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Old 04-08-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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Converter replacement

The house batteries in my '04 Adventurer were just replaced a year ago by my dad (2 Interstate SRM-24's), and already they seem pretty useless. The coach saw little use in the past year, just one cross-country drive.

After driving 30 miles to a nearby campground a couple of weeks ago, normal use of lights during the evening pretty much killed them by morning (the batteries wouldn't even start the genset). I checked the water in them prior to leaving, and only found one cell a bit low.

While I'd love to replace them with T-105's or something similar, I'm thinking that a wiser thing to do would be to upgrade the converter to an Intellipower 9200 series unit and see if that helps enough to get some more life out of these batteries. The current stock converter is a 45 amp.

So, a few questions:

1) Is there any point in upgrading from a 45 amp to a 60 amp Intellipower?
2) Do the charging amps put out by the Intellipower require upgrading the charge system wiring, or is the stock wiring ok?
3) How complicated is the replacement?

Thanks in advance,

- Clay
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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There several types of batteries the ones you have (Group 24) are most likely "Marine/Deep cycle" and .. Well, they are about 90% starting 10% deep cycle. they really do not like to sit un-charged Use of Interstate U-2200's (Six Volt DEEP CYCLE) batteries) may work better.... They can survive an occasional deep cycle, starting batteries do not take kindly to deep discharge.

As for the converter. With the batteries you have the 45 amp IntellPower WITH charge wizard is a good choice, the 60 amp is too large.. With the U-220's the 60 amp would be better.. Just so you know..

NOTE: i'm staying with intersteate

Trojan recommends a slower charge rate so stick with the 45 amp if you go Trojani's
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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Hi Ho: What we don't know is how the batteries are maintained when the coach is not being used. The best thing to do is to maintain a constant voltage of about 13.4 to 13.6 volts all the time. This is how very large banks of batteries are maintained by the phone company (at least the last time I was there). We leave our motorhome plugged in all the time.

The objection is that you also have to water them periodically. I check ours every one to two months depending on the temperature and they often (but not always) need a little water.

Maintained in this way batteries last 5 or 6 years (sometimes more).

Should you get a different charge system? Probably not, but some complain that the cells need water too often. If this is not your complaint, simply make sure that a full charge is maintained and if you have good deep cycle batteries they will last a long time.

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Old 04-10-2009, 08:51 AM   #4
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The factory converter/charger will cook your batteries quick. It is not a smart charging system, and it should be replaced. The Intellipower, with charge Wizard, is a 3 stage intelligent charger, and is the best way to go, and more then worth the price. I installed that system probably about 4 years ago, and it continues to function flawlessly; always keeping all the batteries fully charged, yet never oversharges. The Wizard lets you monitor which mode it is in, and allows you to change modes manually.

The installation is a simple swap-out. Maybe a half hour, as all you need to do is remove the old, set the new one in place (you'll have to drill a few new holes for the mounting screws), re-attach the wires to the terminal lugs, and plug in the Wizard.

My converter is mounted in an empty compartment unfder the fridge platform, so I mounted the Wizard in the wall beside the fridge, and snaked the wire down behind the paneling, to the converter.

I check my batteries regularly, and they rarely need any water, yet are always charged. The old converter boiled the batteries, exposing the plates, in short order. It's a good upgrade.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:19 AM   #5
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Thanks to all - I'm glad it's an easy swap, wiring and I generally don't get along! I'll probably end up upgrading the converter fairly soon, since I've had the problem with truck campers boiling batteries pretty much all the time. I don't mind checking water (it's a lot easier in the MH than in my Arctic Fox camper, even with a slideout battery tray) but it's always annoyed me that the converter didn't have much of a brain.


- CLay
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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Clay:
A vote for the Intellipower with the Charge wizard. We had the original converter/charger in my '05 Suncruiser cook very early one morning (that's not bacon smoking!) and Chattanooga CW replaced it with the Intellipower. I keep it plugged in all the time now when stored and it's kept the batteries at max-even after I forgot to check water levels for awhile and they dropped very low. It was about $400 installed but I located it after they replaced it and if you have the same model I do, it is screwed to the floor under the drawer-below the oven. It does look simple to replace.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:16 PM   #7
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I used to have a Lance truck camper ('94) - I can't remember what converter it had, but it always cooked the batteries and even though I tried to keep on top of checking them, they'd only last a year or 18 months if I left it plugged in.

