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Old 12-03-2018, 06:11 PM   #1
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Considering hard mounting a dedicated 60 amp charger

Hi folks. Can I get someone to check my concept on this.

My 2018 Outdoors RV Travel Trailer has a WFCO 89xx Power Center in it which charges the house batteries at 14.4 v during bulk charging. Haven't checked the wire run to the batteries from the power centre but I'm assuming 15 - 25 feet of cable run which leads me to believe there is significant voltage loss over the run.

I'm running 2 Interstate Golf Cart 6v batteries for 225 Ah at 12v and looking to add 2 more in the spring or sooner for a total of 450 Ah.

No AC inverters or anything "strange" in the system yet. Biggest amp draw is the furnace when shoulder/winter camping.

Batteries:
https://www.interstatebatteries.com/...ts/gc2-ecl-utl

Ideally these should be charged at 14.8v during bulk, not the 14.4v less line loss.

My thoughts are that between low charging voltage already (14.4v) PLUS the line loss, I'm short charging my batteries if I charge them solely using the shore power (30 amp) connection.

I have a ZAMP Solar Panel on the roof (160w) and 30 amp Charge Controller already but at Northern latitudes here on the West Coast of Canada, we get little direct sun and few hours during the winter. During summer I can charge the batteries fully in a day with low power usage.

We primarily boondock so what I'm thinking of doing when I add the additional battery capacity is hard wiring in a dedicated 12v 60 amp charger right to the battery bay in a waterproof vented (the batteries are SLA plus air for the charger) so I can recharge the battery bank at a higher voltage with more charging amps in a shorter time. Still WELL within C20 recharge rate even before adding the additional storage.

Lately I've been putting the batteries on my car charger (an intelligent 12/8/2 amp charger from Canadian Tire) when I've got the rig at the house.

I'm looking at adding something like this to the battery box:

https://www.kisaepower.com/products/...model-ac-1260/

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:45 PM   #2
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The stock OEM inverter/charger may be replaced with a new one that has a 100A 3-stage charger which will do a better job of maintaining your batteries without overcharging.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:14 PM   #3
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Still a long run of cable from the inverter/charger to the battery bank. Doubt it's even 1/0 wire gauge. I had looked at replacing the bottom section with a replacement that provides greater voltage (14.8v in bulk) but as the coach is still pretty new I have little interest in running new cabling for the 12 v system.

Appreciate the input though!
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:16 PM   #4
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I would just disconnect the wfco converter from the breaker and install a 45-60A deck mount converter in the front compartment, wire it with a resettable breaker and the largest gauge wire the converter will use. There should be 110v near by also.

Another option is to just run a larger gauge wire with the factory converter/distribution box to the batteries
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:37 PM   #5
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My understanding is that the WFCO acts as:
- a 12 V DC charger
- an AC circuit breaker and distribution box
- an AC to DC transformer
- a 12 v DC fuse panel and distribution

and takes shore power AC in as well as house battery 12v DC in.

Clomok, with what you propose, how would the AC and DC circuits get wired? To the new front mounted converter? Shore power in would go to the new converter and cascade back to the WFCO to act as circuit panel?
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:48 PM   #6
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If your converter is built into the bottom of the power distribution panel your can disconnect just the converter portion and leave the rest intact. Not a big deal.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:01 PM   #7
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SPDRCR39 - very cool. Didn't know it was possible to do that. Knew it was modular but didn't realize one could "delete" part of it.

Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:17 PM   #8
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So if I understand correctly (please see system diagram below), if I was to disconnect (and safely cap) the connections from the main board to the 12v section of the power centre that I "colourized", I would effectively remove the 12v house battery charging from the equation while still maintaining the 120v AC component off shore power and powering the 12v DC section solely from the house batteries, which I would then need to charge independently as I proposed above, correct?

Disregard the multimeter in the diagram - this is from WFCO's owners manual explaining how to test charger output.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:50 PM   #9
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With my new trailer, I took out the stock WFCO(exactly like yours) and sold it on eBay. I bought a Progressive Dynamics and mounted it close to the batteries.


You could change out your existing wire to a much larger gauge but I believe mounting a new converter close to the batteries is a MUCH better way.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:17 PM   #10
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Good to know that it worked for you Babock.

To be clear, I'm just trying to take the battery charger function off the WFCO and maintain shore power and 12v house battery distribution via the power centre and add an independent 12v 5 stage high charging amperage intelligent charger to the system pretty much at the house battery bank. In a perfect world, I should be able to plug the charger in anytime I have 15amp 120v (generator or electrical outlet) AC OR plug the coach into 30 amp shore power and then plug the independent battery charger into the GFCI trailer circuit without having multiple charging paths to the battery.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:51 AM   #11
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Yep...that's basically what I accomplished. I happen to use a Progressive dynamics converter to accomplish that.


The existing wire from the battery to the power center still exists. I just removed that WFCO at the power center and added the new converter next to my batteries.


I ran a cable from the new converter back to the circuit breaker that the WFCO used to be wired to.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:19 AM   #12
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Thank you for bearing with me on that. In my installation the circuit breakers and fuse panel are located in the same plastic enclosure as the converter main board and I just wanted to make quite sure I wasn't misunderstanding nomenclature or something else.

The system is actually quite simple once you deconstruct it but it took immersion here on iRV2 to try and make sense of what I thought I was seeing. I've asked multiple RV techs the same question and most said just to leave it as is since the "manufacturer always knows best", which I'm inclined to suggest isn't actually the case - the manufacturer obviously knows how to make it work in a large variety of cases but I'm firmly of the opinion a few minor alterations can greatly improve the way we personally use our coach, which is predominantly off-grid boondocking for just enough days to deplete the 12v house batteries if used as built.

Sincere thanks again!
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:49 AM   #13
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Once you get into this and remove the WFCO, you will see what I mean. Very easy to wire in the new converter where the present one is wired into its circuit breaker. You really want your converter on it's own circuit breaker.


The manufacturer doesn't always know best. They do what's easiest and cheapest which will work fine if you don't dry camp. Not so great if you want to charge your batteries as fast as possible.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babock View Post
You really want your converter on it's own circuit breaker.
I'm planning on going in a completely different direction and installing the wiring to the aftermarket charger to a dedicated circuit that isn't tied directly into the trailer 120v AC at all, terminating in a twist lock jack on the outside of the trailer so I have the option of JUST plugging in the charger without powering the coach 120v at all. If I'm running on 30 amp shore power (which to date has been once), I'll just run an outdoors extension to the charger input jack.
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