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Old 03-17-2014, 01:54 PM   #1
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Replacing 45 amp Charger/Converter to higher amp

OK, Well I am a new Rv'r got me a nice 2003 Winnebego Brave 36M, so I have been looking at Boondocking and one of the things I was looking at was replacing the "dumb" converter/Charger with a smart one as well as any advantage of replacing the current 45 amp with something higher like a 60 amp or 75. Does the wiring have anything to do with it as well? This is in preparation of getting a 2000W pure sine inverter, etc...eventually maybe solar..
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:48 PM   #2
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How many coach batteries do you have?
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:58 PM   #3
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The wiring definitely has something to do with it. You can safely for to a 55 amp or 60 amp converter. If you went to 80 amp you need a 20 amp AC circuit.

If you get a 2,000 watt inverter, you will need 2/0 cable and it shouldn't be more than 4' from the battery. If you get solar panels, I would suggest 4 awg or 2 awg from a combiner box on the roof. Solar panels to combiner box would be 10 awg.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
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While your current 6 gauge wiring from converter to coach battery wiring would be normally good to 80 amps, given it is not a direct shot, you might want to upgrade that to 4 gauge. The only other thing you might want to think about is if you want to upgrade to a Inverter/Charger. That may solve several issues at once. However that will also require rethinking some of your 110VAC routing which you would need to do for a 2000W inverter anyway.

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Old 03-17-2014, 06:19 PM   #5
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60 amp 12 volt is 720 watts or rounded off for efficiency to 1000 watts. That is equivalent to less than 10 amps at 120 volt AC. So where does the the 20 amp circuit come from. The converter can be replaced with 60 amp model without at problem. A 2000 watt inverter will not pay for itself with anything less than four large golf cart style batteries you find in the larger DP units. Even then you will be running the genny just as much, about once a day for over thirty minutes. You might not use as much propane.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
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An 80 amp converter has a 20 amp plug. We have a 2000 watt inverter, 60 amp converter and 505 watts of solar. We have three Group 29 batteries and don't need the generator. Don't know what you mean about an inverter paying for itself.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:49 PM   #7
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Thanks, I have 2 couch batteries and the converter/charger is by parallax power component
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:59 PM   #8
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Currently your setup has the converter and fridge running off a 15 amp AC breaker.
45 amp Converter = 5 AC amps
300W Fridge heating element = 2.5 AC amps
7.5 amps

60 amp Converter = 6.5 AC amps
300W Fridge heating element = 2.5 AC amps
Total 9 amps

80 amp Converter = 9 AC amps
300W Fridge heating element = 2.5 AC amps
Total 11.5 amps


The 60 amp converter would be best without overloading the AC side but still leave a margin of safety. WOuld need to know exact wattage of fridge AC element to obtain exact information but 300W is close.

Increasing battery capacity will be one thing you will need to do to support boondocking and a 2000W inverter.

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Old 03-18-2014, 06:15 AM   #9
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Converter is Parallax 7445
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:47 AM   #10
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Chargers should not charge more than 25 amps per battery for best battery life.
Two batteries equal 50 or less amps
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dave78Chief View Post
you might want to think about is if you want to upgrade to a Inverter/Charger. That may solve several issues at once.
Dave
This

I assume you will mount a 2000 watt inverter near the batteries with 2/0 or 4/0 cables. A good one with built in temperature compensated programmable charging will out charge your batteries over and above all converters.

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Old 03-18-2014, 03:19 PM   #12
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My batteries are located under the steps of the coach, I have a big empty bay right next to it and can run wire easily as the wall is only plastic.

Oh and the refer is 300 watts at 120v.

