Need battery charger advice...

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Need battery charger advice...

Postby 48Rob » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:44 am

Hi all,

I've read thru much available info on the Web, and here on the board, but am still confused and overwhelmed as to just which charger, with what capacity, at what cost, would be best for both my battery setup, and budget.

I have two 105 AH. 6 Volt golf cart batteries (wired together) to provide 12 Volts.

If I'm really lucky, I'll get to go camping two or three weekends a year, with maybe a week long stretch every now and then.

In other words, I'm not "full timing".

I have a (small) converter for the times I have shore power, and will be hooking up a charging wire from the tow vehicle to help charge while on the road as soon as I figure out what solenoid I need, and how to do it without overcharging.

But the charger itself...I can buy a cheap one that will overcharge and trash my batteries in short order, or buy a 3-4 stage charger that will leave me so poor I won't be able to go camping for several years!

Isn't there something that will do an adequate job for a hundred bucks or so?

The batteries are only about $60.00 each, so at some point it would be cheaper to replace them every few years, as opposed to spending a fortune on the "best" charger available that was designed for full timers.

Rob
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Postby madjack » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:00 am

Rob, I too have read much here and done some research...based on that, I would recommend something like the Deltran Battery Tender ...there are several models to choose from, they are reasonably priced and would fit your need...if all you do is weekend camping, one of the smaller units may do ya...from what I have read and info provided by George Teleford and others, if you use something like a Deltrans, you might want to skip the automobile charge line since the Deltran would give you 100% charge and the car line would cause discharge to about 70%
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Postby GeorgeTelford » Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:45 pm

Hi

Jack as summed it up brilliantly and that looks a real good value charger.

Chargers are not designed for full timers, there are just good chargers and bad chargers, many $100,000 motorhomes are fitted with bad chargers (pretty much anything with convertor in the title...., if all you do is live on shore power a convertor is ideal, still not good for battery life though) That unit linked by Jack is a good charger, full batteries last longer ( per trip ) and live years longer too.

What 12v equipment are you using? and for how long each day? this will determine how long your battery will last. Many tears would easily last a week with 53 Ah to play with (half your 105 Ah bank is the max you should use.)
especially if all you are using is lights
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Postby 48Rob » Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:51 pm

Jack,

Thank you!

I must have missed that option...it looks perfect, both for capacity and price. :applause:

I'll look into the discharge by the automotive charging system, sure don't want to go backwards!

Rob
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Postby 48Rob » Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:02 pm

Hi George,

Thanks for your input!

Your calculations are pretty close to mine,

12 Volt Equipment and Draw;

Water pump-60 Watts, .5 hrs per day=2.5 Amp hrs

1 Lamp, 50 Watt, .5 hrs per day= 2.08 Amp hrs

2 lamps (total of) 40 watts, .5 hrs per day= 1.65 Amp hrs

2 Fans, 2.16 Watts (each) 4.32 Watts, 3 hrs per day = 1.6 Amp hrs

LCD TV, 120 Watts, x 2.5 hrs per day = 25 Amp hrs

DVD player, 20 Watts x 2.5 hrs per day= 4 Amp hrs.

Power consumption including a good movie each day is 36.83 Amp hours.
Total capacity is 52.5 Amp hours.

If I watched just one movie, I could squeeze a 3 day weekend out of a full charge.

If I kept my nose out of the television altogether, I could get 6 days out of a full charge.

Shame there isn't more room for extra batteries...but that's how teadrops work...

I do have both the TV. and DVD. player switched, to avoid any standby discharge.
I'm considering a (very) small generator for recharging the batteries, and or running the high draw items on extended outback type trips, along with recharging from the tow vehicle.

Rob

By the way, are you from the Northwest?

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Postby billnut » Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:03 pm

:D Jack is right I use the Deltran Battery Tender.
I use it full time pkuged in on my Teardrop
and it works great. I think I payed about 51.00
and it's worth every pinny.
:applause:
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Postby 48Rob » Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:43 pm

Thanks Bill!


I just ordered mine, along with a couple battery mats.

It sure will be nice to just plug it in and forget about it.
Up until now, I've been using an old charger that needs to be watched closer than a newborn.... :frightened:

Rob
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Postby madjack » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:20 pm

Rob if you are asking were George is from, you went in the wrong difection...unless you lived in Spain or Italy...George is from merry olde England. If you were asking about me...the only thing I am NW of is Baton Rouge and New Orleans (and Fl)
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Postby 48Rob » Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:31 pm

Jack,

I was thinking George might have been another George...but since he's not the George I thought he was, I was quite mistaken...sorry George, and George.

Jack, since my record with you is without a strike...I need to buy a motor base plug, but thus far, all I've found has been plastic, or very modern looking aluminum.
I'm going for an "old" look, something that won't clash with the wood on the Cabin car.

A modern plug will be okay, its really just the cover that needs to look old.
I used the last Hubbell cover I had on the Sportsman and haven't come across any used ones yet.
This is the best shot I have that shows the cover, it is actually a 30 Amp twist lock cover. It is almost tear shaped, looks just right on an old trailer.

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Any ideas?

Thanks!

Rob
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Postby madjack » Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:41 pm

sorry Rob, the only one I have come across that is not white/yellow/Al is this one from waytekwire.com ...I will keep an eye out...I wonder if you could not make some sort of wooden cover for a newer unit :thinking: I wonder what Roly Nelson has on the 1/2Nelson....
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Postby madjack » Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:51 pm

...apparently waytekwire.com does not allow hot linking...if you go to their website and click on "wiring accesories" then "blade connecting devices"...#11 is the one a tried to link too...it is a black plastic unit, with a small footprint...I was thinking a wooden ring around it may work for you...I will keep an eye out for anything else...
madjack 8)

I was looking at Roly's 1/2Nelson and apparently he has his plug-in hidden inside his front box
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Postby 48Rob » Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:33 am

Jack,

Thanks for spending so much time researching!

The plug they offer isn't bad looking, and it is small, but plastic...

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I like your idea of just making a wood cover, very simple, and it would blend in... :applause:

Sometimes the obvious answer is hiding in the shadow of ones own nose...

Rob
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Postby 48Rob » Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:13 pm

Jack,

I tried the wood cover idea for the motor base plug, but it just didn't look right.

Couple days ago I visited the local scrapyard (a favorite haunt...) and got lucky.

I found a tear shaped twist lock cover, then, after looking a little harder, I found three more!
Junkyards are great :applause: :applause:

So, I installed the (new) motor base plug with the vintage cover, has just the right look :thumbsup:

Rob

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Postby madjack » Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:28 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: ............................................... 8)
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Postby greasywheats » Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:16 pm

Hi guys- I am beginning to think about my electrical system and am looking at a battery charger and like the specs on the Deltran ones...I have a question though...why in heck is this one $65 and all the others that I have found in my search (like the Xantrex Truecharge) $150-$300? :o Is it just a branding/marketing issue or does the Deltran lack something in features?
Thx!
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