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Old 08-16-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
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Converters, Batteries, Solar Controllers and BUYERS BEWARE

What Is Working As Of Now:

- 4 Trojan 6V Batteries installed inside under lounge of 2017 International Serenity, 30ft (image #1 and 2)

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- Progressive Dynamics Converter PD9260CV (image #3)

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- Atkinson Electronics SunExplorer 40D-MPT (controller and meter) (image #4)

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Summary: Look over your dealer and repair services shoulders. Despite rave reviews on this forum and others bestconverter.com is not-so-best. I don't recommend Boondocker series converters. I do recommend Progressive Dynamics. If your dealer upgrades your batteries to AGM or beyond, make sure they also upgrade you to a true multi-stage converter and an MPPT solar controller (if you also have solar).

The Short Story: Far from home base this summer. 1.5 yr old AGM batteries installed by Airstream dealer dead, solar controller dead. Much research of forums, discussions with dealer service department and weeks of work have revealed culprits to be converter and solar controller overcharging the batteries. (More on this later.) Enter -bestconverter.com with rave reviews I read here on the forums and in facebook groups. After a faulty converter and very poor support from them, thousands of dollars spent on new batteries, more converters, wires, solar controllers, meters, rv service techs and lots of lost sleep and electrical down time in the Florida summer heat, I now have a Progressive Dynamics converter that is working well (thanks to Progressive Dynamics - no thanks to BestConverters.com), a new AGM battery bank and an MPPT solar controller. I received very reluctant and half-baked tech support from bestconverters.com and now am instructed to return the faulty converter to them at my expense, after which time they will determine if it is faulty with a bench test and maybe/probably refund my purchase cost. BUYERS BEWARE. Thank you Dennis at Progressive Dynamics for listening, thinking and helping me get a converter in here that works.

I keep getting knocked off here and losing this post so I'm going to add the rest of the story and final successful installation details in comments to follow....
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:41 PM   #2
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Details (1) Continued From Original Post

The Details:

2017 International Serenity - 30ft, Purchased new in April 2017 | Dealer installed 2-80W Zamp solar panels | Dealer installed Atkinson Electronics Solar Controller | Dealer installed Crown AGM 6V batteries | Dealer installed Progressive Dynamics Converter 5355 with TempAssure unit (supposed to simulate multi-stage charging)

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Summer 2019 while on extended travel -
-Rapid clicking sounds during the daylight hours coming from the electrical tangle under the lounge in the front of the Airstream.
- Appeared clicking was coming from the solar controller and called my dealer to ask advice. I was told it was normal. Two days later I called back and pushed the issue and sent video - now they conceded it was not quite normal. They would send me a replacement controller for $350+ (my warrantee expired a couple months prior). I also paid for overnight shipping because I was traveling and needed the unit fixed quickly. I replaced the controller. Controller lights blinked wildly, battery meter blinked and changed readings rapidly and randomly. Airstream dealer suggested I get batteries tested. They were too heavy for me to remove safely so I used a AAA membership and got a tow driver onsite for a "jump". He pulled the batteries for me. Auto store tested them and said they were dead and gone.
- Began searching for 6V batteries that would fit locally. Had to order - they would be in in 2 weeks.
- Began searching for a multi-stage converter upgrade. Researched deeply here in forums. Read great things about Randy at bestconverters.com and the Boondocker 1260HW. I was told by Randy that this was the only converter that would work in my Airstream because of space and other issues. Any other converters would require "complicated carpentry work" he said. I took his advice based on rave reviews here and on facebook and ordered the converter. It arrived in a box with no literature/documentation/info.
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Continued next comment....
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:48 PM   #3
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Details (2) Continued...

- Scheduled RV mobile service technicians (who came highly recommended) to install converter. Called Randy for information on wiring ahead of appointment since there was no documentation in box or online and the write-ups of previous installations of this model Boondocker didn't match the visuals of the unit that was in the box). Randy gave quick basic instructions and I took notes. I have a lot of previous residential construction and electrical experience but am somewhat new to the RV world, so I wanted to be sure I had the details correct and could pass the information on to the service tech for a good and correct installation.

- While I waited for batteries and service tech appointment for converter install, I researched solar controller. Discovery: The solar controller installed by the dealer and then sold to me again by the dealer was not an MPPT and would over charge my batteries just as much or worse than a single-stage converter would. I need to spend more money and get an MPPT controller and monitor kit. $350 plus shipping.

