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Old 12-30-2015, 05:32 AM   #15
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How much money is the correct converter?
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:09 AM   #16
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How much money is the correct converter?
The PD converters are generally under $200, you install. A "fully programable" as Lew recommends is much more expensive. Only you can decide if you want to get the very most life out of the batteries, or make some compromise on battery life vs. converter cost. But with AGM's anything is better than the original Airstream supplied converter/charger.
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:37 PM   #17
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I guess I should call/email Lee directly-
I basically got 3 years out of the original batteries-
Is that "normal" or acceptable?
Should I just get another 2 just like the originals?


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Old 12-30-2015, 06:09 PM   #18
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Well, I have gotten up to 10 seasons from a pair of golf cart type Trojan T105 batteries in series. Due to cost increases in the Trojans, I am using Costco's now. I have about 5 seasons on one set in the Argosy and 2 on the other set in the FC 20'. It will take me more time to find out how well they hold up. I have PD converter/chargers in both rigs, and these are not AGM batteries, they are normal flooded cell variety. I have solar on both rigs, and do take care of my batteries, but do not sit freezing in the dark to do it. I have and use occasionally both a regular household toaster an small microwave on my 1000 watt inverter when I want to, out boondocking. I seldom am in a campground with any hookups.

I charge them thoroughly in October, disconnect them totally but leave them in place in the trailers, and re connect them in April, with no charge in-between those dates.

So, what is normal? I would say, reading this forum, most people only get 3 or 4 seasons from a set of batteries, but what is possible... see above.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:14 PM   #19
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Maybe get 2 more flooded cell batteries and a kill switch so the propane detector doesn't drain the batteries between trips?


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Old 12-30-2015, 11:12 PM   #20
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A true kill switch (not the abomination called the USE/STORE switch) would be a welcome addition to the current Airstream lines. Somewhere in the 80's I think it was Airstream had just such a standard piece of equipment. The ones I saw were a big red recessed handle switch, usually located on the shelf behind the front couch, which was a pretty standard item in most Airstreams at that time.

But then it would shut off the propane detector and there might be some RVIA regulation against that. So, we have to add our own.

m.honey, flooded cell batteries probably are the least expensive of all, overall, if cared for even reasonably well. AGM batteries are still lead acid but with a semi solid paste type liquid. They probably can be more deeply discharged than flooded cell batteries and still recover, but the longer life statements may be more based on them usually having a better converter/charger used with them, which will extend the life of any flooded cell battery too, but is not done as often as it should be done. Of course they also can be installed "ventless" and on their sides etc, but if that is not necessary, they are not worth the extra cost (in my opinion). AGM batteries can be ruined just as fast and just as well as any flooded cell battery, if properly abused.
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
A true kill switch (not the abomination called the USE/STORE switch) would be a welcome addition to the current Airstream lines. Somewhere in the 80's I think it was Airstream had just such a standard piece of equipment. The ones I saw were a big red recessed handle switch, usually located on the shelf behind the front couch, which was a pretty standard item in most Airstreams at that time.

But then it would shut off the propane detector and there might be some RVIA regulation against that. So, we have to add our own.

m.honey, flooded cell batteries probably are the least expensive of all, overall, if cared for even reasonably well. AGM batteries are still lead acid but with a semi solid paste type liquid. They probably can be more deeply discharged than flooded cell batteries and still recover, but the longer life statements may be more based on them usually having a better converter/charger used with them, which will extend the life of any flooded cell battery too, but is not done as often as it should be done. Of course they also can be installed "ventless" and on their sides etc, but if that is not necessary, they are not worth the extra cost (in my opinion). AGM batteries can be ruined just as fast and just as well as any flooded cell battery, if properly abused.
Rob,

Just a bit of clarification about battery construction. AGM batteries are made up of a porous fiberglass mat that is saturated with liquid electrolyte to 99%. That 'glass mat' which has 'absorbed' the liquid electrolyte is sandwiched between the heavier lead plates to form the battery, hence the terminology absorbed glass mat.

The paste type battery you have described above is a 'gel' battery. They were developed before the introduction go true AGM batteries as being 'better' than liquid cells and have a thickening agent mixed into the liquid electrolyte to form that paste or gel. They are still around, but in ever dwindling numbers as they have very specific charge requirements that are lower than AGMs or liquid cells and the gel is susceptible to detachment from the plates, leaving them easily damaged.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:23 AM   #22
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Rob,

Just a bit of clarification about battery construction. AGM batteries are made up of a porous fiberglass mat that is saturated with liquid electrolyte to 99%. That 'glass mat' which has 'absorbed' the liquid electrolyte is sandwiched between the heavier lead plates to form the battery, hence the terminology absorbed glass mat.

