Jump to content

Progressive Dynamic converter upgrade


htioki
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello all!  Looking for advice/tips on installing a battery disconnect switch for the coach battery.  The purpose is to charge the battery through a separate battery charger/maintainer/desulphator rather than through the converter.  For those who have installed one, if you can share the photos of your setup, that would be much appreciated.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your overthinking things. A modern 4 stage converter will have an equalizer charge every day or so to act as a desulphator. What converter do you have??

I hace a 3 stage converter so I use one of these on my batteries. https://www.pulsetech.net/pp-12-l-powerpulse-12-volt-battery-maintenance-system.html

So far my 4 year old batteries are OK.

It powers itself from the battery so you need to keep your RV plugged in or add a solar setup.

 

If you still want a switch the boat guys have good water proof switches...https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-Battery-Isolator-Disconnect-Rotary-Switch-Cut-On-Off-For-Marine-Boat-Car-ATV/383325436015?hash=item593ff9f86f:g:CgQAAOSwoJ5efIAR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you insist on switches they do just make ones that connect to the battery post and the battery terminal on the other side. Cheap way out. I maintain 4 batteries in the basement with a standard camper 3 stage over the winter no problem two are over 4 years old and none of they have the same rating. The camper in the garage stays plugged in all winter with 3 group 24's hooked up. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The converter is Magnetek Series 6300A Model 6332.  From reading other posts, it sounds like old converters could boil the water in the battery and damage it?  Or maybe this is not an issue with my converter model?  I'll be installing a new coach battery and wants it to last as long as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, you have a battery boiler. As a suggestion go here and read up on "upgrading" things to a modern converter...http://www.bestconverter.com/Upgrade-Kits-for-MagnetekParallax_c_64.html

This might be simpler than your original plan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The old chargers were designed to light the interior lights, run the furnace, water pump etc.  as WME said they were not real good chargers great for high amp loads but that's about it. One of the best and least expensive upgrades to an old camper is a modern charging system no sense wrecking a new $100 battery! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks!  Appreciate the feedback.  Been reading up on the converter upgrade option.  Cost more than what I budget for this project, but seems like the best option.  The pulsetech battery maintainer is interesting, and seems like a reasonable cheaper alternative, but the small draw when not being charged could be an issue when boondocking.  

Edited by htioki
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your are serious extended stay boondocker, you need to install LED lighting and add a 100w solar panel.

If you demand all the comforts of home then 2 coach batteries and 200w of solar will let you boondock for weeks at a time.

The thing with solar is you can start with a 100w setup and easily add more later if you find your lifestyle requires more power.

When I started boondocking, my first set up was a 80AH battery and a 60w panel. In the summer it was awesome. In the cold, with the heater running, the solar panel doubled the days between generator runs to charge the battery. My 2 day battery life became a 4 day cycle. This was pre LED days. Incandescent lights draw about 10x the power of a new LED, so the LEDs are a big deal for boondockers. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with WME! Additionally boon docking during the winter months I will take a my buddy heater with me to save battery from using the onboard heater, warms the home nicely and less noise.

 

Also for phone charging, use direct USB charging vice an ac/usb adapter connected to the inverter. A small typical inverter uses 20 watt hours just having it on, most modern inverters have USB connections so you can charge without turning on the inverter.

 

Cheers,

Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LED bulbs were the first upgrade we did to the RV.  Longest we will ever boondock is probably 6-7 days.  We plan to add solar panels someday.  From reading up on the modern converters, some models come with new DC fuse boards with filtered terminals for "cleaner" current.  Are these good enough for charging phones and ipads?    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charging phones, ipads devices that have no moving parts are fine on any DC converter inverter, either square wave (dirty power) or sine wave (clean power). Running motors like hand drills on dirty power can heat up and shorten the motor life. Although my backup house power runs off a square wave inverter my fridge and on demand water heater has never had an issue.

Gary

 

BTW, phones and ipads are powered by DC current only so there is no such thing as dirty DC only dirty AC.

Edited by Gary_M
Add additional information
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the feedback.  Finally bit the bullet and shelled out the extra $$ to order a replacement converter with smart charger, Progressive Dynamics PD4635.  

Edited by htioki
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only issue is the truck isolator but unto itself it is a disconnect switch. If you want to go home you need a hot truck battery,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • htioki changed the title to Progressive Dynamic converter upgrade

It's been a couple of weeks since I installed the the new PD converter.  I have not heard or seen the converter fans operating.  For those who have experience with PD converters, is this normal?  

Edited by htioki
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I installed a PD convertor about a month ago. I have yet to hear the fans come on either, I'm assuming that this is normal... but interested in other folks experiences. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your just not working it hard enough. If you have a 45 amp converter the fan will come on in the 20-30 amp draw range. With LED lights the only way you can get to that much power is with charging an almost dead battery or a loaded 750w inverter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of rewire was needed for the new converter? I need to change mine out and when I emailed progressive dynamics they mention a fair amount of re wiring was needed but didn’t elaborate. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is some photos of the install, not a real big deal.

http://www.bestconverter.com/Magnetek-Upgrade_ep_26-1.html

 

Verbage...http://www.bestconverter.com/Upgrade-Kits-for-MagnetekParallax_c_64.html

Edited by WME
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, nucktaco said:

What kind of rewire was needed for the new converter? I need to change mine out and when I emailed progressive dynamics they mention a fair amount of re wiring was needed but didn’t elaborate. 

Not sure what kind of converter you have, but the installation was pretty straight forward for me.  As far as wiring, it was just matter of disconnecting from and reconnecting to terminals, I wouldn't call it re-wiring.   Here's the link to owner's manual that includes the installation manual:

https://www.progressivedyn.com/wp-content/uploads/Support/manuals/PD4600-110197F-owners-manual.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In some cases you will need to build a DC load center many old converters had the DC panel inside of the converter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/27/2020 at 5:10 PM, nucktaco said:

What kind of rewire was needed for the new converter? I need to change mine out and when I emailed progressive dynamics they mention a fair amount of re wiring was needed but didn’t elaborate. 

 

Apologies for not replying sooner I just saw these posts. I used one of the Progressive Dynamics upgrade kits as linked above.

 

The convertor install was straight forward. Take pics of the wiring in case needed later, remove the old wiring. Take out the old unit and install the new one. Attach the wiring from the new convertor.

 

On 12/28/2020 at 9:59 AM, Maineah said:

In some cases you will need to build a DC load center many old converters had the DC panel inside of the converter.

 

The unit I installed came with a 12v distribution panel. Simple enough to install: remove one wire at a time and attach to the new board. It all bolted in to the same spot the old one had been in. The only real difference is that the new 12v panel has fuses to protect against an incorrectly installed battery - this also should protect against a short in the cable to the battery. 

 

All in all an easy install, and some good peace of mind that the battery is not getting ruined by over charging. And the old ones do run hot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I installed the Progressive Dynamics PL4045 load center. I had thought I would just do the converter/charger, but It turned out that the heat had melted various pieces of plastic and it's rather amazing it didn't short. The new load center was easy to install. I just cut a piece of 3/8 plywood to cover the larger hole from old center. The connections are straightforward. I did run a larger wire from the battery to handle the 45A load. I like the extra DC fuse circuits, as well room for an extra twin AC breaker. It runs WAY cooler and I don't worry about cooking my house battery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With out a doubt one of the best upgrades you can do to an older RV, I have seen black burnt spots on RV floors from old converters. Your new $100 battery will thank you too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...