Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-22-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Riverton, UT
Posts: 16
Battery charging - new converter or NOT!

Do I buy a new converter? It seems to me that my batteries should charge up when I plug my trailer into shore power 110/120 Volt 30 amp power. I have not found this to be the case. So I end up pulling out the battery charger and hooking them up to the batteries to get them charged. It is frustrating because I am not an electrical engineer and all I want is a simple way to charge my batteries.

Let me get into some specific. My trailer is a Forest River Wildcat 26ft. My converter is a Parallax 7355. I have read in the "Woodalls RV Handbook" about four different types of converters. (1. Dual Output, 2. Single-output ferro-resonant, 3. Single output switching, 4. Single-output multistage). It goes on to say that "the single-output multi stage converter is by far most advantageous. ... It is a must for the active RVer.". Would you all agree? How do I find our what type mine is? More importantly if I decide I want to upgrade - what are the challenges and costs involved? What solutions are others aware of besides upgrading my converter?
dlongmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 09:46 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 330
Check the DC voltage at the battery when plugged in - you should see about 13.5 volts if the charger is working. Here is a link for troubleshooting the Paralex 7300. http://www.parallaxpower.com/7300/Flowchart7300.pdf

Here is a link from Paralex - they are available for about $300.

http://www.parallaxpower.com/7300/7300pwrcntr.pdf
cadman99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 09:57 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Triguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlongmore View Post
Do I buy a new converter?

More importantly if I decide I want to upgrade - what are the challenges and costs involved?
Should you need to replace your converter, consider something from a different manufacturer. A rather nice upgrade is a Progressive Dynamics converter. Its what I intend to do if and when my WFCO 8955 fail (or even if it doesn't).

A good resource to call are the guys over at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics. They can help you with the challenges involved.
__________________
Scott
DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
Triguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 11:56 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Riverton, UT
Posts: 16
Thanks for the help. I am really liking this forum.
dlongmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 10:18 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,642
I would add that your charger provides 55 amps of charging which (if working) should be sufficient to charge a battery bank of up to around 225 amp hours efficiently. (The equivilent of a pair of golf cart batteries or a couple of group 31 deep cycle 12V batteries. )
It is an older type with a start up voltage of 14.0V for batteries that are depleted significantly and then dropping down to 13.2 Volts for float charge. This means that if you've used your batteries without being plugged in and you then plug in...you should see 14.2 volts at your battery terminals with a voltmeter. After charging up for 4-5 hours ...you should be seeing 13.2 V while plugged in.

This is not a smart charger but is fine for a couple of wet cells if you mostly plug in somewhere and don't do a lot of boondocking. Just check your water levels a bit frequently until you know how much you are using...and use only distilled water to refill...never letting the water leave the plates exposed.

If you DO do a lot of boondocking, it's probably a good idea to get a good smart charging system...4 stage... bulk, absorption, float AND an EQ cycle. IOTA makes a DLS55IQ model which puts out the same amps as your current set up and does all 4 stages and is priced well.
Before investing in a new charger, I'd take a look at my actual amp hour usage when not plugged in to determine if my battery bank is sufficiently large and then size my charger to my battery bank size. (20-25% of my amp hour capacity for wet cells.)
Your battery bank should be sized at TWICE the amp hours minimum that you use in a 24 hour period since you never want to go below 50% capacity before recharging.
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 10:34 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Riverton, UT
Posts: 16
Battery charging - new converter or NOT!

