RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: New trailer, new challenges

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > New trailer, new challenges

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
Sponsored By:
Kach

WA

New Member

Joined: 05/17/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/30/20 11:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello all!! It’s been a good while since I’ve been active on here, but always seem to pick up good info from the archives when google searching.

We are back in the RV’ing game with our new Highland Ridge 26BH stick and tin trailer. As expected, the overall quality is a bit lackluster - I bought it expecting to beef things up and make mods over time.

The one thing I’ve been fighting is battery charging for boondocking with the WFCO 8735 converter. Typical 13.6v, no boost mode conundrum. Basically, this thing pretty much needs to go. I’ve looked at the “Boondocker” model replacement converters (leaves the original distribution panel in place). I’m fairly convinced this would help.

1) what amperage should I get? I’m hoping to get by with my 2 6v batteries if possible. I run a Honda 1000 generator (only for batt charging purposes) - would be willing to upgrade if it makes a substantial difference. With our last trailer, we could go almost indefinitely with 2-3 hours of gen runtime per day. Now - not so much!

2) Some supplemental solar is in our future. Is there a solar charge controller that also allows 110//generator charging input? Thought Is I could leave the converter alone and wire up a separate charging setup close to the batteries with large guage wire for better efficiency. Just a thought, if such a thing exists.

Bobbo

Wherever I park

Senior Member

Joined: 09/16/2007

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/31/20 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1. It depends on the size and length of the wires going to the batteries. For example, 30 feet of 12g wire can't carry nearly as much amperage as 2 feet of 4g wire. You need to see what gauge wire was used and estimate its length. Then get back to us. Also, there is a breaker between the converter/charger and the battery. You need to know what size it is.

2. The solar charge is separate from the converter charge. The solar charge controller is connected directly to the battery and doesn't even know the converter/charger is attached. There will be no conflict.


Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab w/Max Tow Package 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB


Lwiddis

Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area

Senior Member

Joined: 08/12/2016

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/31/20 08:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An adequately sized solar system would be far easier than firing up and running a generator for 2 to 3 hours a day. Quieter too...as in no noise.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


theoldwizard1

SE MI

Senior Member

Joined: 09/07/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/31/20 08:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have any thoughts about an inverter, start looking at combination inverter/charger/automatic transfer switches. Dump the old converter.

I think you should also consider a larger generator or push up your plans for solar.

ppine

Northern Nevada

Senior Member

Joined: 07/04/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/31/20 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Solar is the way. I have a generator but now I rarely use it.
It needs its own MPPT controller.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 07/31/20 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes to the Boondocker but limit for the Honda 1000 is a 45 amper.

Two 6s can take a 75 amper but you would need a Honda 2200 to run that. You might save less than an hour of gen time that way, so probably not worth it.

Solar does not take 110v input. Input is from the solar panel "array". Solar does help when there is some sunshine.


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
See Profile for House electronics set-up.
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas

Kach

WA

New Member

Joined: 05/17/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/31/20 09:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the info, I knew you guys would get me started in the right direction. I have a lot of love for that Honda 1000. It charged my last trailer great (doesn’t do much else of course, but we used it to watch movies when we go skiing). It’s so quiet, and I’ll run out of lots of other things boondocking before it goes through my 2 gal fuel can. Maybe an upgrade would be good though...

I’ll try to gather info on the breaker and wiring sizes.

To clarify, I was wondering if there was a solar controller that had a provision to plug into 110 and be a battery charger as well. I thought I’d heard of such a thing but may be mistaken. I would just invest in solar first but we live in the Pacific Northwest and the solar I can afford any time soon probably won’t cut it in the fall/winter around here.

Kach

WA

New Member

Joined: 05/17/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/01/20 01:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, possible issue I found - apparently the 8735 does not have a removable/changeable converter separate from the distribution panel. It sounds like the whole unit would need to be replaced (option 1).

Option 2 - I found some references of people in the same predicament just mounting a stand-alone converter of their choosing as a remote battery charger. Several on Amazon come wired up with a 110 15a plug. Seems like it could be mounted in the front compartment and wired up with a very short run of heavy guage wire. If I did this, I’d build a little panel with room for a future charge controller. Definitely easy and un-doable but kind of ghetto (although I’m sure my work would be better than factory). Just use the factory plug-in if on shore power and only use the remote converter if charging while boondocking (and maybe have my batts on a higher quality charger at home).

I’ll confirm this is my situation and think about it. If I changed the whole factory distribution panel/converter, I’d probably want to increase the wire size to the batteries. Could turn into a big project...

BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 08/01/20 07:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, you can just leave the OEM converter as is for when on shore power and make any deck mount converter into a portable battery charger to use off-grid.

Plug it into the gen when needed, use a cut off end of a set of jumper cables to put in the DC output terminals of the deck mount and clamp on to the battery bank. Put it all away when done recharging till next time.

You can still get use from a smaller solar set. It can't keep up, but it does extend the time before you need to get out the gen and do it that way. That might be enough delay to last you a long weekend without using the gen and you get home with the batts down but still above 50% so you recharge at home. Same effect as having an extra battery along but that won't fit in the RV, but the smaller solar set will.

mbopp

Henrietta, NY, USA

Senior Member

Joined: 06/20/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/01/20 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3 trailers ago I bought an IOTA-55 deck mount converter for a trailer we had. That converter now resides in the pass-through of our current trailer. The WFCO is turned off at the breaker and is only used as an AC / DC distribution panel.

I have a MPPT controller also mounted in the pass-through and connected to the dual golf cart batteries. Many of our dry sites are shaded so I have two 100W panels that I made portable. Even with 100' of cable I get 140W out of them.

The final backup is my old Honda 2000.


2017 Grand Design Imagine 2650RK
2019 F250 XLT Supercab
Just DW & me......

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > New trailer, new challenges
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2020 CWI, Inc. © 2020 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.