RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-01-2021, 01:15 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 12
Default Battery charging question

Not sure if this should be a new post but I canít figure out where to go to make a new post.
But this does have to deal with the battery. I live in a cold winter area. The batteries need to stay where they are on the trailer as they are too heavy to move. Is it safe to leave your trailer plugged into 110 for long periods of time?? Does this over charge the batteries? I have 2 nearly new 6 volt batteries. I tried using a trickle charger but it did not charge the battery more than 2/3.
__________________

Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2021, 09:35 AM   #2
Site Team
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,217
Default

Moved it for you Caroline. You can start a new topic by clicking on the "New Thread" button to the top left of the gray bar that starts out with the words "Threads in Forum:".

As to your question, in theory yes the converter should maintain the batteries. In reality most Funfinders came with a WFCO converter which are notorious for not changing to float mode when the batteries are fully charged making it possible to overcharge the batteries.

A good battery maintainer should keep the batteries charged properly. Several available like BatteryTender and Schumacher for around $50.
__________________

__________________
2011 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 4X4
2009 210 WBS
Prodigy P3
LJAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2021, 10:29 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,852
Default

Caroline, I have used the BatteryMinder Plus for about ten years, with very good results. You can read all about it on the web -- bottom line is that it pulses, which reduces or eliminates sulphation.

https://www.batteryminders.com/batte...er-desulfator/
__________________
2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
profdant139 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2021, 10:32 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 12
Default Converter

I have no idea what a converter looks like or where it is located. Is it possible to change out the converter to one that will not overcharge and if so what would be recommended and at what price? I have a new Battery Tender and it was only taking the batteries up to 2/3 full


Quote:
Originally Posted by LJAZ View Post
Moved it for you Caroline. You can start a new topic by clicking on the "New Thread" button to the top left of the gray bar that starts out with the words "Threads in Forum:".

As to your question, in theory yes the converter should maintain the batteries. In reality most Funfinders came with a WFCO converter which are notorious for not changing to float mode when the batteries are fully charged making it possible to overcharge the batteries.

A good battery maintainer should keep the batteries charged properly. Several available like BatteryTender and Schumacher for around $50.
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2021, 11:58 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: SoCal
Posts: 248
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
Not sure if this should be a new post but I can’t figure out where to go to make a new post.
But this does have to deal with the battery. I live in a cold winter area. The batteries need to stay where they are on the trailer as they are too heavy to move. Is it safe to leave your trailer plugged into 110 for long periods of time?? Does this over charge the batteries? I have 2 nearly new 6 volt batteries. I tried using a trickle charger but it did not charge the battery more than 2/3.
Caroline, from my experience the charger/converter in the FunFinder trailers does a poor job in charging the trailer batteries. It would undercharge our batteries. The charger/converter is located as part of the circuit breaker and fuse assembly on the inside of your trailer. Ours is located near the floor next to the heater but yours may be different. Ours is made by WFCO and you can find them on the Internet.

Honestly, many brands of chargers are junk. Being in a cold area you must find one which is temperature controlled which means the charging voltage is determined by the temperature. I have had excellent results from a low cost one carrying the model number EP12M248 and on the front mine states Power Charger. I found it on Amazon and it had high ratings. The type of battery is selectable for Wet (like a car battery), AGM (or deep cycle as used in trailers most of the time) or Gel (generally smaller storage batteries like in a UPS for a computer). Then there are 3 settings for the charging current (2, 4 or 8 Amps). I use the selections of AGM and 8 Amps to charge our 2 batteries. It is $43 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Maintainer-Po.../dp/B07CBTJ268 It has 7 charging modes which are automatic to charge and properly maintain the battery. During storage I just set the two selections and forget about it until I am ready to go camping again.

Getting one of these or an equivalent will also save you money as it will take less electricity to run than the larger charger/converter in your trailer. I plug the charger into the AC inside the trailer and turn the circuit breaker off that powers the built in charger/converter. I then feed the output of the EP12M248 to a 12V outlet which we have inside the trailer.

I hope this helps.
Good luck!
Jim
__________________
2016 F281BIKS
2003 F250 7.3L Powerstroke Crewcab longbed
JimboFunFinder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2021, 08:19 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 64
Default

I was told by a local battery Distributer that it best to charge the batteries and then just leave them as long as there is no draw on them. Then just before you go camping charge them. He said by leaving the charger on them all the time you are causing them to wear out quicker. He said they are only good for so many cycles. By discharging a small amount and then charging them to full capacity that counts as one cycle.
__________________
2016 Fun Finder 229 VSD, 2012 Chevy Avalanche Z71, 4x4, 5.3 lt. V8. Curt TruTrack Weight Distribution Hitch.
kmeindin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2021, 10:33 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,852
Default

kmeindin, that advice is contrary to everything I have ever read about battery maintenance. But I am not an expert, myself -- I am just a fellow camper.

