What size replacement converter? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2015, 01:59 PM   #1
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What size replacement converter?

It looks like next month's Scamp project is a new converter. I had decided on a PD9245 as I have previously reworked the AC side of things and just want a new converter and “smart” charger. But after reading a few posts on other RV sites this week I come to understand a rule of thumb is to choose a converter with approximately 25-30% of the amperage capacity of your batteries.

I now have two 6V GC2 batteries on the tongue so 225X.25 or 30 is 56 to 68 amps. Or a PD9260 or PD 9270, the 70 is actually a little cheaper on Amazon. The only downside (besides an upfront increased cost of $50) I see to the larger converter is having to upgrade my battery wire from 10 gauge to at least 8, something that I am not opposed to and was thinking of doing anyway (except I already have #10 on hand).

The only real upside I see to the larger converter is possibly faster charging. Which will only really matter in the unlikely event I have to recharge off a generator (yes, I wrote the “g” word). I will be going solar soon, and hope that I will never need a generator but never say never, and I do have one anyway.

So, what say ye?
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:09 PM   #2
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Thats' a rather strange formula. I have never seen a charge rate much higher than about the 12 amps run by my PD-4045 with a battery that was drawn to just below 12 volts. These are "Smart Chargers", and, apparently, are smart enough to know that high charging rates are unkind to battery's and other living things.


The 45 amps mean to ME, that I have more than enough capacity to charge two batteries and run the 12VDC accessories at the some time.



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Old 08-06-2015, 02:29 PM   #3
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Bob, do we need a converter to charge the battery with shore power? Is it needed to charge battery from vehicle?
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:11 PM   #4
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As I mentioned earlier, our Lil BigFoot came with a separate converter and battery charger, but I came to the conclusion that the battery charger part of the converter had stopped working and eventually just replaced the whole mess with a Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 power center.


Can you tell us what converter/power supply is currently installed?


If you have a 7 pin plug from your TV to the trailer, that usually indicates that there is a charging line and the battery will charge when you are driving. If not, it usually can't.


When you are plugged in to shore power the converter "Usually" also charges the battery. Look under the left bed dinette seat and tell us what you find. A picture would also help.


Last question: Do you have a small multi-meter and know how to use it? That opens a whole door to answer the questions you are asking. Makes it easy-peasy.


If you don't have a multi-meter you really should have one, they are inexpensive and very useful when problems with a new-to-you FGRV arise.



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Old 08-06-2015, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Bob, do we need a converter to charge the battery with shore power? Is it needed to charge battery from vehicle?
Cross referencing to this thread.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:10 PM   #6
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I do have a 7-pin plug, but don't see a converter under the bunk. I only find a two-circuit breaker box under the sink.

Battery is not currently charging under shore power, but the inside power outlets do work...

Not sure about multi-meter. Ron has the volt-tester, this is probably different?

LP
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:26 PM   #7
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A volt tester will work fine as long as it is digital and can read to two decimal places.
It sounds like yours was built without a converter and depends on the battery alone for 12VDC. In that case, an inexpensive (10+ amp) Battery charger can be used to keep the battery up when on shore power. Right now read the exact voltage on the battery, then plug it intro the TV, start the engine and read it again. It should jump up to about 13.5+ volts when the engine is running, indicating that it is being charged.



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Old 08-06-2015, 04:46 PM   #8
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I can't plug into the TV right now, still waiting for hitch installation. And the Aerostar only has a 4-pin plug. We've read the voltage on the battery, and then plugged in shore power, and there's no change. Does that mean anything?

We have a trickle-charger. I think we have plugged that in overnight with no difference. The voltage reads 12-something, no change after plugging.

It was *supposed* to be a new battery that had run down due to sitting in storage. Would taking it for a deep charge make a difference?
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:15 PM   #9
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The entire world of battery voltages lies between about 12.0 and 12.8 volts. "12 something" doesn't tell us much. If the battery sat for several years without being used or recharged it will have sulfated and it's bye-bye battery.


Now, if that 12 something is 12.8, the battery is fully charged. if it's 12.2, the battery is below 1/2 charge and should not be used. But it may be to late and it's time for a trip to Wal-Mart.


"Trickle" chargers are designed to maintain charged batteries, not to charge a dead battery.


If you take it to a Auto-Zone store they will charge it for free and do a load test.



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Old 08-06-2015, 06:19 PM   #10
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So, you take your battery to Auto-Zone for a free charge and load test, and then go to Walmart to buy a battery? Is that the plan?
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:29 PM   #11
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The entire world of battery voltages lies between about 12.0 and 12.8 volts. "12 something" doesn't tell us much. If the battery sat for several years without being used or recharged it will have sulfated and it's bye-bye battery.


Now, if that 12 something is 12.8, the battery is fully charged. if it's 12.2, the battery is below 1/2 charge and should not be used. But it may be to late and it's time for a trip to Wal-Mart.


