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Old 03-07-2003, 08:58 PM   #15
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Univolt with battery minder

Thanks for the info Craig! Sounds like you definitely have more experience than I.

Our univolt is under the bedroom gaucho, it is hard wired and when I tried turning the circuit breaker off from the 120 box it also turned out some other receptacles. So, I was thinking about finding some kind of double spade switch to attach right on the battery. It will be kind of a hassle to go outside open the battery compartment door and slide the battery out to switch it from univolt to the battery minder, but from what I have been reading it sounds as if it will be worth it to make my battery last longer.

Has anyone heard of a double spade switch, or would you call it a double throw battery switch?

Still learning, still enjoying all the lessons from you seasoned pros!
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Old 03-07-2003, 09:15 PM   #16
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I'd just like to point out for those that don't know....DO NOT USE TAP WATER when topping off batteries. It's full of minirals and chemicals that will cause problems and accelerate Sulfating of the plates (what causes batteries to fail). Use DISTILLED water only. Available in most grocerie stores. Same with your engine coolant. Tap water bad.
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Old 03-07-2003, 10:36 PM   #17
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Rick,
Some of the motor home guys have outfitted their batteries with the type of switches you are talking about. Do a forum search on throw or spade switches and I think you will come across a few pictures. Some of the MH guys will probably pitch in here soon. If not, post you question on the MH section and they will be quick to answer. By the way Rick, I also have a 5 watt Solargizer solar panel charger / maintainer hooked up to the other battery box and it has worked with the BatteryMinder perfectly. At least when I boondock for a week at a time and use lights sparingly, it keeps the batteries topped off.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:22 AM   #18
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Pulse Tech Solargizer

Check out www.pulsetech.com for info on the Solargizer solar chargers and maintainers. The 5 watt unit I have will charge (slowly) up to 4 batteries at a time, taper the charge, desulfate the battery (sends pulse charges to the battery plates to shake off sulphur accumulating on them) to allow the particles to blend back with the battery acid and then keep a maintenance charge on the battery while in storage or periods of inactivity. They also have a 10 watt unit of the same design and both are available with multiple lines to different batteries if needed. They were designed for railroad cars that utilized a battery to open panels and they needed to keep the battery fully charged. This device, theoretically, beats the standard 5 watt solar charger/maintainer due to the different steps the electronics use. Eventually I would like to go to one 125 watt solar panel on top of the trailer or a couple of 75 watt units. That would be a different setup than what I have now but I have parked the trailer for a month at a time and used electricity sparingly for 2 1/2 days of each weekend and never had a battery problem with my 2 Delco Voyager 105 amp hr. batteries. I guess the sunny days I am not there give it time to charge up between uses. I've even run the furnace all night long on just the 2 batteries and not had a problem. I'm usually not using the water pump or running more than 2 lights at a time but I am running a fan for 3 hrs. each afternoon and have sometimes done so during the night for 6 hrs. while sleeping. These batteries are almost 2 yrs. old and still strong so I guess this has been why I have been successful. You never want to run the batteries down completely because they will never be the same. You a also better off not running them more than 50 % down to make them last longer. Overcharging and not checking water periodically has also caused premature battery failure.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:35 AM   #19
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Rick,
Another alternative would be to install one of the Intellipower converter/chargers with the additional Charge Wizzard which plugs into it and does the same thing as the BatteryMinder. While we are talking additional money here, it could be hardwired into your trailer just as the univolt is now but without any additional problems if you plan on running everything for long periods at a time.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:40 AM   #20
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59toaster,
Good plug on the distilled water for batteries as well as radiators. Mineral deposits do cause problems and this is why I use to run straight anti-freeze while down in TX. They say that straight anti-freeze does not give you as much protection as an anti-freeze/water mixture so that is why I run a 60 % anti-freeze and 40 % water mixture in TN.
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Old 03-08-2003, 07:48 AM   #21
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Angry Fried my NEW radio!

I was running the furnace the other day, on Univolt, with no battery. I flipped on the radio, and it sounded buzzy and distorted, so I turned it off. After putting the battery back in it still sounds crappy, AM, FM or CD. Glad it was only a $59 Jensen I picked up at Wally World. When I replace it, you can bet, I'll put a filter capacitor across the power leads at the radio, this time!
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Old 03-08-2003, 08:25 AM   #22
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73Andy

What you need is a double pole double throw center off switch. Get one for 20 amps. You will have to cut into the 120 wiring feeding the univolt, or pull it out of the univolt and add new wire from the switch to the univolt, depending on the location of the switch. The wire that fed the univolt should go to the 2 center taps on the switch, the univolt on the 2 taps on one side, the battery minder on the 2 taps on the other side. Make sure you keep the polarity the same, black-black, white-white.
Center will be off, univolt flipped one way, battery minder the other.
While you are in there working, do like Pick said, put a big filter capacitor across the output of the univolt. It will drop the voltage some and filter the ripple so electronics aren't destroyed.

