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Old 05-23-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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Battery charger suggestions

I want to get a battery charger which will properly charge the two six volts interstate batteries in the trailer plus serve as a charger/trickle charger for an auto. I'm hoping a couple of you guys who really understand batteries can make a recommendation.
Thanks

Dave
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:01 AM   #2
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I have used this charger to good effect:
12 volt 2-4-8 Amp BatteryMinder
For the 19' Escape I removed the WFCO main board assembly in the bottom of the power distribution center and replaced it with
Boondocker Main Board Assembly for WFCO 8955
It is 4 stage and a direct fit. Remove and replace 5 wires. Much more efficient at charging and maintaining the batteries when using shore power or a generator. I leave the trailer plugged in to a 30 amp receptacle during storage and occasionally check the electrolyte levels.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, I'm considering the converter charger swap, however I would like to have a stand alone battery charger so will look at the battery tender.
Thanks

Dave
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:38 PM   #4
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I am considering getting either the BatteryMINDer 12 Volt 2/4/8 12248 or the new NOCO Genius G15000 12V/24V 15A model for storage maintenance of my dual 6V Interstates. From looking at their manuals it looks like the BatteryMinder may use charging voltages closer to the Interstate specs but I can't find much specific on the NOCO voltages.

Bob - are you still happy with your BatteryMinder? Anyone have any experience with the NOCO's
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:17 PM   #5
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Eric
I use the BatteryMinder to maintain the large 12V battery installed on the farm tractor. I rely on the Boondocker converter to keep the two 6V batteries charged in the Escape 19. I a very satisfied with both charging systems. With the Boondocker conveter installed in the Escape 19 there is no need for a second battery charger.
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:22 PM   #6
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Thanks Bob. I don't have access to anything more than a 15A outlet for storage, otherwise I would probably go with the Boondocker. But I also like being able to see the mode lights, etc with the external maintainer.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I don't have access to anything more than a 15A outlet for storage, otherwise I would probably go with the Boondocker.
Why would that matter? The converter certainly won't use as much as 15 amps, under any conditions, so if you want to maintain the batteries with the converter you can just use an adapter to plug the 30 amp trailer plug into the 15 amp outlet.
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Why would that matter? The converter certainly won't use as much as 15 amps, under any conditions, so if you want to maintain the batteries with the converter you can just use an adapter to plug the 30 amp trailer plug into the 15 amp outlet.
I guess I was assuming that since they are designed the be plugged into a 30A circuit that it might well draw at least 15A at some point in the charge cycle.

But when considering total watts in the 12v DC output to the batteries as opposed to the 120V AC input that I see your point that the AC current draw would never get very high in battery charging.

I am thinking that the BatteryMINDER being designed specifically for long term maintenance and conditioning might do a better job?
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I guess I was assuming that since they are designed the be plugged into a 30A circuit that it might well draw at least 15A at some point in the charge cycle.
Most of that current capacity is for AC circuits, not for the converter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
But when considering total watts in the 12v DC output to the batteries as opposed to the 120V AC input that I see your point that the AC current draw would never get very high in battery charging.
Right, whether it's charging the battery or supplying DC lights and appliances, a 45-amp converter is only going to take about 5 amps AC input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I am thinking that the BatteryMINDER being designed specifically for long term maintenance and conditioning might do a better job?
Could be, but I haven't looked at the specs in detail, and the Boondocker is supposed to upgrade the WFCO to appropriate battery maintainer performance.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
I have used this charger to good effect:
12 volt 2-4-8 Amp BatteryMinder
For the 19' Escape I removed the WFCO main board assembly in the bottom of the power distribution center and replaced it with
Boondocker Main Board Assembly for WFCO 8955
It is 4 stage and a direct fit. Remove and replace 5 wires. Much more efficient at charging and maintaining the batteries when using shore power or a generator. I leave the trailer plugged in to a 30 amp receptacle during storage and occasionally check the electrolyte levels.
Jubal,