I followed the flow chart until I got to the end where it said my converter is working. However the one thing missing from the flow chart is to check the voltage at the battery. Sure enough at the battery I am only getting 12.7 volt which is the same with or without being plugged into 110 power. So I have some theories but have not found the answer. I think there might be a fuse or somekind of break that is preventing what is leaving the converter from making it to the batteries. Anyone seen this condition before. I looked around for a another place there could be a fuse but have not found it yet. I may have to follow the wires from the converter to the battery and check it along the way. But I do get 13.5 going out of the converter when I am plugged into 110 power.
dlongmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 01:50 AM   #7
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,499
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlongmore View Post
I followed the flow chart until I got to the end where it said my converter is working. However the one thing missing from the flow chart is to check the voltage at the battery. Sure enough at the battery I am only getting 12.7 volt which is the same with or without being plugged into 110 power. So I have some theories but have not found the answer. I think there might be a fuse or somekind of break that is preventing what is leaving the converter from making it to the batteries. Anyone seen this condition before. I looked around for a another place there could be a fuse but have not found it yet. I may have to follow the wires from the converter to the battery and check it along the way. But I do get 13.5 going out of the converter when I am plugged into 110 power.
Yes.
Look for one of these that are resetable.
Normally within eye sight of the battery.
See the black button?

TURBS


"Sabre owners united"
Attached Images
 
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 05:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Stanfordville
Posts: 140
Newbie? Not to jump on this thread, but I have found so much info here, and I just purchased a used 04 FR that was previously exclusively as a seasonal set up. It was always on shore power, with NO battery at all. I seem to remember a post a while back that stated "no battery while shore power will fry the converter". Is this true? And how do I check? I'm in process of waiting for Trojan grp 27 T1275 to come into my local (60 miles) dealer currently out of stock.
Poper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 06:24 AM   #9
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poper View Post
Newbie? Not to jump on this thread, but I have found so much info here, and I just purchased a used 04 FR that was previously exclusively as a seasonal set up. It was always on shore power, with NO battery at all. I seem to remember a post a while back that stated "no battery while shore power will fry the converter". Is this true? And how do I check? I'm in process of waiting for Trojan grp 27 T1275 to come into my local (60 miles) dealer currently out of stock.
For the original poster, look under the frame near where the umbilical to the truck goes into a metal box for that open current limiter. Might be under a red rubber cover.
Press the tiny button on one of the short sides to reset an open limiter.

They can get corroded too so clean the wires if they look bad.

For the "claim jumper," The operative word is "can damage," not will damage. It all depends on how much draw you continually placed on the converter without the buffer of a battery "sink" to even out the wild amperage swings of daily use.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2470432165.jpg
Views:	175
Size:	46.9 KB
ID:	53145   Click image for larger version

Name:	360426586.jpg
Views:	216
Size:	57.9 KB
ID:	53147  
Attached Images
 
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 07:22 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Stanfordville
Posts: 140
Thanks, sorry for the "claim jumper" but I've not figured out how to post a new ques/thread? Still learning it all. Mostly the FR TT just starting to climb around & under it.
Poper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #11
Denver, CO
 
garbonz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlongmore View Post
I followed the flow chart until I got to the end where it said my converter is working. However the one thing missing from the flow chart is to check the voltage at the battery. Sure enough at the battery I am only getting 12.7 volt which is the same with or without being plugged into 110 power. So I have some theories but have not found the answer. I think there might be a fuse or somekind of break that is preventing what is leaving the converter from making it to the batteries. Anyone seen this condition before. I looked around for a another place there could be a fuse but have not found it yet. I may have to follow the wires from the converter to the battery and check it along the way. But I do get 13.5 going out of the converter when I am plugged into 110 power.

If you ARE getting 13.5 volts at the converter then the converter is "working" and the converter is just not getting to the battery. You will need to trace the wires from the converter to the battery and find out where the disconnect is, which as mentioned is probably at one of the resettable little breakers. This HAS to be done before anything else goes forward, as if you upgrade the converter, you will be using these wires.

