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Old 09-18-2015, 03:01 AM   #1
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Converter Question

Been doing a lot of research on my electrical system and I have a couple of questions. Again, I have a 2015 FR Wildwood 181. It's in the shop this week for some mostly cosmetic fixes, while it's there I've been reading about adding an 80 watt solar panel. It seem, one of the week points with our units is the stock converter. In looking at replacements... so my first question is what is the difference between a 30 amp converter and a 60 amp converter. My thought is one for my 30 amp trailer and one for a bigger unit, is it that simple? My other question is I've seen a 7-pin adapter that connects between solar panel that rests on the ground and the TT. It seems like a convenient way connect the two, any bad side, and last, Go Power also sells a 30 foot extension for the solar array, my understanding is that using an extension would loose effectiveness. (I'm not exactly sure if it's current or amps or volts but it's not good)
Any thoughts......again Thanks in advance
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:39 AM   #2
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The difference between a 30 amp convertor and 60 amp is exactly that. one will charge at 30 amps the other at 60 amps. I would go for the 60 amp less time to charge your batteries. I prefer the progressive brand being it's 4 stage and not 3 like WFCO. As far as adding 30' to your solar panel the longer the run you lose both volts and amps. Unless it is sized correctly. The solar Company should be able to give you the efficiency drop.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:29 AM   #3
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A converter takes 120 volt AC and converts it to 12 volt DC, to power the 12 volt DC things in your RV. The size of the converter is rated like 30 or 60 amps in your question, is the maximum output/charge rate of the converter in 12 volt DC amps (not to be confused with 120 volt AC amps)

A 30 amp converter would output/charge at a 12volt DC rate of 30 amps and could provide power to or charge the battery at the maximum for 30 amps of stuff. A 60 amp accordingly would power twice as much.

Here is a good article from Mark Polk that may help.

http://rveducation101.com/articles/RVConverters.pdf
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:14 PM   #4
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Thanks

I just called the dealership, they have my TT in for warranty. We discussed what converters do and I asked the service manager what kind of converter I have and he said, "I don't know". We discussed what good, newer ones did and old inexpensive ones did. He asked me what year my TT was and I said 2015. He said it must be a good one and I should find it. It might be in a couple of different places but good luck. I told him, he had my TT so why didn't he find it and tell me what I have so I can decide if it needs replacement or maybe it will suffice for a while. He agreed and said they would call me when they had more information...
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Not really sure why you would want to replace a converter that is working just because some people have has issues. mine is 4 years old and I have not had a problem. With the solar panel you need to make sure you have a solar controller for a panel that big. If you hookup an 80 watt panel to your batteries directly you will over charge them. You should have the controller as close to the battery as you can, if the controller is 30 feet away(mounted to the panel) it will not read the battery voltage correctly.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:44 PM   #6
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The reason for my concern is that older converters, blasted the battery and boiled out the water. Newer, smart converters have 3 stage battery chargers that massage your batteries (for lack of a better word). It seems that typically the less expensive is installed and it can ruin my batteries. (I upgraded to two 6 volt with 210 am hr.)
Thank you about the controller info, The controller is installed on the back of the panel. The panel comes with 10 foot cable to connect to your TT, or they offer the 30 ft. extension. Better placement would be the only advantage. Thanks again for your help
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:58 PM   #7
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My battery is from 2006 so I guess my converter is a better one.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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I guess my question then is how often to you check your batteries. Either with a Volt meter or check/add the water. Every couple of weeks, once a month, twice a year, I'm just trying to better understand how much maintenance I need to insure long life. I enjoy the attention, I don't have a schedule anymore, so my TT is my schedule.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:21 PM   #9
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I don't add water very often, a couple of times since I have had them. I don't let them get very low. They keep the trailer going over night and then the solar panels charge them the next day. There are down about 10% according to my battery minder. I check the voltage often as my BEP display allows me to monitor the voltage, current (charging and discharging), amp hours left and % battery left. I have the trailer plugged in when at home and I have a battery disconnect for when it is in storage. Over the winter I have the battery it in my garage (does not go below freezing) and I put it on a 4 stage battery charger every couple of months.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:56 PM   #10
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The dealer called and told me the work on my TT was complete and they, would not be able to investigate what type/kind/size converter is. I'm not supposed to get it back until Wed, or Thurs. next week so I asked to pick it up early. They told me I couldn't because they were waiting for paperwork/authorization from the manufacture. I think, they just didn't want to start digging around. They told me, a couple of places to look after I got it back next week and they would then tell me what I had. Well, I can do a search on the brand of converter so ....... exploring I must go....
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