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Old 01-17-2016, 06:00 PM   #15
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2009 28' International
Pacific Palisades , California
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by rico2surf View Post
I have a sub-question based on this conversation, so hope that's not contrary to protocol. I have a '73 overlander 27', and we stay in the summer at a ranch without hookups, so we have a portable solar charger (Zamph?) to keep the battery charged (which works very well by the way). In the winter we keep it at an RV site on the coast (So. Oregon) with hookups. Question is, based on your comments above, should I disconnect the battery all winter while on Shore Power to save battery life?? We do not have any of the finer improvements of switching on or off; we have to physically disconnect the battery cables. If your suggestions is YES, disconnect, then is it necessary to disconnect both positive and negative cables?? Thanks so much !!
If your solar system has a good three stage converter and you have exposure to sunlight during the winter (you're not stored indoors), the solar system will do a much better job of keeping your batteries nicely topped off and maintained than will the inferior one stage converter/charger supplied with your Airstream.

Disconnecting your batteries entirely during the winter will tend to run them down. Charging through the one stage converter/charger with shore power will tend to overcharge (flood them.) So first check that you do have a three stage charger on your solar system. If it's an Airstream supplied system, you don't!

If neither of your chargers is three stage, you might consider disconnecting the batteries from the coach and buying a small solar panel trickle charger (about$50) and connect directly to your batteries. This is what we do with our tow vehicle and other vehicles that are only used seasonally, and it works very well.

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Old 01-17-2016, 06:02 PM   #16
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2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
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I disconnect my converter and 100 solar keeps both batts full, even with 6-8 cloudy gray days in a row.


"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:52 PM   #17
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2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by WestieHouse View Post
Great information. After much study I plan to swotch out the stock converter on my 2015 FC 23FB. Does anyone have a recommendation for a particular 3-stage converter? What is approximate cost? Can someone who has average electrical (installing seitches snd fixtures in a house) knowledge do this?
Here a thread which explains how to upgrade your converter and suggestions on where to buy it.

The approximately cost is $200 and yes, if you have basic electrical skills you will be able to handle the upgrade.
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2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:40 PM   #18
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2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:15 AM   #19
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
Provo , Utah
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Converter question

I was referred to Best Converter in Boise, Idaho by this forum. They were so helpful and suggested the correct converter for both of my AS trailers. They send the converter and great instructions immediately with credit card over the phone. I hate electrical problems and I am a rookie at this stuff but I replaced both old converters in about an hour with no problems. I highly recommend them. Best
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:19 AM   #20
1973 27' Overlander
Medford , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by alano View Post
rico, sounds like you have a couple of options in Winter if your connected to shore power for extended periods:

1. Best to not let your converter charge the batteries with a single-stage battery charger. So simply disconnect your battery. It's only necessary to disconnect one of the battery terminals and the preferred terminal to disconnect is the negative terminal (if you accidentally short out the negative terminal to the chassis there's no harm done). Some folks remove the negative terminal and wrap it in a latex glove for insulation.

2. Another option if you're connected to shore power for an extended period is to upgrade your converter to a three-stage battery charger. This way battery will not be overcharged.

3. Another option, would be to rewire your trailer as is done in the current AS models such that when the battery disconnect switch is in the Store position, the converter is connected to the main 12 V bus but the batteries are disconnected. In you case the portable solar system would connect directly to the batteries and happily charge the batteries during Winter.

Thanks sooo much. Helps immensely !!

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