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

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  #1  
Old 11-03-2008
dthollis dthollis is online now
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Default Need Help With Battery Charger Amp Rating

My Todd Engineering semi-smart 75 amp charger-converter has bit the
dust. As long as it was working, I didn't give chargers a second
thought. It kept the batteries up and when they needed water, I
watered them.

Now, having to get a new one, I have been looking for the correct amp
rating for the charger and am more confused the longer I look. My FC
has 4-6v batteries with a combined rating of about 450 amp hours. I
have seen recommendations of between 10% to 25% of battery AH for the
charger rating. That would be somewhere between 45-112 amps. Well
that's not much help! I think when this thing was new it came with two
75 amp chargers...that's off the chart.

I do dry camp occasionally and like to run the generator about one hour
in the morning and again in the evening. The 75 amp I had seemed to do
OK with that.

What size charger works for you? I don't always do the right thing,
but I at least like to know what the right thing is.

Thanks,
David Hollis 84FC35 Springfield,IL
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2008
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Rob Robinson Rob Robinson is offline
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I replaced my two 55amp Todds with two 55amp IOTAs. If you get two you must have the IQ4 Smart Charge module to coordinate the charger aspect of the two units. I have eight 6V golf carts for house batteries.
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2008
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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I replaced my 2 Iotas with 2 Xantrex inverter/chargers.
Only one of the Xantrex units charge the coach. I can honestly say the Xantrex does a much better job of keeping my 6v batteries topped off. It doesn't boil them, and I love the display panel in the coach.

I suppose the only complaint I can think of is the fact that the charge function draws a ton of current (about 10 amps) during the 1st stage of charging. When docking on 30 amps or less, that doesn't leave much for other accessories. This stage of charging doesn't typically last more than 20 minutes however.

-Robert
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  #4  
Old 11-03-2008
Frank W. Frank W. is offline
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I replaced my OEM TODD units with a IOTA 50 amp charger after having the bus about a year. The IOTA unit later failed while on the road (in SD during a heat wave with OAT of 113F). I replaced with a 60 amp unit from: http://www.progressivedyn.com/ which offers similar design/features.

Get a charger that is fully automatic and does bulk and float/storage charging and ensure it is a good match to your batts. For example, some chargers can be set for specific types (lead/acid, or gell). Likely both IOTA and PD have web sites that explain the whys and $$$.

I think the reason the IOTA failed was that my cooling fan had failed in the electric bay...worthwhile to check. The bay has a temp sensing switch and a fan that vents outside.

Also, remember your top amp charging limit is limited by the fact that both chargers are on one 15 amp circuit.

I only have the one 60 amp unit and do fine. I do carry a portable 20A charger that is a spare from home in the bay as my "just in case" charger.

Frank
85FC33
Woodbridge, VA.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2008
dthollis dthollis is online now
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Thanks for the replies. I've got a Progressive Dynamics 9280(80 amp) on the way. According to Progressive Dynamics and Randy at bestconverter.com, since the newer chargers don't supply high amperage for a sustained period it's OK for the batteries and the rule of 10% ah rating for the charger isn't so important anymore. I'll see.

Frank: Must have been a change from 84 to 85. My 84 has no fan in the compartment, but it has 2 round vent holes about 4 inches diameter in the top of the compartment. Someone along the way has added 2 chrome vents on the exterior door for some natural flow-through ventilation. Also I have a 20 amp circuit with 12 gauge wire to the outlet.

David Hollis 84FC35 Springfield,IL
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2008
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warbucks13477 warbucks13477 is offline
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Just be aware when buying a new charger that Iota and Progressive Dynamics are NOT true 3 stage chargers and lack one of the most important functions of equalizing the batteries. How can you tell? If the equalizing voltage is not over 15.5 volts.

http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/257/DocServe.aspx

http://www.trojanbattery.com/Battery...qualizing.aspx

While some chargers can appear to adequately charge the batteries over time your battery plates will sulfate and will not take a full charge. Bottom line is that in this case you get what you pay for. If you do any dry camping then you need a 3 stage charger with substantial current to quickly recharge your batteries from your generator. I recommend the refurbished xantrex Freedom 2500 for about $600.
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2008
Stephen Stephen is offline
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Xantrex trucharge 40+
I got 7 years out my last set of batteries 'works great
And you can get a remote panel for it and temperature
control
it will charge 3 banks of batteries
so both sets of house/chassis batteries and generator battery
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2008
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I had Todds, when they burned up I went with Intelli-Chargers with Charge Wizards; 45 amps each, rarely have to add water. 45 amp chargers are what was in our Bird to begin with. BB recommended two instead of one big one just in case one died while camping.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2008
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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[QUOTE=warbucks13477;9264]Just be aware when buying a new charger that Iota and Progressive Dynamics are NOT true 3 stage chargers and lack one of the most important functions of equalizing the batteries. How can you tell? If the equalizing voltage is not over 15.5 volts.
<snip>/QUOTE]

If you have AGM or Gell Cell batteries, you won't need the equalizing capability. Equalizing is not necessary with the AGM design and can damage true "sealed" batteries.
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2008
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Pete, how come?
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