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Old 12-28-2009, 12:02 PM   #1
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76 Argosy Charger,Battery Inverter!!!???

Ok now I'm becoming frazzled!! I went and bought a new Fridge and need a 12v line ran from the battery to the new fridge.<Not the problem> I was gonna go buy a deep cycle marine battery and while waiting for a reply on which one to get, I began reading posts about exploding batteries and inverters over charging,melting batteries...,,,etc.

Have a messed up by buying an older model Argosy? I can't just go add a battery<didn't come with one> and put it in there and maintain it like a boat battery? Does the inverter have it's own battery charger?

Shane
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:17 PM   #2
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Hi Shane,

Nope - you haven't messed up.

Couple of things to consider:

1. Do you plan on towing the trailer at all? If yes, then you need a battery on-board to power the electric brakes via the disconnect switch in case the trailer ever breaks away from the TV.

2. Do you plan on dry-camping (aka, camping without electric shore power)? If yes, then the bigger battery you can get the better. Bigger as in capacity, not physical size per se. Lots of people have dual batteries, either 2 12-volts wired in parallel, or 2 6-volt golf cart batteries wired in series. All depends on what kind of camping you want to do, and how long you want to camp without shore power. We have 2 golf cart batteries, and have for many, many years. We can camp in the Fall, with the furnance for about 4 days and not run out of battery juice.

3. Is the converter the original one? If yes, you may want to consider swapping it out at some point for a new one. The older converters do not have a smart charging system, and yes, they can overcharge your battery. When that happens, the battery life is reduced, and the water in it will evaporate out faster. Usually not a problem as long as you stay on top of it maintenance-wise and check the water level at least monthly. Actually, new converters do not necessarily come with a smart charging system. Some have that as an option, some do not. Typically, the more expensive ones will have it built in or as an option. Look for words like Smart Charger, 3 stage charging system, or something similar. Something to consider if you decide to replace the current converter.

Hope this helps.

Chris
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
Hi Shane,

Nope - you haven't messed up.

Couple of things to consider:

1. Do you plan on towing the trailer at all? If yes, then you need a battery on-board to power the electric brakes via the disconnect switch in case the trailer ever breaks away from the TV.

2. Do you plan on dry-camping (aka, camping without electric shore power)? If yes, then the bigger battery you can get the better. Bigger as in capacity, not physical size per se. Lots of people have dual batteries, either 2 12-volts wired in parallel, or 2 6-volt golf cart batteries wired in series. All depends on what kind of camping you want to do, and how long you want to camp without shore power. We have 2 golf cart batteries, and have for many, many years. We can camp in the Fall, with the furnance for about 4 days and not run out of battery juice.

3. Is the converter the original one? If yes, you may want to consider swapping it out at some point for a new one. The older converters do not have a smart charging system, and yes, they can overcharge your battery. When that happens, the battery life is reduced, and the water in it will evaporate out faster. Usually not a problem as long as you stay on top of it maintenance-wise and check the water level at least monthly. Actually, new converters do not necessarily come with a smart charging system. Some have that as an option, some do not. Typically, the more expensive ones will have it built in or as an option. Look for words like Smart Charger, 3 stage charging system, or something similar. Something to consider if you decide to replace the current converter.

Hope this helps.

Chris
1. Yes gonna tow her a lot. Are the "emergency" brakes required? Not in Texas I believe, but I do have safety chains which are.
2.Dry camping...boon docking, probably not too much at first. Furnce hasn't been lite yet. Just trying one thing at a time. I'm getting overwhelmed.

3. So I'm gonna go buy a battery and maintain it, with distilled water and a external battery charger.

Shane
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:27 PM   #4
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76 Argosy Charger,Battery Inverter!!!???

Greetings Shane!

Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
Ok now I'm becoming frazzled!! I went and bought a new Fridge and need a 12v line ran from the battery to the new fridge.<Not the problem> I was gonna go buy a deep cycle marine battery and while waiting for a reply on which one to get, I began reading posts about exploding batteries and inverters over charging,melting batteries...,,,etc.

