2015 Voltage 3800 - stock converter slow charging batteries? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 12-31-2019, 09:38 PM   #1
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2015 Voltage 3800 - stock converter slow charging batteries?

Hi All - it sure seems like I’m not getting nearly the charge out of my onan 5500 generator that I should be. Needing to run the gen way too much. Got huge batteries, lots of solar, shore charge ok, but not enough charge from running the gen. Did anyone add a charger?
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2015 Voltage 3800 w/ Epic IV, Int&Ext, Garage Pkgs; 8x100W Solar, 2x Xantrex C35 Charge Controllers, SW2000 Inverter & Monitor; 2005 Chevy Duramax Dually 3500 w/Banks; Kawi KFX700 & Polaris Scrambler 500 ATVs.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:41 PM   #2
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There shouldn't be any difference between shore and generator power.

Is the generator working OK? Can you run 2 a/c with it?

Maybe there's something funky in the solar wiring / controller.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:11 PM   #3
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As Joe said, there should be no difference between shore and generator power. It will either work or not work, nothing in-between especially if other 120 volt appliances work properly.

An exception could be in a transfer switch inside an inverter/charger system. An intermittent connection independent of other circuits in the TT are possible depending on how it is designed.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:12 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys! I contacted Randy at bestconverter.com and he recommended i upgrade my stock wfco ‘3-stage’ wf68100a converter with their boondocker 12100cl 100a 4-stage converter. Their upgrade saved my last trailer 5 years ago, with the same issue, i had almost forgotten. So, it’s on the way...
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Old 01-09-2020, 01:44 PM   #5
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I don't see how changing the converter makes any difference to generator charging vs. shore charging. Let us know how it works out.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:06 PM   #6
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Terminology

Can a larger inverter charge a battery bank faster when using a generator? The answer is yes and no. I think the issue is one of terminology.
An inverter is a circuit that converts DC power to AC power. As such it cannot charge a battery bank. However, many high end motor homes, coaches, and to a lesser extent travel trailers come with a box containing an inverter, a charger, a converter, and a transfer switch. A few other odds and ends may also be included. Owners call the box an inverter.
In this case, a larger “inverter” can charge a larger battery bank faster. A language is defined by the users in spite of elementary school teachers attempts to teach children otherwise.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:09 PM   #7
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While there is no difference between shore or generator power as far as charging, with shore power the OP is probably either at home in storage or at a site with full hookups. So monitoring battery charge performance is not on the radar and likely gets all the time it needs to achieve full charge.
When plugged into generator, it is because OP is boondocking and battery charge is now a priority. Therefore, the weakness of a typical WFCO converter is exposed. I think upgrading it to a better performing converter will be a noticeable improvement.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:12 AM   #8
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Bingo. The Boondocker nailed it. Now charging at over 14v from gen. Solid. Also they found a faulty dc autoreset breaker on the power coming from the converter that had been tripping the charge cycle over and over again. Things are running great now. The thing is, Dutchman saved 0 giving us the WFCO 100A. They are both about $220. The Boondocker does charge way better.
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