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Old 09-29-2013, 09:37 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
By definition a 120 VAC converter is a charger. How else do you think a 12 VDC battery gets charged except by using 12VDC current to charge it?
Dr4Film ----- Richard
Dr4Film, (Richard)
That is a common misconception!...
A converter is not necessarily an effective battery charger, (nor is a battery charger necessarily an effective converter).

A converter converts, (changes), 120VAC shore or generator power to regulated/stable 12VDC power, for use in the coach.... an inverter converts, (changes) 12VDC battery power to 120VAC power, for use in the coach....(an inverter/converter does both).

A battery charger converts 120VAC power to DC power and then uses that DC power to charge batteries.
A converter/charger is a converter with the additional circuitry to allow it to effectively charge batteries.
Whereas an inverter/converter/charger accomplishes 3 tasks:
1.) Converts 12VDC to 120VAC .
2.) Converts 12VDC to 120VAC.
3.) Charges batteries.

Simply applying 12VDC from an inverter/converter to a battery may eventually somewhat charge that battery....... (but not as rapidly, effectively or fully as an inverter/charger, OR a converter/charger).

After reading the Xantrex Freedom 458 manual: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...53217764,d.aWc, I have concluded that the Xantrex Freedom 458 may be ONLY an inverter/charger.... (NOT an inverter/converter/charger).
(I may be wrong...read the manual and see what you think).

Mel
'96 Safari,
(Freedom 20, 2000 watt inverter, 12vdc converter AND 3 stage battery charger).
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:04 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post
Dr4Film, (Richard)
That is a common misconception!...
A converter is not necessarily an effective battery charger, (nor is a battery charger necessarily an effective converter).

A converter converts, (changes), 120VAC shore or generator power to regulated/stable 12VDC power, for use in the coach.... an inverter converts, (changes) 12VDC battery power to 120VAC power, for use in the coach....(an inverter/converter does both).

A battery charger converts 120VAC power to DC power and then uses that DC power to charge batteries.
A converter/charger is a converter with the additional circuitry to allow it to effectively charge batteries.
Whereas an inverter/converter/charger accomplishes 3 tasks:
1.) Converts 12VDC to 120VAC .
2.) Converts 12VDC to 120VAC.
3.) Charges batteries.

Simply applying 12VDC from an inverter/converter to a battery may eventually somewhat charge that battery....... (but not as rapidly, effectively or fully as an inverter/charger, OR a converter/charger).

After reading the Xantrex Freedom 458 manual: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...53217764,d.aWc, I have concluded that the Xantrex Freedom 458 may be ONLY an inverter/charger.... (NOT an inverter/converter/charger).
(I may be wrong...read the manual and see what you think).

Mel
'96 Safari,
(Freedom 20, 2000 watt inverter, 12vdc converter AND 3 stage battery charger).
As long as we're talking technicalities here, I'll have to agree somewhat and hopefully reinforce some definitions.
120vac to 12vdc is a converter.
12vdc to 120vac is an inverter.
An inverter charger does both and goes without saying.
Now, if you have a coach like mine, it might not have came with an inverter. Just a converter. So, I installed my own separate inverter and wired in some new outlets in a few strategic locations. Even installed one outlet at the back of the fridge and built a circuit so that the fridge will auto switch to inverted power, if it doesn't see normal 120vac. pushing the manual button on the fridge will ignite the propane feature.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:23 AM   #31
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Recieved a Verdict yesterday on my problem. The inverter and transfer switch are both bad. They dont make the one that is my motorhome so there replacing it with the new version.... $2400.00 OUCH!!
But after that we should be ready to hit the road..
That's more than an ouch! Always wonder if I don't already know, if and when these guys are telling the truth. I think I'd be looking in my tool box and then be doing some ordering from here... Amazon.com: Xantrex Freedom 458: Automotive
As for the transfer sw., I don't even like them and more in the way of things to go bad. I would rather have what I do now with just a simple generator outlet to plug in to. I mean you have to unplug from shore power anyway, so what's the extra with plugging it back into the coach and a few seconds, maybe?
I'm also thinking that I like my setup more and more with a converter/charger and then a separate inverter. The two together, didn't come anywhere near that kind of cost and I can be reasonably sure that they both won't go south at the same time. If they should, I can change either out, over morning coffee and with minimal effort.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:16 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post

Dr4Film, (Richard)
That is a common misconception!...
A converter is not necessarily an effective battery charger, (nor is a battery charger necessarily an effective converter).

A converter converts, (changes), 120VAC shore or generator power to regulated/stable 12VDC power, for use in the coach.... an inverter converts, (changes) 12VDC battery power to 120VAC power, for use in the coach....(an inverter/converter does both).

A battery charger converts 120VAC power to DC power and then uses that DC power to charge batteries.
A converter/charger is a converter with the additional circuitry to allow it to effectively charge batteries.
Whereas an inverter/converter/charger accomplishes 3 tasks:
1.) Converts 12VDC to 120VAC .
2.) Converts 12VDC to 120VAC.
3.) Charges batteries.

