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Old 12-05-2007, 10:55 AM
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Default OT RV power converter

I have a small pop up Strarcraft truck camper that the power converter on it has died. It is a 2000 model with the old, out dated and out of production Centurion 3000. I'm not sure what to replace it with but have been looking online at the AFCO 25 AMP model. My little camper does not have a battery but as I understand it, most of the new converters come with a charger. I need some input about the converters as I don't know much about them. I'm hoping that wiring it up won't be that big of a deal as I'm no expert on wiring.
Somebody kick me in the butt and point me in the right direction!
Thanks, Dave

1979 CJ7 with a few Mods
2001 Dodge Ram w/Cummins
Camper Special w/tow package
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:08 PM
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My motorhome has an Inteli-Power converter from Progressive Dynamics - Home Page I had a question about it and found what I thought was the answer on their website. To be sure, I sent an e-mail inquiry to them and got an answer back in about a half hour, which is pretty good these days, especially since it concerned a piece that's about ten years old and has been out of production for nearly that long.

As I understand it, the main difference between a converter and a plain old battery charger is that their output is much better filtered and regulated. The current Inteli-Power units also have built-in logic for maintaining and equalizing batteries that are stored for extended intervals, but you don't need that.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:46 AM
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Pretty much accurate.
Converter is designed to reduce 220 AC or 120 AC power into 12 DC power.

The big deal with that is most 'Battery Chargers' only produce about 10 amps at best,
But a power converter is often called on to produce as much as 3,000 watts, or about 250 amps at 12 volts DC.
That's a BUNCH of amperage at a relatively low voltage.
Even little 300 Watt models are producing 25 amps constantly, and that's still more than most alternators average...
They are 'Over Grown' battery chargers, with a real attitude!

SO,
They get very hot, and have to be cooled.
Internal fans do the job, and normally when I see one that has 'Died' it's from the fan quitting, and if it's a better quality one, it will have a thermal fuse.
If it's a cheaper one, the fuse is the transformer melting down...

Lots of these that give up the job at hand only need a new thermal fuse, and I use a lot of computer fans to cool things. Cheaper, quieter and usually do just as good a job.
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If you need a new one,
Power Supplies & Generators | RV Supply Warehouse

RV Power Converter

BestConverter - Inteli-Power, WFCO, Parallax, Xantrex, Samlex, Electrical Supplies
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for the replys and links. I think I will be needing a new one. I don't think it was the fan because I don't think it was plugged in long enough to burn up. I took the camper to mom's house for Thanksgiving to have a place to sleep, we always have a big turnout. It was late when we got there so I plugged the camper in and turned the heater and one light on getting ready to go to bed. Everything was fine when after about 3 or 4 mins. I heard a small pop and the lights dimmed a little. The heater and light stayed on so I told honey I would check it out in the morning. It turned out that the converter shot the wad and the power to the camper was coming from my truck. The 110 plugs still worked but nothing 12 volt in the camper did on the shore line. All the fuses and the breaker checked out okay. The two red top batterys on the truck will run the heater all night with no problem. We stayed 3 nights like this with me starting up the truck in the morning to recharge the batterys. Your right about the charger on converters, they will boil a battery if left plugged in for long periods. WFCO claims that their converters have a 3 stage charger system that won't over charge the battery. Like I said, my little camper does not have a battery and there is not a good place to put one. I don't need the charger but I think they all have one.

Last edited by jps4ever; 12-08-2007 at 08:57 AM.
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