Unless you are plugged in all the time, a good multi stage unit like TURBS mentioned would be a good upgrade to consider. ALSO check your batteries carefully to make sure they are in good shape.
__________________
2017 Fuse 23T
garbonz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 02:01 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Riverton, UT
Posts: 16
I am still looking for the little button. I haven't found it yet. I sent this picture so if anybody can help me with it.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Forest River Forums mobile app
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1400958055399.jpg
Views:	150
Size:	51.8 KB
ID:	53162  
dlongmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 03:13 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Jimandchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 622
The button is on the side of the breaker. Hopefully one of those breakers in your photo is the culprit.
Attached Images
 
__________________
2019 Coachmen Freedom Express 281RLDSLE
2018 2500 HD Silverado
Equal-i-zer Hitch E4
Jimandchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 03:47 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Riverton, UT
Posts: 16
I looked at them as close up and all around as I could with taking them off and cannot see a button of any sort. The one thing I found was writing on the side that says "SHORTSTOP 12A K09 50A" which may be of some help. I will do some googling and see what I can find.
dlongmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #15
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,992
My money is on the one with the two big red wires.

On second thought there is a LOT of corrosion on those wire terminals.
Pull the ground wire off the battery and unplug the camper.

Remove each wire and buss bar and shine it up with fine steel wool or sand paper. Also the current limiter on the far right looks like it has suffered some damage on top (or it could be a photo anomaly).
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 04:31 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Witch Doctor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Clarksville Va.
Posts: 10,358
I would say that the 2 big red wires are in from the converter/ charger other to the battery, The little red wire I'm guessing is to you CO alarm. I would take all that off and add a resettable 40 amp breaker instead. Like all the pictures shows. You should be able to test for 12v at the 2 red connections. I would still buy the breaker and redo all those connections. Just go ground to the top red and then ground to the lower red should get a reading at both or the buss bar is bad.
__________________
Coachmen M/H
Concord
2018 / 300 DSC

Witch Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2014, 07:43 AM   #17
Denver, CO
 
garbonz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlongmore View Post
I looked at them as close up and all around as I could with taking them off and cannot see a button of any sort. The one thing I found was writing on the side that says "SHORTSTOP 12A K09 50A" which may be of some help. I will do some googling and see what I can find.
I think the reset may be the little grey tab on the side of the breakers in your picture. At least what little I can glean from the internet. Click that tab from one side to the other and see if you get 12 volts on the down stream end. The converter breaker is most likely the one on the left in the photo with the BIG red wire comin out the bottom.

Worth a try.
__________________
2017 Fuse 23T
garbonz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2014, 08:41 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
RPAspey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: central PA
Posts: 978
Set your multimeter to DC VOLTS, 12v scale. Have all fuses in but turn off the converter. Then put the leads across the terminals of each self-reseting breaker, one breaker at a time. Good ones will show 0 or nearly 0 volts. Bad one will show 12 volt or so.

2000 Cherokee 31BH, "flipped axles and raised",LEDs, solar, inverter, etc..aka "boondock ready". '07 Tundra 5.7L DC-LB, modded as well.
__________________
2000 Cherokee 29BH with 6V batteries, LED lights & 400 watts of solar power, flipped axles and raised. 2007 Tundra 5.7L DC-LB with lots of mods. C-co, 8/158th AVN Maint.
RPAspey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2014, 10:16 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Riverton, UT
Posts: 16
After polishing up the shortstop fuses and the copper plate (bus) going across them and replacing all the nuts with brand news one here is my result. I am testing both with and without the 30 amp fuses plugged in at the converter fuse panel (per manufacturer diagnosis flow chart). Both test are with the 110 shore connected and the batteries fully connected. Every reading except 1 comes out 12.1 on the multimeter. The one exception is 13.4 and that is when I have the 30 amp fuses removed at the converter fuse panel and I reading from the converter positive terminal to the battery negative terminal which are right within the converter panel. Everywhere else at battery and at shortstop fuses is always 12.1 with or without the 30 amp fuses in at the converter fuse panel. I can only wonder if something insider the converter prevents it from reading 13.4 outside the converter panel.
dlongmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2014, 05:20 AM   #20
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,992
You might have a bad cell in the battery that is preventing the converter from connecting to the battery. If there is an internal short in the battery, the converter will trip off line to prevent damage.

Have you had the battery load tested?
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, charging, converter

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:17 PM.