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Old 09-12-2005, 09:12 PM   #1
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New converter and batteries

Just had a WFCO 3 stage converter charger installed in our 03 Safari 25. Also had 2 6 volt AGMs installed in the battery compartment, huge increase in reserve capacity for camping/boondocking, waiting on the modified battery lid to finish the work. Had the good folks at Airstream of Spokane do the install, also had them do some interior panel repairs, they did a great job. I can't wait to get it back out on the road and find some nice quiet cg to park in. From what I'm reading the new converter should really whack a good charge on the batteries when I fire up the generator. Will post some pics of the battery box soon as it's done.
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:21 PM   #2
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Why did you have two 6v AGMs installed...

I too am looking for ways to increase my reserve capacity for boondocking.
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:38 PM   #3
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Pictures?

I would love to see a picture or two of your setup. Didn't your 25' have two batteries? Our 25' CCD has two and with solar panels (and the Honda 2000i) we do alright, but I'm going for AGMs when the originals get tired. -Ken
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by vwilleford
Why did you have two 6v AGMs installed...

I too am looking for ways to increase my reserve capacity for boondocking.
Two 6 volt batteries in series, is 12 volts. While cutting the available amperage in half, it effectively doubles the reserve capacity.
If you had two 12 volt batteries in parallel, you would have all the voltage, twice the amperage, and half the reserve. Since we don't need all that amperage in our trailers, we go for the length of time we can leave our lights on.
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Old 09-17-2005, 09:17 PM   #5
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new charger and batteries

I put the 6 volt batteries in for the whopping increase in reserve capacity. if I'm not mistaken they are rated at 490 minutes with a constant 25 amp draw versus around 200 minutes for the 12 volt group 27 batts the factory installed.
I chose the AGM version for the speed that I can recharge them. Yeah they cost a little more but with the new converter/charger (3 stage) they really top off quick compared to the 12 volts being recharged by the single stage factory converter. Having spent a few nights out where my wife ran the furnace all night and killed the batts at three in the morning I figured there had to be a better way.
I should have some pics available next week, also hope to stop off at the CAT scale and check for any gross increases in tongue weight.
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Old 09-17-2005, 09:18 PM   #6
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new log in

oops, sorry, we moved so I changed my log in from flsafari to wasafari......
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:16 PM   #7
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That's one fast move!

Great tow vehicle, eh?
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Old 09-18-2005, 06:45 AM   #8
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oops, sorry, we moved so I changed my log in from flsafari to wasafari......
So, where did you mount the jet engine? On the trailer, or the tow vehicle?
I don't remember, do you have a solar panel installed on your coach, or are you just charging with shore power? Of course, in Seattle there are less sunny days than you had in Florida, so solar may not be as beneficial there.
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:19 PM   #9
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Agm???

I know what volts are. I know what amps are. What is an AGM battery?
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:33 PM   #10
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Absorbed Glass Mat. The electrolyte is contained in a fiberglass like mat, instead of liquid between the plates. Optima batteries are good examples.
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Old 10-20-2005, 07:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Two 6 volt batteries in series, is 12 volts. While cutting the available amperage in half, it effectively doubles the reserve capacity.
If you had two 12 volt batteries in parallel, you would have all the voltage, twice the amperage, and half the reserve.
This is incorrect. When you put two 6V batteries in series, you have twice the voltage, but only the amp-hours of a single battery. When you put two 12V batteries in parallel, you have twice the amp-hours of a single battery, but only the voltage of a single battery.

That being said, a single 6V battery typically has double the amp-hours of a single 12V battery, so either setup gives about the same amp-hours. For example, a Trojan 6V-AGM battery has 200AH. Two in series still have 200AH. A Group 27 size Trojan 27-AGM has 100AH. Two in parallel have 200AH.

The difference is that 6 volt golf cart batteries can be cycled more times to the same depth, or the same number of times to a deeper depth, or somewhere in between, over their entire life. OTOH, if one of two 6V batteries in series fails, the whole system is dead in the case of an open, or not much better than 10 volts in the case of a single shorted cell. In the case of two 12V batteries in parallel, the system is at 50% capacity in the case of an open. In the case of a shorted cell, the bad battery will pull the whole system down to not much better than 10 volts, however, you can remove the bad battery from the circuit, recharge the good one, and continue to operate at 50% capacity.
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:53 AM   #12
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Battery compartment mod is necessary to accomodate the golfcart batteries. Once that is accomplished an additional benefit is realized...golf courses, hence golfcarts and their batteries are nearly EVERYWHERE. We've had ours 18mths added water just yesterday for the first time. We use a threestage charger (Intellipower) and installed a solar panel disconnect switch giving us complete control of where charging energy comes from. Looking forward to a long run from our battery bank but if needed, replacements will never be far away.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:00 PM   #13
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battery options...

after reading the options, i think i like the dual 12V option. i need to start thinking about the battery options in my trailer. a couple of questions...

if i use dual optima batteries, do i need to vent the battery compartment to the outside? or are they truly "sealed cells"? i do not fully understand the deep cycle stuff rither. i think one is good to start a car, vs one that runs longer (for RVs). if i went with the optima batteries, i believe those are the yellow ones? is 2 batteries the standard?

also, i have been thinking about powering a few electronic devices in the trailer (flat screen, computer, etc). i don't want to have to run them off 110, and since they all have power converters that change the voltage to either 12 or 18 volts DC, i think it would be better to drive them off some sort of power regulator that maintains a constant voltage, instead of fluctuating (especially for the computer). any thoughts? it would be great to ditch those ugly converter boxes, that's for sure!

jp
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:50 PM   #14
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The Optimas are AGM batteries, and AGM batteries are truly sealed unless you grossly overcharge them. The problem with the Optimas is that their spiral wrapped "six-pack" design doesn't use all of the volume contained in the length x width x height and therefore they don't have nearly as much capacity as conventional form-factor AGMs like the Lifeline brand.

I have run any number of electronics that use a 120VAC to 12-14VDC "wall wart" directly from 12 volt batteries, usually with a cable from Radio Shack, both in the Airstream and on our boat. Some LCD TVs also use 12VDC power supplies.

This doesn't include notebook computers, and some LCD TVs, though, which need higher DC voltages. You can get inexpensive 12VDC adapters for notebooks at electronics stores, and even adapters from some OEMs such as Dell. But if you want a really good one, check out those made by Lind
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