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Old 02-26-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
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Charger/Converter

Now that we have the Trimetric battery meter installed I have been able to confirm what I had suspected all along about the converter/charger (Parallax 7465) on our Georgetown. That is that it is a worthless piece of crap.

The meter confirms that it will only put out a maximum of 13.6 volts. Although it will taper down to just milliamps for storage it will never fully charge the batteries let alone equalize them which is necessary for long battery life.

In order to equalize and or fully charge the batteries a charger MUST be able to supply 14.4 volts to the bank. If it does not then you are just cooking your batteries and lessening their life span.

The search is now underway for a good battery charger/converter.

If you always use hookups in a park then this is of little concern for you but if you are like us and dry camp a lot then it is of vital importance.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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Parallax seems to have a different point of view... I don't dry camp much at all, so I'm sticking with the stock gear.

I guess it comes down to the batteries that you've got and what the manufacture says they need to stay happy.

http://www.parallaxpower.com/ESM%20f...ry%20Charging?
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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Parallax seems to have a different point of view... I don't dry camp much at all, so I'm sticking with the stock gear.

I guess it comes down to the batteries that you've got and what the manufacture says they need to stay happy.

http://www.parallaxpower.com/ESM%20f...ry%20Charging?
Seems that Parallax is trying to justify their crappy product on their site. Most other soruces I have found state that your batteries MUST be equalized from time to time in order to keep them healthy and to provide full charge, this requires a voltage of at least 14.4 volts to do this. On most battery system monitors like the Trimetric they will not conisider the batteries to be fully charged untill they see a voltage of 14.4 volts, which the Parallax will never provide.

If you have a Parallax with the timer option, ie. the model number has a "T" at the end of it then it does provide the higher charge voltage for a period of 13 hours before it drops the voltage to a float level.

Even my solar charge controller puts out 14.4 volts so I don't trust Parallax and their propaganda.

Again if you don't dry camp it's not a big issue, however most other information available states that your batteries will not last as long if they are not given an equalization charge periodically. The Parallax will not do this.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:22 PM   #4
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Even my solar charge controller puts out 14.4 volts so I don't trust Parallax and their propaganda.

Again if you don't dry camp it's not a big issue, however most other information available states that your batteries will not last as long if they are not given an equalization charge periodically. The Parallax will not do this.
The best option would be for Forest River to offer an option to upgrade the device for folks that will dry camp. I can understand why this model is a good base model, but it sucks to pay for it and then have to upgrade.

Hopefully you can get a few bucks for it on eBay or Craigslist.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:23 PM   #5
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That's one of the many features on my Xantrex RS3000 Inverter / Charger. It is 3 stage charger with the battery monitor and thermostat attached to the battery so it charges properly each time. The equalization is a manual procedure that I generally do about every 45 days. I just wait for a nice day, open the door, remove the step cover over the batteries and let it go. I'm usually doing something else out there so I keep an eye on it.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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Converter/charger

This is a great thread for everyone to read. There seems to be a lot of misinformation on proper battery charging going around. I have three solar panels with a charge controller made by AM Solar. Their charge controllers have the three stage battery charger with temperature sensor. If you check their website; they have a great explanation on 12 volt batteries and how they should be charged. It is written in easy to understand terms and would be a great help to newbies.
This summer at a bike rally I had two high end motorhomes parked on each side of me. Their were no hookups; and, after the first day the owners were frantic as their fridges weren't working. They had no idea what was going on. I took out my voltmeter and found that out of their 2- 12 volt batteries only 10 volt was showing for each. They couldn't understand why their batteries would be bad when they kept them plugged in all the time and their motorhomes were only 2 years old. One set of batteries was completely dry; (not a drop of electrolyte left).
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:58 PM   #7
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This is a great thread for everyone to read. There seems to be a lot of misinformation on proper battery charging going around. I have three solar panels with a charge controller made by AM Solar. Their charge controllers have the three stage battery charger with temperature sensor. If you check their website; they have a great explanation on 12 volt batteries and how they should be charged. It is written in easy to understand terms and would be a great help to newbies.
This summer at a bike rally I had two high end motorhomes parked on each side of me. Their were no hookups; and, after the first day the owners were frantic as their fridges weren't working. They had no idea what was going on. I took out my voltmeter and found that out of their 2- 12 volt batteries only 10 volt was showing for each. They couldn't understand why their batteries would be bad when they kept them plugged in all the time and their motorhomes were only 2 years old. One set of batteries was completely dry; (not a drop of electrolyte left).
Wow, not surprising to me as many RV owners don't understand it a whole lot. I have found converter/chargers that can replace the Parallax made my WFCO and Xantrex that are true 3 stage charger with proper voltages for right around $200. I can't think that FR can be saving that much money by using the Parallax converters at this price stage.

Will be buying something different very soon.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:05 AM   #8
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Wow, not surprising to me as many RV owners don't understand it a whole lot. I have found converter/chargers that can replace the Parallax made my WFCO and Xantrex that are true 3 stage charger with proper voltages for right around $200. I can't think that FR can be saving that much money by using the Parallax converters at this price stage.

Will be buying something different very soon.
Times like these are when I take deep breaths and say "I paid $50K+ less than others so that I could upgrade what is important to me." over and over until I find my happy place. Then I say "Honey where is the Mastercard?"
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:49 AM   #9
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Before anyone goes out and replaces the RV converter, it would seem logical to determine what the batteries require, as identified by the battery manufacture, not some voltage target that the converter manufacture indicates that it can provide.
Also just as important as voltage ( maybe even more important) is the specific gravity of each individual cell.
By the way, according to the Trojan Batteriy site a fully charged battery will have an open circuit voltage of 12.73 and a specific gravity of 1.277.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:00 AM   #10
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By the way, according to the Trojan Batteriy site a fully charged battery will have an open circuit voltage of 12.73 and a specific gravity of 1.277.
Yes this is true, but to properly equalize your bank and provide for longer battery life it requires between 14.4 and 15 volts from time to time. This is true of all wet cell batteries regardless of manufacturer. A converter that cannot do this is not right for the job if you are worried about battery longevity.

Curently I am seeing really good feedback from owners who have changed their conveters over to WFCO brand. Also looking at PDI with the Charge Wizard. Will be contacting Best Converters in the morning to ask more questions.
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