New Converter Needed? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-19-2013, 10:47 AM   #1
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New Converter Needed?

I've noticed that my converter seems to be giving off a fair amount of heat when I have the camper plugged in. It's original to the camper (1985 era). If I have the seat cushion off the bench, the wooden cover for the converter compartment is getting warm. And the converter feels hot (but not burning hot) Is this normal? Should I consider replacing with a newer one?
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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It is normal for the transformer inside to generate heat. You notice it more when it is cold.

I just replaced mine with one with smart charging capability, so it can be left plugged in all the time to maintain and de-sulphate the battery. It was $125.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
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Seriously, all campers that have batteries should update to a converter with smart charging capability. It'll save you battery life and keep it topped off.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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As I have oft mentioned, look at the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 power center. It upgrades/updates your entire electrical distribution system, adds a smart charger and can be found for less than $150.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
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I replaced our original with a PD 4045. Note that it mounts to a vertical surface that has to have a hole cut into it. I also made a couple 2" holes to vent that area. Pam, you could do that with your existing converter, make some vent holes to get the heat out of that rear compartment. I'm quite pleased that I installed the new converter.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam Garlow
I've noticed that my converter seems to be giving off a fair amount of heat when I have the camper plugged in. It's original to the camper (1985 era). If I have the seat cushion off the bench, the wooden cover for the converter compartment is getting warm. And the converter feels hot (but not burning hot) Is this normal? Should I consider replacing with a newer one?
Electronics of that era tends to give off more heat. Less efficient but still functional. Unless it's very hot I would not be concerned. More importantly, does it smell. Smell tells you components are deteriorating. If not then it's probably fine. As to replacement, it is approaching 30 years and power supplies (converters) are more stressed than most electronic circuits. For a single group 24 or group 27 battery and simple lights, fan, ect. I would not spend a lot of money on a converter. If my converter died tomorrow I would buy a $50 battery charger ( I already have solar) and wire the battery to a simple distribution panel ( example below). However, if your needs are more elaborate that's a different story and a converter may be the way to go.

I'm not convinced smart converter/chargers are smart enough yet. When batteries come with built in electrolyte temperature sensing that can be integrated with the charger, I will like them better. Also, I'm not inclined to leave chargers connected all the time. A personal preference perhaps. Raz
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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One other advantage of dumping the UHaul converter is that it weighs 14.5#. A modern converter weighs about 5#. Mine had also gotten so it hummed, which was aggravating, being under the bed. I installed the new one under the furnace, which freed up space in the back compartment.

That said, if it still works, there is no pressing need to swap it out.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:00 PM   #8
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Apparently Boeing didn't get a smart enough charger for the batteries in the 787, but as far as charging common deep cycle RV batteries, one of the first things I do when referbishing any RV is to toss the old power chassis and install a new one with a Progressive Dynamics smart charger.

BTW: As the part shown is a boat part, you can multiply any reasonable price guess times 3 if you want to buy one.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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I too am replacing the boat anchor for a new electrical system. I also want to get a solar panel, as I will be boondocking at the fishing hole. Does anyone have a good all in one system. I want to go all 12 volt and have an isolated 110 for the cushy pads.

Things change so quickly in the electronic world.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
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I don't believe that anyone that makes a decent power chassis/converter/charger also builds/sells solar panel systems. But, if you start off with a Progressice Dynamics PD-4045 power chassis you will ave a good start to add the solar too in the future.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat B Ohio View Post
I too am replacing the boat anchor for a new electrical system. I also want to get a solar panel, as I will be boondocking at the fishing hole. Does anyone have a good all in one system. I want to go all 12 volt and have an isolated 110 for the cushy pads.

Things change so quickly in the electronic world.
If you are going solar why do you need a convertor.

I've installed 3 solar systems on Eggs and just finished installing a system on my slide in truck camper.
Solar keeps the battery charged so there is no need for a convertor.
John
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:28 AM   #12
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If you are going solar why do you need a convertor.

I've installed 3 solar systems on Eggs and just finished installing a system on my slide in truck camper.
Solar keeps the battery charged so there is no need for a convertor.
John
Exactly. As long as you size the panel to meet your demand, you don't need a converter although I like to have a battery charger.

You can also make the same argument if you don't stay too long in one place and your tow vehicle charging system can replenish what you use.

The folks who stay where there are always hook ups and use a lot of DC power will probably want/need a converter.

I suspect most folks end up somewhere in between especially when they first start out. Also at many campgrounds you pay for the electric hook up whether you use it or not. Raz
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:50 AM   #13
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I'm with Raz on this one as its exactly what I did to an older Scamp that I had some years ago. I didn't do the solar thing but did do the battery charger.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:52 AM   #14
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We are snow birding at a campground in the south that has lots of trees, therefore a lot of shade. Full hookups, and we can use all the electricity we want without an additional fee. Our camper has seven 12 volt lights, so having the converter works great for us. We don't do any long term camping when we are back north in the summer, maybe a week at a time with no hookups, so we use the battery conservatively. Most of the time we use our teardrop anyhow.
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