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Old 05-06-2016, 09:27 PM   #21
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Plug a regular 12v battery charger into the gen and it'll charge it faster. A 15amp will work.
Now you have me curious.

How can a 3 stage 15 amp battery charger be quicker than a 3 stage 55 amp converter ?

Please explain.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:43 PM   #22
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Dollars to donuts the converter charges better and more efficiently then a a plug in unit


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Old 05-07-2016, 12:12 PM   #23
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Can't explain. Can only tell from personal experience while dry camping for several days in the winter that the external charger brings the battery up to full charge quicker than converter only. And seemed to be more charge. Running furnace all night. It lasted longer after external charge. Unless it was due to other reasons? Weak battery? Other draw from RV? Bad converter? I'll try it again next time I dry camp. Maybe someone can explain here.
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:27 PM   #24
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Hello all, I thought about the HF generator until I saw the reviews. I wound up buying the Westinghouse 2000 inverter generator for about $560. It's rated at 2000 continuous and 2200 starting. It's super quiet, only -54 dB. So far I'm loving it! It's great on gas and the power is clean! I understand it's pretty comparable to a Honda, but don't have any owes so experience to justify that. If any other members have the Westinghouse, please chime in and let me know your thoughts.
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Old 05-07-2016, 03:39 PM   #25
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Can't explain. Can only tell from personal experience while dry camping for several days in the winter that the external charger brings the battery up to full charge quicker than converter only. And seemed to be more charge. Running furnace all night. It lasted longer after external charge. Unless it was due to other reasons? Weak battery? Other draw from RV? Bad converter? I'll try it again next time I dry camp. Maybe someone can explain here.
It almost sounds like your converter is just running in absorb or float mode the whole time and not going into boost mode like it should to start with. If that is the case then it would take days to charge the battery.
Maybe run a test in the morning with the converter and check the voltage at the battery terminals. If boost is working then your voltage should be 14.6v to 14.8v
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:36 PM   #26
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Found this about converters. Maybe mine was bad. (Last fiver, not current) It's above my head.

http://rvservices.koa.com/rvinformat...d-amp-draw.asp
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:40 PM   #27
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It almost sounds like your converter is just running in absorb or float mode the whole time and not going into boost mode like it should to start with. If that is the case then it would take days to charge the battery.
Maybe run a test in the morning with the converter and check the voltage at the battery terminals. If boost is working then your voltage should be 14.6v to 14.8v
Thanks. I'll do that. Give me something to do after church.
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:37 PM   #28
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Sounds good, let us know what you discover.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:18 PM   #29
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You are probably back from Yellowstone by now, so this advice is a little late. We boondocked for up to five nights several times on our Alaska trip in 2015. We brought along a Honda 2000i generator, but managed our electricity usage so we never needed it. We used a Little Buddy propane heater at night instead of the furnace and cooked outside over a campstove to avoid using the stove's exhaust fan. We replaced all of our bulbs with LED lights, but mostly used battery lanterns inside. I admit that it stayed light so much that we didn't need the lights much anyway. I was nervous about the propane heater, but a number of bloggers recommended it with the windows cracked open, and it worked great, except for having to get up to change the cylinder once a night. But at my age I have to get up in the middle of the night anyway.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:46 AM   #30
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This is probably after the fact, but I'll comment anyway.

For dry camping/boon docking, reasonable conservation is the best first step. Convert all the lights that are regularly used to LED. Make sure your fridge is not wasting power on the heater strip to prevent condensation. Set the heater thermostat in the 50s and use a blanket/sleeping bag - the heater fan is a big consumer of power. The goal is to get your average daily electrical usage down to 40AH; 30AH would be even better.

The size of your battery bank determines both how many AH are available, and what the maximum charge current will be. Two 12V group 24 batteries are typically 160AH total. With a floor of 50% charge, you have 80AH available. You are also limited to a recharge current of 20-25% of the bank's capacity - 32-40 amps in this case. Most batteries and most converters will not allow you to recharge at 40 amps for even an hour - it will drop off to 20-30 amps (at best) in less than 30 minutes.

You can have more battery capacity, and longer lasting batteries for our application by switching to two 6V golf cart batteries. GC-2s will fit in the same space, but are slightly taller. Costco and Sam's Club sell Interstate golf cart batteries for less than $160 for the pair. They are rated at 232AH, which is a significant increase in capacity over your 160AH of 12V batteries.

Next step is the converter. If you can only recharge at a max of 40 amps, you only need a 45 amp converter, unless you are using lots of 12V stuff while recharging. A 60 amp converter will provide the max charge rate for the golf cart batteries. The converter size really only affects the 1st hour of recharging - but that 1st hour is important if you are depending on limited generator time for recharging.

WFCO converters do not go into bulk charge mode (the high charge rate) until the batteries are quite low, and drop back into absorb mode (13.6V) quite readily, slowing the recharging. Current WFCO documentation does not give the parameters for the mode change-over.

A PD converter will use bulk mode until a 75% charge state is reached, decreasing recharge time to get to 75%. If you have a PD model with the manual over-ride, you can continue bulk mode to 90%. This makes it easier to use a generator to run your batteries between 50% and 90%. On your size battery bank, this will take your batteries back to 90% from 50% (64AH) in about 2 hours run time.

The minimum generator required to recharge the batteries is 700 watts (assumes a 45 amp converter). At Yellowstone, you will see a 25% reduction in generator output from the altitude, so a 900-1000 watt generator would be a better bet.

Hope this helps your planning
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame (replaced WFCO with PD because WFCO would not drop into trickle mode, dual 6V Interstate GC-2)
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