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Old 06-22-2010, 01:57 PM   #1
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Power Converter Question...

I have a quick question about a power converter upgrade. I am about to do the same upgrade in my 2004 T-1950 as JohnB did in this post Power Converter Upgrade

I have the older American board with the bad fans, like he did. I was about to order the PD9260C and I noticed that I currently have a 35 amp service. Any suggestions to what Amp rating controller should I be ordering (45, 60 or other)?

Thanks!
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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Hi Scott,

I'm not really sure, why there are so many different amperage ratings. I know our T-320SR had a 30amp converter and the T-299SR also had a 30amp. I had two batteries on the T-320 and the converter worked great.

Our 5th wheel has a 60amp converter and the only electrical difference between it and the T-320, is the fact that the 5th wheel has electric landing gear and a group 27 battery. The T320 had two group 24's.

If you want to use the PD9200 series converter, you'll have to upgrade to 45amps. They do have a PD9130, that has a 30amp output...
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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Hi Scott

This is my opinion based on a few things as this topic comes up a fair amount.

Do you plan on adding a 2nd battery for bondocking camping?

Do you have a pic of the converter fuse panel in the American?

The 35 amp system is small especially if you add 2 batteries. Now why do I say this.

The converter senses how drained down the battery is. And it then sends as many amps to the battery as is safe for constant recharges and if you are not using stuff inside the camper. In the case of 1 battery this could be 10 maybe 12 amps on a standard group 24 deep cycle battery if the battery is say 50% discharged. If you have 2 batteries then that could be 20 to 24 amps. So that would leave a whole 11 amps of DC left to run everything else. OR the battery charge suffers and you get a real slow battery charge. If your running of a generator this can be an issue.

Now your smaller TT does not suck as much 12VDC as my larger one when it is running just because it does not have as many inside lights. BUT it still has all the rest of the 12VDC requirements.

Water pump, Fridge, lights HW heater on gas, AC, furnace etc. If you end up charging a battery while you are using a lot in the camper you can run out on a 35 amp converter. If you never charge the battery while on the converter then 35 amps is plenty.

My 60 amp allows me to charge 2, group 27 batteries and use about all I want to inside at the same time. This really helps when boondocking off a genny that can only run 4 to 5 hours a day in some parks. And the PD will kick into 14.4volt boost right from the get go if the battery is down much. I really like the PD for this reason and I can force it's mode too if I want to. Some with the WFCO have had issues trying to get the thing to go into boost mode off a genny.

I would say if you go only ever 1 battery, upgrade to at least a 45 amp. If you may some day add 2 batteries, go with the 60.

Hope this helps

John

Also as a comparison, my 2004 T2499 had a 60 amp unit in it direct from Sunline. There is not that much difference in lighting in a T1950 as in a T2499.

It seems somewhere in the 2004 model year Sunline upgraded the convertors. Maybe they ran out of the older Americans or American changed. My 2004 T310SR made in Oct 2003 had a 60amp older CS6000. My 2004 T2499 I use to own was built in May 2004. It had the newer better CS6000XL. So somewhere between Oct 03 and May 04 upgrades came.


PS. Maybe someone with a 2005 or newer T1950 could comment on what size converter Sunline put in on them. Now I’m curious on how Sunline viewed them in the newer models.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
It seems somewhere in the 2004 model year Sunline upgraded the convertors. Maybe they ran out of the older Americans or American changed. My 2004 T310SR made in Oct 2003 had a 60amp older CS6000. My 2004 T2499 I use to own was built in May 2004. It had the newer better CS6000XL. So somewhere between Oct 03 and May 04 upgrades came.
John, Scott's coach is a very early October, 2003 build, just in the Denver plant instead of Leola due to it being non-slide.

Jon
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:57 PM   #5
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Thanks! The 60 amp converter is ordered ($148 shipped w/ remote pendant)! Somehow I suspected that it just made sense to order the 60 amp over the 45...especially being only about a $20 difference. But with that explanation it REALLY makes sense, given I will be going to a 2 battery setup (hmmm now what batteries and where to put them).

I checked and I will have plenty of space above the fuse panel to install the converter. I'll have to do something similar to JohnB's custom door arrangement, but it won't be too hard. Here are the pics of my American (sorry, they are pretty dark):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo.jpg (42.5 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2.jpg (38.8 KB, 3 views)
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
Thanks! The 60 amp converter is ordered ($148 shipped w/ remote pendant)! Somehow I suspected that it just made sense to order the 60 amp over the 45...especially being only about a $20 difference. But with that explanation it REALLY makes sense, given I will be going to a 2 battery setup (hmmm now what batteries and where to put them).

