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Old 01-31-2015, 12:59 PM   #1
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Parallax 5300

I've read a lot about how bad the typical Airstream converters are for your batteries. I have a 2015 27FB International with 50A service. It has a Parallax 5300. Is this any better as far as smart charging goes or is this a pitch and replace item like most of the others? I intend to leave my Airstream plugged in to a 30A line all winter.
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
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Might be worthwhile talking to Randy at Best Converter about your Parallax 5300.

5355TC 55 Amp Power Center (50 Amp Service) w/Temp Comp

Difficult to tell from the limited online data whether they include a multi-stage charger or not. I presume they don't.
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:23 PM   #3
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Question

Just wondering.....why plugged in 24/7 during storage?
Good idea contacting Randy.
Bob
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Just wondering.....why plugged in 24/7 during storage?

Good idea contacting Randy.

Bob


I'm thinking about some winter camping so I was toying with the idea of not winterizing between trips and just running the furnace at 40F to prevent freezing so we could just up and off. She's currently winterized and drained. Thanks for the advice, I'll contact Randy.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:25 PM   #5
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Yes - changeout

For anyone following this in the future, Randy at BestConverter advised to change out the 5300 with a PowerMax PM4B-60. Details here Airstream Univolt. Mine is on order.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiobrits View Post
I've read a lot about how bad the typical Airstream converters are for your batteries. I have a 2015 27FB International with 50A service. It has a Parallax 5300. Is this any better as far as smart charging goes or is this a pitch and replace item like most of the others? I intend to leave my Airstream plugged in to a 30A line all winter.
No it is a single stage battery frier like Airstream has put in their trailers for years.
Maybe if we scold them enough on this forum, they will spend minimal $$ to upgrade their chargers.
If you plug into shore power all winter, your batteries will be toast by spring.
Call Randy at bestconverter by all means. Meanwhile unplug your trailer and plug the trailer in only a few hours a month until you upgrade your converter charger.
Cost of the upgrade is about $250 and it is a suitable project for a handy and limber do it yourselfer.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:40 AM   #7
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Cost of the upgrade is about $250.

Agreed, it's a cheap upgrade, can't believe Airstream does not put the right unit in from the start in a $70k plus travel trailer......
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Just wondering.....why plugged in 24/7 during storage?
Good idea contacting Randy.
Bob
I keep our trailer plugged in all winter but I turn off the converter and typically remove the batteries.
The reason I leave it plugged in is to power two "Goldenrod dehumidifier" rods to help control the humidity inside.
Here is a link:

Lockdown Gun Storage Golden Rod Dehumidifier 36in Model: 725751 - Golden Rod
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
I keep our trailer plugged in all winter but I turn off the converter and typically remove the batteries.
The reason I leave it plugged in is to power two "Goldenrod dehumidifier" rods to help control the humidity inside.
Here is a link:

Lockdown Gun Storage Golden Rod Dehumidifier 36in Model: 725751 - Golden Rod

I remove our batt's also, during a cold spell I'll plug in and use the Polonis Disc 27/7.

I have used the 'G-R' in the TV & old Ford, worked pretty well, went poof at -10*,
I probably should have cracked a window before I slammed the door......

Bob
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:30 PM   #10
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PowerMax PM4B-60

Update on the install of the PowerMax, a few pictures below. Install is fairly straight forward, remove a few screws and slide out the old converter from the bottom section and remove a few more screws to remove the cover on the AC section at the top.

I removed the lid of the existing bottom section by drilling out the rivets and then removed the "guts" of the "old" Parallax so that I could reuse the tray. The PowerMax is held down with velcro but it could be screwed down easily.

Using a Dremel with metal cutting bit, I cut a lightly larger hole on the left for the PowerMax fan and a hole on the right to help with cable bend radius on the + and - 12V cables coming from the PowerMax. I sheathed all the cables to protect and pulled them through existing holes in the tray. In hindsight I should have made a bigger hole for the 12V + and -. Space was tight.

The AC power cord (supply) to the PowerMax has a regular plug on it that must be removed to get the bare wires to connect to the AC supply in the top section of the existing unit. Make sure you mark the cable prior to snipping off the plug! The plug is marked for neutral. If you forget, the cable cores are colored so you can figure it out.........

I used some 4ga wire I had left over for the main 12V runs, 4ga was a bit too big and hard to handle in the space available. I think 6ga is recommended - that would be easier to handle.

It took about 3 hours with some running around looking for wire to use.

Everything works as intended. The batteries charge at the higher voltage initially and ramp down per the chart in the PowerMax manual as they become charged. It sits at 13.2V once fully charged. I have not heard the fan come on yet although it has been very cold recently.

Pictures below are after the install, looks pretty much stock. Main advantage of reusing the tray is that you can use the existing mount for the fuse panel which mounts directly to the front of the tray via 2 screws.

Only downside I could see with the install as shown is that to replace the 2x30A fuses on the PowerMax would require sliding out of the tray and hence disconnection of a few wires. The fuses are on the right just in-front of the ground. Mounting the PowerMax with fuses at the front would have enabled replacement of the fuses without sliding the tray out since there is an access panel on the front of the tray (you can just see it in the photos). I think the rear of the existing tray would need removed to install the PowerMax lengthways.
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