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Old 05-15-2016, 04:51 PM   #1
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Charger/Converter Question

Last year we purchased a used 25' FB International. The previous owner said he had upgraded the charger/converter but I could not find any documentation.

What is now in the trailer is a Parallax Series 7300, Model 7355. My question has to do with charging the batteries. I was told that the batteries would need replacing soon as they were about 3 to 4 years old. They are not holding a charge so I am planning to replace them. I was thinking of AGM batteries this time.

Is this a good charger/converter? I'm referring to how it treats the batteries as I know "good" is a relative term. Is 3 to 4 years the expected life for wet cell 12v grp-24 batteries? Is it a good charger for AGM batteries?

Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:26 PM   #2
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I have gotten some good advice from Bestconverter.com
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:20 PM   #3
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At Best Converter is says that's a single stage converter. If you leave a single stage converter plugged in too long it can cook your batteries. If you're just going on weekend campouts then no problem, but if you intend to use it for weeks at a time then you need to put the Use / Store in Store periodically to prevent the overcharging.
http://www.bestconverter.com/Replace...ions_c_92.html

AGMs are excellent batteries (they are wet cell but totally sealed), Lifeline being the top brand, but they are expensive. Battery life expectancy largely depends on how they were used/treated. Batteries that are used and charged frequently will last longer (regular maintenance assumed). Batteries that are discharged below 50% and left there frequently won't last long, nor will batteries that are overcharged. You can cook AGMs in a few weeks if you constantly charge them. A multi-stage charger will modify the charge rate as necessary and cut off when the batteries are charged up.

Another choice is a good quality deep cycle battery, like Deka. Make sure it's deep cycle and not a "marine" type battery, which is really a starting battery. You can order Deka from Lowes and have them deliver to the closest store. There is also Interstate and other brands. Personally, I like Lifeline and Deka, had excellent service from both.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
At Best Converter is says that's a single stage converter. If you leave a single stage converter plugged in too long it can cook your batteries. If you're just going on weekend campouts then no problem, but if you intend to use it for weeks at a time then you need to put the Use / Store in Store periodically to prevent the overcharging.
http://www.bestconverter.com/Replace...ions_c_92.html

AGMs are excellent batteries (they are wet cell but totally sealed), Lifeline being the top brand, but they are expensive. Battery life expectancy largely depends on how they were used/treated. Batteries that are used and charged frequently will last longer (regular maintenance assumed). Batteries that are discharged below 50% and left there frequently won't last long, nor will batteries that are overcharged. You can cook AGMs in a few weeks if you constantly charge them. A multi-stage charger will modify the charge rate as necessary and cut off when the batteries are charged up.

Another choice is a good quality deep cycle battery, like Deka. Make sure it's deep cycle and not a "marine" type battery, which is really a starting battery. You can order Deka from Lowes and have them deliver to the closest store. There is also Interstate and other brands. Personally, I like Lifeline and Deka, had excellent service from both.

Technically, an AGM battery like Lifeline contains liquid battery acid but is not considered a 'wet' cell. All of the liquid electrolyte in a Lifeline is fully absorbed into the glass mat plate separators ........ Hence the name: Absorbed Glass Mat.

If you break open a Lifeline battery, no liquid will come out. This was proved to me when I received a shipment and one of the batteries was damaged in shipping by UPS.

The corner of the box was crushed and an entire corner of the battery was broken off from the battery case. There was no sign of liquid stains on the outer cardboard packaging and no liquid was coming out of the battery.

For all practical purposes, they are 'dry' cells as there is no free liquid found inside.


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ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center*AMS Lithium Batteries
Lifeline AGM Batteries**Magnum Inverters***Victron Energy Components
541-490-6357
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:20 PM   #5
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Charger

I don't know how electrical in the newer trailors is set up. I installed an intellicharger in my 86 32' and batteries lasted 5 yrs and we're still good by a tester when I sold it. I got one for my 90 32 when I got it 2 yrs ago.the only time I unplug is to travel . when used with the charge wizard control plug in it acts as a battery tender. I put water in the batteries for the first time in 2 years last mo. And then it was only a tablespoon low. Just from my own experience I would not use any thing else. I bought mine from colaw RV in Carthage Missouri. Get there # online. They buy by the truck load. I got a domestic 15000 BTU with air distribution box last year from them for 500 dollars. They had bo
ught a semi load of xtras from Winnebago.
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:46 AM   #6
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I don't know how electrical in the newer trailors is set up. I installed an intellicharger in my 86 32' and batteries lasted 5 yrs and we're still good by a tester when I sold it. I got one for my 90 32 when I got it 2 yrs ago.the only time I unplug is to travel . when used with the charge wizard control plug in it acts as a battery tender. I put water in the batteries for the first time in 2 years last mo. And then it was only a tablespoon low. Just from my own experience I would not use any thing else. I bought mine from colaw RV in Carthage Missouri. Get there # online. They buy by the truck load. I got a domestic 15000 BTU with air distribution box last year from them for 500 dollars. They had bo
ught a semi load of xtras from Winnebago.
Thanks for your comments. A few questions for clarification. Is the intellicharger and additional item or is it a replacement for the charger/converter?
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:01 AM   #7
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I just changed out the Parallax 7355 with the Progressive Dynamics 4655 on my new 25A sig 2 weeks after taking delivery on the TT. I wanted to ensure I didn't cook my new Lifeline AGM batteries. I ordered it from Best Converter. Very easy install.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Technically, an AGM battery like Lifeline contains liquid battery acid but is not considered a 'wet' cell. All of the liquid electrolyte in a Lifeline is fully absorbed into the glass mat plate separators ........ Hence the name: Absorbed Glass Mat.

