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Old 08-09-2020, 11:46 AM   #1
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Is there a built in charge controller for the batteries?

Hey folks, I have a 2000 Seabreeze and I have a question regarding the batteries. Does the coach have a charge controller for the batteries? I am worried if I leave the coach plugged into shore power at my home for an extended period that I may be damaging the batteries.

If not, my thought is to put disconnect switches on the batteries when I'm plugged into shore for an extended time and just run a separate float charger. I'm assuming there is not an issue with being plugged into shore power without batteries installed.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:42 PM   #2
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Float charger is the way to go.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:45 PM   #3
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The specs for the current; converter or inverter ; would be required .

With the RV being 20 years old it might not be original .

Removing the batteries from the circuit COULD be detrimental to the operation of the converter/inverter.
If you can find the unit and post the manufacturer and model , maybe we can track down a spec sheet and operators manual.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:50 PM   #4
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Agree with Skip. Most converters are battery maintainers rather than traditional chargers which means you can stay plugged in. However, if your rig is old, it might not have a battery maintainer, so check your specs. My MH is "vintage," but it is a maintainer. Leave it plugged in all the time.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:02 PM   #5
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Pretty sure it's original. It's a MagneTek 900 series, model 950.
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Old 08-09-2020, 04:47 PM   #6
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The MagneTec 950 is a Parallax product , here's a manual and in the Q&A a warning about operation without a battery .
The system is a " float charge " with max output of 50 amps at 14.1 volts.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Parallax 900 manual.pdf (47.4 KB, 12 views)
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:54 PM   #7
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I changed mine out to Progressive Dynamics, itís about 30 lbs lighter than the MagneTek and has all the latest technology. Pretty easy to swap them.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:48 PM   #8
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So let me ask a really stupid question here. Isn't this thing just a 120VAC to 12VDC 600W power supply with a couple large doides to keep from overcharging the batteries when connected to A/C power (or possibly a transfer switch/contactor relay) and a battery charger function built-in?
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard S. View Post
Float charger is the way to go.
Not always.

The important factor in long-term storage is the voltage level, not the current output of the charger.

Some float chargers are simple devices and have a single output voltage, often higher than recommended by the battery manufacturer for long-term storage. What's the result? Increased water consumption and often shorter battery life. Carefully check the output voltage on the float charger before connecting. Even a voltage of 13.8v is high enough to cause outgassing and water consumption.

Many (most?) modern built-in chargers and inverter/chargers use smart charger technology which varied the voltage level according to the need. When the battery bank is fully charged, a smart charger will have an output of about only 13.2 volts. This is high enough to maintain the charge, but it's low enough to not cause excessive outgassing and water consumption.

We use a Progressive Dynamics multi-stage charger. On float it outputs 13.2v. We can leave it on all winter (Nov - Mar) and there is no noticeable water consumption. Batteries stay charged. The technology in our charger bumps the voltage up to the higher level for about 15 minutes every 24 hours, and this helps to avoid sulfation of the plates. Not all chargers do this.

The only way to know for certain if you need any external type of float charger is to check the specs on the one built into your coach. If the float charge output is around 13.2v, you're good to go and can leave it plugged in. If you can't find the specs, make sure your batteries are fully charged with the charger connected for a few days, and then check the output voltage with a meter to see what the float charge voltage is.
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