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Old 09-16-2021, 07:00 PM   #1
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Battery charger

Bought a used 2012 8314BSS so I have no idea if all the books came with it.

The last owner put a marine starting battery in it last fall. Obviously it sucks. My questions is, does the stock charging system do rapid or slow charging when plugged into AC current? Also is there way to check and make sure it wasn't replaced at some point?
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:38 PM   #2
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The battery is not the issue, per se'. Your understanding of the charging system on an RV may be part for you to learn on. Your Marine battery should be deep charged from time to time.... your RV convertor is not able to do this. The convertor is a trickle charge that increases out put when more demand is required and slows the charge rate when demand is reduced. A deep charge is in the 14.5volt range and does not go this high for any extended time.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:22 PM   #3
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The battery is the issue that is why I asked about the charging system. I didn't want to ruin a deep cycle battery by putting it on a rapid charger.

I have seen nothing in any of the manuals I received about the power convertor. I can only assume that it was lost before I purchased the unit. So let me ask this for clarification now...

The power converter in an RV functions not only to create 12vdc from 120vac and as distribution system for all 12vdc but also as a trickle charger for any lead acid battery connected to the system. It cannot be changed out independently. Is this all correct? (I know it also acts as a distribution system for 120vac but that isn't my concern for this thread)
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:40 PM   #4
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True deep cycle lead acid (or AGM) batteries, such as my 2x 6-volt US Battery 2200 XC normally get recharged in a bulk charging mode of approx. 14.4 volts until they are 90% charged. Most stock converters in RVs do not have this mode. You might refer to this as "quick charging" or "boost charging". Then the charger should enter the absorption charging mode which finishes the charge to 100% at a voltage of 13.6 volts. Most stock RV converters start in this mode rather than the bulk charging mode. Once the battery is at 100% then the charger should enter trickle or storage charge mode and maintain 13.2 volts.

True deep cycle batteries require an equalization charge at least every 30 days which is the bulk charging voltage of 14.4 volts for 1-3 hours. This cycle of charging will give you the maximum life out of your true deep cycle batteries and stock converters that come in RVs typically do not provide the bulk charging mode nor the equalizing charge.

Sources:
https://usbattery.com/wp-content/upl...mendations.pdf

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/charge-wizard/
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:19 AM   #5
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I didn't ask for what most have or do. I asked what mine has and how to verify it.
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:27 AM   #6
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I didn't ask for what most have or do. I asked what mine has and how to verify it.
Then open your distribution panel and look at the model number of converter and search for a manual. No one here can see your RV and the converter inside it.
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:31 AM   #7
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Your last post seems a little pushy -- we're not obligated to spoon feed you...

As you know the converter/charger is part of the power center. Just remove the front panel and see what's in there. May be OEM or may not, only you can tell, you're the only one there.

Assuming it's not been replaced it's a competent multistage battery charger. And even it it was replaced it's probably one also. Multistage chargers have a bulk charge cycle and won't hurt a deep cycle battery -- unless mine have been fooling me for decades.

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Old 09-18-2021, 09:38 AM   #8
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True deep cycle lead acid (or AGM) batteries, such as my 2x 6-volt US Battery 2200 XC normally get recharged in a bulk charging mode of approx. 14.4 volts until they are 90% charged. Most stock converters in RVs do not have this mode. You might refer to this as "quick charging" or "boost charging". Then the charger should enter the absorption charging mode which finishes the charge to 100% at a voltage of 13.6 volts. Most stock RV converters start in this mode rather than the bulk charging mode. Once the battery is at 100% then the charger should enter trickle or storage charge mode and maintain 13.2 volts.

True deep cycle batteries require an equalization charge at least every 30 days which is the bulk charging voltage of 14.4 volts for 1-3 hours. This cycle of charging will give you the maximum life out of your true deep cycle batteries and stock converters that come in RVs typically do not provide the bulk charging mode nor the equalizing charge.

