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Old 09-23-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
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Boondocking

I have a 2006 Bambi. Just got two new batteries for it this year and like previous years when boondocking, kept charge up after 3-4 days use with my Honda 1000 generator. I only use the fridge and LED lights when boondocking and it worked well.
This year I can't go over a day before the batteries indicate at yellow or red on systems monitor. I am SO frustrated, as my RV mechanic said that nothing is wrong and I should just keep the generator running every day.
I did it for 4 hours, got it to green on the moniter and then it read red when I looked the next day.
Someone said I should have a new converter installed, even though the current one was checked by the mechanic.
Please help, as I really can't use the trailer until this is resolved.
Thank you
Chris N.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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I would check the batteries for capacity.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:10 PM   #3
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Someone said I should have a new converter installed, even though the current one was checked by the mechanic.
Please help, as I really can't use the trailer until this is resolved.
Thank you
Your situation could be caused by a number of factors, and it's hard to say which one or ones apply without more information.

1 - The converters used in the 2006 models aren't very good battery chargers. You really need a good-quality three-stage charger, especially if you're ever hooked up to shore power for more than a day or two at a time. A single-stage charger can over-charge your batteries because it doesn't know when to shut itself off and can't automatically switch to float charging. Over-charging will quickly reduce battery life.

2 - You might not be running your generator long enough to fully charge the batteries. If you routinely under-charge them, that will also reduce their useful lifespan.

3 - You may be discharging the batteries too far before recharging them. Conventional wisdom is to not deplete deep-cycle batteries below 50% charge state before recharging.

4 - For that matter, you don't say what type of batteries you bought. Are they AGMs or wet-cell? AGMs require a different charging sequence than do wet-cells, so if your charger is optimized for wet-cells and you are now using AGMs (or vice versa), the new batteries might not be charging properly.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:20 PM   #4
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As a woman I sometimes feel my lack of understanding hinders my RVing...but I am trying. I talked to Randy at BestConverter.com who recommended a PowerMax 4 Stage Boondocker converter for the Bambi. In 2011 my 2006 converter was replaced with a 55 amp lower charge converter. Do you think getting another one might be the answer?
Thank you
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:18 AM   #5
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As well, if your plans are to boondock extensively, consider investing in solar.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris N. View Post
As a woman I sometimes feel my lack of understanding hinders my RVing...but I am trying. I talked to Randy at BestConverter.com who recommended a PowerMax 4 Stage Boondocker converter for the Bambi. In 2011 my 2006 converter was replaced with a 55 amp lower charge converter. Do you think getting another one might be the answer?
Thank you
Chris,

You did the right thing......do what Randy recommended and you won't be disappointed.

Was your replacement the same Brand as the original? The 55a should not have been a "lower" rated unit. I believe the OEM was/is a 55a single stage Parallax unit.

Bob
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:22 PM   #7
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Since it is often best to talk to several pros before deciding.

Cal Area 63 and ask to speak to Uwe. He's done many trailers for extended boondocking. A phone call is a cheap expense to learn.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:52 PM   #8
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Replacing the oem convertor and adding solar made me a happy camper,especially boondocking where and when I want without the hassel and noise of a generator
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:45 PM   #9
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Not sure who is Cal Area 63 is. What is the phone #?
Thanks
Chris
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:11 AM   #10
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Uwe Salwender is the owner of Area 63 Productions, a Airstream restoration company outside of Rancho Cucamonga off I15 in Southern CA
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:14 AM   #11
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I would also suggest talking with Lewster on this forum: Airstream Forums - View Profile: lewster

He installed solar and upgraded my converter and batteries last year. I could not be happier. I don't own a generator and can go weeks without power.

Lewster (Lew) is very friendly and knows his stuff. Send him a message and I'm sure he will talk with you about options.

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Old 10-01-2015, 11:41 PM   #12
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Thanks again all of you. I will give Lew a call.
Chris
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:15 PM   #13
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Thanks again all of you. I will give Lew a call.
Chris
Lew is a good resource and I'm sure he will be helpful so do contact him.

Keep in mind that batteries do go bad over time. If you improperly charge your batteries with a single stage charger, or don't charge them fully on a regular basis, or run them below a 50% charge, or don't keep the water levels up (in wet cells) they will wear out quickly. With less than ideal treatment it's entirely possible to run though a set of batteries in a year or so of typical part time use. Even if everything with respect to your battery treatment is "perfect" you can expect to see a degradation in performance after four or five years.
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Old 10-04-2015, 08:05 PM   #14
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Thanks Bob...As a former Wolverine now living in Duckland is good to hear from a Michigander!
Chris
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