converter (inverter?) advice

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by penny, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I think I mean to ask about the converter. we had to purchase a new battery for the pop up, and chose a group 27 deep cycle. I've installed the charge controller and wires to use our 100 watt solar panel, and connected the new battery to the pop up. the only things that will use any amps to consider while we are camping, are the furnace fan and the water pump. On our older (1995) rv, we have mistakenly left the camper plugged in, and I think it has damaged by overcharging the 2 deep cycle batteries we have connected to the coach. we have gone to a trickle charger for that camper. But, I think (!) being a 2010, our pop up has a "smarter" converter, and leaving the battery connected to the camper, and the camper plugged in to 110 shore power won't hurt the new battery. do I understand this correctly? Or should we disconnect the battery from the pop up and purchase a second trickle charger for the pop up?
     
  2. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    To me, it depends on how long the campers going to sit. For a week or two I might leave it plugged in. For more, during season, I would remove the negative wire from the battery during storage and reconnect and plug in a couple of days before the next trip. If it goes into winter storage I would remove the battery from the pup and put it somewhere where I could check and possibly charge it monthly.
     
  3. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    thank you! with our recent cold snap, I've left both pop up and RV plugged in to leave electric heaters running to keep things from freezing. well, the pop up water tank, pump and lines are empty, but I still am running an electric heater out there, as we have been working inside on frivolous upgrades.
    the little RV still has water in the tank, pump and lines and toilet.
    but each unit has a charge controller monitoring the battery, and the pop up cc is reading 13.5 and the RV cc is reading 13.7.
    we keep the RV ready to go as we do a lot of winter camping while traveling. we may do the same with the pop up, it depends on how cold it gets!
     
  4. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    A good battery will maintain charge for more than a month if disconnected. I would check it periodically and will give it a boost charge if the voltage drops below 12.6-12.4 volts. The battery does not need to be connected for the camper to be plugged in for what you're doing now, the converter will provide any 12VDC current you need. Installing an easily accessible battery disconnect makes it a no-brainer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  5. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I only have the battery connected because we just bought it, and I figured it had been on the shelf a month and could benefit from the charging the converter would supply. I don't have any literature on the converter, and hoped it was one of the newer ones that wouldn't overcharge my new battery.
     
  6. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. [​IMG]
     
  7. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    that's nifty!
     
  8. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    If it's been charging a couple of days it probably has all the charge it needs for a month at least. Disconnect it, wait 24 hours and then check it, if it shows 12.8 volts or more it's fully charged. Then check it monthly, if the charge drops below 12.6 give it a boost charge.
     
  9. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, will do!
     
  10. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    If you are connected to shore power what is the purpose of the 100 watt solar panel?
     
  11. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    we are connected to shore power while at home in the driveway. when we go camping we use the solar panel. Since we just replaced the battery, and the date on it is 11/17, I thought a charge would be in order.
     
  12. ArizonaJoe

    ArizonaJoe Member

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    I have a large bank of six golf cart 6volt batteries and take great care not to hurt them. I have a water refill system attached to make sure the batteries do not go dry while being charged (converter, trickle charger or smart deep cycle charger). I have two 20 amp smart 7 stage deep cycle chargers hooked up. When thinks go into storage I check the water level once a month and give the batteries a good charge for a day or two until the chargers go I to float mode.
    I have manual disconnects to make sure nothing is being powered (even having an open circuit can slowly drain a battery).
    I have a main shutoff for the 12v fuse panel, inverter, charge controller and the solar panels in. 20171113_141509.jpg l
     
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  13. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Wow! That is really impressive and well done!
     
  14. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Are you venting the gasses from the batteries into your camper with those fans?
     
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  15. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Your converter should be charging and maintaining the charge on your battery while plugged in at home however I personally don't think that is the best way. I prefer a stand alone charger or maintainer.
     
  16. ArizonaJoe

    ArizonaJoe Member

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    I actually have two sets of vents to bring in outside air by the battery bank (low side) and forced air top vents to expel hydrogen. Batteries only gas when you overcharge or "boil" them. If you have a good quality charge controller, you can set the voltages for bulk and float lower then the boiling point of your battery. I'm also in the process of building a hydrogen sensor alarm that will kick dual exaust fans on in case the hydrogen level gets too high.

    I do not have a converter. I have dual 20 amp 7 stage deep cycle chargers made by VMAXTANKS.
    I perfer to have a dedicated 12v fuse panel with a manual shut off so I can isolate my batteries and charge them.
    I'm running a 1200 watt pure sine wave inverter with an automatic pass thru switch. All of my 110v plugs can run off of battery or shore power (making two sets of 110v outlets seemed like a waste).
     
  17. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    The converter comment/response was not to you.
     
  18. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Penny, if you have a WFCO power center you can leave it connected if you do so 24/7. The propane and CO can depelte your battery in a week or two. The WFCO should only put out 13.2v after 40hrs of 13.6v. You solar should get the battery up to mid 14v daily, that is what I would rely on in the winter or storage.

    It is up to you if you want to disconnect the PU from the battery but leave the solar as a charger/maintainer, it likely uses temperature compensation and provides better care than most anything else.

    In cold temps, the WFCO 13.6 normal voltage is not too much so you can leave it plugged in 24/7, if not disconnect so the detecors don't discharge and leave the solar as a maintainer.
     
  19. geogol

    geogol New Member

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    Hi Joe, Are your batteries AGM or Flooded? If flooded aren't you concern with gas evaporation while sleeping and health-related issues? Are your panels on top of the roof or installed outside? What is the capacity?
     
  20. davido

    davido Active Member

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    I leave my converter plugged in and hooked up. I've tested the maintenance voltage and consider it appropriate. I used to check the battery fluid level every week, then later every couple weeks. But as I've gained comfort with the fact that the converter isn't boiling off the electrolyte I've gotten to the point that I check every month through the off-season, and during the camping season I check it monthly, as well as before each trip.

    I've never added more than about 1/4th inch in a year's time.

    Your mileage will vary, because not all converters are made equal, and not all batteries are in the same level of healthy. Also, I have a dual-battery setup, so the maintenance charge is split between two batteries. So the trickle/maintenance charge is not as high relative to total capacity as if I had only a single battery.
     

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