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Old 10-04-2010, 04:59 PM   #1
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So sad again, my Parallex 7300 converter burned out. Literally.

She (my beloved Airstream) has been at an RV park for the last week waiting for me to come over and re-seal her (she has a leak in one of the windows). So that was the plan for this weekend -- I bought all necessary supplies to reseal and was really gung-ho and ready for the job. When we got to her, we plugged her into shore power and not less than 10 minutes go by when I smell something BURNING. I literally panicked (we had a boat that caught on fire and burned via electrical wiring gone bad -- so I'm a little sensitive). There was smoke coming up and out of our Parallex Converter box (which is located under one of the twin beds). We unplugged her and with flashlights (it was dark) unscrewed the cover of the inverter. Sure enough, there you could see a big burn mark.

My question is, what the heck causes these converters to just catch on fire like that? It is rather frightening to me -- especially the thought of us sleeping and it catching on fire then.

The guy at the RV repair shop says he can only replace it with another Parallex 7300 unit. He says nothing else will fit in that space. Is this true? This is the same man who told me that Airstreams should never leak and that he has never seen one ever leak before.

A little history with our Airstream. She's a 2006 Sarfai and the previous owners only used her twice in 4 years. The rest of the time she just sat under the hot California sun with no maintenance at all.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:07 PM   #2
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...The guy at the RV repair shop says he can only replace it with another Parallex 7300 unit. He says nothing else will fit in that space. Is this true?
probably not true.

but some minor tweaks to the fabrication may be needed.

IF the unit is plugged in 24/7 another unit with a true FLOAT stage would be a good choice.

post PIX of your unit/space/issues and help will be more specific...

the details matter.

many of us have replaced these units with other brands, here is one thread with pictures and LINKs...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...rex-50382.html

search using the C word or with any of the common brand names and 100s o of diy install threads will appear.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Try bestconverter.com. They advertise a bolt in upgrade for the Paralax 7300, to wit:
a Magnetec 6300/7300 upgrade kit, price $215.00 for 55 amp.
They say it bolts in place of the Paralax 7300 and installs in 30 minutes. It has a 3 stage charger with a float charge so it won't fry your batteries like the Paralax.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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We bought an Iota converter from Bestconverter.com. It is working great for us and takes up less space than the original one from Airstream.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:26 AM   #5
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Mammab,

My Paralax died as well. The PO used the trailer very little but left it plugged in 24/7. One of the batteries was toasted and I suspect that because the Paralax was a single stage, it just wasn't up to being plugged in continually.

I don't have the twin beds but the guy at Spokane Airstream installed an Iota 55 amp 3 stage and it has been working very well for me. I suggest that you contact Doug at Airstream of Spokane and ask him. You will get an honest answer.

Good luck.

Dick
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:44 AM   #6
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I wouldn't go with another Parallax. As mentioned above, get in touch with Best Converter.

It is quite shocking (no pun intended) when these things explode/catch on fire!!!

Jonathan
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mammab View Post

My question is, what the heck causes these converters to just catch on fire like that? It is rather frightening to me -- especially the thought of us sleeping and it catching on fire then.
By their nature converters deal with high currents, typically around 6 amps in and 60 amps out. Fusing the input and the output does not by itself prevent fires because it is possible for the converter to fail in a way that draws just under 6 amps from the shore power, or just under 60 amps from the batteries, which is still enough to produce a large amount of heat and cause the internal components to melt or burn.

Some converters have one or more temperature sense circuits that, in the event of a failure, either disconnect the input or output, or force a short (crowbar circuit) that will blow the fuses or breakers.

The parts to do this aren't expensive making it simply a matter of proper engineering.
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #8
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I just replaced my Parallax 7300 with a Progressive Dynamics Intellipower 4655 from BestConverters.com. It's a direct replacement and fits nicely where the Parallax was. It's a 4 stage converter (boost, storage,normal and desulfation)as opposed to the single stage Parallax. The kit for $233.50 came with complete instructions for replacing the Parallax and it took me about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to do the work. Highly recommended.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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where and how much is the best price on the replacement converter/chargers to get rid of these paralax 7300 units.. my quit too.. thanks.. wayne
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:22 PM   #10
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I just replaced my Parallax 7300 with a Progressive Dynamics Intellipower 4655 from BestConverters.com. It's a direct replacement and fits nicely where the Parallax was. It's a 4 stage converter (boost, storage,normal and desulfation)as opposed to the single stage Parallax. The kit for $233.50 came with complete instructions for replacing the Parallax and it took me about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to do the work. Highly recommended.
Will this unit also work with glass mat batteries?
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:00 PM   #11
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Will this unit also work with glass mat batteries?
Yes. I am using Lifeline Group 27 AGM's and it is a great combo.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:10 PM   #12
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Ditto. Those units are junk.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:08 AM   #13
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Wish I had found this links sooner. Stuck in Mt. Pleasant, TX awaiting arrival of a Parallax 7300. This will be the 3rd unit for our AS. To late to now but will know the next time. When not towing I have kept the AS plugged-in. I have not had a problem with the 7300 frying my batteries though.

Just before I purchased this AS the previous owner had just replaced the 7300 with another 7300. He had only used the AS just a couple of times and did not have it plugged-in when not in use.

Our recent problem started in Abilene, TX during the Reg 9 rally. Our interior lights started flickering, the frig would not function on electric or gas. Disconnected one of the batteries and this seemed to help although we could not operated the A/C. Replaced both Interstated batteries with 2 new Interstates 2 weeks ago. The previous batteries were installed in 2006 so they had lived out their life span.

Sure wish that I had seen this post earlier.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:35 AM   #14
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Will this unit also work with glass mat batteries?
Just a quick note about Lifelines and converters for charging. I have found that the IOTA DLS-55 IQ converter has a charge profile that most closely resembles what Lifeline recommends for their products.
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