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Author Topic: Need INTELI-POWER Advice  (Read 2488 times)

NavyDad89

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Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« on: April 18, 2005, 07:56:41 PM »
Hello from Southern Indiana   ::)

The boss finally convinced me to get back into RVing last fall. So....for her birthday, we purchased a slightly used 36' 1993 Holiday Rambler ALuma-Lite motorhome. We had been through the tent, popup trailer, Class C, TT, and finally 5th wheel camping styles while the boys grew up. Now that we're within sight of possible retirement in a few years, I insisted on something with less "setup time". The last 5th wheel we had had a single slide-out and needed seals replaced twice in 5 years so I refused to look at anything used that had a slide-out. For the two of us plus my aged mother, a trip to NC to visit with our son and family, the MH pulling her car on a tow dolly was a pleasure. I'm not sorry we purchased this unit for now - wondering how roomy it will be when we have a couple of grandkids along on a weekend trip tho LOL

Although I expect to be working on things with the age of this unit. One thing has me a bit perplexed right now. We used the unit several times up until the middle of December. The 2 deep cycle 12 volt batteries never seemed to hold their charge even during a 2 week period parked without shore power. I have on occasion found something left on, but even when everything was checked and double checked before leaving the MH, the house batteries were always low or dead when we got back to use the MH. The cells had to be filled monthly. Both batteries now that I am preparing for a season of use were completely dead and also dry last weekend. After filling the cells with distilled water on Saturday, leaving the MH connected to shore power and charging until this morning (48 hours charging time) neither battery will read over 5.5 volts when isolated. I read 13.7 volts at the panel from the converter/charger while plugged to shore power. I have ordered two new golf cart 6 volt batteries to replace the almost new but non working 12 volt deep cycles that the dealer installed just before we took delivery.

My question is this - is it a good idea to just go ahead and spring for at new Progressive Dynamics 9100 Series INTELI-POWER converter/charger with the optional PD9105 Charge Wizard and be finished with the problem? I am not sure what amperage charger/converter is there now, but with new HR Class A units now using the 2 - 6 volt with a 55 amp converter/charger, would you recommend going with a 45 amp or 60 amp unit? There is only a difference of $10 between them.

All advice appreciated - I asked the boss - she said just get it fixed LOL

Thanks. 
Ed

Karl

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Re: Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2005, 08:35:50 PM »
Hi Ed,

First off, if a battery goes dry, chances are very good that permanent damage has occured to them and they need to be replaced - especially after you said you refilled  and recharged them but they wouldn't hold a charge. They've either been very abused(not refilled when necessay) or have been overcharged, which boils off the electrolyte/water. Either is a death knoll to the battery. Get a couple of good deep-cycle batteries and take good care of them; i.e., refilling when they get low. As for your choice of charger/convertor, I have no knowledge of the particular units you mention, but would go with the higher (60 amp) unit without question. The greater the charge rate, the better with one caviate: it should be a 'smart' charger that tapers off the charge rate as the batteries become fully charged; then goes into 'float' mode. Without that, you may fry your new batteries too. Also, make sure you have no parasitic drains on the battery. To do that, unplug and turn off all electrical devices and then put an ammeter in series with the house batteries. The current drain should be minimal, but some things like LP leak sensors or smoke alarms may be hard-wired and will draw some current, but no more than 1-2 amperes. If you see more current drain, try removing fuses from the main DC panel one at a time to determine where the problem lies. It may be something as simple as a door operated closet light not turning off (that happened to me). There are several well known manufacturers of r.v. charger/inverters that others on the RV Forum Community can point you to, as I'm sure they will. Hope this helps :)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

joelmyer

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Re: Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2005, 09:18:25 AM »
>is it a good idea to just go ahead and spring for at new Progressive Dynamics 9100 Series INTELI-POWER converter/charger with the optional PD9105 Charge Wizard and be finished with the problem? I am not sure what amperage charger/converter is there now, but with new HR Class A units now using the 2 - 6 volt with a 55 amp converter/charger, would you recommend going with a 45 amp or 60 amp unit? There is only a difference of $10 between them.

In a word yes.  My 5th wheel came with the PD 9100 and I added the Charge Wizard.  It will take care of your new batteries for you.  Plus if you dry camp, it will get your batteries recharged with less run time.

Which one? I have the 45 amp model and two 6 volt batteries & I'm happy.  Takes about 2 hours for the bulk (1st stage) charge. The 60 amp unit might get your batteries recharged faster.   I use a 1000 watt generator:  60 amps @ 14.3 volts = 858 watts.  The Power Converter isn't 100% efficient and the 1000 watt generator is actually 1000 watts surge, 900 watts sustained. So if you're going to use a 1000 Watt Generator I'd stick with the 45 amp unit.
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

John From Detroit

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Re: Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2005, 03:56:10 PM »
First, I do agree your batteries are very likely being seriously overcharged, this is what is causing them to boil dry

Now, using an intellegent charger will fix that.

As for the Progressive Dynamics product,  I am not familure with that SPECIFIC product but 30 years ago I did know the company. (Friend of friend type thing) their products tended to be above average in both performance and quality, well above average in fact.

Of course, this was 30 years ago
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Jeff

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Re: Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2005, 11:38:04 AM »
I added the charge wizard to our last coach and our batteries doubled in life with very little boil-off.

John From Detroit

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Re: Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2005, 06:24:27 PM »
I added the charge wizard to our last coach and our batteries doubled in life with very little boil-off.

In no small part due to this thread I was wondering about the same thing in my new house... I think I'm getting the charge wizard installed there too since in it's dormat mode it will likely be hooked to shore power (You know, under the conditions "Shore Power" is the very term to use since the parking lot will be a converted (filled in) swimming pool)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2005, 09:54:41 PM »
For a difference of $10 bucks you may as well get the 60A charger, but in practice there will be zero difference in charging capability if you have only two 6V batteries.  The max charge rate on a 200-220 amp-hour battery bank will be just about identical with either charger and will be well below the max output of either charger.

The PD is an excellent charger even without the Wizard, but the Wizard is a plus.  The 50A charger with the wiard is a better deal than the 60A without it.  Iota makes a similarly excellent charger and it also has a 3-stage add-on accessory.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Karl

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Re: Need INTELI-POWER Advice
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2005, 10:43:35 PM »
Gary,

I agree with you that it's better to have the 50A with the wizard than a 60A without, but I'm confused by your statement:

Quote
The max charge rate on a 200-220 amp-hour battery bank will be just about identical with either charger and will be well below the max output of either charger.
.

Ignoring internal battery resistance, charge rate will be (almost) proportional to the voltage applied factored by the present battery charge level. You can easily pump 90-100 amperes into 2-6V batteries in series if they measure about 10.5V but, granted, it would be foolishto do so for a long period of time; hence the necessity of an intelligent charger.

Did I misunderstand what you where saying?
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

 

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