Sources:
https://usbattery.com/wp-content/upl...mendations.pdf

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/charge-wizard/

The OP's RV is a 2012 model. Highly likely that his Converter is very capable of charging any Lead Acid battery in Bulk, Absorption, and Float mode, even providing Equalization charge as needed.

Converters built in the 21 st Century aren't anything like those built before that in most cases only provided a Float charge continuously.

Even the much maligned WFCO converters come with these features. The biggest issue with them isn't the Battery or the Converter but the length of the small gauge wire connecting them. Push 50-60 amps through 20+ feet of 8 gauge wire and there's enough voltage drop the Converter thinks the battery is fully charged (voltage will read higher at converter than what actually exists at battery) and switch to lower modes.

Not saying the battery in question is good or bad, just saying that there is a lack of understanding of how things work.
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:41 AM   #9
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I didn't ask for what most have or do. I asked what mine has and how to verify it.
Just curious, do you deal with your Doctor like this
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:57 AM   #10
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You need to explore with a flashlight and record what you have! Battery and converter.

Assume the battery is ok. A battery monitor I believe is a must. Your battery bank should never be discharged below 12.0 volts. 12.6 is a normally full charged battery. You must check battery voltage with all charging sources off for two hours. Or you get a false reading. Residual charge.

When charging. A modern smart charger will use one of three voltages measured at the battery. Trickle about 13. Std. About 13.5 and bulk at 14.5.

So next step is to check out and watch the converter work. Takes time to recharge batteries.

Owning a battery monitor helps the learning process!

Modern rvís use a ton of battery per day. Major issue.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:50 AM   #11
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Then open your distribution panel and look at the model number of converter and search for a manual. No one here can see your RV and the converter inside it.
Thank you. That is all I needed to know.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:57 AM   #12
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Your last post seems a little pushy -- we're not obligated to spoon feed you...

As you know the converter/charger is part of the power center. Just remove the front panel and see what's in there. May be OEM or may not, only you can tell, you're the only one there.

Assuming it's not been replaced it's a competent multistage battery charger. And even it it was replaced it's probably one also. Multistage chargers have a bulk charge cycle and won't hurt a deep cycle battery -- unless mine have been fooling me for decades.

-- Chuck
It may have seemed pushy because it was. 2 people had already "given lessons" that were nonresponsive to my questions. One was even from a self proclaimed naval Lt. Commander who would have never accepted that type of answer from a subordinate as it didn't do anything to answer my questions.Yours is the best answer given the circumstances I outlined. TYVM
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Old 09-18-2021, 11:08 AM   #13
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It may have seemed pushy because it was. 2 people had already "given lessons" that were nonresponsive to my questions. One was even from a self proclaimed naval Lt. Commander who would have never accepted that type of answer from a subordinate as it didn't do anything to answer my questions.Yours is the best answer given the circumstances I outlined. TYVM
Cheers to you too! And it was the US Navy that proclaimed me to be a Lieutenant Commander. The best twenty-nine years of my life.
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Old 09-18-2021, 11:19 AM   #14
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The OP's RV is a 2012 model. Highly likely that his Converter is very capable of charging any Lead Acid battery in Bulk, Absorption, and Float mode, even providing Equalization charge as needed.

Converters built in the 21 st Century aren't anything like those built before that in most cases only provided a Float charge continuously.

Even the much maligned WFCO converters come with these features. The biggest issue with them isn't the Battery or the Converter but the length of the small gauge wire connecting them. Push 50-60 amps through 20+ feet of 8 gauge wire and there's enough voltage drop the Converter thinks the battery is fully charged (voltage will read higher at converter than what actually exists at battery) and switch to lower modes.

Not saying the battery in question is good or bad, just saying that there is a lack of understanding of how things work.
Hi Mike! Yes, the WFCO converters are advertised as having bulk charging mode, you are correct and I was mistaken. On both my WFCO converters that come with two different travel trailers, I never saw voltage at >13.8 volts. With the upgraded Progressive Dynamics converters I see 14.2 volts. The two WFCO converters I had, WF8735 and WF8935 were not advertised to have nor did they offer equalization charges. As you know, an equalizing charge requires the converter to go into bulk charging mode based on a timer (such as for 15 minutes every 21 hours), and occurs after the battery is fully charged. Converters that offer equalization charging are often advertised as 4-stage charging, whereas converters without equalizing charging are 3-stage converters.

