Replacing a Converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-21-2008, 05:38 PM   #1
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Even though I have a brand-new-to-me project trailer, I still have to keep up the Littlefoot. At Bandon the consensus from smart people was that my JVC am/fm/cd unit's woes are caused by my elderly converter, a Magnatek 15 amp unit that certainly came with the trailer.

I'm looking, and the replacement options that don't actually involve a mortgage seem to be these:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/...r-charger/27964
http://www.rvpartsoutlet.com/product_info....roducts_id=8805
http://www.rvpartsoutlet.com/product_info....roducts_id=6007

All are a good bit more amperage than I have now, and I'm darned if I can tell the difference between the two 45 amp units except price.

So I'm unclear which of these might suit me best. I'm not planning to increase the Littlefoot's draw, but I'm not finding an easy/cheap source of 15amp units, and if 30/45 is cheaper, I can go there.

But then, how much is involved in getting the trailer to accept a higher-amperage converter? Rewiring? Installing a circuit panel? Replacing fixtures? I'm no electrical whiz, but I can follow instructions and read a multi-meter.

Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:14 PM   #2
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I still have to keep up the Littlefoot.
I have the perfect solution to your dilemma - you don't have to maintain the Littlefoot

...sell it - to me!!
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
http://www.rvpartsoutlet.com/product_info....roducts_id=8805
http://www.rvpartsoutlet.com/product_info....roducts_id=6007

I'm darned if I can tell the difference between the two 45 amp units except price.
One is a 9100 series unit
Quote:
Optional Charge Wizard [b](sold separately)
The other is a 9200 series unit
Quote:
Inteli-Power 9200 series converters with [b]built-in Charge Wizard
The 9100 units are not available here in Southern California, but the separate Charge Wizards are.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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I purchased my PD 9145 w/charge wizard several years ago from Best Converter. At the time, I believe the company was smaller than it is now, but the prices always seem to be better than anyone elses. Not sure how they compare today, but they still look good to me. They also were extremely helpful on the phone and they had very good instructions on how to remove the old one and install this one in its place. In fact, they were so good, I did mine myself.

I have always said that the new PD 9145 converter was one of the best upgrades I ever did. After I installed that, I then added an AGM battery. That was several years ago and they are both still just humming along.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:05 PM   #5
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I bought my converter through Best Converter also. I would recommend you call and talk to Randy (the technician) and see what options he thinks you need. He steered me towards a WFCO 8725 and it was the perfect fit for my Trillium
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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Hi;
I successfully replaced the POS Magnetek 6332 in my 1993 Bigfoot 17CB with a Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power PD9260 with the separate PD92201 Converter status remote pendant for about $200 off eBay!
The 9260 is overkill for my needs, but it was physically smaller and fit well into the lower section of the Magnetek unit. I stripped out that useless stuff and slid in the new unit. I was worried that the lower rated units (PD 9230, 9240, 9245), being 4.5 inches high wouldn't fit. I'm not sure, but I think they would have fit after all - BUT measure yours to be sure, if you go that route. A minimum of wiring changes are required as I use the Magnetek box as it was for AC and DC distribution.
I also installed an additional size 24 battery under the front part of the other dinette seat, and ran #8 wire behind the panelling to parallel up the existing tongue mounted battery.
Do a search on my name, or "Upgrading an ancient power converter - a few questions", and you'll see a lot of info about the conversion.
That was done a year ago and it has been a 'perfect' solution!
<http://www.progressivedyn.com/PD9200_Manual.pdf>
If you do have any questions, drop me a note, or on this forum!
Good Luck, whichever way you go!
Mike.....>
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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I have the perfect solution to your dilemma - you don't have to maintain the Littlefoot

...sell it - to me!!
Best I can do is offer you third refusal when it's time.

I did read Michael's thread and it was very useful, just didn't address my simplistic "What do I buy?" question. And I will email if I get confused on the install.

I'll call Best Converter in the morning. Just looking at their home page is enlightening.

Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:31 PM   #8
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Consider not replacing it, except maybe to pull out the circuit breakers and 12VDC fuse block if in the unit and just getting a good multi-stage battery charger instead and put the left-over money aside to buy a new battery or a supply of beer (Although, the prices of good converters seem to be coming down and the chargers are going up).

