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Old 01-14-2018, 05:34 PM   #1
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Rock Island , Illinois
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Disengage Battery Charger from Parallax 7355 Converter?

We will be picking up our new 2017 25' Flying Cloud in a few weeks. From researching this forum, apparently our model comes with the Parallax 7355 Converter with single stage 55A battery charger. We didn't get an owners manual for the converter so will have to ask the dealer. Did others get a manual? From researching the forum sounds like there is a problem with overcharging the batteries with this converter. Was wondering how others manage the battery charging given this issue. We plan on being plugged into shore power from anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks at a time. If the battery switch is on 'use', is there anyway to turn off the battery charger side of the converter whether by a switch or by pulling a fuse? If the battery switch is turned to 'store', I guess the ignition circuit boards for the fridge and water heater will not work. Is this your experience? If the battery charger cannot be turned off, do we need to maybe turn on the furnace blower in order to drain the battery so that the battery charger has something to charge without boiling/overcharging the batteries? We plan on upgrading to a multi-stage converter/charger in the future as discussed in the forums but just want to get thru the 1st season. On a related note, can anyone recommend a simple portable battery monitor and or temperature monitor? Saw that others recommended the Bogart Engineering TM-2030-RV or Victron BVM712 monitors but would like to avoid a permanent installation until I can figure out all what I need. Will a voltage meter tell me what I need to know about overcharging, etc. Don't know how to use one but can learn. Thanks for any advice!!
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:59 PM   #2
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For $200 and an hours work you can switch it out to a good 4 stage PD 4655 converter from Progressive Dynamics
I would just do it now and then you can stop worrying about it
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:27 PM   #3
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There are folks on the forums who are both knowledgeable about batteries AND keep their single-stage converters, so don't panic. With some management, it's quite possible to keep your single-stage converter and experience years of healthy battery use.

So here's some things to know, when you're connected to shore power, all your 12 V systems are powered from the converter, so you can simply select the "store" position and avoid overcharging your batteries. Since you want to avoid a battery monitor for the time being, the best way to know the state of charge (SOC) of your batteries is to measure the open-circuit voltage. If measuring the open-circuit voltage is a problem, then try at least to measure the battery terminal voltage with little or no load. If you use the SeeLevel monitor when connected to shore power to monitor battery voltage, you'll measure the output of the converter and not learn anything. So either place a voltmeter across the battery when in the "store" position or disconnect shore power briefly and select the "use" position when using the SeeLevel battery monitor. Lead-acid batteries can take 4 hours or more to settle, so wait several hours after removing as many loads as you can before taking measurements.

The SOC for a lead-acid battery is about 12.6V at 100% and 12.2V at 50%. Your goal is to simply make sure you don't let your battery sit for weeks on end while connected to shore power. On the other hand, you don't want to deplete your battery by more than 50% either.

Instead of trying to get an accurate indication of your SOC, if you are connected to shore power for long durations, simply select the "store" position. Then every couple of weeks select the "use" position for a day to recharge your batteries, then go back to "store". The quiescent load on the batteries when in the "store" position is less than 100 mA, so you should be well above 50% SOC after a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:15 AM   #4
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I installed the 4400TAU temperature probe that has worked great in not boiling the batteries. Since installing I have not had to add water to my batteries. It has been used from 100 to 35 degree weather. Only two wires. I did end up pulling the charger out because the wire run was nicer. About $55

At the same time I installed the Balmar Smartgauge battery monitor, again two wires same run with no shunt. It does not give you an amp in and out count. It works like a fuel guage on your car, except you fuel up at 50%. I caught it on sale for $180, usually lists in the $250 range. Very easy install. Very accurate while under load. While charging it lags behind, but that only matters if you are charging using a generator. After a while you get a feel of the lag. It is just under 10% and closes as the charge level gets higher.

Both took me most of a Saturday, but I am very slow and deliberate.

