Battery Upgrade and Charging - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Technical | Towing, Maintenance and Repairs > Electrical, Batteries, Charging and Electronics
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-17-2018, 02:09 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
Battery Upgrade and Charging

So I just purchased 2x6 volt GC batteries to replace the dead house battery my Ď94 Classic 300 has installed.

My question is this:
1. Is the battery charger in my trailer smart enough to not cook the new batteries if I leave it plugged in?

The reason that I am asking is because the old battery that was completely toast looks kinda swollen etc from the trailer being plugged in in the driveway for the last week or so. I had filled it with water prior to plugging it in.

I just want to avoid destroying the new batteries. Thanks.

Jeremy


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________

Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 02:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: tampa
Posts: 1,852
Florida
Was this your first battery replacement?
__________________

franktafl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 02:29 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
Was this your first battery replacement?


Yes. Trailer is new to me. Previous owner was always plugged in when using the trailer so he never even checked it in the 5+ years he had the trailer. I checked it when I got home and it was bone dry and would charge at all.

Since it needed replaced I went ahead and went with 2 6v batteries instead.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 02:33 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: tampa
Posts: 1,852
Florida
They needed to be replaced anyway. 14 years is pretty good .
franktafl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 02:36 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
They needed to be replaced anyway. 14 years is pretty good .


Yep. So should my charger be smart enough to not cook the new ones if It is left plugged in?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 02:47 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
sundancer 87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tahlequah
Posts: 2,847
Oklahoma
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayro88 View Post
Yep. So should my charger be smart enough to not cook the new ones if It is left plugged in?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That would depend on your charger. If you are talking about a converter/charger that is 14 years old it probably needs to be replaced as well. If it's just a stand alone battery charger then it will need to be studied to see how it conducts itself.
__________________
2013 Voltage 3800, 2012 Chevy 3500 HD
2010 Yamaha V Star 950
2009 Yamaha Raider
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Caravanners
sundancer 87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 02:58 PM   #7
Site Team
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sprung Leak
Posts: 3,138
North Carolina
Technology has moved along quite a bit in the past 14 years...

I would bet at best you have a 2 stage charger. See if you can get the brand and model number. Airstream used to use a beast called the Uni-volt, it was notorious for boiling batteries dry. So much so that people would install a switch (similar to the one you have that is currently unidentified) to cut the power to it at night to eliminate the noise and the overcharging.

If you need a replacement, which I think it going to be likely, you want to get a Progressive Dynamics from Best Converter. Once you figure out what you currently have you can figure out which PD model would be the best fit.

Aaron
__________________
There is madness to my methods
2015 Coleman CM16FBS(traded) 2016 Concord 300DS
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 03:06 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Technology has moved along quite a bit in the past 14 years...



I would bet at best you have a 2 stage charger. See if you can get the brand and model number. Airstream used to use a beast called the Uni-volt, it was notorious for boiling batteries dry. So much so that people would install a switch (similar to the one you have that is currently unidentified) to cut the power to it at night to eliminate the noise and the overcharging.



If you need a replacement, which I think it going to be likely, you want to get a Progressive Dynamics from Best Converter. Once you figure out what you currently have you can figure out which PD model would be the best fit.



Aaron


Thanks. Am I correct in assuming that it is probably located in the area below my fuse panel. I can get a pic tonight when I get home if that helps.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 03:24 PM   #9
Site Team
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sprung Leak
Posts: 3,138
North Carolina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayro88 View Post
Thanks. Am I correct in assuming that it is probably located in the area below my fuse panel. I can get a pic tonight when I get home if that helps.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That is most likely where it is.

Aaron

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
__________________
There is madness to my methods
2015 Coleman CM16FBS(traded) 2016 Concord 300DS
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2018, 05:25 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
sundancer 87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tahlequah
Posts: 2,847
Oklahoma
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
That is most likely where it is.

Aaron

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

Oh yeah, but don't assume anything in regards to these things.
__________________
2013 Voltage 3800, 2012 Chevy 3500 HD
2010 Yamaha V Star 950
2009 Yamaha Raider
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Caravanners
sundancer 87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 01:37 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
Here is what I have.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 01:46 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
sundancer 87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tahlequah
Posts: 2,847
Oklahoma
Don't see an overabundance of solid state components in there. It's a relic but did work in its day.

Might as well figure on getting a new and improved converter in your RV. It'll take some engineering but it can be done.
__________________
2013 Voltage 3800, 2012 Chevy 3500 HD
2010 Yamaha V Star 950
2009 Yamaha Raider
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Caravanners
sundancer 87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 11:04 AM   #13
Site Team
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sprung Leak
Posts: 3,138
North Carolina
Which model is it? I would say it is probably well past it's prime.

Here are links to a couple of articles to help you out.

Upgrade your Magnetek and Upgrade Kits. My personal preference would be to use the appropriate Progressive Dynamics unit email Randy at Best Converters with information on what you currently have and he will be glad to help you out with suggestions. FWIW he is a small, veteran owned company with outstanding service.

Aaron
__________________
There is madness to my methods
2015 Coleman CM16FBS(traded) 2016 Concord 300DS
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 11:11 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Which model is it? I would say it is probably well past it's prime.



Here are links to a couple of articles to help you out.



