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Author Topic: Need help identifying a good replacement converter  (Read 270 times)

deeebeee

  • Posts: 3
Need help identifying a good replacement converter
« on: July 05, 2020, 08:30:14 PM »
Hello. I recently purchased a 1980 Fleetwood Terry travel trailer and am in the process of fixing it up. When I purchased the trailer from the seller there were no batteries in the battery compartment. I purchased two 12V Deep Cycle batteries and connected them using the existing battery connections. However, I am not able to get any 12V electrical devices to work when I am only plugged into the battery. When plugged into shore power everything works. There is something going wrong with the converter so I am looking to replace it - because something is wrong and there are much better ones on the market today.

I am having a hard time finding a good replacement converter though. The trailer is currently equipped with a B-W Manufacturing Series 3200 Model 3240UL 40 AMP. This type of converter/charger also contains the DC fuse housing. AC power is connected to a breaker box at the other end of the trailer. It is a deck mount, and I havenít been able to find a new converter that also has the fuse housing in it as well. There are some wall units, but I donít have a place to mount something like that in a wall and not sure what my other options would be. I am attaching photos of the converter to give everyone a better idea of what I am talking about. Any suggestions would be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 08:32:28 PM by deeebeee »

CharlesinGA

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Re: Need help identifying a good replacement converter
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2020, 12:32:01 AM »
I assume the converter is in the other end of the same box, just behind those fuses. If so you may be able to gut out the existing converter and install a new unit in the old box. Depends on the dimensions. Can the other side be easily opened up or does the top remove?

How about some more pics of the rest of the box and some measurements. I will then be able to come up with some ideas. It depends on how handy you are at modifying things.

Also, Randy at Best Converter may know of some converters than can be fitted.

Charles
'03 Ram 2500 CTD HO, 6 spd, std cab, Leer topper, and a Bigfoot 25B21RB 30th Anniversary Edition TT... SOLD - 2007 Winnebago View 23H motorhome and soon to be sold Thor Freedom Spirit 180 TT

Isaac-1

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Re: Need help identifying a good replacement converter
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2020, 02:17:43 AM »
It sounds to me like you may have a different issue, the converter should charge the battery if on shore power, and the converter is outputting DC for the DC lights and control refrigerator, air conditioner and water heater control boards.  Do you have a multi-meter that you can use to check DC voltage at the fuses as well as at the batteries?
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Need help identifying a good replacement converter
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2020, 08:05:22 AM »
Units of that vintage often have an internal relay that switches the DC source from battery to converter. Could be yours has failed.  Could also be that the connection to the battery or the battery itself is damaged somehow, e.g. corroded battery terminals, dead battery, etc. I would investigate to make sure it is not that rather than the power center.  One easy test is to determine if the charger is able to feed current to the battery.  With no shore power present, measure the battery voltage right at the battery terminals. It will likley be 12.6 or less.  Then, with shore power active, again measure the voltage at the battery. It should be 13.0 or more if the charger has a working connection to the battery.

However, I agree that the old B&W ought to be replaced regardless.  There are two approaches to that:
1. Replace the entire unit with a new AC/DC power center
2. Keep the existing fuse panel and install a deck mount converter/charger, wiring its output to the existing fuse (bus bar) as well as the battery

Since new units are designed to be installed in an existing enclosure, for #1 you would have to make some sort of surround to install the new unit. Nothing fancy, just a flat board on edge with a bracket screwed to the floor. You might also be able to use something ready-made as the enclosure, e.g. a battery box.

#2 involves rewiring the exiting unit internally so that the old converter/charger is replaced with something like a Progressive Dynamics 9245. The 9245 can be mounted along side or wherever there is room; it does not have to fit where the old converter module was.

Here's a video where a guy does something similar with a WFCO power center, replacing the converter/charger portion with a PD 9260.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kgF_RlZyR4

Here's another video that discusses options for upgrading an old Magnetek 63xx series power center, a unit that is similar to your B&W.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkroh7Ak-Ho
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 08:11:53 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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deeebeee

  • Posts: 3
Re: Need help identifying a good replacement converter
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2020, 10:40:42 AM »
Thank you all so much for replying. This is my first trailer and I am getting a crash course in everything.

To CharlesinGA - The entire box contains both the fuses and the converter. The measurements are 8ĒWx14ĒLx7ĒH. Granted that is the base portion with the mounting screws so the actual house is about an inch smaller. I have attached some more pictures to give you a better idea. I am not that handy at all BTW. I do have a family friend who is a retired electrician that has been helping me out here and there. I have looked at the best converter website, but it doesnít give an exact replacement. All of the 3200 stuff seems to be phased out so the closest I can find is the 45 Amp Kit for 6300 series. I see that they have a phone number so I will try and give them a call.

To Isaac-1 - I had a friend check the voltage because I couldnít get the voltmeter to work and am slightly afraid of doing more harm since I have no experience with this type of thing. So the battery is giving off power. There is also power going from the battery into the converter as both the red and white wires coming in are registering voltage. We tested each of the fuses. They didnít have any voltage running through. In just testing the fuses themselves to see if they worked we were able to get continuity through them but it seems that the bar they are connected to across the top doesnít have any power going through it and we are not sure why. From what I understand this is where the current would run to go through the fuses. We did not check to see if the power was running from the converter to the battery for charging so I will have to look into that.

To Gary RV_Wizard - The batteries are brand new and I cleaned the connections before connecting them to the battery when I installed them. The wires run up into the bottom of the trailer and there is about a 3-4í gap where they run in between the floor and the bottom of the trailer where we canít see them so there is the possibility of there being an issue along the line somewhere but wonít be able to see unless we rip out the floor and I really donít want to do that if I can avoid it. I agree that it could be the internal relay. This model has both a solenoid and the internal relay. The solenoid seems to be working as there is an audible click when I connect to shore power. However, I still think it would be better to replace. I have looked at the power centers but wasnít sure if it would be okay to make some sort of makeshift mounting using the space I have and also since the AC power is wired somewhere else if it would matter if we are only using the DC side of the power center.

Also, when I knew I needed a new converter I purchased a PD 9245 thinking that would work (and this seems to be highly recommended across the board) however, once it arrived we realized that it didnít have the fuse box and we werenít sure what to do with it at that point. Thanks again everyone!

Robert Clark

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Re: Need help identifying a good replacement converter
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 06:56:04 AM »
WFCO WF-9855 appears to be working well after the install. The install itself is very simple and straight forward. This product is completely RF quiet, which was important to us since I operate sensitive radios for long-distance communication in the RV. This is the second WFCO product we have used. The previous one started giving signs of failure after about 5 years on the job operating on a daily basis 24/7. The first one was still working but started making a loud hissing noise. That was a sign that it was time to put it out to pasture and avoid a complete failure at the least opportune time. If this one lasts another 5 years, I'll feel like I got my money's worth...again.

Rene T

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Re: Need help identifying a good replacement converter
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 07:19:59 AM »
This post is 2 months old and we have no idea how the OP made out. Wish he had gotten back to us.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 09:26:21 AM by Rene T »
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