Replace "American" converter? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-30-2013, 09:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
There's nothing wrong with replacing a converter or adding one if there's not one there. However as far as I'm concerned a converter is a huge waste of money and effort.
This or this will do a very nice job of keeping your battery charged.
Chargers aren't meant to sustain power to the system while in use.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
Chargers aren't meant to sustain power to the system while in use.
Does that mean you've had some problems doing this or is it just that you are trying to justifying spending the extra money on an expensive converter.
I've been using a Battery Minder for that past several years and it worked just fine.
Your main source of 12 volt power is the battery, the main purpose of the charging system to keep the charged, bring it back up when there's some discharge.
A 45 amp converter is like pulling a 13' with a Freightliner overkill to the max.
If that's your choice, fine. But it's necessary for everybody.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:18 AM   #17
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Thanks for the comments everybody. Here's my take-away so far, plus a few comments:

1. Battery, although small, is probably ok. It holds at about 12.75 volts for days after charging and with only the "phantom" loads on it.

2. An upgrade to a better charger/converter may be in order and bears further study, especially if I do something wild and crazy(when the time comes) like move to a Group 27 battery, or a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries.

3. Solar panels are another worthy upgrade, and bear further study, and will probably be the subject of another thread.

4. I like the whole notion of making the trailer more efficient. So among other things, I'm going to order a few LED bulbs and use them wherever I can.

5. I've never actually used the furnace, don't know if I ever will. I'm not too interested in taking the rig out in the snow and ice, and anything else around here can be handled by making a cup of coffee on the stove, or by putting on a sweater. That might change though.

6. I'm not going to put the fridge on 12 volts much. I wonder if there is a safety issue with driving while the fridge is running on propane?

It really helps to be able to air these questions. Thanks so much!

c
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:26 AM   #18
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6. I never run the fridge on 12 Volts. It's just not efficient enough. The manual does NOT recommend it except when driving and find the fridge will keep cold enough, not to worry if you're mostly staying in WA. Running propane while traveling is a touchy subject. With the current safety systems built into propane tank valves it's not as unsafe as it was years ago. However you're still dragging around an open flame.

5. If you camp in summer mostly you probably won't need to use the furnace, but late fall, winter, and early spring when the morning temps fall into the teen the furnace is a very nice thing to have. Yes, it does that in WA.

Other than lights what do you have that needs 12 Volts?
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:44 AM   #19
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Just to mention, the Lil' BigFoot we just sold had, as the original converter had developed the nasty habit of boiling the battery, a separate battery charger.

It would charge at about 8 amps when the battery was low, and it took almost a full 24 hours to bring the 50% discharged battery up to full charge. I don't know how long the recommended .75 amp battery tender will take to recharge a 50%+ discharged battery.

A bigger problem arose when trying to use 12 volt electronics when the battery charger was connected......

1. The battery charger used apparently had a lot of noise leakage and we couldn't use the 12 volt flatscreen TV when the land line was plugged in, as the charger introduced a loud buzz into the sound, as well as all kinds of noise onto the screen.

2. We tried plugging a new 400 watt Cobra inverter in a 12 volt outlet when the battery charger was connected and promptly smoked the inverter.

Bottom line here: It appears that, unlike better quality converters, at least some Battery chargers are not designed to be used with sensitive electronics in the circuit.

Hoodathunkit????
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:03 AM   #20
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Byron, the roof fan, the CD/DVD player, and the water pump are all 12 volt.

Brian, the amp hour requirements were for one day, as measured by the Link10 were as follows:
CD player, 2 hours/day @ 2 amps
water pump, 1 hour/day @ 2.1 amps
porch lite, 1 hour/day @ .9 amps
bath lite, 1 hour/day @ 1.3 amps
LED reading lites, 2 hours/day @ .1 amps
fridge, 4 hours/day @ 8.3 amps

the fridge is the big deal, and as I said, I probably not going to do that so much anymore. I don't know how much the fan draws, so it isn't in the equation yet. Also, I fully acknowledge that this isn't realistic, I'd never do all this in one 24 hour period. I'm just trying to figure the maximum conceivable daily draw.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:03 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Other than lights what do you have that needs 12 Volts?
Hows this for a start:

Water Pump
Flat Screen TV
12 Volt AM/FM/CD Player
Computer
Fantastic Fan
Cooling fan(s)
USB Charging Station w/4 ports, often all busy
Electronics section on some LP Refrigrators
Furnace

And/or, Via a 12 volt inverter
TV
DVD Player
Computer power supply

My FGRV might be 40 years old, but my camping style is strictly 2013....
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:16 AM   #22
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Kind of off subject but after 30 years of RV's, cabovers, c's, a's and trailers I like all the people I've run with we all travel with the frig running on propane and have never had a problem. The other side of the coin on running with things running is none of us ever traveled with the water heater on except one. Fortunatly for him he noticed he had a problem ( think the flame shooting out the side was a give away) and was able to pull over and put out the fire before it really had a chance to take hold. Lesson learned as the flame for the water heater is big and is easy to be pulled to the outside of your rig by a passing semi ect. Anyway that's my two cents worth from my experience over the years and miles and just saying
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:22 AM   #23
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My FGRV might be 40 years old, but my camping style is strictly 2013....
Thanks bob, my sentiments exactly.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:52 AM   #24
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Chuck,

We don't run our fridge while driving finding that in our four road hours a day, the fridge stays plenty cool. The water pump, though it can draw a lot of current when running really only runs for minutes a day so we view it's current draw as insignificant.

Our bathroom light and outside light are both LEDs and only each draw 0.2 amps when running. I'm sure the bathroom light is only runs a fraction of an hour a day. These two LEDs do not have to be particularly bright.

The big draw is really the furnace which we hardly use, attempting to be in warmer climates, as well we rarely run heat at night finding our bed generally warm enough. We have breakfast in the trailer every morning and it almost immediately warms the trailer.

We have a Endless Breeze fan and on it's lowest setting draws about 1 amp.

This is the LED I use. It's light output is almost identical to an Incandescent at 10% of the power. I can not say it's the best because these technologies change.

HQRP BA15s Bayonet Base 30 LEDs SMD LED Bulb Cool White for #93 1141 1156 1073 1093 1129 Replacement plus HQRP UV Chain / UV Radiation Health Tester : Amazon.com : Automotive

All the chargeables, phone, tabs and computer are really light weights as to current draw. We have a usb cigarette lighter charger and will use that to charge devices as we explore or drive about.
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