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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Converter/charger upgrade

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markchengr

Seattle

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Posted: 07/08/09 01:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Progressive Dynamics has a new upgrade kit for replacing single stage Magnetek/Parralax converter/chargers. It's the 4600 series. Has everything you need to do the job except for a few tools. No wire or connectors needed as with the 9100 or 9200 series. A new metal enclosure is included so you no longer have to modify the old one. It comes with the Wizard 4 stage charger built-in. The LED charge rate indicator and manual switching button are mounted on the included new DC distribution board so there is no need for a separate pendant. It has 2 variable speed intelligent cooling fans. It took me about an hour to install it in my Northern Lite. I bought mine from Best Converter for $228 with free shipping. I got the 45 amp version because I'm using the existing wiring. Now I can leave my camper plugged in with no worries about cooking the batteries.

* This post was edited 07/08/09 01:29am by markchengr *

Bigf00t

Pitt Meadows B.C Canada

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Posted: 07/08/09 07:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just did the exact same upgrade to my NL. Although the new converter series is much easier to install, I found the instructions incomplete, there was no mention what to do with the small jumper cable included in the kit,it was apparently for the charge wizard... And the metal case included did not line up properly to the factory case and I had to "Round out" the holes to make it fit ! Needs some work there Progressive Dynamics !


2010 Northern Lite 10.2RR

2004 GMC 3500 SRW Sierra Ext Cab 4X4 Duramax/Allison
Tork Lift Camper Bars, Racor Pre-Filter, Rancho 9000`s
Firestone AirBags w/in-cab controller.

MTBob

Montana

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Posted: 07/08/09 07:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tell us more about why this converter/charger upgrade is necessary. Isn't the unit that comes with the camper adequate? What are the issues with "cooking the batteries"?

What model & year is your NL?


Bob
2002 10-2000RR Northern Lite
2008 Chevy 3500 DMAX, SRW,
2001 Lund 1700 Fisherman

fuelhauler

Southern Oregon

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Posted: 07/08/09 09:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bob most converters that come with a tc are the cheapest they can get by with.Most don't come with a 4 stage charger that maintains the battery when pluged in all the time without over chargeing it.


2005 Dodge q/c 4x4 dually six speed pac brake
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dmax lover

Portland,Oregon, USA

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Posted: 07/08/09 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From "the 12 volt side of life" :

http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm

"The life of your batteries will be longer and happier if you charge them correctly. The best chargers on the market are 3-stage chargers. Use of a good quality 3 stage charger will significantly improve your battery's performance and lifespan. These chargers can be purchased separately or are included as part of many of the better quality inverters. When using a 3 stage charger, battery charging takes place in 3 basic stages: Bulk, Absorption, and Float.

Bulk Charge - The first stage of 3-stage battery charging. Current is sent to batteries at the maximum safe rate they will accept until voltage rises to near (80-90%) full charge level. Voltages at this stage typically range from 10.5 volts to 15 volts. There is no "correct" voltage for bulk charging, but there may be limits on the maximum current that the battery and/or wiring can take.

Absorption Charge: The 2nd stage of 3-stage battery charging. Voltage remains constant and current gradually tapers off as internal resistance increases during charging. It is during this stage that the charger puts out maximum voltage. Voltages at this stage are typically around 14.2 to 15.5 volts.

Float Charge: The 3rd stage of 3-stage battery charging. After batteries reach full charge, charging voltage is reduced to a lower level (typically 12.8 to 13.2 volts) to reduce gassing and prolong battery life. This is often referred to as a maintenance or trickle charge, since it's main purpose is to keep an already charged battery from discharging."


The single stage converter/charger that comes in our camper will not fully charge the battery and will overcharge the battery if left plugged in continuously. Check the electrolyte level in the battery at regular intervals if you do leave it plugged in continuously



jeff

* This post was edited 07/08/09 03:29pm by dmax lover *


2005 Chevrolet Duramax 3500 SRW Crewcab Longbed (KYB Monomax Shocks, Michelins,Hellwig Rear Swaybar)
2006 Northern Lite 9.6 Classic (Torklifts & fastguns)
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thundercloud

Durango, CO

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Posted: 07/08/09 11:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I replaced mine in my Bigfoot after owning it one month. It was the first upgrade I did. I went with the Xantrex XADC 60A for $215 from Bestconverter.


Happy TC'N,
David
____________________________________________
2006 Dodge Ram 3500 MegaCab 4x4 CTD 6-speed
2008 Bigfoot 25C9.4SB, Xantrex XADC 60, AM Solar 200 watt SunRunner system, Mach8 Cub, Honda eu2200i, Rigid Industries LED lights


markchengr

Seattle

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Posted: 07/08/09 12:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MTBob, My Northern Lite is a 2008 10-2 Special Edition (their top of the line) but it still came with an el-cheapo single stage charger. -Mark.

Tizi

Normandy Park, WA

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Posted: 07/08/09 01:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mine was junk too. Upgraded to Xantrex XADC 40A. The second thing I did to it. First was to put $250+ worth of batteries in it.


2008 Dodge Ram 2500 QC 4x4 - HEMI
2007 Northern Lite 10.2 RR
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surveyguy

Oregon

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Posted: 07/08/09 06:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

first thing i did bob, when i got my camper from my uncle. i pulled out the magnatek, the floor had a dark brown circle from getting too hot. it doesn't charge at about 5 amps is all, and it doesn't shut-off when the battery gets full. Also, the charge wizards have a "pulse charge" once in a while, that breaks up sulfation in the battery. I have the PD 45 amp with internal charge wizard.

now, that said, perhaps your converter is better than my old magna-junk.

I bought a refurbished one on ebay, saved some bucks. came with a warranty even, no problems in 2 years.


'03 F250 SD CC SB 7.3PS timbrens, 1 1/4" anti-sways, 4" exh, many mod's.
Lance squirelite,


dmax lover

Portland,Oregon, USA

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Posted: 07/09/09 02:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the heads up.

I had prevously purchased a stand-alone progressive dynamics charger and was going to retrofit it into my parallax 7345; Instead, I opted to order up the 45 amp pd8145 upgrade/replacement unit and use it instead.

The ventilation and placement of the heat sink looks much better than my first option and it will save me a lot of time on the install.

Just a sidenote - there appear to be two brands of upgrade units for the parallax/wfco converter/charger section on bestconverter's website. The first is listed at the top level as "Magnetek 6300/7300 Upgrade Kit" - this isn't the progressive dynamics unit... I found the new unit under "Progressive Dynamics Intelipower" at this link :

http://www.bestconverter.com/4600-series_c_133.html

Thanks Again,
jeff

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