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Old 12-06-2017, 12:55 PM   #1
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Progressive Dynamics Converter - Thoughts?

Hello Air Community Crew,

Seeking some feedback on Progressive Dynamics Converters. Here's my specs of current set up:

2017 19' Flying Cloud - standard converter

Zamp 100w Expandable Solar Panel - installed earlier this year by Airstream

(2) 6-volt Trogan batteries

During recent visit to folks, I plugged into land power; done this every visit. This time, the converter fan ran 24/7. I did some reading on the forums and saw feedback regarding a possible charging issue.

Airstream said this was normal, but I disagreed as I noted all trips in a year, plugged in at RV parks, the converter fan only came on with converter was warm. Even with the new solar, the converter fan ran intermittently, but this time, non-stop; whether in Use or Storage position on the switch. Once unplugged, the fan would stop.

I work with my local Airstream dealer/service center in Fairfield CA; apparently the largest Airstream service center in the US. Chris, love the guy, says, best to switch out the converter to a Progressive Dynamics. He and his crew have never like the standard converter that came with the trailers. This would be a benefit as whether in Use or Storage, once the batteries are charged, the converter stops running a charge through the system.

This has become standard practice at their center for new purchasing; upgrading the converter from the start. He noted Airstream comes to them regularly, as often the Fairfield Center (Airstream Adventures) does upgrades that later end up in Airstream production. Airstream insisted they use a US maker which PD is. Now, the 2018 models are coming out with a better converter in them.

So, just seeking some feedback. The converter is $367 and install is $250. Figure let them do it, it would be under warranty and guarantee, and I don't have to worry about overcharging.

Thanks
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:26 PM   #2
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I put a Progressive in my Airstream this past year mine is the deck mount I don't remember what model it is , it does have the charge wizard with the pendent . I bought directly from Progressive . Shipped it was a little over $200. I installed it myself mine was under my couch , that was the worst part of the job removing the couch . It's a simple install . and so far no over charge of the batteries . My trailer is in storage for the winter so I can't give you much more info at this time .
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
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Good plan to replace the battery boiling original converter. Your batteries will thank you and it will be a net savings over time as the batteries will last much longer.
As long as you have access to the existing one, this is a very easy installation and their pricing is quite high for parts and labor. Buy direct and install yourself to save $$.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:03 PM   #4
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Whether or not the fan is running is a red herring. The fan kicks in when an internal temperature sensor says so. This doesn't mean your converter isn't working properly.

Your converter operates as a single-stage battery converter. This isn't great, but you have a solar charger. By selecting the "store" position when you're connected to shore power for extended periods you can avoid the potential harm that can occur from a single-stage battery charger by disconnecting your batteries from the converter.

I do this myself and will be coming up on three years with no battery issues. So my advice to you is to save yourself $500 and switch to store mode when connected to shore power.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:24 PM   #5
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I have installed 2 Progressive units in 2 of my trailers, both PD9245's. Have installed several more for friends and have had ZERO problems. Great units and easy to install.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:45 PM   #6
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Bay Area AS Adventures...Chris and Josh are great!

There are several threads in past couple months on this issue/question. My buddy just got his 2017' 23D back from Fairfield dealer after having issues with his second set of Interstate batteries; the new ones would not get past 10V this past week while camping...turns out the converter was bad. He called AS in Fairfield, and they replaced his stock single stage unit, with Progressive Dynamics PD4635 4 stage converter. Told him he could leave it plugged in and not worry anymore about his batteries being over charged. Frustrating I know, but that's the current state of things if you own a 2017 or older unit; the 2018 models come with a 4 stage converter....

I also replaced mine recently in my 2017' FC 28, but I had to get a larger 50A unit, so I installed the Boondocker 1260 from Best Converter...they also sell Progressive Dynamics.