Have a messed up by buying an older model Argosy? I can't just go add a battery<didn't come with one> and put it in there and maintain it like a boat battery? Does the inverter have it's own battery charger?

Shane
What you are facing is the same thing that you would with almost any Vintage RV. Converter technology has advanced considerably since the 1970s. Your converter, if it is original, is a successor to the Univolt, and they have the nasty reputation of boiling the battery cells dry if they are not watched very carefully. Before I purchased my new converter for the Argosy, I would go to WalMart and purchase their least expensive RV/Marine battery with the understanding that it would need to be replaced at the beginning of the next season as the Univot would assuredly boil the cells dry at least once during the season.

After upgrading to a modern, multi-stage charger/converter, the boiling problem is a thing of the past. My last flooded cell battery made it through three seasons before it had to be replaced. My Overlander received the premium multi-stage charger/inverter/converter along with a solar array, and its battery bank (three AGM batteries) has survived seven seasons and is still going strong.

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
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Here is my converter info :


Converter/Charger
TU-331w
Triad Ctrad.

115 volt, 60 HZ, 4.8 AMP, 12 volts DC, 30 AMP. Total max: 4 circuit

Shane
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:39 PM   #6
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76 Argosy Charger,Battery Inverter!!!???

Greetings Shane!

Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
Here is my converter info :


Converter/Charger
TU-331w
Triad Ctrad.

115 volt, 60 HZ, 4.8 AMP, 12 volts DC, 30 AMP. Total max: 4 circuit

Shane
I can't say with absolute certainty, but I do believe that you have what is likely the original converter/charger or a contemporary replacement unit. I have seen Triad converters in a number of first generation Argosy coaches.

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
Ok now I'm becoming frazzled!! I went and bought a new Fridge and need a 12v line ran from the battery to the new fridge.<Not the problem> I was gonna go buy a deep cycle marine battery and while waiting for a reply on which one to get, I began reading posts about exploding batteries and inverters over charging,melting batteries...,,,etc.

Have a messed up by buying an older model Argosy? I can't just go add a battery<didn't come with one> and put it in there and maintain it like a boat battery? Does the inverter have it's own battery charger?

Shane
Hi Shane,

Charger/converters seem to be a hot topic today, see http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...0-a-57567.html.

First, no you did not make a mistake. Enjoy your Argy, all older trailers/cars/houses/everything need attention. This is just part of the "fun." I use the term loosely.

Your Argosy should have had a battery in the first place, so that's something you would have to add anyway. There should be a place and connections for one in your Argosy. Then the converter (Univolt, charger, whatever) should maintain it exactly like a boat system.

An inverter takes 12v DC from your battery and changes it to AC to power AC only things like televisions or computers. This allows you to have limited use of these AC items while on battery power. Most RVs that I know of do not come with an inverter standard, I have never had one. One is on the list, but it is way down. (When I say most RVs, I obviously am not refering to motorhomes the size of an aircraft carrier.)

I'm not sure exactly when 12v systems with converters (in Airstreams, Univolts) became standard, but that was the case by 1967 I know for sure.

Nice looking Argosy, by the way. Now you need to put up more pictures so we can all enjoy it.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:52 PM   #8
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Hi Shane,

Charger/converters seem to be a hot topic today, see http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...0-a-57567.html.

First, no you did not make a mistake. Enjoy your Argy, all older trailers/cars/houses/everything need attention. This is just part of the "fun." I use the term loosely.

Your Argosy should have had a battery in the first place, so that's something you would have to add anyway. There should be a place and connections for one in your Argosy. Then the converter (Univolt, charger, whatever) should maintain it exactly like a boat system.

An inverter takes 12v DC from your battery and changes it to AC to power AC only things like televisions or computers. This allows you to have limited use of these AC items while on battery power. Most RVs that I know of do not come with an inverter standard, I have never had one. One is on the list, but it is way down. (When I say most RVs, I obviously am not refering to motorhomes the size of an aircraft carrier.)

I'm not sure exactly when 12v systems with converters (in Airstreams, Univolts) became standard, but that was the case by 1967 I know for sure.

