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Old 01-17-2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for taking time to reply.

I want to add that many of my questions stem from curiosity. I am really excited about getting an Escape trailer. I'm not sure whether we'll take home a bone stock model, or one with all the options. Regardless, I really enjoy studying all aspects of these awesome trailers.

Thanks again for your time. j
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:29 PM   #12
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Jamie,
You request for a better smart battery charger/controller intrigued me. I, for one, have bad mouthed the WFCO and it seems only appropriate that it makes me somewhat responsible. I dislike when someone says something negative about a product and then does not offer an alternative.

I think we have pretty good specs for the WFCO controller already; the issue is the low absorption rate on this charger. We are only charging our batteries at 13.6 VA, a long way from the recommendations of Trojan for 14.8 VA and Interstate for 15.3 VA.

Here is a link for a further discussion of Interstate charge recommendations.

In searching for other charger/controllers I came up with the specs for GoPower GPC 35 and IOTA IQ4, the results were better when compared to the numbers for WFCO and the Progressive units. These both had an absorption rate of 14.2 VA. Better, but still quite away from the recommended 15.3.

I also looked at Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power 4000, Parallax 7300, Atwood, and Progressive Dynamics Charge Wizard. They all were at a lower absorption rate then the GoPower and Iota.

The final charger/controller I found is actually just a charger. It is made for RV’s and does not do the controller function that all the other models above perform. The Xantrex TrueCharge2 20 Amp has an option to charge at a voltage of 15.5 VA. This is a custom configuration that is a part of this charger and has preconfigured set points for charging. The set points are designed for a flooded type battery, usually a lead/calcium chemistry. In checking with Interstate the GC2 series is very close to this chemistry and this is an acceptable absorption charge rate.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:12 PM   #13
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I don't pretend to understand, but would it not be adequate to charge the battery with an external charger from time to time?
My plan is to carry my battery charger to to back up my inadequate solar panel.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post

The final charger/controller I found is actually just a charger. It is made for RV’s and does not do the controller function that all the other models above perform. The Xantrex TrueCharge2 20 Amp has an option to charge at a voltage of 15.5 VA. This is a custom configuration that is a part of this charger and has preconfigured set points for charging. The set points are designed for a flooded type battery, usually a lead/calcium chemistry. In checking with Interstate the GC2 series is very close to this chemistry and this is an acceptable absorption charge rate.
Thanks for the info. I did some reading (in my spare time ) about the Truecharge2, and it does seem to fit the recommended voltages. I did come across some site, maybe Amazon?, where many reviewers complained about it failing.....

Gives me things to think about while winter's here. j
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:12 PM   #15
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I’ve read all the recent posts about converters, inverters, charge rates, etc., and went through several emotional ups and downs: curiosity, consternation, outright concern, and finally plain old acceptance.

I have a cabin which is off-grid. I have six 6-volt batteries, a 2500-watt inverter, and a 6000-watt propane generator. I never paid attention to much of anything (except routine maintenance) other than if the batteries were low, I fired up the generator until they were fully charged and then I shut it off. I got ten years out of my first set of batteries (when I was working and was there only about every other weekend) and seven years out of the second set (after I retired and was there a lot). While Egbert is still fairly young—less than a year old—I have taken him out on four excursions and have never run out of juice with what I now have learned is a less-than-adequate solar panel and converter set-up. I’m either incredibly lucky or incredibly stupid or both, but I don’t plan to change my equipment or the way I do things. I’m camping, after all, and refuse to monitor every amp, volt, or ohm while I’m enjoying myself. It works for me and I’m happy. I hope that there are others who are enjoying their Escapes as much as I!
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:33 PM   #16
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Well said Karen
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:39 PM   #17
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I didn't have any battery problems until I started reading these posts.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:02 AM   #18
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I'm with you Glenn, ignorance is bliss……. it works and I'm happy. Whether it works as good as it can is another story but it works.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:25 AM   #19
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I purchased an Escape because I feel that I will get good value for my money. I added solar so that I can camp in the generator free zones and also so that my batteries will be charged when I store it "offsite." My expectations are that the system installed by Reace will fulfill my expectations. Now is my time to plan trips and enjoy!
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:40 AM   #20
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Exactly my thoughts, the quality is unsurpassed for 99% of the owners.
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