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Old 06-26-2016, 12:39 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by rdepas View Post
I am there with you Joe. Magnum is nice but I just can't justify dropping $1000 - $2000+ for a converter. I do wish Airstream would have left the charger up front by the batteries instead of putting it mid-cabin. They put the inverter up front on my 2014 Classic but the converter is mid-cabin...makes no sense.

My plan is to put in a Progressive Dynamics PD4655 as a direct replacement for my Parallax 7355. I leave my unit plugged in most of the time so I want a multi-stage charging unit that won't cook my batteries. Just put in a pair of new Group 27 Interstate batteries and would like them to last more than 2 years.
We cannot leave our trailer plugged in full time where we currently store it and we do not often even camp in the same location for more than a week before moving (while using various 12V system in the Airstream), so my main concern at this time is opposite yours. It is under charging of the expensive Lifeline AGM batteries when we use it and thus not getting full use and life from them, rather than overcharging during periods of non use.

It is more about getting the right higher than stock 13.6V voltage during the Bulk and Absorbsion stages of the charging cycle than it is reducing the voltage below 13.6V during the Float stage.

Ideally, it would be good to get the proper voltages in all parts of the charging cycle, though, in case our storage opportunity or usage pattern changes in the future.
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:35 AM   #30
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Also, I believe the 4655 is for 30 amp service and not 50 like I have. I have 2 ac's.
After investigating this question, I believe the PD4655 would work "electrically" to replace the converter section of the Parallax 5355 converter in 50 Amp/dual AC Airstreams, but the problem is physical packaging space.

While the PD4655 is a direct bolt in replacement for the converter section of the Parallax 7355 used on 30A/single AC Airstreams, it is taller than the converter section on the 5355 in recent 50A/dual AC Airstreams. To use it would require some type of modification on 50A Airstreams. All three of the 5355, 7355, and 4655 have 55A charging capability.

It appears to me that based upon physical dimensions, the 60A PD9260 (or same size 70A PD9270), or any of the 55A PowerMax Boondocker series could be retrofitted inside the existing 5355 Converter section case (after removing the "guts" of the 5355 converter) and thus be bolted back into place. Several on AirForums have done this modification at least with the 55A PowerMax Boondocker.

The 55A Iota DLS-55/IQ4 looks like it would also fit inside the 5355 converter case, but not sure if anyone has done so here on AirForums. The Xantrex TrueCharge 2 60A is OK on height and depth, but is too long (wide) to fit inside the 5355 converter case, but might fit if one cut one end off the 5355 converter case or it might fit below the 5355 circuit breaker panel if the 5355 converter case was removed entirely and a new way to mount the 5355 12V fuse panel was created. At least one person on AirForums has done this type of Xantrex below the circuit breaker panel replacement, but I believe on a 30A/single AC, 7355 equipped Airstream.

Search around and you will several that have posted photos of their converter replacements here on Airforums (sorry, I don't have the links handy to post).

Beyond the physical dimensions, you will find that the charging voltages in various modes and other features of all the models I listed vary quite a bit. They each have their plus's and minus's and none are "perfect". Given the long run of wire from the mid trailer mounted converter to the front mounted batteries (meaning higher than recommended resistance, thus decreased charging ability), having a higher charging voltage than the stock 5355 (13.6V) during the Bulk and Absorbsion charging stages (especially if you have the expensive Lifeline AGM Batteries that come with the factory solar package) might be as important as having a reduced voltage (i.e. below the stock 5355 13.6V) during the Float stage to reduce overcharging during long periods where the trailer is plugged in but not used (especially for the lead-acid Interstate batteries used without the solar package). It might be worth your time to study those details before just going with the first 3 or 4 stage charger you find that physically fits.

And all of this is before one might consider going to a Magnum Inverter/Charger that offers more features and customization, but at significant additional expense. For some the Magnum might be an option, but for some of us it is likely overkill.

There are other Converter/Chargers out there (including some brands directed specifically toward the marine market - and thus likely more expensive), but I did not investigate, as I have heard no one here endorse them other than the brands I specifically mention in this post.

I am finding that this upgrade will take me additional time to investigate before making a decision. I am even considering moving the charger from under the circuit breaker panel to under the front couch to reduce the voltage drop in the long wires and thus improve charging of our Lifeline batteries. Not sure yet if I will decide if this is necessary, but I will note that the converter was located under the couch near the front mount batteries for decades (it was there in our previous 1985 and 1994 Airstreams) before the relatively recent Airstream decision to move the converter to a mid trailer location. I have heard that at least for the Classic, the converter is moving back below the front couch for 2017. Not sure of converter location on the other 2017 Airstream models.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:39 AM   #31
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Maybe give a call to Progressive Dynamics and ask them which model to use?
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:11 PM   #32
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I plead ignorance here but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that I just spent a boat load of cash for a 2016 Classic only to be told that the electrical components installed by the manufacturer are substandard and need to be upgraded because they will cook my batteries and fail anyway. Why in the world on trailer as expensive as these would they not make an effort to do it right the first time and put in the best components available? I know I would have spent more to have it right in the first place. I find this concept distressing.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:36 PM   #33
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I plead ignorance here but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that I just spent a boat load of cash for a 2016 Classic only to be told that the electrical components installed by the manufacturer are substandard and need to be upgraded because they will cook my batteries and fail anyway. Why in the world on trailer as expensive as these would they not make an effort to do it right the first time and put in the best components available? I know I would have spent more to have it right in the first place. I find this concept distressing.
It is not necessary to spend more to have it right. It could be possible for the manufacturer to start developing a culture of their workers taking pride in their work, and at the same time, taking a cut in their own profit, to make a product they could really be proud of rather than living off of a reputation made years ago when Airstream was truly a quality brand. Don't think Airstream is alone. This is a trend in a lot of american manufacturing.

