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Old 01-02-2016, 12:30 PM   #1
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Upgrade Parallax for Charging AGMs

Have: AS FC 27 FB w/Parallax 8355 (55 amp, 1-stage) Converter/Charger.

Task: Upgrade Converter/Charger to 3 or 4-stage for charging AGM batteries.

Research: Posts on this blog indicate the likely upgrade is to a PD4655 ($198 plus $11 for the remote monitor at bestconverter.com), designed to do exactly this upgrade task; the PD9260 ($177 at bestconverter.com) being more or less its equivalent but designed as an original/stand-alone converter/charger & not as an upgrade for the Parallax. Other posts show use of a PowerMax Boondocker, eg, BPC4-60 ($215 at bestconverter.com).

Questions: Any advantages or disadvantages between the PD4655 vs. the PowerMax Boondocker? Any other, better alternatives?

2nd related Questions: Any grave problem re removing (& disposing of) the two Interstate 24 deep cycle batteries & their battery box from the A-frame in front of the trailer & then replacing those batteries with a pair of Lifeline 27 (or larger?) AGM batteries & putting the AGMs in the storage area under the front bed & immediately behind the exterior access storage area behind the battery box? (Please ignore any issue of exhaust gases on the AGMs. I'm concerned about any other issues.) Any better ideas? (I've considered but eliminated lithium batteries as just too expensive, at least for now.)
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Old 01-02-2016, 02:49 PM   #2
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Thank you for asking the question. Currently researching similar upgrade. Pricing on your examples seems different from what I found on that site, so I need to recheck the model numbers. Suspect our 23 has the same charger/converter, but got to find it to verify. Again, thanks for starting the thread. Pat
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Old 01-02-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
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I installed the boondocker. This one, per Randy's suggestion. 55 Amp 4-Stage Main Board Replacement

It required that I remove the Parallax from it's housing, which required that I drill out the rivets to remove it. I then secured the Boondocker in the housing with 3M double side sticky tape. I'm happy with it so far, but if I was to do it again, I think I'd go with the PD.

As far as the AGM type 27's they will fit in the battery box, if you choose to do that.
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Old 01-02-2016, 03:17 PM   #4
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3 stage charger

I replaced my converter/charger with the PD4655 and very happy with it I also put in 2 6volt golf cart batteries. It was a pretty easy upgrade. The PD 4655 is made in USA. I keep it plugged in most of the time unless there are thunderstorms on the way. If I ever buy a new AS that will be something I will make part of the deal is to upgrade the converter/charger. The next step up would be a Magnum that also has a inverter and is adjustable for all types of batteries and with hybrid model you could run the A/C with a 2000 watt generator and good size battery bank. The down side is cost at 1700-2000.00 bucks and they are pretty heavy. I did my upgrade of PD4655 and 6volt batteries for about $525.00.I had to raise the battery box 1 3/4" then remount the batt box top took about 90 mins to do. Your 2016 should not need any mod to the battery box. Good camping Rand
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:38 PM   #5
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My question, to which I have not found an answer for, is this about the PD 46xx or 92xx rsseries converter chargers.

They have a 15 minute de sulphation charge every 20 hours. That raises the voltage to the batteries for a short time about once a day. That is fine for flooded cell batteries, but AGM batteries specifically state that they are never to be equalize charged, which is a controlled over charge caused by raising the voltage.

Is there any problem with the PD 46xx or 92xx charger when used on AGM batteries other than no temp compensation? Specifically, is this PD 20 minute over charge every 20 hours a problem with AGM batteries?
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
My question, to which I have not found an answer for, is this about the PD 46xx or 92xx rsseries converter chargers.

They have a 15 minute de sulphation charge every 20 hours. That raises the voltage to the batteries for a short time about once a day. That is fine for flooded cell batteries, but AGM batteries specifically state that they are never to be equalize charged, which is a controlled over charge caused by raising the voltage.

Is there any problem with the PD 46xx or 92xx charger when used on AGM batteries other than no temp compensation? Specifically, is this PD 20 minute over charge every 20 hours a problem with AGM batteries?
I'm wondering the same thing. I have a new pair of Lifelines and want to change out the factory charger to a 3 or 4 stage charger that will have the appropriate charge voltages.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:55 PM   #7
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My question is:

What's the big advantage, if any, of an AGM over a flooded cell battery?????
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:35 PM   #8
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Without being winded, longevity, maintenance free, sealed (no harmful fuming), deeper battery drain. I'm missing other advantages, those are what pop in my head initially. It all comes with a cost though, expensive...
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:57 AM   #9
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Following this thread-
I need batteries now, and would like to get AGM batteries.
My understanding is that I must also upgrade my converter.
So- Maybe $600 will cover the entire upgrade- converter and 2 AGM batteries?
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
My question, to which I have not found an answer for, is this about the PD 46xx or 92xx rsseries converter chargers.

They have a 15 minute de sulphation charge every 20 hours. That raises the voltage to the batteries for a short time about once a day. That is fine for flooded cell batteries, but AGM batteries specifically state that they are never to be equalize charged, which is a controlled over charge caused by raising the voltage.

Is there any problem with the PD 46xx or 92xx charger when used on AGM batteries other than no temp compensation? Specifically, is this PD 20 minute over charge every 20 hours a problem with AGM batteries?
My new PD4655 is sitting here waiting to go in; now I'm kind of waiting for an answer on this question?
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
My new PD4655 is sitting here waiting to go in; now I'm kind of waiting for an answer on this question?
Maybe talk to a technical person at the bettery manufacturer?

If the PD4655 is unsuitable, what is an alternative for under $1000?

Charlie
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:44 PM   #12
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I also plan on upgrading to the PD4655 using Lifeline AGM 24s or 27s. I'm waiting on an April delivery of my 2016 AS. Last month, I called Randy at Best Converter and he said the PD4655 will work. I'd still call him for your own peace of mind. Go to: BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics. His number is on the website. Good Luck.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:11 AM   #13
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I've asked Randy the same question and he said the charging parameters of the PD4655 fall in the range of Lifeline AGM batteries charging requirements. I plan to upgrade to AGMs too eventually.

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Old 01-05-2016, 11:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelGoddard View Post
My question is:

What's the big advantage, if any, of an AGM over a flooded cell battery?????
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtisanAir View Post
Without being winded, longevity, maintenance free, sealed (no harmful fuming), deeper battery drain. I'm missing other advantages, those are what pop in my head initially. It all comes with a cost though, expensive...
Technically, AGM's are a type of lead acid battery known as the wet cell. The Wet cell comes in two styles; Serviceable and Maintenance free. The Gel Cell and the AGM batteries typically cost twice as much as a premium wet cell. However they store very well and do not tend to sulfate or degrade as easily as wet cell. There is little chance of a hydrogen gas explosion or corrosion when using these batteries; these are the safest lead acid batteries you can use. And this is also why so many people put AGM's inside their Airstreams.

Also, AGM's really shouldn't be discharged more than 50% and the Lifeline material states you'll get the most uses if it gets charged before the discharge rate is less than 60%.

What I never liked about the AGM is you actually end up with a battery that has less amp hours compared to its serviceable counter part for twice the cost just to put it inside, also double the weight usually.
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