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Old 06-25-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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Question "Special" Relay when switching to AGMs?

In a post from 2007, Paul (Jetsmania) indicated that Newmar had insisted that a special relay was required when he switched to AGM batteries: See posting here

Does anyone have any information/knowledge about this relay? Is it something above-and-beyond the normal BIRD circuitry for charging the house and chassis battery banks? Is it somehow needed because the AGM batteries are higher voltage than the chassis flooded batteries, so the relay helps protect the house batteries from being drawn down?

Curious.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:54 AM   #2
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Also would like to know. Was told by Lifeline nothing needed to be done except change out the batteries. Same setting on the charger, etc. After four years finally changing them out.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:29 AM   #3
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I can't speak for my Newmar yet, but on previous coaches, it was absolutely necessary to adjust the charge rate on the charger. No other changes were necessary.

I can't possibly imagine what type of "relay" would be needed - I read the post, but maybe there was some sort of miscommunication between Newmar and the poster?


Just to be safe - it wouldn't hurt to ask Newmar if they've done something quirky that would require additional hardware; I'm doubtful though.

Again, you will need to define AGM type batteries in your magnum settings.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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It is a relay, of type. I too had mine replaced at Newmar and they took about 2 hours getting to it and installing same. At Newmar highline you can stay with your coach during service. I always do, and I can tell you they thought it important, however I'm unable to tell you exactly what it is. I would talk to Newmar first. Sorry I can't help you further.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=LindyT;660181]I can't speak for my Newmar yet, but on previous coaches, it was absolutely necessary to adjust the charge rate on the charger. No other changes were necessary.

I can't possibly imagine what type of "relay" would be needed - I read the post, but maybe there was some sort of miscommunication between Newmar and the poster?


Just to be safe - it wouldn't hurt to ask Newmar if they've done something quirky that would require additional hardware; I'm doubtful though.

Again, you will need to define AGM type batteries in your magnum settings.[/QU0TE]

According to the Xantex manuals the only difference between Liquid Led Acid and AGM is the bulk dc V charge(14.6 for Liquid and 14.4 for AGM). Lifeline says this is insignificant and does not require any change to the charger settings. Do not know why Magnum would require any either as both types of batteries have the same Float and Equalize charging requirements. Still don't know what "relay" is for unless two entirely differnet types of batteries are being used for coach and chassis.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:40 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Dav5942;660323]
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindyT View Post
I can't speak for my Newmar yet, but on previous coaches, it was absolutely necessary to adjust the charge rate on the charger. No other changes were necessary.

I can't possibly imagine what type of "relay" would be needed - I read the post, but maybe there was some sort of miscommunication between Newmar and the poster?


Just to be safe - it wouldn't hurt to ask Newmar if they've done something quirky that would require additional hardware; I'm doubtful though.

Again, you will need to define AGM type batteries in your magnum settings.[/QU0TE]

According to the Xantex manuals the only difference between Liquid Led Acid and AGM is the bulk dc V charge(14.6 for Liquid and 14.4 for AGM). Lifeline says this is insignificant and does not require any change to the charger settings. Do not know why Magnum would require any either as both types of batteries have the same Float and Equalize charging requirements. Still don't know what "relay" is for unless two entirely differnet types of batteries are being used for coach and chassis.
I agree with you. However, never Equalize charge AGM batteries.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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Have never "equalize chargerd" however Lifeline does recommend it when the "batteries are showing symptons of capacity loss".
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:11 PM   #8
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Here's a guess- Newmar has a relay (maybe a high amp solenoid contactor?) involved in the charging. Changing the battery type from flooded to AGM on my Xantrex RS2000 (doubles as charger) cranked up the initial charging amps by maybe 50%. Could be Newmar sees the existing relay/contactor/whatever as undersized to handle the full charge amps of the AGM setting.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:57 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Lug_Nut;660329]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dav5942 View Post

I agree with you. However, never Equalize charge AGM batteries.
Never is not correct. Lifeline recommends that you DO equalize their batteries. They don't give any specifics other than recommending that if you feel the batteries are showing signs of a loss of capacity you can equalize. I asked if that was once a year or so and they said no, it should not be necessary that often but offered no further guidance.
I then did the equalization process since it had never been done. I did not notice any effect either good or bad so I will do it again after about 6 months to see if I can get any improvement. My Lifelines are now 7 1/2 years old so there may not be an gain possible.
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:20 PM   #10
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I stand by never. High voltage is recommended but, not an equalizer charge cycle. I have 8 AGM house banks in my RV and 20 much larger in my boat.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:55 PM   #11
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Hi Lug_Nut,
I'm curious to know why you don't think lifeline batteries should never be equalized. Lifeline states in their user's manual that their batteries can be equalized for 8 hours. I guess, as you say “high voltage is recommended” can also be construed as 15.5 VDC which is also the equalizing voltage. I'm just wondering what I'm missing here.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:04 PM   #12
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I actually had a rep. on board this past year as 2 of my batteries bit the dust, I found much of their rhetoric contridicting. But, AGM's ingeneral should not be equalized as we know the term today. So, I'm not saying you are wrong, just saying do not treat these the same as you would wet cells, they are much different.


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Old 06-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug_Nut View Post
I actually had a rep. on board this past year as 2 of my batteries bit the dust, I found much of their rhetoric contridicting. But, AGM's ingeneral should not be equalized as we know the term today. So, I'm not saying you are wrong, just saying do not treat these the same as you would wet cells, they are much different.


Peter
?? My info came from one of the owners of Lifeline, don't understand where you are coming from?
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:23 PM   #14
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Well, being one of the owners does not necessarily qualify him as correct. Most CEO's or similar are not that product smart. Their job is running a company not charging a battery.
All the info I have supports no equalizing. Additionally hearing it from someone is one thing, I would like to see it in writting from a manufacturer.

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