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Old 03-17-2014, 07:39 PM   #1
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Question Where is my charger/inverter located?

Been doing some spring cleaning and wanted to check the connections on my charger/inverter in my 2003 Adventurer 33v. Cannot seem to locate it's placement. Any one know where it is without guessing?

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:25 AM   #2
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Mine is under the refer. Both 12V and 110v breaker panels are there as well. It's the entire power load center. Here's my power converter replacement post:


Quote:
Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post

Since we're moreorless making this into a 'how-to' thread I took a few pics to clarify. In my unit all of the electrical 'stuff' is under the refer unit. Here's a couple of pics - on the fridge facing panel is the sub for the entertainment system, Audiovox walki-talki charger and storage unit, 12v breaker panel, and propane sniffer.



Around to the left is another door with the 110 breaker panel.



Removing 5 wood screws and the door cover latch allows the entire panel to drop out.



When I did the Iota change out I also removed the Audio-Vox walki talkin unit to gain easy access to the converter unit. I'm mostly likely going to remove the walki's permanently, we've never used them, they're 10 years old, and just leech power now. I'm thinking of putting my solar charge controller there.

Anyway, now inside the compartment there's a maze of wiring - and the reason I say winnebago employs monkeys to do the assembly work - look at this mess.



And there in the middle right behind the walki-talki unit is the new Iota converter charger. With a power screwdriver it was easy to remove the four screws holding down the old unit and install the new unit. Hook up the battery leads and plug it in. The 110 receptacle is on the left side buried under all the wiring.

At the very back of this compartment you can see the shower pan and drain going to the gray-water tank, as well as the backside of the 12v load center and walki-talkie housing. I give up on the wiring, at least they are in looms and are protected, but how unorganized can an installation be?

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Old 03-18-2014, 09:28 AM   #3
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Here's the wiring installation PDF on your unit: http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_141039.pdf

It shows the converter under the stove/range in the galley.

BTW, it shows a Parallax 7445, same as what mine came with. Consider replacing it with a Progressive Dynamics or Iota converter, depending on what kind of house batts you have. The parallax does a really poor job of maintaining your batteries, and the charge rate is like 9amps. Ever notice it takes FOREVER to charge batteries with it? And then boils the water out of them?
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:15 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Awesome

Chris - Your the best, thanks!

Yes it did end up being under the stove. I removed the bottom kitchen drawer and there it was. I did discover one thing once gaining access to it, a MH gathers ALOT of dust in 11 years of use in hidden places. Dust bunnies everwhere. So I removed the unit and gave it a dust off and out with my air compressor. This is no joke I blew out a zip lock baggie full of dust. See attached photo's. DW vacumed under all the cabinets after drawers were removed. All connections were checked and the unit was bench tested showing output. Good for another 11 years unless I decide to upgrade with your suggestion, which I was thinking about doing. Just depends how long we keep this MH before upgrading. Thanks again.

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Old 03-18-2014, 12:33 PM   #5
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Cool. Yeah, my compartment is pretty sealed so it wasn't very dirty. Stupid mass of wiring though. LOL The converter unit was pretty clean too, nothing like what you have there.

If you plug into a park all the time the stock one works fine. Just don't leave the coach plugged in for extended periods (more than a week?) and keep an eye on the water level in the batts. The parallax is fixed at 13.6 volts which is too high for a float charge so will boil out the water. I've been lucky over the ten years as I usually unplug the coach and connect a portable battery charger (smart charger) to them to top up. My golf cart batts are now 5 years old. The stock 12v deep cycles went south at about year 3.

If you dry camp at all the upgraded converts charge at a full 45a rate if you put another 45a converter in. And they bulk charge at 14.4 on the PD and 14.8 on the Iota. The former is what you need for 12v deep cycles, the latter for 6v GC type batts. Once they reach 90% or so they drop to 13.2 volts for a 'float charge'. So the batteries charge WAY faster (about a third of the time) but don't boil out the water. I went with the Iota because I have the GC batts - they like the 14.8v bulk charge rate. The higher voltage burns off the sulfates and bubbles and circulates the electrolyte. The lower charge rate doesn't do that. The GC batts have really heavy plates.

IMO well worth the $150 or so that they cost. I'm now sorry I didn't do this upgrade a long time ago.

Two sites for good info, bestconverters.com and handy-bob's RV electrical.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Great info!

