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 > Advice on replacing my IOTA battery charger for boondocking

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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 12/27/21 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1000 watts won't make much difference if there is an eco switch.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

BFL13

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Posted: 12/27/21 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

one last question for any of you who run an inverter generator. Currently my Honda 2000i basically idles when plugged in and charging. I assume this is because the charger is stuck at 13.6 volts.

If I go to a PD 45 or a PD 60 amp I'm assuming the generator is going to ramp up a bit and make some noise. Does your 60 amp charger cause the generator to really ramp up and put out some noise? Or does it still stay fairly low in the decibel range?

And back to dieseltruckdriver. Yes I agree solar is probably the best way to go, but I'm not there yet on it.
Thanks again everybody, I really appreciate the input.


You can expect the Honda 2000 to be at near max revs during the entire 50-90 even when in Eco. It will be as noisy as that is. The choice to go to a 60 vs a 45 has to do with how much time you have to listen to it.

First try it with Eco off-that is max revs and noise. If that is too loud and you want to shorten the time a few minutes, get the 60. You will reduce the gen time of the 50-90 by about 15 minutes--is that worth it---

Also the 2000 (really 1600) will be maxed running the 60, and be much happier with the 45 (which is less expensive than the 60 too)

A thing to note if you want the new 6s to last longer, is that when you do some 50-90s in a row and then try to do a 100 full recharge, it does not quite get there at the 14.x voltage.

After the time at 14.x the hydrometer will be in the green but not up to where it should be for SG. So sulfation will happen over the months and years (not many years!)

To get it right, you need to get them to full at 14.x and then do an Equalization run at near 16v (16.2v for Trojan 6s, eg) You cannot do that with any kind of PD, but you can with the PowerMax LK--which is a lot less expensive and can do the constant 14.x and the 16. It also has a three stage mode so you can do 13.6 and 13.2 in auto if you do not like manual.

Only problem is you have to do a little work (screwdriver in pot) once home to adjust the voltages. While camping you just leave it at 14.6 so no extra work there for each 50-90.

You do not need to disable the Iota when putting the new converter up front. Just dont use it unless want to. TT folks doing the up front installation do not drill through the front cap. You drill down through the floor and pass the wires down and forward to the tongue and up to the batts.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/27/21 07:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

BFL13 wrote:

How much hands on are you willing to do really?

(your 6s must be sulfated from never seeing any 14.x)

BTW when the trailer is on shore power, the Iota will be at 13.6 and if the other charger is on the batts too at 14.x, it will be doing all the work. No problem. When the 14.x is stopped, the 13.6 is still there carrying on running the rig 12v.

So what converter choices for doing the single stage 14.x:

1. PowerMax LK model in single stage mode (least expensive)
2. PD Li model 1st generation that only does 14.x (expensive)
3. PD standard three stage with CW--does 4 hours at 14.x but you have to make it do that (you said that is too much work) (also expensive) If four hours is not long enough time to get to 100 when back home, hit the CW again for another four hour run.





Thanks for the input BFL13 and Gdetrailer, you've both given me some things to think about. As it is I'm sure my existing batteries are severely sulfated and I plan to replace them as a just because in the next week or so.

As far as hands on, I was originally thinking about just replacing my existing 13.6 amp charger with a PD in the same location. But as many of you have mentioned I could just add a second deck mount in the front pass through.

BFL, When you mention CW I assume you are referring to using the PD pendant to put the charger into bulk mode. I was assuming that once I used the pendant to put the charger in bulk mode I would have to remember to turn it back off again or risk boiling my batteries. I see from reading the manual again the bulk will shut off automatically so the pendant is back on the table so to speak.

Gde Yes the batteries are on the tongue and I do have front pass through storage on the trailer so relocating there would be easy. And if I only have to add an outlet with 14 gauge romex that is extremely easy and cheap as I already have everything in my garage.

Hmmmmm here's my latest thinking now. I'm thinking about BFL's option #3 with a 60 amp deck mount PD in the front pass through. Yes I know I could make it a portable and put it out on the tongue but don't really want to do that. Since it's a 3 stage I'll probably disable the Iota and just run the PD pendant up into the cabinet next to the bed. Then I can just push the button as needed.


Sounds like you are getting a good plan together.

PD should automatically switch to bulk charge when you plug into shore power or plug into your gen with a partially discharged battery. That is what my PD9160 does for my setup, should not need to push the button on the pendant to force the mode.

Button is there if you wanted to temporarily switch modes for any reason and yes the blinking light is annoying so mine lives under the bed behind a door so I don't have to be annoyed. It is nice to have the light to tell you what mode it is in, but blinking? For a few pennies more they simply could have done a stop light with three LEDS, red, yellow, green to indicate the mode it is in.

PD does have a nice storage mode at 13.2V, real gentle on the batteries. I only need to fill my 6V GC2s once per yr and with all six cells the use is 16 oz of water.

2112

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Posted: 12/27/21 07:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Considering battery longevity, does OP want to charge his two 6V 220Ah Costco batteries at 60A? That's over 20%c. Going that high occasionally wouldn't be a concern but should that be his SOP?

Need to weigh generator run time vs battery longevity?


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time2roll

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Posted: 12/27/21 08:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With the lower voltage of the PD 60 along with voltage or amperage sag I think it will be a virtual draw on charging time. The IOTA 45 will put a solid continuous 45 amps right up to 14.6 volts. IIRC this challenge was done and posted a few years ago with a virtual tie.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 12/27/21 08:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13,

I just checked. The input wattage on the 60 amp PD is 1000 watts. That will not make a 2000VA generator run flat out.

pianotuna

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Posted: 12/27/21 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2112 wrote:

Considering battery longevity, does OP want to charge his two 6V 220Ah Costco batteries at 60A? That's over 20%c. Going that high occasionally wouldn't be a concern but should that be his SOP?

Need to weigh generator run time vs battery longevity?


At 13.6 volts that's not really going to matter much. What is recommended is .125 C. With 220 amp-hours that works out to 27.5 amps.

Above 85% state of charge, if the voltage is higher than needed, the battery will gas.

time2roll

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Posted: 12/27/21 08:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

BFL13,

I just checked. The input wattage on the 60 amp PD is 1000 watts. That will not make a 2000VA generator run flat out.
Add 30% PF for 1300 apparent power and you are very close to the Honda 2000 rated output of 1600 VA.

2112

Texas

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Posted: 12/27/21 08:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

2112 wrote:

Considering battery longevity, does OP want to charge his two 6V 220Ah Costco batteries at 60A? That's over 20%c. Going that high occasionally wouldn't be a concern but should that be his SOP?

Need to weigh generator run time vs battery longevity?


At 13.6 volts that's not really going to matter much. What is recommended is .125 C. With 220 amp-hours that works out to 27.5 amps.

Above 85% state of charge, if the voltage is higher than needed, the battery will gas.
The PD bulk voltage is 14.4V whereas the Iota is 14.75V. This is why I don't like my DLS-35, it bulks too high for my 100Ah DC29.

Just something for OP to consider

2112

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Posted: 12/27/21 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

pianotuna wrote:

BFL13,

I just checked. The input wattage on the 60 amp PD is 1000 watts. That will not make a 2000VA generator run flat out.
Add 30% PF for 1300 apparent power and you are very close to the Honda 2000 rated output of 1600 VA.
The advantage of this is when OP hears his generator starting to slow down he knows he's charged.

Putting a positive spin on it

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