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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 02/14/21 07:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's difficult to find a portable battery charger that puts out more than about 20 amps. Unless your going to drag around one of those big rig type engine start/battery chargers that's on wheels. I would think putting in a quality RV style converter capable of 40 to 60 amps would be a far better solution.
2 6v Golf cart batteries are by far the best option of the 3 you listed.

mbopp

Henrietta, NY, USA

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Posted: 02/14/21 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have 2 GC2 batteries. For charging off a generator I have a stand-alone, deck-mount IOTA-55 converter in the pass-through. 30 minutes a day on the generator works if I have no sun for the solar panels.


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PanhandlePlainsman

Texas

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Posted: 02/14/21 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks again for the replies. I'll check on some of your ideas.


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 02/14/21 10:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PanhandlePlainsman wrote:

Thanks for all of your replies. I have read on another posting that heavier wire or shorter run from converter to battery will help the WFCO kick into the 14.4 or so bulk stage. If not, my thought was to just have a stand alone shop battery charger hooked to the new pair of 6V GC2's (thanks to those three answers to my original question) and plugged into the generator. We don't boondock all that much. Any thoughts?
Yes if you have a portable charger rated 20+ amps that is great. If spending money I would replace the converter. Or use the new converter direct on the battery.


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wopachop

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Posted: 02/15/21 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PanhandlePlainsman wrote:

Thanks for all of your replies. I have read on another posting that heavier wire or shorter run from converter to battery will help the WFCO kick into the 14.4 or so bulk stage. If not, my thought was to just have a stand alone shop battery charger hooked to the new pair of 6V GC2's (thanks to those three answers to my original question) and plugged into the generator. We don't boondock all that much. Any thoughts?
Where are you camping? You say that you dont boondock, but it sounds like your only charging source is the generator?

The trailer comes with only 1 battery. Are you positive you can fit 2 large golf cart batteries?

While the WFCO has a bad reputation i see no reason to replace it. I have the WFCO and it goes into a 14.6v charge mode every few days even with no batteries hooked up. This is while plugged into shore power.

PanhandlePlainsman

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Posted: 02/15/21 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll check on 20 amp chargers.

We boondock camp in spring, summer, or fall at times in NM and CO. We may set the thermostat at 60-65 at night if we have enough battery. It's not all that often but our Durango has larger tanks so now we may try it more often to stay out of the crowds. (not that I wouldn't like camp near ya'll)

It's hard to believe all WFCO's are faulty. I'll try to do some testing.

thanks again

PS - it does have room for two batteries. I'll need to build a tray and some kind of cover for safe venting

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 02/15/21 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wopachop wrote:

While the WFCO has a bad reputation i see no reason to replace it. I have the WFCO and it goes into a 14.6v charge mode every few days even with no batteries hooked up. This is while plugged into shore power.
What about when the battery is low and you have a 3 hour generator window and a cold night coming?
PD, IOTA, Boondocker will go to 14.4 every time.

wopachop

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Posted: 02/15/21 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are away from crowds the little Honda generators would work great. You could even leave the generator running and power an electric heater at night instead of the furnace. Lots of my camping buddies have the honda 2000s and they leave it running the entire camping trip.

You might not even need a new battery yet. Its no big deal to have a weak battery if you know the pull start generator is right there with you. Some of my friends have 5500watt onboard gennys and chose to run the 2000watt instead. Saves on gas money long term. Also less noise. We camp in the desert where its always noisy. Thats why running a generator 24/7 is not frowned upon.

dieseltruckdriver

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Posted: 02/15/21 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Questions that haven't been asked, how are you at regular maintenance? Are your batteries easy to get to so you can regularly check the water level?

My last fifth wheel had batteries that had to be lifted out to check the water level, so I bought two AGMs that I now have in this 5er. Of course this 5er has slide out trays for the batteries, but now I know I don't have to worry about checking their water level.

We try to boondock most of the time, and with our 420 watts of solar and an inverter, we very very seldom use our Hondas any more. I have to remember to do the monthly check on them most of the time, due to lack of use.

Just one more thing sir, (hehehe) we also put a Honeywell programmable thermostat in our 5er. It is the same one we have at home, and we have it go to 60 at night and then warm up before we get out of bed. That also helps with battery usage.


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Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 02/15/21 11:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PanhandlePlainsman wrote:

I'll check on 20 amp chargers.

It's hard to believe all WFCO's are faulty. I'll try to do some testing.

thanks again


Pan,

A 20amp stand-alone will take a very long time to recover a pair of GC2s to full density. Most stand-alones do not have the high terminal to get the density up where you need it.

It is not that all WFCO's are faulty, they were just not made with attention to detail that we can count on from a PD or IOTA.

Wire size is often an issue in DC systems because the working voltage window is so small that even small line losses can be a big problem.

Matt


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A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


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