Upgrading Convertor to Convertor/Smart Charger - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2008, 10:35 AM   #1
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Hi All,

I have a Progressive Dynamics PD6911 in my 1976 Trillium. As this trailer came with no battery I thought that now would be a good time to set this up right.

We will only be running 12v lights and maybe a radio or low load item so having a lot of power is not necessary. However, having something relatively low maintenance is important.

I am considering replacing the Progressive Dynamics PD6911 with a Progressive Dynamics PD9130 and a Progressive Dynamics Charge Wizard. My understanding is that when connected to shore power the Charge Wizard will work with the PD9130 as a smart charger, delivering a Boost, Normal, Storage or Desulfation charge to the battery. This would then mean I could avoid using a standalone 3 level charger that I have to attach everytime I come back from a trip or overwinter the trailer.

Can I get some feedback on this approach? Will the new Progressive Dynamics convertors fit where the old ones were?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:17 PM   #2
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Don't know about the physical fit, but the P.D. converters are fairly compact and often a whole lot lighter than the old dinosaurs.

I use P.D. 9240 and have been very pleased with it. The 9200 series is mainly just the 9100 series with the Charge Wizard built-in. Not sure w hy the 9100 series is still sold. The change was pretty dramatic for me: no noise, very clean power, etc. A set-it and forget-it change that is very kind to the batteries.

If you couple this design with generously sized wiring, especially to the tug, and maybe a battery minder, you should be all set.
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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that is also my next 'replacement'..!! then maybe another A/C this one in mine is about as worthless as blankie-blank.... the air comes out where the supports are there for no circulation.. and it viberates so loud when your in the upper bunk NO one could even sleep with that noise going!!
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:51 PM   #4
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Thanks per, I had not realized that the 9200 series was with an built in Charge Wizard - that makes a lot more sense.

Did you bother with the 'Remote Pendant' charger status accessory? Showing my lack of knowledge here - you mention you have this also hooked up to your TV to charge when driving - does the TV power connect directly to the 9200 or is that through a different system.

Hopefully I won't be wiring all of this together - 12v makes my head spin. Wiring my 7.1 / electrical / in wall speakers seems easier then this stuff =)
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:38 PM   #5
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"Your mileage may vary," because I grafted the P.D. onto the back of the original converter monstrosity (there was a crime hidden in there somewhere), but the original had a viable 120v breaker panel and a less viable 12v fuse block panel which I upgraded. There was arcing, there was melted plastic, and there was smoke, but that's another story.

It is all connected together so that the 12v circuit from the tow vehicle and from the batteries connect directly with the converter and goes into the 12v distribution panel, but the connections are actually quite simple.

I did get the pendant, because my converter is hidden under the bed so that it is not as easy to get to as it could be. The pendant has a control on it so you can actually change the charger mode if you had a real reason to do so. I never have. Curious thing: in its normal charging mode the little green LED blinks so rapidly that one could get an anxiety attack from watching it. I.E. don't mount it where you have to watch it all the time or try to sleep with the thing blinking in your face. In general you'll find the P.D. to be something you rarely even think about, except for the constant reminder from your batteries that they appreciate being in "charger heaven."
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:47 PM   #6
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Battery recharging from TV is normally connected directly to the battery, esp when the battery is on tongue and closer. That way, if anything is amiss with the converter, nothing interferes with the charge.

BTW, it is possible to get a self-start battery maintenance charger, plug-it into egg 120VAC, hardwire to battery and it will auto-maintain whenever egg is plugged in. Won't do a major recharge in short time like battery charger, but will be automatic.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:13 AM   #7
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Hi All,

I have a Progressive Dynamics PD6911 in my 1976 Trillium. As this trailer came with no battery I thought that now would be a good time to set this up right.

We will only be running 12v lights and maybe a radio or low load item so having a lot of power is not necessary. However, having something relatively low maintenance is important.

I am considering replacing the Progressive Dynamics PD6911 with a Progressive Dynamics PD9130 and a Progressive Dynamics Charge Wizard. My understanding is that when connected to shore power the Charge Wizard will work with the PD9130 as a smart charger, delivering a Boost, Normal, Storage or Desulfation charge to the battery. This would then mean I could avoid using a standalone 3 level charger that I have to attach everytime I come back from a trip or overwinter the trailer.

Can I get some feedback on this approach? Will the new Progressive Dynamics convertors fit where the old ones were?

Thanks in advance.
Booker,

Check these guys out. I've bought two PD converters from them; good service and good pricing. I'd go with the 9200.

You can also find out the dimensions and even some replacement instructions on their site.

