Centurion 3000 Converter Replacement

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by dhoff, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. dhoff

    dhoff Member

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    The Centurion 3000 converter in our pop up finally gave up the ghost last fall. No 12v power when connected to shore power, and it had been acting up for years before that.

    I've seen it mentioned that the WFCO WF8735P is a direct replacement. Has anyone done this replacement themselves, if I order this from Best Converter does it come with diagrams or instructions? Is it difficult to install?

    The reason I ask is, it's really a rat's nest or wiring. If the new converther comes with a diagram or instructions I should be able to figure it out, if not, I might just take it in to be fixed.
     
  2. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I put in a WF8725 in my previous PUP to replace an Elixir (same description - "direct replacement").

    WFCO has no idea how any manufacturer has used their product and which circuits are which. There's no guarantee that the same manufacturer wires up the circuits the same from one model to the next in their PUPs. They can't provide you anything on that side of it.

    What you're left with is basic installation instructions from WFCO of where the supply lines goes, where the charge line to the battery is and the rest is up to you, since that part is highly variable. It has a basic manual and wiring diagram, mostly just a layout of the board and connection points.

    Hopefully, the Centurion has labeling on the existing circuits. Maybe not. Just make sure that 120v AC goes to the 120v breakers, and that 12v DC goes to the 12v fuses. I had to pull a fuse and see what went off, so I could properly label what was on that circuit. And I spent some time cleaning up and organizing the rat's nest that was behind the original converter. You'll need to find your specific model of PUP if you want a wiring diagram of how your circuit lines are laid out.

    Work slowly, but you should get through it. Let me know if you have specific questions or concerns.
     
  3. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Yes, post back with all questions and concerns and we/someone will be able to help you through it. It should be pretty straight forward.
     
  4. Reel Aggies

    Reel Aggies New Member

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    I had my Elixer converter go out this weekend as well. I am debating on whether to change it myself or take it to be done. I am no electrician by any means, but if it is basically the same layout I may be able to do it. My fear is burning out a new one then having to buy another unit and paying someone to do it right! Is it basically just matching up wires to locations? Are the connections the same between Elixer and WFCO? I am having second thoughts about doing it myself....
     
  5. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    It's a fairly straightforward operation.

    There are screws/lugs holding the 12v wires in place. As you unscrew one wire from the Elixir, label it with masking tape and the label of the circuit that was on the Elixir.

    The circuit breakers for the two or three 120v AC circuits are also use screw/pressure plates to hold the hot wire in. Again, label them as you pull them out.

    There is a small plate on the top of the unit being held in place with one screw. Remove that and you can see the bus bars and connection for the ground and neutrals. The 120v hot legs also run through this section.

    Do not cut any wires. Feed them back through, straightening or bending them as needed to get them out of the Elixir. Getting them out is truly the hardest part, as putting them into a WFCO has multiple ports to feed the wires into.

    The WFCO has all of the types of connections labelled. As long as you understand household 120v wiring colors (tons of documentation and simple images online), that side is simple. Same for the 12v. Whatever you unhooked from the ground or negative bar inside the Elixir will go to the same thing inside the WFCO. Depending on the model of WFCO (if you go that route), it will be such a pleasure after having unraveled the mess that comes out of the Elixir.

    Of course, the warning(s): do not have the battery connected, or the shore power plug plugged into anything. Disconnect both.
    I did mine in one evening, so I ran an independent extension cord from an outside outlet on my house to a work light to use inside the PUP. A flashlight can also be useful, even during the day.

    You can transfer the 120v circuit breakers and the 12v fuses over to the new converter. Depending on the model you get, it can be a direct fit in the hole left by removing the Elixir.

    Your battery will also thank you with extended service, as even the small 8700 WFCOs are smart, three-stage battery chargers.

    My final word: if you do not feel comfortable, by all means have a professional do it. Better to be safe than sorry. With just my tiny knowledge of electrical wiring, I'm just not smart enough to ask a professional do to it for me.
     
  6. Reel Aggies

    Reel Aggies New Member

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    Thanks Bond, my WFCO 8735 will be delivered on Tuesday. I am going to make the attempt. I hope it will go together easy, just wish I could pull it put and wire it on a work bench, not hunched over in the camper!
     
  7. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    But half the fun is trying to keep working when the back, neck and knees are screaming in pain because you've had to hunker down and turn sideways.

    And don't come back and post that you were electrocuted while trying to do this yourself. I couldn't live with myself if that happened. [::)]
     
  8. Reel Aggies

    Reel Aggies New Member

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    I grew up working on a farm, I'm sure I can handle it. I just don't work with it all the time.
     
  9. Reel Aggies

    Reel Aggies New Member

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    Ok I installed my converter, plugged it in, and had power! No alarms or smoke. :). The ac fired right up, cooled, outside 120v plugs worked like a charm. Inside I turned on the two overhead 12v lights and they seemed to burn brighter until they burned out at the same time (after about 5 min). I felt the light fixture and it seemed pretty hot to the touch. I cut everything off and unplugged. Why do you think my 12v lights burned brighter then out? Would not having a battery hooked up to it have any effect? I read where it might. Too big of a fuse maybe? I transferred from one unit to the new and used all the same color wires to connect. Really frustrated, any ideas??
     
  10. dhoff

    dhoff Member

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    Well I FINALLY ordered a new converter and should be able to install it in the next week it two. We're camping again in mid- October so we'll need lights. I will document it with photos and start a new thread. Wish me luck!
     