The converter's prime purpose is to be a 120VAC > 12VDC power supply, with battery charging as a distant second purpose -- Smart charge converters or upgrades are expensive compared to a good battery charger -- The charger can also do other things like start someone's engine when it is flat (Can you see yourself running jumper cables between your charge wizard and your neighbor's truck battery? No, me neither).

I understand that one of the Vector models is auto-start, so you can just hardwire it to the battery and plug it in to an outlet -- Every time the egg is connected to shore power or generator, it will be charging the battery.

http://www.battery-rechargeable-charger.co...r-products.html

If I were buying a new one today, I would get the VEC1097A, which has charge rates from 2 > 10 > 30 Amps, with a jump-start rate of 80 Amps -- I just saw it for $74 US.

You can also take the charger off and put the old converter back in if you decide to sell the egg.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:35 AM   #9
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Consider not replacing it, except maybe to pull out the circuit breakers and 12VDC fuse block if in the unit and just getting a good multi-stage battery charger instead and put the left-over money aside to buy a new battery or a supply of beer (Although, the prices of good converters seem to be coming down and the chargers are going up).

The converter's prime purpose is to be a 120VAC > 12VDC power supply, with battery charging as a distant second purpose -- Smart charge converters or upgrades are expensive compared to a good battery charger -- The charger can also do other things like start someone's engine when it is flat (Can you see yourself running jumper cables between your charge wizard and your neighbor's truck battery? No, me neither).

I understand that one of the Vector models is auto-start, so you can just hardwire it to the battery and plug it in to an outlet -- Every time the egg is connected to shore power or generator, it will be charging the battery.

http://www.battery-rechargeable-charger.co...r-products.html

If I were buying a new one today, I would get the VEC1097A, which has charge rates from 2 > 10 > 30 Amps, with a jump-start rate of 80 Amps -- I just saw it for $74 US.

You can also take the charger off and put the old converter back in if you decide to sell the egg.

I took my old converter out of my Boler and replaced it with a Xantrex Truecharge battery charger. Find one that won't exceed the charging parameters of your battery bank. ie) a 200 amp bank can be charged with up to a 20 amp charger while a 100 amp charger would be best suited to a 10amp (it is best to not exceed 10% of your battery rating)

As Pete says, the charger is hardwired into the trailer so that every time it is connected to shorepower the charger is silently doing its job of recharging the house batteries. The batteries in turn, feed all 12 volt appliances and your inverter if you have one installed.

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Old 08-22-2008, 09:56 AM   #10
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I am with Pete.. except the price of beer is going up too.

Dump the converter all together.. you'll lose weight, and thus.. have more room for beer.

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Old 08-22-2008, 10:08 AM   #11
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Best I can do is offer you third refusal when it's time.
Okay, I await your email

Seriously though, if you decide to sell it once you have your other project up and running let me know. Best of luck with your converter - or beer - whichever way you end up going.

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Old 08-22-2008, 04:55 PM   #12
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Okay, I await your email

Seriously though, if you decide to sell it once you have your other project up and running let me know. Best of luck with your converter - or beer - whichever way you end up going.

Noted. ::scribbles on a post-it::

Thanks all for your input. I read the thread(s) about going converter-less before starting the topic. I like the idea for me (and the project trailer), especially since there's an 85 watt solar panel in the garage waiting to be mounted on the roof. But come Littlefoot selling time I suspect having a converter might be a better selling point, especially if it's to a newbie.

The fellow at Best Converter recommended http://www.bestconverter.com/WFCO-8725-Pow...er_p_83-50.html and it should be here next week. It came in plenty cheaper than the others I was looking at, so there's still beer money!
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:12 PM   #13
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Even though I have a brand-new-to-me project trailer, I still have to keep up the Littlefoot. At Bandon the consensus from smart people was that my JVC am/fm/cd unit's woes are caused by my elderly converter, a Magnatek 15 amp unit that certainly came with the trailer.

>snip<
I've not been following these forums very much lately; just exactly what problem are you trying to solve?

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:25 PM   #14
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Dan's on to it -- If it's noise in the stereo, it might be solved by something like a noise filter.

BTW, on my old Magnatek, some of the fuse positions on the fuse block were set up to be filtered by the battery, whereas others were for noisy appliances like fridge, fan, furnace, etc. You might solve the problem by moving some wires around.
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