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Old 01-31-2015, 05:55 PM   #1
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AGM Batteries and Converter question

Just took our new 2015 25' Silver Cloud FB for it's 1st outing. Love the trailer!

But a question about the standard AS converter - which I realize is a 1 stage converter - ie; boat anchor. So I definitely plan to replace it.

My long term plan is to install solar and possibly AGM batteries.

bestconverter.com recommends the PD 4655 upgrade kit for around $200. The huge positive is that this unit replaces the current unit, thereby saving space. The only downside that I see is that there is no temperature compensation option.

If you look at Lifeline's website they recommend Absorbing Voltage from 15.8V (@ 0F degrees) to 13.0V (@ 120F) and Float Voltage of 14.8V (@ 0F) to 13.0V (@ 120F).

An alternative would be to replace the AS Converter with a Xantrex Truecharge2 40amp. Positive = temperature compensation. Negative = $320+ cost AND it would be a separate unit which would take up some space.

So my question is - how sensitive are AGM batteries to temperature? ie; do they really need the temperature compensation? Will a converter with no temp compensation lessen the AGM battery life?
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKL1954 View Post
Just took our new 2015 25' Silver Cloud FB for it's 1st outing. Love the trailer!

But a question about the standard AS converter - which I realize is a 1 stage converter - ie; boat anchor. So I definitely plan to replace it.

My long term plan is to install solar and possibly AGM batteries.

bestconverter.com recommends the PD 4655 upgrade kit for around $200. The huge positive is that this unit replaces the current unit, thereby saving space. The only downside that I see is that there is no temperature compensation option.

If you look at Lifeline's website they recommend Absorbing Voltage from 15.8V (@ 0F degrees) to 13.0V (@ 120F) and Float Voltage of 14.8V (@ 0F) to 13.0V (@ 120F).

An alternative would be to replace the AS Converter with a Xantrex Truecharge2 40amp. Positive = temperature compensation. Negative = $320+ cost AND it would be a separate unit which would take up some space.

So my question is - how sensitive are AGM batteries to temperature? ie; do they really need the temperature compensation? Will a converter with no temp compensation lessen the AGM battery life?
RKL,

First....Give Randy a call at Best Converter

He will answer all your questions.

My experience...our first converter upgrade was a Xantrex 55a, it failed on our first trip.

Randy replaced it with a IOTA DLS 55a IQ4. No temp compensation but it has worked flawlessly on our grp27 100ah Lifelines for 7 years now.

Bob
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:37 PM   #3
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Robert - Randy had assured me it won't be an issue. With your experience, seems like the PD 4655 upgrade kit is the way to go.

Txs, Rasjad
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:13 PM   #4
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Would using the Magnateck/Parallax upgrade kit be ok? It's stated as a three stage converter at ~$200. I have read someone on the Forums say they installed the upgrade in 20 min. It comes in 45 or 55 amp.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:35 PM   #5
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I have a 1973 Argosy

So I don't know about new Airstreams, and should probably shut up

But I am very surprised that the new Airstreams come standard with a one stage charger
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:21 PM   #6
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Your BEST choice, especially considering your future intent to add solar, would be a Magnum inverter/ charger.

Full temperature compensation, a special charge profile just for Lifeline AGMs, full adjustability for size of battery bank ( absorb time), MADE IN USA and fully field serviceable and 2/3 year warranty, depending on which unit you buy.

MOST, if not ALL RV electronics from China (and this specifically includes Xantrex) are NOT repairable and are throw aways.

Your money, your choice.


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Old 02-01-2015, 05:26 PM   #7
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Lew,

Is this the one?





Quote:
Originally Posted by RKL1954 View Post
Robert - Randy had assured me it won't be an issue. With your experience, seems like the PD 4655 upgrade kit is the way to go.

Txs, Rasjad
Yes it should work just fine.

Our Lifelines are 7 years old, have been on the IOTA DLS since new,(in the basement for Winter now).
I winterized the beginning of November, checked them yesterday, still holding at 12.9v.

Good Luck

Bob
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:42 PM   #8
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If you go the Magnum route check the prices at iMarine.
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:35 PM   #9
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Comments on Magnum Tech Support

OK -- Commercial time for Super Bowl, so thought I would check to see what's on AirForums.