- Service tech installed new batteries and converter. I installed solar controller. Boondocker converter fan ran almost continually and loudly (could hear it over AC running, that's how loud). I'd never heard the other converter fan unless under high load. I contacted service tech and Randy. Service tech didn't think fan should run that much but wasn't sure. Randy said things like "It's just moving air...that's what fans do, move air." He also told me to give a few days to go through a "break-in period" and then get back in touch if it was still giving me trouble.

- After days of much the same with the converter and fan running frequently, I contacted Randy again and was told the unit was operating correctly and that "If I had a nickel for every time someone called complaining about their fan..." Hmmm...

- One thing Randy suggested is that the unit wasn't getting enough air flow in the cabinet. It's designed to be installed in the housing of the old Parallax 5300 series - which we did. To improve air flow in an attempt to quiet the unit, temporarily uninstalled it and took a grinder to the Parallax housing. Leaving only the front part of it that would hold the unit in and provide a place for the original DC fuse panel (it gets re-used when installing this Boondocker model upgrade).

This is how the Boondocker is suggested to be installed in the housing of the Parallax.

Attachment 349600

I didn't photograph the removal of the back part, but you can picture in your mind's eye, the 3/4 of the back part of the housing gone in an attempt to create more airflow because it was suggested that maybe it wasn't getting enough air ... even though this is the recommended installation method.

- I discovered that the Boondocker model is made for Randy by a Florida company called PowerMax and that they were just about 45 minutes north of where I was camped. I called them and got a friendly man named Graham on the phone. He was concerned about my issue and kindly offered to let me come and pick up another Boondocker from their main office and have the tech install it, hoping for better results. Frank met me at the office, friendly and helpful. He also gave me some documentation that they include with their Boondocker units. Why does Randy not include any????

- Boondocker unit #2 installed by Tech. Slightly less fan activity, but still way above what I've experienced in my four years and 3 converters as an Airstreamer/RVer. Graham didn't returned further attempts at communication. Randy didn't have any other suggestions and further phone calls to him went unanswered.

- After exhaustive research and educating myself and thinking about the situation, I called the service department at Progressive Dynamics. More on this in next comment....
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:15 PM   #4
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Details (3) Continued ...

Now remember... I'm on the road, traveling, supposed to be doing other things than repairing my Airstream electrical system and dealing with business owners not being helpful and grinding off backs of converter housings .... and I don't have my shop at the ready or anything of the sort. I'm sure you can imagine....

So, now I've got the ear of Dennis at Progressive Dynamics. "Dennis," I say. "Why can't I replace my Parallax 5355 in my 2017 Airstream with your PD9260CV?"

(https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

"Well, there's just not a place to put your DC fuse board, for one..."

"I can use the front of the old Parallax housing. I still have it. I cut off the back to make airflow for the Boondocker when they told me it was maybe not getting enough air."

"Oh!" Long pause. "Well, you're resourceful! ... Ok, well, you might just be able to ..." He pauses to look over the specs and issues. "Well, I think you can!" He gave me some requirements: 1. Add a ground wire (at least 8 gage, preferably 6) from PD housing directly to chassis (not bus bar). 2. It's not hardwire model so have to add appropriate 20V outlet in compartment to plug it in. 3. Make sure wires from unit to DC panel are at least 6 gage. 4. Make sure DC is grounded to chassis.

I got all the supplies together - including the PD converter and scheduled my RV techs again. I probably could have done this on my own, but I continued to want back up not only for lack of tools since I'm traveling and a professional installation but for I was hearing comments from the converter dealers that they don't believe RV owners who complain about the product, but they believe RV techs.

Installation day: Everything went very well.

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I'm now humming along with the new system. All told, I'm out about $4k after all this. This could have been avoided had 1. My Airstream dealer installed the correct multi-stage converter and solar controller with my AGMs (at least told me I had the option and should) and 2. Well, if it weren't so dang hard to get an appointment at an Airstream dealer when you have trouble on the road. The good out of this is I have a much more thorough understanding of my Airstream electrical system now and know my @$$ from an MPPT controller. Meanwhile I've got to pay to send a bad converter back to bestconverters.com and hope they'll refund at least the purchase price of that piece of junk Boondocker unit.

Like nothing ever happened.... Attachment 349604

I hope this post is helpful.