OK other than Progressive Dynamics telling me I have to upgrade my wires if I go from 45 amps to a 60 amp converter/charger, can anyone rebut this? I don;t know maybe it is me being a newbie and think a 60 amp would be better. But I rather not mess with the wires.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #13
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The only way to know if you have to increase the wire size is knowing the size of wires you now have.
As to 45 vs 60: with only 2 batteries the 45 amp charger is much better on your batteries where the 60 amp at full output is over charging as to current and will shorten the battery life also boiling them if not watched.
The difference in charge time is so little unless adding batteries I would not make the change.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:04 PM   #14
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6 awg wire for both pos & neg going into the charger
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:17 PM   #15
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From post #4
Quote:
While your current 6 gauge wiring from converter to coach battery wiring would be normally good to 80 amps, given it is not a direct shot, you might want to upgrade that to 4 gauge.
For reference my comments are based on the fact you said:
Quote:
I have been looking at Boondocking and one of the things I was looking at was replacing the "dumb" converter/Charger with a smart one as well as any advantage of replacing the current 45 amp with something higher like a 60 amp or 75. Does the wiring have anything to do with it as well? This is in preparation of getting a 2000W pure sine inverter, etc...eventually maybe solar.
So, with the goal in mind:
Post #8: Recommend 60 amp Converter
Post #4: Your wiring diagrams say you have 6 gauge DC wiring which if it was a direct shot would most likely be OK at 60 amps. However, due to the routing, you most likely would be better off with 4 gauge wiring.
Post #8: Indicated that the to support a 2000W inverter properly, you should increase battery capacity (= more batteries)
Post #4: Suggested you consider a inverter/charger. That will give you the inverter, delete the converter, and provide the improved (modern) charger with one device.

So if Boondocking is your goal, then design you upgrade to meet that goal. There is multiple parts to obtaining that goal.

Note: Modern 3 stage converters have to distribute their max output between battery charging and coach loads. While reffered to as a 3 stage converter, they are basically a 3 stage charger (FAQ | What are the 3 Stages of Smart Chargers?). A converter though has better filtering (cleaner DC signal). They only put out close to full output in bulk charge mode. Even that level is regulated by battery resistance. The output is much much less during Absorption and Float modes. Most of the time they running in the Absorption and Float mode.

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Old 03-18-2014, 05:22 PM   #16
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I do plan on eventually going to 6 volt, and or adding additional batteries.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:34 PM   #17
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There is an old thread called '35U question' where I go over this in detail. I upgraded the wire and the circuit breaker. Have a look. It should mostly apply to you.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:51 PM   #18
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Thanks guys, I know I sound confused, which I am, this is all new to me and I am looking forward to it!! There is so many options and I appreciate all the responses!!
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by wb7auk View Post
The only way to know if you have to increase the wire size is knowing the size of wires you now have.
As to 45 vs 60: with only 2 batteries the 45 amp charger is much better on your batteries where the 60 amp at full output is over charging as to current and will shorten the battery life also boiling them if not watched.
The difference in charge time is so little unless adding batteries I would not make the change.
This

What's more important than current (amps) is voltage. If your converter never pushes more than 13.6 volts and your wire is insufficient this could be only 13.2 or .3 volts which regardless of available amps won't push those amps into the battery. Also if you upgrade to a converter that will put out 14.4 volts and improve the wire so these volts can actually push the amps you can have too much current going into the batteries.

In general you want to charge flooded batteries around 10% of there capacity. A 220 amp hours battery bank (typical dual gc2's) wants no ore than 22 amps but it does want it rammed in at 14.8 volts at 77 degrees F.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #20
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I do plan on eventually going to 6 volt, and or adding additional batteries.

Get the Iota one then. It puts out the 14.8 volts golf cart batts need for proper charging. The Progressive Dynamics one is for 12v deep cycles - it charges at 14.4v.

I just went thru this same quandary and went with another 45a unit to replace the parallax 7445. You will see about 3-times the charge rate or more with the new converter. And no more water loss, it's truly amazing - I wish I had done this years ago. A 45 is ample for a couple of hundred amps of batteries.

A lot of dry campers want a whole-house inverter - I'm happy with the built in 300w for the TV/DVD unit and a couple of portable ones for laptop and phone charging, etc. We fire the genny for microwave but use it very little, preferring the stove/oven combo. Batteries are not gonna power AC either, so the gen gets fired for cooling duty.

So yeah, if you want a 2K inverter you'll want 4 GC batts. Then you should think about upgrading your charge feeds from converter and go with a 60 or 75a converter. You'll have to change out the receptacle it plugs into, and possibly mis-match the 110 breaker - I'm guessing it's a 15a. Or just jump all the way to a inverter/charger and do all the required upgrades and rearranging. I chose the simple and cheap way being the cheap bastard that I am.

If you're gonna keep the 12v deep cycles then the PD is a little cheaper. For the Iota you want the IQ4 charger thingy built in, adds about $20 to the cost. I got mine from N. Arizona wind and sun - best price on the net.

Solar is a whole 'nother subject...Unyalli has been educating me on that.
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