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Old 08-14-2018, 04:13 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
thats based on household AC wiring, where white is neutral and black is live.
Yes, but comparing AC to DC circuitry is like comparing apples and oranges, they are just not the same.

As a journeyman electrician (though a power electrician) and renovator, I know household wiring very well, and we are starting to see a lot more DC wiring being done for lighting, all with red and black wires.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:33 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Yes, but comparing AC to DC circuitry is like comparing apples and oranges, they are just not the same.

As a journeyman electrician (though a power electrician) and renovator, I know household wiring very well, and we are starting to see a lot more DC wiring being done for lighting, all with red and black wires.


The fuses downstream did protect everything. Still it was two 40 amp fuses on 12v that both blew. Thatís some serious power flow to blow them given black/white mix up. If the fuses were bad, or some fool changed them with wrong size, it would have been goodbye time.
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:37 PM   #43
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The short answer is yes, you need a battery box. As mentioned a few time above lead-acid batteries emit gases. They are not only very bad for you but they may set off your gas detector, depending where it is located. One of the advantages of an AGM deep cycle battery is that they do not off-gas because they are sealed and maintenance free. You are correct in saying they do cost more.
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:35 AM   #44
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Battery

Save yourself the trouble and safety. Get the agm battery. The terminals donít corrode. Donít have to add water. And most of all no need to vent toxic/ explosive gasses.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:03 PM   #45
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I agree that the sensible solution is to mount it on the tongue of the trailer. I would also put in a battery box just to protect the battery itself from damage. The only downside to this is that you’re putting about 40 pounds of extra weight on the tongue, as opposed to putting in it I presume in the rear of the trailer, where it’s going to affect the weight distribution when you are towing.
If you are going to have it inside the shell of the camper it is absolutely mandatory to be vented to the outside. The gas is emitted by lead acid batteries is both toxic and highly explosive!
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:29 PM   #46
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Add to all this confusion, the fact that, if you're dealing with 230 Volt AC(which most homes now have), you will find Black is Line 1, Red is Line 2 (to give you 230 Volts Line to Line) and White is Neutral. You will even find Black, Red,
White in 115 Volt use, where Black-White is circuit 1 and Red-White is circuit 2.
Are we confused enough yet? Have fun, but be careful!
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:45 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Lloyd (aka Santa) Coltman View Post
Add to all this confusion, the fact that, if you're dealing with 230 Volt AC(which most homes now have), you will find Black is Line 1, Red is Line 2 (to give you 230 Volts Line to Line) and White is Neutral. You will even find Black, Red,
White in 115 Volt use, where Black-White is circuit 1 and Red-White is circuit 2.
Are we confused enough yet? Have fun, but be careful!
None of this statement is confusing at all. It's a well understood language. But trailers don't have 230 volt systems in the same way houses do.

The mistake is to assume that low voltage DC in trailers uses the same color identification code as high voltage AC in homes, or that DC negative is the same as neutral, or that negative always means ground.
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Old 08-19-2018, 06:49 AM   #48
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Needed a new battery for our Casita. Was talking with the folks at "Batteries Plus Bulbs".

I suggested changing to an AGM from a flooded battery. She said I would be wasting money. I should stay with flooded, because the camper charger wasn't particularly smart in our 03 TT, And would not charge the AGM battery properly. Consequently it's life would be shorter than a flooded low/no maintenance battery.

There was a serious difference in price, and I don't think they would have talked me out of spending more money, for no reason. FWIW!

k
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:55 AM   #49
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Mppt charge controler

Hi K

It might be time to upgrade to a maximum power point charge controller.

We installed a Blue Sky energy controller years ago and got the 30% increase in power from the panels that they advertised. We were having trouble running our 12 volt fridge and now we have a bit extra to make up for clouds and shade on the panels. I think it cost about $160
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:16 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Needed a new battery for our Casita. Was talking with the folks at "Batteries Plus Bulbs".

I suggested changing to an AGM from a flooded battery. She said I would be wasting money. I should stay with flooded, because the camper charger wasn't particularly smart in our 03 TT, And would not charge the AGM battery properly. Consequently it's life would be shorter than a flooded low/no maintenance battery.

There was a serious difference in price, and I don't think they would have talked me out of spending more money, for no reason. FWIW!

k

In my research I found that there are very small differences in the recommended charging profiles for wet cell vs AGM. I have the Progressive Dynamics Charge Wizard with the basic converter that came with the Scamp, and it is marketed as being for use with either wet cell or AGM batteries. So I did some more research, comparing charging profiles of the Charge Wizard, the Boondocker converter (recommended for AGM by BestConverter.com) and the recommendations from Bogart Engineering for their SC-2030 solar charger that pairs with the TriMetric battery monitor and is programmable.

