Progressive Converter / Trailer Wiring question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-10-2018, 11:08 PM   #1
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Scamp 16
Washington
Posts: 13
Progressive Converter / Trailer Wiring question

Hi All,

I need some help updating my converter in my 1990 Scamp 16 (layout 4). I think the existing converter is stock and during my current remodel I noticed that the line connecting the converter was wedged against a fiberglass wall and nearly cut through.

I should say that the current setup is working and it currently has a Magnatek 3220 20 amp converter. I currently only have one battery on the tongue (some sort of Kirkland marine battery). When this battery dies I'll move to a couple of golf cart batteries or similar.

My current setup has the AC line enter on the passenger side and go under kitchen sink into a breaker box. From there the line runs around the back of the trailer behind the fridge into a standard outlet. The converter and fridge are plugged into that outlet. The converter sits under the driver side bed cabinet.

It sounds like Progressive Dynamics is the go to choice in these forums. I don't understand the difference between the PD4045 and the PD9100 series. The 4045 is a control center vs a converter/charger. What is the difference?
it seems that I should just get the PD9100 series as it seems like a direct replacement for what I have. Am I on the right path? Going with the 4045 I get the feeling I would need to rewire everything. I don't have the trailer gutted and really have no idea where all the wires are running!

Just to further show my ignorance, I have no idea how the DC side really works. I understand that there is a line from the converter to the battery to charge the battery. I have a mess of lines that all come together behind the fridge (between converter and battery) and it is impossible to tell what is what. Some must be for the trailer driving brake lights, makers etc,

Do all the lines that go to my furnace, water heater and water pump, and lighting come out of the converter box?

I guess to sum it up, I've got a few options .. one is just to fix the cord that has been damaged and stick with what I have ... it still works. However if I do want to upgrade to something not so old that will better mange the battery should I just get the PD9130 and the charge wizard?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:48 AM   #2
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Name: John & Gloria
Trailer: Bigfoot 21RB
Florida
Posts: 103
Kelly, My 2002 Bigfoot came with a Magnetek 6300 series. Progressive Dynamics makes a retrofit kit that uses the old Magnetek enclosure. For mine it was the PD4635 model. The new circuit board includes the Charge Wizard. Very easy install. I believe Progressive Dynamics makes these upgrade kits for several different Magnetek units. It may be worth your while to check them out.
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:04 PM   #3
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Name: Chet
Trailer: Scamp
California
Posts: 3
Converter

Hi Kelly

Unless the Magnatek converter is not maintaining a charge on the battery you should just repair the damaged wire. This converter is capable of supplying up to 20 amps of 12 volts of direct current for the pump, furnace, lights and other 12v devices. Twenty amps is more than enough power for most 12v needs. Unless you are adding some additional high amperage 12v devices there is nothing to gain by installing a new 30 amp converter.

To check the charge function;

If you unplug the converter or disconnect the battery overnight the battery should drop to a resting voltage of around 12.6v. This voltage will vary with battery condition.

The Magnatek converter has two functions first it converts 120ac to 12vdc to run the pump, furnace, lights and other 12v devices without discharging the battery. Second it has a built-in regulated battery charger to maintain the battery charge. The charge function can be checked by measuring the voltage across the battery with the lights and 12v devices turned off. The voltage after the converter has been charging for an hour or two should be around 13.6 to 14.2 volts. This will vary with the condition of the battery.

If the battery is good and the charge voltage is good there is no need to replace the existing unit.

Viewing your photo; the lower left corner the orange twist connectors is the 120vac input. The pump, furnace and some other device such as an exhaust fan should be the Black, Red and Green wires connected to the 15 amp fuses. The heavy gauge Black in the upper corner should be the positive 12v battery connection. The heavy gauge white wire should be the negative/ground 12v battery connection.

Pulling one fuse at a time and trying each device will determine which fuse is associated with each device. The dome lights and porch light are normally not fused out of this unit. If the hot water heater has an electric igniter it is probably connected to 120vac and not connected to one of these fuses.

Have a good day,
Chet
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:09 PM   #4
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Scamp 16
Washington
Posts: 13
Thanks for the replies! I like the idea of sticking with what I have if there isn't a reason to move forward with something different. But I will look into the adapters for my box from PD. Seems like a good solution in the long term.

I've never tested my battery nor do I know how. Is there a recommended voltmeter that I should get to do this?

Also, should I have some extra fuses on hand in case something goes awry? If so anyone know what I may need?

The line that is partially severed is the big black cord that exists on the bottom right so that is probably the lines running to the various DC appliances. Any suggestions for how to repair this?

Thanks again.

Kelly
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:57 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
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Kelly, to answer your question on how to repair the wire:

- disconnect shore power to the converter
- disconnect the battery if there is one

Repairing the wire depends on whether there is extra slack in the damaged wire. If there is extra slack, then disconnect the wire, loosen wire clamp(s) holding the wire, etc. Then cut and strip the wire, re-connect the wire and re-tighten clamp(s). If there is no extra slack in the wire and the conductor is damaged, you will need to splice in new wire segment (with appropriate sized crimp splice connector) or completely replace the wire. If there is no extra slack in the wire and the conductor is not damaged, since it appears the installed wire is too short, again you will need to splice in new wire segment (with appropriate sized crimp splice connector) or completely replace the wire.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:04 AM   #6
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Actually, if there isn't any slack in the wire, just replace the whole wire, don't splice it... Reason: This appears to be a thick wire for high amperage application such as battery charging.

If this is beyond your skill set, have a electrician or RV repair technician fix it.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:44 AM   #7
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Scamp 16
Washington
Posts: 13
Thanks for the input. I think the wire that is cut is a housing that holds three wires leaving the converter. The black goes to the battery to charge and I'm not sure where the other two go. I'm going to test all of the connections tonight in the various configurations and see how it all works.

I agree that this is probably above my pay grade but I'll know more after I pull it all apart to look at everything.

I do know there isn't any slack in that line from trying to move the converter box around when I pulled out the water lines earlier last week.

Kelly
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:49 AM   #8
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Got it. If only the outer jacket is cut where the cable enters the converter box, this is not critical. You could loosen clamp(s) and wrap the cut with electrical tape. Also check whether you can get more slack by finding and loosening additional cable clamps further down the cable...
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:48 AM   #9
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Got it. If only the outer jacket is cut where the cable enters the converter box, this is not critical. You could loosen clamp(s) and wrap the cut with electrical tape. Also check whether you can get more slack by finding and loosening additional cable clamps further down the cable...

If you can actually get to the wire I would do more than this. I have had this problem on equipment I am responsible for before. I take it as a sign of where wear will be occurring. I go to menards or ect and get a six inch or so piece of rubber hose the size needed to just go over the jacket. Do the tape repair above. But then a slit the hose, place it in place and tape it back round and in place.
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