Battery Boiler Blues
Now that I have my rebuild project dry, I am working
on the interior. Found fridge, furnace, and stove working
properly. Have installed LED lighting and now looking
at replacing the old style Magnatek "battery boiler"
Converter-Charger with a modern PD three stage charger
with BOOST mode. About 90%+ of my camping will be on
family land about 300 miles from home - almost 20 acres
of pine forest with NO utilities. So I want to replace the
ratty little battery that I have used for testing with
a pair of Golf Cart batteries. Knowing that, I thought
that replacing the Magnatek 45A unit with the PD 60A unit
would be wise. That led me to look at the gauge of the
wiring from the battery to the DC distribution panel.
It looks to be #8 or #10 gauge - too small. But then
lightning struck and I remembered that my first problem
(the one that brought me to this forum) with the TT was
lack of DC power inboard. With the help of a neighbor's
son we found and replaced a defective 30A auto-reset
??30AMPS?? Yipe, with a 30A limit to both the GoesOutta
current and the GoesInna current, even the PD 45A
Converter-Charger will not work in BOOST mode! The
auto-reset breaker will be constantly cycling open/closed
till it reaches an early death. Oh Rats!....
What to do; what to do.
It seems like I have three options.
1) Do nothing, run the genset all day long - every
day - and learn to check the battery water level
This is NOT a viable option to be used only if
the good lord is not willing and the creek does
2) Leave things as is, buy a battery charger with specs
like the PD unit. Then I can connect the charger to
the genset, unpower the Magnetek, and run the genset
for only a few hours. This is an acceptable option
and I can use the battery charger around the place
to maintain our other batteries. Not ideal, but OK.
3) Restring a new, heavier cable from battery to the
distribution panel and add a higher current breaker
(out in the open where an arthritic back can reach
it!). Then can replace the Magnatek with a PD 60A.
This is the Mike Holmes style "Do It Right" solution.
But a royal pain in the exhaust pipe for one who cannot
crawl under the TT. Should have checked this when I
had the walls and floor open.
In all cases, maybe some solar assist in the future. When
I can clear some of those trees and FIND a little sun!
Bottom line: If anyone is looking at buying a used camper,
the first thing to ALWAYS check is water damage. But I
suggest a big second is to take a hard look at the DC
system - battery, wiring and Converter-Charger. You won't
2001 Cherokee CKT27X - 2005 Chev 3500
Sara, John & Crafty Canines - Coco and Cole
Medical research shows that men have a "biological clock" too. The older we get, the greater the NEED to drive a TRUCK!