Upgrade your Magnetek and Upgrade Kits. My personal preference would be to use the appropriate Progressive Dynamics unit email Randy at Best Converters with information on what you currently have and he will be glad to help you out with suggestions. FWIW he is a small, veteran owned company with outstanding service.



Aaron


Thanks for the information. I will have to check out the options of upgrading what I have or switching to a different unit. I will have to see if I can find a plate with the model number on it or something.

I want to be able to enjoy the trailer without worrying about stuff, but I also don’t want to spend a ton on it. As long as I can plug it in and charge my batteries without cooking them I will be happy.

I am also looking at one of the AC hard starts and a generator so we can stay cool in between soccer games a weekend tournament. With 3 boys playing all weekend we can be at the fields from 7am to 7pm. In the summer heat and humidity it can be pretty unpleasant.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 11:40 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
Okay,
From reading the article and looking on the Best Converter website I am definitely going to upgrade what I have. Looks to be about $200 to do it. If it keeps me from ruining 1 set of batteries then I am ahead of the game.

Now I am going to expose my lack of Travel trailer electrical knowledge.

In a few days my boys and I are taking the trailer up to the a State park for it's maiden voyage. I do not have time to order and install an upgrade prior to the trip. We will be there for 3 to 4 days. Is there an easy way to bypass the batteries once I am plugged in to shore power? I will still want to be able to run 12v items like the furnace and lights. It isn't as simple as pulling the negative cable at the batteries,is it?
Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 01:12 PM   #16
Site Team
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sprung Leak
Posts: 3,138
North Carolina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayro88 View Post
Okay,
From reading the article and looking on the Best Converter website I am definitely going to upgrade what I have. Looks to be about $200 to do it. If it keeps me from ruining 1 set of batteries then I am ahead of the game.

Now I am going to expose my lack of Travel trailer electrical knowledge.

In a few days my boys and I are taking the trailer up to the a State park for it's maiden voyage. I do not have time to order and install an upgrade prior to the trip. We will be there for 3 to 4 days. Is there an easy way to bypass the batteries once I am plugged in to shore power? I will still want to be able to run 12v items like the furnace and lights. It isn't as simple as pulling the negative cable at the batteries,is it?
Not sure if the Magnetek will run without a battery in the circuit, the newer units will. See if there is a breaker for the converter, you could switch it off to cut power to the converter and allow your 12 volt stuff to run on the batteries, keep an eye on the SOC (State of Charge), I use a cheap plug-in meter that goes in the socket by the television. I have also attached a copy of the SOC chart I use. You could also use a stand alone battery charger to keep them charged. The Magnetek isn't going to kill them if you use it sparingly to charge them.

If it will run without batteries in the circuit, pulling the cable is probably the easiest method.

Aaron
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	battery-state-of-charge.jpg
Views:	55
Size:	38.6 KB
ID:	4660  
__________________
There is madness to my methods
2015 Coleman CM16FBS(traded) 2016 Concord 300DS
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 01:18 PM   #17
Site Team
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sprung Leak
Posts: 3,138
North Carolina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayro88 View Post
Thanks for the information. I will have to check out the options of upgrading what I have or switching to a different unit. I will have to see if I can find a plate with the model number on it or something.

I want to be able to enjoy the trailer without worrying about stuff, but I also don’t want to spend a ton on it. As long as I can plug it in and charge my batteries without cooking them I will be happy.

I am also looking at one of the AC hard starts and a generator so we can stay cool in between soccer games a weekend tournament. With 3 boys playing all weekend we can be at the fields from 7am to 7pm. In the summer heat and humidity it can be pretty unpleasant.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Which AC unit do you have? There is a product called Micro-Air that is awesome when it comes to AC power management. It is pricey compared to the hard start capacitor kits. Here are a couple of threads MicroAir364 and MicroAir Experience
For a generator look to the Champion 3400 watt inverter generators. Best bang for the buck. The other option would be to get two of the 2,000 watt and parallel them. You want the inverter style for quiet running and clean power vs the less expensive construction style ones.

Aaron
__________________
There is madness to my methods
2015 Coleman CM16FBS(traded) 2016 Concord 300DS
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 04:30 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
The EasyStart is what I meant. My AC is a 13500 btu. They say it is guaranteed to run on a 2300 watt generator with it.

Although that doesnít leave room for much else.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 06:17 PM   #19
Site Team
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sprung Leak
Posts: 3,138
North Carolina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayro88 View Post
The EasyStart is what I meant. My AC is a 13500 btu. They say it is guaranteed to run on a 2300 watt generator with it.

Although that doesnít leave room for much else.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Not much extra capacity at all, and you are going to be running the generator hard. The 13.5k btu unit is good on power draw, especially with an EasyStart. I would go with that then either the 3100/3400 watt generator or the dual 2,000 watt. I used two 2,000 watt Hondas for years. I would use both if I needed AC or just take one to keep batteries topped up.

Aaron
__________________
There is madness to my methods
2015 Coleman CM16FBS(traded) 2016 Concord 300DS
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2018, 12:04 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern
Posts: 160
Indiana
I got my 2x6volt batteries installed and everything is working as is should. The gauge inside show that they are fully charged, so I left the trailer unplugged. The pics below are of the model of charger/converter that I have. I didnít see a breaker for the converter, so turning it off there is a no go. I didnít get a chance to test if the 12v works without the battery hooked up. Hoping to test that tomorrow or Wednesday before we leave.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________

Jayro88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×