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Old 01-02-2016, 09:00 AM   #1
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Upgrade Converter to replace OEM

I read these forums daily and have been convinced to replace my OEM converter (Parallox Model 555) with the recommended Progressive Dynamics PD9245 to preserve my batteries. I have researched my concern for two days and have to resort to the pros here.
As far as I can tell, the Model 555 has an upper and lower section and the converter is the lower section. Please correct me if I am wrong. My concern is that the PD9245 will not fit where the lower section of my current converter is. Will the PD9245 fit in this space and still mate with the breaker panel that is above it? Any other recommendations or tricks to do this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks soooo much for any guidance!
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:31 AM   #2
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while i have not tried to split an original system I would consider mounting the Progressive separately and bridging to the fuse panel with new wires. The progressive is generally mounted on wedge standoffs, 3/4 x 4 in. stock cut at about 20 degrees, to improve ventilation. There is not electrical reason to put the Progressive right where the original unit was. Just make sure you use the correct wire sizes.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:33 AM   #3
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Check with BestConverter.com. They will steer you to the right components to replace the converter in your power center or the whole power center as required. I have no connection to them and have never bought from them but I see recommendations for them on here regularly.

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Old 01-02-2016, 09:59 AM   #4
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I am not sure what your 2012 original converter/charger looks like, but if it is an all in one unit, that is has both the 12 volt sections and the 120 volt circuit breakers in it, you probably need a PD 4655 to replace it directly. These also come with a new fuse panel, with LED's which indicate if a fuse is blown, very handy.

The 9245 or 9255 is more of a stand alone unit and replaces the old blue or gray box Univolts best, while the 4645 or 4655 is for the integrated system.

But, check with best converters.com for confirmation.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:15 AM   #5
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I sourced my new converter from best converters as well. Separate units work well. Merely lifting the upper 1/4" gave me space in the same location for the install.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:24 AM   #6
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Thanks to everyone who offered help. Indeed, it is a split system and it looks like the PD4645 will fit in the existing frame. I'll check with Best Monday. Apparently, they're not open on Saturdays. Hopefully, this will help other folks that have the same question.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I am not sure what your 2012 original converter/charger looks like, but if it is an all in one unit, that is has both the 12 volt sections and the 120 volt circuit breakers in it, you probably need a PD 4655 to replace it directly. These also come with a new fuse panel, with LED's which indicate if a fuse is blown, very handy.

The 9245 or 9255 is more of a stand alone unit and replaces the old blue or gray box Univolts best, while the 4645 or 4655 is for the integrated system.
I replaced the converter in our 1998 Airstream B-190 with the 4655. The system in the van is very similar to the new/recent Airstream trailers. The converter is in the bottom of the "box" and fuses are in the top section. The 4645 or 4655 should be a drop in replacement. I just followed the instructions and systematically unhooked and re-attached wires as needed and the system works great.

A friend of ours replaced the converter in his 20xx Airstream with a 4655 and he's happy as far as I know. He did have a defective fan in his 4655 but it was under warranty so he had it replaced at a shop while he was traveling.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:34 AM   #8
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Another thread to follow as I am considering AGM batteries and feel that a converter upgrade id necessary for the proper charging of AGM batteries-
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:10 PM   #9
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Followup: Called Best Converters and Randy said to click the "Parallax 555 to Boondocker Upghrade" under "Extra Info". Also look at the "Airstream Univolt" link on the menu. He recommended the PM4B-60 (for my 50 amp AS). Lucky me, it is on sale for $159 plus $12 to ship. This is a 4 stage converter and the website shows it is OK to use on flooded and AGM batteries.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:49 PM   #10
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Interesting-
May work for me-


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Old 01-10-2016, 06:06 AM   #11
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Another followup. I received the Boondocker yesterday and called Randy at Best Converter. BTW, they aren't the best at answering their phones or returning emails. Anyway the converter that I got looked nothing like what I needed to replace my Parallox 555 but I was assured it would work. All I can say is that there must be a replacement converter that is like the original that will fit in the space without a bunch of modifications. I did get it installed and appears to be doing it's job but it just seemed like it was a lot of work as a replacement. The access panel was attached to the old converter frame and once that was removed, there was no way to reinstall the access panel door without screwing it to the floor and installing spacers. You will see what I mean if you install the Boondocker. It took me about 2 hours and I had to cut some of the leads off the old converter to use for the new one.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:12 AM   #12
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Did the PD4655 replacement on our 2013 25FB International Serenity. Was able to wiggle the power wires enough to get the needed 2" to connect to the new unit terminals.

Our current two Airstream trailers use Magnum programmable charger/inverters due to installing lithium batteries which are inside under the sofa.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:09 AM   #13
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When I received the Boondocker, (a deck mount unit) I called Randy and told him that thought I had the wrong part. He recommended the Boondocker when I initially called to see if the PD4655 was going to be the right one. For some reason, he said the PD4655 wouldn't work. So, if I were reading these posts and you have a split AC/DC system, I would probably take a chance on the PD4655 instead of the boondocker. I wouldn't recommend the Boondocker because it looks like other folks like yourself have had success with the PD4655.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:57 PM   #14
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The choice should be obvious. Progressive Dynamics is an American company that makes all of their product in the USA. They make full replacement slide-in converters (PD-4655) along with deck mount units (PD-9260) of various amperage outputs.

While the Powermax units probably work as advertised and Randy is a friend, I would still keep the folks in Michigan building their made in USA products!!!

Don't complain when the few dollars that you save buying Chinese while American products are available sink another US company!!!


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