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Old 01-07-2015, 11:04 AM   #1
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New Member with Battery Charger Question

We have a 2015 Flying Cloud FB with 200 watts of solar and a Zamp controller. We are camping along the California coast in some foggy weather and can't get my batteries fully charged with the generator running a good part of the day. Is it possible to buy a good smart charger and charge the batteries from a stand alone charger? If so would I need to charge each battery or would it charge both once it was connected.
Thanks for your help, the information in this forum has be very helpful!
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:26 AM   #2
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Yes, and there are smart charger/converters available also to replace the single stage converter your trailer came with. A lot of people do this because the single stage converter is not good for the batteries. Take a look at bestconverter.com/

And welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, but I am wondering if I can use an external charger as well until I change the one that came with the Airstream?
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:14 PM   #4
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Yes, and the batteries are wired in parallel, so you can charge them together.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:24 PM   #5
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Question

Are you plugging the trailer into the generator and letting the converter charge the batteries?.....or connecting the batt's directly to the generator?

Do you have a front & rear shore plug on the trailer?.....if so have you tried both?

You may have a bad transfer switch.

Bob
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:30 PM   #6
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I am letting the converter charge, but the batteries don't fully charge. So my question is, at the same time I an using the converter can I use a smart battery charger hooked directly to the batteries. Since they are wired in parallel, Steve said it would charge them both. Maybe a dumb question...... but does it matter which battery I hook the charger up to?
Thanks for all your help!
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:49 PM   #7
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I would have to say yes, but not definitely sure because the smart charger may see the charge voltage of the converter as being a charged battery, and then reduce it's output voltage accordingly. You would just have to try it. Nothing should be damaged in doing so.
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:52 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve for your help. One last question, does it matter which battery I hook the charger up to?
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:55 PM   #9
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I does not matter because they are tied together at the converter area. If the smart charger "sees" the converter on, and cuts back, turn off the converter off and let the smart charger work that way.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:07 PM   #10
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I use a "Schumacher 6V/12V Model #XC10-CA; up to 10 amp" charger purchased from Walmart a couple of years ago. It automatically selects charge rate for charging & maintaining both standard or AGM batteries.

I connect it to the positive buss bar in the 12 volt breaker box and a ground in the same box, thus charging both batteries which are connected in parallel.

I also keep my various vehicle batteries charged with it as well.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:09 PM   #11
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Thanks Steve,
Would it work if I turned the batteries off at the disconnect switch, plugged the trailer into the generator for power and charged the batteries with external charger running off the generator? Probably simple questions, but just trying to learn.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:13 PM   #12
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Thanks Steve,
Would it work if I turned the batteries off at the disconnect switch, plugged the trailer into the generator for power and charged the batteries with external charger running off the generator? Probably simple questions, but just trying to learn.
Yes, probably but you'd also have to have the converter off, because the way they are wired from the factory, the converter is still connected to the batteries when the disconnect switch if off. (I changed mine so the disconnect switch only switches the batteries off, so I can still have power to the trailer while working on the batteries, etc.)
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:23 PM   #13
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Yes, probably but you'd also have to have the converter off, because the way they are wired from the factory, the converter is still connected to the batteries when the disconnect switch if off. (I changed mine so the disconnect switch only switches the batteries off, so I can still have power to the trailer while working on the batteries, etc.)
Concerning disconnecting the converter,;I put a power strip in the AC outlet that the converter was plugged into and then plugged the converter into the power strip. When I have the Schumacher Model XC10-CA charging the batteries I turn off the converter via the power strip on/off switch.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:58 PM   #14
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Yes, and there are smart charger/converters available also to replace the single stage converter your trailer came with. A lot of people do this because the single stage converter is not good for the batteries. Take a look at bestconverter.com/

And welcome to the forum.
The bulk charge stage in the three stage converter will charge your batteries faster than the stock single stage converter.
Depending on your power usage, two to three hours of generator running, will get you up to 70-80 per cent charge which should get you through the night.
If you are going to boondock a lot, you might invest in a catalytic propane heater. It will provide heat during the day without using electricity. We don't sleep with ours on.
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