I also installed a cheap battery monitor right into the cover of my battery box so I can see the exact state of charging/discharging the batteries are in.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:06 PM   #15
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Hi Mike! Yes, the WFCO converters are advertised as having bulk charging mode, you are correct and I was mistaken. On both my WFCO converters that come with two different travel trailers, I never saw voltage at >13.8 volts. With the upgraded Progressive Dynamics converters I see 14.2 volts. The two WFCO converters I had, WF8735 and WF8935 were not advertised to have nor did they offer equalization charges. As you know, an equalizing charge requires the converter to go into bulk charging mode based on a timer (such as for 15 minutes every 21 hours), and occurs after the battery is fully charged. Converters that offer equalization charging are often advertised as 4-stage charging, whereas converters without equalizing charging are 3-stage converters.

I also installed a cheap battery monitor right into the cover of my battery box so I can see the exact state of charging/discharging the batteries are in.
What is referred to as "equalization" would be better described as "destratification" where the extra charge stirs uo the Sulfuric Acid/Water solution in the battery. The heavier Sulfuric Acid can settle to the lower level of the cells over periods of non use. A bigger problem with deep cycle batteries in stationary installations.

Also, with RV converters that have this "4th stage", one may never notice it going into this stage as the "clock" is reset every time there is any battery activity.

Stratification is also not an issue as a rule with batteries in mobile applications like RV's. The electrolyte is sufficiently "stirred" as it rides down the road. ( more so on I-5 in California)

The largest single issue with MOST converters remains the long distances between them and batteries. The voltage drop upsets the algorithms used by the converter manufacturers that determine the switching among modes.

One exception is the Victron Converter/Chargers that interface with the Victron BMV monitor and shunt.

Voltages that control them are measured AT the battery, not inside the converter/charger so voltage drop across the connecting wire is mostly moot.

If the usal suspects that build RV converters would just provide a single connection for a control voltage ON A SEPARATE WIRE direct from the battery even WFCO converters would work well 20-30 feet from the batteries.
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Old 09-19-2021, 01:03 PM   #16
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I'm using the recommendations from the manufacturer of my batteries, US Battery, which is what I would recommend to others as well - what the manufacturer of their batteries recommends.

US Battery Deep Cycle Battery User Manual:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Capture1.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	300.0 KB
ID:	263055

With the WFCO converters installed by the manufacturer of two trailers, I never saw more the 13.8 volts at the battery. After upgrading to the Progressive Dynamics converters, I see 14.2 volts at the battery and I get the added benefit of the timed, recurring equalizing charge that US Battery recommends for my batteries.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:08 PM   #17
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I'm using the recommendations from the manufacturer of my batteries, US Battery, which is what I would recommend to others as well - what the manufacturer of their batteries recommends.

US Battery Deep Cycle Battery User Manual:

Attachment 263055

With the WFCO converters installed by the manufacturer of two trailers, I never saw more the 13.8 volts at the battery. After upgrading to the Progressive Dynamics converters, I see 14.2 volts at the battery and I get the added benefit of the timed, recurring equalizing charge that US Battery recommends for my batteries.
One of the reasons I went to LiFePo4 batteries. Beyond installing and recharging, no special attention required by either me, or my battery charger
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:53 AM   #18
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^^^

Someday I hope to be able to afford LiFePo4.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:18 PM   #19
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^^^

Someday I hope to be able to afford LiFePo4.
Have heart, the prices are coming down.

Some 100ah LiFePo4 batteries are now on the market for not much more than a pair of premium AGM barreries delivering about the same usable energy. But with far longer recharge times.

And this doesn't take into consideration the longer lifespan of LiFePo4.
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