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Old 12-21-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
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Need advice on installing a new converter

Hello out there. I am a new member and a new owner of a 1970 Sovereign. While I do have electric power (I am connected to my house) for both the 120AC and the 12V DC, from what I have read, I would be wise to replace the univolt with a new converter. Can anyone direct me to a place where I can find out what converter to purchase and the step by step instructions for doing this? I have been searching the forum and getting bits and pieces of info but am looking for more comprehensive advice. Thanks! Bill
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:15 PM   #2
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Contact these folks. I, for the life of me, have forgotten his name....someone else help. EDIT: Randy is who you want at BestConverter.com

They are most helpful.

BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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This is a thread on my swap-out.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ade-70932.html
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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I just bought a converter from randy at bestconverter few weeks ago. Great guy, very helpful.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Ditto on bestconverter. Randy will walk you through it.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:30 AM   #6
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Yes, Randy @ bestconverter.com does a great job out here in the west - I've bought a couple of C/Cs from him...

Closer to you in the East is RV Parts, RV Accessories RV Supplies Priced Low - they have all kinds of stuff for an RV, including a big selection of converter/chargers at what appear to be good prices...they have weekly specials that I've taken advantage of, and they ship promptly, etc...
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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Need advice on Parallax 7300 converter replacement

I know next to nothing about converters, except that I understand the advantage of a "smart" converter (as I understand it, one that will sense the level of battery depletion and deliver an accelerated charge, if the depletion is significant). My current converter is a Parallax 7300 series that came with my '07 Bambi (19').
My power usage: We almost exclusively dry camp. I now rely on two 55 watt solar panels joined with a charge controller to keep my onboard batteries topped off, and a 1500 watt inverter for those occasions when I need alternating current. My interior and exterior (patio and step) lights are led. I don't run any appliances except the occasional laptop computer, and recharging computer and/or phones. Although I have a 2000 watt Honda generator as a backup, I'm probably going to replace it with a 1000 watt model (since I only need it to top off the batteries on days and/or locations with little sun, and I would appreciate the lighter weight of the 1000 watter!) In view of this info, what would be an appropriate replacement for the 7300 Parallax?
For extra credit, any opinions on Yamaha vs Honda as a replacement 1000 watt generator?
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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Look for a thread by "lucymcdog". She has installed converters in 2 different trailers. When she started she knew nothing about the electrical system in an Airstream. Be prepared for a long read.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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I have always liked Progressive Dynamics 92xx series 3 stage converter chargers. If you go to a Honda 1000 watt generator, be aware that you may not use a PD 92xx larger than a 45 amp one, so it would be a 9245. The VA rating of the 9245 is under the VA rating of the Honda, but the next in the series, the 9260 takes more VA than the Honda 1000 will deliver. This is from actual experience with both units, the PD's and the Honda 1000.

If you use a 9245 you should be just fine, both in battery charging capacity and capacity of the Honda. I have no direct experience with the Yahama, but I believe it would behave about the same as the Honda.

I stress you need to consider the VA rating of the converter/charger and the VA rating of the generator. Usually we think of VA as equal to Watts, but in fact there is a sneaky little thing called Power Factor which mostly can be ignored on grid power, but cannot be ignored on inverter generators. Trust me here, it is a bit complex to explain, but a real issue in the field.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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Power Factor is not an issue with single phase equipment. It only comes into play in multiple phase application. However, since you are dealing with alternating current and voltage which is produced with a sinusoidal sign wave the end result is not "true power" as it would be in a DC circuit. The term "apparent power" used to define the power in an AC circuit. "true power" is measured in "watts"; " apparent power" is measured in VA or volt/amps.
Just more useless information.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #11
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OK, I had two semesters of electrical engineering in college but I have never heard of "power factor."

I have a PD4500 power station with the 60amp converter charger so that I can convert my 34 footer from 30amp to 50amp (though I'm not quite sure why it's called a 60amp...).

At any rate, will my Honda EU2000i be OK to recharge the batteries on this?

Maybe what I have is the 45XX series powerstation with the 9260 converter?

I thought I was OK here. Please help!!
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:06 PM   #12
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Has anyone had any experience with the PowerMax PM3B-45 (45 Amp 3-Stage Converter Charger)? It's featured on Bestconverter.com, and is covered by a 3-yr warranty:

