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Old 11-19-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
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Is converter overkill OK?

'61 Safari 22' total rebuild. Thinking of starting out with 1 deep cycle 27 or maybe 2 golf cart 6Vs. I may be able to get a great deal on a Inteli-power PD-9270.

I think this is overkill until the day I go with 2 12V batteries? Is there anything wrong with that?
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
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If you're planning to do an appreciable amount of boondocking, it's certainly not overkill. You might want to consider AGMs, among other advantages, they give you freedom to locate the batteries to the interior of the trailer to reduce weight on the tongue. Are you also considering solar as a future possibility? If so, the more amp hours you have in battery storage the better!

Regarding the particular converter/charger that you're looking at, talk to Randy at bestconverter.com or to lewster right here to see if it is the best choice for your needs.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:54 PM   #3
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+2 on TinTin's advice for Randy at Bestconverter.com or Lewster.

I am happy with ours.. when all systems "go", the fan on the converter runs occasionally.. but not constantly... which means it is not over working. Also, the voltage remains consistently between 13 and 13.5VDC.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:13 AM   #4
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I doubt you would need 70 amps for 1 or 2 batteries but it won't hurt anything as long as you have 6 ga to the batteries to handle that current. If you are not sure, stay in the 60 amp range and I can assure you you will not see any appreciable difference. Most think bigger is better and not always the case.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:05 PM   #5
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Thanks Randy! (and others)

I just listened to you on pod cast #215 covering this very subject.
Episode 216: Dumb vs. Smart! | The Vintage Airstream Podcast

Lew says besides making sure your wire gauge can handle it, the capacity of your batteries also matters and battery manufacturers recommend limiting your charge amps to the batteries amp hours/5 as a rule of thumb. This would mean for a standard deep cycle 27 at ~100 amp hours I'd only want a 20 amp charge on it.

Do you think having a 70 amp (or even 60) charge on a single deep cycle 27 would harm it? Even with adequate gauge cabling?

Realistically, I could probably just punt on the converter for now and just get a solar panel and run everything off one battery.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:28 PM   #6
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Before converters were voltage regulated, that was more important. Many new larger RVs come direct from the factory with a 60, 70, even larger converters with a single battery. If using an older non regulated charger, I would certainly consider the C/XX rule of thumb that battery manufactures are talking about. Lifeline batteries for example have no current limit.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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I am not sure it is a good idea to get a 70 amp converter just because you can get a good deal on it. Bigger is not always better.

I have a PD 9245 and use it to charge two 6v golf cart batteries. I usually boondock for 3-5 days at a time and I never discharge my batteries enough where I even need to worry about recharging them. I carry a 1,000 genny with me but never use it. I typically start out at around 13.00 volts. I don't use much battery power except to charge the phone and tablet, run the water pump, led lights and a fan when hot or furnace when cold. My fridge does not use any battery power except to light the pilot. When not running the furnace, my batteries typically reduce their voltage by about .04 volts per day, so after 5 days my voltage will go from 13.00 to 12.80 volts. I just came back from boondocking for three days and had to use the furnace at night cuz it go down into the 40's. After 3 days my voltage went from 13.00 to 12.67, so in this case it dropped .11 volts per day. I am sure that I could easily boondock 10 days in mild weather but have never been out that long especially at one location.

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Old 11-20-2014, 10:18 PM   #8
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One thing to consider with a 70 amp charger is that it presents a substantial Volt-Amp load to a generator, due to a difficult to explain electrical issue called power factor.

I can run my PD 9245 or PD 4645 on my Honda 1000 watt generator charging two 6 volt batteries, but the 9255 or 4655 will knock it off line. But if you looked at the watt load of each, they are both in the Honda 1000's range. However due to poor power factor, the xx55 will overload the little Honda.

This is not a killer factor for most people, but I am aware of it due to my owning of the little Honda 1000.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:35 PM   #9
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I'm not entirely sure what all I read here. However there is one thing to keep in mind. You can install as large a convertor as you want, as long as it is designed to charge 12 volt lead acid batteries. A 500 amp convertor would provide the same amperage to a circuit whose requirement was 5 amps as a 5 amp converter would. Obviously this is a non economical use of your money. There is also another disadvantage to a 500 amp convertor. Unless you equip it with some reasonable size fuse so that it will not be able to actually provide a very large current, it will probably burn your RV to the ground if a battery (or anything else) shorts out.

To make a long story short, figure out what the max load you can expect to draw with batteries needing charging and lights being on in the trailer. Then get a convertor whose rating exceeds that by a comfortable margin. Anything more that that is basically a waste of money. Also as pointed out above, make sure your wiring is rated at a safe margin above the rated max output of the convertor and make sure the circuits are fused with fuses rated appropriately to not exceed the rated load of the wiring.

If you don't know how to calculate all these things, then consult someone who does.

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Old 11-21-2014, 06:11 AM   #10
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I had a 60 amp 3-stage converter in my B190 - total overkill - and never had a problem. The 5 year old deep cycle battery was still working very well when we sold the B190. The point of a 3-stage charger is that it only charges your batteries as much as they need to be charged.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
One thing to consider with a 70 amp charger is that it presents a substantial Volt-Amp load to a generator, due to a difficult to explain electrical issue called power factor.

I can run my PD 9245 or PD 4645 on my Honda 1000 watt generator charging two 6 volt batteries, but the 9255 or 4655 will knock it off line. But if you looked at the watt load of each, they are both in the Honda 1000's range. However due to poor power factor, the xx55 will overload the little Honda.

This is not a killer factor for most people, but I am aware of it due to my owning of the little Honda 1000.
Very true and good point. I hear it every day. Power factor is an important part but they/some manufactures only start incorporating PFC on the 75 and larger units to be able to power them from a 15 amp AC "houshold" circuit in the RV. If not, they use a 20 amp circuit. They could care less about your generator. A 1000 watt genny is only good for a 45 amp or less non PFC power supply (or vice-versa I suppose) and a 55/60 unit will often bog a 1000 genny.
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