Good luck, stay safe and great adventures to all of you.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:15 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear you had to go through that. Hope you can now put that all behind you and begin you enjoy your trip with a working new system.

If your intent is for this to be a lessons learned for others?

May I add that systems are complex and more than a sum of their simple parts. Every system has a lifecycle that involves design, implementation, and support. Sometimes, there's a need for iteration or rework after putting it together.

The further one deviates from a standard system, the more potential for issues to arise that were not accounted for, and the more difficult it may be to get proper support in the field.

I would know as I'm a systems designer for a complex bleeding edge system. "Better is the enemy of good enough", and even the most well engineered and built systems, sometimes needs time and effort when put together to work out the kinks. I believe that's what you're experiencing, despite the best efforts of suppliers and installers.

For my own system upgrade, I tried to keep the architecture as stock as possible, even thought I'm more than able to tackle a sophisticated system upgrade.

If I may offer a take-away, I would suggest to most people that unless they're particularly interested and hands on with their own modifications, it may be better to make gentle non-invasive upgrades.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:31 PM   #6
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Systems - Intent - Lessons

Thank your for your thoughts pteck. Yes, systems can be like pick up sticks ... move one thing and it shifts everything. I wouldn't have chosen to do this on the road if I had a choice. I'm out for months so I couldn't just ignore it and still function and not ruin another set of batteries.

I hope this post and some of the information in it will be helpful to others:

1. who let their dealers (or diy) battery/converter/solar upgrades. I trusted my dealer to install the correct equipment when I purchased the Airstream with the solar upgrade and AGMs and they didn't.

2. to know there is another option, besides the Boondocker, for multi-stage converter upgrade for an Airstream with a 5300 series Parallax converter. I kept being told that I only had one option - the Boondocker and it wasn't functioning correctly. I had to dig very deep and press the issue to find another option. And offer a bit of information on how to install the PD option.

3. to know that bestconverter.com has not, in my experience, come even close to matching the praise it received in posts on this forum.

4. to save some money, time and headaches.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:33 PM   #7
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Hi

The real shame is that you now have a charger that will not properly charge your batteries ....(assuming they are T-105's or similar)

Bob
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:47 PM   #8
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Please elaborate

Please elaborate on that uncle bob.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Despite rave reviews on this forum and others bestconverter.com is not-so-best.
After much reading and pondering, and emailing said company, I have to say I understand your feelings, even share them. I will say their pricing is very competitive but beyond that I didn't get any warm and fuzzies. But then again Bezos doesn't inspire a love fest either.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:37 PM   #10
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Fuzzies...

Brokeboater ... thanks for sharing your experience. Even beyond the fuzzies, there just hasn't been reliable customer support from the Alabama company. I think you made a good decision.

As for Uncle Bob's comment above, I'm not sure what he's referring to. The Progressive Dynamics converter is a multi-stage that will monitor the battery use/needs and charge for the 3 stages my AGM batteries need: bulk, absorption, float. If Uncle Bob has some constructive information to share, that I and others can benefit from, it would be so appreciate it.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Please elaborate on that uncle bob.
Hi

Again assuming you have T-105's (Trojan makes more than one model of battery):

If you go to their web site they have some very specific voltages they want things charged to. Those voltages are not what a "normal" or "stock" converter puts out. If you attach them to a stock converter, you don't get the full amount of energy they specify into them ( = they aren't 220 AH batteries). You need a converter that can be programmed to match those batteries.

That's the first layer in the onion.

The next layer is the temperature correction. If you don't have a temperature probe (it's not clear if you do or do not) then the voltages out of the converter will not match what the battery needs. You would have to use a compromise setting on a programable charger, even if you had one. Either you set it to high (and possibly damage the batteries) or you set it to low (and don't get the fulll charge). The voltages change by about a half volt as you go hot or a half volt as you go cold so it's not a small thing.

..... and no that's not some sort of ad for Randy, his converters don't have temperature probes on them.

Bob
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
Sorry to hear you had to go through that. Hope you can now put that all behind you and begin you enjoy your trip with a working new system.

If your intent is for this to be a lessons learned for others?

May I add that systems are complex and more than a sum of their simple parts. Every system has a lifecycle that involves design, implementation, and support. Sometimes, there's a need for iteration or rework after putting it together.