Simply applying 12VDC from an inverter/converter to a battery may eventually somewhat charge that battery....... (but not as rapidly, effectively or fully as an inverter/charger, OR a converter/charger).

After reading the Xantrex Freedom 458 manual: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...53217764,d.aWc, I have concluded that the Xantrex Freedom 458 may be ONLY an inverter/charger.... (NOT an inverter/converter/charger).
(I may be wrong...read the manual and see what you think).

Mel
'96 Safari,
(Freedom 20, 2000 watt inverter, 12vdc converter AND 3 stage battery charger).
Every battery charger using an AC source WILL have converter circuitry. The converter section does voltage conversion, rectification to DC and filtering. Now there are additional circuits that monitor and control various charge functions - this would be the battery charging component and often the entire unit is called a charger.

Bottom line: Every AC powered charger has a converter component. If the schematic was provided, the circuity would disclose this fact. It does not matter it if it says this or not in any manual.

Incidently I have never seen and RV DC supply that did not charge batteries and any DC source that is above the battery voltage will charge a battery but without the ability to shut down once the battery is charged, the battery can be damaged. So multi stage chargers are the only way to go IMHO.

However the term "power converter" and just "converter" are used in the RV industry so I don't get very concerned what term is used.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:27 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post

Dr4Film, (Richard)
That is a common misconception!...
A converter is not necessarily an effective battery charger, (nor is a battery charger necessarily an effective converter).

Mel
'96 Safari,
(Freedom 20, 2000 watt inverter, 12vdc converter AND 3 stage battery charger).
Mel,

Yup, you're correct. I lost my head once again.

A converter is simply turning 120 VAC into 12 VDC without any AMP controls.

A charger has built-in circuitry to allow for various levels of DC AMPS to charge the batteries and then KEEP the batteries fully charged. Those are BULK, ABSORPTION and FLOAT levels of SOC.

I won't make the same mistake again, trust me!

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:09 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by tropical36 View Post
That's more than an ouch! Always wonder if I don't already know, if and when these guys are telling the truth. I think I'd be looking in my tool box and then be doing some ordering from here... Amazon.com: Xantrex Freedom 458: Automotive
As for the transfer sw., I don't even like them and more in the way of things to go bad. I would rather have what I do now with just a simple generator outlet to plug in to. I mean you have to unplug from shore power anyway, so what's the extra with plugging it back into the coach and a few seconds, maybe?
I'm also thinking that I like my setup more and more with a converter/charger and then a separate inverter. The two together, didn't come anywhere near that kind of cost and I can be reasonably sure that they both won't go south at the same time. If they should, I can change either out, over morning coffee and with minimal effort.
You may be right. The problem is I know absolutely nothing about electrical service or how it works on motorhomes.
I can build motors and most anything else. But I am not a electrician by no means. I would rather they fix it and then I (hope) know its done right.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:24 PM   #35
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You may be right. The problem is I know absolutely nothing about electrical service or how it works on motorhomes.
I can build motors and most anything else. But I am not a electrician by no means. I would rather they fix it and then I (hope) know its done right.
My problem exactly. Knowing it's done right and was needed in the first place that is and usually end up taking something apart and redoing after I get it home. As for replacing like or similar units, just put it in like the old one came out.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:37 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by speedman42 View Post
Recieved a Verdict yesterday on my problem. The inverter and transfer switch are both bad. They dont make the one that is my motorhome so there replacing it with the new version.... $2400.00 OUCH!!
But after that we should be ready to hit the road..
Speedman...did you try the test I suggested in my first post with your Xantrex? That at least will assure you that you are not being lied to.
If indeed the Xantrex is toast and you are modestly handy...ALL of the wiring you need is already attached to your existing unit. You can simply swap one of the units from Amazon that matches what you have and make the connections one at a time and all you will need is a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. That will save you at least $1200 bucks. If you don't feel like you want to tackle it...I'm sure any local electric guy or MARINE electronic tech would be happy to tackle the job. With the existing unit in place a couple of hours work would be a LOT since doing the wiring rather than attaching it is the toughest part of the job.
In any event...good luck!
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:09 AM   #37
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Every battery charger using an AC source WILL have converter circuitry. The converter section does voltage conversion, rectification to DC and filtering. Now there are additional circuits that monitor and control various charge functions - this would be the battery charging component and often the entire unit is called a charger.

Bottom line: Every AC powered charger has a converter component. If the schematic was provided, the circuity would disclose this fact. It does not matter it if it says this or not in any manual.

Incidently I have never seen and RV DC supply that did not charge batteries and any DC source that is above the battery voltage will charge a battery but without the ability to shut down once the battery is charged, the battery can be damaged. So multi stage chargers are the only way to go IMHO.