"Trickle" chargers are designed to maintain charged batteries, not to charge a dead battery.


If you take it to a Auto-Zone store they will charge it for free and do a load test.

argh. Well, I can't remember the 12.what, but it was low. 12.2 does sound right. We'll take it in and see.

So am I correct in understanding that if we don't have a converter, the battery will not charge off of shore power? Sorry for really noobee questions, but the power bit of this will take me a while to get a handle on.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:31 PM   #12
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They also load tools, even if you don't buy the parts you are installing from them. I think that they call it "Customer Service". I call it Karma



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Old 08-06-2015, 06:36 PM   #13
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Mighty mini

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As I mentioned earlier, our Lil BigFoot came with a separate converter and battery charger, but I came to the conclusion that the battery charger part of the converter had stopped working and eventually just replaced the whole mess with a Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 power center.
Is this the one?

http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Dy...5+power+center.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:38 PM   #14
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Yep, you have to have a converter or a separate battery charger. Either one can do the trick, but a Converter with a built in smart charger is the cats meow. This is the one I always recommend. I have installed about 7 PD-4045's at last count:
Mighty Mini All-In-One System AC/DC Power Distribution Panel and Inteli-Power Converter



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Old 08-06-2015, 07:16 PM   #15
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Yep, and that's a fair price. But I suggest that you use you Lil Bigfoot for a trip or two before making that jump. As long as you can charge off of the TV you should be ok, and a stand alone battery charger is less than $30 to use when you have shore power.



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Old 08-07-2015, 03:11 AM   #16
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I agree with Bob, take it out and use it while before you do any mods or what I would call the foo foo stuff. Find out how you are really going to use it and what you need to make it conform to your wants/needs and then make any changes. The only thing before using it is safety items......the rest is sparkle for the mind. My wife decorated the house but I only care that the bones are good .
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:08 PM   #17
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I agree with Bob, take it out and use it while before you do any mods or what I would call the foo foo stuff. Find out how you are really going to use it and what you need to make it conform to your wants/needs and then make any changes. The only thing before using it is safety items......the rest is sparkle for the mind. My wife decorated the house but I only care that the bones are good .
Of course this is good advice. My hope was to do several short overnights close by before taking the big trip on Labor day, so we could iron out some wrinkles. But have been waiting two weeks for draw bar to arrive, and time is getting short.

So, have been gnashing teeth at night trying to anticipate issues that might arise over a long weekend with no hookups or improvements -- I do apologize for peppering this board with some of my anxieties.

LP
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:13 PM   #18
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Why don't you just charge up the battery with a battery charger and take a short trip using the van you got it home with???



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Old 08-07-2015, 02:26 PM   #19
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short trip

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Why don't you just charge up the battery with a battery charger and take a short trip using the van you got it home with???
I maybe attempting to do too much on my own, in trying not to over-tax my hubby. He still works around 70 hours a week, gets up at 3 in the morning, and is now *79* years old. And TODAY he's in having chemo.

I have to say he's an iron man, not kidding. But if he's a bit run down on the weekend, I hate to push him right now to get out there and unhook the battery so I can take it in, and I'm a *bit* nervous to attempt that myself.

Yesterday, because the trailer was a bit too close to the fence and made frequent access somewhat difficult, I filled the water tank (to lessen tongue weight) and re-orientated it using our boat trailer dolly. It came around sideways with just my weight on the dolly. Then I used left-over roofing paper, unrolled it around the trailer so we were no longer walking through gravel back and forth to get in the thing.

He was somewhat astonished when he got home, and told me the dolly was only rated for about 40 lbs.

oops.

Anyway, he'll be sleepy today and part of tomorrow, but maybe we can do a little trip this weekend. But his work schedule and health issues have contributed to my effort to handle all issues and without giving him any additional loads.

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Old 08-08-2015, 08:24 AM   #20
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What size replacement converter?

Ellpea -

I admire and applaud your efforts to avoid increasing your husband's workload and stress level! 😊

To ease your own anxiety, I might suggest planning your first outings as if your Bigfoot was simply a great big tent for sleeping and/or sitting in.

Just make sure that your tires and towing vehicle/equipment are in good shape so that you don't have trouble on the road.

Carry a jug of water (1 to 2 gallons), a Coleman stove or tabletop charcoal grill, small flashlights,
etc. If you don't have some of those things, you might just try to borrow them from tent camper friends.

One valuable purchase might be a good 5-day Igloo or Coleman ice chest cooler. Make sure that it says that it will keep ice for 5 or 6 days. It will always be a good backup for your trailer fridge or an overflow spot for stuff that might not fit in the fridge.

Comfortable chairs to sit in, a comfortable place to sleep, and some good food should make for an enjoyable weekend. 😊

Good luck!

Ray



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