http://www.bestconverter.com/PowerMa...ger_p_412.html
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:31 AM   #13
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Jim Golden:
Look up the specs on your generator. It will tell you what the continuous load and the peak load ratings are. The 60 amp 12 volt converter will produce 720 watts of power. 60 x 12 = 720.
This stipulates the maximum load the converter can handle on the DC side of the converter. When the converter is at maximum load the current required on the 120 volt AC side of the converter will be 6 amps. 720 divided by 120 = 6. Since the converter is not 100% efficient the actual load on the AC side will probably be a little over 8 amps. Which translates to about 960 volt amps of power.
I doubt seriously that you will ever have the need to draw the full load from the 60 amp converter. Unless you add a lot of DC equipment to the trailer.
I am confused as to why you want to increase the AC side of the electrical from 30 to 50 amp. Are you adding a second air conditioner? Unless you have made or are planning to make significant changes to the 120 volt system. A 30 amp service will be more than adequate.
While the term watt or watts is commonly used to define power there is a big string attached. Watt is a term used to define power in a DC circuit. In a pure DC circuit to be more accurate.
The terminology that defines power in an AC circuit is volt/amps.
If you were to connect a 1,000 watt DC power source to a heating element it would produce about 30% more heat than an AC source rated at 1,000 volt/ amps.
AC generators should be and in industrial applications are rated in KVA terms (kilo/volt/ amps) or ( thousand/ volt/ amps) why the manufactures of small generators call out the capacity in watts is beyond me. When they call out the peak capacity of a generator at 2,000 amps and then deface its capacity to the "continuous" rating which is about 80% of the peak. That is the actual power rating of the generator.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie
Jim Golden:
Look up the specs on your generator. It will tell you what the continuous load and the peak load ratings are. The 60 amp 12 volt converter will produce 720 watts of power. 60 x 12 = 720.
This stipulates the maximum load the converter can handle on the DC side of the converter. When the converter is at maximum load the current required on the 120 volt AC side of the converter will be 6 amps. 720 divided by 120 = 6. Since the converter is not 100% efficient the actual load on the AC side will probably be a little over 8 amps. Which translates to about 960 volt amps of power.
I doubt seriously that you will ever have the need to draw the full load from the 60 amp converter. Unless you add a lot of DC equipment to the trailer.
I am confused as to why you want to increase the AC side of the electrical from 30 to 50 amp. Are you adding a second air conditioner? Unless you have made or are planning to make significant changes to the 120 volt system. A 30 amp service will be more than adequate.
While the term watt or watts is commonly used to define power there is a big string attached. Watt is a term used to define power in a DC circuit. In a pure DC circuit to be more accurate.
The terminology that defines power in an AC circuit is volt/amps.
If you were to connect a 1,000 watt DC power source to a heating element it would produce about 30% more heat than an AC source rated at 1,000 volt/ amps.
AC generators should be and in industrial applications are rated in KVA terms (kilo/volt/ amps) or ( thousand/ volt/ amps) why the manufactures of small generators call out the capacity in watts is beyond me. When they call out the peak capacity of a generator at 2,000 amps and then deface its capacity to the "continuous" rating which is about 80% of the peak. That is the actual power rating of the generator.
I meant to say derate not deface
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:36 AM   #15
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I meant to say derate not deface.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD View Post
Has anyone had any experience with the PowerMax PM3B-45 (45 Amp 3-Stage Converter Charger)? It's featured on Bestconverter.com, and is covered by a 3-yr warranty:

PowerMax PM3B-45 (45 Amp 3-Stage Converter Charger)
Jerry,

Have had very good luck with this from Best Converter.

You can depend on Randy for appropriate recommendations.

Bob
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD View Post
Has anyone had any experience with the PowerMax PM3B-45 (45 Amp 3-Stage Converter Charger)? It's featured on Bestconverter.com, and is covered by a 3-yr warranty:

PowerMax PM3B-45 (45 Amp 3-Stage Converter Charger)
Have my PowerMax sitting inside motorhome, will be installing it today hopefully. Univolt is not operating at full power any longer, figure 23 years is fine, especially when I have no idea what kind of history my rig has had.
I'll post here when I have installation complete.
And, from all that I've read, plus this unit was HIGHLY recommended by a member of the forum.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:22 AM   #18
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Celo, NC

Thanks for all the help and encouragement. I may end up learning something about electricity as a result. Bill
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:22 PM   #19
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Anyone have experience with this?

Just heard back from Randy at BestConverters.com. Here's his recommendation:
"The 3 stage upgrade kits are the most popular for sure, they will give you much better charging profile and faster as well. The problem is the 55 amp unit will not run from a 1000 watt generator so you will need to either keep the 2000, or downsize the converter to the 45 or maybe even the 35. You should still be okay but will just take a little longer to charge your batteries. Minutes not hours."
Here are some links.
Magnetek/Parallax 6300/7300 Upgrade Kit
4600 series Upgrade Kits

Anyone use these units? I'll probably end up getting the 45 amp unit, and downsize my generator to 1000 watts (my back will thank me!).
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:51 PM   #20
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Jerry,

Don't know anything about the P-lax with the up-grade kit.
But I had to replace the 7455 P-lax in the Classic, no float mode.

Bob
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