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Old 07-17-2016, 11:18 AM   #1
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Why is the converter mounted so far from batteries?

I've often wondered why the battery charger (converter) is mounted so far from the batteries. Romex is cheaper than 4 guage copper cable, and voltage drop is higher with long runs of high current cable. If the converter is mounted adjacent to the batteries, (but not in same compartment) it just seems that it would work better. I'm thinking of relocating mine.

What am I missing?

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Old 07-21-2016, 12:17 AM   #2
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This is what I have heard called a "geography" problem.

A few mitigating factors: the converter is often integrated with the breaker box for 120V and fuse panel for 12V systems. Also there are a lot more wires coming out one side than the other so it may well be easier/cheaper to shorten the many at the expense of going larger on the few.

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Old 07-22-2016, 07:59 AM   #3
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RV manufacturers design the units with the idea the majority of people will be hooked up to a power source %99 of the time. They do not consider that people will actually want to charge their batteries with the on board converter.

If they did consider that people will camp a portion of their time "dry" using battery power they would also install better charging systems. The onboard chargers in the converters are not optimal for deep cycle rv battery charging for extended use. They do work but they could be designed better.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:31 AM   #4
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Move the converter ... have you really looked at that rats nest of wires going to the power center that the converter is intregal with? Are you thinking of disecting the converter from the power center? I've owned alot of fivers and not had any issue with keeping the battery(s) charged in stock form, but I'm not a big boondocker. What the previous reply said rings true, but I will say when they went to the intregal 3 stage chargers instead of the early "charge em till they cook" intregal chargers ... it was a big step forward.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:43 AM   #5
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I'm sure the position of the converter has more to do with cost of Mfg and appeal to the buyers then anything else. the last time I was out and connected to shore power (this will not work boon docking) I ran an extension cord from 20 amp circuit on the pedestal to my battery tender junior and disconnected the batteries from the system. The converter provided the 12v I needed and the battery tender kept both batteries at full charge, when I got ready to pull out reconnected the batteries and was good to go.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:56 AM   #6
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On my coach the converter is located in the rear power bay, a full 25 feet from the batteries. It is a 70 amp PD unit. I agree with others that most RVs are designed to be connected to shore power for extended periods and boondocking and running a generator is not ideal for shortest charging times. 120 volt charging times really don't matter. Thus I have a 50 foot round trip to the batteries. I have added a pendant to the PD so that I can at least force the converter into boost mode when running the generator to charge. My next change will be to ground the converter to the chassis at the converter location, which will cut the voltage drop in half from what it is today. Not sure why FR didn't do that from the start.

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Old 07-22-2016, 10:17 PM   #7
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Before I knew much about the 12Volt side of life, one of my camper's converter's was located 25 feet away from the batteries. Although I bought a fancy Progressive Dynamics Converter, it did no better charging my batteries. It took 4 to 5 hours of generator run time to get them up to 90% and almost forever to get them to 100%. I usually ran my generator 7-8 hours a day just to keep the batteries topped off enough so they would last the night.

The voltage drop was about .4 volts and that was the difference between a rapid charge versus trickle charge.

Moving the converter within 3 feet of the batteries made all of the difference in the world.

I do solar installs on the side and the first thing I do is disconnect the oem converter (it is used as a backup) and install a new PD one next to the battery banks. However, as long as the sun is shining, none of my customers need to use their generators unless they need to power their air conditioning.

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converter, mount, battery

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