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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Available Battery Charger(s)

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jodeb720

Denver

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Posted: 04/05/22 12:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gents,

I hope this not finds you well in the land of high gas prices...

My cousin just purchased a truck camper and it's got an interstate battery (not sure what kind, size, etc).

He's going to be purchasing new battery - and he's not sure if Li is in his budget or AGM is in his future.

What he doesn't have is a good external battery charger he can order today that's not obnoxious in price.

He's not going to replace his WFCO power center - so that's off the table.

I'm open to any and all suggestions for an external charger that he can order today.

Thanks for suggestions in advance!

josh

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 04/05/22 01:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

He is better off buying a cheap standard FLA (wetcell) or AGM for this round until he figures out what type of camping he wants to do..

If he is only camping where there is commercial power all the time then Li will be a total waste of money as he wouldn't be using or taking full advantage and the cost of Li.

He also does not have to replace the current power center, there are aftermarket slide in replacement power converters which can slide right into the current WFCO power center. One can also buy deckmount converters in which you just wire those in and disconnect the power to the WFCO converter.

The slide in replacement converters tend to be a bit more cost effective than adding a external deck mount..

Typically Progressive Dynamics (PD) converters are pretty highly regarded and that is what I have and am pleased with it.

jodeb720

Denver

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Posted: 04/05/22 01:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

he's going boondocking.
He just swapped out his incandescent lights to LED's
on his maiden voyage, he went to a full hookup location but didn't connect and was boondocking. His battery did last overnight with the Howler (Furnace) water heater, furnace.

He has a voltmeter with him and his battery voltage was 12.3 - but the charger was steady at 13.6 never tapering after 8 hours of connecting to shore power (for a recharge).

I don't know if a FLA will suffice in a TC. He's limited right now to one battery. I'm thinking an AGM might be his best bet.

He plans on doing primarily weekend trips - so if he can get 2 or 3 nights without running a 120 volt generator (and right now Solar isn't on the table) he'd be golden.

When he returns home, he'll need to fully recharge the battery and that's where the external will come into play.

I have my Vectron that I use in my 5er - with battery isolation switches. When I recharge my two banks of 6 volts, I isolate one bank, connect my charger and charge that one bank of batteries - and when they are at at 80%, isolate the other set, and repeat. I can usually get both sets to 80% in about 2-3 hours of charge time.

He's going to come home and charge at home and remove the battery from the TC and charge it inside until it's fully charged.

As we all know, if you fully charge after using the batteries, a little maintenance goes a long way to longevity. I've got 8 years so far out of my two banks.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 04/05/22 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jodeb720 wrote:


He's not going to replace his WFCO power center - so that's off the table.

Then lithium is off the table.

WFCO has a lot of "haters" around here, even for lead acid, including AGM. Most say it will not do a proper 3 state charge, regardless of what they advertise.

LittleBill

Scranton, PA USA

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Posted: 04/05/22 01:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AGM capacity is lower then flooded in the same form factor.

that said, just get this, it will charge everything, agm, lithium etc, and it will fully be charged the next morning, and will condition the battery if it needs it.

Noco 10 Amp Charger





pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/05/22 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For boondocking maximize capacity. Buy a 270 amp-hour SiO2.

https://azimuthsolar.ca/product/12v-270ah-ultra-long-life-battery/


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 04/05/22 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jodeb720 wrote:


He has a voltmeter with him and his battery voltage was 12.3


That's not terribly discharged, unless it recovered some before he took the measurement.

[image]

Quote:

but the charger was steady at 13.6 never tapering after 8 hours of connecting to shore power (for a recharge).


13.6 volts is typical for a long-term maintenance (or "float") charge.

Depending on how old it is, that may be the only voltage his house battery charger (or "power converter") ever produces.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 04/05/22 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jodeb720 wrote:

He's not going to replace his WFCO power center - so that's off the table.
Just replace the converter that slides into the lower slot. About 6 screws and 15 minutes.

Direct replacement: https://powermaxconverters.com/product/pm3-mba/
Slides right in using the same mounting screws etc.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
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Lwiddis

Owens River area

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Posted: 04/05/22 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“…so if he can get 2 or 3 nights without running a 120 volt generator (and right now Solar isn't on the table) he'd be golden.”

Not golden at all. Wet batteries will have their full lifespan only with daily full recharging. Lithium is different…no need to fully recharge. Bite the bullet and go solar regardless of battery type.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 04/06/22 04:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jodeb720 wrote:


I don't know if a FLA will suffice in a TC. He's limited right now to one battery. I'm thinking an AGM might be his best bet.

He plans on doing primarily weekend trips - so if he can get 2 or 3 nights without running a 120 volt generator (and right now Solar isn't on the table) he'd be golden.

Not going to happen, especially if he is using the furnace ! If heat is required, he needs a source that draws nothing from the battery.
jodeb720 wrote:


When he returns home, he'll need to fully recharge the battery and that's where the external will come into play.

There are a lot of good budget chargers on the market. Look at Schumacher and NOCO.

Not cheap, but he should look into. DC-DC charger. It will properly charge the battery when the truck engine is running.

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