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Old 07-15-2016, 11:53 PM   #34
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If you're ;looking for what is probably the BEST battery charger presently available, look to the Victron Phoenix: https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...Charger-EN.pdf

Fully programmable 4-stage charging: Bulk, Absorb, Float and Storage with a weekly increase from storage voltage back to absorb for an hour to 'top off' your batteries and keep them at 100% with full temperature compensation. These are features that you will not find available in ANY converter sold today.

For those that don't want the inverter side of a Magnum inverter/charger, this Victron device is a charger ONLY!
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:04 PM   #35
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Our 2017 26U is due in next week. Asked the dealer if they'd replace the converter/charger to a 3-stage before we pick it up. No-can-do, that voids the warranty on all the 12V system if we do! So knowing we are going to leave our coach on 24/7 shore power, they'd rather replace the batteries and/or charger possibly numerous times rather than install the right charger up front
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:20 AM   #36
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We have a '16 26 U and we leave it plugged in to shore power 24/7 and have had no problems with converter, I cannot find anything in info. that says you will. Love the trailer.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:37 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
We cannot leave our trailer plugged in full time where we currently store it and we do not often even camp in the same location for more than a week before moving (while using various 12V system in the Airstream), so my main concern at this time is opposite yours. It is under charging of the expensive Lifeline AGM batteries when we use it and thus not getting full use and life from them, rather than overcharging during periods of non use.

It is more about getting the right higher than stock 13.6V voltage during the Bulk and Absorbsion stages of the charging cycle than it is reducing the voltage below 13.6V during the Float stage.

Ideally, it would be good to get the proper voltages in all parts of the charging cycle, though, in case our storage opportunity or usage pattern changes in the future.
There are converters that incorporate a 4th charge state now for "storage". If the converter does not see a draw on the batteries they will go into lower voltage state to keep from boiling the water out. I believe Magnum has this in their newer converters and others as well.

Just get on the net and do some searching and you will find several with this 4th state.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:40 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
If you're ;looking for what is probably the BEST battery charger presently available, look to the Victron Phoenix: https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...Charger-EN.pdf

Fully programmable 4-stage charging: Bulk, Absorb, Float and Storage with a weekly increase from storage voltage back to absorb for an hour to 'top off' your batteries and keep them at 100% with full temperature compensation. These are features that you will not find available in ANY converter sold today.

For those that don't want the inverter side of a Magnum inverter/charger, this Victron device is a charger ONLY!

What Lewster says. 4th state charging. Will not boil your water off while in storage. Great stuff.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:38 PM   #39
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Parallax TempAssure upgrade

As a new owner I had my problems with the original batteries dying a week after I picked up my trailer in April. Interstate replaced the batteries and I have been reading everything I can get my hands on since then. Short of replacing the lower charging section of my converter (Parallax 5355 for my 50amp service 2016 27'FC), I see that Parallax offers a TempAssure bolt on upgrade(http://www.parallaxpower.com/4400tau...pgrade-4400tau). According to Parallax this module boosts the the charging voltage 0.5v and adjusts the voltage according to battery temperature. From what I can read this would seem to solve part of the issue of cooking your batteries while constantly being pluged into shore power especially during hot weather. My question is:
1) Is this upgrade to the Parallax worthwhile (cost ~$50).
2) How do I run the cable from the TempAssure module which plugs into the front of the converter back to the battery to sense the battery temperature.
Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:36 PM   #40
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Parallax SUCKS.


Either take the advice of those of us who have BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD or destroy your batteries.

Stop pussyfooting around the issue and put in a GOOD converter and BE DONE WITH IT.

Sheesh.
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:46 PM   #41
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Parallax SUCKS.


Either take the advice of those of us who have BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD or destroy your batteries.

Stop pussyfooting around the issue and put in a GOOD converter and BE DONE WITH IT.

Sheesh.
What is a good converter for a 2016 Classic with 50 amp service? Tell me and I'll buy it.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:14 AM   #42
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The "50 amp service" doesn't matter.

All the converter does is provide stable 12v DC to your trailer for your 12v lights and such.

The converter plugs into a regular 120v AC outlet in your trailer then converts this into DC current. The converter doesn't care if your trailer is 20, 30, or 50 amps AC as far as shore power goes.

Get a Progressive Dynamics Intellipower as I've already pointed out on this thread.

There are a few different models; they vary in DC amperage output. If you want to charge your batteries the quickest, get the 80 amp version.

If you want ease of installation, get a direct-fit model that will swap right out in a matter of minutes...these models are just as good, but don't supply QUITE as much amperage to charge your batteries as fast.

But, the availability of that full 80 amps is limited anyway by the size of your 12v and GND cables going to your batteries from the converter so this may be a moot point. It is highly doubtful that Airstream used premium super heavy gauge converter-to-battery wiring in a Classic anyway. They cheapened out on the converter itself and the fake wood, so there is absolutely NO reason to believe they would splurge for high quality wiring.

Get the Intellipower that is a drop-in replacement and be done with it.
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