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Old 09-09-2017, 07:10 PM   #1
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Battery replacement, charger/converter too?

I recently purchased an 02 MountainAire DP. I'm very excited and look forward to future adventures in it, but I need a little advice. (This is probably the first of many requests ).
I knew that I would need to replace the house batteries when I purchased the MH and I am in the process of doing so now. The existing batteries are 8 years old and I recently noticed that the sides were bulging and when the unit is plugged into shore power that the batteries are getting quite hot. I understand these are both symptoms of overcharging. Since I'm replacing them anyway, I'm not too concerned about these things as far as the existing batteries go, but I want to make sure that I have things in order for the care of the new batteries.
So I'm wondering whether the existing power converter/battery charger in my MH is of the modern variety that has the ability to monitor the condition of the batteries and take care of things or is it "old school" and perhaps I should consider upgrading it.
I have to say I haven't found it yet, so I'm assuming it is the original unit that came with the MH when it was built. My previous MH was a 2000 Rexhall Aerbus and I did replace the old converter with a modern one and I was very pleased with the result. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:17 PM   #2
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Plenty of battery topics on here too look at. Most do Lifeline AGM or Lithium. Read the stats on your inverter/charger to see if it will work with batteries. Magnum makes great inverters!
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:58 PM   #3
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You didn't buy, a new coach, but there is no reason why your coach cannot function like a new one.

House Electrical components older than 10 years are candidates for replacement. Your current setup is probably a msw inverter. Very worth while to upgrade to a modern psw inverter.

Installing a magnum inverter was one of my first upgrades.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:39 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize that the inverter also served as the charger. I thought they were separate pieces. The inverter I have is a Trace Engineering unit. I don't recall seeing the manual for it, but I will look again.
azSkier, I assume that "msw" and "psw" refer to different types of units. is Magnum a brand name?
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:29 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Newmar family!

I assume you have a Zantac Control/monitoring board up in the cabinet above the entry steps?? Be sure you set the correct battery type on it - wet cell, AGM or GEL. This will then control your battery charge cycle rates & times.
I strongly recommend Lifeline AGM house batteries- you get what you pay for in good batteries!

Happy Trails
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:55 PM   #6
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Hi Kevin J,
Consider staying with the same configuration. Find your converters. Originally there were 2 45 AMP converters. Me thinks you have 4 coach and 2 chassis batteries. A 400 WATT inverter was an option. I am not familiar with how the converters are wired into the coach (batteries and inverter).
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin J View Post
Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize that the inverter also served as the charger. I thought they were separate pieces. The inverter I have is a Trace Engineering unit. I don't recall seeing the manual for it, but I will look again.
azSkier, I assume that "msw" and "psw" refer to different types of units. is Magnum a brand name?
Kevin,

I think the Trace brand inverter you have was the forerunner to the now Xantrex brand. Before I would spend any money on replacing the inverter I would put in all new house batteries. Once those are in you can check to see how the inverter/charger is working. It may be working just fine. If you do need to replace it I would recommend a Magnum brand psw (pure sine wave). Modified sine wave inverters are cheaper, but electronics work better with the pure sine wave. Using a inverter/charger will eliminate the use of converters if that's what is installed in the coach.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:35 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone, for your help. It IS my intention to replace the house batteries for sure. The existing ones are toast. I did locate the manual for the Trace Engineering inverter/charger. Mine has the RC-6 controller which doesn't appear to allow the user to change the parameters for different kinds of batteries. However, it does appear to be able to adjust to three different levels of charging depending on the condition of the batteries, so I think I will wait and see if this will be adequate for the charging and maintenance needs of my new battery bank. The inverter is a modified sine wave model, so we'll see how that goes. I've never had an inverter before and don't anticipate using it a lot so there's no rush to upgrade to a true sine wave model at this point.
Thanks again. I'll be back with more questions I'm sure!
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:16 PM   #9
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The previous owner of my coach replaced the OEM Magnum with a Progressive Dynamics 80A Converter. I do not have an Inverter and do not miss it as we do not dry camp and if we do stop along our travels I just run the generator if need be.
I can say this device has worked flawlessly for the seven years I've owned the coach. I put a new set of house and chassis batteries in when I got the coach and they are still going strong. It's plugged in 24/7/365 unless we're traveling and then plugged in at a campground. It keeps the battery voltage at 13.5 - 13.6 volts without fail.
If the Inverter is not important to you and you are going to make a change, I would highly recommend the PD9200.


PD9280A - 80 Amp RV Converter/Charger - Progressive Dynamics
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:32 AM   #10
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Hot and bulging batteries can be a sign of overcharging, if the batteries are good.

It is also a sign of failing batteries.

In your situation with 8 year old batteries and no history of use and abuse, I would suspect them first.

Being new to running on batteries, I suggest you start with reasonable priced, flooded acid batteries.

Too many folks buy expensive batteries, often costing 3X as much, and ruin them in 2 years, thru abuse, during the learning curve.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
The previous owner of my coach replaced the OEM Magnum with a Progressive Dynamics 80A Converter. I do not have an Inverter and do not miss it as we do not dry camp and if we do stop along our travels I just run the generator if need be.
I can say this device has worked flawlessly for the seven years I've owned the coach. I put a new set of house and chassis batteries in when I got the coach and they are still going strong. It's plugged in 24/7/365 unless we're traveling and then plugged in at a campground. It keeps the battery voltage at 13.5 - 13.6 volts without fail.
If the Inverter is not important to you and you are going to make a change, I would highly recommend the PD9200.


PD9280A - 80 Amp RV Converter/Charger - Progressive Dynamics
Glad to hear you like your PD converter, I ordered a PD9270V from rvpowerhouse.com and installed 2-6volt golf cart batteries today.
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