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Old 11-09-2018, 08:49 AM   #21
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interesting Gord....

my battery bank is 230A (115A usable power, 50% discharge)...so according to the 10-13% rule I would need at least a 25A charger like the C-TEC mentioned...(at twice the price BTW, but that don't matter in this discussion)


to answer your other questions: I have two GC batteries courtesy of the PO...that's what I started with and what I've kept. In usual use, with my power use, the system voltage never drops below about 12.45V on my panel meter. This is about 80% discharge and according to what I've read will maximize the life cycles that the batteries will yield before dying of old age.


On that same panel meter I have seen 14.8V at various times....but it's mostly below that...like 13.8....and 13.3 (maintenance) for long periods. The charger is obviously cycling through different voltages depending on different conditions it "sees".


but I have a question for you....in the link you provided, the voltages are "per cell"....I got 6, so multiplying by 6 made sense and worked out..... Could that figure of "10-13%" be a "per cell" number as well???????
If that was the case 7A would be adequate.....so I dunno Gord...pretty complicated this 12V stuff, eh???...lots of fun though, Cheers, F
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:03 AM   #22
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... the voltages are "per cell"....I got 6, so multiplying by 6 made sense and worked out..... Could that figure of "10-13%" be a "per cell" number as well???????
If that was the case 7A would be adequate.......
Voltage per cell and if your have two 6 volt batteries in series, then you have in essence one 12 volt battery and you charge it with a 12 volt charger. Ideal Charging current (during bulk stage) is percent of battery capacity. So yes, they recommend a charger that can supply about 25 amps for a 230 AH (c20) battery (even if its two 6 volt batteries in series).

At least that is the way I understand it, but you could call Trojan to confirm. And while you're on the phone with them, ask them how much difference it really makes if you only use a 7 amp (12 volt) charger. Just because higher bulk charging current is better does not necessarily mean its a requirement to have a reasonably well operating system.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:36 AM   #23
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a chuckle for you....

Attachment 126029I went googling around on the subject and found this.....LOL...check the underlined


Link: Battery Charging Tutorial | ChargingChargers.com
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:48 AM   #24
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Sébastien, when choosing a converter or charger, consider:

- Do you have shore power connection and/or converter now and, if so, where is it located? My Trillium 4500 still has the original converter box in the cabinet space beside the passenger side wheel well. That space is only 7" high and 7" deep (cabinet face to wheel well). No new converters will fit in that space, so I would have to re-locate and modify wiring if I wanted a new converter. Alternatively, the Progressive Dynamics 5000 power distribution panel WILL fit in that space, so that could be installed together with a new converter-charger or power supply located either above the PD5000 or in the adjacent shore cord compartment.

- Do you want a permanent shore power connection to power (1) the original Trillium 110vac outlets, and (2) the battery charger? If so, you will need to wire in at least one 110vac circuit breaker in a box, and maybe an additional outlet for the battery charger (or use an existing outlet). EDIT: OR if you buy a power distribution panel or some converters, they include 110vac circuit breaker slots and 110vac outlet.

- You will need to wire in a 12vdc fuse or circuit breaker panel for the lights. EDIT: OR if you buy a power distribution panel or some converters, they include 12vdc fuse sockets.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:54 AM   #25
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What about a smart converter that charges according to the recommended profile (same as a smart charger)? There is a wide range of quality, functionality and features in chargers and converters so its hard to generalize.

BTW, my Solar Controller (aka charger) is smarter than either my smart converter or my smart charger. For a few reasons, but one being the remote temperature sensor and temperature adjustment. Temperature compensation is something that is also recommended for charging but rarely implemented in RVs. It too bad I don't get to use it as often as the other chargers.


The CTEC smart charger also has a temperature sensor at the battery connection. It compensates for temperature.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:31 PM   #26
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I am interested in getting rid of my converter portion and just using a smart charger as well.

I've taken apart my power center box to replace the fuse block to be an automotive style ATC fuse block instead of a glass fuses in there originally. Aside from the 120V circuit breakers, there's a solenoid that disconnects the battery from the 12 circuit when plugged in and switches the 12 volt circuit to the output of a big transformer. The transformer also has another output supplying a constant 5amp charge to the battery.

I noticed early on I cannot leave the trailer plugged in too long at home otherwise the battery will bubble. Sometimes I forget, so I started using a 3 amp battery tender instead. The second issue I noticed, is when plugged in, my LED lights will occasionally flicker, which it doesn't do when run on battery power.

Given all this, I'm thinking about removing the 12 volt converter/transformer, removing the switch over solenoid and having the 12 volt circuit wired to the battery all the time, and wire a 5 amp battery tender to the battery. Am I missing anything?

I rarely camp with hookups, all my lights are LED, don't use the fridge on 12 volt. Furnace uses very little to power the blower. Biggest draw is probably the water pump, but we're talking about minutes of usage a day.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:30 PM   #27
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Thomas,
Disconnecting and isolating the 12v system, as described, seems like a good idea. Flickering LEDs can be caused by additional loads coming on, like the water pump, a charger cycling on and off, or voltage too low. Low voltage causes what I would call blinking.

