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Old 07-17-2014, 11:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 45
Upgrade or Replace WFCO Main Board

I trust this is not redundant - was typing away and boom - it was all gone????


I was asking for some advice on replacing or upgrading my convertor-charger main board.

I believe it is toast.

I first tested the charging system by plugging into the house (110 - but not 30amp) and monitored the volts on my new battery for a couple of days. It slowly drained down to 12.3 volts. I had charged it up with an old car 6 amp trickle charger after it went completely dead while camping on the weekend.

I did notice that when we got to the campsite that the battery was only 3/4 full on the battery meter on the wall. The trailer had been plugged in for a few days before we left. And I had fired up the fridge to get it cold before we switched to propane. (I have a two way fridge - 110 or gas I do believe).

We went out Friday evening, by Sunday a.m. I was forced to hand crank the sliders in as I had no battery.

I did pull the main board out from under the WFCO power centre and tested it with my multi-meter. I saw 120 v going in at one end but nothing coming out the other. I also noticed the fan was not running. And it was cold even though it had been running for days (or at least was plugged in and should have been running).

I did check all fuses including the one under the trailer. All seem fine, and everything seems to be working. When the battery is full.

Most curiously when the battery is dead plugging the cable into the truck when running will not provide power to even raise the front power jack. (a royal pain that was).

Now, everything was working in the trailer but I had only been running the bathroom ceiling fan to keep it a little cool in there. In the matter of a couple of days my fully charged battery was back down to 12.3 v even though the trailer was plugged in. The trailer won't charge the battery or maintain it.

I did follow the testing instructions in the Owner's Manual - and got zero volts coming out of the unit. Most curious though when I reconnected the cables (they manual said disconnect to test) when reconnecting the fan did come on for about 20 seconds. I pulled the wire again, and when I touched it to the contact - again fan on for 20 seconds then off again. Very curious.

Based on the total lack of performance and the zero volts coming out on the testing I think it is toast.

SO - I'm thinking I need a new main board.

I see I can get a WF-8935 or 8945 or 8955 to fit my unit. Costs from (Canadian) range from $155- $175, Woody's RV world wants about $100 more for either of these. Going to check local Rockwood Dealer in town see what they sell them for.

Upside of OEM replacement is that it looks like five wires to be disconnected, remove unit and then slide in replacement unit using the same mounting holes. and reconnect those same five wires. No boards to change. Back to original condition (even better if I upgrade to 55 amp).

I do see there is also a WFCO 9800 series - but my Power Centre is for the 8900 series. How interchangable are they? Any advantage to going to 9800?

OR do I want to try something different. I see references to Progressive Dynamic units - prices are closer to $300. I also see IOTA brand on offer at Amazon. I also found one by PARALLAX POWER - again over $300.

I also see Invertors, 1000w, 1500w, and more - is this the way to go?

Are their other brands to consider?

ANY help will be appreciated.
Fort Kent Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2014, 01:43 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 54
I replaced my WFCO with this. Boondocker Main Board Assembly for WFCO 8955. I used the 55 amp model.
It is a true drop in replacement for the converter. Remove the screws and disconnect a few wires, reconnect and your done. On mine I didn't like the way one wire routed so I drilled a hole in the WFCO frame. Seems as though the wire was a little short. The three year warranty is one of the best around.

If you go to Best Converter's home page you can e-mail Randy with questions or recommendations and he will get right back to you.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:35 AM   #3
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Also replaced--------------

I also replaced the charging board in the WFCO 30 Amp with the Boondocker 55 AMP four stage. It is a direct replacement for the WFCO.

It also works with AGM batteries. I replaced the dealer installed battery with a series 31 AGM battery from "SAMS".
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:03 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,814
If you can get your hands on a August 2014 Trailer Life Magazine, there is an excellent article on Converters starting on page 46. It mentions 4 manufacturer "upgrades" to 4 stage smart converter/chargers.

If you need a LOT of DC amps, the Xantrex True Charge 2 can be "stacked" to work together to provide up to 120 amps of 4 stage charging power and concurrent usage.

Now, for your problem:

Have you checked the INPUT wires to your converter for 120 volts AC?

I would verify that you do not actually have a bad circuit breaker or feed wire to the unit.

It is no surprise that a near dead battery will recover enough between uses to power a very low draw item for a few seconds and still fail to generate enough amps/volts to even budge a higher draw one.

When low in number (near dead), free electrons deep in the lead plates require time to move from the center of the plates to the surface of the surface to be available for use. Happy where they are, they will need "demand" (closed circuit) to even start moving. When packed to the gills with free electrons (fully charged), the electrons are readily available for use from the surface and in large quantities without calling up the reserves inside the thick plates.

This will only happen for a short time (in a deep cycle battery) before reserves from inside the plates are needed. The ability to supply large amounts of power drops off quickly when that happens since deep electrons can't all get to the surface at once (known as the Peukert Effect).

Starting batteries have huge amounts of surface area, but are very thin. While they can provide large quantities of starting amps, they have little available "in reserve." They can start the coldest engine, yet kill the battery just playing the radio for a few hours while you wax the car (old days before automatic shut offs to protect the battery).

(Layman's explanation - scientists take note)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf What is the Peukert Effect.pdf (164.5 KB, 34 views)
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