  11. dhoff

    dhoff Member

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    Well, it's installed. I ordered a WFCO 8725P, because it matched the existing cutout. It took me pretty much all day, but it works! And I didn't let any smoke out of the wires. When I have some time I'll start a thread and put up my photos. It wasn't really that hard, I marked all the wires and did a little Googling to make sure I was understanding the breaker wiring correctly. Now enjoying a cold beverage and congratulating myself. Yes, I'm easily amused.
     
  12. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    Whenever I mess with wires, I use one of these to identify them for the next time.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Marioleos01

    Marioleos01 New Member

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    My centurion 3000 just gave it up.
    I know this thread covers this but it has been a few years since this thread has been updated and I was wondering which units have been used as a direct replacment? I'm going out in a few weeks to the desert and it is going to be cold so I want to make sure that whatever I replace my unit with can charge my battery in a couple of hours. Generators out at 8 pm.
    I am thinking about putting a 6D battery on the trailer so the heater can run most of the night if need be, just concerned the chargers rate of charge.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  14. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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  15. theseus

    theseus CamperMod Addict - Thinking about the Dark Side... Silver Supporting Member

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    I have done it twice. Once on my Palomino and once in my current Coleman. It’s not hard, just make sure you have plenty of buttend connectors for the DC side.

    I still needed to make the opening a bit bigger. A jig saw works nicely. I used the 8745. The 8725 is the perfect number of circuits, but having spare capacity is never a bad thing, in my opinion.
     
    WeLoveCamping likes this.
  16. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    +2 I think I replaced with a 8735 Hole need to be about 1 inch wider. I did not use butt connectors, but used wire nuts followed by electrical tape for the DC circuit wires.
     
  17. Marioleos01

    Marioleos01 New Member

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    Thank you all for your input. I will be installing the replacement next weekend after I pick it up.
     
  18. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for bringing up the older post. Got to remember some memories from times past with Bondebond from Searcy, Arkansas. Everybody knows where Searcy, Arkansas is haha... Have lost complete contact with him now...

    I went with WFCO 8945 setup that handled all of my AC and DC circuits just fine with its Distribution Center for my 2008 StarCraft 14R/T Off Road camper. Took me just a couple of hours to transfer over all of the wiring. I had two or three circuits I had to make longer wiring leads to fit properly... Everything all connected up and allowed me to get rid of the hugh "rats nest" of wiring where the original ELIXIR unit only had four DC circuits and all of the DC circuit were combined together into these four circuit using twist-on connectors. The new Distribution setup gave me five large holes for 120VAC circuit breakers so I ended up using a LARGE 30A MAIN BREAKER and then used the half size style breakers to fill in the remaining four slot. This gave me nine 120VAC breakers compared to the three I original had... The DC Power distribution side gives me Eleven DC fuse controlled circuit compared to the four I had originally... It also gives me REVERSE CONNECTION 'FUSE' protection if the batteries are ever connected up wrong.

    [​IMG]
    Google photo...

    All went well until I started using the WFCO 45AMP Converter/Charger unit. I could never get it to go into any of the SMART MODE charging schemes it was suppose to do... Reading all of the post about this problem it seems the WFCO products are lacking in this respect...

    I ended up just turning off the WF8945 charger unit at the circuit breaker position and then purchased a Progressive Dynamics PD9260C 60AMP DC charger unit. I mounted this further down the chain as close to the battery bank I could get and still be inside my POPUP. The PD9260C works perfect with the first power up. Immediately went to the SMART MODE charging sequences producing 14.4VDC, 13.6VDC, and 13.2VDC DC outputs as required. With the WF8945 Charger still installed gives me a good single DC Voltage 13.6VDC 45AMP Power Source as a back up.

    Not familiar with your original converter/charger unit but I had to slightly modify the mount hole to fit my WF-8945 Power Distribution panel after I removed the ELIXIR 30A setup unit. My PD9260C Charger is mounted standalone just inside a cabinet and is tied into the main DC Power Cables feeding my 12VDC Battery switches wired for four 12VDC Batteries... All turned out to be a great change-over for me...
    [​IMG]
    Roy's image


    Hopefully you will have better luck with the WFCO Charger setup then I did… I noticed they still sell a bunch of them since 2008... I still read bad reports from others trying to get them to work properly...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  19. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Im convinced that the WFCO issues is with charging golfcart battries, which needs different charging voltages than Marine/Deep cycle. I have not had any issue with my 3 wfco units I have had. Have gotten over 7 years of life from one marine G-31 I had and it still had 95% the original capacity when I sold the camper.
     
  20. Marioleos01

    Marioleos01 New Member

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    Thanks Roy.
    I was looking to do a stand alone battery charger like you have and adding Gerlich Merlin DC circuit breakers into their own distribution panel. I know the RV stuff works but I can't imagine they work as well as say a battery charger for a emergency generator set. I'm looking for a solid state charger that can charge my 6D battery within a couple of hours using a Honda 2kw generator.
    Also making a installing a stand alone A/C distribution 30 amp panel. Not that my Honda 2kw will pull that load but in the event that I add air conditioning later.
    The main concern for the 6D battery is that I have a cpap machine and between that and the heater I want to make sure the battery is fully charged before generator quiet time.

    And I would rather do all of the work up front and not have a failure when I'm out camping.

    Thanks for the input.
     

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