Matti
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:48 AM   #5
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I agree with Alano, you can get by fine with the stock set up till you figure out what your wants and needs are. We used the stock Interstate group 24 batteries for 3.5 years with the stock converter, and the batteries were still strong when (by choice) we changed them to 6V agms, and changed the converter to a PD4655. We used a Battery Tender to maintain the Interstates when it was in storage, not the stock converter.

While I really like the PD4655, there are other options that you may want to explore like a Victron or Magnum converter charger. Time is your friend while you get to know your trailer and assess your needs.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
There are folks on the forums who are both knowledgeable about batteries AND keep their single-stage converters, so don't panic. With some management, it's quite possible to keep your single-stage converter and experience years of healthy battery use.

So here's some things to know, when you're connected to shore power, all your 12 V systems are powered from the converter, so you can simply select the "store" position and avoid overcharging your batteries. Since you want to avoid a battery monitor for the time being, the best way to know the state of charge (SOC) of your batteries is to measure the open-circuit voltage. If measuring the open-circuit voltage is a problem, then try at least to measure the battery terminal voltage with little or no load. If you use the SeeLevel monitor when connected to shore power to monitor battery voltage, you'll measure the output of the converter and not learn anything. So either place a voltmeter across the battery when in the "store" position or disconnect shore power briefly and select the "use" position when using the SeeLevel battery monitor. Lead-acid batteries can take 4 hours or more to settle, so wait several hours after removing as many loads as you can before taking measurements.

The SOC for a lead-acid battery is about 12.6V at 100% and 12.2V at 50%. Your goal is to simply make sure you don't let your battery sit for weeks on end while connected to shore power. On the other hand, you don't want to deplete your battery by more than 50% either.

Instead of trying to get an accurate indication of your SOC, if you are connected to shore power for long durations, simply select the "store" position. Then every couple of weeks select the "use" position for a day to recharge your batteries, then go back to "store". The quiescent load on the batteries when in the "store" position is less than 100 mA, so you should be well above 50% SOC after a couple of weeks.
Our 2015 Classic 30 has the Parallax converter which charges the batteries whether the switch is in the "Use" or "Store" position. Our previous AS, 2014 Serenity 25FB, had solar and if the switch was in the "Store" position the batteries were isolated from everything except the propane alarm and solar controller. I am currently installing a PD 9260 four stage converter. Does your Classic have solar?
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:41 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your replies. I will check out the recommended battery and temperature monitors. That makes sense now that the fridge and water heater will work on shore power with the batteries off.
Trail Bob, when charging with your Battery Tender, assuming the batteries are wired in parallel, do you hook up to the positive post on battery one and then to the negative post on battery two? Thanks for your time!!
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:32 AM   #8
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Sammy 99
Be sure you have a Parallex 7355. My owners manual said I had the same (2017 International Signature 27FB) so I ordered a PD4655. When I opened the cabinet housing the converter/charger I read "5355.

The PD4655VL is not the unit you want. Go with a Boonedocker. Randy at BestConverter sells them and it's a simple install....

Good luck. This to is a journey. 😎
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:53 AM   #9
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I replaced my 2017 Classic 5355 two months into full-timing with a Parallax replacement under warranty from Parallax. Worked flawlessly full timing plugged into services for six months without a problem for my AGM batteries.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:10 PM   #10
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I installed a Boondocker BD 1260HW (60 Amp 4-Stage Charger/Converter Hard Wired.

Features:
14.6 Boost Mode Output
13.6 Normal Mode Output
13.2 Float (trickle) Mode Output
Built-in desulfation cycle
Over-temp, Over-current Protection
105-130 VAC Input Operation
Reversed Polarity Voltage Protection
>85% Efficiency
Safe, Cool, Quiet & Reliable Operation
<1% Load Regulation
Filtered DC Output (Works with or without a battery)Thermostatically Controlled, Variable Speed Quiet Cooling Fan
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:23 PM   #11
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Understanding what your system is doing is key. Testing is how to learn that information. Even if you have a manual, verify the information.