I checked and I will have plenty of space above the fuse panel to install the converter. I'll have to do something similar to JohnB's custom door arrangement, but it won't be too hard. Here are the pics of my American (sorry, they are pretty dark):
Scott, sounds like you made an excellent decision.

As far as batteries, I'm very pleased with the 6v golf cart batteries (obviously wired in series). We started with one pair, and last year I added a second pair. There's a thread around here somewhere with my upgrade. Ah, here it is: More (battery) Power

- Frank
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank View Post
Scott, sounds like you made an excellent decision.

As far as batteries, I'm very pleased with the 6v golf cart batteries (obviously wired in series). We started with one pair, and last year I added a second pair. There's a thread around here somewhere with my upgrade. Ah, here it is: More (battery) Power

- Frank
Scott, I myself have 2, Group 27's. It's sort of a long story on how I ended up with them but they are a step up over the standard Group 24's that come as standard.

If I was doing this over, if I stayed in the 12 volt thought process it would be 2, Group 29's. More power almost same money.

When my 2, Group 27's die (several years from now and probably then some) I will go down the 6 volt route for the reasons Frank suggested and follow his lead. And maybe even do his fancy stage of charge gizmo too.

In Frank's case I think he can now do small arc welding even..... He was on a mission to be able to get the hair dryer on the inverter and he accomplished his goal.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:30 PM   #8
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Well I finished the power converter/charger install today. I just need to install the door tomorrow after a coat of finish. Here are a few pics of my progress:


The before picture. I removed the fixed panel where I will mount the new converter. There were about 20 staples holding this in! I guess someone really didn't want it to fall out!


Panel removed and converter cover off. Old converter/charger still in (it the board on the left 1/3 of the black box.


Converter/charger all wired up ready for installation. I used 6 gauge wire for the 12 volt connections (black & white wires on left side) and for the ground to chassis (smaller black wire on the right side). For 110 power to the converter I just cut off the existing the 3 prong plug (thick black wire on right side) off and wired it directly into the breaker, neutral and ground which was how the old converter charger was powered.


New Converter/Charger Installed. Old one is now gone. I realized after I had everything installed, I could have squeezed the new charger in the space of the old one. I may try moving it there, in the future. There is a lot of space the could be utilized for an inverter, solar charge controller, etc. in there. Hmmm the wheels are turning!


A wider shot of the area. I'll post a picture in a couple days when I get the new door installed.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:46 PM   #9
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In Frank's case I think he can now do small arc welding even..... He was on a mission to be able to get the hair dryer on the inverter and he accomplished his goal.
Now that's a goal to shoot for!

I currently have a 1 year old Group 24 Everstart Deep Cycle Battery (Walmart) that came with the camper. I just bought a second one to match it for (only $60) since the exact same battery is still available. I will just wire these in parallel and I should be "good to go" right?

This setup will hopefully be good enough for a few days of frugal dry camping between recharges (no hairdryers, coffee makers, welding or tv's). Well, it will just have to do for this summer. I plan to make more upgrades to the 12 volt system this fall or next spring (make my own solar panel, larger inverter, etc). At that time I will upgrade to larger a higher quality battery bank (2 or maybe 4?).

For now, this was the most logical upgrade for only $60. Especially, since I have spent quite a bit of cash on all the other upgrades (power jack, maxx fan and converter/charger).
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:51 PM   #10
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Nice job Scott!!!

The only 1 thing I'll add, is heat. The PD even has an internal shut down if it get's to hot. Since you have a lot of space around the PD now, heat may never become an issue when using a lot of amps. If it does a vent panel of some sort in your door cover may be all that is needed. I had a 1 1/2" gap in my door cover to allow fresh air to go in.

The staples in the panel, yes I know about them too. The luxary of power staplers does tend to run away with how many are really needed.... I added a door in my T310SR bed room over head and there was a panel stapled in there. My goodness, a staple in a piece of 1/8" luan every 2 inches is a bit of overkill....
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
Now that's a goal to shoot for!

I currently have a 1 year old Group 24 Everstart Deep Cycle Battery (Walmart) that came with the camper. I just bought a second one to match it for (only $60) since the exact same battery is still available. I will just wire these in parallel and I should be "good to go" right?
Yes in your case that will work. You are sort of in the same boat I was just I started out with 1 group 27....

