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suz, count me in with Ches! Didn't know you had a problem, we were just talking generalities here, and why it's not a good idea to leave battery hooked up to charger hooked up to shore power during storage.

The overcharging damage that COULD be done will be over time, and depends on the charging voltage, internal leakage of the battery, ambient temperatures and perhaps even relative humidity.

Leaving it hooked up once for two months is not so likely to have done great permanent damage. Keep the water up with distillled water. BTW, I have read that when batteries get about half-way thru their lives, they start using water (which in my case is just about the time I have decided that checking the water is a waste of my time because it's always OK...); keeping the levels up will get you the rest of the battery's life.

To find out whether you have intelligent (aka Three-stage charging), call the charger Manf with all the numbers on its ID plate and ask them.

Pete and Rats

PS Do you have a problem? Or have your questions been answered...
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Old 11-08-2002, 10:42 PM   #23
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Problem?

I didn't think that I did until I started reading all this stuff. As I said, the more I learn, the less I know. It's just that I have kept plugged in to shore power in the past because I run my a/c whenever I'm out there and never new that I could overcharge, so just left it plugged in all the time. Now that A/C weather is behind us for a while, I will just not plug her in until the lights start to dim. That'll take care of it.

Sorry, didn't mean to mess up a good thread...just wasn't sure if I was unknowingly causing damage.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 11-09-2002, 06:40 AM   #24
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I'm totally lost here

Pete, Suz
I always thought that chargers automatically shut off once the battery was at a full charge? Isn't that so people can leave their trailers plugged in to 110 all the time and not do damage?

Not that any of this applies to our Trillium but it would never have occured to me that when ever you're plugged in you're charging your battery.

Just my two cents worth.
Nancy
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Old 11-09-2002, 08:05 AM   #25
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batteries

I'm with you Nancy. I always kept my MH pluged in or the batteries went down in a week. Maybe it's a different system. But the part that I don't understand is why not apply to the Trillium? Mines a Trillium clone, so the red flag came up.(in my head) :u
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Old 11-09-2002, 08:52 AM   #26
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Batteries

Janifer
Mines a 75 Trillium. It has a 12v system with 4 lights that run off 12v and run directly from the battery. The 110 system has one dual bulb light and 2 electrical outlets. It doesn't have a power converter so the two systems are not connected in any way.
Nancy
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Old 11-09-2002, 09:06 AM   #27
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Plugged in

We keep our Casita (with MagneTek 6345 converter) plugged into shore power :inbox during our winter months (mid-December to mid-February), and a small, electric heater comes on if the inside temperature dips below about 40F.

I have assumed it was better to do this than to just run the extension cord directly to the little heater, through the trailer door. This, to keep the battery “up” by charging when/if the little heater's not running.

Once upon a time, when our Casita (with MagneTek 6345 converter) was 15 months old, we had to replace a battery that had been frozen. Mr. Bubba, of Mr. Bubba's RV Repair in Santa Fe, NM, was disgusted that I didn't know if we'd kept it charged through the winter... of course, neither did he know that where we live, the overnight temp had gone below freezing on TWO occasions since we had owned the trailer and battery. (That winter, I think, we had put the heater on the extension cord, instead of plugging the trailer into shore power. Lights in the trailer still “worked,” for what that's worth.) Why were we asking Mr. Bubba of Santa Fe about it? We didn't know we had a problem until we arrived in SF with NO battery power...
:nope
I'm still not convinced that battery went bad through my own negligence, but we do watch things more closely now.
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Old 11-09-2002, 10:16 AM   #28
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Converter/charger

I have found this site very useful for electrical and most other questions. Lots of reading but very informative. Look around.

http://phrannie.org/phredex.html
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