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Old 09-05-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
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Switch position with new converter/charger

I have a 2014 30' Flying Cloud and its about that time to change the batteries.

My two choices are:

1. Replace old batteries with new Interstate G24 batteries for about $80 a piece and call it a day. ($160 total)

2. Replace the OEM converter/charger with a Progressive Dynamics PD4655V converter and two AGM batteries for a total expense of $500-600.

To be quite honest given my usage patterns, option 1 looks like the most likely route.

But, I have a question. If I go to route 2, what happens to the USE/STORE button I currently use? Does is become obsolete? Do I need to leave it on one position or the other?
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStreamer View Post
I have a 2014 30' Flying Cloud and its about that time to change the batteries.

My two choices are:

1. Replace old batteries with new Interstate G24 batteries for about $80 a piece and call it a day. ($160 total)

2. Replace the OEM converter/charger with a Progressive Dynamics PD4655V converter and two AGM batteries for a total expense of $500-600.

To be quite honest given my usage patterns, option 1 looks like the most likely route.

But, I have a question. If I go to route 2, what happens to the USE/STORE button I currently use? Does is become obsolete? Do I need to leave it on one position or the other?
I believe the 4655 replaces only the converter part of your current power center and is wired in to it just as your existing converter is. The USE/STORE switch operation is unchanged. You can confirm this with your selected vendor. Many on here have reported good results from Randy at Best Converter.

The two decisions to replace batteries and converter are separable. Just because you change the converter, you don't have to go to AGMs. Look at the costs and benefits of each change and decide.

The claimed advantage of the PD series of converters is they are smart chargers which can bring your batteries to a high state of charge more quickly but will not overcharge them if left on indefinitely. I replaced the Parallax converter in my Safari 25 with a PD 9260 but only owned it for two years. For the first year, I kept it at home pretty much continuously plugged in to shore power with no issues. After that, I stored it without shore power connected so I can't comment on the longevity of batteries left on charge for extended periods.

Al
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:00 PM   #3
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A correction to my initial post. Rather than a PD4655, I think I need a PD9260 since I have a 50amp setup, and the PD9260 is a direct replacement for my setup. It's also around $200, so the cost for this option remains the same. Just didn't want that error to pop up in someone's search and ruin their day...
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:40 PM   #4
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The return on investment in upgrading your batteries completely depends on your usage. If you spend more than 1 day off-grid, often, then your camping (um 'glamping') experience will be better with more energy storage and long-term capacity retention (i.e. high quality AGMs aka lifelines).

You would use the stock battery disconnect in the same manner you use it today. Note that even in the "off / disconnect" position the wiring of a 2014 will still present a draw on your batteries while in storage mode - this draw comes from the LP detector and inverter, which are hardwired and bypass the stock disconnect switch.

If you spend the $$$ to upgrade to AGMs (or frankly even if you don't) add $30 into your budget and also install a proper marine-grade manual battery disconnect switch in the battery box to truly isolate the batteries from the coach, and protect your investment (your batteries will be drawn down to <11v in 2-3 weeks of storage using the standard disconnect switch, which allows for a constant draw from the LP detector, and will permanently affect the battery's ability to store a charge)

More info on manual disconnect can be found in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f542...-168120-3.html

...and wiring diagrams below depending on the switch you install.....
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:14 AM   #5
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3rd option to consider:
I installed AGM batteries, but left the original converter/charger.
It has worked out fine for 1 1/2 years so far.
The use/store switch will still serve the same purpose if you upgrade batteries and charger.
I was considering upgrading to a multi-stage charger, but never got around to it.
Maybe next time.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:44 AM   #6
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While the AGMs are around 2x the cost of lead/acids, they also should last around 2x (or more) longer (and are also sealed, so they are safer & don't require refilling).
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:03 AM   #7
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I have installed AGM batteries in my 1999 Nissan Pathfinder, 2007 Toyota Tundra, and my 2013 Airstream Classic 30.
My initial reason for wanting AGM batteries was for the extra reserve capacity for high powered aftermarket custom stereo systems.
AGM batteries have more drain and recharge cycles than flooded cell batteries- longer life.
Then I noticed there is no longer any corrosion on the cable ends or terminals.
That is huge.
I will probably only buy AGM (or lithium) batteries from now on.
The brake light switch on the Pathfinder was broken while we were away camping one weekend. The battery was completely drained. I was able to charge the battery by first hooking the dead battery to a good battery with booster cables and then attaching the battery charger. That was back in May or June and the battery is still holding a charge. If I had just gone by the auto parts store assessment of "the battery is no good" or " the battery won't charge" I would have bought a new battery. I'm glad i tried this little trick.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I believe the 4655 replaces only the converter part of your current power center and is wired in to it just as your existing converter is. The USE/STORE switch operation is unchanged. You can confirm this with your selected vendor. Many on here have reported good results from Randy at Best Converter.

The two decisions to replace batteries and converter are separable. Just because you change the converter, you don't have to go to AGMs. Look at the costs and benefits of each change and decide.

The claimed advantage of the PD series of converters is they are smart chargers which can bring your batteries to a high state of charge more quickly but will not overcharge them if left on indefinitely. I replaced the Parallax converter in my Safari 25 with a PD 9260 but only owned it for two years. For the first year, I kept it at home pretty much continuously plugged in to shore power with no issues. After that, I stored it without shore power connected so I can't comment on the longevity of batteries left on charge for extended periods.

Al
Just as an additional piece of information on this subject for your consideration. I keep our AS connected to shore power 24/7/365 except when on the road or some minimal boondocking.
The previous 30' had 4 years on the original Interstate batteries and had the original Parallax converter. All I do is monitor the batteries for fluid and keep them clean.
I considered AGM but could not justify the need. Especially since our boondocking sessions are mostly 3 or 4 days max. That is all my wife is willing to "suffer".
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
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Batts

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I have installed AGM batteries in my 1999 Nissan Pathfinder, 2007 Toyota Tundra, and my 2013 Airstream Classic 30.
My initial reason for wanting AGM batteries was for the extra reserve capacity for high powered aftermarket custom stereo systems.
AGM batteries have more drain and recharge cycles than flooded cell batteries- longer life.
Then I noticed there is no longer any corrosion on the cable ends or terminals.
That is huge.
I will probably only buy AGM (or lithium) batteries from now on.
The brake light switch on the Pathfinder was broken while we were away camping one weekend. The battery was completely drained. I was able to charge the battery by first hooking the dead battery to a good battery with booster cables and then attaching the battery charger. That was back in May or June and the battery is still holding a charge. If I had just gone by the auto parts store assessment of "the battery is no good" or " the battery won't charge" I would have bought a new battery. I'm glad i tried this little trick.
Yes, AGM's for the win! They are excellent.
I had to finally replace the original batteries in the D-Ram back in May of this year. Went with NAPA Legends AGMs and havn't looked back. New one in the 98 Jeep also. AS will get them next year.
Stay safe out there ,
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