In November 2014, we were just setting up after driving all day, and my batteries were way down. Hooked up to power and noticed that batteries were not charging. Since it was 4:45 PM, I quickly called Magnum customer support and explained my problem. Tech support patiently walked me through every step in the diagnostic process. Though they usually close at 5:00 PM, they stayed on the phone with me for an hour. About 6:00 PM, they told me that we had exhausted every check, and although rare, it appeared that the unit MS2812 had malfunctioned. They then asked for the zip code where I was located and said that they would arrange for a replacement the next day. Since we were going to a wedding the next day, I thanked them for all their assistance, and said that we would just go to a hotel. Having made that decision, my wife suggested that we walk back through the steps because "I seemed a little stressed by the whole thing". I begrudgingly said OK, and started out through the checklist. Wouldn't you know, the breaker on the sub-panel had tripped (probably some time way before that trip) -- and in my haste, I didn't check it properly. Flipped it back to "ON" and the Magnum worked as it did the day it was installed.

We all occasionally have these moments, but the bottom line is that despite my panic, Magnum Energy was absolutely fantastic in their customer support.

Cris -- A believer that the extra cost of a great product always fades from memory while you enjoy it's benefits....
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Lew,

Is this the one?







Yes it should work just fine.

Our Lifelines are 7 years old, have been on the IOTA DLS since new,(in the basement for Winter now).
I winterized the beginning of November, checked them yesterday, still holding at 12.9v.

Good Luck

Bob
Big unit! You really don't need a 2800 watt inverter unless you have large electrical loads that you want to power. Most large motor homes use a MS-2012, 2000 watt unit with a 100 amp charging section. It will easily run any microwave or other load, less a roof A/C of course.

If you don't want or use a microwave, then the smaller MMS-1012 with it's 50 amp charging section will do wonders for your batteries and still give you 8.3 amps of 120VAC into the trailer.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:53 AM   #11
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The 2015 AS we have has a 1000w inverter already. In our previous AS we had a Magnum inverter (a 200W model) which worked great. Our current unit doesn't have a microwave (we never used it) so we think the standard 1000W inverter will work fine.

Here's the link at bestconverter.com which discusses replacements for the standard AS converter:
Airstream Univolt

I definitely plan to add solar. I'd like to keep the batteries outside in the battery box behind the LP tanks. That means keeping the standard wet batteries (only 168AHrs total), or POSSIBLY using Lifeline GPL-6CT 6V batteries which would give me 300AHrs. The footprint is a little different than standard Group 24 batteries but should fit. However it will mean adding a 4" "lip" to the top of the box as those batteries are 13.02" tall instead of the standard 9.25" tall for the group 24 batteries. I'm not sure that there's room to add the lip as the AS front wall tilts out slightly there.

Has anyone out there either added a lip to the standard box or replaced the battery box to accommodate larger batteries?
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:51 PM   #12
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Why don't you just go with AGM's since those would fit?
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:56 PM   #13
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The GPL-6CT, 6 VDC AGM batteries will fit your existing battery box foot print, but the additional height will impact the cargo door's opening range and will restrict access.

Why not place them inside? Further back toward the axles with less effect on tongue weight?


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Old 02-02-2015, 08:43 PM   #14
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We added AGM's to the battery box, and added a small lip around the top and remounted the cover--it works fine. But Lew, as usual, is right--why not out the batteries inside the coach and farther away my from the coupler? AGM's are designed for interior use on aircraft and boats. Our AGM's are part of a 4 battery bank, (two inside) and after four seasons, we are now asking Lew to replace all four with a much smaller and lighter lithium battery bank inside to get weight off the coupler. At 65lb/battery, we will be replacing 260 lbs ofAGM's with 85 lbs of lithiums. You could use an even smaller, lighter and less pricey lithium battery bank and get the same useful storage as your pair of 6v AGM's. The primary drawbacks are price (twice as expensive) and the fact that you must not charge them when they are below freezing. The price is offset by longevity (they cost twice as much but last 2.5 times as long). So if charging in cold weather is NOT an issue, this may be the way to go.
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