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Old 11-19-2007, 12:26 AM   #1
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Default Storage battery, converter

Hi all - this is my first post as I just joined up today.

As a bit of a pre-amble. My wife and I just bought our first RV, a '93 Pleasure-Way in very good shape. In the summer of 2006 we drove across Canada, from the West Coast to Newfoundland and back in our 1990 Honda Accord. We hadn't done much previous camping so decided we would stay at semi-sleazy motels to keep costs down. Fortunately we didn't hit too many that raised health concerns except one late night in Ontario. The broken toilet in the front yard should have been the tip off - or the amazed look I got from the clerk when I tried to pay by credit card (she looked like I was handing her a rattlesnake) or the bathroom window falling out when my wife tried to lock it. We actually had a great time there and back, so much so that we want to do it again but this time in the comfort of our own RV. So now with the Pleasure-Way we are pretty well all set. Now to my question.

I have noticed that my storage battery doesn't seem to be holding a charge. When hooked up to the Magnetek 6332 Converter or with the engine running the levels meter in the Pleasure-Way shows green. Within a hour, with all charging off, the meter goes to red. We bought the van on consignment so couldn't talk to the previous owner so I don't know how old the battery is. The other day I took a look at it and the water levels in 3 cells were very low so I refilled them but still it still isn't charging. My next step will be to see if the battery has boiled dry again and to check to see what the converter/charger is charging at. From reading other posts it sounds like the Magnatek 6332 could be cooking my battery or perhaps it's just an old battery. Looks like either the battery and/or the converter may need replacing. Should I be replacing the converter anyway because of it's age and technical drawbacks? Also, do converters always hum when hooked to shore power?

Thanks

p.s. my Honda still has it's original stock battery so someone knows how to build a good battery.
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Old 11-19-2007, 01:35 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I think you'll have a fantastic time in your Pleasure-Way.

Wow, that's 17 years for your Honda's battery!

The battery in your RV is probably finished. When I purchased my current RV (used) at the beginning of this past summer the house battery was only one year old and it was finished. I think it was allowed to discharge too low and too frequently. The symptoms you describe are exactly what I experienced.

My RV has a Parallax Converter (7355). It's not the best and has limited features - charging & float voltage is a steady 13.6 volts. Too high for float and too low for charging properly (in my opinion). I decided to not change my converter right now though. I'll see how long this battery lasts. A group 24 Deep Cycle battery from Costco was $68 (I think). I can only fit a group 24 in this RV.

There's a kit to upgrade a Magnetek to a Parallax but you'd be much better off going to a Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power unit with their Charge Wizard.

When your RV is plugged into shore power you can measure the voltage at your house battery. That'll tell you what the output voltage of the Magnetek is. If it is more than mine then definitely replace it. (imho, mine at 13.6v is high but I keep the water level topped up)

One of these days I'll upgrade to a Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power unit with a Charge Wizard.

I'm not sure about the hum - I haven't noticed that with my Parallax.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply and advice. I'll try to get at the electrical in the next few days and see what I find out.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:41 PM   #4
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I asked Randy from Bestconverter.com for his recommendation and he suggested that I use the Magnetek upgrade kit they offer.

http://www.bestconverter.com/Magnetek-6 ... _c_64.html

Instructions here:

http://www.bestconverter.com/Magnetek-6 ... p_8-1.html

The kit uses a WFCO 9800 deck mount multi-stage converter:

http://www.bestconverter.com/9800-Series-_c_62-1-0.html

Output: Nominal 13.6 VDC (includes charging and load)
Boost 14.4 VDC; Sleep 13.2 VDC

It would be much better than my Parallax or the Magnetek.

The WFCO 9800 is fully automatic whereas the Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power (unit with their Charge Wizard) allows you to override the automatic settings. I donít think I need that.
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:07 PM   #5
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Thanks again....I found a posting last night dated April 18, 2007 that mentioned that they had contacted Best Converters to buy a 9100 Intelli Power but was told that the Magnetek 8900 series would be a better buy because it would easily fit in where the old unit was with no modifications and is a better unit. I'll see how my battery/converter checks out and then go along with your advice on the 6300/7300 upgrade. Looks like the way to go though.

Would Best Converter be the place to buy from or are there better Canadian sources in the Vancouver area?
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:15 AM   #6
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I've never shopped for RV stuff in Vancouver. Prices tend to be on the high side on Vancouver Island (but you get good advice/service). When you need something in a hurry it's nice that they're here.

I actually recently ordered a part locally and the price was better than online US pricing!

I'm not sure if anyone else offers a kit like the one at Best Converter. That makes it look very easy to do it yourself.

You've got me thinking about this project
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