There is a better way on how to tie the 2 batteries together. I'll dig for the diagram tomorrow but you put the coach Positve wire on one battery
and then the coach negative wire on the other battery. Then you still need the 2, heavy cables to interconnect in parallel.

By doing that it forces equal draw from both batteries better then just tagging both the coach + and - on the one battery and jumping to the other with the parallel cables.

John
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:13 PM   #12
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By doing that it forces equal draw from both batteries better then just tagging both the coach + and - on the one battery and jumping to the other with the parallel cables.

John
I would love to see that! I was using this diagram from The 12 Volt Side of Life and equal draw was my one question about my setup, having one battery that is a year older than the other.

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Old 06-28-2010, 11:33 PM   #13
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Scott

I cannot find the exact right site. I know I have read the exact reason and I have even proven it on my own too.

Here are 2 sites but they do not tell the "why" it is better to do it this way.

RV Batteries Wiring Diagrams

Trojan Battery Company

I'll find it and post. Actually EMD_Driver linked me to a good one a long time ago. Gary, you still have that link?

It has to do with the amount of resistance thru the batteries and the way the charger senses how strong the battery is to know what charge rate is sends it. I'll find the right tech site and type more on my own experiment this spring.

John
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:56 PM   #14
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Well Scott it took some digging but I found what I was looking for.

And along the way I found these. There is still a lot of old way of thinking in how to hook up batteries in parallel. However these do use the more equal draw method.

These do show the more equal draw method but do not explain why.

http://rv-batteries.com/about.php

http://www.solarray.com/TechGuides/WireDiagrams_T.php

http://www.rpc.com.au/products/batteries/deepcycle_faq.html

http://www.interstatedealers.com/ibcatalog_09/common/battery_connections.pdf

http://www.trojanbattery.com/Tech-Support/documents/UsersGuide_0708_English_003.pdf

http://solar-catalog.com/info/battery_wiring_diagram.html

And now the one I was looking for. This site has a lot of battery stuff on it.

http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html

They explain how to do 2, 3, 4 batteries and more in parallel so each get more equal distribution of use and charge.

By using this method with 2 batteries:


It does not cost any more then tagging the camper + and wire right onto the first battery and then paralleling to the second but it does do this:
  • It forces equal draw from the 2 batteries and it forces equal charging as the gets the 12 volt potential from both ends of the battery bank.
  • The wire that connects the 2 batteries has some resistance to it. Even being very small it will affect the draw and charge on the 2nd battery if the camper is only tied to one battery and paralleled to the 2nd. I proved that myself last spring. I had my 2 group 27s hooked up the old way, jumper between the 2 and then tagged the + and to the 1st battery. And I even use a Battery Minder/conditioner that has a desulfate mode on it all the time when not camping. And when camping the PD converter takes over.
So since it had been on for several days maintaining I unhooked each and tested the voltage on both. WOW one is 12.7 the other 12.55??? How can this be? Well it was The one closest to the camper wiring was 12.55 and the furthest away was the 12.7. So I rehooked it up using the newer method and then 4 days later both read 12.7. It works.
Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
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By using this method with 2 batteries:


  • The wire that connects the 2 batteries has some resistance to it. Even being very small it will affect the draw and charge on the 2nd battery if the camper is only tied to one battery and paralleled to the 2nd. I proved that myself last spring. I had my 2 group 27s hooked up the old way, jumper between the 2 and then tagged the + and to the 1st battery. And I even use a Battery Minder/conditioner that has a desulfate mode on it all the time when not camping. And when camping the PD converter takes over.
So since it had been on for several days maintaining I unhooked each and tested the voltage on both. WOW one is 12.7 the other 12.55??? How can this be? Well it was The one closest to the camper wiring was 12.55 and the furthest away was the 12.7. So I rehooked it up using the newer method and then 4 days later both read 12.7. It works.
Hope this helps

John
This is great! I'll switch one of the camper wires to the other battery tomorrow. It really makes perfect sense. But, I had only been thinking about this in terms of equal draw, and I hadn't considered it in terms of equal charging. I'm really starting to get a clue on this battery stuff and yes .2 is huge! I really haven't seen any reason not to connect the batteries this way.

I am loving the PD Converter. I still haven't even heard the fan kick on yet, as opposed to the old one where it ran constantly no matter what the load was.

Thanks a bunch for your help with all this.

Cheers.
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