As Fairfield AS recommends, I would replace your Converter ASAP to avoid any issues...unless you want to constantly monitor your batteries with other sensors, heat monitors, etc... I don't want to spend extra time doing this, so the multi-stage converters are the way to go, IMHO...I also installed a manual battery "kill switch" on the batteries to insure there is "no power" going to my AS when I am "storing" for few weeks or more....even when plugged in.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:47 AM   #7
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When you have them install the new converter, make the investment in a battery monitor at the same time,,,you will be glad you did

Lots of info on the forum on the different monitors available ,,another $200 plus installation
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
I have installed 2 Progressive units in 2 of my trailers, both PD9245's. Have installed several more for friends and have had ZERO problems. Great units and easy to install.
________
I also installed a PD 9245 with the pendant myself, taking pictures of everything as I dismantled the old and hooked up the new. Almost hooked it up wrong, but before I applied power or connected the battery, I carefully went over my photos, and oops. Photos saved my bacon.

I really would have liked the PD 9260 but it draws 1000 watts to run and the PD9245 only drew 750 watts and since I'm a 30 amp system from the post, and already have to manage the frig, ac, microwave/convection, etc carefully and use only certain combinations at a time, I hated to give up even the additional 250 watts of incoming power. My AS is a 1990 Excella 29' and if I had a newer 50 amp unit I definitely would have gone to the PD 9260, but I don't so I didn't. Have been VERY happy with my PD9245 though.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:42 AM   #9
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Hi

If you just want to spend money, go for it. You already have a multistage converter in your trailer. There are even better converters out there if you want to spend even more money. Unless you add a temperature probe that is located at the battery bank, you really are not doing much of an upgrade.

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Old 12-07-2017, 11:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
I have installed 2 Progressive units in 2 of my trailers, both PD9245's. Have installed several more for friends and have had ZERO problems. Great units and easy to install.
When I bought my 2004 22 foot Safari in 2014, I had read extensively on Air Forums. I bought and installed a PD4645 for $170 (converter cost) and installation was easy and I didn't send myself a bill for installation.

Great product but I have heard they have been discontinued by Progressive Dynamics (presumably replaced by better units, maybe the 9000 series),
The unit has performed beautifully and has protected me from low voltage as well... saving me the cost of units placed at the power box and saving me worry over theft of protective devices used outside of the trailer.

Given the previously limited production of Airstream units, I never understood why they didn't abandon the Parallax unit long ago. Maybe Parallax was owned by a brother-in-law?
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinonedad View Post
When you have them install the new converter, make the investment in a battery monitor at the same time,,,you will be glad you did

Lots of info on the forum on the different monitors available ,,another $200 plus installation
Not sure why you think you "need" this monitor with a new multi-stage converter installed which monitors your battery charging with intelligent circuitry, like Charge Wizard included with Progressive Dynamics converters? I understand you can get several different battery monitors, at different price points on Amazon starting at $18.00 as example, if you think you need one...
I'm just not sure it is necessary to spend $200 more...assuming the new multi-stage converter does it's job, your stock wall monitor system should be fine. Of course, that's just my 2 cents
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:19 PM   #12
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I installed a Progresive Dynamics, Inteli-Power Charger Wizard 9200 series model number PD9260C, 1000w, 60amp converter with charger in my 1968 Safari 3 years ago. I use a 12 volt Glass Mat battery installed by the factory, don't know the brand. Works flawlessly.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:50 PM   #13
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Caution - the new 12 volt distribution board which comes with the Progressive unit may have wire connection hardware that is designed for a forked lug connection. If you use a pendant, it is my understanding, that the new board is not required and that makes the install less complex. Designs do change, so this may no longer be a concern. Pat
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Posse96 View Post
Hello Air Community Crew,

Seeking some feedback on Progressive Dynamics Converters.
Thanks
I installed a PD4655 converter in my 23FB about 18 months ago. I am a moderately skilled DIY'er and it took about 2 hours total. I also installed new AGM batteries a that time. I use portable solar panels on occasion when boon docking. My batteries retain their full charge for 4 - 5 months. I always disconnect the batteries using a $5.00 disconnect switch I bought at NAPA and installed in 15 minutes. This prevents phantom draw from the stereo and LPG detector when in storage. The new converter does not overcharge them.

I purchased the PD 4655 from a vendor in Portland, OR for under $200 (no sales tax in OR) and sold my original converter on eBay for $100 within a week. It works fine - as long as you take time to do all the little things to keep your batteries from boiling. The AGM's and PD4655 made my life much easier!

See http://www.bestconverter.com/PD4655V...l#.WimudLS7_OQ for more info.
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