The coach has parasitic loads. The CO/propane detector draws power, and so does the inverter and possibly other electronics. That means when the coach sits in storage without periodic charging those loads will kill your batteries. The solution is a hard wired disconnect switch at the batteries. The least expensive way to do this is to simply disconnect the battery cables. If it's cold, you can remove the batteries. If you do not need to remove the batteries, the easiest to use is a marine battery disconnect switch. Several threads discuss how one can be installed.

Monitor your battery water and your charge level. Manage your battery charger operation. After you do it a bit, you will find that it's not as difficult or complex as it sounds.

After you have worked through your warranty period, if you find that a multi-stage converter would be helpful, go for the upgrade. But if you normally travel from FHU to FHU and only stay for a night without shore power once in a while, you may never need to upgrade. Staying without power and running the furnace in cold weather is ususally the driver that moves folks to upgrade lots of electrical. So see how you use your coach before you decide what you need.

Solar may be the upgrade you really need. Lots to learn, but it's fun. Or you could just plug in to shore power, turn the use/store switch to use and wait for the converter to charge for a couple of hours, before turning the use/store switch to store. About that time, you need to go fishing or kick back with a nice glass of wine for the rest of the day ..... or depending on the type of fishing you do, maybe both.

Travel safe and enjoy the smile. Pat
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:35 PM   #12
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Matti

I had never hard of the Smartguage monitor before, looked it up and it is an interesting device. How well has it worked for you? Where did you get your deal?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattirs View Post
I installed the 4400TAU temperature probe that has worked great in not boiling the batteries. Since installing I have not had to add water to my batteries. It has been used from 100 to 35 degree weather. Only two wires. I did end up pulling the charger out because the wire run was nicer. About $55

At the same time I installed the Balmar Smartgauge battery monitor, again two wires same run with no shunt. It does not give you an amp in and out count. It works like a fuel guage on your car, except you fuel up at 50%. I caught it on sale for $180, usually lists in the $250 range. Very easy install. Very accurate while under load. While charging it lags behind, but that only matters if you are charging using a generator. After a while you get a feel of the lag. It is just under 10% and closes as the charge level gets higher.

Both took me most of a Saturday, but I am very slow and deliberate.

Matti
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbouy View Post
I installed a Boondocker BD 1260HW (60 Amp 4-Stage Charger/Converter Hard Wired.

Features:
14.6 Boost Mode Output
13.6 Normal Mode Output
13.2 Float (trickle) Mode Output
Built-in desulfation cycle
Over-temp, Over-current Protection
105-130 VAC Input Operation
Reversed Polarity Voltage Protection
>85% Efficiency
Safe, Cool, Quiet & Reliable Operation
<1% Load Regulation
Filtered DC Output (Works with or without a battery)Thermostatically Controlled, Variable Speed Quiet Cooling Fan
I did same as above. $169. Have pictures posted on installation using existing chassis. Took me about 2 hours, but I was learning while I was doing this....works great.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:14 PM   #14
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I didn't read all the posts so i hope my comment is not irrelevant.

We have an older AS with Parralax charger and noticed from a voltmeter I installed in the trailer that the DC would just sit forever at about 13.8v.

I was afraid this might not be good for my AGM batteries that I I bought when we first bought the trailer - 3 yrs old. So I just replaced the terminal connectors on the batteries with the ones with a quick disconnect knob - widely available - Harbor Frt. etc.

So now if we are camped someplace on shore power for more than just a night or two I take the batteries off line and put them back on before we depart.

Possibly you can do the same with the main "In Use" switch in your trailer. Not sure. I think I did a test once and threw that switch and found that the batteries were still seeing the charging voltage so I went the route described.

My AGM batteries are 7-8 years old now and still seem fine. I bring them home when we store the trailer and charge them a few hours every couple of months although as I understand, AGM's should be capable of holding their charge for a year when disconnected.


Brian.
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