I'm hoping that Eagle or LJAZ or some of the other true experts will chime in! Guys, is it true that you should let the battery just sit there and discharge?? Is it true that a battery tender wears out the battery faster than leaving it alone?

Wow, if all of this is true, it would be like finding out that a high fat diet is good and that dietary fiber is bad. The world would turn upside down.
__________________
2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
profdant139 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2021, 10:42 AM   #8
Site Team
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,217
Default

If you leave a battery disconnected it will still discharge over time. Even without a draw. It's best to have a good battery maintainer that will keep the battery at a fully charged state. When the battery is fully charged the maintainer will drop into float mode which essentially applies the minimum amount of current (or no current) to just keep the battery at full charge. (Sorry Dan, you still have to watch the fat.)

Some people just charge up the batteries and then check them periodically and recharge if needed. Problem with that is you have to remember to check them,

Also a battery maintainer and a trickle charger are two different things even though the terms are often used interchangeably. A trickle charger applies a constant charge regardless of the battery charger so if left on long enough can overcharge a battery.

To answer Caroline's question your converter is behind a panel that's about a foot square and usually located near the floor. It's where you fuses are and is what changes the 120V power your trailer is plugged into to 12V. It also has a battery charger/maintainer function although the WFCO brand has issues.

I replaced mine with a Progressive Dynamics which is a much better unit. I leave mine plugged into shore power so my battery is always charged.
__________________
2011 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 4X4
2009 210 WBS
Prodigy P3
LJAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2021, 12:56 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: SoCal
Posts: 248
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeindin View Post
I was told by a local battery Distributer that it best to charge the batteries and then just leave them as long as there is no draw on them. Then just before you go camping charge them. He said by leaving the charger on them all the time you are causing them to wear out quicker. He said they are only good for so many cycles. By discharging a small amount and then charging them to full capacity that counts as one cycle.
Kmeindin, as a retired EE I too must disagree with the advice you were given. I found the following at batteriesinaflash.com and it agrees 100% with my 20+ years of experience in designing battery operated equipment which is field mounted and charged by a solar panel. I LOL in agreement when the author stated lead acid batteries are fickle things. I emphasized some statements in italics.

What are the differences between a starting and deep cycle battery?
Generally speaking, there are two different types of lead acid batteries, Starting and Deep Cycle. If a starting battery is routinely deep cycled (discharged below 20%-50% of max capacity), it will generally fail after 30-150 cycles. The same starting battery will last for thousands of cycles if it is just used normally (2% - 5% discharge). Where a Flooded battery will lose about 13% of its charge in a month, a Gel or AGM will lose 1% -3%.

Starting batteries are generally designed to start some form of an internal combustion engine (car, truck, boat, etc). In a starting battery, you will find more lead plates, thinner and often made of a lead "sponge" similar looking to a foam sponge. This sort of arrangement means that the plates have much more surface area in the solution than a Deep Cycle battery and allow them to draw larger currents much quicker than a Deep Cycle battery.
Deep cycle battery, on the other hand, have much thicker plates and, they are solid, not sponge. These thicker plates have less surface area and thus less of the instant power that a starting battery needs. They are designed to be discharged down to 20% of their maximum charge repetitively. The thicker lead plates allow for this as they are much sturdier than their sponge counterparts.
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is an indicator of the amount of current a battery can deliver for 30 seconds at zero degrees Fahrenheit without dropping below a specified cutoff voltage (normally 10.5 volts). The cranking amps a battery can produce changes with temperature. The warmer it is the more Cranking Amps a battery will produce.
You can use a Deep Cycle battery as a starting battery provided that you take into account the lower CCA of a Deep Cycle battery. As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to upsize the battery by about 20% to deliver the same amount of cranking amps from a deep cycle battery. Also, the self-discharge rate of Sealed batteries is a lot less than flooded lead acid types.

How long will my battery last?
How long a battery will last depends hugely upon the way it is used and how well the battery is maintained. Both overcharging and undercharging will have serious adverse effects on the lifespan of a deep cycle battery. In particular, you can seriously shorten the lifespan of a battery if it is used in a deep cycle application that it was not designed for. An example of this would if you were to use an automotive starting battery as a deep cycle battery.

