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Old 07-20-2010, 09:58 PM   #1
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Converter/Charger upgrade

On our last camping trip I noticed the trailer battery on our Sunline 2475 was not holding a charge as long as it had in the past. I knew this day would come when we purchased our camper 2 years ago. I had been reading about battery and charger upgrades on this site for awhile now. But before I was going to do any battery change I was certain I wanted to upgrade the charger/converter in the camper. After reading many posts here and at other sites I decided on the Progressive Dynamics 9260C charger.

Well tonight I finally finished installing the charger tonight. Thanks to all the wonderful posts on this site especially John B's write up of his upgrade it installed rather quickly. Wow, what a difference in noise level. The old charger the fans always ran full speed all the time. The new charger didn't make any noise went I started it up the first time. I had to measure the voltage to verify it was actually working it was so quite!


Now to the next step, upgrading the battery. Right now I have a single grp 24 battery. I was thinking of going to a pair of grp 27 batteries in parallel. I was looking for all suggestions and recommendations from anybody that has upgraded their camper's battery. Typically we dry camp at the most 4 days in the winter and at most 6 days in the summer.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:14 PM   #2
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I use two grp 24's in parallel and after 4 days I still have plenty of power. I have a 3rd I'll charge and bring with me and hook up for longer stays or when I think I'll use the furnace. I do use an accumulater tank which cuts down on pump starts and we're careful about lights. I use the DVD player and satellite radio which draws quite a bit.

I don't do anything special for the batteries. They charge from the campers system or on the road.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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Hi Lost Hunter

Sorry so long getting back to you.

I went 2, gtp 27’s. I have a slide and the motor draws some more current to deal with upon setup and tear down of camp.

When we boondock, I do a generator recharge each day to be topped back off or shall I say at least to 90% state of charge. Gennie running time is limited so I take what I can get each day.

I have gone to several LED lights, bought more this year as I work my way thru the conversion process and that helps. The non LED I change out to a much lower wattage bulbs. It is amazing what light bulbs draw when the stock blubs are used.

If I was staying in the 12 volt battery world I would go group 29’s at least. You still have to deal with new battery boxes and the battery rack and the cost to go 29’s is not that much more. So I wished I skipped the group 27 route. However since I’m a power mizer and do daily recharges I have not run out of power. The 29’s would of gave me a little more cushion

When these 2 group 27’s give up, I will look at the 6 volt combos similar to what Frank did. All though I do not know if I am going 4 batteries just yet… He can weld if he wants to I think…

Regardless which way you go, see this article on how to hook up the parallel to force more equal draw and charging. http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html

Good luck and hope this helps

John
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for both your replies. We just got back from a camping trip. Boy it was nice and quite in the camper at night with the new charger/converter. We're still on the fence on what what batteries to use for the upgrade. We'll have to adjust the battery rack to squeeze in to batteries so we plan to do the work this winter or next spring. Like Paul I love my satellite radio and that really drains the battery. We hope to upgrade the lighting to leds eventually but for now when we boondock we use portable battery lights to extend the battery life. Thanks for the link John on hooking up the cables to get equal power and charging on each battery.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:22 PM   #5
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A few pictures of the upgrade

Here are a few pictures I took of the installation of the new charger/converter.




Here the old unit is just about ready to be removed. I disconnected the 110 volt power to the camper and also the 12 volt battery. Also I waited a little while to allow the capacitors to discharge before removing the old charger. If you have every been shocked by a capactor you know why I waited.





I had a minor problem when I went to disconnect the power feed from the charger to the fuse buss. The brass nut embedded inside the plastic was spinning free and would not allow me to loosen the screw. I had to chisel the plastic off of the nut to allow me to grab the nut with pliers. After that small issue the rest of the job went smoothly.






I mounted the new Progressive Dynamics PD9260C behind the power panel. You can see the outlet in the upper right of the picture I installed to power up the charger. I debated on hard wiring the charger or installing an outlet and settled on installing an outlet.




Here you can see the charger behind the power panel. I cut out the plastic housing where the old unit was housed. I had a little problem cutting the bottom with my rotozip as you can see from the jagged edge..





The plastic housing for the old charger was tapered so I was able to cut a few inches off the old plastic housing and reinserted it into the power center. This made for a cleaner installation and freed up a few inches behind the power center to allow the new charger installation.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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Nice job Lost Hunter. Looks good and I'm sure "sounds good"

Thanks for sharing
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