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Old 10-24-2015, 07:39 AM   #1
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Woodstock ON , North Fort Myers FL
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Long Term Shore Power and House Battery

I am about to park for 6 months on shore power. My AS has the factory installed charger/converter. As an owner of other RV's in the past, I purchased an optional device which ensured the house batteries would not be damaged by continuous overcharge.

Is there a need and if so, a supply for such a device for my AS?

Does the factory installed charger/converter monitor and prevent damage to my house batteries?

Can I simply turn off the house batteries using the disconnect switch, and will the charger/converter supply both 115v and 12v power.

Please share your insight and experience thank you.
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrittan View Post
I am about to park for 6 months on shore power. My AS has the factory installed charger/converter. As an owner of other RV's in the past, I purchased an optional device which ensured the house batteries would not be damaged by continuous overcharge.

Is there a need and if so, a supply for such a device for my AS?

Does the factory installed charger/converter monitor and prevent damage to my house batteries?

Can I simply turn off the house batteries using the disconnect switch, and will the charger/converter supply both 115v and 12v power.

Please share your insight and experience thank you.


The simple permanent solution......a quality 3 or 4 stage converter.. Give Randy a call for recommendations.

I did in 2005, got a IOTA IQ4 55a DLS...not a problem since.



A lot of folks do it as one of their first upgrades, well worth the rather modest investment.

Bob
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:23 AM   #3
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Same recommendation as Robert, do the upgrade because you won't regret it. The factory converter will cook your batteries.

My notes say I used the Progressive Dynamics PD4655 direct replacement for the Parallax 7300 in our coach. A great upgrade, and I too purchased from Best Converter. I tried the "turn off the disconnect switch" for a year and ended up ruining my batteries from under-charging. Now I leave it plugged in 24/7 and have no worries, very little electrolyte loss, and no corrosion..........
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:45 AM   #4
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3 votes.

Get one with a visible remote monitor for real piece of mind.

Point of clarity. The converter does not supply 120 volts. That is a completely separate system and is only available while plugged into shore power. If the trailer has an inverter and the batteries are connected there is limited 120 volt AC available.
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:57 AM   #5
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So far in this discussion I appreciate your advice with respect to an 'upgrade'.

But first before I discard what AS decided was best for my new investment, I would like to know if this Parallax system will or will not damage my batteries by overcharge. If it will damage my batteries, is there a Parallax device available to prevent this damage?

If there is such a device, does anyone know why AS would not have provided it as a stock item install?

And finally:

If I disconnect my batteries and maintain them using the solar panel I already own, will the Parallax system continue to supply both 12v and 110 power to my AS? In other words when on full time shore power, are batteries essential to the operation of the Parallax charger/converter?

Again, my thanks....!
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrittan View Post
So far in this discussion I appreciate your advice with respect to an 'upgrade'.

But first before I discard what AS decided was best for my new investment, I would like to know if this Parallax system will or will not damage my batteries by overcharge. If it will damage my batteries, is there a Parallax device available to prevent this damage?

If there is such a device, does anyone know why AS would not have provided it as a stock item install?

And finally:

If I disconnect my batteries and maintain them using the solar panel I already own, will the Parallax system continue to supply both 12v and 110 power to my AS? In other words when on full time shore power, are batteries essential to the operation of the Parallax charger/converter?

Again, my thanks....!
First, Don't think for a minute that Airstream has been installing top of the line components into their products. They have been behind the curve with respect to proper battery charging, batteries and inverters for quite some time.

Your single stage Parallax will send a continual 13.6 VDC into your batteries, which actually require 3 stage charging (which has been discussed in great detail on these Forums) for correct and proper battery charging. The actual voltages required by batteries differ with the manufacturer, but if you have the OEM Interstate liquid cells, the charger should be sending them 14.4-14.6VDC for a bulk charge, the same voltage with a tapering charge amperage for the absorption charge and a float charge when full of 13.4 VDC.

A continual 13.6-13.8VDC input from the converter WILL overcharge the batteries as it will not allow them to float when full. In addition, that is a lower voltage than required for a full initial charge. The Parallax loses on both ends!

The one thing that it will do is provide that continual 13.6 VDC output to your DC distribution system that will power all of your DC requirements when on shore power. You should have the Use/Store switch OFF so none of this voltage 'sees' the batteries and ruins them. In fact, while in storage or permanently positioned, you don't need batteries at all!! The only requirement for batteries is to be able to activate your trailer brakes in the event of the disconnect of the trailer from the tow vehicle when towing, or for providing 12VDC power for your trailer's use when off grid.

Parallax has also been far behind the technological curve in the products that they offer. Many other companies, (Progressive Dynamics, IOTA, WFCO and others) make perfectly suitable 3-stage chargers for your situation. Progressive Dynamics is my favorite as it performs perfectly, is made in the USA and is a direct replacement for your Parallax IF you have 30 amp service. Other models are available if you have 50 amp service.

