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 > Figuring this power stuff has my head spinning

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SoonerWing03

Oklahoma

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Posted: 06/07/19 05:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

***disclaimer*** reading most of these power related threads is like reading something where 50% of it is in a language I don’t speak/read/understand.

I am planning a 10 - 12 day family summer vacation to the Yellowstone Grand Teton area and it looks like we might need to do a fair amount of boondocking.... which is fine by me but we have yet to do. We will do some practice runs around home first but my question is more about which or what size power converter I should upgrade to.

My rig currently has the WFCO WF-8955PEC which I understand is not a great converter. I just removed a single Marine style 12V battery in favor of two 6V G2 Golf Cart batteries. My understanding is that is an upgrade but a good example of how good of a grasp on this is that I was shocked when I got to Sams to purchase said 6V batteries and to my surprise they were roughly the same size as the 12V [emoticon] I was expecting them to be roughly half the size because well 6 is half of 12.... so that is what you are dealing with here.

I am looking to pick up an inverter for the camper (2017 MPG 2400BH) trip and wondering if a 3500 watt (like a Predator or Champion) watt would be sufficient or could I even get by with a 2000? Additionally, what converter should I consider?

NRALIFR

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Posted: 06/07/19 06:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding replacing the WFCO converter charger, just call Randy at Bestconverter.com and go with his recommendation. It will likely be a Progressive Dynamics Wildcat or a Boondocker. Both brands have upgrade kits made specifically for your WFCO, and will be about as easy as you can get. You don’t need any bigger than what you have now.

I think you meant to say “inverter generator” rather than inverter. Two different things. If you don’t intend to run your air conditioning from the generator, then you could even go with a 1000 watt model. It would have plenty of capacity, as long as you manage what’s using it along with the converter charger. A generator this size is also smaller and lighter, so they are easier to deal with. That’s what I use for our power needs 99% of the time.

I personally don’t like the idea of depending on a generator to run the AC, because that typically means you’re going to need a bigger generator, and you’ll want to run it a lot more than for charging a battery, and at a higher load on the generator, so it will be making more noise and consuming more fuel.

[emoticon][emoticon]

* This post was edited 06/07/19 06:14am by NRALIFR *


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ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 06/07/19 06:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not an expert here but what means are you going to use to recharge those batteries? You need some type of solar charger or generator to keep the batteries up. The 6volt batts are good because they have a higher amp hour rate so with frugal use of power in the rig you should be fine. You will need a way to monitor the charge of the batteries too so that means a multimeter and learn how to use/read it. Look up the numbers for what a fully charged battery should be and what the discharged number is. You will have to recharge them every day most likely. It's not that complicated but when you are unfamiliar with something there is a learning process as you know.

SoonerWing03

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Posted: 06/07/19 06:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

I think you meant to say “inverter generator” rather than inverter. Two different things.

[emoticon][emoticon]


You are correct, that is what I meant. Being in OK and hopefully camping some locally in June - September, running the AC is almost a must.

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Posted: 06/07/19 06:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1. I do a lot of boondocking. I have never felt a need to upgrade my converter.

2. I did install a second 12 volt battery so I have two 12 volt batteries. I can camp 3 to 4 days before I need a recharge. Simply do not turn on a lot of light -- enjoy the outdoors. The refrigerator uses most of the power even when on propane. After 3 to 4 days I need to get water and want to move to a new campsite anyway.

3. I have never felt the need for an large inverter. I do have a small inverter that will run my computer. What to you plan to run that will need 110 volts. You are boondocking so enjoy nature.

4. On the last trip I did pick up a 3,000 watt Champion generator from Home Depot for less than $1,000 to run the A/C since we planed to camp at low elevation desert during the summer. At the high elevation of YS/GT you may not need the A?C


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WNYBob

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Posted: 06/07/19 06:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just replaced my WFCO converter (that's the part that makes 12 vdc from the 120 vac when you are plugged in at a site,for your inside lights and some other things), with a Progressive Dynamics one. So far it has been great.

P.S. an inverter changes 12 vdc to 120 vac.

valhalla360

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Posted: 06/07/19 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonerWing03 wrote:

***disclaimer*** reading most of these power related threads is like reading something where 50% of it is in a language I don’t speak/read/understand.

I am planning a 10 - 12 day family summer vacation to the Yellowstone Grand Teton area and it looks like we might need to do a fair amount of boondocking.... which is fine by me but we have yet to do. We will do some practice runs around home first but my question is more about which or what size power converter I should upgrade to.

My rig currently has the WFCO WF-8955PEC which I understand is not a great converter. I just removed a single Marine style 12V battery in favor of two 6V G2 Golf Cart batteries. My understanding is that is an upgrade but a good example of how good of a grasp on this is that I was shocked when I got to Sams to purchase said 6V batteries and to my surprise they were roughly the same size as the 12V [emoticon] I was expecting them to be roughly half the size because well 6 is half of 12.... so that is what you are dealing with here.

I am looking to pick up an inverter for the camper (2017 MPG 2400BH) trip and wondering if a 3500 watt (like a Predator or Champion) watt would be sufficient or could I even get by with a 2000? Additionally, what converter should I consider?


Big question: What do you plan to run when off the grid and how long?

Odds are the charging unit (converter) isn't a big issue worth addressing right now.

Do you plan to run air/con off grid? If yes, that means the generator will be running and charging isn't a major consideration. This is typically the turning point between operating off battery power vs running the generator.

If you are just running a few lights and maybe the TV off battery, you batteries should get you at least a couple days and then an hour or two running the generator (which powers the battery charger) should keep you going.


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philh

Belleville MI

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Posted: 06/07/19 07:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I replaced my wfco converter. HUGE difference with Progressive Dynamics MBA wildkat unit

SoonerWing03

Oklahoma

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Posted: 06/07/19 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Big question: What do you plan to run when off the grid and how long?

Odds are the charging unit (converter) isn't a big issue worth addressing right now.

Do you plan to run air/con off grid? If yes, that means the generator will be running and charging isn't a major consideration. This is typically the turning point between operating off battery power vs running the generator.

If you are just running a few lights and maybe the TV off battery, you batteries should get you at least a couple days and then an hour or two running the generator (which powers the battery charger) should keep you going.


For this trip I doubt we will need the AC but if I am going to purchase a generator I might as well get one big enough to run the AC in the event that we want to go off the grid in lower elevations. Going off grid just opens up sooooo many more opportunities and is really at the essence of what I want our family camping experiences to be. However my wife is more of a "glamper" so I will have to meet her in the middle.

We like our coffee in the morning and the kids will want to be able to charge their phones at night. We would probably watch 1 maybe 2 tv's for an hour or two in the evening and may play a movie on 1 of them requiring a DVD player. If the phones have much of a signal at al, they will opt for playing around on them rather than the TV once the sun goes down. 1 or 2 lights max would be all we need and they are already LED's.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/07/19 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonerWing03 wrote:

I am looking to pick up an inverter for the camper (2017 MPG 2400BH) trip and wondering if a 3500 watt (like a Predator or Champion) watt would be sufficient or could I even get by with a 2000? Additionally, what converter should I consider?
Do you expect to use the air conditioning? Best to go 3000/3500. Some get by with 2200 and a microair electronic start capacitor. For microwave and anything else (one at a time) the 2000/2200 is fine.

For just recharging batteries 2000 is fine. If you get a smaller 35 amp converter you could even charge fine with a 1000.

For replacement converter the most direct swap would probably be the PD4655L MBA Wildcat

http://www.bestconverter.com/PD-4655L-MB........55-Amp-Main-Board-Assembly-for-WFCO-8955


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