Battery Charger/Converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-14-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1973 Boler (Boler Manufacturing
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I will be installing a 12 volt system with a group 24 or group 27 battery in my Boler soon. My trailer does not have a converter or a battery charger at present. I would really like to install a multi-stage battery charger to provide fast charging and ensure my battery will last longer. Am I able to run the battery charger while there is a load on the battery or will this interfere with the multi-stage charge process.

I have heard that standard RV converters are hard on batteries so I would like to avoid going that route. All I could think to do would be to install a battery charger and a converter and install relays that would switch the 12 volt loads from the battery to the converter when I plug the trailer into AC which would allow the converter to supply power to the loads and the battery charger to charge the battery on its own, however this is a complicated solution I would like to avoid.

Does anyone have any ideas of how I could charge my battery safely while running loads like lighting or 12 volt accessories at the same time?

Thanks,
John Jesse
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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The smart charger should have no problems keeping up with the load from your 12 volt lights and appliances. I've used a 20 amp Xantrex Truecharge to charge my 240 amp/hour battery bank for a few years and it does the trick. For your size battery a 10 amp charger should work well.
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:29 AM   #3
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I charge this way, even with 2 6v batteries in my motorhome.

I Hate converters. Mine is unplugged. Charge battery with a charger, run stuff while its on.. no problem as long as you have one that is hefty, 7 amps or more.

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Old 05-15-2010, 06:16 AM   #4
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...I would really like to install a multi-stage battery charger to provide fast charging and ensure my battery will last longer...

I have heard that standard RV converters are hard on batteries so I would like to avoid going that route....
Thanks,
John Jesse
John,
Despite what you may have "heard", today's converters do exactly what you are looking for. They charge and maintain your battery, while also powering your 12v needs. All this without the complexities of multiple units, relays, etc. I do not sell converters or any RV equipment, but I highly recommend the Progressive Dynamics brand converters. See HERE. I've had the 45 amp model for many years and my deep cycle batteries have lasted approximately 9 years now. This is my opinion/usage. Others may have theirs.

Cheers
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:02 AM   #5
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John,
Despite what you may have "heard", today's converters do exactly what you are looking for. They charge and maintain your battery, while also powering your 12v needs. All this without the complexities of multiple units, relays, etc. I do not sell converters or any RV equipment, but I highly recommend the Progressive Dynamics brand converters. See HERE. I've had the 45 amp model for many years and my deep cycle batteries have lasted approximately 9 years now. This is my opinion/usage. Others may have theirs.

Cheers
I have to agree with Eric on this one, no need to re-invent the wheel.

But if you're dead set against the converter may I suggest simplifying your task by running two batteries and a battery isolator that way you can use one battery while the other battery is charging, besides if you're using a group 27 battery for just rv lighting it should last a couple of days at least, if you use any kind of motor or heater the batteries will run down quite a bit faster.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:14 AM   #6
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That's quite a unit! Found a seller in Ill for $120.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:10 AM   #7
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That's quite a unit! Found a seller in Ill for $120.
Hi Dave,

Did you buy the one he suggested? PD9245C? And, would you mind sharing the seller's name?

Thanks,

Keith
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:15 PM   #8
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Gina,
I know that you don't like converters, but why? I also know that the older ones weren't very good. But aren't the newer ones better? The ones that are micro-processor controlled? Trying to learn all I can here before I decide to go with either a charger only or a charger/converter.
I hope to do a lot of boondocking eventually, but we also camp quite a bit at state parks with electricity available.
Thanks,
Pamela S.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:36 PM   #9
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Kieth; haven't got it yet; will buy in a few months.

Ebay Link
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:45 PM   #10
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Gina,
I know that you don't like converters, but why? I also know that the older ones weren't very good. But aren't the newer ones better? The ones that are micro-processor controlled? Trying to learn all I can here before I decide to go with either a charger only or a charger/converter.
I hope to do a lot of boondocking eventually, but we also camp quite a bit at state parks with electricity available.
Thanks,
Pamela S.
Pamela:

We took delivery of our new Escape 13 in February this year. It came with a WFCO WF-8955 PEC Converter, which according to the manual includes an automatic three stage switching power supply.

http://www.wfcoelectronics.com/index.php?o...6&Itemid=77

So far we have run three ways:
1. at home and camping, hooked up to 110 volt power, battery usually in float mode
2. travelling (short trips), with fridge not operating, trailer connected to towing vehicle's 12 volt supply
3. travelling (longer trips), with 3 way fridge running on 12 volts, connected to towing vehicle's 12 volt supply

We have just acquired a Honda EX350 generator capable of charging the battery at 6 amps which we will use if we don't have electrical hookups. I have checked that it seems to work with the converter when directly connected to the battery with the 110 volt power supply disconnected.

We have had no problems with our Converter so far.

Brian

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Old 05-18-2010, 11:16 PM   #11
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I'd like to replace the converter in my Lite House but 45 amp is overkill. The existing converter is a 15 amp. It's working fine except for the nasty transformer buzz. I'd like to replace it with something quieter but haven't found anything small enough. I want to continue to be able to plug the trailer into a standard 120V outlet.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:40 PM   #12
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I have only had older converters in all of my rigs, and I know that the new ones are much better, however, I still constantly see complaints from folks even with the newer ones. Here and on other sites.

Because 90% of my time is boondocking, I charge mostly with solar and I run the generator for fast charging when needed, or on less than stellar solar days (Lots of those where I am now.)

The converter part is basically useless to me, with rare exceptions. A decent charger is all I require. I keep my draw low.. just because my rig is bigger doesn't mean I have to use the bigger more hungry fixtures. I have converted the MH to LEDs etc.

I DO use the converter for one circumstance in this rig. The furnace. Its big draw and I only run the furnace with it plugged in and the generator going. Otherwise, I use my wave heater and a black cat. If I intended to keep this rig awhile, I would consider a newer furnace to aid in current consumption.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
I'd like to replace the converter in my Lite House but 45 amp is overkill. The existing converter is a 15 amp. It's working fine except for the nasty transformer buzz. I'd like to replace it with something quieter but haven't found anything small enough. I want to continue to be able to plug the trailer into a standard 120V outlet.
Davie,
With today's demand on electrical systems in the newer RVs, the market has moved to larger capacity converters. I have the 45 amp, but was originally looking at the 30 amp. The 30 was the smallest I found from reputable companies. I chose the 45 because the price was about the same (it was on sale) and the physical size of the 45 was slightly smaller than the 30.

And yes, you can still plug in to a standard 120 volt 15 amp outlet. The maximum input of the 45 amp is only 750 watts at full output, so it works fine. Mine has a cooling fan which I have never heard or seen come on due to the small load I place on it (it never even gets warm when plugged in).

Before my original failed, it too had a buzz from it and it was the older technology that didn't regulate the output. I definitely had to top off the water regularly or risk toasting the battery.

I recommend getting a quality converter if you can. You'll never have to worry about it after that. You can relax and focus on more important issues....like where to next.


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