RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-20-2018, 01:58 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2017 30' International
longview , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Send a message via Skype™ to rickmc1219
Converter/charger: To Upgrade or Not

I own a 2010 27' Flying Cloud, which came with solar panels, trojan batteries, and a Blue Sky solar controller system. Upon observing the Forum from time to time I have noticed discussions about upgrading the factory converter . Is this a good idea and done for good reason or does the factory unit give trouble, or not perform as well as it should. Enlighten me please!
rickmc1219 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 04:44 PM   #2
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 16,605
Images: 1
Welcome Aboard!! 👍

More info...what brand/model would you be replacing.
Improvements have been made in the last 8-10yrs, enough to warrant replacement. ? 🥴

Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.”
― Molly Ivins


Tahawus
🌤
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 05:26 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Mrjkq's Avatar
 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,024
I think you're referring to the single stage converter/charger that will over charge your batteries when connected to shore power. A multi stage converter eliminates that.
__________________
Joe
Venice, FL
2016 FC 25RTB
TAC FL-47
2018 Nissan Titan XD Cummins Diesel
Mrjkq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 08:40 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 743
Rick,

Good question. Since you have a good solar controller, it's unnecessary to upgrade your single-stage converter IF you simply avoid connecting your converter to your batteries when connected to shore power for an extended period.

I've got the same configuration as you. I also added the temperature compensation sensor to allow the BlueSky controller to adjust the battery voltage as a function of temperature. The trick for long life is to avoid connecting your single-stage converter to your batteries for weeks or months on end. Applying a constant voltage without temperature compensation is what usually causes damage. Normally your BlueSky controller will take care of charging your batteries, but if you leave your trailer in the "Use" position when connected to shore power for extended periods, the battery could be exposed to voltages higher than required from the converter.

I have three years using the original flooded lead-acid batteries with a solar charger that came with my trailer and they're doing fine.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 09:10 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,593
Images: 21
All depends on how you use your Airstream. If you plug into shore power the single stage 8355 or 5355 will indeed overcharge. Same with the new WFCO 8955 an 9855 on the 2018 and newer units. If you only rely on solar, you might get away with your solar controller knowing when to drop back the voltage. I'm surprised you have Trojans. Nothing wrong with them, just thought AS shipped with Interstate and clearly not as good as Trojan IMO but of course they could have been changed already.
__________________
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp, Smartplug, AGM Batts
888-828-1893
Bestconverter.com
68 Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 09:32 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 743
Plugging into shore power is fine, as long as you select “store” to disconnect the batteries. Again, this only applies when connected to shore power for extended periods.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 09:43 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,593
Images: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
Plugging into shore power is fine, as long as you select “store” to disconnect the batteries. Again, this only applies when connected to shore power for extended periods.
Agree but many are reporting the converter is not being disconnected and overcharging. That needs addressed from AS. People with the same make and model are reporting differently.
That said, why in the world would we want the converter to be disconnected from the batteries during long term storage when it's so easy to maintain them with a 4 stage during storage. Solar isn't much help in covered storage.
__________________
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp, Smartplug, AGM Batts
888-828-1893
Bestconverter.com
68 Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 10:15 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 743
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander View Post
Agree but many are reporting the converter is not being disconnected and overcharging. That needs addressed from AS. People with the same make and model are reporting differently.
That said, why in the world would we want the converter to be disconnected from the batteries during long term storage when it's so easy to maintain them with a 4 stage during storage. Solar isn't much help in covered storage.
My advice only applies to the OP or anyone else with a single-stage converter and a competent solar charger. I get enough sunlight to keep my batteries charged in long-term storage even though my trailer is under a tent. If I didn't have solar, I'd swap out my single stage converter for a multi-stage converter or simply add a true disconnect switch to avoid parasitic leakage current during storage.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 11:04 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,593
Images: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
My advice only applies to the OP or anyone else with a single-stage converter and a competent solar charger. I get enough sunlight to keep my batteries charged in long-term storage even though my trailer is under a tent. If I didn't have solar, I'd swap out my single stage converter for a multi-stage converter or simply add a true disconnect switch to avoid parasitic leakage current during storage.
That's awesome Al. I'm surprised how many folks spend that kind of jack on a new Airstream with no way to maintain batteries during storage. Of course many do have the means too with elaborate indoor storage among their other toys. There are many options as you know but never a day goes by when the situation is not different.
__________________
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp, Smartplug, AGM Batts
888-828-1893
Bestconverter.com
68 Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 11:20 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,059
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 55
Hi, my trailer is 13 years old and still has the original charger; I put it on "store" or shut off the charger circuit breaker while parked at home. I have a Battery Tender connected to my trailer. No damage, no failures, I'm not replacing anything.
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 08:42 AM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
2017 30' International
longview , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Send a message via Skype™ to rickmc1219
Thanks for the useful info. Really good info to consider, I'll sort through it and make a few changes. Thanks again guys!
rickmc1219 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 11:51 AM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
Boogieshoes's Avatar
 
