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Old 01-14-2011, 03:28 PM   #15
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Location: Western Montana
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My Two cents

The Balmar and Sterling Power units do a great job when properly installed. They DC to DC convert the alternator power to a proper three stage temperature and voltage compensated charge for deep cycle batteries. The configiration flexibility is really nice.


As Bob says the long small wires from the tow vehicle to the trailer are the overriding factor. You will most likely loose every advantage you could have got from the external DC to DC converter.

Now if you put one of the Balmar or Sterling Power units between the Alternator and coach batteries of a Motor Home, That's a different story - I have seen a huge improvement and am extremely satisfied with the additional proper three stage charging now supplied from the single stage 145 amp alternator voltage regulator.

Please do not toss your defective Converters / Inverters / etc. in the trash
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:29 AM   #16
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The Subaru alternator is a 120A (just rechecked) and the wires from the battery in the TV to the trailer battery are 10ga and could easily be made larger or another set added. The battery in the Subaru already is starting to look like an octopus with three 10ga wires (positive and negative) going to the brake controller, trailer battery and to the power point in the back of the Subaru to power the Waeco refrigerator when we travel (I used Anderson SB50 [50A but fused for 30A] power poles rather than the wimpy cigarette lighter type plug).

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Old 01-18-2011, 08:26 AM   #17
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It would be nice if you could do voltage measurements while the engine is running, the auto battery is charged up and the trailer battery has been run down a bit. The voltage difference is what will show how inefficient this is. The voltage at the trailer will drop even more when you run the fridge. It would be even better if you could find a clamp on DC ammeter to show just how many amps reach the trailer battery. Unfortunately, these are not easy to find. I made these tests a few years ago for some friends, just to show that it doesn't really work, but I do not have exact numbers I can post.
Full time boondocker, solar powered, no generator
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:57 PM   #18
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We bought the first Mega-Mini teardrop and they asked us for feed back, and we gave it to them and they listened. Every subsequent model incorporated our suggestions, two doors, Inconvenient climbing over your partner for the midnight trip to the privy, single rear galley hatch...
I asked them how much it would take to upgrade ours and they said let us build you a new. Not often you get do overs in life and the new one has it ALL. there is however one fly in the ointment, the company has bit the dust and our unit is being finished by the president of the company and it is now 16 months over due. I have seen it about 6 months ago and it is nearly done. I will be seeing a lawyer if we do not have it soon.
I have a lot of things I will have to do to the trailer Install the solar panels, MPPT controller, the PMW is already, wire in case fans, compressor and air handling for the air suspension...
What I will do when we have the trailer is do a through exam and I will use the Fuse Buddy with the VOM and check all of the current characteristics and do a base line study.

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