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Old 06-27-2017, 01:20 PM   #1
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1974 Argosy 28
Coos Bay , Oregon
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Univolt replacement 30 amps or larger?

The Univolt has finally died a quiet death in my 74 Argosy and I'm looking at an Intellipower and it was suggested I go with a 60 amp or larger unit to replace the factory 30. Why? I was told it was because the length of the trailer mandated a larger unit but the original was only 30amp. What would be the real world benefit of going with a 45 or 60 amp unit compared to using a 30 amp?
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:42 PM   #2
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Hi

*IF* you beef up the batteries to run "off grid" for longer periods, the larger unit will charge up those batteries in less time. A bigger battery stack might also help if you load the trailer up with lots of 12V powered gizmos. The key is to match the charge amps to the battery size. You really do not want to charge a "modern" 250AH battery bank with a 30A charger ....

Bob
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:52 PM   #3
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Found this:
The BULK stage involves about 80% of the recharge, wherein the charger current is held constant (in a constant current charger), and voltage increases. The properly sized charger will give the battery as much current as it will accept up to charger capacity (25% of battery capacity in amp hours), and not raise a wet battery over 125 F, or an AGM or GEL (valve regulated) battery over 100 F.

So, if you have 2 Group 27 deep cycle batteries (about the most you can get without going to golf carts, AGMs, or Lithiums), that is around 220 Amp Hours. Multiplying by 25%, that's 55 amps. Any less and it will take longer to charge the batteries. Substantially more runs the risk of damaging the batteries unless the charger has temperature compensation. Ideally you would be able to set the maximum output current to be appropriate for your particular battery complement. Some charger/converters may have that capability, but I don't know of any for sure.

Al
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:43 PM   #4
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My guess is you have space for ONE Group 24 or maybe Group 27 battery. In which case a 45 amp converter is more than sufficient. I would recommend a Progressive Dynamics 9245 converter. It is what I have in my '74 Argosy 26'. It has worked flawlessly for 8 years.
Look on EBay. They are about $150.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:18 AM   #5
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Replaced the univolt in my Argosy 24 with a WFCO 55. What a difference. The single group 24 battery charges quickly and the difference in the sound is amazing. When I first installed it I kept sticking my head in the cupboard to check that it was still working.
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:26 PM   #6
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lewster says 30 amp charging is called soft charging. This is recommended a specially for Lithium batteries. It makes them last longer. I would think that would apply to all batteries types because less heat is produced. And, on flooded batteries much less water is boiled off If you are wanting to de-sulfate the 4 stage chargers will do that.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
lewster says 30 amp charging is called soft charging. This is recommended a specially for Lithium batteries. It makes them last longer. I would think that would apply to all batteries types because less heat is produced. And, on flooded batteries much less water is boiled off If you are wanting to de-sulfate the 4 stage chargers will do that.
guskmg
Hi

Odd as it may seem, modern thinking on a flooded lead acid is to hit it with a lot of current in the initial charge stage. Indeed, monitor the temperature for best protection. A lot of well respected installers seem to just go with the "hit them hard" approach and no temperature monitor.

Yes, I'm a big advocate of temperature monitoring batteries. That's true regardless of bulk vs float charging. The voltage thresholds move way to much over temperature to do it right if you don't monitor temperature. Unfortunately with a battery box up on the A frame and a charger buried half way back the trailer .... this may not be easy.

Bob
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