The further one deviates from a standard system, the more potential for issues to arise that were not accounted for, and the more difficult it may be to get proper support in the field.

I would know as I'm a systems designer for a complex bleeding edge system. "Better is the enemy of good enough", and even the most well engineered and built systems, sometimes needs time and effort when put together to work out the kinks. I believe that's what you're experiencing, despite the best efforts of suppliers and installers.

For my own system upgrade, I tried to keep the architecture as stock as possible, even thought I'm more than able to tackle a sophisticated system upgrade.

If I may offer a take-away, I would suggest to most people that unless they're particularly interested and hands on with their own modifications, it may be better to make gentle non-invasive upgrades.
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KISS is sometimes the best option, especially when it's bouncing down the road.🤪

In our case....2 BB's, 60a lithium Boondocker converter, Victron monitor, 4awg wire, 2 Zamp 180w portable panels.👍

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Old 08-17-2019, 09:45 AM   #13
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Onions & Road Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Again assuming you have T-105's (Trojan makes more than one model of battery):

If you go to their web site they have some very specific voltages they want things charged to. Those voltages are not what a "normal" or "stock" converter puts out. If you attach them to a stock converter, you don't get the full amount of energy they specify into them ( = they aren't 220 AH batteries). You need a converter that can be programmed to match those batteries.

That's the first layer in the onion.

The next layer is the temperature correction. If you don't have a temperature probe (it's not clear if you do or do not) then the voltages out of the converter will not match what the battery needs. You would have to use a compromise setting on a programable charger, even if you had one. Either you set it to high (and possibly damage the batteries) or you set it to low (and don't get the fulll charge). The voltages change by about a half volt as you go hot or a half volt as you go cold so it's not a small thing.

..... and no that's not some sort of ad for Randy, his converters don't have temperature probes on them.

Bob
The way I read your post Uncle_Bob, there is no converter that will work properly with Trojans (T-105s) or any other batteries for that matter - all have specs for charging. I've had in-depth discussions with Trojan corporate tech, with Progressive Dynamics tech and Atkinson tech. All are in agreement that the system I have now works in harmony. This new system is now working simply and correctly. The converter is charging 14.4 bulk/boost, 13.6 absorption, 13.2 float - same with solar controller. It's a simple system - a complicated and challenging road to get there - made more challenging by companies and products that were recommended by others online and a dealer service department I had trusted.

As for temperature issues - without getting into electrical engineering discussions, which is above my pay grade - the temperatures matter more at extremes that I won't be encountering due to batteries being now in a temp controlled environment in the coach. I do have a Victron battery monitor with a temp sensor on the system and the PD model converter does have a dongle that can manually adjust the PD charging if needed. But realistically, if temps get to extremes for some odd reason, then the batteries will be disconnected from charging system and the coach will be in storage.

As for the poster about lithium choices...rock on, right on, yeah brother. AGm vs Lithium - They are both great and have their issues, like so many things. I didn't go lithium because I was hoping to do a simple on the road replacement of my AGMs. When, in the process of on the road repair, I found myself with incorrect and inoperable equipment that was not apparent upon first issue, I already had the replacement AGMs and am not in a position to just ditch the whole setup and switch to lithium. Perhaps next Airstream I'll do a lithium system.

I hope to help make the road to functional battery systems a bit better for others with this post. This post is made with the sincere intent to add to some more real world information on the issue of converters and solar controllers with AGM systems for those who find themselves needing to work on their systems due to malfunction or choice. I wish to all you who read this - may you never have an electrical system major malfunction while traveling and if you do that this post helps in at least some way.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:22 AM   #14
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It's not vs it's a choice...🤔

It wasn't a 'lithium' choice it was battery choice.
Our Lifeline AGM 'up-grade' was 11 Seasons old.
Battery options had widened, Lithium BB was the battery we chose....YMMV.👍

Bob
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:07 PM   #15
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following thread

following thread
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:06 PM   #16
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So sorry to hear your issues with your 2017 AS! Also sad to see the mis-steps and confusion from Bestconverters and the Boondocker issues. Maybe I was lucky, but my replacment converter went in easily, the customer service worked for me, and Randy was helpful. That being said, the Boondocker fan does come on a bit loud, I would agree, but it doesn't stay on all the time on my rig (yet!). When I changed out my Interstates to Trojan T105's, I kept my Boondocker and it is working/charging fine. My portable GoPower solar (5 years old now) does not seem to work, however now with this set up. Not sure if it's the 6V in series or what is happening. Just tried on my last camp trip for first time. I do like the extra service the Trojans are giving me between charges (3 days), but would like to use solar if possible instead of my Champion generator to charge when needed.

