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Old 12-28-2014, 05:44 AM   #1
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Inverter charger in 2013 Solera.

Does the charging system have enough power to get 2 deep cycle 6 volt batteries to a full charge. My system seems only able to charge to 13.5 and my cells keep dying. Battery specialist says the system needs to charge to at least 14.. Thinks I need a stronger charger. Since I bought the system with the 12 volt batteries never seen it charge past 13.5


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Old 12-28-2014, 06:07 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, that's pretty typical of most stock converter/chargers and wiring. If most of your camping is on shore power and seasonal, and you're just looking to improve the efficiency of your current charging system, the first step should be to check the output voltage directly at the converter. A $10 multimeter should do the trick (if you don't currently have one).

More than likely, your converter/charger is outputting 14-14.4v. If that is they case, then you're probably just looking at an under gauge wiring issue. Doing a quick internet search for "ampacity awg chart" should provide you with the information you need.

The issue being that D/C output voltage drops over distance.. depending on the size of wire it is traveling through. So while your converter/charge may be providing the voltage for a semi decent charge.. it's not all getting to your batteries.

So in the chart.. what you are looking for is the total physical distance (doubled) that the current must travel to your batteries. In the chart, it will tell you the minimum wire gauge required to deliver the full output from your converter/charger. Albiet, in D/C wiring.. bigger is always better. If you can afford to bump it up a gauge or two I would certainly recommend it. You also want to be conscientious of the types and size of connectors you are using in your charging loop.

This would be the least expensive way to take better advantage of your nice little 6v'rs you've got there.

In a nutshell.. it does not matter how good of a charger you plug in... if the juice can't get to your batteries then it is all for naught.

If you rely on your batteries for dry camping situations.. that is a WHOLE nuther animal.

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Old 12-28-2014, 06:12 AM   #3
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Goo information, thanks


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Old 12-28-2014, 06:13 AM   #4
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I mean good information


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Old 12-28-2014, 06:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dish View Post
I mean good information.
All that being said... you will never get the full performance out of your 6'rs from a stock converter/charger, but you should see a significant improvement (probably in the 40-60% range) in available amp hours, and will greatly increase the life of your cells.

From there it starts to get pricey.

Cheers on ya, and welcome to the forums.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:07 AM   #6
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What model inverter/converter do you have now? I'm not too familiar with the inverter/converter combo units ( inverters convert DC to AC, converters go from AC to DC). I can recommend a good standalone AC-DC converter if that's maybe what you are speaking of. Look at the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series converters. I replaced our stock single stage converter with the 9200 60amp model. They are a smart 4-stage chager. I now just plug in my coach while in storage and forget it. Batteries don't over charge or under charge any more.

My house batteries would previously only last about a year +-. I'm going on the 3rd year since putting in the 9200 converter... Battery is almost like new still and water consumption is practly zip.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #7
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Put a 100 wate solar panel and controller fro Amazon on your trailer, it will keep the batteries at 14.2
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Old 12-28-2014, 06:15 PM   #8
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The MAXIMUM charging size recommended for a 220 amp hour pair of 6V is not more than 50 amps...I believe the current Solera's come with about 65amp charging. It won't hurt the new batt's ...they just won't be able to use more than 50 amps from the converter.
You CANNOT measure charging amps with a $10 multimeter. You need a clamp meter with a DC amp reading capability.
You should leave your coach unplugged and 12v item ON until you can read less than 12.5 Volts at the battery lead terminals then proceed to plug in and charge the batteries.
The battery VOLTAGE should rise either quickly or in the first couple of hours to over 14V. This means you charger is working properly. Next CLAMP and read the red power lead to the battery... you should be seeing at least 20amps if the voltage is over 14.
If not...it may be a wiring size, length issue as someone said above.

This is the kind of meter you need ...they will run at LEAST $50 bucks...beware of those with clamps for less...they probably ONLY read AC amps...not DC.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by funfinder5 View Post
What model inverter/converter do you have now? I'm not too familiar with the inverter/converter combo units ( inverters convert DC to AC, converters go from AC to DC). I can recommend a good standalone AC-DC converter if that's maybe what you are speaking of. Look at the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series converters. I replaced our stock single stage converter with the 9200 60 amp model. They are a smart 4-stage chager. I now just plug in my coach while in storage and forget it. Batteries don't over charge or under charge any more.

My house batteries would previously only last about a year +-. I'm going on the 3rd year since putting in the 9200 converter... Battery is almost like new still and water consumption is practly zip.
I can wholeheartedly endorse the Progressive Dynamics products. I had a 9160 model with Charge Wizard in my older camper with 2 6v batteries and it worked great for 8 years. On our new 2013 Flagstaff I immediately installed a 9245 and it too works great. The WFCO supplied by FR just doesn't put out like it should. On a factory tour, I questioned our guide about supplying better converter/chargers. He responded that there are better ones, but the small converter/charger manufacturers can not make enough to supply the number of trailers FR makes. So we all suffer.

I also installed a Trimetric Meter Battery Monitor (TM-2020) with shunt that lets me monitor every ampere in/out of the battery to the .01 Amp. You can see the display showing the change between the various charging stages - watch the voltage increase to 14.4v, drop to 13.6, then 13.2, and the charge amp drop back to .01 on the display. The PD-9245 will start out with a full 45 Amp charge and taper back. It will take a full two days to fully charge one group 27 12v battery from a 50% discharge to full capacity. Every 18 hours, the Progressive Dynamics charger converter will wake up and charge at a full 14.4 volts for 15 minutes and then go back to 13.2 volts - a desulfation mode. It can not do a 15 volt true desulfation mode as that would risk connected 12v equipment.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:15 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=DickiedooFlagman;756237] On a factory tour, I questioned our guide about supplying better converter/chargers. He responded that there are better ones, but the small converter/charger manufacturers can not make enough to supply the number of trailers FR makes. So we all suffer.

Our 2013 5th wheel came with a PD 9270. I don't know what makes them decide what brand converters go in what RV's. PD makes quite a few different models. You would think that they could install different sized converters depending on RV model. Jerry.
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