However the term "power converter" and just "converter" are used in the RV industry so I don't get very concerned what term is used.
Wow. That is technical but I believe it is a distinction without a difference. My coach is not here to check but I am going to it tomorrow so I will look. I very strongly suspect that when I look at my coach I am going to find out that the coach 12volt items run off of the batteries themselves and that the battery charger just recharges them. I do not see any need whatsoever to have a separate charging section and separate converter section in a unit. Plus you get a bit more stable 12 volt power from the batteries. Nothing really filters like a group of big old batteries absorbing the ripple from the charger.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:58 AM   #38
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Speedman...did you try the test I suggested in my first post with your Xantrex? That at least will assure you that you are not being lied to.
If indeed the Xantrex is toast and you are modestly handy...ALL of the wiring you need is already attached to your existing unit. You can simply swap one of the units from Amazon that matches what you have and make the connections one at a time and all you will need is a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. That will save you at least $1200 bucks. If you don't feel like you want to tackle it...I'm sure any local electric guy or MARINE electronic tech would be happy to tackle the job. With the existing unit in place a couple of hours work would be a LOT since doing the wiring rather than attaching it is the toughest part of the job.
In any event...good luck!
Man I really appreciate you help. My MH is already at the RV dealer that is about 60 miles from me. My wife and I are hoping to head out to South Dakota this next weekend so I really don't have the time to check it either. Also they dont make the unit that is in my coach any longer. So the one that it is replaced with may hook up different. I am just going to have to accept this and learn one of those lessons here.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:48 AM   #39
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Actually you are in a good place to be. Yes, expensive but not as bad as it seems. This give you the opportunity to upgrade your electrical.

First, I recommend Magnum inverters. The customer support is great and the durability of their products is well established. There are many folks here that have brand names for transfer switches. Just make certain that the one you get is compatible with your coach. And you may consider going to AGM batteries. This is not advisable if you are not using the coach all the time or able to keep charging power to them. I won't go into it here but they are expensive and a bit more finicky than the standard deep cycle battery.

In all, the cost of repairs will be much less than getting a new coach. If you are handy at all and have the time you should be able to do the work yourself.

Get your wiring diagram and study it. I think you are correct in saying that your 12V lighting is straight off the batteries, through the disconnect switch. But the disconnect switch does not disconnect the inverter from the batteries.

Also consider checking the BIRD relay. It is a part of the engine charging circuit and is known to fail.

At this point I will advise you in a very simple way. Please get your thoughts organized. Choose wisely through all we have shared with you and with specifics about the design of your existing electrical system how you will proceed. Get a functional list started of products you will need by category and brand. This may help you decide on your next move. Doing this repair yourself will be a great education and yield much satisfaction.

We are all routing for you.

Rick
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:43 AM   #40
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Chassis batteries are new. THe house batteries look old to me. I just bought the motorhome so I'm not sure how old the house batteries are. MH has been in storage since 2008.
Was the coach plugged in while in storage? If not, the house batteries are definitely done, if plugged in all the water could have been evaporated/boiled out, in which case the could still be bad. As others have posted, check the voltage while plugged in, also check the water in the batteries.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:40 AM   #41
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Wow. That is technical but I believe it is a distinction without a difference. My coach is not here to check but I am going to it tomorrow so I will look. I very strongly suspect that when I look at my coach I am going to find out that the coach 12volt items run off of the batteries themselves and that the battery charger just recharges them. I do not see any need whatsoever to have a separate charging section and separate converter section in a unit. Plus you get a bit more stable 12 volt power from the batteries. Nothing really filters like a group of big old batteries absorbing the ripple from the charger.
Gemini5632

You are 100% correct. I have only seen one DC output of any "Converter" or "charger" (whichever name is used) for an RV and this is connected to the battery. This is the same electrical connection used for the 12v for the coach. There will not be a seperate charging system, it is all in one. Please read the quote before re the admonishment about the use of the term "converter" vs "charger" etc. In general, the terms are both used to identify the charging system in an RV and just because the word "converter" is not used in the manual does not mean that component is not there. Some units have integrated Inverters and some do not. Some less expensive chargers/converters do not have multi stage charging modes. (I would not expect to see these in a modern RV but perhaps they exist.)

And again you are right on about the battery being a good filter, it is one of the best filters, but I think you will find some internal filtering circuitry on any good converter/charger unit. But I was just describing the basic elements of converter circuitry. If you put an oscilloscope on the DC output of a converter/charger with a pure load but without the battery you MAY see a small ripple, but with the battery there, the ripple dissapears. A protection relay may need to be bypassed to check this.

So it was about the name. Every AC powered battery charger has converter circuitry and to call it a converter is OK by me. And OK with many manufacturers also. Just google "power converters for RV" Progressive call thier units "Power Converters" as a generic term. That is what my post was about.

Sorry if I conveyed something else.

Good comment.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:52 AM   #42
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Gemini5632
Every AC powered battery charger has converter circuitry and to call it a converter is OK by me. And OK with many manufacturers also.
Libero
You MAY be correct that all "modern RV" converters are also battery chargers, but the fact remains that all NOT ALL RV CONVERTERS are also BATTERY CHARGERS.
I have a 1975 MH, which, (as built by Winnebago), has both a converter without battery charging capability, AND a separate battery charger).

The terms "converter" and "battery charger" are not interchangeable and to continue to insist that they are is a disservice, confusing and certainly not helpful...(confusing information is worst than no information at all).

BTW, IMO most of the information you post is "spot on", (and I agree with most of your opinions).

Mel
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