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Do I need a better converter?

mooky_stinks
Explorer
Explorer
Just replaced original 80ah battery with 2 100ah batteries. When dry camping for 3 nights the batteries were steadily lower after each charging during the allowed generator times. 1st night when fully charged they dropped to 60%. 2nd night they started out at 85% and dropped to 50% then 3rd was about 70% to 30%. I never saw higher than 13.7 when plugged in to my 2000watt generator. Haven’t looked at what my converter is rated for yet but am I right in thinking it’s just not putting the charge back in fast enough? Would a stand alone commercial battery charger that I have work better in the few times a year I dry camp? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
2020 F150 XL Screw 4x4 6.5”box
3.5 ecoboost Max tow HDPP
7850 GVW. 4800 RAWR
2565 payload

2020 Cougar 29RKS 5th wheel
16 REPLIES 16

ktmrfs
Explorer
Explorer
mooky stinks wrote:
Ok I’ll try to give some more info. They are regular lead acid. First night they were 100% because it had been parked in my driveway plugged in for 2 weeks. I was charging for 2 hrs in the morning and 3 hrs in the evening. I did periodically shut the converter off to run a microwave but that was very limited. Probably 15 minutes total per day. I’ll have to look but I know I have a WFCO 8930/50. Trailer is 50 amp. There is a breaker that says converter. Am I right in thinking it is a separate unit?


A WFCO will seldom exceed about 10-15A charging current and seldom go above about 13.6V. almost never go to bulk mode. So with only 10ish charging amps you (a) never get fully charged and (b) seldom in 3 hours or so will do much for the battery and (c) even if left on for days it will NOT get the battery fully charged. That takes a charging voltage of about 14.6V for a while.

BTW your problem is pretty typical of campers I know that had WFCO chargers and could not get the batteries replenished with a generator in reasonable time.
2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2015.5 Denali 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison passed on to our Son!

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
Two 100's 45-60 amps for the converter (no more) and the two best are Progressive Dynamics To models (or 3) 4600 replaces the "Guts" of a combination fuse/breaker/converter assembly... 9200 is the effectively the same in a "Stand alone" box. 9100 WITH optional Charge Wizard.. again effectively the same (What I had)

IOTA with IQ4 Both are 3-stage PLUS converters.

Alternative would be a small. say 1,000 watt inverter/charger Or even a 2 thousand but that's stretching 200 amp hours of batteries less they are LiFePO4.

Batteries.. Two 100 amp hour. if lead acid that's either Group 27 or 29.
You might consider going to GC-2 (Six volt when you buy 'em but put a pair in series so you have -{6v}+-{6v}+12 volts and they become around 220 amp hours at 12 volts and DEEP CYCLE too boot.

page 2: recharging.. a good 3-stage or 3-stage plus starts at around 14.6 (Slight variation) and pushes close to maximum out. if the batteries are really hungry the output voltage may be reduced to hold the amps to max. That is BULK mode. Then comes Absorption.. This is still about the same 14.6 but amps may go down. way down like less than 10.. Eventually when the converter feels the batteries are "Full up" it will switch to about 13.6 (Float)

The + on a 3-stage plus is equlization. back to the 14-15 volt range either automatic (Charge Wizard) or under manual control (most inverters) this may or may not be of benefit. Some argument.
Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times

2112
Explorer II
Explorer II
Do you have a voltmeter?
Let your battery drain to about 60%, hook up your generator to charge your battery as you did before and measure the battery voltage as its charging. You may find it never goes above 13.6V
2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCab Max Tow, 2084# Payload, 11,300# Tow,
Timbrens
2013 KZ Durango 2857

mooky_stinks
Explorer
Explorer
Just found the converter. It’s a WFCO 9855.
2020 F150 XL Screw 4x4 6.5”box
3.5 ecoboost Max tow HDPP
7850 GVW. 4800 RAWR
2565 payload

2020 Cougar 29RKS 5th wheel

2112
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have a POS WFCO convertor installed in my camper as well. It never goes higher than 13.6V. Not the best for quick generator charging. We are generally plugged into shore power so it's not much of an issue.