I was working on the Arctic Fox truck camper I have now, today. I hadn't checked the batteries in probably a year, and it's been plugged in much of the time - it has a 130W solar panel and 2 27-series Sam's Club batteries that are 3 years old. Never have any battery issues. Both batteries were low, but the plates weren't showing, and I topped them off.

For some reason I never checked what converter the camper has, so I checked - Intellipower 9100-series. It works well!

So - I guess I'll go the Intellipower route for the motorhome, and pick up a couple of Sam's Club GC-2 Energizer batteries. Hopefully that'll work as well in the motorhome as it does in the camper.

- Clay
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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Check for the Intellipower on E-bay... I got a great price, shipped quickly and had it installed in less than an hour.. A couple beers along the way...
NOT A COOKED BATTERY SINCE...
Good luck..
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aces View Post
Check for the Intellipower on E-bay... I got a great price, shipped quickly and had it installed in less than an hour.. A couple beers along the way...
NOT A COOKED BATTERY SINCE...
Good luck..
Here is where we bought ours. Good price. Quick shipping.
http://shop.ebay.com/items/_W0QQ_dmp...rter&_osacat=0
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:07 PM   #10
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I just checked eBay and picked up a "lightly used" PD9245 with the Wizard for $90 -

- Clay
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:17 PM   #11
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Bad converter?

My converter appears to be bad also (03 Pace Arrow) and only charges the house batteries (brand new batteries) from the engine alternator. Also, I never hear the fan on the converter run when connected to gen or shore power (seems like it previously ran a short time about every 15-20 min).

Checked the DC voltage at the converter and it indicated 13.7 v. My question - is the converter really charging at 13.7 v (the coach batteries also indicate 13.7v) or am I just reading the actual battery voltage feeding back to the converter (I think it is probably the latter)?

My other question, is it possible that the converter is OK but my problem is a bad ground or diode or something else? FYI the two 30 amp fuses, all circuit breakers, and the 110v outlet powering the converter are OK.

Thanks
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:25 AM   #12
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Check the voltage at the batteries. If you are reading 13.7 vdc, that is more than you would see on batteries, especially under load. Perhaps there is a fuse in the line between the converter and battery or a broken or corroded connection.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:16 AM   #13
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Hi Ho: Your battery voltage (13.7 volts) is just right for batteries that have are being charged. What you didn't say is if this voltage is achieved only when on shore power, or is it achieved with the engine running? If the converter holds the batteries at this voltage all is well.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Ostermiller View Post
Hi Ho: Your battery voltage (13.7 volts) is just right for batteries that have are being charged. What you didn't say is if this voltage is achieved only when on shore power, or is it achieved with the engine running? If the converter holds the batteries at this voltage all is well.
Dirk
You would see 13.3 to 13.7 vdc at the batteries with the converter on shore power or with the engine running. With the engine off and shore power unplugged you should see less than 13 vdc at the batteries. If so, plug in the shore power, if the voltage at the batteries goes over 13 vdc your converter and wiring are ok. If it doesn't go up at the batteries, but you measured 13.7 vdc at the converter you have a cable problem between converter and batteries.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:50 AM   #15
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Hi Ho: Right on, John
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:35 AM   #16
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My new Intellipower 9245 w/pendant arrived; it was a 15-minute swap with the old unit.

Because the old batteries were well and truly fried (they' lose charge after an hour max of doing nothing), I replaced them as well. Instead of 2 24-series Interstate 12 volt marine/RV batteries, I picked up 2 6-volt GC2's at Sam's Club, and made sure I wired them in correctly.

The coach seems now to have plenty of juice, and the inverter actually works (gave immediate low voltage before).

The Intellipower unit is doing a fast-flash (maybe twice a second). The house batteries, while plugged in, now show 12.4 volts instead of the 13.7 that they used to show on the One Place panel.

Is this normal for 6 volt vs 12 volt batteries, and how do I check the converter output? I'm no electrician unfortunately...

Thanks,

- Clay
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:25 PM   #17
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I did just the swap you are thinking about and have had no problems since. This will be some of the best money you can spend. Don't hesitate, it is well worth it.
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