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Old 10-15-2013, 12:00 AM   #1
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Converter upgrade

I am looking into a converter upgrade. I have been reading and it seems like the stock units (WFCO) are junk. I do dry camp a lot and don't want to have to run my generator all day to recharge my batteries. Currently I have a WF-8955PEC
Power CentersWF-8955PEC, WF-8955 55 Amp Power Center.

What does everyone recommend to upgrade this converter? Would I be ok with a 60 amp upgrade or should I go 70 amp? Thanks for your help!
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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Need more information.
How long are you willing to run your gen.
How many amp are you using a day.
How many amp are you using at night.
How many amp-hours of battery do you have .
How many battery are you willing to add.
What size wire do you have going to the battery from the controller.
The controller is a small part of the whole system and without looking at the whole system there is no good answer to your question.
Solar cells are a good way to get the last 10% of a charge to a battery.
If you have 2 or 3 battery it might be good to get a charger that has 2 or 3 outputs that charge each battery and they could have temperature sense so battery do not get too hot.
Can you reduce your amp usage. (Like LED lights, smaller TV. Smaller water pump at less pressure.)
You need to define what you want to do and how much money you want to spend.
If you have 1 small battery I doubt you would notice any difference between a 30 amp controller then a 70 amp, the battery will only except a charge only so fast.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:44 AM   #3
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All I can say is I have one battery that would not run the furnace all night. Then I would have to run the generator a lot to recharge it. I think the battery is bad but it seemed like I would have to run the generator WAY too long to recharge.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:02 AM   #4
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In the A Frame that we have. I have run the furnace for 2 night with no problems. temp outside was 25 and 29. We just did 7 nights with our longest camp 2 night then moving to the next, so TV was charging battery and we came back with full battery and never ran gen or had Ele hookup. I would pull the battery and have it tested. (wal-mart, auto stores).
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:58 AM   #5
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Progressive Dynamic converters come highly recommended from all the RV forums i belong to.
contact BestConverters and they'll help you.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
Progressive Dynamic converters come highly recommended from all the RV forums i belong to.
contact BestConverters and they'll help you.
I second this.
Get a Progressive dynamics.
I bought my last one from ebay cheap.
Make sure the unit you buy comes with the charge wizard pendant.

Also I went from a 55amp to a 70amp.

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Old 10-15-2013, 08:30 AM   #7
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x3 on the P- Dynamic . And you ought to upgrade your battery as well. Your WCO probably never properly charged your battery, thus damaging it.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbrew77 View Post
All I can say is I have one battery that would not run the furnace all night. Then I would have to run the generator a lot to recharge it. I think the battery is bad but it seemed like I would have to run the generator WAY too long to recharge.
Have your battery charged and load tested!! WFCO chargers might not
be top of the line but they work just fine for many folks.
I think you're getting the cart before the horse changing chargers when
you say your battery is bad. You should address that first.

Not knowing your rig and your power usage, we all are guessing.
I can typically go 1 night per battery with the furnace set to 55 when
outside temps are near freezing. I have 2 plain old 12v. If you have
incandescent bulbs in your fixtures you should know they are power
hogs too. Many folks who are trying to extend battery life are changing
to LEDs. You don't need to change them all, just a few in critical places.
Use them when on battery power. I have some in my rig now that
cost me a measly $1 each and they worked just fine last weekend
when we gave them their first test. They use such a small amount of
power I could change them all to LED and turn them ALL on and my
amps draw would be about the same as a single 2 bulb incandescent fixture.

Just my 2Ę Good Luck!
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:03 AM   #9
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So here's the deal..

A battery system used for drydocking and being charged by a generator operates best when it is depleted to no more than 50% of capacity, AND charged only up to about 80% of capacity since the closer you come to full charge the fewer amp that are being put in the battery because of the charging algorithm. SO if you have one single battery of 100 amphours you really only have about 30 amps to use for efficient generator use and should be able to do that with your existing charger in about an hour.

Thing is that most chargers nowday's will not charge at their max rate for very long before they taper off because they are VERY conservatively designed to not blow anything up by excessive charging. I believe that the Progressive Dynamics units are better than the WFCO, but they even don't put out max power for very long.

Short answer is that a typical "deep cycle" group 27 battery will only give you about 30amps of capacity if you want to limit generator time. Adding a solar panel or two with a very aggressive regulator can help a lot, since it will charge slowly during the day and bum you up from 80% charge to closer to 100% a possible increase of 20 amps or so.

The best and most economical answer is to add additional battery capacity in the current system, especially if you are going to change your existing battery. With two group 27 GOOD deep cycles you will have at least 60 amps to work with.

In your situation the PD converter is better, but won't change your situation much without additional battery capacity to work with.

IMO of course.

AND you may be even better going with a real strong external charger with a good charging algorithm and temperature compensated and use it when dry camping, but again without the battery capacity you would only add a few additional amps to your equation.
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:03 PM   #10
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I had the same WFCO unit in my trailer, it would never go into bulk mode. I upgraded to the same size Progressive dynamics with the charge wizard and haven't had any charging issues since. I run 1 grp 27 deep cycle battery. I was running the genny all day, and still would have a hard time going a night without the battery going very dead (below 10V) prior to the PD unit. That was my hint to upgrade the unit before my next cold camping trip.

I stuck with the same size unit primarily as I happened to find a good deal on the same one, otherwise I probably would have gone up 1 size. 70amp would be max for my generator
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