I know this has been beat around before. Could you elaborate on the benefits of the latest Boondocker? Did you use the 55 amp model? How long does it take to install? Any mods required to mount? We have the twin 6 volts. How does the charging cycle differ? Thanks.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:46 AM   #11
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The WFCO chinese world friendship company converter is a 3 stage converter and does not have a desulfation/stratification cycle (storage) or boost mode. The 55A WFCO converter does not engage the charging cycle until battery voltage is lower than desired. In the past some Escape owners have turned on 12V devices in an attempt to get the converter into the charge mode. I installed the 50A Boondocker which is no longer available. The current 45A Boondocker converter is adequate. The install time was less than an hour and was a direct fit no mods necessary. The features and specs @ Boondocker Main Board Assembly for WFCO 8955
Call Best Converter and ask for Randy. He knows converters and is easy to talk to.
Here is another example of converter replacement and rational:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...ades-1167.html
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:59 PM   #12
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I wrote to NOCO to find the specs of their new G15000 model and they sent this:

The G15000 modes have the following cut-off voltages and output voltages:

12V Norm - 14.5V (+/- 0.2V) - @12.9
12V Cold/AGM - 14.8V (+/- 0.2V) - @12.9
24V Norm - 29.0V (+/- 0.2V) - @25.6
24V Cold/AGM - 29.6V (+/- 0.2V) - @25.6
sophisticated12V AGM+ - 15.5V (+/- 0.2V) - @12.9
13.6V Supply - 13.6V (+/- 0.5V) - @12.5
12V Repair - 16.5V (+/- 0.5V) - @12.5
Jump Charge - 17-18V - @12V, 5m


I'm leaning toward the BatteryMINDER 12248 as Bob had reported very good luck with it and I like that it adjusts charge voltages based on ambient air temps. It also seems to have a lower failure rate, at least based on Amazon reviews.

It and the Boondocker are about the same price and I like that the BatteryMINDER is portable, seems to have a more sophisticated desulfate mode and is designed solely for battery maintenance. We are very rarely plugged in to shorepower - the trailer is more often charged from the Tacoma during our drives or portable solar panel than by the WFCO.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:23 AM   #13
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Ok, for our battery guru's, it seems to me that there are 2 competing opinions out there on charging to make batteries last and get fully charged to their max capacity.

Interstate Battery specifies some very high voltage requirements designed to prevent sulfation with each charge cycle. This seems to be the most often used, quoted and accepted method.

VDC Electronics - maker of BatteryMINDERs - contends that high voltage charging itself is damaging long term (due to the high temperatures generated?) They use a lower voltage charge (which they say is much safer) and then a patented temperature compensated float cycle that uses special frequencies to break up sulfuric acid crystal on the plates slowly. Avoid Battery Sulfation with a BatteryMINDer Battery Charger

Based on what I have read, Bob's satisfaction, reviews on Amazon, this BestConverter Review, and the one full year 100% satisfaction guarantee, I bought one of their 12248 models.

My Interstates are 5 years old now and I have tried not to abuse them. The best voltage I was getting at full charge with the WFCO was 12.6 - 12.7 or so - measured after a 12 hour rest. The BatteryTender 5 amp model I had would get it into the 12.74 range. After 3 days on the BatteryMINDER it was up to 12.84. They recommend 72 hour charge, then retest until the voltage no longer rises. I'll keep trying to see if it will get any higher.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:41 AM   #14
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High voltage, equalization, and desulfation charging strategies are not necessary during each charge cycle. Charging over 14.8 volts should only be done for a short amount of time (2 hours max ) and should be monitored. A large amount of hydrogen and oxygen gases are produced and the electrolyte level may be lowered close to the plates.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:49 AM   #15
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When I talked with a rep from VDC their position is to never charge higher than 14.4.

"The BatteryMINDer does not use Equalization as a means of desulfating the batteries. We use high frequency, which is harmless to the battery or any components. A battery should never be overcharged, (over 14.4 volts) in an absorption mode."

Bob, I've seen a couple of charts that claim approx 12.8- 12.9V is the actual full rested capacity charge of dual 6v deep cycles. The more I read the more confusing it all seems to be....

Guess I should just be glad that I have already gotten 5 good years out of these Interstates and that that still "fully?" charge!
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