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Old 04-02-2008, 11:58 PM   #15
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Bakersfield , California
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
Hi Ernie,
Originally Posted by ernie_h
Two weeks ago I installed the Xantrex XADC-60 in my 2005 28' Safari. I also installed two Trojan T-145 batteries in a modified battery box. I wrote up my procedure along with photos and you can find it at:

Parallax to Xantrex Upgrade
You're my hero! I was resigned to the 24s with the standard battery box....great to see that the box can be easily modified for golf cart batteries. This makes a big difference since I plan to boondock a lot. I don't have the skill to do the installation myself, but whoever does the project will have you in their Hall of Fame.
Great Article...Thanks!
Hi 2air,
Like your idea about small, portable inverters...although I have a 170W AC HDTV that I'd like to mount in the bedroom...and thanks for those great inverter links.
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
it sure is FUN to order and tweak them for personal needs...
It was fun until my head starting hurting with all of the alternatives. I picked up a copy of Harold Barre's Managing 12 Volts this evening at Camping World...maybe it'll help.

I was born in Caldwell near the Oklahoma border...Go Jayhawks!

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Old 04-03-2008, 03:23 PM   #16
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2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
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For 12 volt information, here is an interesting and informative link.
Page 2 should link at the bottom of page one IIRC.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

AIR #15800

"Wimpy" 1/2 ton 2002 GMC Sierra 4X4 Z-71 Gasser
2000 Safari SS 25'
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:22 PM   #17
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2005 25' International CCD
1960 18' "Footer"
1959 26' Overlander
Riverside , California
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Shovelbum, several people have explained very well the difference between the converter which also charges the battery and the inverter/charger style (not all inverters are chargers) that also charge the battery so I won't rehash that discussion however I believe there is a misconception on the factory Parallax 55A converter found in most of the current Airstreams. I spoke with the Parallax engineer when I was planning our solar power install and he made it very clear to me that the Parallax 7355 converter is only a single stage charger, nor do they believe the extra cost of a dual or three stage charger is warranted. They do have a two stage model available, Parallax 7355T, but I believe that Airstream only installs the single stage model. Check to see if the nameplate label on the converter has the T suffix. On the 7300 series the nameplate label is pasted to the inside surface of the access door.
The Parallax engineer told me that they recommend that we users push the battery disconnect switch when we have the trailers plugged into shore power for any length of time, days, weeks, months, since the charger holds the voltage at a constant 13.8 volts ( Table of Contents ). Keeping the battery connected for long periods of time under this voltage will raise its internal temperature causing water to gas off and may damage the plates. Keeping it plugged in for a couple of day or long weekend should not be a problem if the liquid level is maintained.

We have tried to follow that recommendation rather than spending $200+ to up grade the converter. We don't even have to worry about maintaining the batteries because our solar system, and I believe Airstream's, connects directly to the DC bus wired to the batteries so it maintains the charge in the batteries even if they are disconnected from the converter.

I do like the 600 watt WFCO inverter that the factory installs as an option although it was not available in 2005. One of the other posters pointed out that only a few 120 volt outlets are connected to it but I don't see that as a problem since we have several 12 volts appliances. Also, the current battery capacity can't handle the load from larger inverters without exhausting the batteries; course we may install a couple more Gel or AGMs inside but not this year.

Originally Posted by shovelbum
Hi Everyone,

I'm putting together specifications to order a new 25' Safari SE, and would appreciate any thoughts on aftermarket alternatives to factory offerings for the converter/charger and inverter/charger.

My understanding is that the factory converter/charger is a two-stage Parallax 55A, and I would plan to replace it with an aftermarket three-stage Xantrex XADC 60A, to go along with two Lifeline Group 24 AGM batteries in place of the standard factory batteries.

According to Airstream customer service the factory inverter/charger option is a modified sinewave Trace 600W. However, I would prefer a cleaner pure sinewave inverter/charger in the 700W-1,000W range for computer and electronics use.

I have not been able to find a hardwired pure sinewave inverter/charger in the 700W-1,000W range, and anything larger seems overkill. Does anybody have any suggestions?

By the way, I plan to install a Tri-Metric 2020 battery monitor in place of the factory monitor lights, especially since aftermarket solar charging will be a future addition.

Thanks very much for any ideas!
Don (KD6UVT) & Gail Williams

What do you want to be in life, a spectator or a participant?

SNU #157
FCU #004
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:14 PM   #18
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Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
It's a shame, IMHO, that Airstream...

...doesn't spec 3-stage for all their rigs. The additional costs involved at the OEM level are very little in the overall scheme of things in an RV in this price range!

Being in the battery business and an RV'er forever, I believe modern 3-stage converter/chargers are the only way to go! Many of the new RV's I've seen lately have stickers on the panel declaring 'Three Stage Charger' upgrades as Standard.

They are relatively 'idiot proof', meaning you don't have to worry about damage to your batteries if you are hooked to shore power for extended periods...Also, these chargers perform better when the battery bank is discharged...
1. bulk charge - for quicker recharging
2. finishing charge - tapers charge rate to bring battery bank up to full complete charge.
3. float charge - maintains bank at full charge without overcharging and water loss, or damage to AGM type batteries.

I got a 3-stage conversion unit from Best Converters and now enjoy well regulated battery charging without any worrys!

When I installed a 1500 watt Inverter, I used a three postiton switch on the AC input side of the circuit...SHORE-OFF-INVERTER. This is done on some boats. I can now select SHORE for normal AC external plug in service...or...INVERTER as the AC supply, and in this manner AC is supplied to all normal outlets on the rig...

I also added ON-OFF switches for the Converter/Charger and Refer AC supply so I can turn them OFF when using the INVERTER as the AC supply (don't want the conbverter running or the refer to switch over to AC during inverter use).

I have three 140 amp hour, 12 volt batteries, and can run the microwave with this inverter...but it won't perform as well as when hooked to SHORE power or a Generator...we just use it for quick stuff when we don't want to fire up the generator...we also use it for Sat TV, etc late at night, and the inverter just loafs along, not heating up at all.

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