John
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Old 03-08-2003, 07:25 PM   #23
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Univolt with battery minder

Hey thanks everyone for the info!

Thanks especially to Craig and John.
Craig your solar chargers really look like something I ought to consider in the future, I looked at your pics and they look good.
John that switch sounds good except for using the furnace and water pump, if I turn off the univolt won't that keep me from using the furnace and water pump? My wife and kids go out to the A/S all the time, winter and summer. I need to keep the 120 volt line plugged in all the time. That is why I was considering putting in a pair of spade switches right on the battery. Does this sound like the right way to go, or am I all wet on the furnace and water pump not working if the univolt is turned off????????

I am defintely still learning!! The former owner didn't advise me to not keep the shore power plugged in all the time so I have cooked my battery and I really don't want to do it again.

Any more input on this would really be great!!
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Old 03-08-2003, 08:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidz71
59toaster,
Good plug on the distilled water for batteries as well as radiators. Mineral deposits do cause problems and this is why I use to run straight anti-freeze while down in TX. They say that straight anti-freeze does not give you as much protection as an anti-freeze/water mixture so that is why I run a 60 % anti-freeze and 40 % water mixture in TN.
Truthfully straight anti freeze lowers your max cooling capacity. Water has a better heat transfer rate then the glycol in the anti freeze.
Antifreeze has two purposes #1 to prevent freezing and #2 is to provide chemicals to prevent corrosion and electroliss between the different metals in the cooling system. Why you change coolant ever 2 or so years is because those protective chemicals have been exhausted.
I play with Toyota Supras also and when you start screweing around with them and pulling 450hp out of a 3 liter motor cooling becomes critical. Lots of cooling post sprout up on those lists. Most guys run 60% water durring the summer to help them run cooler and add a product called "water wetter" that helps create better heat scavaging properties with the coolant.
Either Csaba Csere or Patrick Bedard from Car&Driver had a series of cooling stories last year that were great and very educational. Well worth the read. We tend to tax the cooling systems with the weights we are dealing with. Might still be available on their web site www.CarandDriver.com
Found one of them concerning the different antifreezes available. There was a follow ups as well concerning cooling systems that I did not find. Here is the one about Antifeeze

Ok here is the other one on Cooling
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Old 03-08-2003, 08:31 PM   #25
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59toaster,
You're right about the straight anti-freeze but I never had any problems with it in my '70 GTO. It seemed to run cool no matter what I did to it. Wish I still had it. I'm also familar with the "water wetter" and hear that it is some good stuff. I was at Advanced Auto Supply last week and saw some stuff that does the same thing but I can't remember what it was called. They sold it by the gallon. I would think it would be just the ticket for the MH owners and those who tow heavy trailers. I watch Car and Driver when I get the chance but spend more time concentrating on Trucks!, Horsepower TV and My Classic Car on Saturdays. Makes the wife mad sometimes.
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Old 03-08-2003, 08:44 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidz71
59toaster,
You're right about the straight anti-freeze but I never had any problems with it in my '70 GTO. It seemed to run cool no matter what I did to it. Wish I still had it. I'm also familar with the "water wetter" and hear that it is some good stuff. I was at Advanced Auto Supply last week and saw some stuff that does the same thing but I can't remember what it was called. They sold it by the gallon. I would think it would be just the ticket for the MH owners and those who tow heavy trailers. I watch Car and Driver when I get the chance but spend more time concentrating on Trucks!, Horsepower TV and My Classic Car on Saturdays. Makes the wife mad sometimes.
Ohhh the couch potato comes out LOL. I'm waiting to get to meet Sam Memlo. He's one of my friends next door neighbor. Here is a picture when Sam brought a H2 over to show my buddy Brian.
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:27 PM   #27
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Yep, seen him more than a few times on TV. Your friend sure has a smug grin on his face. Must be the H2 Ohhh effect.
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Old 03-09-2003, 07:21 AM   #28
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73Andy

The furnace and water pump run off 12v, they will run off the battery even without the univolt. All you are really doing with the switch is changing the charging method, fast with the univolt or maintenance with the battery minder.

John
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