If you break open a Lifeline battery, no liquid will come out. This was proved to me when I received a shipment and one of the batteries was damaged in shipping by UPS.

The corner of the box was crushed and an entire corner of the battery was broken off from the battery case. There was no sign of liquid stains on the outer cardboard packaging and no liquid was coming out of the battery.

For all practical purposes, they are 'dry' cells as there is no free liquid found inside.


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RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center*AMS Lithium Batteries
Lifeline AGM Batteries**Magnum Inverters***Victron Energy Components
541-490-6357
I knew AGM was absorbed glass mat, but I always thought it still contained regular battery acid. Since the electrolyte won't spill out even if damaged, that's why they're the only battery that you can ship via UPS etc. Learned something today, guess I can go outside and play now.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glcmranger View Post
I just changed out the Parallax 7355 with the Progressive Dynamics 4655 on my new 25A sig 2 weeks after taking delivery on the TT. I wanted to ensure I didn't cook my new Lifeline AGM batteries. I ordered it from Best Converter. Very easy install.
I am looking to replace my flooded lead acid batteries with AGM batteries so I will need to replace my charging system also.

How does the PD4655 distinguish between the Flooded, Gel and AGM batteries? In my reading of the PD4655 information, it looks like it's 4 stage charger is set up to optimize Flooded Lead Acid batteries only. This seems like a great option if you want to extend the life of your flooded type lead acid batteries but may not be appropriate for AGM batteries.

Kevin
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSA63 View Post
I am looking to replace my flooded lead acid batteries with AGM batteries so I will need to replace my charging system also.

How does the PD4655 distinguish between the Flooded, Gel and AGM batteries? In my reading of the PD4655 information, it looks like it's 4 stage charger is set up to optimize Flooded Lead Acid batteries only. This seems like a great option if you want to extend the life of your flooded type lead acid batteries but may not be appropriate for AGM batteries.

Kevin
I'm not an expert and not sure that is true. I don't see why a 3 or 4 stage converter will not work with AGMs. I have used an Intellipower 45 amp converter for years with my AGMs with no problem.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:04 PM   #11
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I'm not an expert and not sure that is true. I don't see why a 3 or 4 stage converter will not work with AGMs. I have used an Intellipower 45 amp converter for years with my AGMs with no problem.
I think a 3 or 4 stage converter will work much better than a single stage converter on all lead acid battery types including AGM. I also think that using an AGM specific battery charging program may increase the life and performance of an AGM battery somewhat. Curious what difference, if any, that an AGM specific charging program may make over a generic program. It's likely splitting hairs and the PD4655 will do the job just fine.

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Old 05-16-2016, 02:13 PM   #12
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According to the PD4655 manual
Boost mode is 14.4v
Normal mode is 13.6v
Storage mode is 13.2v

According to the Lifeline technical manual.
Bulk mode, the charging current should be set as high as practical. Not sure what that equates to in voltage. This would be the Boost mode above.
Absorption: a voltage limit of 14.3v +- 0.1 volts at 77F. Colder temperatures such as 30f would need 15.10v
Float is 13.3 +- 0.1
Lifeline recommends using temperature compensation which the PD4566 and other $200 charges don't have.

So looking at these specs the PD4655 is probably charging low during the absorption mode according to the Lifeline charging requirements.

However, Lumatic states his Intellipower 45, another Progressive Dynamics charger that uses the Charge Wizard has been working fine on his AGMs.

The Magnum series of inverter/chargers offer custom settings a preset sets for AGMs manufactured by Lifeline (AGM1) according to their instructions. The MMS1012 1000w inverter/charger now has firmware to allow custom settings but this unit is about $900-$1000 and you need the RC50 remote to change the settings so figure about $1200.
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Old 05-16-2016, 03:50 PM   #13
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I have the PD-4655. Here's the information from the owner's manual:
(I installed mine and just left the settings alone.)

The Charge Wizard Operation:
While the built-in Charge Wizardautomatically determines which operating mode is best suited to recharge or maintain opti-mum battery condition, the Wizard Mode Button allows for manual override and has an indicator light to indicate the mode of operation. (Located on DC board, included)
BOOST MODE Indicated by green LED remaining on. The output voltage is 14.4VDC to rapidly recharge the battery up to 90% of full charge.
NORMAL MODE When the battery is between 50% and 90% charged, the green LED will flash once per second. When the battery has reached 90% of full charge, the green LED will flash 2 - 3 times per second. In this mode the output voltage is 13.6VDC and the converter is safely completing the charge of the battery.
STORAGE MODE Indicated by green LED flashing every 6 - 8 seconds. In this mode the output voltage has been lowered to 13.2VDC, the RV battery is fully charged and the converter is maintaining the charge.
WIZARD MODE BUTTON - The manual button has been provided to allow the operator to temporarily override the converter (not recommended) or to verify the converter is operating properly. For manual operation, Press and Hold the button. The indicator light will soon remain "ON" indicating Boost Mode. Continue to hold the button and the light will blink rapidly indicating the converter is in the Normal Mode. Continue to hold the button until the light blinks slowly indicating the converter is now in the Storage Mode. After the manual button is released the converter will stay in the selected mode. When the battery charge status changes, the converter will return to the automatic mode of operation to prevent damage to the battery.

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Old 05-16-2016, 04:50 PM   #14
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So...I have a 2015 23' FC FB. Should I install a Progressive Dynamics PD4655, PD4645, or a PD4635 to replace the Parallax converter?
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