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Old 07-16-2009, 04:04 PM   #15
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Did call Parallax and talked to their rep. He informed me that the 7455 is a two stage charging system. He also informed me that ambient temperatrure has a lot to do with batteries using more water than usual.

Now I are smart!!!
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:25 PM   #16
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We have the bad one-stage converter in our fiver. Within a year I ruined a set of batteries. I then learned about the bad converters by reading this forum..........

One low cost alternative for the bad type converters
(I do it this way on mine)

I have a battery disconnect switch at my two Trojan batteries which I put in the DISCONNECT position. I bought a "Battery Minder" charger / desulfator for about $60. It looks like a wall-wart charger. I plug this into an outlet near the batteries and hook it to the batteries.

The fiver stays pluged-in 24/7 at the house since 2002. The battery minder is the only thing charging the batteries while parked at the house. The fiver converter runs the 12 volt side of the fiver (lights, exhaust fans,...) The "Battery Minder" does not boil dry the batteries. You can leave one on a battery forever. I do check and add small amounts of distilled water every few months.

The Trojans are now 7 years old and in tip-top shape.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Bit View Post
We have the bad one-stage converter in our fiver. Within a year I ruined a set of batteries. I then learned about the bad converters by reading this forum..........

One low cost alternative for the bad type converters
(I do it this way on mine)

I have a battery disconnect switch at my two Trojan batteries which I put in the DISCONNECT position. I bought a "Battery Minder" charger / desulfator for about $60. It looks like a wall-wart charger. I plug this into an outlet near the batteries and hook it to the batteries.

The fiver stays pluged-in 24/7 at the house since 2002. The battery minder is the only thing charging the batteries while parked at the house. The fiver converter runs the 12 volt side of the fiver (lights, exhaust fans,...) The "Battery Minder" does not boil dry the batteries. You can leave one on a battery forever. I do check and add small amounts of distilled water every few months.

The Trojans are now 7 years old and in tip-top shape.
So, the low current output of the Battery Minder is not a big deal for you, because it is charging the batteries 24/7, correct? That's a good way to do it, we just don't use coach batteries enough to justify an elobarate charger, inverter, converter, and we can leave our rig plugged in to power from our home 24/7. If I did something like this I wouldn't need to throw away our converter that runs the 12v needs fine but is a lousy charger, and I too have the battery disconnect switch.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:08 AM   #18
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If we have used the batteries while camping or traveling, I will let the converter bring them back up to full charge (put the battery switch back to CONNECTED). It is when the fiver is parked at home with full batteries that I disconnect them from the converter and put the "Battery Minder" on them. That way we have 24/7 on shore power at home with the batteries protected from the converter. I have also done this in a campground if we are going to be on shore power there for a week or more.

I did not modify the wiring of the converter in any way. I just use the factory installed battery disconnect to take the batteries off the converter when on shore power for extended times.

The "Battery Minder" is a smart trickle charger that will desulfate (clean up) the batteries and shut down to almost 0 once fully charged, preventing boiling. It could charge low batteries eventually, but it is best to bring a battery up to full with a good bulk charger (or your converter). I think they now have newer models than the one I bought seven years ago that also act as a multi-stage (bulk, then trickle, then de-sulfate)

Battery minder has a web site that explains it
Battery Chargers by BatteryMINDers.com

EDIT: I have the old model 12117 (low amp). The multi-stage (new) would be the 12248. Battery Minders can be bought for less at places other than their home page, so shop around the internet.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Two Bit View Post
If we have used the batteries while camping or traveling, I will let the converter bring them back up to full charge (put the battery switch back to CONNECTED). It is when the fiver is parked at home with full batteries that I disconnect them from the converter and put the "Battery Minder" on them. That way we have 24/7 on shore power at home with the batteries protected from the converter. I have also done this in a campground if we are going to be on shore power there for a week or more.

I did not modify the wiring of the converter in any way. I just use the factory installed battery disconnect to take the batteries off the converter when on shore power for extended times.

The "Battery Minder" is a smart trickle charger that will desulfate (clean up) the batteries and shut down to almost 0 once fully charged, preventing boiling. It could charge low batteries eventually, but it is best to bring a battery up to full with a good bulk charger (or your converter). I think they now have newer models than the one I bought seven years ago that also act as a multi-stage (bulk, then trickle, then de-sulfate)

Battery minder has a web site that explains it
Battery Chargers by BatteryMINDers.com

EDIT: I have the old model 12117 (low amp). The multi-stage (new) would be the 12248. Battery Minders can be bought for less at places other than their home page, so shop around the internet.
Yep, I got it. If my current batteries last until such time as we can full time, when that day comes I am going to go the 2 6 volt golf cart battery route and 2 of these battery minders. If the need arises I can always charge them with my converter, but I would be able to keep an eye on it. I mean, what the heck else will I have to do?