2016 30' Classic
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickmc1219 View Post
I own a 2010 27' Flying Cloud, which came with solar panels, trojan batteries, and a Blue Sky solar controller system. Upon observing the Forum from time to time I have noticed discussions about upgrading the factory converter . Is this a good idea and done for good reason or does the factory unit give trouble, or not perform as well as it should. Enlighten me please!
After our 5355 burned up expensive AGMs in our 2016 Classic, I opted to switch to a Boondocker 1260; did the install myself and it appears to be working well. No need to worry about "use" or "store." Do not intend to have to early replace $800 worth of AGMs. Best Converter is the place; will talk to you as needed. Two excellent YouTube videos on installation. If I can do it, anyone can. Good luck.
__________________
_________________________________
Boogieshoes, DH of JudyJudy; AS "Rose"
WBAC 5932Arkansas Razorbacks Unit
2016 F250 KR 6.7 4x4 CC "Tex"
Members, NTAC
Boogieshoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 11:54 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Lebanon , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 250
I take my a number of my batteries out and use a Battery Tender.

But I also replaced my single stage (parallax) with a multi stage converter. BUT...I had to replace the PD4645V converter 2x and probably will have to again. This multi stage converter is supposed to be silent, but after a time both units started to hum. I called Progressive and they said to return it and they will send a replacement, which was done. Still and all if I could identify a better quality unit I would probably switch companies.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 01:29 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
gypsydad's Avatar

 
2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Georgetown (winter)Thayne (summer) , Texas & Wyoming
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,588
Many of us have replaced the single stage converters that came on most all AS's prior to the 2018 model. In 2018 they switched to a 3 stage converter. There are a few 4 stage converters many of us have switched to. I got the Boondocker series for my 50A needs from Randy at Bestconverters.com. Randy is a great resource to talk with for replacement recommendation; he also is a Forum member with an AS. Progressive Dynamics is another popular supplier.

Main thing is I was cooking my batteries, as were many people I know on the Forum, due to the technology of those older converters. These newer 4 stage units have "smart charging" technology so no harm will come of your batteries. You can leave your AS plugged in with these new converters without any concerns for your batteries.

Another item many of us have installed is a manual disconnect switch, so you can totally isolate the batteries off your AS while in longer storage. With these new converters, everything still works thru the converter while plugged in so you can run your fridge or your furnace if needed.

The other consideration is which battery; AGM's, 6V golf cart batteries, or Lithium, but that's another argument...I mean topic!

Replacing the converter is not difficult if you are a little handy...several posts on the Forum including pictures. Randy can also point you to some pictures on their website. Good luck!
__________________
Empty Nesters; Gypsies on the road!
2017 28' Twin Flying Cloud
2017 F250 King Ranch, 4X4, 6.7L, Blue-Ox WDH
Summer-Star Valley Ranch RV Resort (Thayne, WY); Winter-Sun City (Georgetown,TX)
gypsydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 01:57 PM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
1973 31' Sovereign
1978 Argosy 30
1985 31' Excella
Sacramento , California
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 323
best one to change to is the Progressive design PD 9280A....

why so big... because you never can have enough power... grin... it was the best change I made to help save the batteries as well as power up the trailer ... for a few pennies more it will take care of all the needs as well... and...
It comes with a pendent... that you can control the converter with.. so if you want to recharge the bats in a hurry you can toggle it .. otherwise it will reset... and go to a maintenance level... that cycles through the de-sulfer cycle every 20 hours when left alone... otherwise.. it saves the battery... by the 4 stages...

I highly recommend it... as it is much better than the older AS converters that just sit their and cooks the batteries... when on shore power... at a little 45 amp rate...

The company is great too... and comes highly recommended... if you want to change over... can be mounted in any direction.. and is lighter to boot... with the new switching techn. This then doesn't care about the frequency of the supply voltage... and will work from 108 v to 135 volts ac. so when they have a brown out at the rv park.. it still works... putting out its rated voltages at current ... sweet...

If you only do one upgrade.. this would be the one and forget the cheaper converter that AS uses.

the adventure contenues
G.M. WA6CDE
GM Airstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 04:30 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
thewarden's Avatar

 
2016 27' International
Sherwood Park , Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander View Post
All depends on how you use your Airstream. If you plug into shore power the single stage 8355 or 5355 will indeed overcharge.
The 8355 is a 3 stage converter and it will not overcharge your batteries if left plugged in to shore power. That said, there are much better multi stage converter/chargers out there than the Parallax that comes from the factory.
thewarden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 06:09 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,476
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
Many of us have replaced the single stage converters that came on most all AS's prior to the 2018 model. In 2018 they switched to a 3 stage converter. There are a few 4 stage converters many of us have switched to. I got the Boondocker series for my 50A needs from Randy at Bestconverters.com. Randy is a great resource to talk with for replacement recommendation; he also is a Forum member with an AS. Progressive Dynamics is another popular supplier.

Main thing is I was cooking my batteries, as were many people I know on the Forum, due to the technology of those older converters. These newer 4 stage units have "smart charging" technology so no harm will come of your batteries. You can leave your AS plugged in with these new converters without any concerns for your batteries.

