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Old 10-07-2004, 06:03 PM   #1
Scott and Susan Mixon
 
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Voltage Converter or not?

Recently the voltage converter died in our 73 Overlander. I don't understand the need for the coverter? It coverts 110 ac to 12 volt dc and charges the battery, simple enough. But wouldn't a simple $60.00 single bank battery charger from walmart do the same thing? The coach must be plugged in order for the converter or single bank charger to operate either way, and since a new coverter costs about $260 it seems like a waste of money. When the coach is plugged in the single bank charger is continually charging the battery (6amp rate) and keeping it fresh. So why a converter?

Thanks
Scott
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:59 PM   #2
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The Univolt in your coach is designed to operate at, say 20-30 amps continuously, day-in, and day-out for weeks on end. If you tried that with your Wal-mart battery charger, it would be toast in a couple of weeks. Also, most Univolts have at least part of the coach fuse panel mounted on them.

Right now, the Univolt in my coach has been plugged in for three weeks cotinuously, charging both the trailer and tow vehicle batteries, running the lights inside, the water pump, fans, etc. 6 amps just wouldn't cut it.
While you don't HAVE to use the exact same unit that came with your coach, a newer (electronically regulated) Univolt will give you better reliability, less power spikes for longer equipment life, and more power (amperage) output than your Wal-mart charger. It will also lessen the tendency to boil the water out of the batteries while plugged in.
Terry
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:48 AM   #3
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As I understand it, you can use a battery charger if you aware of its limitations. The biggest limitation is what Terry mentioned above and thats its output. I you look at battery chargers with the same amperage, they cost as much as a converter. So it is possible to still run that battery down even though the charger is connected because it does not have the capacity that a converter has.

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Old 10-08-2004, 06:36 PM   #4
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This link, the third page,

http://www.airforums.com/forum...achmentid=8323,

is what I did, it, an Intella power, has been on for a year and one-half and the batterys never need water, I said never. I am very happy with this modification. It is an easy modification to do.
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Old 10-08-2004, 06:39 PM   #5
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A converter will have a cooling fan so it converter will most likely last longer. A battery charger if it's automatic would pulse on and off as the battery reaches full charge. This could cause flicker with your lights because a charger does not have filtering capacitors to give you a clean regulated output like a converter has.
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinsel Loaf
A battery charger if it's automatic would pulse on and off as the battery reaches full charge. This could cause flicker with your lights because a charger does not have filtering capacitors to give you a clean regulated output like a converter has.
Actually the battery itself acts as a very large capacitor/filter, there should only be a minor effect on the lights. With that said, I'd replace your convertor for many of the reasons already mentioned here. The charger might be a fair stop-gap measure until you replace the convertor.
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