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Old 05-19-2008, 09:22 AM   #8
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Hi Morgan,

I actually called them yesterday afternoon as I have seen a lot of references to bestconvertor on RV sites. They asked to call back today when their head tech was in - actually, they asked if I wanted him to call me back. You don't get service like that much on the internet so I going to follow up with them today on a PD9245.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:56 PM   #9
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Hi,

Randy (tech guy) at bestconverter.com said the replacement for a PD6911 is not the PD9200 series at all. He said the PD6911 is a really a power center with breaker and that I should be looking at a WFCO 8725. This looks the same style panel that is in the new Trillium trailers. It has a 3 stage charger built in. It's actually cheaper then going the PD9200 way.

Anyone done this kind of upgrade before or have any thoughts on it?

Edit: It looks like I need to buy a breaker with it to handle my 110 outlets. I would guess that a 20amp would be fine for my light load consumption but please reply if you believe that's not the case
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:02 PM   #10
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is this the Converter you have Booker?

If so then yes, you should look at something with a breaker box. I would reccomend sticking with a known company like PD or Xantrex though.

I have the one in the center of this picture, and a PD converter will fit in the bottom where the old converter was
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:53 PM   #11
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Oops, too late, I went with the WFCO =) . Yes, I have the 6911W2 single breaker style that's in your PDF

They sell everything (PD, Xantrex) at bestconverter.com and the tech thought the WFCO would work perfectly with the Trill - I will have to increase the existing convertor cutout by 2" in height (cool, a way to justify buying a dremel), width and depth are fine.

Had to make a decision today as it will take a bit to get it shipped to me. Now I am looking at batteries. A friend just bought a Lifeline Battery, never heard of them before. Seems like they know their stuff so I guess I will start looking for feedback on them.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:12 PM   #12
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Those are AGM batteries, which some folks swear by.

They cost a lot more but are expected to last a lot longer. I continue to prefer a series of cheaper lead-acid batteries from Wally or other easily replaceable source on the road (longer lasting batteries are sometimes longer lasting for the thief, not me, having had a battery stolen from my trailer tongue in a locked storage yard).

I didn't look at the Lifelines, but typically they are a dual-purpose deep cycle and starting battery, with fewer Amp Hours than the equivalent L-A.

Their absolutely unbeatable virtue is that they can be mounted just about anywhere but upside down. They can't be maintained, so one need not worry about watering them. Reportedly, the later ones are redesigned to be less sensitive to charging voltage requirements at the cost of slightly shorter expected life.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:37 PM   #13
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Those are AGM batteries, which some folks swear by.

They cost a lot more but are expected to last a lot longer. I continue to prefer a series of cheaper lead-acid batteries from Wally or other easily replaceable source on the road (longer lasting batteries are sometimes longer lasting for the thief, not me, having had a battery stolen from my trailer tongue in a locked storage yard).

I didn't look at the Lifelines, but typically they are a dual-purpose deep cycle and starting battery, with fewer Amp Hours than the equivalent L-A.

Their absolutely unbeatable virtue is that they can be mounted just about anywhere but upside down. They can't be maintained, so one need not worry about watering them. Reportedly, the later ones are redesigned to be less sensitive to charging voltage requirements at the cost of slightly shorter expected life.
Pete,

Lifeline makes both marine/RV deep cycle batteries and marine/RV starting batteries; they are not the same.

One big advantage of AGM over flooded lead -acid is the current capability. You can draw a much higher current from the AGM without damage. You can also charge it at a much higher current without damage.

The AGM is much more rugged, requires no maintenance and, I think, is well worth the extra dollars. If you can afford the upfront costs, you'll save money in the long run over flooded lead-acid.

Lifeline is a quality product.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:17 PM   #14
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Yer right, I only saw the AGMs.

There are different perspectives on this decision. I'm not worried about output current; that's for starting or dual-purpose batteries (However the high INPUT currents for AGM is a good thing for quicker recharge). Long slow drain is what I want in a deep cycle battery.

I am skeptical of any supposedly 'deep cycle' battery with a spec for cranking amps -- I believe that's for starting or dual purpose batteries.

My take on batteries is to get current (date code) trolling batteries from inexpensive ubiquitous sources and trade them out as needed. I have read of out-of-warranty AGM failures on forums like RV.Net -- I'd rather have a string of one-year full replacement batteries than one couple-of-years warranty on the expensive battery.

Here's a Lifeline G24, 80AH AGM for $319 w/one-year warranty.

I can get an equivalent G24 FLA Deep Cycle battery at Wally for about $65.

300/65 = 4.6 WallyBatts for one Lifeline, and if any of those four+ fail in their first year, replacement is free. Since AGMs are 'expected' to last at least twice as long as FLA, my $300 will buy more than twice the life of the AGM... Not much economic advantage there. If one can buy the AGM for about $150, then the field is more even with owner preference being the decider.

After the replacement warranty period of the AGM, one is at risk for battery failure, charging system failure wrecking battery or battery theft.

When the price drops, as it will if they are truly a superior battery than FLA, then I will be getting one. Until then...

BTW, Wally marks their dual purpose batteries DP and the more true deep cycle batteries as DC for those who may be shopping.

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