The primary differences were the voltages in the absorption phase (or boost mode for the Charge Wizard) and float mode. The below figures are, in order for:

SC-2030 with wet cell battery, SC-2030 with AGM, Charge Wizard, and Boondocker Converter.

Absorption: 14.4 / 14.3 / 14.4 / 14.6
Float: 13.5 / 13.3 / 13.2 / 13.2

Note: The Charge Wizard uses the same profile for wet cell or AGM and apparently the Boondocker does also.

While there are slight differences in charging profiles, temperature might have as much, if not more, of an effect on proper voltage selection. That is something that, of the four chargers I listed, only the SC-2030 does. Other converters such as the Parallax Paramode do include temperature compensation.

Lastly, I have read some conflicting information about the need for equalization. I gather that AGM does not suffer from stratification and sulfation like wet cells, but apparently can still sulfate if left discharged. The Charge Wizard applies a 15 minute equalization every 21 hours and it cannot be turned off.

Trogan says this:

AGM Batteries do not have free flowing electrolyte and therefore
do not experience stratification. As a result, AGM Batteries do
not require equalizing. WARNING: Do not equalize deep-cycle AGM batteries.


And the Altestore solar supply house says this (apparently not specifically about AGMs:

Although most (if not all) AGM manufacturers tell you not to equalize the AGMs, if you have a problem with sulfation and explain the symptoms to them, they will usually instruct you on how to equalize the battery and what voltage settings to use.
...
I view equalizing as a controlled frying or overcharge of the battery. While it will fix the problems of sulfation or stratification, it is not something that should be done too frequently. There is a down side to the equalization cycle, and too many of them will shorten the overall life of the battery.


So I think a AGM battery make more sense with the SC-2030 charger that can be programmed for the specifics manufactures recommendations for AGM, and also does not equalize unless one manually initiates it, rather than the PD Converters with the Charge Wizard circuity. But either (or any decent three or four stage converter / charger) will likely work fairly well for AGM, it just wont get the maximum life out of the battery.

BTW, profit margin and retail price are different things. It is possible their profit margin was greater with the cheaper battery. But I have no reason to doubt their were giving what they believed was their best advice.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:13 PM   #51
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the PD4645 I installed in my Casita to replace a failed Parallax has an AGM mode, which disables the equalization mode, and changes the absorption and maintenance/trickle voltages slightly.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:31 AM   #52
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John,

Iíd really appreciate additional info about this mode change as I recently spent a lot of $ís on a pair of 6v AGM golf cart batteries and have been concerned about the charging profile with that converter.

P@
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:10 AM   #53
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I bought my first AGM battery in 2006, a group 24 Lifeline. It lasted 8 years with at least 50 charge cycles per year. Cause of death: a pulled breakaway switch. I suspect the dog. I replaced it with the same battery which is now 4 + years old. Most of the time it is charged by my truck. Charging profile? Beats me. I have a small 6 amp Morningstar controller on my portable panel that sees occasional use, and at home I use a two stage charger I bought in the '80s from Napa. My trailer has a Progressive Dynamics converter that I never use to charge the battery. Before I invested hundreds of dollars on special chargers and monitors I would want the answer to one question. How much longer will the battery last?
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:21 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
the PD4645 I installed in my Casita to replace a failed Parallax has an AGM mode, which disables the equalization mode, and changes the absorption and maintenance/trickle voltages slightly.
oops, I looked again at the manuals, it has a GEL mode, via a jumper. I must have been thinking of a solar panel controller or osmething that had AGM mode... too many chargers, too many systems.
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:39 PM   #55
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oops, I looked again at the manuals, it has a GEL mode, via a jumper. I must have been thinking of a solar panel controller or osmething that had AGM mode... too many chargers, too many systems

Yes my Morningstar has a jumper for AGM batteries which was one of the reasons I bought it.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:45 AM   #56
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Or you could just charge up the battery and disconnect it if not using it. Then charge up again once every week for 24 hours. The cycle difference between AGM and WET is minimal in 24 hour charge cycle when you disconnect and let it set idle. Set a reminder on your cell phone, assuming you are that obsessive and want the best longevity. New charge controller is not worth that cost.

Are you boondocking where you use the battery daily? I donít use it except when boondocking (aka dry camping). Then I charge it back up daily.

No one has mentioned clear early failure of AGM strictly due to using a simple WET charge cycle, versus a different AGM cycle.

As far as cost. $170 AGM group 31 size at Costco is pretty cheap compare to a generic group 31 WET for $100 most everywhere.
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