Another item many of us have installed is a manual disconnect switch, so you can totally isolate the batteries off your AS while in longer storage. With these new converters, everything still works thru the converter while plugged in so you can run your fridge or your furnace if needed.

The other consideration is which battery; AGM's, 6V golf cart batteries, or Lithium, but that's another argument...I mean topic!

Replacing the converter is not difficult if you are a little handy...several posts on the Forum including pictures. Randy can also point you to some pictures on their website. Good luck!
I don't understand why people are burning up batteries.
I keep our AS connected to shore power with the Use switch on 24/7/365.
During hot days I run the AC and real cold days the Alde.
Stock converter, original batteries no problem.
The only time not on shore power is when we are boondocking.
We are on our third AS and have kept all three connected the same way without any battery issues whatsoever. I keep them clean and check the water level religiously nothing more.
franklyfrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 10:16 PM   #18
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,593
Images: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarden View Post
The 8355 is a 3 stage converter and it will not overcharge your batteries if left plugged in to shore power. That said, there are much better multi stage converter/chargers out there than the Parallax that comes from the factory.
I wish it were true but unfortunately it's not and it will overcharge because the voltage does not change (lower) They will be the first to tell you not to leave the unit on continuously especially during storage. Parallax as recently as the last year or two have attempted to enter the "3-stage" market by introducing what they call 3 current stage charging. While they never changed any charging algorithms anybody can tell, they are saying their units change current values over time or something like that. Problem is the voltage is too high and will in fact boil the batteries. Not a day goes by when we don't get this call about overcharged batteries from the Parallax and older Magneteks, Littion, Univolt, Newmark, etc.
Multi-stage charging by virtually all other manufactures, if not all, refers to varying voltages. Boost, normal, float. Bulk, absorption, storage or what ever you/they want to call it refers to an initial higher voltage for some period of time or percentage, followed by normal every day use value (absorbtion) and then a final float or storage voltage to prevent over charging when the batteries are not being cycled. You can get in the weeds very quick with which voltage are best for each chemistry but most have settled in the 14.4-14.8 boost, 13.4-13-6 absorption, and ~13.2 for float. The 4th stage is often called desulfation which is a periodic jump in voltage, usually to the same boost voltage for a short duration that only happens during the float or storage mode. Iota, Progressive Dynamics and Boondockers for example. Some are even adjustable like the Boondocker CL models.
__________________
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp, Smartplug, AGM Batts
888-828-1893
Bestconverter.com
68 Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2018, 07:36 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
gypsydad's Avatar

 
2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Georgetown (winter)Thayne (summer) , Texas & Wyoming
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
I don't understand why people are burning up batteries.
I keep our AS connected to shore power with the Use switch on 24/7/365.
During hot days I run the AC and real cold days the Alde.
Stock converter, original batteries no problem.
The only time not on shore power is when we are boondocking.
We are on our third AS and have kept all three connected the same way without any battery issues whatsoever. I keep them clean and check the water level religiously nothing more.
Well, frankly, Frank; you should count your blessings! I am on AS #4; first 2 were a few years old and no battery issues; but previous owners had replaced theirs. Then I got a new 25', 2014 model; batteries went after 3 months and I was also using it and leaving it plugged in while at my cabin in MT over the summer...Interstate replaced with a credit and I upgraded to AGM's. No additional problems for 2 years. Then the new 2017' 28; batteries went bad first few weeks...again, Interstate replaced, and those went bad 5 months later...Friend got a new 23'D same year; his went bad in 2 months while visiting us in MT....Interstate replaced and those went bad after another month...AS service in Fairfield, CA replaced his converter; he upgraded to a Progressive Dynamics model and also upgraded to Trojan 6V's. I did the same but installed the Boondocker 4 stage and the 6v Trojans with mechanical disconnect switch last summer..no issues since.
__________________
Empty Nesters; Gypsies on the road!
2017 28' Twin Flying Cloud
2017 F250 King Ranch, 4X4, 6.7L, Blue-Ox WDH
Summer-Star Valley Ranch RV Resort (Thayne, WY); Winter-Sun City (Georgetown,TX)
gypsydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2018, 04:30 AM   #20
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Lebanon , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 250
I forgot to mention, my OEM converter was a single stage and burned up my batteries while plugged in during my down time while at home. Took me 2 or three batteries before I realized it was the single stage cooking my batteries. Once I went to multi stage no more dead batteries. Now use Optimas Blue Top and the Progressive Dynamics PD4645V converter.

My batteries, on all my vehicles, are clean and well maintained.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Relocation / upgrade of 1982 converter/charger Cindy Picton Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 0 12-06-2018 07:21 PM
Charger converter fan not stopping Jukeboxfun Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 32 04-12-2016 08:32 PM
Converter/Charger vs. Inverter/Charger moosetags Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 5 11-22-2013 11:21 PM
Progressive Dynamics Intelli-Power 4600 charger upgrade module rodsterinfl Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 1 09-05-2013 06:57 AM
Adding charger where no charger has gone before Jabba Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 4 03-08-2003 10:39 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.