One question; why did you go with 4- 6v's? Lots of weight plus modifications to install inside with those batteries. (2 of the Trojans fit in my batterybox outside.) Did you just consider just getting 2 Trojans or even 2 LI's, or just replacing the 12V's and adding a portable Goal Zero type battery (backup)? I am looking at the 1000W portable options including the Jackery 240W or 500W models. Any input appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:30 PM   #17
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Choices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
So sorry to hear your issues with your 2017 AS! Also sad to see the mis-steps and confusion from Bestconverters and the Boondocker issues. Maybe I was lucky, but my replacment converter went in easily, the customer service worked for me, and Randy was helpful. That being said, the Boondocker fan does come on a bit loud, I would agree, but it doesn't stay on all the time on my rig (yet!). When I changed out my Interstates to Trojan T105's, I kept my Boondocker and it is working/charging fine. My portable GoPower solar (5 years old now) does not seem to work, however now with this set up. Not sure if it's the 6V in series or what is happening. Just tried on my last camp trip for first time. I do like the extra service the Trojans are giving me between charges (3 days), but would like to use solar if possible instead of my Champion generator to charge when needed.

One question; why did you go with 4- 6v's? Lots of weight plus modifications to install inside with those batteries. (2 of the Trojans fit in my batterybox outside.) Did you just consider just getting 2 Trojans or even 2 LI's, or just replacing the 12V's and adding a portable Goal Zero type battery (backup)? I am looking at the 1000W portable options including the Jackery 240W or 500W models. Any input appreciated.
Thanks Gypsydad. Darn about your GoPower solar system not functioning - 6V in series shouldn't affect it. Could it be your controller? Have you used a multi-meter to check for power coming out of solar lines at controller? One take-away from my experience is that systems are a game of pick-up sticks of sorts and the converter bone is connected to the battery bone is connected to the controller bone is connected to the.... I hope you can get some good help to get yours sorted out without having to go to X to Y to Z to get to B. I'm glad your Boondocker is working well. The two I had installed ran a lot and at odd times, with very low DC load happening.

As for my choice of batteries: I began this journey with 2 Crown 6V AGMs (already was 6V, not 12V) that went bad. I had been wanting more battery power for boondocking, but was waiting for a convenient upgrade time because I would have to get all new batteries (as you know, not good to mix ages of batteries in a bank). I'm traveling and when my solar controller was malfunctioning, I thought I just had to replace it. Then found out my batteries were dead. I was trying to get things solved simply because I'm on the road and so tried to get a direct replacement for my Crown's. That was challenging in my current location/situation. I managed to find a small golf cart factory nearby willing and able to get me a couple Trojans that would fit in my battery box. While I was waiting for them, I began researching - wonder why they died so quickly. I knew the Parallax converter that came with the Airstream new was not the best ... I began looking to replace it so I didn't kill my new batteries ... I also found info on the solar controller and found out I should also upgrade it to a MPPT so as not to fry batteries again. With all that I was suddenly putting into this project, I decided I might as well get 2 more batteries to give me a good bank for running the furnace in cold weather boondocking so I added 2 more and moved them inside. I didn't go lithium because I backed into this whole thing and had the Trojan batteries paid for and ordered and couldn't cancel them by the time I figured out how much I was replacing - my whole system. I backed into it ... Like I've said earlier in this thread, this whole thing went on while traveling (and still traveling) and my choices were driven mainly by trying to just do replacements (didn't begin with intent to upgrade things) but then having the project mushroom on me as I went. It had been on my bucket list to get a good working understanding of my electrical/battery system in the Airstream - check check on that now. Good luck with your process - I don't feel qualified to discuss the Goal Zero but from what little I've looked at those, they're a different creature than running a regular 12v battery bank or 6V AGMs ...
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:36 AM   #18
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lion battery are the way to go.
that is what AS is doing at the factory with 20/21 models

they are much lighter
higher density
longer life
same footprint
no outgasing
able to work down to 10% vs 50% is lead acid
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
The way I read your post Uncle_Bob, there is no converter that will work properly with Trojans (T-105s) or any other batteries for that matter - all have specs for charging. I've had in-depth discussions with Trojan corporate tech, with Progressive Dynamics tech and Atkinson tech. All are in agreement that the system I have now works in harmony. This new system is now working simply and correctly. The converter is charging 14.4 bulk/boost, 13.6 absorption, 13.2 float - same with solar controller. It's a simple system - a complicated and challenging road to get there - made more challenging by companies and products that were recommended by others online and a dealer service department I had trusted.

