Looking to upgrade my inverter and charger on 1980 Winnebago Brave.  It still has the original factory equipment, so I am looking for advice on an upgrade.

Tags: RV electrical chargers, rv charger, rv inverter

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Upgrading an "inverter" or a "converter?"  I didn't know the Winne Braves came with factory inverters.

 I'm unsure about that particular RV, but many of that vintage came factory equipped instead with maybe a 30 amp Converter Charger NOT an Inverter. The factory Converter Chargers were noisy and buzzed and produced a lot of heat. They were more like near constant 13.6 or so volts DC power supplies to power up the RV's 12 volt lights and vent fans and water pumps when plugged into shore power PLUS they were connected to and charged the RV house battery i.e Conveter/Chargers. Problem I had with them if plugged in for extended periods like days or weeks at an RV park or home was they tended to overcharge and cook the batteries maybe outgas excessively and boil out too much electrolyte. They were NOT precise well regulated smart chargers, but merely charged the battery as a side feature in my opinion.

 

 Some newer generation of Converter Chargers do a somewhat better job of charge control. However if you want to upgrade to a Cadillac you may take a look at Xantrex Truecharge2 Smart Chargers and they also make Charger Inverter combination units. The Inverter changes 12 VDC to 120 VAC in case you need to operate low power 120 VAC devices like cell phone chargers or computers etc when dry camped with no 120 VAC shore power to hook to.

 

 Soooooooo if you want an Inverter (12 VDC to 120 VAC) that's fine,,,,,,,,,, or a Converter (120 VAC to 12 VDC) Charger that's fine,,,,,,,,,(newer ones may control charging better and NOT overcharge like older ones might) ,,,,,,,,,,,or a combination Charger Inverter those are also available, but this may help you understand the terminology and what a charger and inverter are.

 

 REGARDLESS I agree with an upgrade especially if has improved charge control methods.

 

 John T in Indiana

Sorry about wording that wrong.  It is a convertor/charger.  Belive it or not, it is the original equipment and it keeps cooking the house battery.  Do you have any good recommendations on brands and sizes?  Currently it is a 30 amp service.

  Okay, here's the deal. I can recommend what I have HOWEVER its sort of overkill and a lot more money then needed for the casual (likely only a singe house battery) user. I use a Xantrex Truecharge2 Smart 3 Stage (Bulk, Absorption, Float)  40 amp Charger (around $400) butttttttttt that's in part because I invested $400 in four 6 Volt Golf Cart Batteries in series/parallel for 460 Amp Hrs of energy storage and I want those batteries to last as long as possible so I opted for a Cadillac charger. My buddy has the same set up and his batteries lasted like 8 years.

 

  Do a little research and study (Camping World, Adventure RV, E Bay) for the latest generation of Converter Chargers (30 amp should suffice for you) and look for ones that have some degree of smart and regulated charging circuits to avoid overcharging. The older from the factory buzz boxes were cheap and not so well regulated and if left on too long they never backed down the charge rate (more like constant voltage sources)  and fried the batteries grrrrrrrrrrrr

 

 If you use an older converter charger you need to be able to disconnect the battery portion once its charged but, of course, keep its output connected to the interior 12 VDC loads. On my customized RV the loads are ALWAYS  on the battery bank and if I'm plugged into shore power or my Onan genny is running, the Xantrex charges the batteries. Once charged it backs down and floats them at 13.15 volts.

 

 Nuff said

 

  John T

John T . . . you manner of speech is familiar.  Aren't you the same John T that frequents the "Yesterdays Tractors" forum?

Re: the converter and charger.   Many of the newer ones are a lot more quiet.  Will they last as long as the old ones?  That remains to be discovered, but they certainly are more complicated.  Power Dynamics seems to be one of the good ones out there.

I don't use any combo converter-charger to keep my batteries maintained.  I use a separate dual-outout unit made by Guest for marine use.   It keeps my RV "house" batteries maintained as well as my engine cranking battery.   Since my RVs spend a lot of time being parked and not used,  this setup is ideal for me.  Mine is the Guest model 2610A.  It has a max of 10 amps output with three-stage charging and can shift output between two isolated battery banks.  ( 10 amps to one and none to the other, 8 amps to one and 2 amps to the other, 5 amps each, or just a slighty trickle maintenance charge to each.   As John T mentioned - Trace (NOW Xanatrex or Duracel) also makes some very good electronic equipment.  My house runs off a Trace/Xantrax charger/converter.

  Hey there John, yep that's me the other John. I do pretty much the same, I keep the Xantrex charger permanently wired to my 4 RV house batteries and likewise, the loads are fed from the same bank. If mine are way down it starts charging at 14.4 then eventually once fully charged it floats at around 13.1 to 13.2. When dry camping my solar charge controller (depending on sun) charges around 13.8 volts at first then when charged it pulses on and off as its method of regulating and not overcharging.

 

 As you saw I recommended, such (expensive Xantrex) isn't really needed for the casual one battery RV user who doesn't dry camp much or who isn't plugged in like weeks at a time like I am in Florida.

 

 I always enjoy and learn when you start talking deep cycle batteries and solar etc.

 

 John T

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