Converter vc charger - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-07-2018, 08:45 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Sébastien
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Quebec
Posts: 19
Converter vc charger

What is the advantage to use converter if a charger do the same job for cheaper? Besides the charger do a better job with the batteries. My T4500 dont use a lot of current. Only some light for the moment.
__________________

Sebas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2018, 11:38 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 1,913
A battery charger is not built into your electric panel as an integrated part of it. But a modern battery charger manages batteries very well to keep them healthy and use the minimum of water. Be sure you get one that can carry the largest DC load you plan to have, with the exception of an inverter. Modern converters have a smart charger built in, instead of an old fashioned style DC power supply, and will manage batteries correctly. Older converters were just a constant voltage DC output. So, modern converters are smart battery chargers that are integrated into the electrical panel.
__________________

__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 12:56 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,987
Registry
First I must explain that I'm never connected to hook-ups while camping. Second I've done a few things to reduce my power demands.

My converter started acting up a number of years ago. Promptly turned it off and it hasn't been turned on since then

When camping (stays anywhere between 1 week to 3 months). I use a 65 watt solar panel to recharge the battery every 4 or 5 days. When the trailer is sitting at home I use a "Battery Minder" to keep the battery charged. Battery Minder cost about $50. This has worked quite well I actually started using the Battery Minder several years before I turned off the Converter.

To sum it up I can see no reason or need of the standard RV converter. You can keep 12 volt DC power working hooked-up to electricity or not with a lot less expense and trouble than using a Converter.
__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 06:02 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Name: Sébastien
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Quebec
Posts: 19
I use 120v when it is available. The charger can produce 12v for light. I have a refrigerator 2 way 12v 120v. When 120v is not available, I put my refrigerator off. I think a converter is a lot of money for nothing.
Sebas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 06:37 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,813
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.

I have a battery charger that sometimes I plug in and use. I have a 30 amp smart converter that I sometimes turn on and use. The only substantial differences between the two (and how I use them) is that the converter has more power and can happily run my 12 volts stuff and charge the battery at the same time. The charger can do the same but is limited to seven amps. And the charger has to be set up although it could be wired in permanently.

I like having the converter for convenience and the fact that it will run my lights, pump, fans etc even if someone steals my battery. But as long as my battery is OK I would be fine with the charger alone.

One important thing that I think is often overlooked is how well the device charges. This is a rather involved topic but look for a "smart charger" or intelligent converter that follows the charging recommendation from the battery manufacture(s). Also a device often called a trickle charger is not sufficient for anything other than maintaing an already charged battery.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 11:17 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 1,913
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
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.
This is an important point I forgot to mention. Thanks Gordon. A smart charger only works on batteries that still have some voltage in them, typically about 10 volts. This is used to turn on the charger. If the battery is not there, you get nothing out of a smart charger when hooked up to your electrical system, unlike a converter. If the battery is completely dead, it will not charge up with a smart charger. In that case an older, and heavier charger style called ferro-resonant chargers, must be used because they put out power regardless. This is similar to older converters that will run equipment without a battery in the system, if needed. They also charge the battery, but not as well as a smart charger.

Bottom line: A smart charger, or a modern smart style converter is the best way to manage your batteries. With the smart charger, you must have a battery in the system and it cannot be completely dead. Converters usually have 30 amp outputs to run all internal loads. Smart chargers can be smaller if the battery is large enough to handle short term loads itself. In that case the charger output just has to average out to be high enough to carry everything over a longer period. For instance, the gas heater may draw more power than the charger output, but it only runs part time. So the average output is high enough.
Converters are typically 30 amps. I've gotten by just fine with a 6 amp smart charger.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 11:23 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
tide....

the tide seems to have turned
only a few years ago, whenever this subject came up (getting rid of / deleting the converter) it was met with mostly negative reactions/opinions...


now it seems most people agree that replacing a failed converter/charger with another new one is an option, one that is certainly simple to execute and quick...but not the only one.


if I had a 40 foot MH, with loads that could be greater than your average "smart or super-smart" charger (6 to 8A) could deliver....I can see how a converter would be a must. For most of us that is not the case.


Getting rid of the converter creates a little more work...you still need breakers and fuses....I took that as an opportunity to make better use of the space the powercenter used to occupy....so that was a "win" that way (given our small trailers)




it's been a few years now....and it all works just fine...the first charger I used had a fan..that became annoying. I now have a double insulated charger that does not need/have one. It is on it's own breaker so can be turned on/off that way. It is installed "semi-permanently" so I could use it somewhere else if that need ever came up.
Attached Thumbnails
elecr2b.jpg   elecr6.jpg  

elecr2c.jpg   eproject2a.jpg  

Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 11:34 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 1,913
One of my converters failed a while back. It turned out to be the style where there is a separate power supply mounted behind the fuse panel. It was very simple to get it out and set a new one in. They both had built in cords to plug in and then just two output wires to attach to the fuse panel and a ground/bonding wire. It took about 5 minutes.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 06:12 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Sébastien
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Quebec
Posts: 19
Some charger can give power without battery. NOCO genius 7200 for exemple. It have a supply mode 5A. Enough for my lamps. But maybe a converter is better if I need more power. Actually I have only fridge 12v and lamps. No pumps, no furnace nor water heater. The fridge is use only with 120v.
Sebas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 06:40 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
John in Michigan's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
Posts: 1,341
Registry
I have (1) a power supply (pick the amperage you want), and (2) a smart charger. My setup is described here:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ter-79010.html
__________________
Trillium 4500 Journal
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...nal-81345.html
John in Michigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 07:17 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Radar1's Avatar
 