As for temperature issues - without getting into electrical engineering discussions, which is above my pay grade - the temperatures matter more at extremes that I won't be encountering due to batteries being now in a temp controlled environment in the coach. I do have a Victron battery monitor with a temp sensor on the system and the PD model converter does have a dongle that can manually adjust the PD charging if needed. But realistically, if temps get to extremes for some odd reason, then the batteries will be disconnected from charging system and the coach will be in storage.

.......
Hi

No, that is far from the case. There are a number of converters that will properly charge T-105's the way Trojan says to charge them. What you have will not destroy the batteries, it simply will not charge them properly. That's per the official Trojan data on the batteries. If you went with them to get 220AH, you are not getting 220AH with your setup.

The temperature stuff matters at extremes like when it's at 40F at night or at 110F out in the sun. If that is way beyond the temperatures you normally see when camping, that's fine. It's only relevant because you went from a setup with a probe to one that does not have a probe.

Bob
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:10 AM   #20
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2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Austin (winter) Lincoln MT (summer) , Texas & Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Thanks Gypsydad. Darn about your GoPower solar system not functioning - 6V in series shouldn't affect it. Could it be your controller? Have you used a multi-meter to check for power coming out of solar lines at controller? One take-away from my experience is that systems are a game of pick-up sticks of sorts and the converter bone is connected to the battery bone is connected to the controller bone is connected to the.... I hope you can get some good help to get yours sorted out without having to go to X to Y to Z to get to B. I'm glad your Boondocker is working well. The two I had installed ran a lot and at odd times, with very low DC load happening.

As for my choice of batteries: I began this journey with 2 Crown 6V AGMs (already was 6V, not 12V) that went bad. I had been wanting more battery power for boondocking, but was waiting for a convenient upgrade time because I would have to get all new batteries (as you know, not good to mix ages of batteries in a bank). I'm traveling and when my solar controller was malfunctioning, I thought I just had to replace it. Then found out my batteries were dead. I was trying to get things solved simply because I'm on the road and so tried to get a direct replacement for my Crown's. That was challenging in my current location/situation. I managed to find a small golf cart factory nearby willing and able to get me a couple Trojans that would fit in my battery box. While I was waiting for them, I began researching - wonder why they died so quickly. I knew the Parallax converter that came with the Airstream new was not the best ... I began looking to replace it so I didn't kill my new batteries ... I also found info on the solar controller and found out I should also upgrade it to a MPPT so as not to fry batteries again. With all that I was suddenly putting into this project, I decided I might as well get 2 more batteries to give me a good bank for running the furnace in cold weather boondocking so I added 2 more and moved them inside. I didn't go lithium because I backed into this whole thing and had the Trojan batteries paid for and ordered and couldn't cancel them by the time I figured out how much I was replacing - my whole system. I backed into it ... Like I've said earlier in this thread, this whole thing went on while traveling (and still traveling) and my choices were driven mainly by trying to just do replacements (didn't begin with intent to upgrade things) but then having the project mushroom on me as I went. It had been on my bucket list to get a good working understanding of my electrical/battery system in the Airstream - check check on that now. Good luck with your process - I don't feel qualified to discuss the Goal Zero but from what little I've looked at those, they're a different creature than running a regular 12v battery bank or 6V AGMs ...
Thanks for the reply! I intend to check the multi-meter today with the solar attached here at my cabin...(finally some sun!) Sounds like your system is working fine. Not sure why UB (Uncle Bob) says your converter is not sufficient? Sounds like the techs you spoke with confirmed it is working fine.

As for the Goal Zero type portable Li option, couple threads on using this as a back up system as well as an auxillary power supply. It's portable, can be charged in your vehicle while driving or with solar also. Thinking it is a great augmentation to my T105's, if/when needed...that unforeseen "cold snap" calling on the heater to run while on the trip thru Tetons in September!

Good luck with rest of your trip!
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