General expectations for batteries if deep cycled (these are just approximate guidelines):

Starting battery (Automotive battery etc) : 3-13 months
Marine Battery : 1-6 years
AGM Deep cycle: 4-7 years
Gel Cell Deep Cycle: 2-5 years
Flooded Lead Acid Deep Cycle Battery (L16-RE etc): 4-8 years

The main things that you can do to ensure you get the maximum value out of your deep cycle batteries are to keep them maintained. This means keeping them watered to the appropriate level, trying to prevent them from discharging them more than 50% of their total capacity and having appropriate charging systems in place. The charging is of special importance because both over and undercharging will severely limit the life of your batteries, also if your batteries will see an extended period without being used you should ensure they are routinely checked, cleaned and fully charged before being stored. Also in some cases, it can be a good idea to put your batteries on a maintenance charge over long periods of disuse.

Battery Cycles vs. Battery Lifetime?
Often the lifespan you can expect to get out of your battery is referred to in terms of "cycles". A battery cycle is one complete discharge and recharge cycle. The discharge state of a battery is often measured in Depth of Discharge (DOD). This refers to how far down the battery has been taken, for instance, a battery that has 25% of its capacity remaining would be said to be at 75% DOD. The lifetime of a battery is directly related to the depth of the discharge that it regularly experiences. Lead acid batteries are fickle things. If you subject a deep cycle battery to 80% DOD on a regular basis you will get roughly half the life out of your battery than if you were to cycle it to 50% DOD. While this doesn't mean that you can't go down to 80% DOD you should generally try to design your battery banks to allow for cycling at around 50%. Conversely there is also an upper limit on the DOD of a battery, usually, a battery that is only regularly cycled down to 5% or less will not last as long as a battery cycled to 10% or more. This is because on smaller cycles the Lead Dioxide can clump up around the positive plates. On heavier discharges, this would be more of an even film.
__________________
2016 F281BIKS
2003 F250 7.3L Powerstroke Crewcab longbed
JimboFunFinder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2021, 10:56 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,868
Default

There is nothing I can add to the above two posts regarding battery life - maintenance.
__________________
2012 Fun Finder XT 276 Toy Hauler & Harley Davidson Ultra Classic with Condor wheel chock
2014 Dodge Ram 2500 AT 4X4 Crew Cab 6.4 L Hemi, 373 gears, tow package, Rambox option, Revolver X2 tonneau cover, Equal-I-zer anti-sway hitch.
Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2021, 11:51 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 64
Default

Quote: Conversely there is also an upper limit on the DOD of a battery, usually, a battery that is only regularly cycled down to 5% or less will not last as long as a battery cycled to 10% or more. This is because on smaller cycles the Lead Dioxide can clump up around the positive plates. On heavier discharges, this would be more of an even film.


Maybe this is what he was meaning, that if you continually discharge a very small amount of power and then recharge them over and over you are shortening their life ?

The last quite a few years in the winter / storage, I just charge them up disconnect them and put them on my workbench in the garage. Then charge the a couple of times over the winter. They have lasted quite a few years. I used to put a battery minder on them but I haven't for the last few years.
__________________
2016 Fun Finder 229 VSD, 2012 Chevy Avalanche Z71, 4x4, 5.3 lt. V8. Curt TruTrack Weight Distribution Hitch.
kmeindin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2021, 08:08 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: TN
Posts: 408
Default Inverter/Charger?

What's the inverter/charger look like? Well-Just so happened that friend's IC quit working and I had upgraded mine. Mine was no longer being used, just in it's factory location under the breaker box. Relatively easy to get to. Simply remove the screws holding the breaker box frame and then you will see the IC under the panel with all the circuit breakers (120V) and fuses (12VDC). The two thick wires (red & white) connect the IC to the 12VDC system and the two thinner wires connect it to a circuit breaker. There should also be a green grounding wire. I upgraded to an inverter/charger that works with my solar system. But - here's a great link to explain the differences in IC and why an upgrade might be worth it.
Here is a great link that explains what it does and why you might want to upgrade to a smart converter. https://www.parkedinparadise.com/inverter-charger/
Attached Thumbnails
IC1.jpg   IC2.jpg   IC3.jpg   147516273_10158420872673477_228067764973210722_n.jpg  
__________________
2012 FunFinder X 210UDS
4-68 watt flexible panels; 1-215 glass panel/4 Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Batteries
2014 Ford F350 6.7 Liter PowerStroke V-8 Diesel longbed, SRW
runner421 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2021, 10:29 AM   #13
Site Team
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,217
Default

Actually the WFCO converters are smart converters. Just not very good ones. They are only 3 stage converters: bulk, absorption and float and have problems switching between stages. For example not going into float mode. So upgrades are definitely worth it. Good news is that there are several options available that will drop right into the WFCO housing making the upgrade easy. I installed a Progressive Dynamics converter a few years ago and it was a simple plug and play.
__________________

__________________
2011 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 4X4
2009 210 WBS
Prodigy P3
LJAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

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


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×