I bought a used IOTA DLS45 45A convertor and installed jumper cables onto it to connect to my battery for generator charging when needed. With the IQ4 dongle installed it bulk charges at 14.7V then drops to 14.4V absorption charge.
2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCab Max Tow, 2084# Payload, 11,300# Tow,
Timbrens
2013 KZ Durango 2857

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
mooky stinks wrote:
Ok I’ll try to give some more info. They are regular lead acid. First night they were 100% because it had been parked in my driveway plugged in for 2 weeks. I was charging for 2 hrs in the morning and 3 hrs in the evening. I did periodically shut the converter off to run a microwave but that was very limited. Probably 15 minutes total per day. I’ll have to look but I know I have a WFCO 8930/50. Trailer is 50 amp. There is a breaker that says converter. Am I right in thinking it is a separate unit?


Searched the number and that's the distribution panel, not the converter...but it says it's compatible with 55, 65 or 75 amp converters, so worst case, you should have 55amps.

With 5hrs of charging, that pretty much rules out my thought on not giving it enough time. That should definitely get it up into the mid-80% range if things are working properly.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

BFL13
Explorer II
Explorer II
The percentage SOCs the OP is using could be off depending how his monitor works. He might also be seeing some Progressive Capacity Loss.

Weird that a 29ft 5er has a 30 amp converter. Is that 30 a typo?
1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
Photo in Profile
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
See Profile for Electronic set-ups for 1. and 2.

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad

mooky_stinks
Explorer
Explorer
Ok I’ll try to give some more info. They are regular lead acid. First night they were 100% because it had been parked in my driveway plugged in for 2 weeks. I was charging for 2 hrs in the morning and 3 hrs in the evening. I did periodically shut the converter off to run a microwave but that was very limited. Probably 15 minutes total per day. I’ll have to look but I know I have a WFCO 8930/50. Trailer is 50 amp. There is a breaker that says converter. Am I right in thinking it is a separate unit?
2020 F150 XL Screw 4x4 6.5”box
3.5 ecoboost Max tow HDPP
7850 GVW. 4800 RAWR
2565 payload

2020 Cougar 29RKS 5th wheel

CA_Traveler
Explorer III
Explorer III
Read up on bulk, absorb and float charging. The voltage should rise to 14.4V+.
2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Probably your converter is a POS.
After having 2 campers with PD converters and not knowing or caring really "why" people said WFCOs are junk, we got a camper with a WFCO. Can confirm, it's a pile of doo doo.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
What is the charger and how long were you running the generator?

First morning 60% to 85%, is 25% of 200ah or 50ah. A 50amp charger should do that in around an hour.
Second morning 50% to 70%, is 20% of 200ah or 40ah. Should take 20% less charge time to get there.

Did you per chance run the generator for 1:15 the first time and 1:00 the second time?

You generally won't get to 100% charging with an hour or two on the generator (even if the charger puts out enough amps). Lead-Acid batteries start reducing the charge acceptance around 70%. At first it's a minor reduction. By the time you get to 80-90%, they accept far lower amperages, no matter how big the charger is.

If you will be boondocking another option is to get something like a 100w portable solar panel.
- Run the generator first thing in the morning to get up around 80-90% (an hour or two).
- The solar panel will peak around 8amps mid day but it will do so over several hours and top up the remaining storage.

Of course, if you do a lot of boondocking, a large permanently installed solar array is a nice option but it brings it's own set of costs/complications.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

theoldwizard1
Explorer
Explorer
The short answer is TES !

Now would be a good time to upgrade to an inverter/charger/automatic transfer switch.

StirCrazy
Navigator
Navigator
mooky stinks wrote:
Just replaced original 80ah battery with 2 100ah batteries. When dry camping for 3 nights the batteries were steadily lower after each charging during the allowed generator times. 1st night when fully charged they dropped to 60%. 2nd night they started out at 85% and dropped to 50% then 3rd was about 70% to 30%. I never saw higher than 13.7 when plugged in to my 2000watt generator. Haven’t looked at what my converter is rated for yet but am I right in thinking it’s just not putting the charge back in fast enough? Would a stand alone commercial battery charger that I have work better in the few times a year I dry camp? Any suggestions would be appreciated!


need a little more context here, what kind of batteries, what is your converter now and how long are you running the generator for.

Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100