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Old 07-25-2015, 03:03 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2012 27' Flying Cloud
Carnation , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 16
AGM Batteries & Substandard Converters

My family and I are out on a 35 day road trip and find ourselves in Carmel, CA with the original Interstate batteries that will no longer hold a charge more than 8 hours. Luckily there is a local Lifeline dealer and I plan on upgrading the batteries. Our next two stops of 4 days each will not have shore power and we will be relying on a generator for recharging.

My problem lies in the Parallax converter that likely contributed to the death of the original batteries. How can I prevent damage to the new batteries during the last stages of our trip before I return home and can upgrade the converter?

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Old 07-25-2015, 06:07 AM   #2
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,620
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It's good that you recognize the problem that the stock Airstream converter/charger will cause. It's good that you are getting new batteries while on the road. Your short term solution to avoid damaging your new batteries until you can get a new three stage charger is as follows...

Place the battery switch on "store" whenever you are plugged into a campground and do not need to charge the batteries. You will still have power to all your on-board systems from shore power but the batteries will no longer be getting charged, then overcharged, then cooked. When you disconnect from shore power (either to drive down the road or to boondock) flip the switch to "use" and the batteries will be re-engaged and will power your trailer systems.

You will need to flip the switch to "use" when on shore power periodically to charge the batteries and will have to judge when they are sufficiently charged so you can put the switch back into "store" mode.

The Parallax converter/charger will damage your batteries when it is left plugged into shore power and the battery switch is left in "use" mode continuously.

Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:28 AM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,824
Bob, good advice as an interim solution. We have been using this method for some 24 months on the road the past 4 years because I have been too cheap to replace the converter/charger. It works fine as a converter, the charging section is the problem for the batteries.

We have factory solar and AGM batteries since new so we never use the original converter/charger to charge our batteries, rely on solar. The AGM batteries are still in excellent shape.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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