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Old 12-05-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
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Powermax Boondocker Converters?

Does anyone have any experience with the new Powermax Boondocker series 4 converters? Compared to the older series 3 how do they compare in real world use?
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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How new is "Series 4"? I bought a Powermax Boondocker in May and I've been happy with it so far. I suspect it may be a series 3 because of the model, "PM3B-45" but the trailer's in its storage shed so I can't easily look at it.

It's a vast improvement over the WFCO it replaced.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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Not sure when the came out. The series 4 units are what "BestConverter" are now selling. Plenty of series 3's still available from other sellers. The series 3 is a 3-stage and the 4 is 4-stage.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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I was on my way somewhere before, I just read the entire listing at BestConverter (which is where I bought my series 3 unit.) It looks like the difference is the addition of the desulfation cycle, which I guess is the 4th stage. It looks from their copy like there was a PM3 prior to my PM3B, though. The B ones have the 14.6v "boost" charging mode in addition to charge, float and store so the desulfation cycle may just be an extra feature of the series 4 converters and not counted in the 4 charging stages.

IIRC sulfation is a bigger problem if you heavily discharge the batteries frequently, or leave them to "self discharge" for long periods, though it happens to some degree in any normal discharge cycle of a flooded lead-acid battery. So I guess if you boondock a lot and run the battery down over time and then recharge it on the generator in the daytime desulfation is a big deal, but if you mostly run on shore power it's less critical.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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Not doing much boondocking currently, but hope to be doing a lot more in the future. Goal is get the old gal as self contained as possible. Currently upgrading batteries and the converter is next project. The Powermax converters seem to be very high quality and reliable. I don’t think I have read any negative reports about them.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:52 PM   #6
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PowerMax Boondocker PM4B-60

I just replaced my fried Parallax 7455 deck mount converter with this unit on the advice of Randy at Best Converter.

I was planning on upgrading this summer, anyway, and was thinking of the Iota DLS55/IQ4 which has a lot of supporters on the forums, but urgency and available funds tipped my hand. And the 3 year Warranty.

The replacement was easy, just an hour from start to finish, including unbolting and moving the Gaucho and cleaning up all the old installation remnants. The only pictures I took were after the unit was installed, but it was a simple pull and replace/plug and play, anyway.

I might remind everyone to get a surge protector for your Airstream! My converter was fried because of a loose neutral 6 sites away from me. The breakers protected everything else, but the old paralax had been zapped once before. I remember trying to figure out the smell when I walked through my '99 as I was picking it up from the PO. Same stink as the rolling smoke after it was zapped this time, too.

I'll update this thread when it has had some time work in.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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Stupid me I took out my old converter (fried) without writing down what I had. I have an Excella 500 with one battery. Being a girl I'm not sure what I should replace with because of amps etc. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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Stupid me I took out my old converter (fried) without writing down what I had. I have an Excella 500 with one battery. Being a girl I'm not sure what I should replace with because of amps etc. Any suggestions?
A 45-amp converter will be enough to power your trailer and charge one battery. I'm happy with my Powermax Boondocker so far (the topic of this thread) but I've had it in for less than a year. No one complains much about Iota converters or Intellipower converters either. Any of the 3 should work out fine. Depending on the year and model of your trailer, the fuses may have been part of the old converter (if it was the original style) so *IF* that is the case you'd also need a fuse block. Were there 2 big output wires from the converter, or 2 big plus many small wires?
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
A 45-amp converter will be enough to power your trailer and charge one battery. I'm happy with my Powermax Boondocker so far (the topic of this thread) but I've had it in for less than a year. No one complains much about Iota converters or Intellipower converters either. Any of the 3 should work out fine. Depending on the year and model of your trailer, the fuses may have been part of the old converter (if it was the original style) so *IF* that is the case you'd also need a fuse block. Were there 2 big output wires from the converter, or 2 big plus many small wires?
Even if the fuse box is separate from the inverter now would be a good time to replace the fuse box with a new one with the new flat automotive type fuses. They are much more reliable then the round glass fuses in a 35+ year old fuse box.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
A 45-amp converter will be enough to power your trailer and charge one battery. I'm happy with my Powermax Boondocker so far (the topic of this thread) but I've had it in for less than a year. No one complains much about Iota converters or Intellipower converters either. Any of the 3 should work out fine. Depending on the year and model of your trailer, the fuses may have been part of the old converter (if it was the original style) so *IF* that is the case you'd also need a fuse block. Were there 2 big output wires from the converter, or 2 big plus many small wires?
Mine has the two big wires and many small wires coming out of the old converter. It looks like over the years a lot of back yard electrical work was done by someone that knew even less about electrical work than I do. There are no DC fuses that I can find, only 2 AC circuit breakers on the box where the AC comes in. I would like to swap out the converter, but I don’t have a clue what goes where and how to safely hook up the new one.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:55 PM   #11
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I put in a Powermax this summer and it is working fine and have taken a couple of longer trips. I have not been boondocking so no help there. I was told by Powermax that it likes the AGM batteries much better than the Intellipower. I really like the Intellipower and have it in my other Airstream.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:27 AM   #12
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Just ordered the Boondocker 45 yesterday after a phone call to the good folks at Best Converter. Now all I need is some ambition and maybe just a little sunshine to remove the old Univolt. Sal
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:29 PM   #13
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Has anyone has any experience with the Model L. Which has a final output voltage adjustment. They call it a single stage charger/converter, mfg model is a PMBC. The adjustment is useful for charger Lithium Ion batteries.

I would like to understand the charging method, it sounds like it is only a constant voltage power supply.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:28 PM   #14
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Has anyone has any experience with the Model L. Which has a final output voltage adjustment. They call it a single stage charger/converter, mfg model is a PMBC. The adjustment is useful for charger Lithium Ion batteries.

I would like to understand the charging method, it sounds like it is only a constant voltage power supply.
You have it correct. It's constant voltage-constant current and you select the voltage. Your batteries still control the current but the max rated output is the model number 35, 45. etc with your battery manufactures voltage.
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