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Old 12-28-2006, 11:11 PM   #15
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Greg, one last thing. If your batteries aren't toast, pull them and run a multi-stage charger on them (one which has a desulphation stage) and it might bring your batteries back to life. Using your batteries heavily will build sulfur on the lead plates. Charging incorrectly will not rid these plates of the buildup. Shocking the plates with pulse charges shake the plates causing the sulfur crystals to mix back with the battery acid. Pulse Tech Solargizer units, solar and 110 v. as well as the BatteryMinder Plus and other BatteryMinder products accomplish this. I have used those products in the past and highly recommend them as external chargers. The Intellipower converter/chargers with Charge Wizzard also use this technology. My trailer is sitting out back now connected to 110 v. and the charger is on float charge now. I leave the trailer plugged in 24-7 and have for the last 2 1/2 years. This unit is what I would recommend you go to but don't forget the Charge Wizzard attachment.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:47 PM   #16
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Craig,

I ordered a 55 amp coverter and the trimetric unit from Randy at BestConverter. Will this unit remove the sulphur from my battery plates? I think my batteries are good. But after talking to Randy, he informed me that my Univolt charged at such a slow rate, I would have to run my generator for 2 days to bring my batteries back to full strength. So, I think this is one of my biggest problems when I am boondocking even with my generator.

With this new system installed I think I'll be able to charge them, monitor them, and tell if I do have some kind of drain on them. And, solve the problem before the spring.

This battery situation has been an issue with me and the family for the last 3 years. I just figured everybody had the same issue when they went inside for the night. It has really been a bummer when we camp. But looks like I'm headed in the right direction now.

Thanks again to everybody for all the help.

Greg
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:42 PM   #17
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Greg,
I think you are headed in the right direction. If you purchased the Intellipower 55 amp unit with the Charge Wizzard then that is a multi-stage charger which will send pulses to the battery plates to shake the sulfur off. It is a great unit that has worked for me for the last 2.5 years. One thing I did find is that when boondocking, the blinking light on the Charge Wizzard continues as long as there is battery power. I'm not sure how much current it draws but it hasn't been a problem with my one 115 amp hr battery. As long as you keep the trailer plugged in at the house 24/7 then you will be topped off before leaving and the Charge Wizzard stops blinking after fully charged. Your battery will have a 100 % charge and will appreciate you for it. You should consider adding a solar panel of at least 65 watts in the future to help keep those batteries charged. The generator use would help but there is nothing better than solar for the final charge.

To help understand your entire system and what solar can do, buy the book Solar Primer by Greg and Deb Holder who own AM Solar and the book RV'er Guide to Solar Battery Charging by Noel and Barbara Kirkby. RV Solar Electric has systems designed by them. I'm not trying to push solar on you but to experience the freedom of being off the grid and relying less on the generator that is the way to go. Wouldn't it be nice to start the evening with fully charged batteries after the panel or panels have been charging all day long? Obviously, overcast days and extreme electrical usage during the day will be more than a 65 watt panel can keep up with but it will keep the charge up there. Hope this helps. I'll post pictures of my 100 watt solar panel installation when it arrives the middle of April.
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'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
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Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:56 AM   #18
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Greg and Craig,
The desulfation mode of modern converters are (in my opinion) not too effective and in some cases might just waste battery water. Somebody might be able to point me to statistical data but in the last few years, I have found NONE. What they do is raise the voltage for a few minutes and attempt to desulfate with voltage. To me, raising the voltage is an attempt at equalization not desulfation. To properly equalize, you would need to be above 15 volts and then you risk damage to DC accessories. The terms get used interchangeably but to me they are totally different.
The only "desulfation" device we carry that uses the patented Random Frequency Pulse (RFP) technology is the VDC products.
Greg, you are on the right track and the meter is the first step. You can now at least count and monitor the amps where before you would be guessing from a voltage reading.
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:45 AM   #19
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I got mine from Randy. I'm a Happy Camper. I also replaced my Batteries with AGM's They are expensive but my Batt. boxes are not so great, the batteries are hard to get to and I don't want to mess with maintaining them. So I hear what Boat Doc is saying about costs and value compared to the wet lead acid but for me the Agm's are the ticket. They will also charge faster.

