Is Stock Inverter A Smart Charger? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-10-2017, 11:39 AM   #1
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Is Stock Inverter A Smart Charger?

We currently have our 2011 19 in temporary storage at home. It's plugged in to shore power. Does the inverter contain a "smart" battery charger i.e. does it reduce charge current as the battery approaches a fully charged condition? If not, I probably should take the batteries out and put them on the maintainer I use over the winter.

Doug
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:48 AM   #2
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Doug, yes is is 'kinda smart" anyway. It will reduce charging current/voltage when fully charged and will maintain your batteries safely in storage. As long as you occasionally check water levels, it should be fine.

Some of the folks who study this much more than me, say that what it does not do is fully charge nor correctly run all the cycles batteries need to get to their maximum capacity.
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:14 PM   #3
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The optional inverter is separate from the converter/charger... but the WFCO 8955 converter/charger is a proper multi-stage charger - suitable for maintenance in storage - as Eric explained.

There are combined inverter/converter/charger units available, but that's not what Escape uses.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:24 PM   #4
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I unplug the battery when I store the trailer. I then recharge the battery for one day each month. So far in almost 3 years I have not had to add any water to it.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:43 PM   #5
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Some of the folks who study this much more than me, say that what it does not do is fully charge nor correctly run all the cycles batteries need to get to their maximum capacity.
The WFCO 8955 charger portion is a 3 stage charger, which means float, absorption and bulk. What it doesn't have is equalize or desulfation mode. That 4th mode does extend battery life, particularly when you're using two batteries. Good news is, there are inexpensive charger/control board retrofits for the WFCO 8955 that provide 4 stage smart charging, should you ever want to upgrade.

To my mind, when Escape offers the dual 6v battery option, it should include an option to have a 4 stage smart charger. Of course, that's another supplier and inventory issue they'd have to deal with, but the proper charger for a multi-battery setup is a true 4 stage smart charger, with customizable charging profiles.



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Old 06-10-2017, 06:00 PM   #6
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What impact does having the solar connected in addition to the WFCO 8955 operation?
I thought solar would do a equalization every so many days?
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:08 PM   #7
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What impact does having the solar connected in addition to the WFCO 8955 operation?
I thought solar would do a equalization every so many days?
Jim, my understanding of the GoPower manual agrees. When there is sufficient current supplied to it, the GoPower controller does an equalization cycle every so many days. I can't remember how long that interval is.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:10 PM   #8
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Jim, my understanding of the GoPower manual agrees. When there is sufficient current supplied to it, the GoPower controller does an equalization cycle every so many days. I can't remember how long that interval is.
Good to know I was not losing it, yet.....
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:49 PM   #9
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From the manual, says it is optional, which I take to mean you've selected the "Flooded" profile.

"Equalization Charge:
Applied for 2 hours every 28 days and if the
battery voltage drops below 12.1 volts."

Solar Panel Charge Controller 30 Amps 500 Watts - Increase Battery Life | Go Power!
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:05 PM   #10
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If you have the solar, the monthly equalize option of the charge controller is fine - provided the system is outdoors and producing power. If you store your trailer under a roof, as I do, you may not reap the benefits of the equalization cycle. That's another reason why I believe the converter/charger should be a 4 cycle smart charger if you have dual batteries. It will automatically switch to equalization when needed, as long as you're on shore power.

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Old 06-10-2017, 08:18 PM   #11
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If the trailer is stored indoors and the battery is not running thru charge and discharge cycles, does it need equalization cycles during that storage time?
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:25 PM   #12
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If the trailer is stored indoors and the battery is not running thru charge and discharge cycles, does it need equalization cycles during that storage time?
Short answer, no. Of course, if it's not connected to power, you'd want to disconnect a terminal to prevent slow discharge. Ideally, have a power source so the batteries could float.

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Old 06-10-2017, 08:29 PM   #13
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Short answer, no. Of course, if it's not connected to power, you'd want to disconnect a terminal to prevent slow discharge.

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No, I meant if it is plugged into shore power and the converter is just maintaining the battery, therefore it is not going thru any charge/discharge cycles. Does it then need any equalization?
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:34 PM   #14
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No, I meant if it is plugged into shore power and the converter is just maintaining the battery, therefore it is not going thru any charge/discharge cycles. Does it then need any equalization?
It would not be as subject to sulfation over time, because as you mentioned, the batteries aren't going through charge and discharge cycles from use.

So, not needed as much.

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Old 06-10-2017, 08:37 PM   #15
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Thanks for all of the replies. Keep in mind that the trailer is only in short term storage so battery cycling isn't an issue. I was just concerned that the charger could keep going full tilt and overcharge/ruin the batteries. I see now that is no longer a concern.

Doug
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:39 PM   #16
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It would not be as subject to sulfation over time, because as you mentioned, the batteries aren't going through charge and discharge cycles from use.

So, not needed as much.

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In that case, for folks who have solar, if the GoPower does the complete 4 cycles when the trailer is in use and the solar panel charging, and the batteries are going thru charge/discharge cycle, then is seems like is should not matter much if the built in converter only does the other 3 cycles.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:44 PM   #17
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In that case, for folks who have solar, if the GoPower does the complete 4 cycles when the trailer is in use and the solar panel charging, and the batteries are going thru charge/discharge cycle, then is seems like is should not matter much if the built in converter only does the other 3 cycles.
I would agree with that. But I still think a 4 stage converter/charger should be stock or at least an option. It just does a better job. One other issue with the WFCO is that it won't provide the recommended charging voltage for the Interstate batteries, while many 4 stage smart chargers will.

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