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-   -   Need serious help with converter and batteries (https://www.montanaowners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74800)

mtlakejim 07-23-2018 07:29 PM

Need serious help with converter and batteries
 
Hey folks,

I need some serious help quick. I recently replaced our WFCO 65amp converter as the batteries were not charging and the converter tested bad (per WFCOs testing instructions). In just a few weeks the batteries are not charging again and the new converter is testing bad!!!

I pulled the batteries and they appear to be ok (there is water and they test for similar voltages). Reguardless, I plan to replace them with AGM batteries. Suggestions on best brand of AGM would be appreciated.

I was looking at replacing the 65 amp WFCO with a Progressive Dyanamics 80amp 9200 (with smart wizard control). I have 20amp 110 available via the breaker panel for same. Does that sound like the way to go?

Also I have seen some 12 volt power monitoring panels (with 100amp shunts). Are these worth the investment? Any suggestions along the monitoring line?

I am considering turning off the inverter to the residential fridge as we don't really need it unless we take a long trip (we have 50amp power hookup at home for storage and rarely park overnight without shore power). Does that make sense to reduce load on batteries?

I am also thinking about installing a 4 way battery cutoff switch (like you often see on large boats with dual batteries) to allow the batteries to be separated for testing and to reduce the chance of battery interaction if one of them was to go bad. That type of switch has selections for OFF, either battery alone or both batteries together. Does that sound like a reasonable add?

dieselguy 07-23-2018 08:05 PM

Before I went and changed out all this … I'd find out what's going on with the current setup. The issue may carry over into all the new stuff. Were the reverse polarity fuses blown in either of your WFCO's?

Phil P 07-24-2018 04:08 AM

Hi

I agree with dieselguy need more information.

I have the Progressive Converter and they are a very good unit but you need to know more about the fault that is causing your problem.

Have the batteries tested by an automotive shop that does that kind of work to see if either one is seriously deficient.

Phil P

mtlakejim 07-24-2018 07:12 AM

The reverse polarity fuses were not blown. Per mfg directions I pulled positive wire and tested units output (apparently on WFCO there is output with no battery connected). No power at all. Fan did not run on old unit at all on new one it will turn on for a second when you hook positive back up. My guess is either it died some way thermally in the summer heat or the voltage sensor fried but opening up case voids warranty (not that I care at this point).

I pulled the batteries out checked the water and while voltages were low on them due to discharge neither had bad cells that I can tell. I’m going to charge them separately to verify that. I’ll take them to auto parts to verify again but I think this is good opportunity to go with AGMs. From what I have read on here seems like most folks like them?

Has anyone had bad experience with WFCO converters?

I could see where a big trailer like ours might really tax a converter. Especially if the inverter has run the residential fridge while on the move. I plan to leave inverter off in future as we won’t need it most of our trips in state.

I traced the wires out on the unit and there aren’t any shorts.

My plan is to install the 80amp Progressive 9200 series and two AGM batteries. Also plan to install 4 way selector switch (off/battery 1/battery 2/both) which will allow me to keep an eye both batteries and lighten load on converter charging if I choose too.

I may even go for digital 12volt system monitors. Anyone have experience with those (I figure you solar paneled up boondockers might?).

I am considering having a mobile RV service guy double check before I do the change up as a second opinion. I worked in industrial electronics before the oilfield so I do have enough knowledge to be dangerous.... I expect I know more than the average 20 something tech at Camping World for sure (not bragging I just don’t have any faith in them).

jcurtis934 07-24-2018 09:52 AM

I bought my agm batteries at west marine. They are group 31 size and made by the folks that make deka batteries. The marine battery selector switch just means more battery wiring, but does have advantages as you have mentioned. Our montana came with the progressive and I have had zero problems in the six years we have owned.

mtlakejim 07-24-2018 09:53 AM

Thanks Curtis

Lenny K 07-25-2018 10:09 AM

Did you get your batteries load tested yet Jim? Important first step. Just because they take a charge doesn't mean that they will hold it under load.

Phil P 07-26-2018 04:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lenny K (Post 1107807)
Did you get your batteries load tested yet Jim? Important first step. Just because they take a charge doesn't mean that they will hold it under load.




X2


Phil P

mtlakejim 07-28-2018 08:33 PM

Just to update you. I purchased a load tester and good battery charger today. Currently have one of the batteries out of the camper on the charger

BuilderBob 07-28-2018 09:37 PM

Good let us know

mtlakejim 07-28-2018 09:47 PM

Any of y’all bought a snake camera for a smart phone?

BuilderBob 07-28-2018 10:15 PM

I got one from a dealer to do a demo for them I was not impressed at all with it. My real one works way better.

mtlakejim 07-29-2018 06:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BuilderBob (Post 1108308)
I got one from a dealer to do a demo for them I was not impressed at all with it. My real one works way better.

Sounds like you and I are tool guys.

Thing is phone version is $15. The ones with their own screen are $130
Phone versions seem to be longer but no focus adjust

Does yours focus and how long is cable? Is there way to control cable?

jeffba 07-29-2018 06:41 AM

the "Prep" is the same with either.

and isn't the reward for each project a new tool?

Caniel 07-29-2018 07:13 AM

What was the cell specific gravity for each wet cell? I've had wet cells load test good yet were still bad.

mtlakejim 07-29-2018 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caniel (Post 1108335)
What was the cell specific gravity for each wet cell? I've had wet cells load test good yet were still bad.

Getting a hygrometer today

mtlakejim 07-29-2018 07:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffba (Post 1108332)
the "Prep" is the same with either.

and isn't the reward for each project a new tool?

LOL you and I are decidedly on the same page on tools!!

What do you mean by prep?

mtlakejim 07-29-2018 07:37 AM

At present I don’t expect the batteries to be bad as they are not very old but I am trying to trace down what would cause the converters to fail. Just trying to rule out batteries. I plan to replace the current flooded cells for AGM as soon as I csm

BuilderBob 07-29-2018 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mtlakejim (Post 1108329)
Sounds like you and I are tool guys.

Thing is phone version is $15. The ones with their own screen are $130
Phone versions seem to be longer but no focus adjust

Does yours focus and how long is cable? Is there way to control cable?

James you can adj the contrast & light. The cable is about 3' long and flexible to a point. I use it to look inside of walls and things like it spoes to work under water to but I have never tired it for that!

mtlakejim 07-29-2018 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BuilderBob (Post 1108384)
James you can adj the contrast & light. The cable is about 3' long and flexible to a point. I use it to look inside of walls and things like it spoes to work under water to but I have never tired it for that!

I can think of a LOT of places I could use that and it would be real handy on a couple projects on the RV for sure. Checking top of water tank and for potential holding tank valve leaks come to mind.....


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