converter/charger work around ?

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patsdad

Active member
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Posts
25
I'm new here, and the new owner of an '83 Minnie 22'. The charger section of the converter doesn't seem to be working, although the rest of the electrical system seems fine - gen runs fine, power in all outlets, 12v and 110v. All lights and switches and appliances working fine.
But the coach battery doesn't seem to be getting any charge from shore power. There is a faint click when shore power is connected.  A look around the battery tray shows everything connected, although some rust on most of the terminals.  The area around the converter is clean, dry, and undisturbed - does not appear to have ever been touched.
Since we are taking a trip in about 2 weeks, would it be adviseable to just work around it, with a smart charger plugged into the 110 when hooked up to shore power, to charge the coach battery ?  The stock converter is a 32 amp with a 3 amp charger. 
Or, would my time be better spent underneath, scraping and cleaning all the terminals at the back of the battery tray, in hopes of reviving the charger ?  Is it common for just the charger section of a converter to fail ?    I checked all the fuses, and they are all good.

Any tips appreciated.  I have no idea if this is a common failure, or so unusual as to suggest a loose wire somewhere . . . .
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
How are you determining that the battery is not getting charged? Do you not have 12V lights? Do you have full 12 Volt power when plugged in to shore power? If so, then yes, the charging portion could be bad. You might find a bad connection or other problem but even then, 3 amps is barely more than a trickle charge, and it would take hours and hours to recharge even an only 50% discharged battery. A converter with a 3-stage charger or just a 3 stage charger rated at somewhere around 50-60 Amps charging capacity would be a better choice for the short and long term. Just make sure you get a 3-stage charger so you don't cook your batteries by overcharging; an all too common occurrence. 

 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,533
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
No, it's not a common for the charging portion to fail while the rest of the converter still works.  There is probably a small wire running to the battery for charging, attaching to the positive post. You might check that for a break or bad connection.

It's perfectly OK to plug in a battery charger and connect it to the battery for charging while on shore power. That's your simplest workaround for now. A 10 amp automotive style charger will work fine.

I'm guessing you may have a Magnetek 6345 converter/charger. If so, it is a notoriously poor unit and really should be replaced. It overcharges a good battery, undercharges when you actually need it and is noisy to boot!.  Magnetek used to make a 7345RU replacement kit, which replaced the innards of the 6345 with somewhat more up-to-date technology, but it may be out of production now. A replacement unit from Progressive Dynamics or Iota would be a better choice, but may involve a fair amount of work if you have the converter model that is integrated with the AC circuit breaker panel. That's common in your type of rig.
 
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