Magnetec 6032 and 6 golf cart batteries

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Frank B

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Just put 6 golf cart batteries in our 'new' 23 foot 5th.  I made sure it was all wired correctly (three series-connected pairs in parallel) and used heavy duty 12" jumpers made for the job.  All works fine near as I can tell.

However, while the batteries are spanking new, I noticed that our Magnetec 6032 convertor fan is kicking in and out, blowing warm air into the trailer.  I am assuming that this unit, while modest (32 amp), is up to the task of charging these batteries without frying itself?

I am curious, however, as to why it would be working so hard on new batteries?

Thanks.

Frank.
 

Ned

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6 golf cart batteries will take around 125A of charging current in bulk charge mode.  Your 32A charger is working very hard and is probably overheating due to the high current over a period of time.  Your batteries probably have around 600AH of capacity, so at 50% discharge, you need to put 300AH back.  At 32A, it will take over 10 hours to completely charge them up as the current will taper off as the charge level increases.

I suggest you get a good 3 stage charger capable of at least 100A to use with those batteries.
 

Frank B

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Ned:

Thanks.  Found a link on how to upgrade at:

http://www.rickandbarb.com/

From there, go to "Rick's Stuff" and then to "Motorhome projects"

Comes complete with pix.

Guess what I'll be doing next?  :)

Frank.
 

Ned

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I would still recommend a good 3 stage charger rather than a converter.
 

John From Detroit

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Frank B said:
I am curious, however, as to why it would be working so hard on new batteries?

New batteries are shipped with only a partial charge as a general rule, they need to be charged, Some places, (Auto parts stores for example) will charge some batteries (Ones meant to start the car you are going to drive home from the store with) on the shelf.

Golf cart batteries however,,, Normally the instructions say "Charge before using"
 

Tom

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John In Detroit said:
Golf cart batteries however,,, Normally the instructions say "Charge before using"

Interesting John. I've bought numerous golf cart batteries over the years (I use 10 at a time in the boat, for example) and have never seen such an instruction. Furthermore, the guy I buy them from supplies all the golf courses for many miles around and he's repeatedly told me his batteries are fully charged when they leave his store. He used to manufacture them, but the EPA regulations caused him to quit making them and now he merely acts as a distributor and applies his own labels. Same "fully charged" comment though.
 

Ron

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I find it strange that a supplier wouldn't keep the lead acid batteries charged since discharged batteries tend to deteriorate, the more discharged the faster they plates will deteriorate.
 

Frank B

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Ned:

>I would still recommend a good 3 stage charger rather than a converter.<

OK, I guess I'm going to need some help here.  I assumed that we were talking about essentially the same thing.

If we are talking two different units altogether, how to I reconcile the pair of them in my rig?  I assume that there is going to have to be some sort of relay to disconnect the batteries from the trailer when the converter is running, and connect the charger instead?  I also assume from your previous message that a 3 stage charger is going to deliver higher than normal voltage initially, and a lower than coverter voltage for maintenance, correct?

If we are talking two units, with a charger delivering 100 amps or more, that will also mean heavier wiring.

Can you help me connect the dots?

Thanks.

Frank.
 

Ned

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If you have a good charger, then you don't need the converter.  The batteries supply the 12v circuits and the charger keeps the batteries charged.  Yes, the wiring from the charger to the batteries has to be sized appropriately for the maximum current.
 

John From Detroit

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Tom said:
Interesting John. I've bought numerous golf cart batteries over the years (I use 10 at a time in the boat, for example) and have never seen such an instruction. Furthermore, the guy I buy them from supplies all the golf courses for many miles around and he's repeatedly told me his batteries are fully charged when they leave his store. He used to manufacture them, but the EPA regulations caused him to quit making them and now he merely acts as a distributor and applies his own labels. Same "fully charged" comment though.

Well, just because it is not REQUIRED a dealer charge before sale, does not mean he can not, Looks like yours does.  There is a place I often go to when I'm looking for batteries, they are rebuilders, and they can supply some "Strange" batteries (IE: one I got once I had them load it on a trailer,,, And unload it when I was done..  They charged it and we discharged it 10%,  Amateur Radio Field Day, we got the battery multiplier that year... Not only did it take a fork lift to pick it up... that's what it fit)

 

Frank B

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Ned:

>If you have a good charger, then you don't need the converter.<

OK, this is beginning to make sense.  What about internal electrics on the trailer, however, when the charger is putting out full voltage?  Is the maximum voltage output from a high-powered 3 stage charger high enough to affect electronics expecting to get only 12V?

The battery box on my trailer is now empty, so that might be a good place to put the charger, and from there it would be a short reach with heavy wiring to connect to the battery bank.  Can you recommend a charger?

Thanks again.

Frank.
 

Ned

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The batteries will keep the voltage to about a maximum of ~14V, and you will not have a problem with any of your 12V applicances, lights, etc.  For example, right now my batteries are fully charged and the voltage across the 12V bus is 13.8V.  The 3 stage charger will recharge the batteries quickly when discharged, and will maintain them when fully charged without overcharging.

You do want it as close to the batteries as possible because the currents are very high.  You need to use large enough wire as well.  Typically this will be 0 or 00 welding cable.

I can't recommend any particular model but most larger motorhomes have a combination charger/inverter that not only charges the batteries but also supplies 110V power when dry camping.  Most of the popular models are made by Xantrex.
 

Frank B

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Ned:

Well, I just came back from the Xantrex site.  Invertor/Charger combos that will deliver 100 to 150 amps are about $1600 US!  The only high capacity charger that I could find was the TrueCharge 40+, and it delivers only 40 amps for $450!  What I have now delivers 32 amps and its free.

Isn't there something more affordable?  These kinds of prices are out of my reach.  I'm looking in the $250 US (about $300 Canadian) range.  I can squeak up to about $400 if I have to, but it better get me something that is significantly better than what I already have.

Thanks.

Frank.
 

Ned

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I would think you could find a 100A charger in your price range but a quick search on Google only turned up chargers to 90A (http://store.solar-electric.com/bach1.html).  I've dealt with AZ Wind & Sun and a phone call to them should get you some good info and prices.  The Iota DLS-90 sells for $375, for example.
 
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