Name: Dave (and/or John)
Trailer: Scamp 16 SD std layout 6
Georgia
Posts: 974
Registry
A converter is simply more convenient than a battery charger, although either will work. The converter has breakers for the 110 volts and a battery charger (smart charger in newer converters) all in one box tucked out of the way.
If the converter part fails, you could always get by with just a dedicated portable charger to maintain your battery as needed (manual or smart charger).
As others have mentioned, a battery with some life would be needed if going the charger route.
I know Byron chose the 65 watt solar route to take the place of his converter, while Larry (Beetlefreak) has more power requirements and uses just 400 watts of roof mounted solar for his battery charging, he disconnected his converter.
I'm sort of in the middle; I use the converter when plugged in, and use the rooftop 90 watt when boondocking, supplemented by a movable 90 watt panel as needed (winter with little sun).
__________________
John-Dave and Marilyn
Sharpsburg, GA
04 Dodge Dakota V-8, 17 Dodge Durango V-6, 19 Ford Ranger 2.3 Ecoboost
radar1-scamping.blogspot.com
Radar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 07:20 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Sébastien
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Quebec
Posts: 19
John, I am not sure I can fix my converter like you. Maybe after more and more reading. I am a beginner with the 12v.
Sebas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 07:30 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
... The converter has breakers for the 110 volts and a battery charger (smart charger in newer converters) all in one box tucked out of the way. ....
Except for the large number of installations where the fuse and breaker box (aka Power Distribution Panel) is separate and apart from the converter. My converter is about 2 feet from the fuse and circuit breaker panel.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 07:55 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 1,737
The difference in a charger and a converter is basically that the converter is filtered and has regulation to provide the power to a camper with or without the battery.
A charger is for charging the battery and is not suitable for powering the 12 volt equipment that is sensitive due to poor filtering without the battery.
The battery is the filter for the charger and there is relatively little built into the charger.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 09:01 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
a couple of points....

first we have to agree on terms....a POWERCENTER (first pic) has AC breakers, DC fuses AND a converter....it also has a relay that senses when the trailer is plugged in....


contrary to what I just read here (???), power from the converter is UNFILTERED (produces "hum" in some appliances like radios)....that is why even when the trailer is plugged in 2 or 3 DC circuits (typically) are fed from the battery regardless (not powered from the converter) on mine it was the first 3 from the left



a NOCO 7200 is the charger I have....yes, it can be used as a power supply without a battery....but when you would use it that way is anybody's guess...it is designed to be left plugged in an "on" all the time (as long as there is AC)....in my application the only time I turn it off (trip the breaker) is when the trailer is in storage/not in use for a period of time and I have a 110V heater going inside.



It is not cheap, probably about the same price as one of the newer, good, compact powercenters out there (PD???)....but that is what I have...it's VERY smart, versatile and can do "double duty" if it has to....I have a solar component and I enjoy the fact that I can run my system "manually"....over time it has provided good information that way....(hope that makes sense...LOL)


cheers all, F
Attached Thumbnails
elecp.jpg   elecp3.jpg  

battcharger.jpg   battcharger2.jpg  

Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 09:04 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
ooops...

should have read "first three from the RIGHT"...on filtered circuits...
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 09:18 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
one more...

me too, I wondered if 7.2A would be enough....it was a guess on my part...and calculating actual use is a bit onerous (I'm just lazy)....but in the end I figured that "plugged in" even if I "overused" power during the evening....the charger had all night to recharge my batteries to full charge while I was sleeping......but my guess is I NEVER come close to using 7A anyway....(my battery bank is 2 GC batteries)
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 06:08 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
me too, I wondered if 7.2A would be enough.........the charger had all night to recharge my batteries to full charge while I was sleeping......but my guess is I NEVER come close to using 7A anyway....(my battery bank is 2 GC batteries)
What is the capacity of your two golf cart battery bank (20 hour rate)? Trojan (for one), recommends charging at 10-13 percent of that number until the battery is 90 % recharged. In other words, ideally a 7 amp charger will not be used for any battery with over 70 AH (c20) capacity.

Does that mean it wont work? No... in fact I often use a 7 amp smart charger for a group 31 battery. It just can't be guaranteed to effectively and fully charge a deeply discharged battery. As long as your discharges are limited, then the 7 amp charger should be fine (but then why have all that battery capacity if you are not using it?)

The Trojan document puts it this way:
Note: Charging time will vary depending on battery size, charger output, and depth of discharge
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 07:09 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
charlsara's Avatar
 
Name: Charlie
Trailer: 2014 Lil Snoozy
North Carolina
Posts: 646
Registry
I run a C TEC 25000. A 25 amp smart charger with my two golf cart batteries. Does a great job.Converters were necessary in the old days when batteries were not so great. Now days a smart charger is IMHO the way to go.
charlsara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 07:25 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlsara View Post
... Now days a smart charger is IMHO the way to go.
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.
__________________

gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How can you make a dumb converter/charger a smart charger? Timber Wolf Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 10 03-09-2016 12:11 PM
Converter/Charger Sharon W Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 24 08-01-2009 06:39 PM
Converter/Battery Charger Pat M General Chat 4 05-06-2008 03:48 PM
Battery Charger / Converter Craig D. Thompson Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 08-06-2007 08:03 PM
Converter/charger Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 31 02-02-2003 08:47 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×