I suggest that the heater fan could easily be the biggest DC draw and bigger than the water pump which only cycles for a very short time.

A five amp charger will be fine as long as your average power demand, per 24 hours let's say, doesn't exceed 5 amps continuous charge. Add up 5 amp hours, for 24 hours. Then add up the fan, the pump the lights, etc, over a 24 hour period and compare. Or just try it for a while and monitor the battery state of charge over a week or so. Be sure to use a smart charger that can be left on continuously. Any newer and lightweight charger is likely a smart charger. Ferro-resonant chargers are much heavier and have transformers in them. Smart chargers usually have a charge level indicator light system to tell you how they are doing. Marine chargers are an excellent choice because they can be mounted to a surface easily, have good connectors designed to be screwed on and are likely explosion proof for use in confined areas with batteries. Often too, they have multiple output circuits, so you can charge the batteries individually and spot problems easier. But that is not necessary. Be sure your charger has the logic and the power to pull your batteries up over 14 volts on each charge cycle. That should happen every time you're load exceeds the output of the charger and the battery gets pulled down below it's float voltage. Then it will go back to "bulk" and "absorption" to get to 14.1-14.4 volts, before settling to "float" of about 13.2 volts, where it will sit continuously without a load. If you had a charger with an output of about 20 amps, the battery would likely always stay in "float" because the charger could carry the maximum load without help from the battery. This might make the battery use less water and outgas less, but it's a small difference at most.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:52 PM   #28
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ThomasE, your proposed setup should work fine.

Concerning use of LED bulbs, all of them seem to work fine with battery-only (12vdc) setups, but the problems arise when a transformer or charging circuit is used while operating the lights. As mentioned by others in other threads:

- LED flickering can result from excessive ripple voltage due to an old transformer. This can be measured with a multimeter. The solution is to replace the transformer with a modern converter, battery charger, etc.

- LED overheating and burnouts can result from using cheap, under-spec'd bulbs that can't tolerate 14.4vdc charging voltage. Less expensive LED bulbs are typically designed operate at 11 to 13 volts, while better quality LED bulbs such as those available at SuperBrightLEDs are designed to operate at 10 to 30 volts.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:09 PM   #29
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Most converters can power all you 12 volt stuff when connected to shore power even with no battery at all. Many chargers cant do that. If they can, they are basically the same thing.. a charger or a non-integrated converter. A rose by any other name.
+100 with no battery at all on my rig, I rely on the original converter to power all the inside lights.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:11 PM   #30
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+100 with no battery at all on my rig, I rely on the original converter to power all the inside lights.
What powers your breakaway brakes?
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:24 PM   #31
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Trailer has no brakes (Trillium 1300).
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:27 PM   #32
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Trailer has no brakes (Trillium 1300).
Gotcha. I didn't read past "Escape 19"......
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:30 PM   #33
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Thanks John and Raspy for your input. I suspect my LED lights flickering is due to inconsistent voltage from the transformer. It randomly flickers when hooked up to shore power, but not on battery power. I'm familiar with the overall dim down when the water pump turns on, that happens on both shore and battery power. I have the Atwood 8012 hydroflame furnace which is suppose to be very low current draw, around 1 1/2 amps when running.

I will likely get a mountable Battery Tender brand charger, or a marine charger and remove the converter. I like to keep things simple as possible on the trailer.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:21 PM   #34
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Thank all of you. You tell a Progressive Dynamics 5000 power distribution panel can fit on my T4500. Is it a good one ? I dont have power distribution on my rig.(dont find it wet)
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:48 PM   #35
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Sébastien, my old converter is located below the closet and below the furnace, in front of the wheel well. When I measured the space, it appears that the PD5000 will fit in there. It is a good quality power distribution panel.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:56 AM   #36
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Sébastien, my old converter is located below the closet and below the furnace, in front of the wheel well.
My old converter is at the same place. It is a good place to put the brakers and fuses. Where do you put your converter?
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:14 AM   #37
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I would suggest putting the PD5000 power distribution panel where your old converter is located, and put a deck mount power converter to the right, under the bench (where the cord is stored). One example of a deck mount power converter is the Progressive Dynamics PD9245C which includes a charge wizard.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:22 AM   #38
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To install the Progressive Dynamics PD5000, you need to enlarge the cutout.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:36 AM   #39
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As others have suggested, a simpler solution is to replace your old equipment with a combined system such as the Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power 4135 (PD4135). This includes the power distribution panel, converter and charge wizard charger all in one box. If you do this, you have to figure out where it would fit.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:53 AM   #40
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As others have suggested, a simpler solution is to replace your old equipment with a combined system such as the Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power 4135 (PD4135). This includes the power distribution panel, converter and charge wizard charger all in one box. If you do this, you have to figure out where it would fit.
It seems to me that if you have an all-in-one unit then when the converter fails or becomes obsolete, you have to replace the entire unit. Whereas if the power panel is separate, you only need to replace or upgrade the converter. I can replace or upgrade my converter by unplugging it from a standard outlet on the panel, and disconnecting and reconnecting two wires. Literally a ten minute job. But what fits for the OP might be more important.
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