Do you know if the battery minder does an equalizing charge?
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:08 AM   #20
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I dont know about the equalizing ability.

You would not need two battery minders for two Trojan 6 volt batteries. I have two 6 volt trojans wired together to make 12 volts. One charger charges both at the same time. I believe their site says up to four (or six?) batteries can be charged at once by one battery minder as long as all batteries are the same type. You charge the whole battery bank, not the individual batteries.

Go here for great info on RV 12 volt systems and how to configure them
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #21
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My thanks to all of you that posted to my question. I have finally found that my converter is an Inteli-Power 9100 which is only about a year old. However, I still must add the Charge Wizard to keep my batteries from overcharging. I ordered it today for only $28.95 and I should have it by Tues. This forum is one of the greatest accessories I have found for my RV.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:01 AM   #22
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I dont know about the equalizing ability.

You would not need two battery minders for two Trojan 6 volt batteries. I have two 6 volt trojans wired together to make 12 volts. One charger charges both at the same time. I believe their site says up to four (or six?) batteries can be charged at once by one battery minder as long as all batteries are the same type. You charge the whole battery bank, not the individual batteries.

Go here for great info on RV 12 volt systems and how to configure them
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
Thanks Robert, for all the info. The guy that was the original owner of my rig bought new coach batteries in '07, but when I bought the coach and checked the batteries, they had been boiled dry. Right now we just don't use them enough to justify investing in a new coach battery setup. Even though these were abused, they are holding up surprsingly well.

I did check the web site, but I missed the information about maintaining banks of batteries. I did see that they had 2 and 4 bank systems available, although expensive. But it does make sense, using one 12 volt battery minder on 2 6 volt batteries in series. 6 cells is 6 cells, whether they happen to be in one case or 2, or 6 for that matter.

The equalizing charge is really only needed if one cell gets way out of whack with the others, and doing it is rough on a lead acid battery. I guess if you maintain your batteries well, it should not be needed. You say your Trojans are still like new after 7 years, that speaks well for the Battery Minder.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:02 PM   #23
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Hi Ho: The answer to the charge question isn't what brand/type of converter, but rather what the converter is doing. The correct way to maintain normal lead acid batteries is to apply 13.6 to 13.8 volts (regardless of the source) and monitor the electrolyte every few weeks. This assumes that the batteries are nominally good. Batteries maintained this way will last many years.

Just measure the battery voltage with the coach plugged in with a digital voltmeter or look on the one-place display if you have one.

We leave our coach plugged in all the time and only add water every two or three months depending on the weather. By the way, our Itasca is almost 10 years old.

Dirk
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Do you know if the battery minder does an equalizing charge?

Battery MINDer, no

Battery MINDer PLUS. Yes
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:05 PM   #25
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When adding liquid to the battery is it water or battery acid?
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:27 PM   #26
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Distilled water.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:58 PM   #27
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Where do I look up to see if the converter in the RV is a good or not? The one that came with this RV is a Atwood Converter/Charger SRV 55.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:04 PM   #28
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The electrolyte stays within the cells even though H20 is boiled off. Therefore, only add distilled water to bring the liquid up and topped off. I would argue that 13.6 to 13.8 is too high a voltage to keep topped off and charged batteries charge level up. Iota and Progressive dynamics apparently agree with me. In their new chargers ( 3 charge voltages) 14.3 volts is used to bring a low battery back up to about 95% charged. Once at about 95% charge, they drop the charge voltage to 13.6 to get the last 5 %.This usually takes about 16-30 hours.To keep the batteries topped off while in storage The voltage drops again to 13.2 so the electrolyte is not boiled away but the batteries remain fully charged. Then, every 24-30 hours a spike of voltage is applied for 15 minutes to prevent sulfates from forming on the plates.
Interestingly, there seems no consensus regarding storage voltage charge levels. Current research seems to be evolving but for now, most agree that 14+ volts is used to bring low batteries up quickly then 13.6 volts to get the last 5 % and then, for long term storage, 13.2 volts is the norm with an occasional spike to prevent sulfites from forming while in storage. At 13.6 volts fully charged you will need to check your electrolyte frequently. If the plates get uncovered by the electrolyte, that portion of the plates is ruined and will no longer be used to generate any current and your amp hours are reduced accordingly.
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