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Old 10-20-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
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Dedicated battery charger

Did any one installed a dedicated charger close to the battery bank in order to better and faster charge the batteries? Was thinking about Xantrex Truecharger2. TT's converter/charger won't charge much beyond 90%.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:57 PM   #2
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We installed a Progressive Dynamics PD60 right beside the battery compartment. On our unit the charger and the batteries are at opposite ends of the coach and I am sure the manufacturer did not use large enough wire to not cause a significant amount of voltage drop. I had great results with this unit in my TC.
I plug it in to my generator if we are parked in a shady area and the solar does not work. This past weekend we were parked under trees in the rain so no solar and the batteries never went below 12.45 volts with 2 hours of gen time a day. DW and I are power hogs and really excersice the batteries.
microwave use, heat to 72 watch our 50" TV with full entertainment system till the wee hours of the morning.

This would never work with the stock charger putting out 13.2 volts, need the 14.4 that a proper charger puts out.
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:31 AM   #3
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So, is that a converter/charger or just a charger for batteries? If it is a converter, did you have to rewire everything since you changed the location?
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:03 PM   #4
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Most Rvs already have a decent charger close to the batteries. Your RV's converter/charger is probably quite powerful, and there usually aren't all that many other 12v loads competing for its output.

You didn't mention what make & model converter/charger you now have, so it's hard to say whether something like the Xantrex would improve on it any. If your present set-up does not have a 3-stage charger, I would suggest replacing it rather than adding a second charger.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:06 PM   #5
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It's a WFCO 8955PEC, which is a 3 stage converter/charger but it never charges
batteries pass 13.3V. It goes in bulk mode only when batteries get pretty low. For boondocking I would like to charge my batteries up to 14.3V, also to limit a generator time. Seems like a dedicated charger like TrueCharger2 might be the answer.
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWH250 View Post
So, is that a converter/charger or just a charger for batteries? If it is a converter, did you have to rewire everything since you changed the location?
It is a charger only. I put a circuit braker on the WFCO and left it in place as an emergency backup.

Your are correct that the WFCO rarely goes above 13.3 volts and at that rate would take around 100 hours to charge a battery. The PD60 has a a built in 4 stage charger and a seperate pendant to put it into max charge rate for up to 3 hours. I see 14.4 volts on my volt meters and I can fully charge the 4 x 6V batteries in 2 hours .

This is the same combo that I use in my TC with the execption of the battery bank (2 x 12V AGM), and has worked like a dream for several years. We very rarely go to any sites that gave hookups as we prefer to boondock.

Shoot me a PM if you want some further details.

Rick
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rickeoni View Post
It is a charger only. I put a circuit braker on the WFCO and left it in place as an emergency backup.

Your are correct that the WFCO rarely goes above 13.3 volts and at that rate would take around 100 hours to charge a battery. The PD60 has a a built in 4 stage charger and a seperate pendant to put it into max charge rate for up to 3 hours. I see 14.4 volts on my volt meters and I can fully charge the 4 x 6V batteries in 2 hours .

This is the same combo that I use in my TC with the execption of the battery bank (2 x 12V AGM), and has worked like a dream for several years. We very rarely go to any sites that gave hookups as we prefer to boondock.

Shoot me a PM if you want some further details.

Rick
That's exactly what I'm looking for. I didn't know that Progressive Dynamics make dedicated chargers only, all I see are Converter/Chargers. Do you mind providing a link? Is it possible they are no longer made? Really appreciate your help Rickeoni.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:23 AM   #8
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PD 9260C 60 Amp RV Converter/Charger

This is the unit we use, it works great as a stand alone charger.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:29 AM   #9
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Awesome. Much thanks.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:10 PM   #10
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Good luck.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
It's a WFCO 8955PEC, which is a 3 stage converter/charger but it never charges
batteries pass 13.3V. It goes in bulk mode only when batteries get pretty low.
A battery is fully charged at 12.6v, but that is measured at rest. Anything above that is just a surface charge and dissipates within a minute or tow of any load. When you see 13.6, or 14.3 (the alternator output voltage), it merely reflects the most recent charging voltage.

Once your battery reaches its steady state of charge, use a battery hydrometer to measure. I'll bet the specific gravity reading will show you got a 100% charge at the 13.3v rate.

Bulk charge is supposed to happen only when the battery is very low. The battery has internal resistance that prevents higher charge rates when it is partially charged.

This article should help you understand how batteries are charged and why three stage chargers do what they do.
All About Battery Chargers €“ Battery University

Battery manufacturers typically recommend a charger whose max rate is at least about 15% of the the battery amp hours it works on. For example, if your battery bank has a capacity of 225 AH, then a charger with a max rate of 35 amps is sufficient. A charger with a max of 20% of the AH (45A in this case) is about all that is practical where maximum charge speed is desired. Anything beyond that is usually wasted capacity, since the battery cannot accept more/faster charging anyway.


You started out stating you wanted to add a dedicated charger. Why is it you think a separate charger will provide any more or faster amps than the WFCO? Using a separate charger has little, if any advantage. A larger or better quality unit might have some benefits, but the charge algorithm in the WFCO 8955 is decent enough.

I'm just trying to save you money on something that will likely not bring you any benefit at all. If you feel the Xantrex will help, go ahead. It won't hurt anything except your wallet.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:39 PM   #12
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You did not take into account the distance between the batteries and the charger.
at 13.3 volts flowing through 25 feet of 6 awg wire would have a 7.44% voltage drop or almost 1 volt.

The following is from Lifeline batteries

GPL-31T Charging Instructions and Voltages:

Bulk Charge Voltages: 14.20 - 14.60
Absorbtion Charge Voltages: 14.20 - 14.60volts
Float Charge Voltages: 13.10 - 13.40


Handy Bob is also an excellent place to learn more about RVing & batteries.

https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

Power usage and charging is a very complex puzzle and is different for every one and every application.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:01 PM   #13
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A dedicated charger with proper wiring will charge the batteries a lot faster and also maintain it. Some chargers even have equalizing mode. Surprisingly not a lot of people are aware of this. Xantrex TrueCharger2 is great on paper but reviews are not that great since they moved production to China (no surprise there). Progressive Dynamics converters/chargers are made in good old USA, which is huge in our time of age.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:55 PM   #14
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What you are carefully missing is the fact that the battery will not accept a full charge in two hours. It is a battery chemistry issue not the charging voltage. That is why chargers drop down for float mode for the last 10% or so of charging. On the other side elevating the voltage to force faster charging boils off the electrolyte.
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