Maybe a stupid converter question?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by sjrider, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Your Jayco's "power station" is a converter but if the most you see is 13.6 vdc when charging the battery then it's not working "just fine" as the battery will want to see an initial bulk charge of 14.4 volts (14.8 volts for Trojan batteries) before it ramps back down to 13.6 volts and eventually 13.2 volts.

    I've owned several trailers with one variety or another of WFCO converter and in each case that poor WFCO would never bulk charge properly. In our most recent trailer I simply turned off the WFCO and instead used a stand alone CTEK charger that would properly bulk charge the battery.
     
  2. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    As you know your power center is more than a converter, disconnect the internal converter and keep the distribution both ac and dc.

    a smart charger will likely need to sense a battery to work, if you have a battery then simple use a smart charger when utility power is available. You could get a stand alone PD converter with wizard.

    many smart chargers available at local big boxes https://www.baccusglobal.com/
     
  3. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    What is your priority, to power your 12 volt accessories while camping with shore power or to charge and maintain a battery bank for off grid camping?
     
  4. sjrider

    sjrider New Member

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    My wife and I cannot do the hotel thing. We need to travel 13 hours north to our cabin in Pennsylvania. We are going to use the pup for the 1 or 2 nights on the way there, and other camping events as we may desire. I have a larger charger that I would like to leave at home. This battery will only be used to power the water pump and sirius radio boom box with led lights as needed.
     
  5. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    The Schumacher Speed Charger aka Ship-n-Shore is a good light weight charger, has an excellent display and good diagnostics. Available from about $60 to $100 depending on amp output. I've been using one for over 10 years with no issues. I recently broke down and got a Victron Blue Smart Charger IP65. More expensive, smaller, water proof and with a bluetooth app for my phone. I've only used it a few times but think it delivers a smoother charge. I still prefer the display on the Schumacher.
     
  6. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I agree with separate systems, but they don't fit in the corporate budget. A single unit is much quicker in assembly, less connections for someone to botch, and take up less space.
    You can buy an all in one unit with a 30-35 amp converter/charger for about $150. A stand alone 30-35 amp converter/charger is going to set you back $100+. You will still need a AC breaker panel and breakers, 12 volt fuse panel, and wiring to connect it all. Add in the extra labor to install it all and the all in one is cheaper and the added bonus of quicker cheaper warranty repairs.

    The converter doesn't get used in our PUP. All 12 volt needs are supplied by the battery with a smart charger to maintain the battery.
     
  7. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    A few months ago I bought a Schumacher SC1281 6/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and 30/100A Engine Starter with Advanced Diagnostic Testing. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BLLRM8R/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (the 100A style for $56, not the 30/100 style for $96)

    Does this model fit what you describe? I usually don't camp where shore power is available, but I plan to bring my new Champion dual power 2000W inverter generator to recharge my (dieing) battery as needed. I can use the 30 amp range when I connect it to the AUX 12v + that normally goes to /from the TV because it has a 30A fuse. Is there any downside or risks to my converter charging this way? "IF" I used a 120v AC plug in the pup while the charger was connected, would that cause any issues? The only 120v AC thing I can think I'd run is an electric heater (1500w max) normally only used when shore power would be available. I doubt I'd need 120v electric heat in daytime when the Gen. might run for an hour or more if needed. My current grp 24 AGM battery is on it's last legs. I plan to buy a grp 31 AGM soon, but I need an excuse to run my new generator to actually power something (the failing battery). I have only run it so far w/o load to get it's 5 hour break-in and first oil change. I need to actually use the new toy! ;) At least so I have tested it before the next PG&E 'scheduled' power outage...
     
  8. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    I've never used this charger and can't find much information on line. It should be fine as long as you don't leave it on too long. It will will charge your battery much faster than your converter due to higher voltage output and let you limit your generator run time, an hour or two should have you close to the current max capacity of your battery.

    The regulated 12 volt output on your genny is just that, and will provide less charge to the battery than your converter. It won't help to get fancy, just plug either the trailer plug or the charger into the 110 AC outlet, either will work. With your smaller declining battery I would do my charging in the evening, to have as much as possible going into the night hours.

    I've tried to find justification for buying an AGM battery in the past, but unless you have special mounting considerations I just don't see the benefit. Both are lead/acid batteries with similar capacities and requirements. I'd spend the extra money to upgrade to a "better" level of flooded lead acid.
     
  9. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    The OP's generator's 12 vdc output is UNREGULATED. Better to use the generator's 120 vac output to power the trailer's converter or a stand alone charger.
     
    BillyMc likes this.

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