Remember that Airstream is a profit driven corporation and while building very expensive recreational vehicles, some of the decisions that they make regarding which products to use are based strictly on costs and not what performs best for the intended situation.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
First, Don't think for a minute that Airstream has been installing top of the line components into their products. They have been behind the curve with respect to proper battery charging, batteries and inverters for quite some time.

Your single stage Parallax will send a continual 13.6 VDC into your batteries, which actually require 3 stage charging (which has been discussed in great detail on these Forums) for correct and proper battery charging. The actual voltages required by batteries differ with the manufacturer, but if you have the OEM Interstate liquid cells, the charger should be sending them 14.4-14.6VDC for a bulk charge, the same voltage with a tapering charge amperage for the absorption charge and a float charge when full of 13.4 VDC.

A continual 13.6-13.8VDC input from the converter WILL overcharge the batteries as it will not allow them to float when full. In addition, that is a lower voltage than required for a full initial charge. The Parallax loses on both ends!

The one thing that it will do is provide that continual 13.6 VDC output to your DC distribution system that will power all of your DC requirements when on shore power. You should have the Use/Store switch OFF so none of this voltage 'sees' the batteries and ruins them. In fact, while in storage or permanently positioned, you don't need batteries at all!! The only requirement for batteries is to be able to activate your trailer brakes in the event of the disconnect of the trailer from the tow vehicle when towing, or for providing 12VDC power for your trailer's use when off grid.

Parallax has also been far behind the technological curve in the products that they offer. Many other companies, (Progressive Dynamics, IOTA, WFCO and others) make perfectly suitable 3-stage chargers for your situation. Progressive Dynamics is my favorite as it performs perfectly, is made in the USA and is a direct replacement for your Parallax IF you have 30 amp service. Other models are available if you have 50 amp service.

Remember that Airstream is a profit driven corporation and while building very expensive recreational vehicles, some of the decisions that they make regarding which products to use are based strictly on costs and not what performs best for the intended situation.
how does one contact you?972-415-1666
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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Lew, appreciate your expertise . . . could you recommend a PD model (edit -- and source) for our 2014 Flying Cloud 20' purchased new recently? I am guessing the batteries were not maintained correctly at the dealer's lot and am prepared to get new ones when needed, but might as well get the correct charger ASAP.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:18 PM   #9
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I contacted Airstream regarding the converter in my 2015 Sport. They replied that my model had a Cheng 3 Stage converter. I presume then that I don't gave to worry too much about cooking my batteries?
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrittan View Post
I am about to park for 6 months on shore power. My AS has the factory installed charger/converter. As an owner of other RV's in the past, I purchased an optional device which ensured the house batteries would not be damaged by continuous overcharge.

Is there a need and if so, a supply for such a device for my AS?

Does the factory installed charger/converter monitor and prevent damage to my house batteries?

Can I simply turn off the house batteries using the disconnect switch, and will the charger/converter supply both 115v and 12v power.

Please share your insight and experience thank you.
No, Yes, Yes.

I have a 2012 30 FC. Factory Single stage charger. I leave the trailer plugged in at all times, disconnect switch on. Original Interstate 24 Batteries have never needed water, hold charge, boondock as well as they did new. I wouldn't spend a dime on a new charger. But that's me and I have no need to.
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:43 PM   #11
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https://www.altestore.com/store/Mete...tKUaAqSI8P8HAQ

I should have noted I have the Bogart TriMetric Monitor hooked up in the cabin also. If you really want to know what state your Batts are in at all times, I do recommend this unit.
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwoods1 View Post
I contacted Airstream regarding the converter in my 2015 Sport. They replied that my model had a Cheng 3 Stage converter. I presume then that I don't gave to worry too much about cooking my batteries?

The Sport 16's at least for some reason have a 3 stage charger, and most other Airstreams have a Parallax single stage charger. I am not sure about the Sport 22's.

The three stage charger you have should be fine.
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:45 PM   #13
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My Sport 22 came with a 3 stage charger.
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:49 PM   #14
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Thanks for the detailed advice thus far.

So in preparation for my 6 month winter sojourn in Florida and following advice above, I visited my AS today. Now I understand simply pressing the red battery disconnect button while connected to shore power will separate the batteries from the single stage charger/converter.

So, still connected to shore power and pushing the battery disconnect button, I hear somewhere hidden in my MS the sound of a mechanical switch of some sort, which I have heard before on other occasions when I used the battery disconnect when not connected to shore power. However, the red light on the switch panel stayed on! This has never happened before as always on disconnecting the battery, the red light went off.

So no shore power, press the button, hear the switch, the red light goes out.
Shore power connected, press the button, hear the switch, the red light stays on.

What to make of this? Am I disconnected? Is there a way to find out?

Comments please and thank you again!
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