New installation of a converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2017, 06:34 PM   #1
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Name: Isaac
Trailer: 1995 Scamp 13' + 2008 Subaru Outback
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New installation of a converter

Our family was finally able to purchase a '95 Scamp about a month ago, and I'm working on some updates to make it work better for us. One thing I want to do is install a converter.

This camper did not come with one, and I have an older one from a friend that I'll probably use, at least at first, until I can get the scratch for a better one. All of that is background to the question, which is:

Do I need to run new wires from the batteries to the converter's charge circuit, or do I just connect it to existing hot and ground wires? Most of the videos I've been able to find have been converter replacements, where they just had to disconnect an old converter and install the new one, so it's kind of unclear to me.

Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaac_n View Post
Our family was finally able to purchase a '95 Scamp about a month ago, and I'm working on some updates to make it work better for us. One thing I want to do is install a converter.

This camper did not come with one, and I have an older one from a friend that I'll probably use, at least at first, until I can get the scratch for a better one. All of that is background to the question, which is:

Do I need to run new wires from the batteries to the converter's charge circuit, or do I just connect it to existing hot and ground wires? Most of the videos I've been able to find have been converter replacements, where they just had to disconnect an old converter and install the new one, so it's kind of unclear to me.

Thanks!
The question I need to ask is Why do you think you need a converter?
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:15 PM   #3
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Because I don't want to have to plug my charger in, pull the battery covers off, hook it up, charge the battery, disconnect it, put the battery covers back on, and unplug the charger every time the battery needs charging.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by isaac_n View Post
Because I don't want to have to plug my charger in, pull the battery covers off, hook it up, charge the battery, disconnect it, put the battery covers back on, and unplug the charger every time the battery needs charging.
You make a simple task difficult. I put a small pigtail on my battery that I can plug into a battery charger, or my solar panel. You it's NOT necessary to disconnect the battery while charging.

I turned off my converter about 5 years ago and haven't missed a bit. We camp for over 100 night a year most of it in long winter trip (60 to 90+ days). Never have hookups. I wouldn't even need the solar if I was only camping a few week-ends a year.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:22 PM   #5
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Can you shoot a picture of what that looks like? I don't love the idea of wires connected to the battery but not to anything else just floating around for when I'm _not_ charging. I'm betting I'm just missing something though.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:25 PM   #6
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better than a converter make sure you have a charge line from your tow vehicle which charge the battery when moving down the road.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:27 PM   #7
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I don't really want my car charging the camper, plus most of the time it's in my driveway (and it gets _some_ use there), not on the car.

Plus my car doesn't have a 7-pin connector, and I'd have to run a line from the battery to the back of the car, which I also don't really want to do.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:19 PM   #8
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fogettaboutit....

don't have one? so what...gonna put an "old" one in there???? yeah sure, next you'll be looking for wooden spoke rims !!! (old converter/chargers are notorious for frying batteries)

we've been discussing this for a while...

permanent wired-in charger....double insulated (no fan)....when you plug in it charges....all you need...spend the money on a good one....at least 6 amps (will keep up with any demand and charge your depleted battery/ies in a reasonable amount of time

it works
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:17 AM   #9
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Someone should get a hold of all the R/V manufactures and tell them that on-board or off-board chargers and charge lines from tow vehicles are superior to using a converter. Apparently they still think converters are best, since about 99.9% of R/Vs come with one. Converters work great to power all your low voltage stuff when on shore power even with no house battery at all. Maybe we should have a law to require a converter only in rigs without batteries and not have them installed in rigs that do have house batteries.
.
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:25 AM   #10
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I have a trailer battery and factory converter .
Mine work just fine as do others in millions of trailers
Why are we trying to reinvent the wheel ?
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
...
Why are we trying to reinvent the wheel ?
And why are we not answering the question that was asked (how to wire the old one)?

I know that I am not answering the question because there are too many unknowns with such an old camper. This is something best done in person.

First step is to ID the converter you want to use and see if you can find the manual online. You need to properly wire the 120 VAC supply. The output might go straight to the battery, but I would want to see the camper and the converter in person before suggesting anything.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:05 AM   #12
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Isaac, if you have some model numbers and pictures it would be much easier to help you, it might also be a better way to decide if the old converter is worthwhile, or you need a new one,

Joe
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:14 AM   #13
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@Joe - Here's the converter. It's older, but.. It's what I have, and I really need to stop spending money on the camper for a little bit



@Gordon - Thanks -- yeah, I know there are lots of differences, and I totally understand your reasoning.

@Francois - That's not a terrible idea, but I'm a little strapped for cash and would like to do it with what I have if possible. I've added the NOCO charger you have in your picture to my "camper" wishlist on Amazon... How do you like it?
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:53 AM   #14
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good call Gord....

And why are we not answering the question that was asked (how to wire the old one)?

I know that I am not answering the question because there are too many unknowns with such an old camper. This is something best done in person.

I agree with all that 100%....basically a Power Center in an RV is where AC and DC meet and it IS complicated....with the relay and some DC circuits powered by the converter when plugged in and some others powered from the battery all the time regardless....I would not attempt to coach (if I had the knowledge to do so even) somebody to go "tinkering" with a dusty one that's been sitting on a shelf somewhere....wondering why somebody put it there in the first place...

So the OP should take his problem to an RV shop or an electrician. AC can kill and DC can cause fires. I have enough knowledge to wire AC...and I've built DC systems in boats....the interface ?? that I don't fully understand (and frankly don't trust, especially old ones)....so I just got rid of it.

Myself and a few others that have gone the "charger only" route have severed the AC to DC interface They now only meet inside the charger. That's something that everybody does everyday at home when they plug their phones or laptops into an AC outlet...

I'm not trying to preach, convince or disagree with anybodys course of action/system....just "shooting the breeze" about what I did and how it has performed for me so far. We are all adults and free to make our own decisions.

I've always wanted to be part of the 0.1% club.... Cheers, F
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