Upgrading ‘01 Coleman Bayside DC converter

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by Tiki-Dan, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    We have a 2001 Coleman Bayside Elite, it currently has a 20amp converter (I think it’s a WFCO). I want to add more lighting (exterior porch lighting and interior floor lights), a TV(DC powered) & stereo system. The current converter is noisy and probably not very efficient. I’m currently looking at the WFCO WF8740PB 40amp converter. Aside from cutting a larger hole, would this pretty much be a drop in replacement? Or have they made changes to the way these are wired up in the last 18 years?
     
  2. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Why saddle yourself with yet another WFCO which rarely bulk charges at it's advertised 14.4 volts when you can just as easily replace it with a 3 or 4 stage converter that will properly charge your battery? Boondocker is one often used by those who understand these technical issues, Progressive Dynamics is another. Give Best Converter a call and tell them you'd like to replace your current WFCO with a charger that will actually do the job.

    http://www.bestconverter.com/
     
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  3. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    While i truly believe something like that is a MUCH better solution than the WFCO, It looks like switching to one of those would require a new breaker/fuse panel. We are not currently planning on boondocking our PUP, and don't even currently have a battery connected. The only time a battery will even be used is if the power at the campground goes out and we need lighting (which is all LED now). I'm just looking for a simple to install power upgrade that doesn't cost too much. However I will call and see what they have available.

    Now when the kids are moved out, I plan on building a large offroad teardrop camper with solar and high capacity lithium pack for boondocking, At that point I will buy higher quality stuff.
     
  4. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    This being the case and the fact you haven't indicated that your current WFCO hasn't failed why bother changing it at all? Just leave it as is and put those $$$ otherwise spent on a replacement toward a quality converter once you start your teardrop build.
     
  5. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    I think it is starting to go.. there is a high pitched noise coming from it (probably from caps going bad) and the fan is REALLY loud and it kicks on about 2 mins after turning on the overhead LED lights.
     
  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    If you are only going to be with hookups, then skip the DC powered tv and stereo - get AC instead. Then just replace the converter with the same 20 amp size. That will be plenty enough to power the lights.

    If you think you will at some point go dry camping (no hookups), then put the effort in now and upgrade to a better converter/charger.
     
  7. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    I just looked at it and it’s actually a Centurion converter. The label on the front had peeled off.
     
  8. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Terrible converter, had one myself, probably the only one in existence that didn't fail! No longer made as the company went out of business - thankfully!
     
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  9. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    So.. I think I am going to take your advice and go with Progressive Dynamics. I’m going to upgrade my PUP to 50A service and I’m going to go with the Progressive Dynamics 4500 series power center (60A DC version!).

    I discovered my current converter kicks the fan on at pretty much any load! A single 6w led makes it kick in audibly, but two of them send it into high gear! This would be so annoying on a cool night when the AC is off. I plan to add courtesy lights that pretty much stay on all night lighting up the floor, so a fan running all the time would get old rear quick.

    Here is what it sounds like when a single ~15w incandescent bulb is turned on!
     
  10. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    PM me I have a new in the box 4500
     
  11. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    Pm sent
     
  12. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Why? You do realize that 50 amp RV service is really 50 amps across each of 2 legs for a total service capacity of 100 amps (12,000 watts) vs 30 amp RV service which is 30 amps across 1 leg (3600 watts). What in the world could require any popup to draw 100 amps @ 120 vac? Secondly, you do realize that a converter's amp rating has nothing to do with 120 vac system but rather is it's DC rating. [?:~{]
     
  13. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    The converter/charger is no benefit when dry camping. Better to put that money into a battery upgrade.
     
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Actually, it will. A better converter/charger will provide a 3-stage battery charger. That will be better for the battery giving it a longer overall life than an old fashioned single stage charger. Which is better if you dry camp and run off the battery.

    If the OP never adds a battery to the camper, then it doesn't matter.
     
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  15. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    Holy hawkeye, none of my business, but what do you plan on running that you need that much amperage in a popup? My first HOUSE only had a 60 amp service...lol. I think you could cut that number in half, & save yourself a bit of cash....JMO.[:D]
     
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  16. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    The AC we are getting is a 15000btu (about 1900w). Occasionally cooking in a toaster over (1800w). Plus fridge, lighting, stereo system, lots of portable devices charging, etc. We could turn off the AC while cooking, but we would rather be able to have plenty of extra capacity. We could run everything off of a single 50A leg and have enough headroom, if that were a thing. It doesn’t really cost all that much more to go 50a, so why wouldn’t we. We have 5 kids so we will pretty much be glamping.

    Also, about the DC thing. I understand the Difference between AC and DC. The only reason for the 60A DC is because it’s the lowest amp converter I could find on the Progressive Dynamics 50A AC power centers. If they made a 35 amp for cheaper I would go with that one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  17. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    I have to get a new converter anyways, a good 50a is not too much more expensive than a good 30a. We probably wouldn’t be able to run the AC and a toaster oven at the same time without popping a 30amp breaker.
     
  18. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    So aside from the costs involved in converting your popup which currently is wired with 30 amp main service to a whopping 50 amp service you're now restricting yourself to those campsites offering 50 amp service in order to make full use of that much power. That in turn means your little popup is in many cases going to be stuck amongst a group of large 5ths, MHs, etc that often are running dual A/Cs and sucking the life out of that leg of the campground's power grid. It's your camper so obviously you can do what you want with it but it's nonetheless hard to fathom how this is an advantage over simple 30 amp service your popup is already wired with. Employ a power management approach by using just one high draw device at any given time and there's no reason at all why you can't do that with 30 amp service.
     
  19. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    What is stopping me from connecting everything up to use only a single 50amp leg, which with a 30a to 50a adapter should allow me the best of both worlds.

    I don’t see where the costs will be significantly different.

    Replacing the power center:
    $175 for a 30a with 45a DC and 4 stage charger

    $255 for a 50a with 60a DC and 4 stage charger

    I was planning on replacing the 30a hard wired cable with an exterior twist lock anyway
    30a inlet $18
    50a inlet $20

    so I have to buy a new cable.
    25’ 30a twistlock cable $60
    30’ 50a twistlock cable $130

    Unless I am missing something, so far I’m not seeing a huge price difference.
     
  20. Tiki-Dan

    Tiki-Dan New Member

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    Also.. I like to over-provision, especially with something like electric. On my boat, when I ran power wire for the fuse box up front, I added up the current draw of everything I could think of that I would connect to it. Looked at the chart for my cable distance and theoretical max current draw, and then went one gauge larger in size. Could I have saved some cash going with a smaller cable that would work fine with my actual current draw? Yeah, probably about 1/2 the cost. But at the end of the day, my electrical will run more efficiently due to it not being close to being maxed out. If I have to pay a little more, even if I never use it to it’s full capacity, the added safety makes it worth it to me.

    Also, I have considered replacing the propane water heater with an on-demand electric unit eventually, I would def have to upgrade to 50a at that point.
     

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