To convert, or not convert - Fiberglass RV
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View Poll Results: Do you have a convertor?
Yes, I have and use one all the time 33 57.89%
I have one, don't know why, don't know if I actually use it 4 7.02%
Don't have one, want one 3 5.26%
Never had a need for one 13 22.81%
I'll convert if there is food involved 4 7.02%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-16-2006, 07:35 PM   #1
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I am curious at the need for a convertor if you have a battery connected.

My needs are simpler than most, I don't have a bunch of stuff to load down the system greatly, so I just let my battery charge when plugged into 120, and let my 12v items run off the battery itself. Granted, it charges slower that way, but with so little draw, it makes very little difference to me. I also, in a roundabout way, am running off my charger and am relying on my charger to put out only 12-14 volts.

Having started out with a pretty depleted battery and running my 12 volt stuff while charging has never bit me, but maybe I am just lucky.

Once again, my trailer is not lit up like a landing strip, so it may not matter for *me*.

Everything is fused after the battery and there is a main fuse between charger and battery. Only 20 amp, but I have never popped it. Some would caution against this.

Your needs may vary. What are ya'll using that requires a convertor?
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:53 PM   #2
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My trailer came with one. Personally I'm methodist.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Once again, my trailer is not lit up like a landing strip, so it may not matter for *me*.
[b]Lights! Camera! Action! I have added light fixtures until there are double the number that originally came with the Fiber Stream. When I stay at a campsite that has 110 volt electric power, my lights are noticably brighter when powered from the converter than when running off the battery. The Fan-Tastic Fan runs slightly faster too, comparing the same speed settings, when powered through the converter. When on the converter, I will run more than one fixture at a time, whereas when on battery, I will be a lot more conservative.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:15 PM   #4
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My converter came with the rig. I'd prefer not to be using it.
A trickle charger, or solar panel, is a lot easier on the batteries, and won't boil them dry.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:33 PM   #5
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OK now where's the food?

If there wasn't already a converter installed I probably would just do with a charger while at home, and let the TV charge while on the road. I doubt I'd go to the expense. But then I'm only running a few lights and sometimes the furnance fan. Spect I'll be running a fan in hot weather. Not much battery usage.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:47 PM   #6
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A trickle charger, or solar panel, is a lot easier on the batteries, and won't boil them dry.
I have tried disconnecting the battery when staying in a "powered" campsite. Everything works that way except for the Duette Heater Blower. I just use my Cube heater when on electric power, anyway.

The most effective thing I have done to keep from boiling the battery dry is to refrain from plugging into electric power when it is in "storage" at my workplace. The refrig works best on propane. There is a charge line from my tow vehicle. If I feel that my battery is low, I'll bring it home and charge it on my automatic deep-cycle charger I got from Sears, instead of using the converter to charge it.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:53 PM   #7
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I put one in because I love to spend money and I think they are cool. Mine has the charge wizzard, so it's an all in one tidy package. I see now that the Progressive Dynamic's new converter has a built in charge wizard.

Chargers are meant to be used as power sources, tho' they sometime are. Plus what Fred said!
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:10 PM   #8
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Speaking of converters i had trouble with mine not filtering the AC.
I had 27 volts of AC on the DC side of my converter.

I called the factory and was told that the 6300 series of Parallax converters
had no filters in it. The only filtering was done by the battery.

So i bought a new 7400 converter that is fully filtered and has a battery charging wizard that will not over charge your battery.

Pretty cool huh.

I checked the converter in the 5th wheel and it had the same model as the Casita so i bought a new on for it also.

Harv in Colo.
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:25 AM   #9
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With sensitive electronic devices such as computers, some TV's, etc. I think the filtering abilities a converter provides are worth the expense. If one is only dealing with incandescent lighting and battery charging a good quality charger will satisfy both needs. When we had a cab-over camper we set it up so there was a connection point for the charger and a 110V outlet in a cabinet which had a permanent power cord to be used when hook-ups were available. There were no expensive electronics to worry about so it worked quite well for our needs in the '60's, '70's and even the '80's.
Today's world is different. Many appliances and communication devices have computerized controls which require stable, filtered power beyond the ability of a battery charger to supply.
So "pick your poison" for your individual RV and enjoy the decision making process!
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:43 AM   #10
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Byron.. here is some Uncle Bens CONVERTED rice! (What is "converted" rice, anyway?)