Nice looking Argosy, by the way. Now you need to put up more pictures so we can all enjoy it.
So when the trailer is "on Shore" it should be charging the new battery I'm about to purchase?

As stated above go buy a inexpensive marine battery that will fit into my exterior compartment. There is a red and black wire there to hook up except the red battery end is gone, i'll replace that also. Don't buy the expensive gel battery until I get a new inverter/charger?

Don't ask me for pics,....I will flood the bandwidth if you open that door for me....LOL

Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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Greetings Shane!

Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
So when the trailer is "on Shore" it should be charging the new battery I'm about to purchase?

As stated above go buy a inexpensive marine battery that will fit into my exterior compartment. There is a red and black wire there to hook up except the red battery end is gone, i'll replace that also. Don't buy the expensive gel battery until I get a new inverter/charger?

Don't ask me for pics,....I will flood the bandwidth if you open that door for me....LOL

Thanks.
Until you have had a chance to determine whether the converter is actually functional, and how it intereacts with your battery; an inexpensive battery is likely the best way to go. I know that neither of my coaches had fully functional converters installed when I purchased them. Once new converters with multi-stage charging were installed, I felt safe to go with the more expensive batteries with better overall specifications.

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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... Before I purchased my new converter for the Argosy, I would go to WalMart and purchase their least expensive RV/Marine battery with the understanding that it would need to be replaced at the beginning of the next season as the Univot would assuredly boil the cells dry at least once during the season.
...
Kevin
Said it was an active topic. I agree with Kevin about going to WalMart for your first battery. It may or may not be boiled off before the next season. Keep an eye on it, though.

The reason I buy batteries at WalMart is my past experience replacing failed batteries in my vehicles. Everywhere I have replaced a battery that has failed during the warranty period, the procedure was to leave the battery with the dealer so they could charge it overnight and then confirm that it was dead. In the case of my car or truck, this would leave me on foot. It's not quite as bad in the Airstream, but still inconvenient to make multiple trips. At WalMart, the procedure is to take the offending battery in and leave with an replacement with no hassle.

Maybe the WalMart batteries don't have the capacity/performance of whatever "Blue-Topped Super Wombat Special" is in vogue at the time, but they are much less costly and easy to replace.

For serious boondocking, I would make the switch to AGM batteries. My friends who seriously bookdock have and are pleased. That is just not the case for me at this time. High-end batteries are also an expensive way to learn about taking care of these types of systems.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
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So when the trailer is "on Shore" it should be charging the new battery I'm about to purchase?

As stated above go buy a inexpensive marine battery that will fit into my exterior compartment. There is a red and black wire there to hook up except the red battery end is gone, i'll replace that also. Don't buy the expensive gel battery until I get a new inverter/charger?

Don't ask me for pics,....I will flood the bandwidth if you open that door for me....LOL

Thanks.
Yes.

It sounds like you have a handle on things now.

I think we will all take the risk on the bandwidth, though.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:34 PM   #12
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FYI, make sure that the converter you have is putting out clean DC power. Your new fridge's 12 DC circuit board will not like pulsed DC power very much. If you use your old converter, make sure it is hooked up to a battery. Do not use a 12VDC automotive battery charger for 12vdc unless you have battery hooked up also.

Kip
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:15 AM   #13
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1. Yes gonna tow her a lot. Are the "emergency" brakes required? Not in Texas I believe, but I do have safety chains which are.
I believe most states require emergency brakes once a trailer reaches a certain weight or length. Laws vary a bit from state to state. But, even if Texas doesn't require emergency brakes and a break away switch, your argosy should still have one as standard equipment I believe. Always best to hook the break away switch cable up to your TV whenever you're towing - pretty cheap insurance in case you have a catastrophic hitch failure. Connect the TV end of the cable to a solid part of the TV – but not on the hitch receiver in case that’s the part that breaks.

Take things one step at a time, and that’ll help with feeling overwhelmed. There’s a fair amount to learn, but it’s all worth it!

And we do like pics!!

Chris
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:22 AM   #14
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I remembered seeing a chart somewhere listing various towing laws by state. Did a Google search and found this:

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm

Chris
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