Phil
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by 68 Overlander
Greg and Craig,
The desulfation mode of modern converters are (in my opinion) not too effective and in some cases might just waste battery water. Somebody might be able to point me to statistical data but in the last few years, I have found NONE. What they do is raise the voltage for a few minutes and attempt to desulfate with voltage. To me, raising the voltage is an attempt at equalization not desulfation. To properly equalize, you would need to be above 15 volts and then you risk damage to DC accessories. The terms get used interchangeably but to me they are totally different.
The only "desulfation" device we carry that uses the patented Random Frequency Pulse (RFP) technology is the VDC products.
Greg, you are on the right track and the meter is the first step. You can now at least count and monitor the amps where before you would be guessing from a voltage reading.
Randy,
I used a BatteryMinder on my '77 Excella 500 with two Delco Voyager maintenance batteries for 4.5 years without problem. I supplimented it with a PulseTech Solargizer 5 watt panel which provided the only charging about 30 % of the time. No problems. I do understand where you are coming from. They all beat the old Magnetek and Univolt chargers from years ago. The PO of my old '77 replaced the Univolt with a Magnetek and I was afraid to use it much. That is why I used the BatteryMinder when hooked up at the house.
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Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:38 AM   #21
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Craig, the BatteryMinder is an excellent maintainer. The new models have full time desulfation whereas the older models were manually initiated. I'm totally convinced sulfation is preventable, but also convinced its extremely difficult to reverse.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander
Craig, the BatteryMinder is an excellent maintainer. The new models have full time desulfation whereas the older models were manually initiated. I'm totally convinced sulfation is preventable, but also convinced its extremely difficult to reverse.
All the better to start with good batteries and a good charging system. Right? There's your plug Randy.
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'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
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Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:56 PM   #23
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Ok, I finally got me 55 amp Intellipower and Tri-metric stuff today from Best Coverter. The install of the new converter looks pretty straight forward. Removing the old unit, installing the new, and attaching a poistive and a negative to the converter and plugging it in. But the wiring of the Tri-metric and the shunt confused me. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. Wasn't there a post with detailed instructions?

Greg

Diddn't somebody post some detailed instruction?
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:07 PM   #24
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Greg,
Go to our website and click on the main category Trimetric Battery Monitor. Scroll down and we have a few photos of the back of the meter as well as the shunt as if it were installed. Install the shunt as close to the battery as feasible for the most accurate readings and on the negative cable.
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:15 PM   #25
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Randy,

This may sound stupid but, if I have two batteries inside the coach where does the shunt go then?

Greg
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:00 PM   #26
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Looks like you guys were right.

While installing my new inverter (from Best Inverter), I was about to run the wiring for the new meter when I thought I would take a moment and look at my batteries. Good thing I did. Both of my 27tm Trojans were in bad shape. Both positive terminals have swollen vertically and have made a white ring around the terminal where it looks like it is about to break through the top of the case. I bought both these batteries at the same time in April of 2005. Both batteries had plenty of water and showed no signs of any type of a short around the positive terminal. I would charge them from time to time so I know I did not overcharge them with my old univolt.

Looks like I'm gonna get the oppurtunity to buy 2 new batteries along with my new converter and meter. I'm gonna try and fit the size 31's in my trailer.

Greg
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:44 PM   #27
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Greg,
Even when I suspect it from people that are having charging problems, it is very difficult to diagnose battery or many other electrical problems over the phone or email because there are so many variables. There are times (Not you) when I'd bet the farm but can't say it because you have to give the benefit of the doubt. If you say the battery is good, by golly it's good until we run out of stuff to chase even when I know where we are headed. Thanks for the candor there on bad batteries, it makes it so much easier.
You now have a fresh system if you buy batteries. Don't jump on the Lifeline bandwagon if you are willing to maintain Lead Acid. It's not that difficult and you now have the tools. I'm embarrassed on the Lifeline prices thanks to the Chinese buying power of lead and steel. They are robbing the supplies in my opinion, whatever nothing I can do. Lead acids continue to rise as well.
I don't think you want to stuff group 31s in the 85 Airstream compartments if they are behind the A frame. Even if they barely physically fit, you will play hell with the connections and get lazy wanting to drag them out to check the water level. Stay with the group 27.
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:03 AM   #28
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I'm relatively certain that the group 27s are the largest batteries that will physically fit inside your battery boxes, at least that is the largest that will fit in my '82 Limited. Your '85 should be the same.
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