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Old 11-05-2011, 01:26 PM   #15
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Santa Barbara , California
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Going to call Bestconverter and see what I can find out..

Best,

W
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:30 PM   #16
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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I sent Randy an email asking what converter to get for our 1984 310, here is what he said:

"Hi Steve,
The PowerMax Boondocker is our most popular and its a great unit. Also comes with a 3 year warranty. Probably the 60 amp model with a pair of batteries would be perfect.
PowerMax Converters
Thanks and let me know if I can help.
Randy"

So, I bought one and had it shipped to our son's in Texas, where the 310 is. Will be there in a couple of weeks to see if we can make it work.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:45 PM   #17
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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As someone new to all of the converter/inverters, am I about to open a can of worms when I ask, which amperage I would need to replace the Univolt? In the last post, the provided link has units that go from 35amp, all the way to 100amp, with several amperage models in between.
Which is the best? If I plan on boondocking a lot, does it really matter? Or if I have a lower amperage converter/inverter, in order for me to get the coach batteries fully charged off of the generator, will I need to run the generator longer because of the lower amperage?
Thanks, Derek
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:02 PM   #18
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1959 26' Overlander
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Boondocking

crazeevw-

If you upgrade to better batteries, you should definitely upgrade to better charging systems, or you are wasting your money.

I made the mistake of getting a well-rated WFCO 3 stage charger and recently dumped it. When boondocking, you really need to have control over when you go into boost mode. It was frustrating with the WFCO to run my generator and only get a trickle charge. They don't like to go into boost mode.

We just installed an IntelliPower and tested the Charge Wizard function. It worked great, boosting right away.

Interesting thing is that you can only dump so many amps into the batteries once they are at a reasonable state of charge. I picked up the 45 amp charger for my 2 x 6 volt bank of 220 aH Lifelines and never saw over 35 amps when charging from 60% SOC (state of charge). My conclusion -- too large a charger is wasted if you don't run your batteries too low -- as you really shouldn't.

Also, definitely recommend LED lighting and a Trimetric monitor for boondocking.

John
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65CV View Post
crazeevw-

If you upgrade to better batteries, you should definitely upgrade to better charging systems, or you are wasting your money.

I made the mistake of getting a well-rated WFCO 3 stage charger and recently dumped it. When boondocking, you really need to have control over when you go into boost mode. It was frustrating with the WFCO to run my generator and only get a trickle charge. They don't like to go into boost mode.

We just installed an IntelliPower and tested the Charge Wizard function. It worked great, boosting right away.

Interesting thing is that you can only dump so many amps into the batteries once they are at a reasonable state of charge. I picked up the 45 amp charger for my 2 x 6 volt bank of 220 aH Lifelines and never saw over 35 amps when charging from 60% SOC (state of charge). My conclusion -- too large a charger is wasted if you don't run your batteries too low -- as you really shouldn't.

Also, definitely recommend LED lighting and a Trimetric monitor for boondocking.

John
Ditto the above comment re. battery amperage acceptance. Take a look at the total amperage of your 12V fused circuits. Any converter above the total is also a waste....and maybe even a waste at that figure. It's rare you would have everything on all at once.

If it helps, my 07 Classic 30' had a 55 amp Parallax and I replaced it with a 55 AMP Iota. Plenty of capability for operating systems AND charging a depleted battery whether on shore power or Gennie. Also, the 55 amp unit draws a max 900 Watts, so if you want to stay with a 1000W generator, it works.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:14 PM   #20
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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The old beast has a 6500 gennie, so I guess I'm way over for recharging with the converter, but with gen on, able to run BOTH A/C's at same time, not just one when plugged into shore power.
Lots of 'little' things to learn, as most of my camping experience was with pop-up campers, none with battery, and VERY small SOB travel trailer. Huge learning curve for me. I'll get it all figured out in time. Still have over 9 years before retirement, as this moho is my retirement! In the meantime, a great way to spend my long weekends off, and vacations for the next 9 years.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:39 PM   #21
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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I installed an Inteli-power 60 amp unit in my 1982 280 three years ago.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:59 PM   #22
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Learning Curve

Derek-

With plenty of time before retirement, I'm sure you'll prioritize your items on the learning curve. Here's my reasoning for putting chargers higher on your list: smart chargers will save you money in the short term -- dumb chargers ones will burn out batteries.

BTW, is the VW part of your name from an old VW pop-up?

John
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:42 PM   #23
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VW part of my name, since I'm currently driving my seventh Volkswagen. Been a VW owner since 1979.
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