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 11 
 on: February 23, 2017, 08:14:06 pm 
Started by sailors35 - Last post by fandj
I would agree that solar could provide equalization voltage.  Some wet cell battery manufacturers recommend equalization voltage up to 16.5 volts.  Once the batteries are fully charged the solar panels and some controllers can be programmed to provide this voltage.  Many of the electrical appliances specify max operating voltage of 15 volts.  Based on this I have limited the equalization to 15 volts to minimize the risk of damaging the appliances.  On a previous camper I did periodically isolate the battery and equalized at 16-16.5 volts.  The 4 year old battery was performing well when I sold the camper but I can't say it was because of the equalization.  I think why I had good battery performance had more to do with not discharging below 80% state of charge, promptly recharging, and maintaining electrolyte level.

An advantage of having a converter that operates at 14.4 vs. 13.7 volts is it allows higher amperage thus quicker recharge time. After a night of typical battery use while camping off grid the Progressive Dynamics converter delivers about 25-30 amps when using the generator.  After about an hour or so of charging using the generator the amperage drops to about 15-20 amps.  My 320 watt solar system typically maxes out at about 15 amps meaning if I am receiving good sun the solar system can then pickup the charging load.  The battery can then be brought up to full charge.  With the solar output at 14.7-14.8 volts and the amps dropping off to 1-2 amps I am confident of full charge.

Bottom line I think given a properly designed solar charging system for the expected load and design solar conditions the solar system is capable of saisfactorily maintaining the batteries without the need for a converter.  It is when either solar output is reduced because of shade, sun angle, etc. and/or the power usage is greater than design that a converter is needed.  The multi stage converter reduces generator run time.  As mentioned earlier the multi stage unit also reduces the chance of boiling the batteries dry if left plugged in for an extended period.

 12 
 on: February 23, 2017, 07:38:48 pm 
Started by sailors35 - Last post by jatrax
Quote
What is the actual build time?  I think I read or was quoted 12-16 weeks (going by memory), but wondering how much is wait time and how long the actual build is.
We ordered on November 1st.  I was informed that construction had been started on December 13th.  It was already under construction at that time.  I am scheduled to pick up on March 1st and I think the rig has been essentially done for a couple weeks.  So roughly 8 weeks from start to finish.

Now my rig had some custom work which might have stretched things.  In addition they send them out for painting which I was told can take anywhere between two and four weeks depending on the paint shop schedule.  If you have jacks installed they send it out for that as well, not sure how long that takes.  Probably depends on how backed up the shop is.

Delay from order to start of build will vary depending on how many orders they have in the book.  For me it looks like roughly six weeks at what would be the slowest time of year for them.  I talked to Leisure Travel before buying a Phoenix and they were talking six to nine months from order to delivery.

 13 
 on: February 23, 2017, 07:31:41 pm 
Started by gandalf42 - Last post by CKK
I know... I too read that the combo materials aren't good.. am bummed because I really love the recliner they make and need to find an alternative for the two-piece one PC is using (hate it).

 14 
 on: February 23, 2017, 07:26:11 pm 
Started by gandalf42 - Last post by ron.dittmer
I believe the leather/vinyl combination material you described is called "Bonded Leather" in the furniture industry.  It is often between 15% and 22% leather particles mixed into the vinyl material.  Furniture stores brag when it is in the 25% range.

When we were shopping for new furniture at home, we learned a lot about bonded leather.  We learned to STAY AWAY FROM bonded leather because in 4 to 6 years, it will crack and flake much the same as seen on the few PCs here.

Decent affordable leather is called "Top Grain" leather.  It is 100% real leather with a top grain somehow added on it's surface.  The process and color dye hides the many imperfections in the hide, allowing the utilization of lower grade hides.

The best leather is astronomically priced, only for the elite.  It is called "Full Gain" leather.  You won't find it much in middle class American homes.  A "Full Grain" leather recliner at home, will cost around 8 times more than the same recliner made of "Top Grain" leather.  It's from the best part of the animal and it is flawless.  I don't know the percentage, but animals yield a whole lot more imperfect leather than perfect leather.

