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Old 04-03-2014, 12:49 PM   #1
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Converter Wiring

I tracked and charted out the wiring for my converter charger and batteries. I know some people get wiring diagrams, but here is a non-technical diagram including the lengths of the various cables. Why should anyone care? Well, if you want to improve your converter's charging performance, you will be dealing with voltage drops. Here is the stock wiring in my 2014 model 2300.



The converter is rated 55 amps. However it doesn't provide all those amps for battery charging in my experience. More like 20 amps. It's usually doing that at 13.6-13.8 volts. It is supposed to go up to 14.4 for bulk charging, but the programming is such that it never goes there for most users.

So let's look at some voltage loss calculations. There are calculators all over the net. Take these numbers as rough guides, because the negative side of the cabling includes the van chassis as part of the circuit, and those losses are not so bad, at least when the ground connections are good (not corroded).

At 14 volts and 20 amps, the voltage drops by 0.5v by the time it gets to the batteries.
At 40 amps it drops by 1.0v. At 55 amps it drops by 1.25v.

Why do volts matter during charging? Aren't amps what are put back into the battery? Volts are like pressure. If you are trying to fill a tire to 80 lbs, and your air hose is only putting out 85 lbs, you are in for a long wait. OTOH if your air hose is putting out 150 lbs, it goes quickly. If the volts are less than optimum, charging takes longer, sometimes a lot longer. Most stock converters are slow to begin with. Add the effects of long wiring and it becomes quite a bit worse. This is all over the RV industry, not just FR.

So you decide to install a better converter, say a Progressive Dynamics. In my case, if I swap in a PD converter trying to push a true 40-50 amps, I'm going to lose 1.0v or more by the time it gets to the batteries. This is why it matters.

When it warms up I'm going to test the volts and amps of my stock converter on a recharge. Then I'm going to re-do some cables up by the batteries and connect the converter close to the batteries, with larger cables, and test again. It might take me time to get around to it, but I'll post the results. At that point I'll see if I want a new converter as well. But I'm not sticking a better converter at the end of 28' of #6 wire.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:46 PM   #2
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Lol. I was just out in our "mock up" room with the electrical engineering. They were wiring things up in multiple ways and testing charging voltages etc. After about 10 minutes my eyes glossed over (my background is engineering, but more mechanical, structural, plumbing, I never really got into electrical).

They were testing a charge line direct to batteries, the PD converter etc, etc. Obviously things changed dramatically based on the loads that were connected. The LED setup working way more efficiently than the incandescent. Still testing.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:45 PM   #3
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Glad you and FR are always looking to improve things!

For other readers, I should have mentioned in the first post that this mostly matters for charging from a generator. If a person is plugged into shore power it doesn't matter too much at all.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
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We are in the process of upgrading to the 2015 2500TSF. Wondering if there was any Benefit (or) problems upgrading the converter to a 75 Amp 4-Stage Converter/Battery Charger. We plan to setup down the road with the Go Power! Solar Extreme Complete Solar and Inverter System with 480 Watts.
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What amp-size-volt are the stock batteries in this unit? thanks
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:33 PM   #5
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1. depends on the brand. If you search on here for Progressive Dynamics you'll find most people are very happy with them. Those are 4-stage. 75 amps is probably overkill. We just switched to a 60amp PD because that handles our largest power draw unit, a 3170 that can have up to (4) TV's.

2. Group 27 12v batteries.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
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We "were" looking at the "GO POWER" converter/charger. The Progressive Dynamics looks more cost effective. (Any buddies opinion?) Now I see that some are saying to put the new unit closer to the batteries. But these batteries are under the steps inside. Can it be put where the existing unit is and what would be the down side? I was planning on having the dealer install it upon pickup. Is the (Smart charger) 60amp Progressive Dynamics an option for FR and available for the Sunseeker 2500 TS or does it have to be bought after market?
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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"People" are worried about voltage loss. But if you're running solar you should't be all that worried about the convertor...it's only charging the batteries when you're plugged in or running the gen. Even the existing convertor would be fine...your solar system will more than likely handle all the battery charging for the most part.

It is not an "option" from FR. We are switching to the Progressive dynamics across the board. mainly because we were using a 55 amp WFCO which is just barely enough for the 3170 (if everything is on and running). The next step up is a 75 amp, but PD has a 60 amp that would cover us and people seem to like it.

My recommendation would be to worry more about your solar controllers...that will handle the charging. Don't worry about the convertor unless you have an issue, you can always upgrade that later, or run the engine. The alternator charges the batteries too.
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:43 PM   #8
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I have upgraded my batteries and added an additional battery shut off switch near my batteries. The auto house I went to supplied me with 4g wire to wire my battery shut off switch. I chose to wire the positive side. So now I have a 36" section 4g going from my positive on the battery to my my switch. A 48" section of 4g going to the body of my trailer to a solenoid of some sort and a 36" section of 4g going to ground from my battery.



On the other side of the solenoid, I have a section of 8awg going to my inside switch, which then runs to my converter. Should I upgrade this to 4g wire as well? I am looking at eliminating the inside switch as it is not a true shut off.

Sorry for the hi-jack, but... Stick-em up!!!

Wiring from battery to converter
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