Chris - sounds like you have been there,done that. I think what I'll do is wait for these coach batteries to take a dump and then switch to the 6 volt system like you did. Thanks again.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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Sounds good. And yes, the golf cart batteries in series are amazing. When they were new we could sit for a few days in the desert and not run down. But I probably abused them, you're really not supposed to discharge batteries more than 50% on a regular basis. The GC batts are very forgiving. Not too expensive either, even Trojans are like $150, sometimes you can find them for a little less. You used to be able to get golf cart batts from Costco for under $100.

Wired in series they provide 12v 220ah. That's a lot of reserve. Some of the bigger coaches have 4, 6, and even 8 of them!
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:43 PM   #8
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Just wondering

Quote:
Sounds good. And yes, the golf cart batteries in series are amazing. When they were new we could sit for a few days in the desert and not run down.
Was this using any kind of solar panels? I was thinking of adding to my existing factory installed one.If so, any needed info would be appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:38 PM   #9
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I have just recently been interested in a solar array to charge the batteries instead of relying on the generator. Quiet clean power, how can you miss? There are some good threads and good internet info on the subject.

We also have the optional solar panel but it's just a 10watt panel - they put out about .7-.8 amps, so basically just a trickle charger. I traced the lead in and found it connected to the house batteries which is kind of a joke. So I moved it over to the chassis batt and now I never have to worry about it getting low on charge - that little panel keeps it peaked up. I have to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't over charge it, if so it might need a small controller - Battery Tender has one for $20 that would keep the battery from getting over charged.

Here's what I've been reading on setting up solar for dry camping:
HandyBob's Blog « Making off grid RV electrical systems work this guy is a hoot
RV Solar Systems great source for solar parts and pieces
600 Watts of Affordable RV Solar Power | Gone With The Wynns good info but I sure don't think I need 600watts, maybe half that.

And here on IRV2:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/new-...ls-183446.html
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f93/solar-power-194234.html

If you're just looking for solar as a maintainer for storage you could get by with a very minimal system, like half a watt per amp hour of battery(s).

I calculate max usage overnight to be about 80-100 amps, so a solar array that supplied somewhere around 20amps would easily recharge in a 5-6 hour solar day. It takes about 300watts of panels to get there, about perfect for a 220ah battery bank - that's 2 golf cart batts. If you're going to run a whole-house inverter and power a lot of stuff then 4 batts are needed and 400-600 watts of solar.

Also just search 'solar' here in the forum and you'll find even more threads on the subject.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:50 PM   #10
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Very cool

Chris - Great info and links. I appreciate all you time answering my questions. I like that you used your o.e.m. Solar panel to charge your cranking battery. If I do that then I can buy another aftermarket set up for the other batteries. I have lots of roof space. I would like to eventually do more boon docking and try and run as much as I can off the coach batteries without running the gennie.
Thanks again.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #11
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After 11 years of 24/7 (full timer) use my Parallax converter started making odd noises (not the fan). I replaced it with a Progressive Industries PD9245 three stage converter. With the Parallax converter the output was 13.5 volts and I had to add water to the batteries about once a month. The 9245 goes into float mode (13.3 volts) and no water has been used in the first month. The only downside is that with the new output voltage of 13.3 volts I think I can see the difference in some of the old light bulbs. As bulbs age it is normal for them to drop in light output and some of mine are pretty old and a lot dimmer than they used to be. I guess I should go on-line and buy a bunch of bulbs. I was surprised that the light output seems to be so much lower with only a couple of tenths of a volt so I ran the numbers using a program I wrote many years ago to make calculations for bulbs when voltage is changed. With the 13.5 volts the Mean Spherical Candlepower of the 1141 bulb (design voltage of 12.8) goes from 21 to 25 and the life goes from 1000 hours to 528. With 13.3 volts the MSC goes to 24 and the life goes to 631. I can definitely see the difference in the bulbs between just the battery voltage and the old converter but the change of only one candlepower between the old one and the new one doesn't seem like much so maybe I am imagining it.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:43 AM   #12
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Clay

First off cudos on your chart from long ago. Interesting to see what happens to bulb life with only a slight change in voltage.

Have you considered making the change over to LED lighting?
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:15 AM   #13
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I have changed over a couple -the more expensive halogen reading lights. I haven't been happy with the color of the LEDs available but they seem to be a lot closer to an incandescent bulb nowadays. However I don't think we will be keeping the coach long enough to justify the cost.
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