When shopping for leather, some people refer to my 3 categories using different names.  But you get the idea.

I am sorry, but I don't have a good feeling about the material you found.

 15 
 on: February 23, 2017, 07:04:54 pm 
Started by gandalf42 - Last post by CKK
Just an update for anyone interested.... heard back from Lippert and their PolyHyde is a leather/vinyl combination material... and the entire piece is made of the same material (i.e. not leather seats joined to vinyl sides which seem to cause problems).

 16 
 on: February 23, 2017, 07:02:35 pm 
Started by sailors35 - Last post by gandalf42
"I am curious how a modern 3 stage solar charger added to the rig will interact with this converter?  Will it add enough features to overcome the lack in the Parallax unit?"

It would take care of the equalization if so programmed.

If the Parallax charges slower, it wouldn't be a big deal when plugged in overnicght at a campground. When needing to use the generator (i.e. boondock charging) the solar could pick up some or all of the slack would be my guess.


 17 
 on: February 23, 2017, 06:54:38 pm 
Started by sailors35 - Last post by donc13
I would definitely ask if they would swap it out.  And right away as electrical is one of the first things they work on. 

I wish I had thought of swapping mine out for a three stage model but too late for me.  Will likely be a project for later.

It should be noted that if you use your system carefully, monitor it properly and keep the batteries watered (if needed) you might never have a problem.  "Dumb" chargers like in the Parallax load center have been used for decades with little problem.  But those chargers can, under some circumstances, boil your battery if not used properly.

My rig will have two solar panels with a PWM charger and battery monitor but the old single stage converter.  Maybe it will be fine, I'll let you know Smile

What is the actual build time?  I think I read or was quoted 12-16 weeks (going by memory), but wondering how much is wait time and how long the actual build is.

The actual build time is about 6 DAYS based on their video.

 18 
 on: February 23, 2017, 06:24:17 pm 
Started by sailors35 - Last post by jatrax
Quote
Reading through their *verbage* I would conclude (perhaps erroneously)  that their charger never goes above 13.8V. If that's true and with the TempAssure the batteries should not boil over.

At 13.8V max their chargers would also charge much slower vs chargers using an Absorption/Boost mode where batteries are quickly charged to 80% by using a voltage of around 14.4. Also, again, there is no equalization/desulfation stage which is widely stated as needed by lead acid batteries for extended life.
That is essentially what I get from their website as well. 

I am curious how a modern 3 stage solar charger added to the rig will interact with this converter?  Will it add enough features to overcome the lack in the Parallax unit?

 19 
 on: February 23, 2017, 06:20:29 pm 
Started by JoeyD - Last post by JoeyD
I had a local firm take care of it for me... As you can see from the picture, we opted to replace the tops of the 2 chairs only. It actually looks better in person.

 20 
 on: February 23, 2017, 05:15:42 pm 
Started by sailors35 - Last post by gandalf42
Having read through their FAQ my first complaint is that they still don't provide specs, they provide verbage. They provide their reasoning about how a single stage charger is just as good as a multistage but i would weigh that against that except for Parallax all of the RV battery chargers and all of the solar chargers I have seen are all multistage. (I suspect there may be some cheap single stage solar chargers out there) If they want to substantiate their position against an industry norm they need to supply supporting data through testing which they do not.

Reading through their *verbage* I would conclude (perhaps erroneously)  that their charger never goes above 13.8V. If that's true and with the TempAssure the batteries should not boil over.

At 13.8V max their chargers would also charge much slower vs chargers using an Absorption/Boost mode where batteries are quickly charged to 80% by using a voltage of around 14.4. Also, again, there is no equalization/desulfation stage which is widely stated as needed by lead acid batteries for extended life.

On the positive side, at 13.8V max/ no equalization the chargers would work well for AGMs that don't like an equalization charge which I believe are all except Lifeline AGMs.

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