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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #21  
Old 08-31-2009
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sanibel sanibel is offline
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Rob- The IQ4 is either built in or an add on to a single unit, not a separate component that can be used with separate chargers.
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John (and Robin) Churchill
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  #22  
Old 08-31-2009
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Ahhh must be new or at least newer than mine. My IQ4 is a seperate unit with two telephone cables that go to each IOTA to keep them in sync.
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  #23  
Old 08-31-2009
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Scott,

Was curious if you were running the stock 4 - 6v batteries or not under the drivers seat? I have the same year as your bus and just replaced the 2 - 12v batteries the PO (previous owner) had put there.

BTW.. Welcome to the club.
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  #24  
Old 08-31-2009
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Thanks Michael, this is definitely a good club to be in... yes I still have the stock battery setup with 4 - 6v batteries under the drivers seat and one battery for the getset.
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  #25  
Old 08-31-2009
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Batteries and charging are more complicated then many realize and we spend a considerable amount of money buying new batteries and chargers or charger/inverters. Who wants to spend money only to see it disappear before it should because we chose a charger that performs differently then we though? A 6VDC Interstate deep cycle battery that I could buy for $60 two years ago is now $93 at my cost. For the FC thats at least $400 and for the PT its at least $600 by the time you get them out the door if you install them yourself. Trojan batteries are even more expensive and the Interstate L16 batteries that Randy bought for his previous PT are now out of sight in cost.

Although the Iota chargers are advertised as 3 stage smart chargers they are as far as charging the batteries. However over a short time the batteries will start to hold less and less of a charge as the plates sulfate until they will finally just go dead. In order to reverse this sulfation problem you need a charger that has an equalization stage where it raises the charging voltage to at least 15.2 VDC with a low current and this desulfates the batteries to almost like new condition.
A very good article to read on this and other problems about charging, batteries, etc is Phreds poop sheets and especially "batteries and other electrical stuff" http://www.phrannie.org/battery.html

You can read about equalization at http://tinyurl.com/l3d8yt

However everyone has a different idea how they are going to use and equip their BB so only you can decide how much you want to spend and connect your equipment. If you dry camp a lot then with the size of the battery banks we have a 55 amp charger will take far to long to charge your batteries. However if you stay at a RV park the majority of the time it may work fine. In any case no matter what you decide to buy and install have fun. And ask more questions if you still are thinking about this.
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  #26  
Old 09-01-2009
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As Tom has pointed out, equalization is an important feature, although my understanding is that it is more important if the batteries are left sitting rather than being used frequently. The IQ4 has this feature. I think that is why it is an IQ4 rather than an IQ3. To quote their website-

Weekly Equalization for Longer Battery Life
If the batteries have not received a "smart charge" during a seven-day period, the IQ Controller will switch the DLS charger into a pre-programmed equalization stage to top off the batteries, dissolving any sulfate layer on the battery's internal plates and avoiding stratification.
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John (and Robin) Churchill
Black Tongue Farm
Sanibel, FL

1979 FC33 Buddy Luce's bus (looking for a name)

LARGE MARGE - She left me for another man
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  #27  
Old 09-01-2009
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John this is one of the vary issues I have with some "smart chargers" that are advertised as having an "equalization" phase. If you read the material I noted in "equalization" from the Trojan battery company you need at least 15.5VDC at a low current in order to equalize the batteries. From all of the data I could find on the Iota chargers with the Iq4 smart charger the voltage gets no higher then about 14VDC which according to all battery manufacturers is not high enough to desulfate the battery. At my rally last year we even tested a coach with the 55 amp Iota charger and the IQ4 and after taking specific gravity readings of each cell it was apparent that the equalization phase does not work.

There is nothing wrong with Iota chargers as long as you understand that over a rather short time your batteries will start to degrade until they will no longer work. You are likely to see this happen when you are staying at an RV park for a few weeks and all is well then you disconnect shorepower and attempt to start your engine and nothing! In my opinion spending all of that money on new batteries and then installing a charger that will not ensure that they will last for 8-10 years is not good financially. But again that is your choice.

As far as your remark that batteries sulfate more when discharging them only a little appears to be correct if you read the information I posted however it appears to be not that much. It is deep cycling that sulfates the plates faster which is pulling your batteries down to the 50% level or greater when dry camping and then recharging up to the full level.
Maybe someone else can find technical data on the Iota chargers that will contradict what I have found? It would be nice if they did accomplish what they advertise since they are a economical alternative in the short term.
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Last edited by warbucks13477; 09-01-2009 at 07:05 PM. Reason: made a mistake about sulfating batteries
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  #28  
Old 09-01-2009
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Is anyone familiar with either the batteryminder http://preview.tinyurl.com/l568a9 (the buy from rvrecreation seems to think highly of the product?

I am thinking i could use this as a genset charger and then also use it to desulfate the house/motor batteries.
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  #29  
Old 09-02-2009
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I called Iota today and spoke to a tech. They have a somewhat complicated algorithm, but they equalize at 14.75 volts.
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John (and Robin) Churchill
Black Tongue Farm
Sanibel, FL

1979 FC33 Buddy Luce's bus (looking for a name)

LARGE MARGE - She left me for another man
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  #30  
Old 09-03-2009
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Scott Peterson Scott Peterson is offline
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Default recommended charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbucks13477 View Post
John this is one of the vary issues I have with some "smart chargers" that are advertised as having an "equalization" phase. If you read the material I noted in "equalization" from the Trojan battery company you need at least 15.5VDC at a low current in order to equalize the batteries. From all of the data I could find on the Iota chargers with the Iq4 smart charger the voltage gets no higher then about 14VDC which according to all battery manufacturers is not high enough to desulfate the battery. At my rally last year we even tested a coach with the 55 amp Iota charger and the IQ4 and after taking specific gravity readings of each cell it was apparent that the equalization phase does not work.

There is nothing wrong with Iota chargers as long as you understand that over a rather short time your batteries will start to degrade until they will no longer work. You are likely to see this happen when you are staying at an RV park for a few weeks and all is well then you disconnect shorepower and attempt to start your engine and nothing! In my opinion spending all of that money on new batteries and then installing a charger that will not ensure that they will last for 8-10 years is not good financially. But again that is your choice.

As far as your remark that batteries sulfate more when discharging them only a little appears to be correct if you read the information I posted however it appears to be not that much. It is deep cycling that sulfates the plates faster which is pulling your batteries down to the 50% level or greater when dry camping and then recharging up to the full level.
Maybe someone else can find technical data on the Iota chargers that will contradict what I have found? It would be nice if they did accomplish what they advertise since they are a economical alternative in the short term.
Hi Tom, what type of chargers/converters would you recommended keeping in mind that I am on a budget.
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