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Old 10-14-2013, 11:00 PM   #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 10-14-2013, 11:39 PM   #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 10-14-2013, 11:44 PM   #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, 12:02 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, 01:58 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, 06:43 AM   #6
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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.
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, 07:30 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, 07:32 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 2 Good Luck!
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:03 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, 10:03 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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Old 10-20-2013, 10:49 PM   #11
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So my battery was bad (getting a new one free with warranty) and pulled the trigger on a progressive dynamics pd9270. Next is LED lights to replace stock ones. Looking forward to a better dry camping experience.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:58 PM   #12
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Hey Newbrew77,
Hows it going with the pd9270?
Did it fit into your WFCO or is this a whole new unit?
I'm considering upgrading my WFCO 8955 and am thinking about the unit you said you were going to install.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Thx
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #13
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It's going good! It fit where the old converter was with a little modification. It doesn't charge as fast as I thought it would.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:18 PM   #14
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It's going good!
It doesn't charge as fast as I thought it would.
Thats not a bad thing!
Slower is bettery when charging.

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Old 01-15-2014, 01:46 AM   #15
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Can the remote pendant be used with the PD 4600 series?
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:03 AM   #16
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Thats not a bad thing!
Slower is bettery when charging.

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Trojan recommends a charger with capabilities of between 10% and 13% of the 20 AHr rate. So a 225 AHr battery should have a charger that has a charge rate of between 23-30 amps. Of course only a discharged battery will accept that kind of amperage. A nearly charged battery won't accept that kind of amperage. Insufficient or too low of a charge won't "mix" the electrolyte and stratification will occur.

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Old 01-15-2014, 06:24 AM   #17
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Can the remote pendant be used with the PD 4600 series?
The 4600 will not come with a pendent, you have a built in charge wizard button on the board itself. They do have and sell a modification kit to add one. You would have to cut 4 wires and connect them. I have voltage meter that I plug into a 12v cigarette lighter. It shows you what is going on all the time. The best part is that with the WFCO you can't read a load for 44 hrs, before it will drop to float 13.2. That will never happen because of radio and CO monitors being on so it stays in 13.6 absorption mode. The progressive will drop down to 13.2 even with those 2 loads on......And it is a true 4 stage charger.... I think it would be a must for a boondocker.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:29 AM   #18
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Trojan recommends a charger with capabilities of between 10% and 13% of the 20 AHr rate. So a 225 AHr battery should have a charger that has a charge rate of between 23-30 amps. Of course only a discharged battery will accept that kind of amperage. A nearly charged battery won't accept that kind of amperage. Insufficient or too low of a charge won't "mix" the electrolyte and stratification will occur.

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The progressive go's into stage 4 every 21 hrs to 14.4 for 15 mins. to clean the plates, I'm not sure that is what you mean.....desalination of the plates?
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:50 AM   #19
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The progressive go's into stage 4 every 21 hrs to 14.4 for 15 mins. to clean the plates, I'm not sure that is what you mean.....desalination of the plates?
What you're describing would mix the solution. Stratification is where the acid solution isn't consistent across the plates.

Stratification is only a concern where a consistent low charge is applied over a long period of time. If a multi-stage charger or even factory charger is used to charge a battery, there is no worry of stratification. The bubbles formed during a charge cycle of sufficient amperage will float to the top of the cell, thereby mixing the fluid.

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Old 01-15-2014, 02:38 PM   #20
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Trojan recommends a charger with capabilities of between 10% and 13% of the 20 AHr rate. So a 225 AHr battery should have a charger that has a charge rate of between 23-30 amps. Of course only a discharged battery will accept that kind of amperage. A nearly charged battery won't accept that kind of amperage. Insufficient or too low of a charge won't "mix" the electrolyte and stratification will occur.

2000 Cherokee, LEDs, solar, inverter, etc. '07 Tundra 5.7L DC-LB, modded as well.

I can't find that 13% recommendation, and generally have seen 20% reported as max during bulk cycle. At any rate, if you are using a generator to replenish your batteries and expect to minimize run time, the way to do that is to get way more battery capacity than you need and then operate the charger in bulk mode between 50% and 80% of full charge. Size the charger to 20% of total battery capacity.

A 200 amphour bank (2 decent deep cycles) would then warrant a 40 amp charger.
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