OK.. I am off to my room.. but first let me say...

I have 4 hardwired AC outlets in my trailer. If I run my comp while hooked up to shore power, I use those and the convertor provided with the comp.

Otherwise, sparingly (Like this weekend) I use the old inefficient invertor to convertor method to charge the battery in the comp, then run off the comp battery until it dwindles.. start the whole process over again. (It actually only takes about 15 mins to charge for a couple hours use)

It is never run off the 12v if the house charger is on.. there is no need. If charger is on.. then it means I have AC available.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
My converter came with the rig. I'd prefer not to be using it.
A trickle charger, or solar panel, is a lot easier on the batteries, and won't boil them dry.
An unregulated solar panel can boil your battery dry if you're not careful.

Granted, it happens much more quickly with an AC power source, but you can't just hook up a solar panel and forget about it...

Wanna know how I know?
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:48 AM   #12
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Ours came with one (Newmark Electrocenter), and the "people who know" insisted that I could keep it plugged in all the time at home. So far, so good.
To each their own, but my trailer is pretty well wired, with several duplicate 120v outlets, white for shore AC and gray for inverter AC (hardwired and switchable). After some time I discovered what Fredrick was talking about: the converter upped the voltage as soon as additional lights or whatever was turned on. I take that to mean that the DC voltage goes down to a trickle-charge level when stored without drain. Batteries seem to do fine. The converter switches automatically on and off when we plug it in, so the whole action is pretty seamless (and always charged and ready to go).
James,we need the converter, because we are Baptists and our dog is a Lutheran. So we plug her in when we can, but she resists the converter. What heartache!
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:44 AM   #13
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I'm no expert on this, mind you, but as I understand it a 3-Stage Digital charger won't boil your battery and you can leave it on when you use a converter..................because as the converter feeds whatever you are using, the 3-Stage just ups the charging voltage to compensate. Then when you stop using the converter, and the battery is once again charged, the 3-Stage drops back down to about a 2 amp charge, and will even cycle on and off as the battery needs. So you can leave it connected to AC between trips and be assured that when you pull the camper out for a trip it will be completely topped off.
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:11 AM   #14
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Okay, I'll admit, I've been doing other things the last 6 months besides working with my trailer so - What are we talking about here? things running off the battery. Either plug in and battery charger kicks in and recharges or plug in and converter runs things and by passes batteries?

We are talking running 12volt things?

Oh, that's my problem. I don't have anything 12 volt. I need an inverter. takes a battery and makes it 110. Takes a big hunk'in battery, but I love it. I haven't figured out all of the ins and outs yet, but I will.

I use one of those little trickle chargers that you leave connected. works great.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:35 AM   #15
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Is it the silver box under the curb site seat Or is that an inverter

All I know, is I plug into power and I have lights!
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Old 07-07-2006, 07:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Is it the silver box under the curb site seat Or is that an inverter

All I know, is I plug into power and I have lights!
Most of our trailers have 12v DC lights and 120v AC outlets. The converter is the box (usually located under one of the dinette seats in later model trailers) that allows you to run your 12v lights on 120v AC, and also charges your battery. On most later-model trailers, you don't have a choice of whether or not to use it. When you plug in to 120v AC shore power, your converter does it's thing.

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Old 12-21-2006, 08:09 PM   #17
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Donna I am like you, plug into power and I have lights.
If no electricity, I have 12 volt, but use sparingly as I have no idea how long it will last.
I have no idea if I have a converter or not. My battery is in the back under the seat but not where I can get at it to check things out. Does it take water? I have no idea and if it does, I couldn't get it out anyhow. The battery is in the back out of my reach!
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