The paste type battery you have described above is a 'gel' battery. They were developed before the introduction go true AGM batteries as being 'better' than liquid cells and have a thickening agent mixed into the liquid electrolyte to form that paste or gel. They are still around, but in ever dwindling numbers as they have very specific charge requirements that are lower than AGMs or liquid cells and the gel is susceptible to detachment from the plates, leaving them easily damaged.
Thanks for the correction Lew. I knew that there was a difference, but not the specifics, and guess the one which stuck in my mind was the gel cell technology one which I kinda used as a generic 'it is not a flooded cell" battery.
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:55 PM   #23
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I guess motorcycle or ATV batteries are all AGM. The last 2 batteries I've purchased for my Harley were AGM batteries.
I have replaced the OEM batteries in my 1999 Nissan Pathfinder and 2007 Toyota Tundra with AGM batteries this year. The vehicles seem to start easier. The high performance aftermarket stereos in both vehicles seem to perform/sound better. It's as if the AGM batteries supply a more constant, more consistent, slightly higher voltage- acting somewhat like a big ole capacitor. The light don't dim or flicker when the bass hits.
Based on my so far good experience with AGM batteries, I thought switching the trailer to AGM batteries might be an upgrade- probably would.
The best part about AGM batteries: no more corrosion/corroded cable ends. That in itself has merit. Why didn't I switch 20 years ago?


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Old 12-31-2015, 03:33 PM   #24
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What is the opinion on the Magnum 600watts modified sine wave if you don't plan on powering a lot of AC powered appliances. I only see powering a TV and a power bricks for laptop/phone chargers in my future. I'd prefer to use the money saved to purchase a small generator.

600W 12VDC Modified Sine Inverter Charger MM Series | Magnum Dimensions
This one is about $500 and if you get the remote panel you can change the settings to match any battery so If I want to upgrade to Lithiums in a few years would this be a good option if my inverter needs are less demanding?

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Old 12-31-2015, 05:25 PM   #25
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Kelvin,

Yes and no. Yes in that a 600 watt Magnum will power your stated loads but many electronic devices have problems with modified sine wave output, preferring pure sine wave for trouble free operation.

In addition, the smallest Magnum inverter/charger that is lithium compatible it the MS-2012 2000 watt sine wave with an ME-RC remote.

Any other smaller Magnums do not contain the firmware required for the custom charge programming that lithiums require.

Given this, you might look into the 300 watt sine wave inverter-only built by Morningstar. It's a very solid and durable unit. 👍


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Old 12-31-2015, 06:04 PM   #26
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After years of getting by with the factory converter/charger Amazon sent me a new PD4655 for Christmas.

The box says an ungraded DC distribution board is included, but I just opened the box and the DC board is not inside. Should it be included?
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:36 PM   #27
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A note from best converters.com about illegal PD converters:

Please Read: We have been notified by Progressive Dynamics, Inc. that there are a couple of online "companies" selling PD converter products without serial numbers and not packaged in the correct retail boxes. They are removing the serial numbers so they cannot be traced back to the original OEM vendor. Progressive Dynamics is doing their best to find and stop this illegal practice and have had limited success. This will naturally void any warranty and they are currently investigating. You can be assured from us that your PD converter is packed in the original view pack box, and will have a serial number traceable back to Progressive Dynamics, Inc. If you have any questions, please contact them at 269-781-4241 Here is a link to their website and information about these illegal products. Service Department for Progressive Dynamics Products

And from Progressive Dynamics:

Are you purchasing a Progressive Dynamics product on the internet? Before you buy, ask the seller about their warranty procedures. Does the retailer provide a "working" customer service or service department phone number? Does the Progressive Dynamics product that you are buying have a valid serial number? Some online retailers are selling Progressive Dynamics' products without a valid serial number...DON'T BUY THEM! We must have a valid serial number for all warranty service work. A valid serial number allows your warranty service topics to be handled smoothly and with ease. Call 269-781-4242; email us at service@progressivedyn.com or write us:


So, you may have received one of the illegal ones.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:58 PM   #28
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After years of getting by with the factory converter/charger Amazon sent me a new PD4655 for Christmas.

The box says an ungraded DC distribution board is included, but I just opened the box and the DC board is not inside. Should it be included?
Oops, my assistant set the DC board package aside when opening the box. All is well.
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