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Old 04-13-2018, 11:52 AM   #1
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Charge Converter - What Manufacturer

Folks, would anyone know what manufacturer makes the charge converter in a 2018.5 FR Sierra 5th wheel, model 372LOK. I have this RV purchased but away from home right now and cant look for myself. Trying to research if its a decent brand to charge my new GC2 batteries without ruining them. Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:07 PM   #2
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I'm sorry I can't answer your question but what makes you believe the factory converter is going to 'ruin' your battery(ies)
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:39 PM   #3
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Well maybe ruin was an exaggeration but there seems to be alot of info online indicating that some of the factory RV chargers are not great at charging batteries correctly and in some cases can shorten the battery life.

I am replacing the installed batteries with some GC2 batteries costing us about $1000 CDN so I am just trying to make sure we get the longest time possible from them. If the factory charger is fine then i wont replace it but if not I will be updating to a better unit for reason stated above.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:10 PM   #4
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From what I've been reading the WFCO converter seems to be the most prevalent in FR products, size/model dependent on unit's needs.

My trailer came with a WFCO 8955 (55 amp) unit that did a decent job of charging the battery but only had three charge levels. One to provide a quick charge, one to finish charging to 100%, and a float mode to maintain battery at full charge with all the parasitic draws, etc.

I replaced the converter unit with Progressive Dynamics 9260, using the original space and DC distribution Circuit Board. I wanted the upgrade to the 4th level of charging which kicks the Converter voltage up to around 14.6v every 30 hours of inactivity and stays there for around 15 minutes. This reduces sulfation of the plates and stratification of the electrolyte. The manufacturer claims this adds several years to otherwise well maintained batteries (water levels, etc).

Was the WFCO Converter a battery killer? Don't know, didn't leave it in the trailer long enough. I plan on a lot of boondocking and wanted the features of the PD9260 in order to get a quicker charge when running my generator (by using the boost button on the Pendant) and better sulfation control when just parked. Since I've installed the PD9260 my batteries haven't used a drop of water in 60 days of constant storage with voltage of 13.26 and regular desulfation periods of 14+ volts.

A nice, and useful accessory to consider is the Victron BMV 702 or BMV 712 Battery Monitor. It will tell you voltages at the present moment, what the highest and lowest voltages have been, amperage, peak amperage (both in and out of battery) and amp hours. The amp hour reading is both useage at the moment, total, and how much has been returned to the battery through whatever charging methods you are using (Converter on 120V, Tow Vehicle or Coach charging system, or Solar.) Most of the OE battery monitors built into the electric panel are extremely limited in showing you the state of your battery bank. They only measure voltage and from there you need to guess.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:28 PM   #5
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From what I've been reading the WFCO converter seems to be the most prevalent in FR products, size/model dependent on unit's needs.

My trailer came with a WFCO 8955 (55 amp) unit that did a decent job of charging the battery but only had three charge levels. One to provide a quick charge, one to finish charging to 100%, and a float mode to maintain battery at full charge with all the parasitic draws, etc.

I replaced the converter unit with Progressive Dynamics 9260, using the original space and DC distribution Circuit Board. I wanted the upgrade to the 4th level of charging which kicks the Converter voltage up to around 14.6v every 30 hours of inactivity and stays there for around 15 minutes. This reduces sulfation of the plates and stratification of the electrolyte. The manufacturer claims this adds several years to otherwise well maintained batteries (water levels, etc).

Was the WFCO Converter a battery killer? Don't know, didn't leave it in the trailer long enough. I plan on a lot of boondocking and wanted the features of the PD9260 in order to get a quicker charge when running my generator (by using the boost button on the Pendant) and better sulfation control when just parked. Since I've installed the PD9260 my batteries haven't used a drop of water in 60 days of constant storage with voltage of 13.26 and regular desulfation periods of 14+ volts.

A nice, and useful accessory to consider is the Victron BMV 702 or BMV 712 Battery Monitor. It will tell you voltages at the present moment, what the highest and lowest voltages have been, amperage, peak amperage (both in and out of battery) and amp hours. The amp hour reading is both useage at the moment, total, and how much has been returned to the battery through whatever charging methods you are using (Converter on 120V, Tow Vehicle or Coach charging system, or Solar.) Most of the OE battery monitors built into the electric panel are extremely limited in showing you the state of your battery bank. They only measure voltage and from there you need to guess.
Ya WFCO seems popular in alot of units.

I agree that the 4th stage is a nice feature. I will have to look at the PD converters, I want the ability to configure the parameters to match battery manufacturers recommended parameters. I know I can do this with the Xantrex inverter/charger (Freedom Series). Many say that anything below 14.6 V is to low for most GF batteries.

Yes looking at the BMV 712 with built in BT.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Newfiestang50 View Post
Well maybe ruin was an exaggeration but there seems to be alot of info online indicating that some of the factory RV chargers are not great at charging batteries correctly and in some cases can shorten the battery life.

I am replacing the installed batteries with some GC2 batteries costing us about $1000 CDN so I am just trying to make sure we get the longest time possible from them. If the factory charger is fine then i wont replace it but if not I will be updating to a better unit for reason stated above.
WOW those are some expensive batteries? Lithium?
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:32 PM   #7
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WOW those are some expensive batteries? Lithium?
Four Interstates GC2 Flooded lead acid here where I live are $1100 even taxes in.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:14 PM   #8
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Four Interstates GC2 Flooded lead acid here where I live are $1100 even taxes in.
See your profile at Harbour Grace NFL, must be expensive shipping. Hope they work well for you and you have a great summer. We have the factory installed converter ( Wfco) and it seems to work fine.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:38 PM   #9
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See your profile at Harbour Grace NFL, must be expensive shipping. Hope they work well for you and you have a great summer. We have the factory installed converter ( Wfco) and it seems to work fine.
Not just shipping, consider the exchange rate. As of today a Canadian Dollar is valued at $0.79 USD. There's a 21% difference in buying power thus higher prices.

Shipping batteries is not only expensive because of weight but also because they're flooded lead acid. Special handling fees and all that.

Considering all that and $1k CDN doesn't sound all that out of line.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:06 PM   #10
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All of the 3 or 4 stage chargers being installed today do a fine job of charging wet cell batteries. Anything over 14.1 V in bulk mode will work even though it would get there a bit faster at 14.5 or 14.6 for some brands. Once any of these drop out of bulk mode into absorbtion they'll be around 13.8 until they get very near full..when they switch to float mode for the last few percent. A battery is considered full when charging AMPS drop to 1% of amp/hour capacity (C)
The 4th stage some are talking about is not a charging stage but a sulfation prevention circuit that is known as EQ or equalization designed to correct for voltage differences between cells indicative of sulfur dioxide deposit build up...which hurts battery life. More like an oil change than a gas fill up!
A true EQ for a sulfated battery would require over 15V and water caps off and temperature monitoring...so the included 4th cycle timed EQ some mfr's include is really just a helpful mixing cycle at lower voltage that helps avoid fluid stratification rather than the EQ's that are available commercially or on some higher end marine products.
Hope that clears up some misconceptions....and yeah...any of the installed chargers today will be fine for a couple pairs of Golf Cart batts. Something in the 40 to 90 amp range would be ideal with less genny run time as you go up in amps.
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